The audacity to get things done

I didn’t plan to have another post today, but i just run into this extraordinary graph  – and I had to share it with the rest of the class.


While the housing sector’s troubles continue to drag down the U.S. economy, manufacturing is doing well, largely because of strong sales overseas.

The exports boom has helped the manufacturing sector grow at a pace three times faster than the rest of the economy. According to federal data released last week, exports rose for the third straight month in November to nearly $160 billion.

Overseas customers are buying more U.S. airplanes, pharmaceuticals, foods, industrial supplies, cotton, computers and more.

President Obama has set a goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015. To help, the U.S. Export-Import Bank announced last week it will identify 5,000 small businesses and help them get loans to boost their ability to export. In addition, the bank recently agreed to help Pakistan get financing to buy 150 locomotives made by General Electric Co. in Erie, Pa.



More good read, this time about the up coming State of the Union. I guess Christina Romer is about to join the crowd under the bus:

My hope is that the centerpiece of the speech will be a comprehensive plan for dealing with the long-run budget deficit.

I am not talking about two paragraphs lamenting the problem and vowing to fix it. I am looking for pages and pages of concrete proposals that the administration is ready to fight for. The recommendations of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that the president created are a very good place to start.

// more


87 thoughts on “The audacity to get things done

  1. I just want to say how glad I am to have your posts.

    For a long time I followed your work on daily kos. Now you are here, so I am too.

  2. Thanks for the excellent chart BWD!

    Indeed the government is all about making things happen.


  3. Can’t say enough about how I enjoy the dwelling place that is this site,having recommended to all I speak to, because I just love coming here daily to be uplifted with productive discourse, new information and of course the soothing beautiful photos. It really restores one’s sanity after a browse around the hostile bloggers and commenters(and I speak from the fact that these are so-called pro-Obamas sites)

    Thanks again.

  4. You have to wonder if Romer has any contacts still in the White House/Administration that would leak her something in order to start the conversation a week early.

  5. Oh Lord, for the next week, everyone is going to write their “he should say” version of the SOTU, so that they can have a ready list of outrages when he doesn’t take their advice. Then, the day after, they’ll talk about the better version they WOULD have given if only they were president.

    In the meantime the president will give a deeply thought through, far ranging speech that will surpass anything they could have conceived and they will willfully refuse to get it or undervalue it. This act gets old.

    This speech before a half hostile Congress is going to be very difficult for him. I wish we could all respect his intelligence, support him in this critical presentation and defend what will certainly be well-reasoned and responsible ideas for getting us to a better future.

    Instead of writing his speech, I’m praying for him and hoping that all the naysayers and booers round him end up looking like fools.

  6. SOTU with Bohner behind President Obama will suck, but there is a good chance Boehner will cry – maybe President Obama should lay it on really think congratulating him about working his way up from being a janitor – that always seems to turn on the waterworks with Boehner.

    Has it been released yet who will to the opposition address? I’d guess Chris Christie.

  7. Yes kishik. I read that also, people are starting to see the benefits. Also with the community clinic. I recently applied for the community clinic under a sliding fee. This was not happening i now can go to the clinic and a good one based on my income. I will get my estimate on tuesday and let every one know what the cost will be. i am so excited. i could not afford the cobra and healthcare . gov navigated me to this program the president also have. This is the community clinic they included in the bill.

  8. Christie appears to be the new little darling of the Republican party. Someone on Faux said today that he polls higher than President Obama. I was walking through the room when that jewel came out and almost fell down laughing.

  9. The chart is very impressive. No one talks about the growth in manufacturing. I thought Ed schultz was for manufacturing.

  10. That’s nonsense, they lie, yet again. I saw a poll last week in which PBO wins NJ by a margin of 15-30 points, depends on the opponent. He beats Christie by 17.

  11. My hope is that the centerpiece of the speech will be a comprehensive plan for dealing with the long-run budget deficit.

    Well, it seems fashionable these days to not believe in evolutionary biology (then drop most of your medicines, now !), climate change (then stop complaining about the extra snow blizzards !) and keynesian economics.

    The central tenet of keynesian economics is that – once the government stimulates the economy – it will reap its rewards by increased tax income if the economy recovers.

    This way, the investment pays for itself.

    And, yes, all this was already figured out during the last Depression, 80 years ago.

  12. That link to Christina Romer’s column requires a subscription to the NY Times.

    Have been enjoying your posts BWD and I imagine you feel vindicated (rightly so) for hanging in through all the professional Left craziness of the last year.

  13. It’s infuriating to see this op-ed from Christina Romer. Having been the source of the “less than 8% unemployment” prediction which has become a thorn in the President’s side, she should know better than to become one of the armchair quarterbacks. She was responsible for steerheading some of the economic recovery, and now she’s quick to criticize from the sidelines? What even happened to loyalty? If she’s got input, I’m sure she could still pick up the phone and call the White House to offer her input. Instead, she wants to pre-empt the President, create a dubious impression, and garner credit for herself. I was sad to see her go, but now I’m reconsidering.

  14. As people realize that the world isn’t going to end and that the GOP has been lying to them about HCR it will continue to rise in popularity. This is why I hope Boehner still have the House vote on a complete repeal – to have the new 60 Republicans be on record as being agains it.

    I hope President Obama focuses a few good minutes on HCR in the SOTU, specifically what portions are already inacted – specifically mentioning the children on parents coverage until 26yo and the partial closing of the donut hole (let the seniors know where that extra money came from).

  15. At this point even the left of economist has been wrong. Maybe just maybe the President know what he’s doing. Whats the saying trust and verify. President Obama has verified his policies, now maybe we need to trust.

  16. I am thrilled to see the manufacturing in this country rebounding. Considering that most of the world is going through a recession, it is impressive that our exports are growing.

    Romer’s column is a massive, massive miss though. Reducing the deficit is something the beltway and media obsess over but polls 3rd or 4th in the American public’s views. They are more concerned about the economy and jobs. That should be the centerpiece of Obama’s SOTU. If he needs to talk about the deficit it should be in talking about the savings from the Iraq War ending this year; the healthcare bill savings; and increasing revenue by getting people back to work and businesses profitable again.

    I hope Obama’s team ignores Romer’s tonedeaf editorial.

  17. Yes g im excited too. My mom went and they got her set up for the senior program. She just got her card and got glasses, plus she now pays less for her prescription. Health care made sure seniors was taken care of. she said the lady told her oh no we are going to get you started within a week they mailed my mom her card and her services was immediate. Seniors are seeing the difference and now are the ones telling republicans to leave it a lone.

  18. I don’t think they will`, frankly. Not because of her, but because the president is clearly going to spend a lot of time talking about the deficit. He gave many hints. *What* he’ll say, that’s a different question, that no one has the answer to, but everyone is certain that they do.

    What i found very interesting is that Romer was always to the left of the president’s economic team, and now she is basically embracing the infamous commission recommendations.

  19. The link came up for me just fine, and although I used to subscribe to the NYT, I haven’t for several years.

  20. hmmm. Tried it 3 times before your comment and it didn’t work but now it does! Thanks for the reply.

  21. Oh, That’s right. I do remember now. Some days I have a problem keeping up with the politics in two countries.

  22. Yes, he’s sufficiently consistent as the gloomy Eeyore. But he is willing to say that the world economy “might grow 4% THIS year” so I would have to say it’s pretty damn rosy considering the source!

  23. I know this may sound horrible, but when my Mom died, I was so glad she didn’t have to go through the mess that came about in 2006 for seniors.

    The other thing that never made sense to me was the differences my mom could receive in health benefits in NY vs what my aunt was eligible for in NJ.

    I know many many people now able to live without the fear of hitting their cap on medical procedures.

    And one of the reasons I was such a supporter of the HCR was a dear friend who lost her job, was not eligible for cobra, and was just too sick (cancer) to think about fighting to receive any further healthcare anymore. With the help of friends (thankfully some who are RNs) her last days were made easier. She had no immediate family. She would have died alone elsewise.

    Anyone who knows real people who have been in real dire straits knows that this was what the country had to do – reform healthcare.

  24. I saw that our exports had increased. I am wondering were the jobs are two support all of this increased activity. I wonder if these companies are making the goods over seas and shipping them from the U.S.

  25. It’s bad when even the media starts reporting how he seems to constantly starting meetings or gatherings of all sorts in tears!!

  26. I think spending tons of time on the deficit is just a huge political miss for Obama. The beltway and media cream themselves over deficit talk, but the general public’s main concerns are the economy and jobs. He’d be doing exactly the wrong thing by devoting tons of time to addressing the deficit. Let’s hope he has some non-Clinton advisors who will give him good advice. I have zero faith in the Clinton advisors since they are the ones who pushed Bill to go so far right after the 1994 midterms.

  27. I agree with you on emphasizing the cost savings of getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of just saying “we’ll end those two wars”, I would like the Democrats to consistently and continually drive the message in the media of the savings of soldiers and civilian lives and the savings of billions of taxpayer dollars.

  28. Tulips, indeed, the community clinics are something to rave about. I go to my community clinic, and all I get to pay is $25 everytime I see the doctor. They write my prescription to Wal-Mart Pharmacy. I pay $4.00 — the same medication I paid about $15 for when I had health insurance.

    I see all my doctors there — my OBGYN, as well as my primary care.

    Change, indeed and I am grateful for it.

  29. Exports doubling by 2015 would be a big deal. We can all do our part to cut imports also by looking at products and trying to pick American made or grown goods. This time of year I aim for American citrus (Florida and California) and wait for American summer produce. I don’t expect to buy blueberries in North America in January.

    In terms of our manufacturing, we make lots of things other countries want. Obama and his team of economic advisers were smart to focus on a part of the economy that is ripe for growth. I think we can meet this goal by 2015 especially if the government has targeted 5,000 small businesses that need help exporting.

  30. This some of the same kind of dishonesty in our political discourse the president talked about the other day.

    TPM had a story up the other day about a poll in New Jersey where the president won handily.

    These people like to change the narrative to fit their own fantasy.

    Go figure.

  31. Good for you Africa im excited about what i can . I will find out and let you guys know. I did’nt have to go out of my neighbor hood for care. We would have to go to the county hospital and wait for hrs. I appreciated the county because it was there, but the idea of having to west and i live south for care wasd hard, you packed your lunch, snacks walkman, and reading material and waited. The service was worth the wait.

  32. Blackwaterdog, I just want to tell you how glad I am I have found your blog. So there really are people in the USA that love president Barack Obama and see his intelligence, sincerity and love for his family and his country. Since I have seen “I am grateful” I have to come back every day.

  33. Yep, it frustrates me that Obama’s team hasn’t been emphasizing the savings from the Iraq War ending enough. Hopefully, it will get a mention in the SOTU. That is a big promise delivered.

  34. The posting by makesense4tulips about the clinic reminded me of a story I posted on a free clinic put on by Medical students at Tufts.

    There is a also a free clinic in San Francisco staffed by retired medical folks who are bored in retirement.

    That got me thinking of the project at the local JC where a van goes to neighborhoods and offers free teeth cleaning to kids who can’t afford to see a dentist.

    Finally I wanted to share a page of projects from my students. We create free websites for non profit organizations in our community.

    Tuesday it is back to school, boo hoo, I won’t be able to spend as much time here. The good news is that we have 20 non profits who want free web sites (won’t be able to help them all but we will be busy.)

    I have to admit I am hooked on this site, so I will just have to get up earlier and spend less time on the TV so I can get my BWD fix for the day.

  35. LOL about President Obama laying it on thick about Boehner’s bio so he can tear up. That would be classic tv.

  36. “The audacity to get things done”, Thank you BWD!

    I promise that I will not bring garbage here or to other pro-President Obama websites but will for sure fight the paid-trolls with facts in some other places and I am not talking about that other site but the other more ugly out there. LOL, the paid trolls call you/me names when faced with facts and that is a complement to me because name calling is a cheap way to get out of it while you all know what means.

  37. St Roscoe Eeeeehhhe 🙂 am I mean to laugh at the B man crying behind the POTUS? The image of that is hilarious, Bad Bad Starm 🙂 ✗

  38. So glad that you brought the Community Clinics up Tulips, they are one more positive aspect of the
    Affordable Care Act. According to the National
    Association of Community Health Centers website
    a study by George Washington University has found that “up to $122 billion in total health care costs would be saved between 2010 and 2015” because of the expansion of Community Health Centers. Here is the link for their website for those who want more information:

  39. PS. Even though my family is insured we
    would benefit from the expansion of these clinics. Our insurance is expensive and the deductible is $6000 a year, making regular
    office visits a financial impossibility.
    Please do keep us posted on how it works out
    for you Tulips.

  40. In my opinion, he’d be walking a fine line with that one. Yes, the savings from ending the Iraq War is important. However, money is secondary to lives lost and lives damaged. Mentioning the financial savings could prove offensive to the families of those KIA because, really, if all the money spent plus some could bring our loved ones back, that would be money well spent.

    Additionally, I think deficit hawks are war hawks, as well. Not sure how it would play with those folks.

  41. Sell HCR benefits that have already been enacted – let people know what they now have and what the GOP wants to take away.

    Mention the payroll tax and exta money folks should have started to see in their paychecks and where that came from.

    Mention that cutting fat is important, but that raising the debt ceiling is paramount and let folks know the dangerous game the GOP is playing with it.

    Spell out the fact that with so many people still out of work the tax base is smaller and thus less taxes are coming in and growing the tax base ie more jobs, jobs, jobs, is more important than long term debt at this time.

    Focus on infrastructure spending as necessary now or later, so do it now to spur the economy. That it’s smart money, that is buying real tangible things that need to be fixed and will be around 50 years from now.

    Focus on the rebound of the Detroit3. Mention the increased exports.

    Hopefully with Chinese State Dinner on Wednesday, that something will come from that that can be trumpheted.

  42. I rarely recommend Frank Rich to anyone, however, what he has to say in the NY Times today is not to be missed, imho.

    He concludes with:

    “Have politicians stoked the pre-Loughner violence by advocating that citizens pursue “Second Amendment remedies” or be “armed and dangerous”? We don’t know. What’s more disturbing is what Republican and conservative leaders have not said. Their continuing silence during two years of simmering violence has been chilling.

    A few unexpected voices have expressed alarm. After an antigovernment gunman struck at Washington’s Holocaust museum in June 2009, Shepard Smith of Fox News noted the rising vitriol in his e-mail traffic and warned on air that more “amped up” Americans could be “getting the gun out.” The former Bush administration speechwriter David Frum took on the “reckless right” that August, citing the incident at the Giffords Safeway event. But when a Department of Homeland Security report warned of far-right extremism and attacks by “lone wolves” that same summer, Gingrich called it a smear and John Boehner demanded an apology.

    Last week a conservative presidential candidate, Tim Pawlenty, timidly said it wouldn’t be his “style” to use Palin’s target map, but was savaged so viciously by his own camp that he immediately retreated. A senior Republican senator told Politico that he saw the Tucson bloodbath as a “cautionary tale” for his party, yet refused to be named.

    What are they and their peers so afraid of? No doubt that someone might reload — the same fears that prompted Gabrielle Giffords to speak up, calmly but firmly, last March. Unless and until they can match her courage and speak out too, it’s hard to see what will change.”

    I suggest you read the entire essay:

  43. Boner gets weepy when he talks about himself. Forget about all the other citizens that need the help only the govt. can provide. He is truly pathetic and self serving….and in a job above his paygrade.

  44. Fox, the GOP and the like are all going to start toning down the vitiol and rhetoric because the Republican House is going to be like every other Republican majority – all about big business, and they don’t want to become targets of the teabaggers.

    The teabaggers were used, they got what they wanted out of them – the House back, and want to ditch and marginalize them before they help Palin win the GOP Presidential Primary. Ailes and the GOP braintrust know that Palin on the top of the ticket would cause massive losses on down ticket races.

    Would the GOP candidate for Senate and House seats run away from Palin and piss off her teabagger base, or would they run on her coattails and lose indies and moderates in droves?

  45. That’s good news about manufacturing. I noticed a Wall Street Journal article yesterday about banks beginning to loan money. That was a concern in 2010 because they were making record profits after the bailout, but not loaning money.

    U.S. banks are expanding their loans to consumers for the first time since the credit crisis erupted….”

    “We see the consumer is getting stronger,” said J.P. Morgan Chairman James Dimon. He added that many Americans are still saving and paying down their debts, which he said will make them better borrowers.

    The New York bank’s profit surge and optimism that more consumers and businesses are looking for loans triggered a rally Friday in financial stocks…. It was the bellwether average’s seventh weekly gain in a row, during which it has gained 6%.

    Signs of a lending rebound in business loans already were evident at some big U.S. banks, and Mr. Dimon cited “fairly broad-based strength across corporate, middle market, even small business.”….

    Now, the economy is gaining momentum, as shown by the Commerce Department’s report Friday that consumers spent more for the sixth straight month….

    When other banks post earnings in the coming week, many analysts expect more evidence that at least the healthiest lenders are shifting focus from grappling with troubled loans to making new ones. That would be bullish for many sectors of the economy, such as auto dealers, retailers and home builders.

    “The rapid decline in job losses has made everyone more comfortable to lend,

  46. I am convinced that the banks conspired to sit on their money for purely political reasons. And they’re going to get away with it and probably benefit for doing it.

  47. Saint Roscoe – Very interesting that you write that the “teabaggers were used.” Food for thought.

    Hadn’t thought of it in quite that way, frankly, because it appeared the Republican party was being used. That it all happened before they knew what was happening to them. Then it looked as though they allowed themselves to be sucked up for the votes because they knew they couldn’t live with ’em but they couldn’t live without ’em.

    I’m sure the old school Republican Party people want to back away from the teabaggers, but will they have the guts? I’m sure they could do it, but will they?

  48. – HAPPY MLK DAY –

    I just read on that “other site” that Congresswoman Giffords husband asked everyone to give back to their community tomorrow! We need to keep the positive feeling flowing so that the negativity is beaten back.

  49. Roscoe, I thought the banks holding out was politically motivated, too, but I doubt if the ordinary citizen knew the banks had record profits and weren’t loaning money. It won’t make any difference anyway.

    For those that just get their information from the evening news, I think it was clear that President Obama was concerned about the average citizen and unemployed in the tax deal while the GOP wanted tax cuts for the rich.

    There were articles about the recovery showing signs of being self-sustaining last fall, but it wasn’t reaching those with middle and lower incomes. Now unemployment is slowly falling. Consumers are more confident and banks are loaning money to businesses again.

    People are seeing the money in their paychecks or unemployment benefits from the tax deal and now they know this was due to President Obama and the Democrats. Health care benefits are starting to kick in. bwd has information every day about positive signs of recovery.

    For those that don’t pay that much attention to politics, the loans and resulting jobs and prosperity will just roll into good feelings about things being better — they won’t know or care that banks were holding out.

    And the really lovely part of it is that the GOP has made it very clear that the President and Democrats are the ones responsible for health care, the stimulus, tax cuts for the middle class, unemployment benefits and all the other goodies that are coming to them!

  50. Thanks for sharing all the history of the best president EVA in my lifetime. Happy New Year and here’s hoping you success with you new website permanently bookmarked on my toolbar.

  51. I found these clips of people at the
    memorial service in Tucson…The first is
    really emtional and the second was a homemade
    first-hand acccount of how folks were
    behaving in the stands…

  52. The Christine Romer article was very interesting. The fauxgressives saw her as the more liberal economic advisor who should have had Larry Summers’ job since he was a sell-out to corporate interests yet Summers was on Fareed Zakaria this morning talking about the need for infrastructure investment and that business is always mad at presidents that don’t kow-tow to them yet those presidents always usher in growth. Meanwhile, today Romer, UC Berkeley professor Romer, is sounding like the deficit hawk in the NYT telling PBO to listen to Tea Partiers. And both of them no longer work for the WH. So, I guess things are never what they seem.

    Oh, BWD, you’re doing a great job on the site.

  53. Congrats on your student’s work,WiW!!! Really nice to go through the pages to see the nice clean designs. 🙂 Great work!

  54. Great News. My daughter loves her community clinic. She has insurance but they take everyone on sliding scale, insurance or not.
    Everything is right there in one place. Prescriptions go straight to the pharmacy by computer which is so convenient. They have “Ask A Nurse” on line or by phone 24/7 which has been so good when one of her children gets sick. I think her co-pay for most everything is $25. and lab tests like for strep etc are free.

    I hope your experience will be as positive as hers have been.

  55. Good for you. La Vida Locavore!

    Eat seasonally and locally as much as possible. I am fortunate to have a big winter garden here in AZ and also fruit trees (mostly citrus) so we can eat right from home, free except for the sweat labor to produce.

  56. JOBS! and I would like to see the DREAM Act be given another chance through a comprehensive immigration bill but in that I am probably just ‘dreaming.’

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