A segment of the line of people waiting for tickets to see President Barack Obama speak on Friday starts near the Michigan Union, winds around the Fleming Administration Building, back toward the Literature, Science, and the Arts Building, and north down Maynard St. Angela J. Cesere
People sleep on the floor outside of the Michigan Union Ticket Office
AnnArbor.com: Roughly 3,000 people Thursday morning received tickets to President Barack Obama’s upcoming speech — many camping outside overnight to secure their place in line — and still hundreds of hopefuls were turned away.
It’s clear: Obama mania has seeped into the University of Michigan campus as the school prepares for his speech on college affordability Friday at 9:35 a.m. at the Al Glick Field House…..
AnnArbor.com: They brought blankets and sleeping bags, sent friends on doughnut runs, did homework and broke out into an impromptu dance party next to the Cube as at least 1,000 people converged into a line at the University of Michigan overnight to get tickets to see President Barack Obama.
The crowd snaked from the Michigan Union ticket office through Regents Plaza, building from about 80 at 10 p.m. Wednesday to much larger early Thursday, prompting one person to say “people in the back of the line have no idea how many people are here because it’s so long.”….
Between 2,000 and 3,000 people were in line by 9 a.m. At that time, the line reached the intersection of South University and South State and stretched toward the Law Quad.
….Update: As of about 1 p.m. all tickets to Obama’s speech had been distributed, according to the Michigan Union Ticket Office.
A group of ten students rest their backs against each other to stay warm and get some sleep while waiting in line by the Michigan Union. They arrived around 11:30 pm Wednesday night.
U-M Taubman College of Architecture faculty member Teman Evans holds up his ticket to see President Barack Obama speak while people in line behind him cheer. Evans was the first person in line at 7:30 pm Thursday night.
2:00: First Lady Michelle Obama visits Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling
2:10: President Obama delivers remarks at the 71st General Assembly of the Union for Reform Judaism
About today’s AP-GfK poll – OMG! Doom! Gloom!
As GOPolitico told us, white people hate the President!! Real bad!
The best bit was when they quoted Ron Fournier saying the President “only won 40%” of the white seniors’ vote in 2008 and “his approval rating with them now is 41%”. Em, I was never too hot at math ….. but is that, eh, not technically an increase?😕
Any way, not surprisingly, the economy remains the number one concern of those polled. You’ll get all the bad news everywhere today, what will be largely ignored:
* After the jobless rate fell to 8.6% last month (its lowest level since March 2009), the President’s approval rating on handling unemployment rose 5% to 45% in the poll.
* 20% say the economy got better in the past month, up from 6% two months ago (64% said it stayed the same)
* 15% said it got worse, down from 49% two months ago
* Respondents describing the economy as “very poor” fell from 43% in October to 34% in the latest poll, the lowest since May.
* 60% say the financial situation in their own household is good, up 6%
* 30% blamed the President for the economy, compared to 43% who blame Bush
* Despite the struggles with the economy, the President still beats Romney in a match-up: 47 to 46.
* The President beats the Newt 51-42.
* Among independents, it’s even better. The President beats Romney 45-41 and the Newt 54-31.
And buried in the last line in Time’s report on the poll:
“Among those with annual household incomes of $50,000 or less, Obama’s approval rating on unemployment climbed to 53 percent from 43 percent in October.
Get that? Climbed 10%.
* 60% approve of how the President is handling terrorism, 59% say he will “keep America safe”. Not bad for an appeaser, eh?
* 53% say he is a “strong leader”
* 76% say he is “likable”
There you go – the bits you won’t hear today. And hey, wait til the fella actually starts campaigning against Romgrich😉
OFA: Headlines over the past few weeks have shown with hard numbers how President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is helping young people and seniors. The reform allows young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26 and helps Medicare recipients save money on prescription drugs.
Take a look at this infographic summing up how the Affordable Care Act is impacting millions of Americans – then share it to pass on the good news:
Texas Monthly: As most readers know, every January TEXAS MONTHLY picks a Bum Steer of the Year, an honor conferred on whatever individual we feel has been responsible for the biggest screw-up, gaffe, fumble, stumble, train wreck, or humiliation of the past twelve months. This year, as the above cover makes pretty darn clear, our Bum Steer of the Year is Governor Rick Perry.
Jonathan Chait (NY Mag): With Ron Paul ascending in Iowa, winning the hearts of independents, and even the endorsement of Andrew Sullivan, it’s worth pointing something out: Ron Paul is not a kindly old libertarian who just wants everybody to be free. He’s a really creepy bigot.
…. Paul comes out of an intellectual tradition called “paleolibertarianism,” which is a version of libertarianism heavily tinged with far-right cultural views …. Paul is tied in deep and extensive ways to neo-Confederates, and somewhat less tightly to the right-wing militia movement. His newsletter, which he wrote and edited for years, was a constant organ of vile racism and homophobia ….. Fear and hatred of blacks and gays, along with a somewhat less pronounced paranoia about Jewish dual loyalty, are fundamental elements of his thinking….
The President has no public events scheduled for today, tomorrow or Sunday.
On Monday, the President will welcome the leaders of the European Union to a summit at the White House.
On Tuesday, he will host Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands for a meeting in the Oval Office.
On Wednesday, the President will travel to Scranton, Pennsylvania where he will deliver remarks urging Congress to act to extend and expand the payroll tax cut that has given tax breaks to millions of families across the country this year. In the evening, the President will travel to New York City where he will attend campaign events.
On Thursday, the First Family will attend the National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse.
On Friday, the President will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior and deliver remarks.
Robert Shrum (The Week): The GOP’s desperate hunt for anyone but Mitt Romney – Herman Cain unravels. Rick Perry stumbles. And Republicans keep praying that someone will rescue them from the flip-flopping Romney.
… Maybe tea is a hallucinogen; maybe the GOP is demented – and it will nominate him (Cain) anyway. If that happened, it’s certain that President Obama would win by even more then he did in 2008.
….. He’s the latest in a procession of preposterous Republican candidates who have soared across the party’s firmament … The GOP’s primary voters have been relentlessly looking for Mr. Un-Romney…..
Alan Krueger (White House): Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but the pace of improvement is not fast enough.
Private sector payrolls increased by 104,000, and overall payroll employment rose by 80,000 in October. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage point to 9.0 percent, a level that remains unacceptably high.
Despite adverse shocks that have created headwinds for economic growth, the economy has added private sector jobs for 20 straight months, for a total of 2.8 million jobs over that period. We need faster economic growth to put more Americans back to work. Today’s report provides further evidence for why it is so important that Congress pass the President’s American Jobs Act ….
Timothy Egan (NYT): For a Republican Party that has spent the better part of its presidential campaign proving that most of its candidates are not smarter than a fifth grader, the real scandal around frontrunner-of-the-moment Herman Cain is not what he knows. It’s what he doesn’t know.
…. China, said Cain with his clueless urgency, is “trying to develop nuclear capability.” Anyone who is gobsmacked by this category five level of ignorance concerning a country that has had nuclear weapons for more than 45 years has not been paying attention. Cain makes Sarah Palin, with her eagle-eyed view of Russia from Alaska, sound like a Council of Foreign Relations scholar on a gasbag high.
The clowns have finally taken over the circus, and I mean this with all due respect to those who labor with painted faces and oversized shoes…..
Steve Benen: On the Senate floor yesterday afternoon, Senate Republicans killed a popular jobs bill, despite the fact that a majority of senators supported the legislation. But the public’s understanding of what transpired will be shaped by the media’s coverage…..
…. CNN’s headline, at least online, read, “Competing infrastructure spending measures fail in Senate.” Here’s the lede: “In a pair of votes aimed more at making political points than law, the Senate rejected competing Democratic and Republican proposals to boost construction of roadways and other infrastructure projects.”….
Politico’s report was even worse. The headline read, “Senate gridlock: Both parties block jobs bills.” And check out the lede: “Rival Democratic and Republican jobs bills failed in the Senate on Thursday, the latest sign of the partisan gridlock gripping Washington…..”.
No, no, a thousand times, no. This just isn’t what happened…..
AJC: Pushing a campaign to act without Congress, President Barack Obama will announce on Friday two more executive actions on the economy, both of them small steps intended to give a boost to businesses.
The moves cap a week in which Obama has sought to employ the power of his office as he struggles to make headway on his jobs bill on Capitol Hill.
Obama is directing government agencies to shorten the time it takes for federal research to turn into commercial products in the marketplace. The goal is to help startup companies and small businesses create jobs and expand their operations more quickly.
On the other front, Obama is calling for creation of a centralized online site, to be known as BusinessUSA, for companies to easily find information on federal services. The site is to be up and running within 90 days and will be designed with input from U.S. businesses.
Obama is announcing both steps in presidential memos to be released Friday morning, according to administration officials.
Washington Post: The U.S. economy grew at its fastest clip in a year during late summer as consumers and businesses shrugged off fears of a new recession, according to government data released Thursday that helped drive the stock market to its best day since August.
Investors were also cheered by overnight news that European leaders have reached an agreement on how to address their continent’s debt crisis, and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index ended the day up 3.4 percent. European markets were up even more sharply, with the German Dax index up 5.3 percent.
The agreement in Europe still has many details to be filled in, and the 2.5 percent pace of U.S. economic expansion in the third quarter isn’t enough to bring unemployment down quickly, even if it is sustained. But on both sides of the Atlantic, the news on Thursday offered a sense of relief: Maybe the world isn’t falling apart after all.
National Journal: On the surface, it seems surprising that the U.S. economy nearly doubled its growth in the third quarter.
July brought tense debt-ceiling negotiations and threat of a government default. In August, a top credit ratings agency cut the United States’ top AAA rating. Concerns over European sovereign debt seeped into the U.S. and grew in September as the situation across the Atlantic appeared to be rapidly unraveling. Congress announced no major steps to fix the economy and the weak housing and labor markets treaded water.
But on Thursday, the Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product grew by 2.5 percent during that time, up from just 0.9 percent in the first half of the year.
While 2.5 percent GDP growth hardly signals boom times, it seems to fly in the face of those major headwinds. But economists say it reflects a gradual climb out of recession rather than a rapid shift in the country’s fortune.
…. The good news is that the third quarter shared many of the same uncertainties that are likely to shape the fourth: uncertainty over the budget and deficit, threat of a downgrade, and the European debt crisis. The economy, while hardly in fighting shape, pulled through the third quarter to eke out 2.5 percent GDP growth — which is not too shabby.
AP: He is the man with the mustache who takes a rebellious drag on a cigarette in the Herman Cain Internet ad gone viral …. Meet Mark Block, Cain’s unorthodox campaign manager …. a Republican strategist and tea party leader who’s left a trail of questionable campaign work behind him.
Block has been accused of voter suppression and was banned from running Wisconsin political campaigns for three years to settle accusations he coordinated a judge’s re-election campaign with a special interest group.
Records show Block has faced foreclosure on his home, a tax warrant by the Internal Revenue Service and a lawsuit for an unpaid bill. He also acknowledges he was arrested twice for drunken driving…..
Eugene Robinson: The hard-right conservatives who dominate the Republican Party claim to despise the redistribution of wealth, but secretly they love it – as long as the process involves depriving the poor and middle class to benefit the rich, not the other way around.
That is precisely what has been happening, as a jaw-dropping new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office demonstrates. Three decades of trickle-down economic theory, see-no-evil deregulation and tax-cutting fervor have led to massive redistribution. Another word for what’s been happening might be theft.
ThinkProgress: House Republicans took the government to the brink of shutdown last spring by demanding across-the-board budget cuts to many vital programs. Instead of focusing on job creation, as Americans wanted them to, the GOP turned its attention to slashing funds for programs that funded assistance for women and children, local law enforcement, the social safety net, environmental protections, and many other programs they deemed as either too expensive or unnecessary. Worse, when challenged on why they hadn’t made the effort to tackle high unemployment, Republicans insisted that their slash-and-burn budget cuts were meant to create jobs.
….. According to a new report from the Center for American Progress’ Scott Lilly, those cuts didn’t result in the job creating boon Republicans insisted would follow. Instead, it has done just the opposite, as those cuts will result in the destruction of roughly 370,000 jobs……
First lady Michelle Obama visited three Florida cities on Thursday for campaign fundraisers…. “This has been a great day,” the first lady told supporters in Ft. Lauderdale. “This is my third city in one day. And I go home tonight and Barack and I get up and go to parent-teacher conference tomorrow morning.”
“Just so you know,” she said. “Just handling our business.”
The Hill: The government’s bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might end up costing taxpayers billions less than originally estimated, the mortgage giants’ regulator said Thursday.
In a new report, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said the actual performance of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) had been “substantially better” than originally projected, lowering the overall bill for the bailout, a longtime sore spot with GOP lawmakers.
…. So far, Fannie and Freddie are beating bailout expectations. In the first year of projections, the GSEs actually tapped the Treasury Department for $19 billion to $73 billion less than anticipated, depending on what scenario was applied.
TPM: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will tee up a Friday test vote on a piece of President Obama’s jobs bill that would provide states money to retain or rehire teachers and emergency first responders.
“We are going to make sure there is a vote on our bill this week,” Reid told a crowd of fire fighters and teachers at a rally on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
The $35 billion legislation would be paid for with a 0.5 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year – a tiny new marginal bump that Republicans unanimously oppose. Some analyses suggest the legislation would save or create 400,000 jobs.
“The Republicans who work in the Senate suit up every day and come down and play their game in the Senate by following the lead of their leader – and that is, whatever they do, to make sure they do everything they can to make Barack Obama lose,” Reid said.
He’ll face some resistance from his own caucus as well. Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) bucked Reid last week and opposed debate on Obama’s entire jobs bill and have signaled they’ll do the same this time around.
They may be joined by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) who took to Twitter during Reid’s speech to oppose the legislation:
…. remember, this is a test vote about whether to debate the jobs bill – not a vote to end debate, or to pass the legislation itself.