Monday morning mishmash (Updated)

Pssssttttt:

He is doomed!

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Hi Everyone,

1. First, a reminder: e-mail me stories for our Change That Matters project.

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2. Recovery (a): Auto makers to report best month of 2010

Brutal winter weather and a still-iffy economy didn’t stop those in the market for a new car from likely making December the auto industry’s strongest sales month of the year…

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3.  Recovery (b): Small business borrowing jumps again

Borrowing by small U.S. businesses jumped in November to the highest level in more than two years, PayNet Inc reported on Monday, as entrepreneurs invested in their businesses and did a better job of paying existing debts.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the overall volume of financing to U.S. small businesses, rose 17 percent in November from a year earlier.

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4. Recovery (c): ISM manufacturing index rises to 57.0 in December

The U.S. manufacturing sector continued to grow in December, marking the 17th straight month of expansion, according to a closely followed index. The Institute for Supply Management on Monday said its index of factory activity rose to 57.0% in December from 56.6% in November. Readings over 50% indicate that more firms are growing than contracting.

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5. President Obama signed the Sept. 11 first responders bill yesterday in Hawaii. The reason for signing in Hawaii and not in a big ceremony at the White House:

White House spokesman Bill Burton said Obama had 10 days to sign the bill after its passage, a window that would have closed by the time the president returned to Washington Tuesday. Because the White House didn’t receive the official bill until after Obama departed Washington Dec. 22, Burton said a staff member who was headed to Hawaii after the president carried it here for his signature.

President Obama’s statement:

“I was honored to sign the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to ensure that rescue and recovery workers, residents, students, and others suffering from health consequences related to the World Trade Center disaster have access to the medical monitoring and treatment they need,” President Obama said in a statement. “We will never forget the selfless courage demonstrated by the firefighters, police officers, and first responders who risked their lives to save others. I believe this is a critical step for those who continue to bear the physical scars of those attacks.”

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6 .Here’s a nice little video from CBS, about the new health care benefits for seniors that kicked in on Saturday. Repeal this!

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7. Well, with the just-say-no new congrss, there will be a lot more time for this: 

Obama to increase engagement with Africa in 2011

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8. President Obama’s 2010 by the numbers:

Speeches, statements and remarks: 491

Since taking office: 883

News conferences and press availabilities: 27

Formal, solo White House Press Conferences: 6

Since taking office: 69 total, 11 WH.

Town hall meetings: 17

Since taking office: 40

Backyard chats: 7

 Domestic trips: 65 spanning 104 days

Since taking office: 111 spanning 176 days

States visited for the first time: 9

Since taking office: 38

Vacation trips: 6 (all or part of 32 days)

Since taking office: 10 spanning 58 days

Foreign trips: 6 trips to 8 countries spanning 22 days.

Since taking office: 16 trips to 25 countries spanning 70 days.

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 Bills signed in 2010: 203.

Since taking office: 329.

 Cabinet meetings: 6

Since taking office: 12

Visits to Camp David:

In 2010: 4 visits, 8 days.

Since taking office: 15 visits: 35 days.

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Interviews: 107 in 2010

Since taking office: 254

Meetings with foreign leaders: In 2010, President Obama had face-to-face meetings with 61 foreign leaders, 30 for the first time.

Days of no appearances: 24

Since taking office: 45

 Prpresidential pardons: 9

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