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

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

  1. Good morning, BWD and TOAITR family. Yesterday was such an exciting day. I do love the piece from NBC. It was special.

    Everyone have a great day.

  2. I forgot to say how much I love those charts. They are so easy to understand.

  3. I watched this month’s photo slideshow and realized those awful gold Bush drapes have been replaced finally with gorgeous new burnt orange drapes. It is now really lovely with the new carpet.

  4. TALK ABOUT A HAPPY PRESIDENT…WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY THIS WAS AT BOOKER T…………TOTALLY UNFORGETTABLE!

  5. The choice of Booker T. Washington send out such a positive message to students everywhere. If those students are able to achieve such high goals everyone can if they really try. I love it when our students hit their mark and go over it.

  6. My best friend is a human resources manager for an American manufacturing company. They do have factories in China for certain items but do their best to keep as many jobs as possible in the U.S.

    When the recession happened, the pay cuts came from the top as much as possible. They did have to lay off a good many people as well but were willing to reinvest in American manufacturing when most businesses were hoarding their profits. They began hiring back a full year before things turned around. And lo and behold, they had a leg up on the competition, even companies far bigger than they are.

    This company also has the most awesome health care benefits I’ve ever heard of.

    Remember when business as a whole used to operate that way?

  7. Good morning. Good news about manufacturing. We are slowly getting the economy back on track.
    As to PBO’s comments about our new DNC chair. PBO has always admired strong women and it shows.

  8. That sounds like a wonderful workplace. Thanks for helping to restore our faith in American business practices. I wish we could return to a time when that kind of work ethic, respect for one another, sacrifice at the top and commitment to building up America was the rule rather than the exception.

  9. Thank you for redeeming the Faith in Education and passing the baton to the next generation. Success is in the mind of the Believer. The light in those children’s eyes to see such a bright future, So Glorious, Oh Mr. President- OH SO Glorious !!
    I will continue to pray for the Youth of America, but yesterday was such a Testament to the power of Education. I cannot Thank You enough for being so humble to share in the Strength of what the Future Holds for our Youth.
    God Bless You today in all the Challenges you have Mr. President and GOD BLESS the Obama Family. God Bless America !
    YES WE CAN 2012

  10. I do hope that the state of Washington remembers where the Stimulus money came from. For the 2010 mid-term elections, Michigan seems to have forgotten who saved the auto industry.

  11. Trust me, we will remember in our very blue Washington exactly where that stimulus money came from. Now if we could just figure out a way to locate high speed rail where the tracks won’t get washed away every year by mudslides, then we’re good.

  12. But, but, for the GOP it might be very dificult to understand he, he.
    Thank you BWD.

  13. Nancy Pelosi is great in this article

    regarding John Boehner

    “I believe that what the speaker was proposing is really a blueprint for planned obsolescence of the American economy,” Pelosi said. “What I heard from the business leaders today was that an openness to the balance that we must have between spending cuts and increases in revenue, but done in a way that is fair…they don’t want to bear the brunt but they’re willing to do their share.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55074.html#ixzz1Mcjkz2QP

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55074.html#ixzz1Mc9jQ1GE

  14. Amen. And looking forward to the day in which those business practices are the standard for all Americans.

  15. Mornin’ All…

    BWD love the Mishmash!

    A PBHO Autographed AF1 Lunch Menu, anyone: ;)

    @memphisdaily: Here’s a menu for a meal today about Air Force One. Note the Memphis grub. http://twitdoc.com/7V3 via @sweetcop95

  16. USDA and The Recovery Act Funds a Michigan Treatment Facility

    Recently I attended a presentation and groundbreaking near Midland, Michigan, for a unique USDA Rural Development Community Facilities project: A residential treatment center for the Ten Sixteen Recovery Network.

    This is an unusual type of project for our agency. Our community facility projects tend to involve a police car, fire truck or township hall. Several people at the event (including news reporters) remarked on this. I pointed out that while a project of this kind may be uncommon, there is nothing usual about it being considered. Fire trucks and police cars tend to dominate community facilities because these tend to be the applications we receive.

    http://blogs.usda.gov/2011/05/17/usda-and-the-recovery-act-funds-a-michigan-treatment-facility/

  17. USDA-Funded Water Quality Project Leads to Industry Expansion and Creation of Almost 400 New Jobs
    Posted by Katherine Belcher, USDA Kentucky Public Information Officer, on May 17, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    It is the goal of every USDA Rural Development program to help improve the economy and the quality of life in rural communities across this country – but with some projects, the impact of agency investment is not always obvious in the early stages. Once in a while, however; you have one that creates an economic domino effect with a return on investment that is nearly immediate.

    A great example of such a project is taking place in Mercer County, Kentucky, and involves the expansion and upgrade of the Harrodsburg Water Treatment Plant. In 2010, Rural Development provided loan and grant funds to increase the plant’s capacity from four to six million gallons per day (MGD).

    http://blogs.usda.gov/2011/05/17/usda-funded-water-quality-project-leads-to-industry-expansion-and-creation-of-almost-400-new-jobs/

  18. USDA Announces Grants under International Food Assistance Programs Expected To Benefit 5.2 Million People This Year

    WASHINGTON, May 17, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will award more than $346 million in international assistance grants, which includes transportation and freight costs, under the Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs in fiscal year 2011, benefiting more than 5.2 million people.

    “These two international food assistance programs support global food security and sustainable agriculture production in food-insecure nations, contributing significantly to the President’s Feed the Future Initiative,” said Vilsack. “But our efforts to support global food security are not just important to the many people around the world who do not have access to nutritious and safe food; they are also critically important to the sustainable economic growth of these nations, and the economic prosperity and national security of our own country.”

    The Food for Progress allocations announced today include more than 232,000 metric tons of U.S. rice, wheat, vegetable oil, soybean meal, soybean oil, and corn, while the McGovern-Dole allocations include nearly 145,000 tons of U.S. beans, bulgur, cornmeal, corn soy blend, dehydrated potatoes, lentils, milled rice, nonfat dry milk, peas, soybean meal, textured soy protein, vegetable oil, and wheat. These commodities will be purchased on the U.S. market and donated by USDA to foreign governments, private-voluntary organizations, and intergovernmental organizations.

    http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2011/05/0211.xml&contentidonly=true

  19. Off topic: Kasper’s better! The surgeon says no additional surgery, no skin grafts. He’s finally healing from within and she was extremely pleased.

    He gets hydrotherapy to warm the wounds, wash them and get the circulation going 3 times/day. Some of the skin will still open up but it is healing from within. He needs to stay uber-quiet so he doesn’t rip anything wide open.

    This was soooo much more than we dared hope for. We were prepared for surgery today. The prognosis today was 180 degrees of what we were told to expect 48 hours ago.

    Kasper now only wants to eat Mommy’s Homemade Organic Chicken and nothing else, not even red peppers or noodles (which he loves). I’ll take that one step at a time.

    Kudos to my little fierce fighter. And thanks to everyone who sent him healing energy. He felt it all and put it to good use.

  20. Morning, all!

    Chris Matthews had a fabulous show last evening on MSNBC, and he tore into the so-called Republican presidential contenders.

    Haven’t watched Chris in months and months because he’s so fickle, but he seems to be back on track (temporarily?), and I’m glad for that.

  21. My friend had a hard time finding a business with these kind of ethics. It proves that ethical behavior can indeed succeed, and everyone can benefit. I think this company is the exception and far from the rule but it’s nice to know that companies like this still exist.

  22. Emerson Electric Co (EMR – Analyst Report) has won an order to supply its power technology to one of the largest solar energy projects in the United States.

    Emerson will provide power inverters for a 30-megawatt solar power plant in Webberville, Texas. Emerson’s power inverters convert DC power from solar arrays into AC power, which is placed directly on the national grid and is used by consumers. Located just outside Austin, the Webberville project is expected to be operational by 2011 end and will generate green energy to feed 5,000 homes.

    With a global workforce of more than 140,000 employees and 265 manufacturing facilities, Emerson is well positioned backed by infrastructure, knowledge, and experience to deliver its technology and product solutions to customers around the world.

    http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/53422/Emerson's+Solar+Power+Technology

  23. Groundbreaking celebrates expansion of 2.45-MW Bowersock hydro project

    LAWRENCE, Kan., U.S. 5/17/11 (PennWell) —
    The Bowersock Mills & Power Co. has broken ground on a 4.6-MW expansion that will nearly triple capacity at the Bowersock hydropower project.

    This run-of-river hydro project, on the Kansas River in Lawrence, Kan., began generating electricity for the city of Lawrence in 1905. The dam itself was completed in 1974 to provide water for a milling operation. The south powerhouse contains seven turbine-generating units with a total capacity of 2.35 MW. Bowersock Mills & Power was founded by Justin DeWitt Bowersock, and his descendants run it today.

    More than 150 people attended the groundbreaking, including Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Aron Cromwell, mayor of Lawrence. During his address, Brownback emphasized that he has called on Kansas to be the renewable power state and discussed how the Bowersock expansion contributes to this goal. He also stressed the importance of a partnership approach to new development. “It is critical that we work together – the development community, environmental community, the energy community. That Kansas partnership is what produced this,” he said.

    http://www.hydroworld.com/index/display/article-display/4307767677/articles/hrhrw/hydroindustrynews/rehabilitationandrepair/2011/05/groundbreaking-celebrates.html

  24. Excellent news, Faith! Sounds like the prayers and good vibes from yesterday – such good news.

  25. The First Hoopster will get a salute tomorrow from two prominent members of the Boston Celtics family, Hall of Fame member Bill Russell and current All-Star Ray Allen, according to a top Democrat briefed on the plans.

    Both will address the audience tomorrow afternoon when President Obama visits Massachusetts for a fundraiser at the Cyclorama in Boston, said the Democrat, who requested anonymity to speak in advance of the formal announcement.

    The president will then attend a smaller event at the Brookline home of advertising executive Jack Connors Jr.

    Tickets for the Cyclorama event are selling for $500 for “supporters,” $1,000 for “friends,” and $10,000 for “host committee” designees. They get premium seating and a photograph with the president.

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2011/05/bill_russell_ra.html?p1=News_links

  26. I saw a news segment this morning on MSNBC about President Obama’s lack of surrogates, like Claire McCaskill (sp). They are running away from the President because of “policy differences”, such as how to reduce the deficit, or because they are in difficult districts.

    I think people like Claire McCaskill, who complained about having the President’s picture on the Stimulus Plan website when it was first announced, need to realize that the President is the popular one. He’s the one people are supporting and voting for in 2012. And many of the rest of them are riding on his coattails after two years of opposing, obstructing, being Blue Dogs, leaving him to defend the agenda and himself all alone… Many Democrats have been quite a disappointment, in my opinion.

  27. WASHINGTON — For months, General Electric has fought an uphill battle to keep funds flowing for development of a next-generation F-35 fighter engine, a program the White House, Pentagon, and many in Congress oppose as wasteful — but one which would support hundreds of jobs at GE Aviation’s plants in Lynn and elsewhere.

    Attracting less attention has been GE’s work on new “green’’ engine technology for the Air Force that, analysts and specialists say, could greatly improve the company’s ability to compete for engine contracts. The technology is intended to make aircraft engines far more fuel-efficient, saving money for the Pentagon while potentially reestablishing GE’s long-term role in jet engine contracting, and the jobs that come with it.

    The Pentagon has agreed to pay GE Aviation about $255 million for the demonstration program through 2013, officials said last week.

    http://www.boston.com/news/science/articles/2011/05/16/ges_green_engine_offers_new_chance_with_military/

    YEAH!

  28. A hundred flags of Ireland and the United States have been raised this afternoon on the streets in Moneygall in Co Offaly.
    Schoolchildren from the parish of Dunkerin and the villages of Cloughjordan and Moneygall helped to raise the flags simultaneously in a ceremony just after 2pm.
    The flag poles are being flown approximately nine metres apart on both sides of the street from one side of the village to the other. [no picture yet]

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0517/obamab_moneygall.html

  29. Oil is down 2 bucks this morning, to 95 per barrel. Albeit, the dow is taking a beating b/c Merkel will not give greece another bailout, and the markets are scared. LOL!

  30. Thanks for posting this article. I live in Lexington and haven’t seen anything in our local paper or heard any comments on local radio/tv about his great news. Go figure! We’re a Red state. Ugh. I’m sending this article to all the local media outlets to see if they’ll report on it. I’m just thankful that things are being done even if our local media won’t report it. Economy in our state can always use a lift! Thanks to our wonderful president things are being done.:-)

  31. Except for Biden & Pelosi, none of the boneless wonders called dems have got the back of this president.

  32. Chris has been spot-on since the killing of bin Laden when he was absolutely eloquent.

    He released his inner Democrat. I’d love to see him stay in this groove.

  33. Claire McCaskill can be bi-polar when it comes to the President. It aggravates me because she was an excellent spokesperson during the campaign.

    It’s about her local politics I’m sure. She veers into crazy right-wing territory a good amount of the time.

    Gee here’s an idea, Democrats: how about finding ways to sell Democratic policies to your constituents instead of play right wing games?

    Everyone here should know by now how I feel about the surrogates for the President. I have great hopes that DWS will be able to fix a good part of this.

  34. This story has a great chance of hitting close to home since 15 states received $$

    $2 Billion for High-Speed Intercity Rail Projects

    If your state is listed here – spread the news. Sorry Floridians, but as a Californian I am grateful.

    NORTHEAST CORRIDOR (NEC)

    Maryland – NEC Bridge Replacement – $22 million for engineering and environmental work to replace the century-old Susquehanna River Bridge, which currently causes frequent delays for commuters due to the high volume of critical maintenance.

    New York – NEC Harold Interlocking Amtrak Bypass Routes – $295 million to alleviate major delays for trains coming in and out of Manhattan with new routes that allow Amtrak trains to bypass the busiest passenger rail junction in the nation.

    Rhode Island – NEC Kingston Track, Platform Improvements – $25 million for design and construction of an additional 1.5 miles of third track in Kingston, RI, so high-speed trains operating at speeds up to 150-mph can pass trains on a high-volume section of the Northeast Corridor.

    Rhode Island – NEC Providence Station Improvements – $3 million for preliminary engineering and environmental work to renovate the Providence Station. These upgrades will enhance the passenger experience, keep the station in good working order and improve transit and pedestrian connectivity.

    NORTHEASTERN REGION

    Connecticut – New Haven to Springfield Track Construction – $30 million to complete double-track segments on the corridor, bringing added intercity rail service to a route that plays an important role in the region, connecting communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts to the NEC, as well as Vermont.

    Massachusetts/Maine – Downeaster Track Improvements – $20.8 million to construct a 10.4-mile section of double track between Wilmington and Andover, MA. Track upgrades will increase schedule performance and dependability for passengers traveling on the Northern New England Downeaster corridor.

    New York – Empire Corridor Capacity Improvements – $58 million to construct upgrades to tracks, stations and signals, improving rail operations along the Empire Corridor. This includes replacement of the Schenectady Station and construction of a fourth station track at the Albany – Rensselaer Station, one of the corridor’s most significant bottlenecks.

    New York – Rochester Station and Track Improvements – $1.4 million for a preliminary engineering and environmental analysis for a new Rochester Intermodal Station on the Empire Corridor, connecting passengers with additional transit and pedestrian options.

    Pennsylvania – Keystone Corridor Interlocking Improvements – $40 million to rebuild an interlocking near Harrisburg on the Keystone Corridor, saving travelers time and improving passenger train schedule reliability.

    REGIONAL EQUIPMENT POOLS

    Next Generation Passenger Rail Equipment Purchase – This state-of-the-art rail equipment will provide safe and reliable American-built vehicles for passenger travel, while boosting the U.S. manufacturing industry.

    • Midwest Corridors – $268.2 million to purchase 48 high-performance passenger rail cars and 7 quick-acceleration locomotives for 8 corridors in the Midwestern States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Missouri.

    • California Corridors – $68 million to acquire 15 high-performance passenger rail cars and 4 quick-acceleration locomotives for the Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, and Capitol Corridors in California.

    MIDWESTERN REGION

    Illinois – Chicago – St. Louis Corridor – $186.3 million to construct upgrades on the Chicago – St. Louis Corridor between Dwight and Joliet, IL with trains operating at 110 mph for more than 220 miles of track. This investment will reduce trip times, enhance safety and add more seats on the corridor, increasing the number of people who can conveniently travel by train.

    Michigan – Kalamazoo-Dearborn Service Development – $196.5 million to rehabilitate track and signal systems, bringing trains up to speeds of 110 mph on a 235-mile section of the Chicago to Detroit corridor, reducing trip times by 30 minutes.

    Michigan – Ann Arbor Station Project – $2.8 million for an engineering and environmental analysis to construct a new high-speed rail station in Ann Arbor, MI, that will better serve passengers and allow more than one train to serve the station simultaneously.

    Minnesota – Northern Lights Express – $5 million to complete engineering and environmental work for establishing the Northern Lights Express – a high-speed intercity passenger service – connecting Minneapolis to Duluth, with 110-mph high-speed rail service.

    Missouri – Merchant’s Bridge Replacement – $13.5 million to advance the design of a new bridge over the Mississippi River on the Chicago to St. Louis Corridor, replacing a bridge built in the 1890s.

    SOUTHERN REGION

    North Carolina – Charlotte to Richmond Service Enhancement – $4 million for environmental analysis on the Richmond to Raleigh section of the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR). This advances the goal of extending high-speed rail service on the NEC into the southeast, with 110-mph capable service.

    Texas – Dallas/Fort Worth to Houston Core Express Service – $15 million for engineering and environmental work to develop a high-speed rail corridor linking two of the largest metro areas in the U.S., Dallas/Fort Worth to Houston.

    CALIFORNIA AND NORTHWEST REGION

    California – Central Valley Construction Project Extension – $300 million for a 20-mile extension along the Central Valley Corridor. This will continue to advance one of the highest priority projects in the nation that will ultimately provide 220 mph high-speed rail service from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The work funded in this round will extend the track and civil work from Fresno to the “Wye” junction, which will provide a connection to San Jose to the West and Merced to the North.

    Oregon – Eugene Station Stub Tracks – $1.5 million for analysis of overnight parking tracks for passenger trains on the southern end of the Pacific Northwest Corridor, adding new capacity for increased passenger and freight rail service.

    Washington – Port of Vancouver Grade Separation – $15 million to eliminate a congested intersection and bottleneck between freight and passenger tracks. By elevating one set of tracks over the other, travel along the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor will experience reduced delays and passenger trains will not have to wait for crossing freight traffic.

    Also contains a video of how the citizens of Florida wanted the $$ but the governor opposed it.

    http://www.whatisworking.com/2011/05/2-billion-for-high-speed-intercity-rail.html

  35. Hey guys, check this out. It is an incredible re-education of a T-bagger. Enjoy.

  36. Unfortunately, Nov 2nd too many stayed home and the tea-partiers were ushered into the house and senate. 2012 Obama/Biden and majority Dems in both houses!

  37. It’s ALWAYS about whether Democrats vote or not. The majority of Americans want Democratic policies but they are unreliable as voters.

    They have to be entertained. They have to be ‘inspired’. They have to have nothing better to do. It’s outrageous. Democrats are always looking for Messiahs and then are disappointed if the Messiah can only do so much.

    Republicans vote. All the time, every time. They see it institutionally, not as a referendum on one particular individual. They actually knew that if they continued to vote reliably they would be able to be tea baggers in the future. They understood this. They always know who their enemy is. Democrats get confoundedly confused.

  38. Thank God. I am so happy to hear that sweet Kasper does not need anymore surgery and is on the mend. Continued prayers to Kasper and to you and your husband.

  39. Actually, Jovie, two bombs, and a Sinn Fein peaceful protest that a few young boys turned into a violent demonstration. The visit by the Queen is historic, the first state visit since the War of Independence from England almost 100 years ago, and with some unthinking people it is filled with emotion. They were nowhere near the Queen’s route; It was good practice for security. The time is right to start putting history behind and forge a good future.

  40. The dem voters are immature and most unreliable. Pols go where the votes are and this simple fact doesn’t seem to penetrate their febrile minds.

  41. Yep, it is unfortunate that fickle voters listened to hysterical PL that told them to sit it out and now, T-baggers are busy gutting everything they can get their hands on. Hopefully they learned their lesson well enough to reverse Republican gains come 2012.

  42. Republicans are still getting heat about their budget and desire to gut healthcare in exchange for vouchers. Read this:

    Congressman Quayle Takes Heat for Medicare Decision [KSAZ FOX10]
    “Monday night at a town meeting in Anthem, it was Ben Quayle who got beat up a bit while meeting with his constituents. Many people in the crowd were fired up about about his stance on the proposed changes to the Medicare system. Quayle favors the Republican plan which would give seniors vouchers to buy health insurance on the private market.” [KSAZ, 5/16/11]
    Congressman’s Meeting Interrupted By Shouting [WPBF]
    “Another town hall meeting organized by U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, devolved into a shouting match Monday night. About 100 people came to hear the congressman speak. Police escorted one person out of the meeting. […] ‘I didn’t agree with his explanation about Medicare. I’m very concerned about cutting Medicare and changing Medicare without looking at the revenue side,’ resident Dave King said.” [WPBF, 5/17/11]

    Crowd pulls few punches at Herrera Beutler town hall [The Columbian]
    “U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler faced a boisterous, partisan crowd Tuesday evening at her first Vancouver town hall, where she fielded sometimes hostile questions about her vote to restructure Medicare and her reluctance to support raising the federal debt limit. […] Several hundred people showed up at Skyview High School for the session. They passed a couple dozen protesters near the entrance who hoisted signs saying, “Save Medicare: Tax the Rich” and “People not Profits.” Several supporters of Planned Parenthood wore pink T-shirts to protest Herrera Beutler’s vote to end federal funding of family planning services.” [Columbian, 5/16/11]

    Protesters Greet Paul Ryan in Chicago [Associated Press]
    “Dozens of protesters carrying signs and chanting “Tax the rich” marched outside a hotel in downtown Chicago to protest a speech by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Ryan is the architect of the Republican budget plan, which includes a controversial proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher program. […]The protesters carried signs that read “Hands off my Medicare,” “Hands off my Social Security,” and “Paul Ryan plan: Let them eat cat food.” [Associated Press, 5/16/11]

    Rep. Andy Harris takes Medicare budget debate to Berlin, Ocean City [Ocean City Today]
    “Harris brought the budget battle to Worcester County Saturday when he spoke at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel in Ocean City and at Showell Elementary School. […] Harris defended the fiscal 2012 budget proposal introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and approved by the Republican controlled House of Representatives. […] The auditorium was filled with senior citizens concerned about Medicare and, as with the numerous town hall meetings of 2009, the crowd reached pitched debate on health care issues. George Benton of West Ocean City was concerned about the costs for future generations and that costs could increase for existing beneficiaries within several years. “The Paul Ryan bill will kill Medicare as we know it,” argued Benton. “These good people want their tax dollars to go toward their grandchildrens’ costs. We’ve been borrowing all this money from China to pay for the Iraq War and for Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthy.” [Ocean City Today, 5/13/11]

  43. Booooo- HOOOOOOOO I live In South Florida :-) I just don’t know why some of the Folks here put that r. scottIn as Governor :-( But enjoy your high Rail, Stimilus, I’m happy for you ;-)

  44. This is what worries me about the 2012 elections. With nothing to offer the American people, there is a concerted effort in many Republican states to disenfranchise particular voters.

    —————————————
    RIGGING THE GAME IS EASIER THAN EARNING VOTES:

    After examining the plethora of bills introduced in statehouses this year that, among other things, would reduce poll hours and require voters to show photo ID, it seems clear that Republicans are trying to make it harder for certain groups to vote. The Advancement Project, an advocacy group of civil rights attorneys, called the push “the largest legislative effort to scale back voting rights in a century.”

    According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Republican legislators have introduced bills that would diminish access to the voting booth in over 40 states. All of these Republican proposals focus on one apparent goal: restrict ballot access and shrink the electorate — often in ways that would decrease Democratic votes.

    Many of the proposals are in the form of voter ID legislation, which would require potential voters to present specified forms of identification in order to cast a ballot. Republicans supporting these measures claim they’re necessary to prevent “voter fraud.”

    Too bad that “voter fraud” isn’t a problem that actually exists.

    By all appearances, GOP efforts fall under the “When in doubt, disenfranchise” category. The Republican-led efforts aren’t addressing actual problems with the integrity of the voting process, unless you consider likely Democrats participating in elections to be a “problem.”

    Of particular interest are voter-ID efforts, which are likely to disproportionately affect African Americans, the poor, and voters under the age of 30.

    In other words, state Republican officials are targeting — without cause — the constituencies least likely to vote Republican. What a coincidence.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_05/rigging_the_game_is_easier_tha029575.php#

  45. Thank you. It’s that simple.

    I can’t think of one Democrat who hasn’t qualified something they have said about this President and that includes my senator, Dick Durbin. Obama needs a collection of surrogates who have his back at all times and can do a better job of explaining what is happening.

  46. Ain’t that the sorry truth.

    For people who are supposed to be smart and reality-based they sure can act dumb and ignore reality.

  47. That’s what drives me crazy: they want the President to be more progressive, without realizing that by not supporting him while he’s building things up and trying to right the ship, they actually ruin their chances of moving this country in the progressive direction.

    In one word: 2010.

    And they’re still doing it. Unbelievable.

  48. Thanks for this…it renews my faith in american businesses. We need more like companies and CEO’s & Presidents like your friends’. I think, thanks to PBO, we will. People are opening their eyes to how American used to be.. about America and Americans and not just the bottom line.

  49. Open Letter To Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, And The Obama Critics

    Did you see what happened when people stayed home in Wisconsin and Governor Walker took office? The unions were attacked. Did you see what happened when the people in Michigan stayed at home and were discouraged causing the victory of Governor Snyder? Benton Harbor, Michigan was taken over and other EFMs are now positioning themselves to take over other cities in my home state.  Did you see what happened when people stayed home for the 2000 election? We suffered 8 years of policies from a President who did nothing but end budget surpluses, expand the national debt, cut taxes for the rich, increase our dependency on foreign oil, bankrupt this country with wars we never should have fought while killing thousands of troops, and cause the largest recession since the great depression. This is what happens when people in our urban and working class/poor communities are inspired to stay at home on voting day. This is what can happen if people hear only a biased account of what our President has done and decide that it is useless to vote in 2012.

    So Dr. West, Mr. Smiley, Councilmember Baron, and all other critical supporters…I am NOT asking you to stop with your critiques. What I am asking you to do is to make sure that you provide your listeners with a COMPLETE picture of what the President has done…..that is an obligation you have to the people who respect you and admire you! When you are discussing the President’s disagreeable actions, also discuss any of the following accomplishments so people will be encouraged (not discouraged) to vote and force the President to go further in his efforts to please everyone

    Please read the entire thing here, it’s pretty lengthy, but excellent.

  50. Wouldn’t it be funny if it disenfranchise more republicans & teabaggers than Dems?


  51. The choice of Booker T. Washington send out such a positive message to students everywhere.

    And I’m probably not the only white guy who was sent to Wikipedia to look up what I thought was “just one of thos 19 century black guys fighting inequality”.

    I was soooo glad I was able (because of the time difference) to catch this commencement event in real time, at home.

    BTW, I think the caption on the photo of the President sitting next to Chris should read:

    “President Barack Obama and Valedictorian Christopher Dean comparing notes prior to the commencement event”

    Sorry – couldn’t resist.

  52. Regarding the voter suppression tactics now going on in R states, I think that this is one of the things that Messina and Plouffe meant about the election process being more difficult this time around. If these new restrictions are not successfully challenged in time, we will all have to know them cold so that we can actively help every voter to meet the requirements, even if this means driving them to places where they can get voter IDs. It means we have to watch like hawks at every polling place to make sure that arbitrary, on-the-spot, rules don’t suddenly materialize to turn away voters. The Obama legal forces will have to be think on the ground and we will have to challenge, challenge, challenge any attempt to turn away voters. We can do this if we arm ourselves with information and make sure every Obama supporter is prepared. I hope we all come on like a tsunami on election day 2012 and roll over any efforts to turn back the Obama tide. YES WE CAN!!!

  53. I think it’s time to bombard Princeton and every other entity that employs West so that he stops these lying attacks. Enough is enough.

    He’s a jealous, deranged liar. And we do not need to let him and the likes of lying Tavis Smiley who sold out his black brothers and sisters to Wells Fargo get away with this.

    PBO worked too hard to earn his Presidency. He is working too hard for the American people to be subjected to this garbage by this garbage.

    Enough is enough.

  54. Excellent points. I think some umbrage needs to be direct at West and Travis. They are crossing the line. I remember Trais tried this stunt during the primary presidential campaign when Mr. Obama could not make it to LA for a Travis event, offered to send Michelle but Travis showed such utter disrespect because at that point, Travis was for the Clintons. A lot of sent him many angry letters and phone calls, he literally waved a white flag and offered to tone down. Now he is at it again and needs to be taught a lesson. I am sending him and West a letter tonight.

  55. Melissa-Harris Perry smacks Dr. Cornel West down:

    As West derides the President’s economic policies he remains silent on his friend Tavis Smiley’s relationship with Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, and McDonald’s–all corporations whose invasive and predatory actions in poor and black communities have been the target of progressive organizing for decades. I have never heard him take Tavis Smiley to task for helping convince black Americans to enter into predatory mortgages. I’ve never heard him ask whether Tavis’ decision to publish R. Kelley’s memoirs might be a less than progressive decision. He doesn’t hold Tavis accountable because Tavis is his friend and he is loyal. I respect that, but I also know that if he were in elected office the could not get off so easily. Opposition research would point out the hypocrisy in his public positions in a way that would make him vulnerable come election time. As a media personality and professor he is safely ensconced in a system that can never vote him off the island.  I think an honest critique of Obama has to begin by acknowledging his own privileges.

  56. I’m so on that here, jackie. We’ve already dealt with that in the last election where some precincts tried to refuse voter ID cards and driver’s licenses and were sending people back home to get copies of their water or electric bills to “prove” that they really were “eligible” to vote in their district. We squashed that one like a bug and we will be ready for even worse in 2012. One thing that helps a lot here is we now have early mail in voting. We’ll be all over that to make sure every vote gets counted.

  57. I loved that! She is a great voice, honest, fair and well informed.

  58. Good job. I just finished reading your letter. Well done. By the way, I have not been able to find email contact for Tavis and West. Do you have them? I would like to get cracking on the protest letter thing. Thanks.

  59. I can’t wait to see the pictures. It is going to be so exciting to watch this all unfold. Thanks for all the updates, overseasgranny.

  60. Couldn’t happen to better people. Let them know how stupid they are. Really hope the voters are waking up.

  61. Since the conversation has turned to Smiley and West, I thought I would throw out something I heard on the radio this morning. Bill Press, who cheers on the President when he does something Press likes, and is quick to go after him when he doesn’t do the “right” thing by the PL standards, had, as a guest on his show, Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP.

    Now, keep in mind, I am white and 64, so a lot of the discussions here are about things I don’t directly get involved with. Smiley and West, for example, are two guys I have never heard. But, I can get a general sense from the comments that come out here.

    Anyway, Press came right out and asked Jealous if he thought Obama had done enough for African Americans. In the way he asked it you could tell he was actually hoping that Jealous woul say that Obama hadn’t done enough. Well, if so, he was surprised. Jealous basically made 3 points.

    1. The President is the President of the whole country and no one should expect any President to pick out one group to favor.

    2. Obama has done a lot, where he could, but folks need to remember that Congress holds the purse strings and can vote down other initiatives.

    3. Rest assured the vast majority of the AA community is aware of 1 and 2.

  62. What is it with these pseudo-intellectual folksies that need to spew their venom at the Prez? Both Cornel and Tavis need to realise that right about now they are being scorned bigtime, by the same blacks they claim to speak for! They do not seem to comprehend that ‘the blacks’ are coming at them hard,fast and furious!
    Apart from the constant critiquing,what do these two really act on? Both are simply attention seeking and looking for hero worship from folks who don’t have the courage to state their agendas, but cover themselves by using Cornel and co. So much for the irony of it all!

  63. I heard that too this morning and was glad that Bill Press let Ben Jealous speak without putting words in his mouth. I think Press and the other Left Wing pundits are backing off being so critical of the President and the Dems due to the disaster they helped create in 2010. They know it was partially their fault that people stayed home.

  64. Don’t forget about Senators Reid and Kerry. They have both been fierce allies of this president.

  65. Sen. Coburn walked away from the Senate “Gang of Six” today. It’s acutally really good news in that it takes away potential cover from the Senate Ryan Budget vote for the GOP. Before there was potential for GOP Senators to vote against the Ryan Budget with the excuse that they wanted to give their colleagues in the “Gang of Six” the time and space they needed and any vote on other proposals would just get in their way.

    Now with the Gang all but finished or at least put on the back burner, that excuse is no longer available.

  66. Yes, I meant to add that to Press’s credit, he neither spoke over or tried to steer Jealous in another direction. I kept expecting a “yes, but” and it didn’t come out.

    I think you might be right in suggesting a lot of the PL has backed off a little. In a sense, I think they had also viewed Obama as weak, just like the right did. The killing of bin laden kind of got rid of that. That doesn’t mean I don’t expect them to come right back to the old ways at some point in the future.

  67. Vote to end Big Oil tax breaks failed – three Dems voted with the GOP and Snowe and Collins voted with the Dems. Couldn’t get cloture.

    Wouldn’t have got by the House anyways, so this was basically a vote to give Heller and Brown challengers something else to run against them with.

    GOP wants to cut billions from education, but votes to allow big oil and their record profits to keep an extra $4B a year in extra tax breaks.

  68. Excellent! Tavis and Cornel are bought and paid for, and merely tap-dancing for their masters. They weren’t the first, and won’t be the last of their kind. They’ve become pariahs to most people I know.

  69. Cornell is on big eds show, time to change channel! This guy has a problem or is being paid big bucks to dehumanize the president.

  70. Do these mid-day, nobody-is-watching policy speeches make a lick of a difference?

    If it’s not in prime time it doesn’t register.

    What is interesting is that PBO is giving this speech a day before he meets with Netanyahu. IIRC there was some issue about both Bibi and President Obama wanting to give a major speech first to claim the issue.

    With Mitchell leaving, I wonder who President Obama will appoint to the region.

  71. Libya oil minister defects. I am surprised kaddafy has held on this long, he must have latent outside help!

  72. I think that deficit speech President Obama gave during the day certainly had a big impact.

  73. This is good news. It will be even better if he is confirmed. I understand he is extremely smart and he would be to the 9th Circuit.

    You know how we love our liberal judges out west.

  74. If it’s in the early afternoon on the East Coast, he could be aiming for the evening audience in the Middle East.

  75. That really sounds like a great, responsible, company! It’s such companies that will preserve genuine capitalism and not the greedy ones that put making obscene profits above the lives and well being of workers. Thanks for sharing this Faith.

  76. It always surprises me when I see these statements of “if the economy is still in bad shape, then the President will be vulnerable”. And who exactly on the right is offering any solution to fixing the economy? We’ve just seen several months of Republican rule over the House, and they’ve offered no solutions to heal the economy – in fact, they’ve systematically worked to further erode the economic recovery, and also worked on enacting a devastating social agenda. If anyone thinks their lot is better off with a Republican, instead of President Obama – then, they “need to have their heads examined”. It just drives me crazy!

  77. WIW:

    You and Jovie are really amazing! I really appreciate all the positive information you post here.

  78. In addition to their desire to end Social Security and Medicare only to give it to the wealthy, greedy, banks. If any woman votes for a Republican they need their heads examined as well. There is a attack on women never seen in all my 54 yrs. As a woman, I am inspired to get a Dem House & Senate for the next 30yrs.

  79. Unfortunately that kinda unrealistic expectations is the political reality. 2010 was the prime example.

  80. Hi SR
    I wonder if Coburn is pulling the Grassley trick! I am sure you will recall how Grassley and a couple of others ate up gigantic amounts of time, energy and TV coverage pretending to support ACA.

  81. There could be a great deal to say about Hedges, West and Smily and Wickham’s need to “dump on the President”. But I think that is what they relish, that is what gets them appearances on the MSM for a fee. They are even on Aljazeera broadcasting their venom to the Arab world. Now why do they need to do that? I think it is much bigger than ego. They want to wound him, damage him, help the repugs break him. He is too dangerous to their image of themselves to allow him to be what!!!!! President of the World!! I don’t think so. So I think their illness is not healed by our discussions but enhanced. They want this conversation! If only we could ignore them! I do not think the President wants nor needs our defense of him. If ever there were 2 people who are comfortable in their skins it is President Obama and his incredible wife Michelle.
    That is my 2 cents. Thanks for letting me vent.

  82. No way he ever gets confirmed. He’s the GOP’s top target to block.

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