Time: “A Surprising Jobs Recovery: American Manufacturing is Back”

Morning guys,

1. Lovely, lovely little clip shown last night by NBC Nightly News, if you can believe it, from PBO’s unforgettable visit at Booker T. Washington High School.

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2. Once in a while, the MSM actually pay attention. Time:

The jobs rebound came early at the Case I-H farm equipment factory in Grand Island, Neb. Last September, when many companies were still cutting employees, Bill Baasch, the manager at the Grand Island plant, which manufactures combines – the large vehicles that harvest grain crops – was hiring. In the past eight months, Baasch has added 130 workers, increasing his workforce by 10%. He says rising crop prices this year has significantly increased the demand for farm equipment. “Business has been fairly strong,” says Baasch. “We have a full schedule on the floor.”

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the manufacturing in this country has, for the first time in decades, seen an unlikely boom. And it’s not just in farm related businesses. The U.S. manufacturing sector overall, after shrinking by six million positions between 1997 and 2009, has added 240,000 workers since the beginning of 2010. In fact, the manufacturing sector has been one of the few stars of the poor economic recovery. Nearly one in every six jobs that have been created by the economy since the beginning of 2010 has been in manufacturing.

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3. Fingers crossed:

Washington Post: U.S. speeds up direct talks with Taliban

The administration has accelerated direct talks with the Taliban, initiated several months ago, that U.S. officials say they hope will enable President Obama to report progress toward a settlement of the Afghanistan war when he announces troop withdrawals in July.

A senior Afghan official said a U.S. representative attended at least three meetings in Qatar and Germany, one as recently as “eight or nine days ago,” with a Taliban official considered close to Mohammad Omar, the group’s leader.

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4. Two very telling charts coming from The Maddow Blog:

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5. Let’s hope the good people of Washington will remember this next year:

When the Obama administration handed out billions in stimulus money for faster trains, new Republican governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Scott of Florida all said no thanks.
Gov. Chris Gregoire was glad to take what they gave up.
“Why they’ve turned it away I have no idea, but that’s good for the state of Washington,” she said last week.
States competed for $8 billion from the 2009 stimulus law. Washington ended up with $750 million – an unprecedented amount, equalling three-quarters of what’s been spent on passenger rail here over the past 17 years without federal help. Another $30 million came after Congress added to the pot. Washington received “more than our fair share,” Gregoire acknowledged.

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6. Well, Michelle is right, again.

President Obama made his first public comments about Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s new job as the head of the Democratic Party on Monday, suggesting to supporters that his wife recommended her because she’s a woman.

“How about my new DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” Obama said, to applause, at the second of two Democratic National Committee events Monday night. “She is tireless, tireless. And she’s got the most adorable kids, and I don’t know how she keeps up with everything.”

Obama then added this anecdote: “But as Michelle said, if you want something done, put a woman in charge. So, all right, everybody got – women, you got a little too excited on that.”

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7. Finally, the blogroll now has a clickable link to our little donation page