President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House. President Obama met with Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and spoke on the gunmen attack at the office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France.
President Barack Obama approaches Marine One on the snow covered South Lawn prior to his departure from the White House
President Barack Obama, accompanied by 89th Airlift Wing Commander Col. John Millard, smiles as they walk on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
President Barack Obama, followed by Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich and Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., as they arrive on Air Force One at Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport in Detroit
President Barack Obama speaks at Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., about the resurgent American automotive and manufacturing sector
Ford plant manager, Phillip Calhoun, President Barack Obama, Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford, and Bill Ford eye a new mustang at Ford Michigan Assembly Plant
June data pointed to a robust and accelerated improvement in the performance of the U.S. manufacturing sector. At 57.5 in June, up from 56.4, the seasonally adjusted Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™)1 indicated the strongest upturn in overall business conditions since May 2010. The latest rise in the headline PMI was driven by the fastest output and new orders growth for just over four years. Manufacturing output growth picked up for the third month running to its strongest since April 2010.
Moreover, the average pace of expansion in Q2 was the steepest for any quarter since the survey began in early-2007. Survey respondents generally attributed rising production volumes to improving domestic economic conditions, increased client confidence and a strong pipeline of outstanding work. In line with the trend for output, total new business volumes increased at a sharp and accelerated pace during June.
ThinkProgress: As of April, there are now more private sector jobs in the United States than there were in January 2009, when President Obama took office. You read that right. We have now replaced all of the private sector jobs lost while Obama has been president. And that was no mean feat, given that over the course of 2009, the private sector shed about 4.2 million jobs.
Unfortunately, the news is not nearly so good when it comes to the public sector, where there are currently 607,000 fewer people working than there were when President Obama took office.
The chart below tells the whole story. Under President Obama, the private sector has experienced a relatively robust recovery, and is now back to where it started when he took office. The public sector continues to shed jobs, and as a result, the overall jobs picture in the US remains weak. If you want to understand why conservative efforts to slash funding for teachers, firefighters, cops is bad for the economy, look no further than this graph.
National Journal: President Obama’s ad-makers may have to pay royalties to Clint Eastwood after a remarkable two-minute Chrysler commercial that aired on the biggest of all stages – the Super Bowl – and gave a pretty good preview of what the president’s reelection commercials might look like. At the very least, the ad and Eastwood’s powerful narration make it much, much more difficult for Republican front-runner Mitt Romney to keep pushing his line that Washington should have let the automakers go into bankruptcy.
And don’t think that Team Obama wasn’t watching the Super Bowl along with millions of other Americans and immediately grasped the boost they could get from the commercial. White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer quickly tweeted “Saving the America auto industry: something Eminem and Clint Eastwood can agree on.” Senior strategist David Axelrod tweeted “Powerful spot. Did Clint shoot that, or just narrate it?” Former White House aide Bill Burton tweeted, “Clinton Eastwood #winning.”
ABC: ….. Fifty percent of Americans in this new ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of Obama’s job performance, the most since spring. Fifty percent say he deserves re-election, better than Bill Clinton at the start of his re-election year and as good as George W. Bush a month before he won a second term. And Obama now leads Romney among registered voters by a slight 51-45 percent, the first time either has cracked 50 percent in a series of matchups since spring.
Two chief factors are at play. One is the economy’s gradual but unmistakable improvement, marked by the newly reported January unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, the lowest since a month after Obama took office. The president’s approval rating on handling the economy, while just 44 percent, is its best in 13 months.
Monday: PBO will attend meetings at the White House.
Tuesday: PBO will host the second White House Science Fair celebrating the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. The President will also announce key steps that the Administration and its partners are taking to help more students excel in math and science, and earn degrees in these subjects. At the fair, the President will view exhibits of student work, ranging from breakthrough research to new inventions, followed by remarks to an audience of students, science educators and business leaders on the importance of STEM education to the country’s economic future.
Wednesday: PBO will attend meetings at the White House.
Thursday: PBO will host Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy at the White House.
Friday: PBO will attend meetings at the White House.
Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): It was somewhere between hilarious and pathetic to watch Republicans respond to the positive jobs report last Friday. Some friends and I were counting the minutes until some Republican started casting aspersions on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which compiles and releases the data. Sure enough, by early Friday afternoon, Tea Party Congressman Allen West was saying (on the basis of no evidence of course) that “Americans need truth, not these number games.” West’s comment suggests a desperation that will spread if future reports are as good as last week’s, which raises the question of what the Republicans will do next to try to wreck the economy.
…. There are decent and honorable individual Republicans. Probably many of them. I even know some. But as a collective entity – as a party and a movement that includes the media wing and the base that boos a gay soldier at a debate and cheers executions – they are toxic destroyers, their minds infected by the idea that any cooperation with the president for the sake of the country is the moral equivalent of Munich (yes, with all that analogy implies). They will do anything. Nothing could be more just than to see a surprisingly low unemployment rate come November, with Republicans still insisting that black is white and that governance equals capitulation, and the public rewarding them accordingly.
USA Today: With U.S. forces still fighting in Afghanistan, the Obama administration has chosen to mark the end of the Iraq War with something more modest than a ticker-tape parade – a state-dinner-like event at the White House later this month feting a select group of combat veterans and their spouses or guests.
The core theme is the common fighting man or woman, said Douglas Wilson, Pentagon public affairs chief. The intent is for those invited – with guests, numbering more than 200 – to represent the 1.5 million who fought in a nine-year-war that left nearly 4,500 dead and 32,000 wounded, he said.
“The dining room that night will look like the America that served in Iraq,” Wilson said. “State dinners honor heads of state and I think the feeling was that this type of dinner is an appropriate way to honor men and women who … merit the same degree of respect as a head of state,” he said. The black-tie White House event to be called “A Nation’s Gratitude” may be unprecedented, Wilson said.
Thirty years after his father massacred tens of thousands of innocent Syrian men, women, and children in Hama, Bashar al-Assad has demonstrated a similar disdain for human life and dignity. Yesterday the Syrian government murdered hundreds of Syrian citizens, including women and children, in Homs through shelling and other indiscriminate violence, and Syrian forces continue to prevent hundreds of injured civilians from seeking medical help. These brutal killings take place at a time when so many Syrians are also marking a deeply meaningful day for their faith. I strongly condemn the Syrian government’s unspeakable assault against the people of Homs and I offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones. Assad must halt his campaign of killing and crimes against his own people now. He must step aside and allow a democratic transition to proceed immediately……
Ezra Klein: The strangest thing about January’s jobs report is that it’s pretty much all good. The headline numbers are great, of course: payrolls are up by 243,000 jobs. Unemployment is down to 8.3 percent. But the inside numbers are good, too.
…. The report also deals at least a slight blow to the case for economic pessimism. For months, forecasters have been telling us that though the end of 2011 was strong for the economy, the data showed the beginning of 2012 would be weak. That could still prove true. But we’re not seeing a slowdown in January’s payrolls. Just the opposite, actually.
Which isn’t to say there aren’t some areas of concern…..
The bottom line is that this isn’t just a good jobs report. It’s a recovery jobs report. It’s showing the sort of numbers that win elections. As my colleague Neil Irwin tweeted, “That sound you hear is champagne corks in the West Wing.”
Washington Post: President Obama will announce details Friday for a $1 billion Veterans Job Corps that the White House says will put up to 20,000 veterans to work over the next five years on projects to preserve and restore national parks and other federal, state and local lands.
….. Obama proposed the corps in his State of the Union address last month, describing it as “enlisting our veterans in the work of rebuilding our nation.”
From the White House: “President Obama and the First Lady will welcome Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and his wife, Samantha Cameron, to the White House for an Official Visit with a State Dinner on March 13-14, 2012….”.
The kids at Desertflower’s school are trying to raise money for a new sound system. If the school can get in the top 15 of a challenge Pepsi are running, then the sound system will be paid for by Pepsi. They are currently at 19.
The challenge ends at midnight tonight – so please vote for Desertflower’s school!
You can do so either online or by text:
Go to the RefreshEverything website – registering takes two minutes, just type “desert shadows” in the search box and the school will come up. Then vote!
Or, Text 73774 and type in the message code 109320.
Desertflower: “I hope everyone will take a minute to push for this for these great kids … they all work too hard NOT to be heard. They have a voice too 🙂 Thanks family.”
Marketwatch: Growth in private-sector payrolls sharply accelerated in November, led by the service-producing sector and small businesses, according to the ADP employment report released Wednesday.
Employment in the private sector rose by 206,000 jobs in November – the largest gain since last December and almost twice the average increase in recent months. The October level was revised up to 130,000 from a prior estimate of 110,000.
… While economists have noted a divergence between estimates from ADP and the government, markets look to ADP’s report on private-sector payrolls to provide some guidance on the U.S. Labor Department’s jobs estimate, which will be released Friday and includes information on both private- and public-sector payrolls.
11:30 Michelle Obama delivers the keynote address at Partnership for a Healthier America’s inaugural Building a Healthier Future summit
12:30 Michelle Obama welcomes military families to the White House for the first viewing of the 2011 holiday decorations
Two more Reuters Photos of the Year:
…. visiting the Lincoln Memorial, April 9
Moneygall, May 2011
Reuters: Herman Cain had almost daily contact this month with the woman who says she had a 13-year extramarital affair with him, even as he battled sexual harassment allegations from other women, ABC News reported on Wednesday.
Reuters: Hillary Clinton became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit Myanmar in more than 50 years Wednesday, launching an historic mission to press the reclusive country’s new leaders to sever illicit contacts with North Korea and deliver on reforms.
…. The visit, announced by President Barack Obama at a regional summit in earlier this month, could also open a new arena of U.S. competition with China, which has watched warily as Washington courts its resource-rich southern neighbor as part of a broader policy of increasing U.S. engagement in Asia.
LA Times: …. President Obama brings to the 2012 campaign one strategic advantage that previous Democratic presidential candidates would have envied: the money to compete everywhere.
Flush with more cash than all the Republican candidates combined, Obama’s reelection campaign envisions an electoral map every bit as expansive as that of 2008 ….. campaign officials say they are determined to use their financial clout to keep as many states as possible in play for as long as possible.
…. So Democrats are opening offices, airing TV ads and building up campaign machinery in the upper South, in Rust Belt Midwestern states and across the Southwest.
…. Obama is raising money in buckets, packing in half a dozen fundraising trips on quick sprints west. So far, he has collected $89 million, while his nearest competitor – Mitt Romney – has picked up $32 million….
…. Obama’s advisors cite population trends showing growth of the Democratic-leaning Latino population. In Virginia, for example, the state grew 13% as a whole from 2000 to 2010, but its Latino population nearly doubled. The Obama campaign also has recruited volunteers and begun to register voters in Arizona, where Latinos have gone from 25% to 30% of the population over the last decade…..
Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): …. The most important and interesting poll question asked in recent memory is the one Suffolk University finally thought to ask last week …. Floridians were asked if they thought the Republicans were “intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy to insure that Barack Obama is not re-elected.” In response, 49 percent said yes, and just 39 percent said no.
… this is a shockingly large number considering that we Americans are supposed to believe that no one in our great and celebrated system of government would ever do such a thing. But people are starting to believe it, and it will be the GOP’s worst nightmare if it gets to the point that 58 percent or so of the country agrees. Given that majorities of conservatives and Republicans will never agree with this, a number like 58 (or even 55) will mean that a substantial majority of independents think it’s true.
…. the GOP’s reputation is so low, and its image (and reality) as obstructionist so steadily solidifying, that it’s going to hang like the stink of garlic around the nominee’s neck.
…. what a beautiful thing it would be if the GOP’s obstructionism were the factor that buried its candidate next year. It’s the Democrats’ job to make sure that one year from today, as voters are doing their last-second sizing up of things, the behavior of the GOP over the last four years is one of the things they think about. If it is, Obama will win, even if the economy is ho-hum…..
Chris Cillizza: …… A new Washington Post-ABC News poll suggests that President Obama is narrowly getting the benefit of the doubt (on the economy) – at least, at the moment.
Fifty percent of those tested agreed with the statement that Obama is “making a good faith effort to deal with the country’s economic problems, but the Republicans in Congress are playing politics by blocking his proposals and programs” while 44 percent said that the president had not “provided leadership on the economy, and he is just blaming the Republicans in Congress as an excuse for not doing his job”.
…. In a bit of a boost for Obama, 54 percent of independents – that most coveted of voting blocs – said he was making an effort on the economy while 40 percent said he had not led as required on the issue.
…. It’s why the president has signed a series of executive orders aimed at unilateral action on the economy under the “We Can’t Wait” mantra, and focused more and more in his public speeches on Republicans’ unwillingness to back plans and programs that they had supported in past years.
These latest numbers suggest he is winning that argument – albeit narrowly…..
Many thanks to AJ for this – I posted the President’s 2004 Convention speech in the new speeches’ section here and AJ let me know about this video of the reaction at the time of the PBS panel (Mark Shields, David Brooks and Richard Norton Smith):
MSNBC: U.S. private-sector employers added 110,000 jobs in October, beating economists’ expectations, a report by a payrolls processor showed Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 101,000 jobs. September’s private payrolls were revised up to an increase of 116,000 from the previously reported 91,000.
The report, which is jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, gives some hope ahead of the release of the key U.S. jobs report from the government, which is due Friday morning and forecast to show the economy created 95,000 jobs last month.
Steve Benen: After a rather dismal summer, today’s new jobs report was supposed to offer an answer to a painful question: has the economy slipped back into a recession?
Expectations going into the morning were low. Neil Irwin reported yesterday, “Analysts are expecting the data to reveal continued mediocrity – 50,000 net new jobs…. And in this age of diminished expectations, a positive number in the 100,000 range … would mean a big positive surprise.”
The new jobs numbers aren’t great, but they did reach six digits: 103,000.
… In keeping with recent trends, the private sector gained 137,000 jobs in September, which certainly doesn’t sound recessionary, while the public sector lost 34,000 jobs due entirely to budget cuts at the state and local level. Republicans are eager to force more public-sector layoffs, making the jobs landscape worse on purpose, while President Obama’s American Jobs Act seeks to do the opposite.
Also note, it was slightly more encouraging to see that both of the last two months saw their numbers revised upwards, with July and August adding a combined 99,000 previously unreported jobs. Over the last year, the U.S. economy has added 1.49 million jobs overall…
The Gavel: Today marks the 273rd day of Republican control of the House of Representatives. In 273 days, they have not passed a single bill to create jobs. Instead, House Republicans have repeatedly voted to end Medicare (while providing tax breaks to Big Oil and companies that ship jobs overseas), passed legislation that destroys nearly 2 million jobs (that’s 10,000 jobs lost every day), and pointlessly manufactured crisis after crisis-creating economic uncertainty and hurting small businesses and the middle class.