Damn, we insist on recovery (A mishmash of good economic news)

1. The audacity to be freaking efficient:

CBO: TARP WILL COST SUBSTANTIALLY LESS THAN PREVIOUS ESTIMATES

…The government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program is seen as costing taxpayers $25 billion, substantially less than previous estimates. 
Because the financial system stabilized and then improved, the amount of funds used by the TARP was well below the $700 billion initially authorized, and the outcomes of most transactions made through the TARP were favorable for the federal government.

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2.  Buy buy, baby, buy…

ONLINE SALES ON CYBER MONDAY CLIMBED 19%

More on the pretty bright Black Friday weekend in Deaniac83’s excellent piece:

THE OBAMA RECOVERY CONTINUES

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4. The auto- bailout really really sucked:

GM PLANS TO ADD 1000 BATTERY TECH ENGINEERS

…The automaker said most of the jobs will be at a technical center in Warren, Mich., north of Detroit. The engineers will help develop batteries for hybrid, electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles of the future.

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5. But i thought people had no confidence in Obama!

NOVEMBER CONSUMER CONFIDENCE RISES TO 54.1

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — An index of U.S. consumer confidence rose to 54.1 in November, reaching the highest level since June, with consumers more optimistic about future business conditions and job prospects, the Conference Board reported Tuesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a reading of 53.

Confidence for October was revised to 49.9 from a prior estimate of 50.2. A barometer of consumers’ expectations rose to 74.2 in November – the highest level since May — from 67.5 in October, while consumers’ assessment of the present situation ticked up to 24 from 23.5.

Open Thread

I always wanted an open thread of my own!!! ;)  let’s try it, see how it goes:

1.  Yes, bailing out failing big businesses sucked, but it was crucial. The difference is between  having a smart man or an idiot in charge of that ugly policy. When you have the smart man, it turns out that the new financial regulation law capped the amount of money that could be used at $475 billion – not 700 as everyone think – and  more than $250 billion  been paid back already.

2. It was crazy here today at the malls and shopping centers, and looks like it was the same all around the country. Pretty bright Black Friday.

3. Ford didn’t need bailout, but boy do they enjoy the auto industry resurrection.

4. Speaking of which, if you still didn’t see this lovely clip (Thanks, Mike):

5.  That’s what Barack Obama face every day, more than any president in history. But hey, Michael Moore think he’s a wimp, so it must be true.

6. Another evidence that Paul Krugman is right, and Barack Obama is just another conservative

7. You can now find more than 900,000 names of White House visitors published online. That is too very Dick Cheney-ish.

8. Did you see Barbara Walters’ special with the president and the First Lady? Not much to write home, frankly. The only good thing  was the wonderful interaction and chemistry and overall beauty and grace of this couple. But Barbara Walters – her glory days are well behind her. 20 years ago she would be ashamed throwing the name of the stupid woman who is North Korea’s great ally – again and again – in an attempt to catch a cheap headline.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that her awesomeness Chipsticks – who’s way too quick for me – will have the video soon. 

9. President Obama’s charming little children’s book – which i guess he wrote is 15 minutes ;) – sold 50,000 copies in 5 days.  The president is donating all proceeds to a scholarship fund for children of disabled and fallen soldiers.

10. Speaking of book, if you’re looking to read more about the president, i highly recommend on “Reading Obama, Dreams, Hope and the American Political Tradition’. James T. Kloppenberg  went back to read the president’s two big books, and basically reached the obvious conclusion: The president govern and act exactly as he said he will, exactly as he portrait himself, exactly as people should have expect if they actually paid attention. If you don’t want to read the whole book, Kloppenberg’s article in Newsweek last week is good enough.

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Couple of inside stuff:

1. Some of you complained about difficulty to read the text. I’m trying to find a way to make it easier, while not giving up on the background that i love. So basically I’m looking for a compromise – which i guess makes me a sell out who really should grow a pair.

2. Please do me a favor – Let’s scale back the attacks on DK, and especially on individuals there. While I’m still very hurt by that saga, i do remember the good times too – mostly i remember that i met many of you guys over there. Let them be what they want to be. I don’t want to see negative vibes creeping  in here – definitely not when this blog is still a baby. I really want to look forward. There’s a lot of work to be done.

Thank you so much.

Oh, get well soon Mr. President. We love you.

Think Michael Jackson in Tokyo type of screaming

Hello

welcome to this first edition of the non-apologetic and  hate-free Barack Obama mishmash. Just a couple of procedural issues:

1. Comments are moderated, so at least at the beginning it’ll take a little while for them to show up. Not too long, I hope.

2. Please, excuse all kinds of glitches. These won’t stay long either.

3. You can sign up to receive e-mail notice, if you’d like.

4. Yes, there will be photos. Many.  :)

Enjoy.

 

First, Mr. Paul Krugman, take a few minutes and click here to see a full and complete list of all the things the “Conservative” president has done so far. Because frankly, this is one of the stupidest things you could ever say. And you are not Palin, you’re a smart, smart man. If president Obama is a conservative, then you didn’t really win the Nobel Prize.

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The president wants our help in pressing Congress to pass the Dream Act.

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41 states see job gains in October, most in 5 months

WASHINGTON — Businesses and other employers added jobs in 41 states in October from September, the best showing in five months, the Labor Department said Tuesday.The figures indicate the job market is picking up a bit in most parts of the country. Even the nation’s hardest hit states —Nevada  and Michigan showed declines in their unemployment rates.

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Auto Bailout Saved More Than 1.4 Million Jobs

The U.S. government bailout of General Motors, Chrysler and other automotive firms saved more than 1.4 million jobs, according to the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.

It estimated most of the jobs — 1.14 million — were saved in 2009 during the low point of the industry’s severe downturn. But another 314,400 jobs were saved in 2010.

The government intervention prevented additional personal income losses totaling $71.9 billion for 2009 and $24.6 billion for 2010.
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How the Auto industry bailout pulls Kokomo back from brink

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) — Jerry Price remembers the eerie silence less than two years ago when he walked through one of the transmission plants that long provided the economic lifeblood of this town steeped in auto industry history.With the machines still and the workers gone, casualties of Chrysler’s bankruptcy declaration a few days earlier, the only signs of life were a few lights that had been left on. “None of us, including myself, ever thought that this place would be running again,” said Price, vice president of United Auto Workers Local 685.

Not only has the plant reopened for business, but President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are visiting Tuesday to herald Kokomo as one of the major success stories of the auto bailout. Residents of this city, where unemployment once soared above 20 percent after the shutdown, are doing their part to proclaim the virtues of legislation that generated plenty of controversy at the time.  “If the bailout hadn’t come, then we’d be a ghost town,” said Jeff Newton, a pastor who runs Kokomo Urban Outreach, which runs a network of food pantries.

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Today, Kokomo is likely more dependent on the industry than any other city in the country – including those in Michigan. Nearly 25 percent of the city’s work force is employed by the industry. The city’s unemployment rate hit 20.4 percent in June 2009, the highest level in the past decade. “It’s been very scary at times,” said Dave White, 58, who has worked at Chrysler for 24 years. His wife also works for the automaker.

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The riverfront initiative – along with Small Business Administration financing – made it possible for father and son Steve and Blake Kinder to start Cook McDoogal’s Irish Pub, a new downtown bar with lavish woodwork rescued from old churches and remodeled homes that’s set to open Tuesday.

A couple of years ago, Blake Kinder said, the only people downtown were coming for court appearances. Now, it’s common to see young mothers walking their babies in strollers.”The mood has definitely risen,” he said. “People are starting to feel more comfortable about Kokomo’s future, whether they like to admit it or not.”

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Economy Grew 2.5% In Third Quarter, Revised From 2%

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter, more than previously calculated, as companies increased shipments abroad and Americans boosted their spending.

The revised increase in gross domestic product compares with a 2 percent estimate issued last month and a 1.7 percent rise in the second quarter, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. Corporate profits grew last quarter at a slower pace and an increase in employee wages in the prior three months was almost twice as much as initially reported.

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The Pentagon: No Gays Were Discharged in Past Month

 A Pentagon spokeswoman says no service members have been discharged for being openly gay in the month since the Defense Department adopted new rules surrounding the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith released the information Monday.

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Nancy-Ann DeParle, the Director of the Office of Health Reform at the White House, breaks down new rules that will make the health care marketplace more transparent:

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NYT: NATO Summit A Success For Obama

WASHINGTON — As administration officials said farewell to one another upon returning from a two-day summit in Lisbon on Saturday night, they all but exchanged high-fives. The sense of success went to the top: President Obama, shirt-sleeved and smiling, made a rare, brief visit to the press cabin as Air Force One headed home.

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Mr. Obama was able to lead on a world stage in a way that he has not been able to do lately at home. He did so with public and private assistance from his European and Russian counterparts, many of whom called the summit meeting historic. Acutely aware of his problems at home after the drubbing Democrats took in the midterm elections — most manifest in Senate Republicans’ resistance to the New Start nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia — the other leaders seemed almost to go out of their way to buoy Mr. Obama.

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President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev in Lisbon, Portugal, Nov. 20, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

 

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President Obama and VP Biden visited Kokomo, Indiana, earlier today, to celebrate the revival of the auto industry:

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The president, once again, had troubles connecting with everyday Americans. As evident from the pool report of kids’ reaction during the president’s brief visit to Sycamore Elementary School: “Think Michael Jackson in Tokyo type screaming.“:

 

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First Lady, Michelle Obama, promotes “Move On” in Newark, Harlem and Miami:

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Hee: