The Stimulus WORKED

Michael Linden, Director for Tax and Budget Policy of The Center For American Progress spoke of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

The Private Sector Layoffs, The Gross Domestic Product and the Total Payroll Employment were in bad shape before the stimulus began, and all three turned around at almost exactly the moment the stimulus

For the transcript:


108 thoughts on “The Stimulus WORKED

  1. WH

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    This schedule will be updated when this WH releases the official schedule

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    President Obama departs San Francisco, California en route Everett, Washington.

    1:00 PM
    1:20 PM
    Vice President Biden and Vice President Xi will meet with students at a local school in Los Angeles, California

    1:50 PM
    President Obama arrives Everett, Washington.

    2:00 PM
    2:05 PM
    President Obama tours the Boeing Everett Production Facility, Everett, Washington

    2:25 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at the Boeing Everett Production Facility, Everett, Washington

    3:00 PM
    3:45 PM
    Vice President Biden will attend a luncheon in honor of Vice President Xi, hosted by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles, California

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event.

    6:00 PM
    6:30 PM
    Vice President Biden and Vice President Xi will meet with a group of U.S. governors and Chinese provincial officials, hosted by Governor Jerry Brown, Los Angeles, California

    6:45 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Westin Bellevue Hotel, Bellevue, Washington

    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    President Obama departs Everett, Washington en route Washington, DC.

    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • POTUS podium

      February 17, 2012

      2:25 PM EST
      President Obama speaks on an America built to last at the Boeing Everett Production Facility, Everett, WA

      3:45 PM EST
      Vice President Biden speaks at Lunch in Honor of Vice President Xi hosted by Mayor Villaraigosa, Los Angeles, California (Audio Only)

      6:30 PM EST
      Vice President Biden and Vice President Xi meets with a group of U.S. governors and Chinese provincial officials, hosted by Governor Jerry Brown, Los Angeles, California
      (Audio Only)



      9:00 AM EST
      House looks at payroll tax cut
      House lawmakers may vote as soon as today on legislation that would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

      10:00 AM EST
      House Armed Services Committee: U.S. Army Budget

      10:00 AM EST
      Secretary of the Army John McHugh, along with Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno, testify before the House Armed Services Committee about the 2013 budget

      10:00 AM EST
      Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack testifies before the House Appropriations Cmte. on the President’s 2013 budget.

      10:00 AM EST
      NASA celebrates 50 years in space
      Legendary astronauts John Glenn and Scott Carpenter participate in ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of Americans in orbit.

      10:35 AM EST
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with EU high representative
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton speak with reporters following talks in Washington.

      12:30 PM EST
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the conflict in Syria and the crisis in Iran.

      2:25 PM EST
      President Obama speaks on an America built to last at the Boeing Everett Production Facility, Everett, WA

      3:45 PM EST
      Vice President Biden speaks at Lunch in Honor of Vice President Xi hosted by Mayor Villaraigosa, Los Angeles, California

      6:30 PM EST
      Vice President Biden and Vice President Xi meets with a group of U.S. governors and Chinese provincial officials, hosted by Governor Jerry Brown, Los Angeles, California



      9:00 AM EST
      House looks at payroll tax cut
      House lawmakers may vote as soon as today on legislation that would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

      10:00 AM EST
      Secretary of the Army John McHugh, along with Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno, testify before the House Armed Services Committee about the 2013 budget

      10:00 AM EST
      Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack testifies before the House Appropriations Cmte. on the President’s 2013 budget..

      10:00 AM EST
      A Homeland Security Subcommittee holds a hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2013 budget

      10:00 AM EST
      Senate considers payroll tax cut
      Senate lawmakers could vote today on legislation that aims to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

      10:00 AM EST
      NASA celebrates 50 years in space
      Legendary astronauts John Glenn and Scott Carpenter participate in ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of Americans in orbit.

      10:35 AM EST
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with EU high representative
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton speak with reporters following talks in Washington.

      12:30 PM EST
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the conflict in Syria and the crisis in Iran.

      2:25 PM EST
      President Obama speaks on an America built to last at the Boeing Everett Production Facility, Everett, WA

    • Did the Stimulus Work?

      Michael Linden, Director for Tax and Budget Policy of The Center For American Progress spoke of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)


      “Here’s our GDP in 2006 and 2007, leading up to the start of the Great Recession. As you can see, it’s growing at a respectable pace. Now let’s look at the monthly change in total employment. This is the total number of jobs gained or lost in each month. Throughout 2006 and 2007 we were adding an average of about 130,000 jobs a month. But you can definitely see that by the end of 2007, things were starting to slow down. Finally, let’s look at private-sector layoffs in each month. Just like payroll employment, you can see signs of trouble by the end of 2007.

      Now let’s look at what happens to these three indicators as the recession begins and then accelerates. Through the first half of 2008, GDP stagnates. And then in the second half, things get dramatically worse. In the fourth quarter of 2008, GDP drops by an astounding 9 percent. Now, let’s look at layoffs over that same time period. As the economy contracts, private companies start laying people off in greater and greater numbers. And in the last few months of 2008, layoffs begin to really spike. The private sector lays off 600,000 more people in December 2008 than it had eight months earlier.

      And, not surprisingly, as the layoffs mount, the jobs begin to disappear. At the start of the recession, we lose around 100,000 jobs a month. Then 200,000. Then 400, then 800. By the time President Obama takes office, it’s clear: The economy is in a free fall. In January 2009 the country loses more jobs in one month that it had in any single month over the previous 60 years.

      Enter the stimulus.

      Now before we get to what happened after the stimulus started, it’s worth taking a second looking at just how badly things were going. Take a look at these trends. Not a pretty picture.

      Now here’s what happened after the stimulus began. In the second quarter of 2009, the first full quarter after the stimulus was passed, GDP still declines but at a much slower pace—just 0.7 percent—and then begins to grow again in the third quarter of 2009. Job losses also begin to slow down immediately. Leading up to the stimulus, we were losing more and more jobs each month. After the stimulus, fewer and fewer. And eventually we even start gaining jobs. And take a look at this. Private-sector layoffs actually peak in February 2009—the month the stimulus passed—and then begin a dramatic decline. By the one-year anniversary of the stimulus, private-sector layoffs are back down to pre-recession levels.

      These graphs all tell the same story. By early 2009 the economy was headed off the cliff. But all of sudden, just after we enacted the stimulus, the country swerved away from the edge and started heading back in the right direction.

      Perhaps it was just pure coincidence that the turnaround happened to occur at almost precisely the same moment the stimulus got started. Or, perhaps, the stimulus worked.”

      For the entire transcript:


      Did the Stimulus Work?

      Uploaded by seeprogress on Feb 14, 2012

      Did the stimulus work? A new video answers that question by looking at three broad, but important, indicators for the American economy. All three were in bad shape before the stimulus began, and all three turned around at almost exactly the moment the stimulus started. Coincidence?

      • The third anniversary of the Recovery Act

        2/17/12 Posted by Elizabeth Chan –

        On this day three years ago, with an economy in free fall, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

        Vice President Biden was at President Obama’s side as the new administration steered the bill through Congress and a wave of Republican opposition, enacted it, and watched the difference it made for communities, small businesses, and middle-class families nationwide.

        Because of this law, the tide turned, and a second Great Depression was averted. We have now seen 23 consecutive months of job growth, and the private-sector has added nearly 3.7 million jobs. Our manufacturing sector is growing for the first time since 1997. And 7 million Americans were kept out of poverty in 2010, thanks to Recovery Act tax cuts for 95 percent of working families.

        Today, the Vice President has an op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times, with an eloquent reflection of what the Recovery Act has meant for our economy and for our country. It’s worth reading in full.

        “Three years ago today, in his first major act in office, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It stirred a great debate. Some called it too big; others warned it was too meager. With just a handful of exceptions, Republicans maligned it as the absolute wrong approach to creating jobs. Today, that argument is settled. The Recovery Act did what we asked of it. Three million jobs were created or saved. Essential investments in keeping teachers on the job, building a domestic clean energy industry, and repairing our roads and bridges have helped to foster the economic growth that we are now starting to see. The president is building an economy meant to last, and the Recovery Act is part of the foundation. …

        “The Recovery Act was meant to give the economy the jolt it desperately needed. Three years later, it is clear that jolt got us pretty far down the road. We have a long way to go as we work to reinvigorate manufacturing and ultimately rebuild the middle class. The president and I will not stop—will not rest—until the millions of Americans who have struggled in recent years can look their children in the eye and say, ‘Honey, it’s gonna be okay.'”

      • Recovery Act is working

        February 17, 2012 By Joe Biden, special to the Times –

        Three years ago today, in his first major act in office, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It stirred a great debate. Some called it too big; others warned it was too meager. With just a handful of exceptions, Republicans maligned it as the absolute wrong approach to creating jobs. • Today, that argument is settled. The Recovery Act did what we asked of it. Three million jobs were created or saved. Essential investments in keeping teachers on the job, building a domestic clean energy industry, and repairing our roads and bridges have helped to foster the economic growth that we are now starting to see. The president is building an economy meant to last, and the Recovery Act is part of the foundation.

        It’s easy to forget how grave our problems were in February 2009. We had inherited an economy in free fall. Our own economists told us a depression was all but inevitable unless we took bold and immediate steps. Our country lost 3.5 million jobs in the six months before the president and I took office. We lost another 4 million before policies like the Recovery Act took effect.

        Today, we have had 23 straight months of private sector growth. Businesses have added 3.7 million new jobs. Today, companies are not just expanding their U.S. operations — some are actually moving production from countries like China and Mexico back to American shores. And many more middle-class families see a much brighter future than the bleak horizon they faced when we arrived at the White House.

        For the entire article:

      • CBO: Stimulus continues to deliver

        2/22/12 04:37 PM ET By Erik Wasson – TheHill

        The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package continues to have a significant effect.

        The bill raised fourth-quarter 2011 gross domestic product by as much as 1.5 percent, it states, and lowered the unemployment rate by as much as 1.1 percentage points.

        The package reduced the rolls of the jobless by up to 2 million people in the last three months of 2011.

        The CBO analysis is very similar to the last stimulus report it produced in November. It continues to predict that in 2012, the stimulus will increase the number of people employed by up to 1.1 million.

        Despite the CBO figures, the $831 billion stimulus package has not lived up to the claims the administration made when it sold Congress on the bill.

        Obama economic adviser Christina Romer claimed the bill would keep unemployment below 8 percent, but the rate spiked to 10 percent in 2009 and remained above 9 percent until last October.

        The stimulus will likely remain a centerpiece of GOP attacks on Obama ahead of the November elections.

    • Unemployment applications drop to a 4-year low

      2/16/12 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | Associated Press

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to the lowest point in almost four years last week, the latest signal that the job market is steadily improving.

      The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment benefits dropped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000. It was the fourth drop in five weeks and the fewest number of claims since March 2008.

      The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations in the weekly data, fell for the fifth straight week to 365,250. The average has fallen nearly 13 percent in the past year.

      The consistent decline indicates that companies are laying off fewer workers, and hiring is likely picking up further. When applications drop consistently below 375,000, it usually signals that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

      In January, the economy added a net 243,000 jobs, the most in nine months. And the unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month, to 8.3 percent. The economy has added an average of 201,000 jobs per month for the past three months.

      Faster economic growth is spurring the additional hiring. The economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the final three months of last year — a full percentage point higher than in the previous quarter.

      For the entire article:

    • U.S. growth solid in fourth quarter [GDP Up]

      1/24/12 By Lucia Mutikani | Reuters

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy appears to have shaken off the gloom from Europe’s debt crisis in the fourth quarter, pushing ahead at what was likely its fastest pace in nearly two years.

      The performance, driven by auto purchases and restocking by businesses, marks a stunning reversal of fortune for an economy that skated perilously close to recession earlier in the year.

“The economy was able to generate significant momentum despite all the hiccups that we had,” said Millan Mulraine, senior macro strategist at TD Securities in New York.

      Economists estimate U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 3.0 percent annual pace in the October-December period, according to the median Reuters poll.

      That would be a step-up from the third-quarter’s 1.8 percent rate and it would be the quickest pace since the second quarter of 2010. The government releases its first estimate of fourth quarter growth on Friday at 8:30 a.m.

      While the report could show solid consumer spending, much of it will likely be driven by pent-up demand for cars. Supply disruptions from Japan’s big earthquake and tsunami last March curbed auto production early in the year, leaving dealers unable to provide the models consumers wanted.

      For the entire article:

    • The Employment Situation in January

      Alan Krueger February 03, 2012 at 09:31 AM EST

      Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the recession that began at the end of 2007. Most importantly, we need to extend the payroll tax cut and continue to provide emergency unemployment benefits through the end of this year, and take the additional steps that President Obama proposed in his State of the Union address to create an economy built to last.

      The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage point to 8.3%, from a high of 10% in October 2009. The drop in unemployment over the month was entirely due to employment growth, as the labor force participation rate remained constant, once new population weights are taken into account. The unemployment rate has fallen by 0.8 percentage point in the last 12 months.

      Private sector payrolls increased by 257,000 jobs and overall payroll employment rose by 243,000 jobs in January. Despite adverse shocks that have created headwinds for economic growth, the economy has added private sector jobs for 23 straight months, for a total of 3.7 million payroll jobs over that period. In the last 12 months, 2.2 million private sector jobs were added on net. Nonetheless, we need faster growth to put more Americans back to work.

      Sectors with net job increases in December included professional and business services (+70,000), manufacturing (+50,000), leisure and hospitality (+44,000), health care and social assistance (+29,700), and construction (+21,000). Government lost 14,000 jobs.

      The monthly employment and unemployment numbers can be volatile, and employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision. Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report; nevertheless, the trend in job market indicators over recent months is an encouraging sign.

    • Manufacturing, housing data flag underlying strength

      2/15/12 By Lucia Mutikani | Reuters

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. manufacturing output rose solidly in January and a gauge of factory activity in New York state hit a 1-1/2-year high in February, showing a solid underpinning for the economic recovery.

      The firmer tone was also in evidence in another report on Wednesday that showed optimism among home builders approached a five-year high this month, a good omen for the struggling housing market.

      The reports added to a run of fairly upbeat data, even though overall industrial production was flat last month as unusually mild winter weather weighed on utility output.

      “What we are seeing here is confirmation of the positive momentum we have seen in the economy over the past few months,” said Millan Mulraine, senior macro strategist at TD Securities in New York.

      Factory production increased 0.7 percent, the Federal Reserve said, after an upwardly revised 1.5 percent rise in December. The December increase was previously reported as a 0.9 percent gain.

      For the entire article:

    • Factory output jumps 0.7 percent in January

      2/15/12 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | Associated Press

      WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories boosted output last month and December ended up being their best month for growth in five years. Busier factories are helping drive the economy.

      The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that manufacturing production increased 0.7 percent in January. And output soared 1.5 percent in December, according to an upward revision. That was the biggest gain since December 2006.

      Overall industrial production, which includes output by mines and utilities as well as factories, was unchanged in January.

      Industrial production was revised up in December to 1 percent, the biggest gain in a year.

      Utility output fell 2.5 percent last month, the second straight sharp decline due to an unseasonably warm winter. That has allowed many Americans to cut back on heating their homes. Mining production also declined.

      Factory output has risen 16.7 percent from its low point during the recession, in June 2009. It is still 7.1 percent below its December 2007 peak.

      Two strong months of manufacturing growth are among the encouraging signs that show the economy could grow at a steady pace this year. The pickup in manufacturing coincides with five straight months of solid job growth, which has lowered the unemployment rate to 8.3 percent.

      For the entire article:

    • Stronger job market could boost economy further

      2/16/12 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER and DEREK KRAVITZ | Associated Press – 42 mins ago

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The healthier job market that’s lifted the economy in recent months shows no signs of slowing.

      Applications for unemployment aid are near a four-year low, raising expectations of further hiring gains. The news Thursday helped catapult the Dow Jones industrial average to its highest close since May 2008.

      More jobs and tame inflation are giving consumers more buying power. Their higher spending could further boost growth and lower the unemployment rate for February for a sixth straight month.

      Even the troubled housing market is benefiting. Builders expect improved sales in the near future. In response, they’re planning to break ground on more homes.

      “The housing starts and unemployment claims numbers add to the belief that the economy is shifting gears,” said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisers.

      “The decline in the unemployment rate is real, and it should continue.”

      A series of positive economic reports Thursday reinforced that message:

      — Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, the Labor Department said. That’s the lowest level since March 2008. Unemployment applications have dropped 11 percent in four months.

      — Builders broke ground in January on a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 699,000 homes, the Commerce Department said. That nearly matches November’s three-year high. Single-family home construction cooled off slightly after a big jump in December.

      — Factory activity in the Philadelphia region grew in February at the fastest pace in five months, a survey by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank found. That followed a report that showed a third straight month of factory growth in the New York region.

      — Wholesale prices were largely unchanged in January, Commerce said. While gas prices are rising, they’ve been offset by falling costs for electricity, home heating oil and natural gas. Most economists see inflation as little threat.

      Many analysts are growing more optimistic about the job growth the government will report next month for February. Some say the net job gains could match or top January’s. Employers added 243,000 net jobs in January, the most in nine months. In the past three months, the economy has produced an average of about 200,000 jobs.

      For the entire article:

    • Case closed: the stimulus worked

      Jun 7, 2012 10:43 AM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      Among Republicans, it’s taken as a given that President Obama’s Recovery Act — a.k.a., the “stimulus” — was a failed Keynesian experiment. Among many voters, it’s also widely assumed that the effort to get the economy back on track simply did not work.

      Among those who know what they’re talking about, however, there is no real doubt that the stimulus was a success. Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, reminded Congress of this inconvenient truth yesterday.

      Did the stimulus work? Certainly not according to Republicans, who regularly blast President Obama’s “failed” economic policies on the campaign trail. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has called the $787 billion package of temporary tax cuts and spending hikes “the largest one-time careless expenditure of government money in American history.”

      But on Wednesday, under questioning from skeptical Republicans, the director of the nonpartisan (and widely respected) Congressional Budget Office was emphatic about the value of the 2009 stimulus. And, he said, the vast majority of economists agree.

      In a survey conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 80 percent of economic experts agreed that, because of the stimulus, the U.S. unemployment rate was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been otherwise.

      The truth matters, not simply as a political exercise in which partisan players point fingers and thump their chests, but for entirely practical reasons.

      For more:


    Boehner knocks stimulus on its third anniversary

    2/16/12 3:44 PM EST POLITICO44

    On the three year anniversary of the signing of the $787 billion stimulus package, House Speaker John Boehner knocks the law in a statement: “At the signing of the ‘stimulus’ three years ago, President Obama said he wanted to be held accountable for the results of his spending binge – today, there’s no denying the fact that his ‘stimulus’ policies not only failed, they made things worse. You can see the legacy of the president’s failed ‘stimulus’ policies all around us: in three straight years of an unemployment rate above eight percent; in gas prices that have nearly doubled; in the need for an extension of the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits; and in the millions of Americans who are still out of work or have simply given up looking for a job.”


      Don’t bet against America, Mitt

      2/16/12 Posted by Elizabeth Chan –

      While Mitt Romney continues to struggle in Michigan’s polls and is twisting himself into a pretzel trying to explain what exactly he meant by the words “ let Detroit go bankrupt ,” we got the welcome news today that GM made its biggest profit ever in 2011 . And it wouldn’t have happened if President Obama hadn’t had the courage to bet on the American auto industry.

      So here’s the lesson, Mr. Romney: Don’t bet against America. Don’t bet against the American auto industry. And definitely don’t bet against the American worker.

  3. After “lemming” exodus, manufacturers look to U.S.

    2/13/12 By Scott Malone | Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Big U.S.
    manufacturers moved their production out of the country too quickly over the past decades and now see a competitive advantage in building up their footprints back home, top executives said on Monday.

    The chase for lower-paid workers drove the migration, which resulted in employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector falling by 40 percent from its 1980 peak. But big companies including Boeing Co and General Electric Co are now finding that the benefit of lower wages can be offset by higher logistics and materials costs.

    “We, lemming-like, over the last 15 years extended our supply chains a little too far globally in the name of low cost,” said Jim McNerney, chief executive of world No. 2 planemaker Boeing. “We lost control in some cases over quality and service when we did that, we underestimated in some cases the value of our workers back here.”

    McNerney spoke at a Washington event organized by GE aimed at promoting the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. The nation has been slow to recover from a brutal 2007-2009 downturn and high unemployment — 8.3 percent in January — stands as one of the main barriers to a brisker recovery.

    Boeing in particular ran into extensive delays in the launch of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft, handing off much of the manufacturing responsibility to outside suppliers, leaving the launch of the fuel-efficient aircraft some three years behind schedule.

    “You are going to see more (manufacturing) come back to the United States, and that’s in part for business reasons and in part because we want to be good citizens,” McNerney said.

GE CEO Jeff Immelt said the largest U.S. conglomerate’s thinking evolved on the value of manufacturing inside the United States versus outside it.

    “We’re basically moving our appliance manufacturing back from Mexico and China to basically Louisville (Kentucky),” he said.

    “When we looked at it on a cost basis, our labor is still higher, but it’s closer than it’s been in the past. And both materials and distribution are less expensive in the United States than imported. So we see the opportunity to bring jobs — certain jobs, not every job — back. And we think this is going to take place in areas like software as well.”

    The nascent resurgence in U.S.

    manufacturing — which added 50,000 jobs in January — has caught the attention of the White House. President Barack Obama, to whom Immelt is a top adviser on jobs and the economy, singled out the sector in last month’s State of the Union address as an area where he would promote tax breaks in hopes of generating more jobs.

    Noting that GE currently generates about 60 percent of its revenue outside the United States and that some 70 percent of the orders in its backlog are from abroad, Immelt said that multinational manufacturers need to add jobs both at home and overseas if they are to be competitive.

    “Globalization is a 20-minute discussion in a world that wants one-sentence answers,” Immelt said. “We have to say where we’ve been right and where we’ve been wrong but it’s a nuanced discussion.”

    He also defended federal efforts to promote U.S. business interests overseas, such as the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which some conservative groups have criticized as amounting to “corporate welfare.

    Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE said at the event that it plans to hire some 5,000 military veterans over the next five years.

    Manufacturers say they like to hire veterans because their experience in figuring out how to solve problems quickly is useful in high-speed modern factories.

    CEOs said they are looking for workers — some 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs are going unfilled because companies cannot find applicants with the skills needed to perform them, according to a study by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte. A renewed focus on educating students in science, technology, engineering and math could help fill those holes, executives said.

    “It’s a jobless recovery in some sense, but we have jobs out there, so it’s the skills discussion,” said Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical Co .

    For the entire article;

  4. Brian Deese on the Payroll Tax Cut Extension

    Uploaded by whitehouse on Feb 15, 2012

    Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, breaks down the importance that Congress act and extend the Payroll Tax Cut for the rest of 2012.

    • 98% tax_cut_extension

      By the Numbers: 98 Percent

      Yesterday, President Obama called on Congress to extend the middle-class tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans making less than $250,000 for another year. If lawmakers don’t act, a typical middle-class family of four will see its taxes go up by $2,200 on January 1.

      Our prosperity has always come from an economy built on a strong and growing middle class. That’s why the President has cut middle-class taxes every year– by $3,600 for the typical middle class family.

      No one thinks raising taxes on the middle class is a good idea–it would be a big blow to working families, and it would drag down our entire economy. This should be one of those rare issues where everyone in Washington can agree. But so far, Congress hasn’t been able to extend middle class tax cuts because Republicans in Washington refuse to ask the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share.

      Middle class families should have the certainty and security of knowing their taxes won’t go up in six months, and the President Obama’s message to Congress is clear: Pass a bill extending the tax cuts for the middle class and he’ll sign it tomorrow.

  5. Third grader writes Obama, he writes back

    February 15, 2012 KIAH

    President Obama receives about 20,000 letters a day, and if we believe what we hear from the White House, staff members read every one of them before selecting ten for him to read at the end of his day.

    One of those letters came from Indiana third-grader Jamius Smith to the man he calls his hero. Over Christmas, Jamius sent a copy of his report card, and a letter explaining how he and his mom gave toys and gifts to the homeless.

    About a month later, Jamius came home and found a real-for-sure letter from the president addressed to him. Not an e-mail and not one of those form letters addressed to ‘Current Occupant.’

    The President thanked Jamius for his letter, and encouraged him to set his sights high.

    Jamius is taking Obama’s advice. He wants to be president, too. Meantime, he and his mom are planning a trip to Washington and hope to see the man behind the signature.

    To watch the video:,0,872717.story?track=rss

  6. Obama to visit Boeing’s Everett plant and attend fundraisers

    President Obama will visit the Boeing plant in Everett on Friday, where he will discuss manufacturing and promoting American exports.

    2/13/12 SeattleTimes

    President Obama will visit the Boeing plant in Everett on Friday as part of his trip to the Seattle area.

    The White House says he will discuss the economy, manufacturing and the importance of promoting American exports — themes he struck in his State of the Union speech last month.

    Obama’s campaign previously announced that he also would attend two political fundraisers while in the area.

    The first is a $17,900-per-person brunch at the Medina home of Jeff and Susan Brotman.

    The Brotmans are longtime Democratic patrons. He is best known as co-founder of Costco Wholesale; she is a former Nordstrom executive active in philanthropy.

    The brunch will be followed by a $1,000-a-person fundraising lunch at the Bellevue Westin. Donors can pay $5,000 for a photo reception with the president. Local indie-folk band The Head and the Heart will perform at the Bellevue luncheon.

    The money raised by the events will be divided between Obama’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

    The Puget Sound stop is part of a three-day trip by Obama to Wisconsin, California and Washington.

  7. First Lady Surprises White House Tour Visitors

    Uploaded by whitehouse on Feb 16, 2012
    First Lady Michelle Obama and First Dog Bo surprise visitors during a White House tour. February 16, 2012.

    • Right about mid-point there is a whole bunch of crying and hugging! It triggered me to start crying too.

      • CR, I watched this live this morning and I cried also; especially when the group of ladies came through from alcolohic anonymous.

        • So moving. Imagine being told FLOTUS was there to greet visitors. The thrill of meeting this truly great woman.

  8. Lawmakers Sign Off on Payroll Tax Cut Deal

    2/16/12 By John Parkinson | ABC News – 4 hrs ago

    Negotiators signed off on the bipartisan payroll tax deal this afternoon, paving the way for Congress to approve an extension of the tax holiday, reform unemployment insurance and extend the so-called doc fix for physicians treating Medicare patients through the end of the year.

    After coming to terms in the midnight hour early this morning, members of the conference committee gathered in the Capitol with Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the top two leaders on the panel, to sign the conference report Thursday afternoon.

    “We have a majority, a majority of the members. It’s a done deal. It’s done,” Baucus, D-Mont., proclaimed as he flashed two thumbs up to video cameras gathered to capture the moment. “For America! It’s teamwork.”

    But so far, no Senate Republicans have signed off on the agreement, objecting because they believe they were shut out of the final negotiations. For some conferees, it was a surprise that no Republican senators had signed off on the deal so far.

    “Aren’t they going to sign it?” Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., asked Baucus as they walked out of the conference room after signing the report.

    “I don’t think so,” Baucus whispered. “Jon [Kyl] told me he’s not going to do it.”

    Camp, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, deflected questions about Senate Republicans resisting the bipartisan compromise, calling the breakthrough a “positive moment” and declining to comment directly about the Senate GOP’s concerns.

    “The majority of the House has signed the conference report, so I’ll continue to work with the Senate to see where we are at the end of the day, but I’m glad at least on the House side we have a majority,” Camp said. “The conference report is done and I’m confident that we’ll get the signatures we need to move this to the floor.”

    The deal prevents a two-percent tax increase on middle-class families. Over the course of the year, an individual earning $50,000 would enjoy a pay increase by $1,000 as a result of the extension. This aspect of the deal was not offset with spending reductions, adding about $100 billion to the deficit.

    Aides close to the negotiations said the deal would also extend the doc fix through the end of the year, averting a 27.4 percent cut to physician payment rates and ensuring seniors and the disabled have continued access to the physicians serving our Medicare beneficiaries.

    Furthermore, the agreement reforms unemployment insurance depending on the unemployment rate. Most states will receive a maximum of 63 weeks of benefits, compared to 46 states currently receiving 93 weeks of benefits now. But for states with higher unemployment rates, compensation is slowly reduced periodically over the next year, from 99 weeks through May, and up to 73 weeks of relief through December.

    For the entire article:

    • February 16, 2012

      Statement by the President

      Leaders of both parties have done the right thing for our families and for our economy by reaching an agreement that will prevent a tax hike on 160 million working Americans. I urge Congress to pass this agreement so that the payroll tax cut we put in place last year will not expire at the end of this month. The typical American family will still see an extra $40 in every paycheck, keeping nearly $1,000 of their hard-earned money this year. And millions of Americans who are out pounding the pavement looking for new work to support their families will still be able to depend on the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance.

      I thank the many Americans who lent their voices to this debate in recent months. You made all the difference. This is real money that will make a real difference in people’s lives. It includes important reforms that I proposed in the American Jobs Act to help discourage businesses from laying off workers and to connect workers with jobs. It includes a critical element in the plan I outlined in the State of the Union to out-innovate the rest of the world by unleashing mobile broadband, investing in innovation, and building a nationwide public safety network. It will mean a stronger economy and hundreds of thousands of new jobs. And as soon as Congress sends this bipartisan agreement to my desk, I will sign it into law right away. But this must be only the start of what we do together this year. There’s much more the American people need and expect from us – to help our businesses keep creating jobs, to help restore security for middle class families, and to leave an economy that’s built to last.

  9. Xi Jinping In Los Angeles: Future President Of China To Be Met By Biden, Villaraigosa & Brown

    2/13/12 huffingtonpost

    Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping is about to be the U.S.’s biggest frenemy.

    Which is why Vice President Joe Biden, Gov. Jerry Brown and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are all gathering in LA Thursday and Friday for Xi’s visit to the city. Xi, who has risen the ranks of the Communist Party, is widely considered to be the next president of China.

    The dignitary will arrive with a delegation at LAX on Thursday, attend a welcome luncheon hosted by Villaraigosa, tour the Port of LA and attend a U.S.-China economic and trade forum, Patch reports.

    And it makes sense that Villaraigosa plans to wine and dine Xi. China is the port of LA’s top trading partner for exports and imports totaling $120 billion, the Daily Breeze reports. And, according to the Mayor’s office, Chinese-owned local businesses support about 600 jobs and pay $32 million in wages to Angelenos.

    The mayor plans to welcome a new, undisclosed Chinese company to the city and to sign new agreements with Chinese delegates, including an agreement to open a second LA Inc. tourism office in China, the Los Angeles Times reports. VIllaraigosa, who recently visited Chinese officials in December, is also expected to seek Chinese investment in a California high-speed rail.

    For the entire article:

    • California Gov. Jerry Brown announces opening of trade, investment offices in China

      2/17/12 John Boudreau – mercurynews

      California, hoping to hitch more of its fortunes to the world’s hottest economy across the Pacific, will open trade and investment offices in Shanghai and Beijing, Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Friday.

      The announcement came as Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping — believed to be China’s president-in-waiting — met with Brown and Vice President Joe Biden during his visit to Los Angeles, the last stop on his five-day tour of the United States. Brown’s move is strongly backed by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which views the new operations as a way to promote California companies, particularly small ones, and help them navigate China to find new business.

      “The Pacific Rim has become the center of the world economy, presenting California with countless opportunities to grow alongside our neighbors across the ocean,” Brown said in a statement.

      California, which accounted for 11 percent of all U.S. exports in 2010, is the nation’s largest exporting state, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. In 2010, the state racked up $143 billion in exports.

      In 2003, Gov. Gray Davis closed California’s trade operations in China and shut down the state’s trade and commerce department as a cost-cutting measure. Financing for the new offices will be provided by the private sector through the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

      The reopening of California trade offices in China comes at a time other states, such as Indiana

      For the entire article:

  10. U.S. Consumer Price Index Up 0.2 Percent In January, Lower Than Expected

    2/17/12 8 mins ago – nasdaq

    ( – U.S. consumer prices rose by less than expected, according to figures released Friday by the Labor Department.

    The Consumer Price Index increased by 0.2 percent in January, following a 0 percent change in December.

    Most economists had forecast a slightly higher, 0.3 percent, increase for January.

    The price increases were broadly spread across the economy, with “core” prices – excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, also rising 0.2 percent in January.

    Similarly the price indexes for both food and energy increased 0.2 percent. The market consensus correctly forecast the 0.2 percent in core price increases.

  11. West Wing Week: 2/17/12 or “Go Big!”

    Published on Feb 17, 2012 by whitehouse

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President made a major announcement on a policy, to guarantee access to free preventative health care services, unveiled next year’s budget, pushed Congress to extend the Payroll Tax cut, awarded the National Medals of Arts & Humanities, met with China’s Vice President Xi, and traveled west to Wisconsin and California. That’s February 10th to February 16th, or “Go Big!”

  12. February 17, 2012

    Statement from Vice President Biden on the Spectrum Agreement to Safeguard First Responder Communications

    After 9/11, we pledged that our cops, firefighters and EMTs would have the technology they need to stay safe and do their jobs. Part of that promise included deploying a nationwide, interoperable broadband network for our first responders. Today we made good on that overdue promise. First responders put their lives on the line to protect us every day, and the least we can do is ensure that they have the dedicated bandwidth they need to communicate with each other. It’s going to save lives and help keep our neighborhoods safe.

  13. February 17, 2012

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the First Anniversary of Libya’s Revolution

    The United States congratulates Chairman Jalil, Prime Minister al-Keeb, and all the people of Libya on the first anniversary of their historic revolution. Last February, few could imagine that the peaceful protesters in cities from Benghazi to Tripoli would bring down a four-decade-old dictatorship. Through their courage and great sacrifice, and with the support of the United States and an international coalition, the Libyan people defeated a brutal regime and won their freedom.

    Today the Libyan people are enjoying new liberties, expressing themselves freely, debating new laws, joining civil society organizations, and preparing for the first free and fair elections in the country’s history. Libya’s natural wealth can finally be invested in the people’s future. Libya’s emerging democracy and its institutions will take time to build, and the United States stands ready to assist the Libyan people as they shape their future. The Transitional National Council and government should take full advantage of this historic moment by making decisions openly and transparently. The revolutionaries who fought so hard for liberty now have a responsibility to protect their freedoms by working with the government to establish stability, peace, and reconciliation. Protecting the rights of all the Libyan people will help preserve the unity of purpose that defined the revolution.

    For the entire article:

  14. Gauge of economic activity up 0.4 pct. in January

    2/17/12 By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | Associated Press – 34 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A gauge of future economic activity rose in January for the fourth straight month in January, providing evidence the economy is strengthening in the new year.

    The Conference Board says its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4 percent in January, following a 0.5 percent rise in December.

    Seven of the 10 indicators that make up the index increased in January, led by strength in the spread between short-term and long-term interest rates. Four indicators held the index back. The largest negative was a drop in consumer expectations.

  15. New Georgia Caterpillar Plant To Hire 1,400 Workers


    Caterpillar said Friday that it plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Georgia, a project company officials say will create more than 4,200 U.S. jobs.

    The 1-million-square-foot facility near Athens is expected to directly employ 1,400 workers once it’s fully operational, the company said in a statement.

    Company officials said they estimate the project will create another 2,800 full-time jobs in the U.S. among suppliers and at other companies.

    At a Friday morning news conference at the Capitol in Atlanta, Gov. Nathan Deal described the project as the largest growth of new jobs in Georgia since a sprawling Kia Motors manufacturing facility was built.

    “Georgia is proud to have built a business climate that provides the logistics, workforce, speed and efficiency that global industry leaders like Caterpillar are looking for,” Deal said.

    Caterpillar already employs 3,000 people in Georgia, with facilities in Toccoa, Pendergrass, LaGrange, Griffin, Barnesville, Atlanta, Patterson and Thomasville. More than 160 suppliers are also located in Georgia, and state officials are hoping to lure that business in the coming months.

    Georgia’s port on the Atlantic Ocean also factored into the decision, company officials said.

    “The Athens site was selected from among dozens of locations considered due to its proximity to the major ports of Savannah and Charleston, a strong regional base of potential suppliers, a positive and pro-active business climate and a good pool of potential employees with manufacturing experience,” said Mary Bell, vice president of Caterpillar’s Building Construction Products division.

    About 40 percent of the tractors and excavators built at the plant will be exported, primarily to South America and Western Europe, company officials said.

    In November, Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar announced plans to shift production from Japan and open a new manufacturing facility in North America to produce small tractors and excavators. The company said its goal was to move production of the equipment closer to its customers in North America and Europe.

  16. OFA_fundraising

    Small donors power Obama’s $29.1 million January haul

    2/17/12 By Olivier Knox | The Ticket – 1 hr 17 mins ago

    President Barack Obama’s campaign announced Friday morning that it made a $29.1 million fundraising haul in January for his reelection effort and related Democratic committees.

    “Thanks to everyone who pitched in,” the campaign said on its official @BarackObama Twitter feed, where it made the announcement.

    The campaign also said that 98% of the donations were $250 or less.

    A campaign aide said the funds would go to Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Obama Victory Fund (a joint venture of the campaign and the DNC), and the Swing State Victory Fund.

    Put another way: The cash haul represents about $2.31 from each of the campaign’s 12,559,238 Twitter followers.

    The president’s February figures are sure to be closely watched because they will reflect his fundraising after he reversed course and embraced so-called “Super-PACs,” powered by vast donations from small groups of individual donors.

    In the tweet immediately before the announcement, Obama cheered the apparent congressional deal on extending the payroll tax cut, saying the estimated $40 per pay period for the average worker was “real money that will make a real difference in people’s lives.”


    Donate to

  17. Big Bucks Attract High School Grads To Mining

    2/17/12 by JESSICA ROBINSON- NPR

    This spring, some high school grads in Idaho, Montana, Alaska and Nevada may see some good job prospects.

    The recent spike in metal prices, combined with a shortage of miners, means mining companies are hiring. So some teens are opting not to go to college, and instead are heading underground.

    But these high-paying jobs also come at a high cost.

    An Educator Questions His Own Path

    Don Kotschevar teaches high school in the small town of Mullan in north Idaho’s remote Silver Valley. He is the assistant principal, basketball coach and shop teacher. Lately, Kotschevar has been questioning his own career path. He watches his students parlay the skills he teaches them in this industrial mechanics class into lucrative mining jobs.

    “Some of them, in the first six, eight months, their salaries absolutely crush mine,” Kotschevar says. Entry-level mine jobs can pay $50,000 a year. Kotschevar has been thinking he could get a similar offer from local mine bosses.

    “You know, I’ve got nine more years, so I can get my retirement here, and then when I retire I’ll probably go to see if they’ll hire me. Hopefully I won’t be too old,” he says. “I’ve been in teaching — I need to have a retirement plan.”

    The price of silver ore coming out of north Idaho suddenly makes that possible. After a long bust, this boom has mining companies wooing workers.

    Kotschevar’s son, Hunter, is one of those being courted by local mines. Hunter is in his father’s shop class, too. It’s a small town.

    “Crew bosses, they said that they can get me jobs for, like, the summer when I turn 18, but I don’t want to risk it,” Hunter says. “The cave-ins and everything kind of scared me.”

    High-Paying Jobs, High Cost

    Hunter is talking about a pair of fatalities last year at the Lucky Friday Mine just a mile from his high school. Because of the risks, mining companies are offering incentives. Many people’s paychecks have remained stagnant — or disappeared — in this area over the past few years. But mining salaries have risen. The average mine worker in the Silver Valley now makes $70,000 — some make six figures.

    For the entire article and audio interview:

  18. Congress sends payroll tax cut bill to Obama

    2/17/12 By ALAN FRAM | Associated Press – 9 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress on Friday approved legislation renewing a payroll tax cut for 160 million workers and jobless benefits for millions more, backing the main items on President Barack Obama’s jobs agenda in a rare burst of Washington bipartisanship.

    The Senate approved the $143 billion measure on a bipartisan 60-36 vote minutes after the House approved it by a sweeping 293-132 vote. Obama is expected to sign it shortly after returning from a West Coast fundraising swing.

    Under the bill, workers would continue to receive a 2 percentage point increase in their paychecks, and people out of work for more than six months would keep jobless benefits averaging about $300 a week, steps that Obama says will help support the fragile recovery from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

    It would also head off a steep cut in reimbursements for physicians who treat Medicare patients.

    The tax cuts, jobless coverage and higher doctors’ payments would all continue through 2012.

    Passage of the legislation hands Obama a victory over objections from many Republicans who oppose it but were eager to wipe the issue from the election-year agenda.

    It also clears away a political headache for House Republicans, who blocked a two-month extension of the tax cut and jobless coverage in late December, only to retreat quickly under a buzz saw of opposition from conservative and GOP leaders from around the country.

    For the entire article:

  19. 1:20 PM EST
    Vice President Biden and Vice President Xi will meet with students at a local school in Los Angeles, CA

    • February 17, 2012

      Remarks by the President on American Manufacturing

      Boeing Production Facility
      Everett, Washington

      11:47 A.M. PST

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Everett! (Applause.) It is great to be in Washington — not Washington, D.C., in Washington State. (Applause.) And it is great to be here at Boeing. (Applause.)

      I want to begin by first of all thanking Kathleen for that wonderful introduction. We were up there talking a little bit, and she’s a pretty good representative of Boeing workers. Kathleen told me, I have a motto: Every day, nobody will outwork me. And that’s a pretty good motto for Boeing, but it’s also a pretty good motto for America. So give Kathleen a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      I’ve been told we’re standing in the biggest building in the world, so big you could fit Disneyland inside. Your heating bills must be crazy. (Laughter.)

      I want to thank Jim McNerney and Jim Albaugh for hosting us here today. Give them a big round of applause. (Applause.) Your Machinist’s leadership, Tom Buffenbarger, Rich Michalski, Tom Wroblewski and SPEEA President Tom McCarty are here. (Applause.) One of the finest governors in the country, Chris Gregoire is in the house. (Applause.) And I want to thank the mayor of Everett, Ray Stephanson for having us here today. (Applause.)

      Now, I want to thank all of you for also giving me a pretty smooth ride. (Laughter.) As some of you may know, Air Force One was built right here in Everett 25 years ago. In fact, I met — one of my guys that I met during the tour worked on the plane. (Applause.) So I told him he did a pretty good job. (Laughter.) It’s flying smooth. I get to see your handiwork in action every single day. But as wonderful as it is to fly Air Force One — and it is wonderful — it’s hard not to be amazed by the Dreamliner. (Applause.) I notice this one is going to United — one of our outstanding carriers. And I have to mention that just because I’m from Chicago, so I’ve got to — (laughter) — give a few extra props there.

      But this is the first commercial airplane to be made with 50 percent composite materials. It’s lighter, it’s faster, it’s more fuel-efficient than any airplane in its class. And it looks cool. (Laughter and applause.)

      The Dreamliner is the plane of the future. And by building it here, Boeing is taking advantage of a huge opportunity that exists right now to bring more jobs and manufacturing back to the United States of America. (Applause.)

      We know that the last few decades haven’t been easy for manufacturing. New technology has made businesses more efficient and more productive, and that’s a good thing. That’s what raises our standards of living. It means we can get better products for less. But that also means that companies need fewer workers to make the same amount of product as they used to. And technology makes it easier for companies to set up shop and hire workers anywhere where there’s an internet connection. And so the result has been this — this transition process that’s been incredibly painful for a lot of families and a lot of communities. A lot of communities that used to rely on a lot of factory jobs, they saw those shrink. They saw those get shipped off overseas. Too many factories, where people thought they’d retire, left home. Too many jobs that provided a steady, stable life, a middle-class life for people, got shipped overseas.

      And look, the hard truth is, a lot of those jobs aren’t going to come back because of these increased efficiencies. And in a global economy, some companies are always going to find it more profitable to pick up and do business in other parts of the world. That’s just the nature of a global economy. But that does not mean that we’ve got to just sit there and settle for a lesser future. I don’t accept that idea. You don’t accept that idea. America is a place where we can always do something to create new jobs, and new opportunities, and new manufacturing, and new security for the middle class, and that’s why I’m here today. That’s our job. (Applause.) That’s what we’re going to do together. (Applause.)

      For the entire article:

    • February 17, 2012

      Presidential Memorandum — Maximizing the Effectiveness of Federal Programs and Functions Supporting Trade and Investment


      SUBJECT: Maximizing the Effectiveness of Federal Programs and Functions Supporting Trade and Investment

      Winning the future and creating an economy that’s built to last will require the Federal Government to wisely allocate scarce resources to maximize efficiency and effectiveness so that it can best support American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth. Creating good, high-paying jobs in the United States and ensuring sustainable economic growth are the top priorities of my Administration. To accomplish these goals, we must ensure that U.S. businesses increase their exports of goods, services, and agricultural products, and that foreign companies recognize the United States as an attractive place to invest and to open businesses. While this growth will be fueled by the private sector, the Federal Government must do its part to facilitate trade and investment.

      Executive Order 13534 of March 11, 2010, established the Export Promotion Cabinet to coordinate the development and implementation of the National Export Initiative (NEI) to improve conditions that directly affect the private sector’s ability to export and to help meet my Administration’s goal of doubling exports over 5 years. Pursuant to the terms of the Executive Order, the Export Promotion Cabinet conducts its work in coordination with the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC). The TPCC, chaired by the Secretary of Commerce, was authorized by statute in 1992 (15 U.S.C. 4727) and established by Executive Order 12870 of September 30, 1993. The NEI has used Government resources and policies to increase exports at a pace consistent with the goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014. The NEI has accomplished this by opening up foreign markets for U.S. exports, enhancing enforcement of our trade laws, providing needed export financing, advocating on behalf of U.S. firms, and otherwise facilitating U.S. exports. But we must do more.

      On January 13, 2012, I announced that I would submit a legislative proposal seeking the authority to reorganize the Federal Government in order to reduce costs and consolidate agencies (Consolidation Authority), and outlined the first use I would make of such authority: to streamline functions currently dispersed across numerous agencies into a single new department to promote competitiveness, exports, and American business. The new department would integrate and streamline trade negotiation, financing, promotion, and enforcement functions currently housed at half a dozen executive departments and agencies, and would include an office dedicated to expanding foreign investment and assisting businesses that are considering investing in the United States. In addition to the trade and investment functions, the new department would include integrated small business, technology, innovation, and statistics programs and services from a number of departments and agencies, thereby creating a one-stop shop for businesses that want to grow and export. We cannot afford to wait until the Congress acts, however, and must do all we can administratively to make the most efficient and effective use of the Federal Government’s trade, foreign investment, export, and business programs and functions.

      For the entire article:

      • February 17, 2012

        President Obama Takes Actions to Promote American Manufacturing and Increase U.S. Exports at Boeing

        Today, the President will visit the Boeing assembly facility in Everett, Washington, to announce new steps aimed at promoting American manufacturing and increasing U.S. exports. Manufacturing represents nearly 60% of total U.S. exports, and Boeing is one of the country’s leading exporters of manufactured goods with more than $34 billion in total exports in 2011, up over 45% since 2006. Today’s announcement will follow through on the President’s commitment to provide sufficient export financing to put American manufacturers on an even footing with our foreign competitors, provide expanded support for small business exporters and take the next step in the President’s proposal to reorganize the trade and competitiveness agencies by expanding the responsibilities of the Export Promotion Cabinet.This is the most recent of a series of executive actions the President has announced to put Americans back to work and strengthen the U.S. economy.

        “Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years.” said President Obama. “Today, we’re on track to meet that goal – ahead of schedule. But we need to do more, which is why I’m pleased to announce several steps that will help more American businesses sell their products around the world, create jobs right here at home, and help us build an economy that lasts.”

        For the entire article:

  20. “We said it — we will do it!”

    PBO said it — PBO will do it!

    He really hit hard on giving breaks to companies that bring jobs home and not to companies that outsource jobs and then gouge the taxpayer for more money.

  21. “Government research helped to create this plane”

    Yes many things that we now have are the results from government research.

    Those naive people who want a Libertarian society mean they want a society that has:

    No laws to protect you or your family, your home, your work or your job.
    No taxes paid by the RICH
    No research
    No advancement in science and technology
    No one to fix crumbling roads
    No food and drug regulations
    No 911 when you or your pet gets poisoned from inferior food, drugs and unsafe water
    No Police, No Firefighters
    No military to answer when America gets is threatened
    No other countries to help America when we need it



    • February 17, 2012

      Remarks by Vice President Biden at Lunch in Honor of Vice President Xi of the People’s Republic of China

      J.W. Marriott
      Los Angeles, California

      1:00 P.M. PST

      VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Thank you very much. Mr. Mayor, let me begin by thanking you for your hospitality. It’s good to be back in Los Angeles, and I want to thank Governor Jerry Brown for hosting us as well today.

      It’s an honor to join you in welcoming Vice President Xi and all of those who have traveled from China to be here, from the provinces as well as the official delegation.

      I was asked today what it’s like to spend so much time with Vice President Xi, both in China and here, and I indicated then and I’ll say it again — it’s been a great pleasure getting to know him personally.

      The Vice President and I have gotten to spend more time with one another than I think either of us anticipated when both our Presidents indicated and instructed us to get to know one another better.

      We had the opportunity to spend some time together last year in Italy when we both were there representing our governments to celebrate the unification of Italy at its 150th anniversary. And the Vice President was kind enough to host me for four days in China, both in Beijing and traveling to Chengdu with me.

      And I can say with real sincerity that I’ve been looking forward to the opportunity to return the hospitality that he has shown to me, and this is the capstone to that visit with he and I here in Los Angeles.

      I suspect all of you in this audience have traveled a great deal, and I must tell you, the thing I have come to admire about my colleague is his incredible physical stamina. (Laughter.) Since he arrived in the United States on Monday, he started off with Dr. Kissinger and Zbig Brzezinski and a number of very serious American diplomats and strategists, and the next day he spent I think 13 or 14 hours with me, starting early in the morning and going straight through to a dinner at my home with members of our Cabinet and others ending late that night.

      And Governor, the next morning he left early to go to Muscatine, Iowa, and Secretary Clinton and I said, better him than us. (Laughter.) I think he got more delegates than either of us in Muscatine. (Laughter and applause.) But I must — I’m just telling you, it’s the measure of the man. He wanted to go back and reacquaint himself with and thank the people who had been hospitable to him 27 years earlier.

      For the entire article:

  22. 6:45 PM EST
    President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Westin Bellevue Hotel.

  23. WH

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    12:30 AM
    President Obama arrives Joint Base Andrews.

    1:00 AM
    2:00 AM
    3:00- AM
    4:00 AM
    5:00 AM
    6:00 AM
    7:00 AM

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    0:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:45 PM
    President Obama arrives the at White House.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • greater_together_obama

      The Greater Together Student Summit Tour

      The Greater Together Student Summit Tour
      will run February 2012 to March 2012. The tour will bring together senior campaign officials, community leaders, student representatives and celebrities to discuss key policy issues impacting young Americans. This tour is a chance for students like you to weigh in on the issues that matter to you, and find out how you can start organizing on your campus to ensure a victory in November 2012.

      Columbus State Community College, Columbus OH
      February 18, 2012

      Hosted by:
      Organizing for America – Ohio
      Saturday, February 18th
      11 am – 6 pm

      Mehcad Brooks, Actor
      Jeremy Bird, National Field Director, Obama for America

      Columbus State Community College
      The Center for Workforce Development
      315 Cleveland Avenue
      Columbus, Ohio 43215

      For future Greater Together Student Summit events:

  24. Northwest Cable News just reported that PBO’s west coast visit has raised $8 million and that his campaign fundraising so far has raised $250 million!

  25. February 18, 2012

    WEEKLY ADDRESS: Continuing to Strengthen American Manufacturing

    WASHINGTON, DC— In this week’s address, President Obama spoke to the American people from the Boeing Plant in Everett, Washington about our efforts to strengthen American manufacturing and job creation here in the United States. He described how we can support businesses like Boeing, which is hiring thousands of Americans across the country, through steps like removing tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas and giving them to companies that create jobs at home. The President is committed to continue assisting businesses in selling their products around the world, and the United States is on track to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports within five years. The President believes that by boosting American manufacturing and supporting our job creators, we can create an economy that’s built to last.

    Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address
    Everett, Washington
    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Hello, everybody.

    I’m speaking to you this week from the Boeing Plant in Everett, Washington. Boeing has been in this community for half a century. But it’s what they’re doing here today that has folks really excited; because at this plant they’re building the plane of the future – the Dreamliner. It’s an impressive sight. And, to be honest, part of why I came was to see it up close. But I also came because this is a great example of how we can bring jobs and manufacturing back to America.

    You see, the last few decades haven’t been easy for manufacturing in this country. New technology has made businesses more efficient and productive – and that’s good – but it’s also made a lot of jobs obsolete. The result has been painful for a lot of families and communities. Factories where people thought they’d retire have left town. Jobs that provided a decent living have been shipped overseas. And the hard truth is that a lot of those jobs aren’t coming back.

    But that doesn’t mean we have to settle for a lesser future. I don’t accept that idea. In America, there’s always something we can do to create new jobs and new manufacturing and new security for the middle-class. In America, we don’t give up, we get up.

    Right now, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Over the past 23 months, businesses have created 3.7 million new jobs. And manufacturers are hiring for the first time since the 1990s. It’s now getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive than ever. And companies like Boeing are realizing that even when we can’t make things cheaper than China, we can make things better. That’s how we’re going to compete globally.

    For the entire article:

  26. Chinese trade agreement on films helps White House, Hollywood relationship

    2/18/12 10:23 AM ET By Justin Sink – TheHill

    The White House and Hollywood studios are heralding a new trade agreement with China that gives the United States the chance to increase the number of films exported to the country and substantially increases American studio’s cut of Chinese box-office revenue.

    “This agreement with China will make it easier than ever before for U.S. studios and independent filmmakers to reach the fast-growing Chinese audience, supporting thousands of American jobs in and around the film industry,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “At the same time, Chinese audiences will have access to more of the finest films made anywhere in the world.”

    Biden spent Friday in Los Angeles with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.

    The five-year agreement allows the exportation of 14 more films to the country annually, with a focus on 3D and IMAX movies that carry higher ticket prices – and are best viewed in theaters, rather than on DVDs that can be easily bootlegged. Under the pact, American film companies can distribute the films privately, rather than through a state-run association, significantly increasing their cut of ticket revenues.

    The agreement is a big political win for the administration, which had seen Hollywood actors and executives giving the president a cold shoulder during a recent fundraising swing through California. Studios were upset with the perception that Democrats were favoring Silicon Valley interests over the industry’s intellectual property when the president refused to support controversial legislation that would have further criminalized online piracy.

    For the entire article:

  27. Bruce Springsteen Sitting Out 2012 but Backs Obama

    Fri, Feb 17, 2012 By Arlette Saenz | ABC OTUS News

    Bruce Springsteen threw his support behind Barack Obama in the 2008 election, but when it comes to 2012, “The Boss” won’t be hitting the campaign trail for the Boss of the United States.

    Springsteen stumped for Obama in 2008 and John Kerry in 2004, but indicated Thursday during a news conference promoting his new album and tour in Paris that he won’t be on the campaign trail this time, adding that he is “not a professional campaigner.”

    “I got into that sort of by accident. The Bush years were so horrific that you couldn’t just sit around,” Springsteen said of his time on the campaign trail, according to the AFP. “I never campaigned for politicians previous to John Kerry and at that moment it was such a blatant disaster occurring at the top of government, you felt that if you had any cachet whatsoever, you had to cash it in because you couldn’t sit around and watch it.

    “I prefer to stay on the sidelines. I genuinely believe an artist [is] supposed to be the canary in the coal mine, and you’re better off with a certain distance from the seat of power.”

    For the entire article:–abc-news.html

  28. Obama campaign opens Silicon Valley field office

    February 17, 2012: By Laurie Segall @CNNMoneyTech

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Silicon Valley has a hot new startup setting up shop: President Obama’s re-election campaign. The organization is opening a field office in San Francisco.

    The goal is to tap both the region’s deep pockets and its geek expertise. “We’re taking the next step by providing tools and space for supporters in the technology community to help the campaign extend our current tools,” Katie Hogan, the campaign’s deputy press secretary, told CNNMoney.

    The office employs only one paid staff member at the moment, who will connect volunteers with techie tasks like software development and social media outreach. In Hogan’s words, the outpost aims to attract volunteers who will “use their creativity to explore whole new ideas we haven’t even thought of yet.”

    Obama campaign insiders say they see technology and data as the killer app for the upcoming election. With the rise of social networks and mobile devices, plus a growing analytics tool set for finely targeting messages, engineers are becoming a vital resource for political candidates.

    “They want to make sure they have a presence here in Silicon Valley,” says former Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) product manager Dan Siroker. “Obviously there’s a lot of support for him out there.”

    For the entire article:

  29. Report: Michelle Obama, daughters in Aspen

    2/18/12 7:30 PM EST POLITICO44

    The Aspen Daily News is reporting that first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters are in Aspen, Colorado for a ski vacation.

    “Sources said she is staying at the home of Jim and Paula Crown, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co. She is reportedly skiing at Buttermilk today, where the Crowns, of Chicago, own a home on the Tiehack side,” the newspaper reports.

  30. WH

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  31. Sunday talk show tip sheet

    2/17/12 By ZACK HALE – POLITICO

    (Democratic excerpts only)

    This Sunday’s television talk shows crunch the numbers in President Barack Obama’s new budget proposal and look ahead to the Feb. 28 Republican presidential primaries in Michigan and Arizona.

    On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, debate the president’s spending plan and discuss the just-passed deal to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

    And Bloomberg TV’s “Political Capital” assesses the nation’s finances with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)….

    And TV One’s “Washington Watch” interviews California Attorney General Kamala Harris about the lingering housing crisis.

    For the entire article:

  32. Obama catches Lin-sanity: ‘He is very impressed’ by Jeremy Lin, White House says

    Feb 15, 2012 By Olivier Knox | The Ticket

    The diagnosis is in: President Barack Obama has caught Lin-sanity.

    Jeremy Lin‘s latest electrifying performance for the New York Knicks–sinking a three-pointer to put the Knicks over the Toronto Raptors Tuesday night–was the talk of Obama’s Marine One helicopter on Wednesday morning.

    Obama “is an avid sports fan, and a particularly avid basketball fan, and we were speaking about Jeremy Lin on Marine One as we flew to Andrews Air Force Base this morning,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One as the president headed to Wisconsin to talk about manufacturing (and then is scheduled to go to California to scoop up campaign cash). “He is very impressed.”

    “If anybody caught the highlights from last night, they were pretty breathtaking. It’s just a great story and the president was saying as much this morning,” Carney said.

    “It’s, obviously, terrific for the New York Knicks. But it’s the kind of sports story that transcends the sport itself,” Carney said. “I got my wife to watch the highlights this morning. She was pretty amazed, and she doesn’t watch basketball.”

    Lin, a Harvard economics graduate who says “God’s fingerprints” are on his success, has become a media sensation in the United States and overseas.

    • Lin’s jersey, Paly coach head to NYC

      2/15/12 By John Reid – Daily News Staff Writer

      Peter Diepenbrock, Jeremy Lin’s former basketball coach at Palo Alto High School, was on a New York radio station Monday talking about the latest craze in the NBA — “Linsanity.”

      “I told them I was coming out to New York to watch Jeremy play this weekend,”

      Diepenbrock said. “I told them I was on a mission to put Jeremy’s old high school jersey on Spike Lee’s back.”

      Lo and behold, the most famous New York Knicks fan, movie director Lee, happened to be listening to the program at the time.

      “Lee called the station and said, ‘It’s a done deal!” Diepenbrock said. “Then a close friend of Spike’s called me and said they would bring me out at halftime on Sunday to introduce me at center court. I’m not sure if that’s going to happen.”

      Former Paly basketball player Chris Bobel is transporting Lin’s Paly jersey to New York. Lee has promised to wear it at the Knicks’ game with New Orleans on Friday night.

      Diepenbrock and Doc Scheppler, the girls basketball coach at Pinewood High School in Los Altos Hills, are flying out Saturday night to attend Sunday’s game with Dallas. Lee won’t be there Sunday, but Diepenbrock and another friend will sit courtside right next to Lee’s seats. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

      A total of 10 people are in the Diepenbrock traveling party, including the rest of the starting five of Lin’s Palo Alto team that stunned Mater Dei-Los Angeles in the Div. II state title game in 2006. Rounding out

      the starting five are Cooper Miller, Brad Lehman, Steven Brown and Keaton Scott. Kevin Trimble, a valuable player off the bench, also will make the trip, as will former Lin teammate Brian Baskauskas. Everyone will stick around on Monday to watch the Knicks play the New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden.

      Rumor has it that President Barack Obama will attend Sunday’s game against the NBA champion Mavericks. The world’s newest basketball star may even get a chance to meet the president of the United States.

      “I’m not sure if Lin will meet President Obama, but I’d love to be able to meet him,” Diepenbrock said. “That would be great.”

      • Jeremy Lin – Episode 1: A Day in the Life

        Uploaded by TheJlin7 on Nov 12, 2011

        Just another day in the off-season for NBA’s point-guard Jeremy Lin of the Golden State Warriors

      • Lin has 28 points, 14 assists; Knicks stop Mavs

        2/19/12 By BRIAN MAHONEY | Associated Press – 1 hr 13 mins ago


        NEW YORK (AP) — Jeremy Lin had 28 points and a career-high 14 assists, Steve Novak made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and the New York Knicks ended the Dallas Mavericks’ six-game winning streak with a 104-97 victory Sunday.
        J.R. Smith scored 15 points in his Knicks debut and Novak had all of his 14 in the final period as New York won for the eighth time in nine games.
        In a game of wild momentum swings, the Knicks reeled off 17 straight points in the first quarter, fell behind by 12 in the third, then pulled it out to beat the Mavericks for only the third time in the last 20 meetings….

        Friday’s loss may have ended the Knicks’ winning streak, but certainly not the buzz around Lin. “Saturday Night Live” opened with a spoof of Linsanity and Sunday’s crowd included Kevin Costner, Eva Longoria, Spike Lee — wearing Lin’s No. 4 Harvard jersey — and another famous Harvard product, Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg. Lin’s high school coach from Palo Alto (Calif.) High School also made the trip.

        For the entire article:–spt.html

    • Jeremy Lin ‘honored’ by Obama praise

      2/16/12 By David Jackson, USA TODAY

      A month ago, he was a little-known pro basketball player with an uncertain future — now he’s a global phenomenon whose fans include the president of the United States.

      Jeremy Lin, the point guard who has now led the New York Knicks to seven straight wins, seemed overwhelmed by President Obama’s praise when asked about it last night.

      “I’m very, very honored and very humbled,” Lin said after the Knicks beat the Sacramento Kings, 100-88.

      “I mean, wow, the president,” he said. “Nothing better than that.”

      Obama discussed Lin’s recent heroics with aides yesterday before his trip to the West Coast, according to White House officials.

      “Yes, he’s very impressed and fully up to speed,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

      “We were speaking about Jeremy Lin on Marine One as we flew to Andrews Air Force Base this morning,” Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One. “It’s just a great story, and the president was saying as much this morning.”


    Santorum’s stone-age view of women

    February 15, 2012 By Stephanie Coontz, Special to CNN

    (CNN) — Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is unhappy with last week’s compromise over whether Catholic institutions should be required to cover contraception for their employees, arguing that birth control “shouldn’t be covered by insurance at all.” The issue, Santorum claims, is “economic liberty.” But in the past, he has made his real objection clear, categorizing contraception as “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

    Taken with statements Santorum made in his 2005 book, “It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good,” his opposition to contraception (as well as to abortion, even in the case of rape) seems part and parcel of a deep hostility toward efforts to empower women and enhance their status. He has shown nothing but contempt for what his book called the “radical” feminist “pitch” that “men and women be given an equal opportunity to make it to the top in the workplace.” So perhaps it’s not surprising that at the time of publication he did not list his wife as a co-author or contributor, although when asked last week about this and other comments on working mothers, he now says his wife wrote that part of the book.

    Whichever member of the couple wrote the section on women, it is worth revisiting a couple of its points. Take the book’s dismissal of programs to help impoverished single mothers improve their job prospects by returning to school: “The notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor, low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the economic ladder is just wrong.” Or its claim that unnamed “surveys” have shown that educated professional women find it “easier, more ‘professionally’ gratifying, and certainly more socially affirming, to work outside the home than to give up their careers to take care of their children.”

    The Santorums’ apparent hostility to women’s educational and professional advancement is insulting and out of touch with today’s world. But it is also odd in light of their purported interest in the welfare of children. It turns out that the most powerful single influence on a child’s educational success is not the mother’s marital status but her own level of education and her educational aspirations for her children, according to education researcher W. Norton Grubb.

    For the entire article:

    • Slippery Slope

      Clyde Wadsworth says those who fear the slippery slope of gay marriage should beware the slick hillside of religious liberty.

      By Clyde Wadsworth – KQED

      Let’s talk slippery slopes. Social conservatives like to say that letting gay couples marry will undermine the state’s ability to control polygamy, pedophilia and — as Rick “man on dog” Santorum famously forecast — bestiality. But after eight years of marriage equality in Mitt’s Massachusetts, none of those downhill predictions has come to pass.

      What has swept down the mountain is an avalanche of social conservatives claiming a constitutional right to be exempt from laws they disagree with on religious grounds. The recent demand that church-affiliated hospitals and universities be excused from a federal law requiring employers to cover birth control in their health plans is the same extreme maneuver that failed in California eight years ago. Religious objectors then snow-plowed into a San Diego court, where a medical group that specialized in women’s care insisted on a free pass from anti-discrimination laws, after telling a lesbian that their Christian beliefs prevented them from helping her conceive a child.

      For the entire article and audio statement:

  34. Last Chance to Apply: Arrival Ceremony White House Tweetup

    Kori Schulman February 19, 2012

    For the next White House Tweetup, we’re inviting our followers on Twitter to come to the White House to welcome UK Prime Minister David Cameron for an Official Visit, and of course tweet all about it!

    Interested in joining? Learn more and apply at

    On March 14, 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. The visit will highlight the fundamental importance of the U.S.-UK special relationship and the depth of the friendship between the American people and the people of the United Kingdom.

    The visit begins with an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, a tradition that started during the Kennedy Administration to formally welcome a visiting head of state. Sign up now for your chance to join other @WhiteHouse followers at the Arrival Ceremony. The deadline to apply is Sunday, February 19th at 11:59 p.m. EST.

    You can also follow the tweetup and join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #WHTweetup.

  35. Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) says this is “the worst recovery ever.”

    As the second President Bush’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Daniels helped create the economic disaster President Obama is now repairing. Wiki says:

    “During (Daniels’s) tenure as head of the Office of Management and Budget, from 2001 to 2003, the federal budget went from an annual surplus of $236 billion to a deficit of $400 billion, and Daniels’s projection of a return to surplus by 2005 proved to be inaccurate.”

  36. Obama adviser calls Santorum ‘theology’ remark ‘over the line’

    2/19/12 12 By Jordy Yager – TheHill

    A top campaign advisor for President Obama blasted comments made by Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum about the president’s religion, saying they went “well over the line.”

    At a campaign event in Ohio over the weekend, Santorum told a cheering crowd that Obama is governing from a “phony theology.”

    “This is what the president’s agenda is,” said Santorum at a Tea Party event on Saturday. “It’s not about you. It’s not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible — different theology — but no less a theology.”

    On Sunday, former Obama spokesman and now campaign advisor Robert Gibbs said Santorum’s comments were a prime example of how low the Republican race for the White House has gotten, mired in negativity.

    “If you make comments like that, you make comments that are well over the line,” said Gibbs to ABC’s This Week host Jake Tapper. “I think this GOP primary, in many cases, Jake, has been a race to the bottom. We have seen nastiness, divisiveness, ugliness, distortions of opponents’ records, of the president’s records.”

    At a press conference following the rally Santorum expanded slightly on his initial comments saying that Obama has repressed religious freedom in the U.S.

    “You may want to call it a theology, you may want to call it secular values,” said Santorum. “It is a different set of moral values that they are imposing on people who have a constitutional right to have their own values within the church.”

    Gibbs on Sunday argued that Santorum’s remarks were an attempt to defame the president’s character and degrade his religious beliefs.

    “It is time in our politics in which we get rid of this mindset that if we disagree, we have to disqualify each other, not just on political positions, but we question character and faith,” said Gibbs.

    Santorum said that he was not trying to imply that Obama, who believes in Christianity, was less religious than himself.

    For the entire article:

  37. Urging restraint

    2/19/12 5:45 PM EST POLITICO44

    The United States and Britain on Sunday urged Israel not to attack Iran’s nuclear program as the White House’s national security adviser arrived in the region, reflecting growing international jitters that the Israelis are poised to strike/ In their warnings, both the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague said an Israeli attack on Iran would have grave consequences for the entire region and urged Israel to give international sanctions against Tehran more time to work. Dempsey said an Israeli attack is “not prudent,” and Hague said it would not be “a wise thing.” It was not known whether their messages were coordinated. – Associated Press

  38. February 18, 2012

    Statement from Vice President Biden on Anthony Shadid

    I’ve spent much of my career working on America’s policy toward the Middle East, and particularly Iraq. Like millions of other readers around the world, I have enriched my understanding of that complex region through the reporting of Anthony Shadid. In the finest tradition of foreign correspondence, Shadid was never content merely to opine from afar. He went where the story took him–from the fall of Saddam Hussein, to the battlefields of Southern Lebanon, to the profound transformations of the Arab Spring–often at extraordinary personal risk. Few foreign correspondents of his generation, or any other, could match his mastery of the language and cultures in the region he covered. And he used those gifts to seek out those far from the corridors of power–giving voice to Iraqis, Lebanese, Egyptians and many others who might otherwise not have been heard.

    Not one to dwell on his own achievements or hardships, Shadid once said, “the worst part of this job is what you put other people through.” My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones, and particularly his two young children

  39. *********************

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “Young Americans For Obama ”

    To get to newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the page and click on the title of the newest post

Comments are closed.