Look what President Obama has done

Nate Silver:

Poll: Egyptian Public’s Views Toward United States Are Much Improved

Understandably, there’s been a lot of concern about what sort of regime might replace Hosni Mubarak’s in Egypt, if a new one replaces it at all.
How friendly might a new regime be toward the United States, for instance? No one certainly can predict that.
What does appear to be the case, however, is that Egyptian popular opinion toward the United States has substantially improved over the course of the past 2 to 3 years, to the point that a new leader would probably not gain any points by expressing anti-American sentiment.

The BBC World Service conducts an annual survey in 28 countries, in which it asks participants how they feel about each of the others. The BBC has interviewed Egyptians as part of its survey since 2007.
Egyptian sentiment toward the United States has improved dramatically since the survey began. In 2007, just 11 percent of Egyptians said they viewed the United States as having a “mostly positive” influence, versus 59 percent who said it had a “mostly negative” influence. The numbers were even worse the next year: 16 percent positive, but 73 percent negative.

The election of President Obama created a major change in opinion, however. In 2009, positive opinions about the United States rose to 40 percent against 48 percent negative. And last year — the first survey conducted after Mr. Obama’s well-received June 2009 speech in Cairo — positive opinions became the plurality, at 45 percent, against 29 percent negative views.

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And here’s a little evening treat, thanks to Pro President Obama Blog:

San Jose Mercury News Letters to the Editor

Jan. 31 Readers’ letters

This Republican favors Obama

This Republican is up to here with all the negative comments that bombard us from most Republicans and some Democrats against the current administration and the work it is doing. Thank goodness we have President Baracj Obama in the White House, someone who will fight for our country. The “loyal opposition” either just sits back and says no, or tries to strategize to get Obama defeated — no talk or effort to improve the country or have any plan to get us out of the bind he inherited. Reminds me of children who, when they are sick, don’t like the medicine designed to make them well. We were so lucky in 2008.

I want and wait for a Republican with Obama’s stature, savvy and political will. Our country needs a system of strong, responsible two-party leadership. But, until this happens, we are in the best hands possible.

Robert Rutherford,
Portola Valley, CA

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Monday morning mishmash

Hi guys,

1. Today’s schedule:

10:00 AM President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
11:00 AM Secretary of the Department of Commerce Gary Locke, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee and other W.H. advisers will launch the “Startup America” program.
11:10 AM PBO meets with senior advisers.
12:00 PM  
1:00 PM Gibbs briefs the press.VP Biden meets with Sen. Bill Bradley.
2:00 PM  
2:15 PM VP Biden meets with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Mark Ayers, President of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.

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2. Egypt:

 LA Times: White House quietly prepares for a post-Mubarak era in Egypt

Washington Post: Obama administration aligns itself with protests in Egypt

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3. Recovery!

Consumer Spending in U.S. Rose More Than Forecast in December

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4. Recovery!

U.S. Auto Sales May Reach Second-Fastest Rate in 17 Months

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5. Recovery!

Chicago PMI reading rises in January more than expected

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6. The audacity to get bureaucracy out-of-the-way:

Backlog of Farm Loan Applications Cleared 

The Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has used $181 million in Recovery funds to clear a backlog of federal loan applications and provide assistance to minority and beginning farmers.

 FSA initially received $173 million in Recovery funds for its Direct Operating Loans, which can be used to buy equipment, livestock, feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, insurance coverage, or to make repairs to fences and buildings. The agency said that the $173 million was later increased by $8 million.

 Prior to receiving the funds in February 2009, FSA had a backlog of 1,783 loan applications totaling $130 million. By the end of March 2009, the agency had processed the applications and awarded the loan amounts. FSA awarded the rest of the money in spring 2010. The agency says the average amount of a Direct Operating Loan is $50,000.

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Have a great day, everyone!