“In a caring and in a just society, government must have a role to play”

Hi guys.

1. I know, I just know, that you don’t want to miss this speech by the president during the National Prayer Breakfast – or as the title should be: In which president Obama, once again, made small people look even smaller.

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2. Gotta love Austan Goolsbee and gotta love even more this new Startup America initiative.

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3. Recovery!

Service sector expands at fastest pace in 5 years

4. Recovery!

Shoppers shook off snow, retailers gained in Jan.

5. Recovery!

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Fell 42,000 to 415,000 Last Week

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6. Yea, she was a very bad choice…

Justice Sotomayor Becomes a Forceful Voice as Obama Top Court Appointee

On a U.S. Supreme Court full of justices with a lot to say, Sonia Sotomayor is beginning to find her voice.

In her second term since President Barack Obama appointed her in 2009, Sotomayor is speaking out from the bench for the rights of prison inmates, banding with her fellow Democratic appointees on ideologically divisive issues and boring into the details of federal securities-fraud laws.

And increasingly Sotomayor, 56, is making herself a public figure. She is using the court’s mid-winter recess to speak with students around the country, sharing tidbits about her colleagues and even confessing her insecurities about a job she says weighs more heavily on her than she had imagined.

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7. I know that Larry Summers was a highly controversial figure as part of the president’s economic team, BUT, he is a brilliant mind and PBO did trust him during an extraordinary difficult time, so i think it’s worth listening to him. Here’s a very interesting interview with him, from today’s NYT:

In an interview before he headed off to Logan Airport on a voyage that would take him to the World Economic Forum, in Davos, where he has been a regular for years (and where he would have an unscripted but amusing dinner encounter with Amy Chua of “Tiger Mother” fame), to Moscow (unless last week’s terrorist attack waylaid him) and, finally, to Israel (unless the dramatic events unfolding in Egypt forced him to change his plans), Summers expressed a surprising degree of optimism about the prospects for the United States economy this year. “I think a stronger and stronger foundation for continuing growth is being laid,” he said.

Summers said he thinks “for the first time in years,” the United States economy is growing at a rate faster than the consensus estimates. He believes GDP will grow at 3.5 percent to 4 percent in 2011, materially higher than the consensus rate of 2.5 percent. He said this is a bit of a watershed. He recalled how once upon a time he used to tell the finance ministers of other countries that until their economic forecasts were “too pessimistic” he had little faith in their countries’ economic prospects. The pessimism in the consensus forecasts now makes him optimistic. “Consensus forecasts are serially correlated,” he said, “so when you see upwards revisions you’re likely to see continuing upwards revisions.”

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78 thoughts on ““In a caring and in a just society, government must have a role to play”

  1. Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama spoke as a father when he said that he often prays for strength when eldest daughter, Malia goes to her first school dance and beings dating and keeps her skirt long as she grows up.

    LMAO! So funny. Watch the clip

  2. Thanks again BWD !

    Speaking of speeches, I’m going to the White House Live Stream to watch President Obama’s speech on innovation. MSNBC just showed the venue. Maybe they’ll broadcast moments of the speech I don’t know.

  3. Good morning.
    The Obama family is so elegant. They are a beautiful couple. Smarter than whips, kind, generous and they just seems to adore each other. I know Obama really depends upon her for her views and her strength.

    BWD it is such a joy to come here each morning and find new wonderous information.

  4. LOL! PBO has an incredible sense of humor. I think that is part of why people can relate to him so easily.

  5. I have never understand the hatred for Summers. Yes, he is obnoxious, but I am somewhat surprised when people complain that since he was part of this financial crisis early on, he is an evil critter who truly wants to destroy this country.

    Does that last sentence seem familiar? What was that name of that site that constantly belittled Obama for having LS as part of his staff? Daily, what was it?

    I have heard LS in a number of interviews, and he openly admits he made mistakes. He now views things differently.

  6. Not just Kos, but over at Huff and Puff. Apparently they didn’t like Summers, Geithner, or Rahm. They wanted an economic team that consisted of Paul Krugman and Matt Taibbi, and they wanted Howard Dean as Chief of Staff. I’ll never forget the many rants about Summers, Geithner and Rahm, and how the unprofessional left called for their heads on a silver platter.

  7. Here’s how I view the appointment of LS, Dorothy: there are very few people with both theoretical and practical (experience) knowledge in the world of macroeconomics. Granted, the man lacks social skills and has been wrong but instead of digging in and defending those mistakes he incorporated that knowledge into forward policy.

    Too many on the left are guilty of a form of McCarthyism where every association permanently taints a person.

  8. I love the idea of technology hubs and I loved the whole speech. What challenges he puts forth for us all.

  9. You are right. I gave up on Haggiana over a year ago. Could not take the innuendo in everything they wrote.

    Ugly people. I saw a mag yesterday that says two of the people who were initially involved in setting up the blog site are suing her because she cut them loose when she no longer needed them financially.

    Have a good day ninten.

  10. When you are not a political wonk (that would be me) you need to rely on gut feeling (like Bush, but he was an idiot) I do not know one economist from another but I know Kossacks adore Krugman, and POTUS chose Summers et al. I trust BHO’s opinions over the orange-aid people any day of the year.

    And this is interesting – I just got called to do more work on the Respiratory Unit. My first thought was, find an excuse. It’s tough work and I DO have an excuse. I logged on here, read about BHO’s genuine Christlike behavior (I am not Christian, BTW). So, off to set up the stint at the hospital >>>>

  11. “Too many on the left are guilty of a form of McCarthyism where every association permanently taints a person”

    Fabulous comment pamela.

  12. FIRED UP…!!

    READY TO GO..!!!

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  13. I just love this site, BWD and friends. What great inspiration each day I come here. Thank you so much.

    I have a grateful prayer in my heart for our country, the unrest around the world, and for our President and his lovely family. We are so blessed to have him in the Oval Office.

    Everyone have a wonderful day, and I hope all of you who have family and friends in the weather unrest areas will find all of their needs met during this horrific time. I love you all with a gentle spirit. Please enjoy your day.

  14. Put me on this bandwagon too.

    Remember when that idiot Tom Coburn was trying to speak as an Hispanic in some terrible Desi and lucy moment?

  15. People just may be waking up.

    I lurk on the discussion website http://www.satelliteguys.us. The site discusses issues pertaining to satellite programming — DirecTv, Dish Network, Free to air, and so on. There’s a thread going on right now in the Dish Network forum about why Dish doesn’t carry AJE or BBC World. And it’s amazing: almost to the person, everyone is pissed that the only news channels on Dish are Fox, CNN, and MSNBC. They’re all decrying the poor quality of reportage on those channels, how they’re covering almost nothing about the Egyptian protests, how they value celebrity fluff and weather stories over what’s happening in the world. It makes me feel a little bit more hopeful.

  16. I think they thought that Summers would make the same decisions under PBO that he made in the past. What they ignored is the fact that PBO is more of a “hands on” type of president with the intellect, deliberation, strength of character, focus, curiosity, and a clear vision for the country and the world that prohibits him from taking any advice from any member of his team at face value. He’s the type to check and double check sources of information before making decisions, and he’s going to make sure that any decision he makes is in line with his goals for the country/world. IOW, they underestimated who/what PBO is and expected him to be a pawn to his advisers the way that GWB was.

  17. I could be wrong, but I’ve always thought that when U.S. companies block foreign networks like Al Jazeera that it’s been all about censorship to maintain a grip on the flow of accurate information we receive and on maintaining their high levels of profit. Al Jazeera and the BBC make American networks look like little kids playing at journalism. If more Americans were exposed to these news sources and liked them, it would impact the profits of the American networks. IMO, it would also force them to change the way they report the news.

  18. what a random site LL😀 brb checking it out now,sounds like my type of discussion. I despise ALL American news networks.

  19. Some cable companies carry BBC World. And Dish does carry Al Jazeera in Arabic.

    Now, to Dish’s credit, it has customer service reps commenting on the Dish threads, putting in requests based on member comments. What I would love would be an international news package, with BBC, AJE, DW-TV (which Dish carries, but only if you pay for the German package, which is $30 a month!), and France 24 English.

    A new, easy way to get AJE on your tv, which I discovered last night, would be to buy a Roku media player for $60, then subscribe to the Roku Newscaster for $0, which has a stream of AJE. I was rather happy to discover that.

  20. I have NO idea how I stumbled across it, but it’s definitely the kind of site for a geek like me.

  21. Thank you, Lovepolitics.

    McCarthyist tactics should be condemned wherever it’s found on the political spectrum.

  22. Thank you, but this sort of thing is fairly comfortable for me. MY respect has always gone to the folks out there who do what does NOT come easily. During campaigns, I am constantly learning of members (yeah, Kossacks too) who are naturally shy, but still ring door bells and make phone calls. THAT is deserving of much credit. I come from a fairly out there family (actors, actresses). It’s probably genetic. Trust me, I’ve a looong ways to go to balance the scales, amiga. Although the medical shit shifts it some.

    But the man I met Monday who had eyelid movement. Period…I’m not gonna bitch about driving out there again to fill in for another volunteer. It is cool to be valued.

    BHO and MO inspire me.

    Any word from WHAL?

  23. Thank you, Dorothy, but one of our heros – Thich Nhat Hanh believes that it is one world. “No life, no death, no coming, no going, all interconnectedness, interbeing…” Therefore, just do your best in each moment. (crappy summation)

    God I’m obnoxious today. (Getting hyper, surgery date FINALLY approaching) Re: the Prayer Breakfast, I’m not even comfortable about the idea of “prayer breakfasts” and I think I’d rather not know the stances of people at the head table on various issues, but PBO’s being there inspired me. I can still picture him painting at that Middle School a couple weeks ago, Michelle and the military families…


  24. And it’s amazing: almost to the person, everyone is pissed that the only news channels on Dish are Fox, CNN, and MSNBC.

    The solution does not necessarily have to be to import AJE and BBC (World Service).

    It might be analogous to the beer situation in the US. When I first visited in 1986, there was only Budweiser, Coors and Miller (why there is Budweiser light is beyond my imagination – regular Budweiser already qualifies as a homeopathic substance).

    Ten years later there was not only Samuel Adams, but microbreweries all over the place, yeah, even onto fly-over country.

    Your indigenous news service doesn’t satisfy you – start one on your own; apparently, demand is rising !

  25. Demand is rising, which is good. But it’s not that easy to just start a new news service. AJE has the backing of the Qatari emir. BBC World is, well, the BBC. France 24 is partly funded by French television channels and the French govt. Getting the capital and talent to start a new channel is no easy undertaking.

    And yes, beer in the US was godawful. Fortunately, by the time I turned 21 I was living in L.A., which had a lot of imported beers in its bars, as well as the early microbrews. However, my favorite beer is still an import: Newcastle!

  26. Wonderful mishmash.. I only caught the last bit of the President’s innovation speech.. but it was solid and inspiring. Appreciate all the other informative FACTS bwd, thank you.

  27. You are so sweet. I’ve already thought of that. I have email friendships with several people here. They may not know it yet, LOL, but they will be my conduits.

    People have been WONDERFUL to me.

    FRUSTRATI; This ‘pay it forward’ MO is a nice way to live. “Just sayin.'”

    BTW, since Ireland is about two miles wide (:))
    if you ever run into Barry fron Ghost Hunters International, please tell him I think he’s hot.

  28. From the BBC: President Mubarak tells ABC News that he is “fed up” after decades in power, but is afraid Egypt will descend into chaos if he quits.

    See, he’s the indispensable man.

  29. Epiphany for me, LL

    I have a ROKU box and the only service I thought it covered was streaming of of limited Netflix movies on my TeeVee, I had 0 idea that the purchase of this box had additional services. Short story: I’m looking into this.

  30. Oh, Roku is wonderful. The services I use the most are the Roku Broadcaster, and Tune In Radio service. Go to the Channel Store and you can subscribe to different services.

  31. bwd: Everyday, every single day, I check for your posts several times.

    Always good, always fill in information I have not seen.

  32. It is bound to happen, g. Ireland is a few inches wider than that, but here everybody knows almost everyone else if they are not related to them to start with. I will tell him that we both think he is hot.

    Now I have to share this – I told you I thought my TV got fried after the power outage [“fault” as they call it here], and I have been trying it in vain for almost 48 hours. Finally convinced my neighbor, the tv fix-it guy to stop over after work and before dinner in the middle of an awful storm, to see if it was the cable or the tv. He arrived, turned on the tv and it worked! I swore. He laughed. Here’s the nice part that would never happen with a TV man in the US. I asked him how much, he said zero, I gave him a bottle of wine, we chatted gossip for 10 minutes and off he went with both of us happy. Nice to be rural.

    Being a news junkie, this is like going to heaven to have all my channels back.

  33. I think some of the Leaders of the various groups/ communities ought to call his bluff and step up to declare their ‘candidacy’.. time to put that democracy into action beyond this rebellion. It might well quell some of the violence and at the same time utilize the energy that has been developed throughout. O maybe thats just a silly idea, I don’t know really.

  34. But he’s 82. He should be thinking that if nothing else, God may have a real say in his tenure regardless of what the protestors, army , or anyone else thinks.

  35. From the BBC: Time magazine reports that CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan has been arrested.

    The regime is doubling down. It’s one thing to arrest reporters from Al Jazeera — deplorable, but maybe welcomed by other Arab countries who look askance on AJ. But arresting a correspondent from a US network, the country that provides you $1.5 bn in aid? That’s more than worrisome.

  36. I know very little about Ireland, OG. But the video I’ve seen of the open spaces – the emerald green color is breathtaking. And Barry’s accent…well, you know…

    About the news, I posted this yesterday – I am hugely impressed that BWD has managed to provide up to the minute news (shout out to Rock as well!) in addition to the wonderful material that was her trademark at Kos.

  37. That will be a battle, because the girl has incredibly long legs.

    I don’t think many skirts are made for legs that long, which means the skirts just look shorter and shorter as she grows.

  38. A dad probably wouldn’t know, but I bet those are what we once called Kool-ots (can’t begin to spell that except phonetically)

    A pair of dressy shorts (or in this case a one-piece outfit) cut to look like a very short skirt.

    Poor Dad probably nearly choked when he saw it, thinking it was a skirt.

  39. I so enjoyed watching the Prayer Breakfast. Gabby’s husband was so inspirational. Our POTUS’s heart is heavy, but I could see FLOTUS touching and giving out the wonderful encouragement through that beautiful smile and those wonderful touches to his hands and back. We will continue to pray for him and Joe, Jill, and our First Lady. We will make this.

  40. MIDEAST CALL: President Obama called Yemen’s president on Wednesday to urge similar actions that he’s asked of the Egyptian government, the White House announced Thursday.

    Here’s the readout from the White House:

    “President Obama called President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen on February 2 to welcome the significant reform measures that President Saleh had announced earlier that day, and to stress that President Saleh now needs to follow-up his pledge with concrete actions. President Obama asked that Yemeni security forces show restraint and refrain from violence against Yemeni demonstrators who are exercising their right to free association, assembly, and speech. The President also told President Saleh that it is imperative that Yemen take forceful action against Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to protect innocent lives in Yemen as well as abroad. Finally, President Obama expressed concern over the release of Abd-Ilah al-Shai, who had been sentenced to five years in prison for his association with AQAP. President Saleh thanked the President for U.S. support and committed to continuing and strengthening relations with the United States.”

    Politico-

  41. Thank you! Thank you BWD for the full breakfast speech! I went to the .Gov site earlier but couldn’t seem to access it.

  42. It is an evolving blog and much thanks to BWD for giving us this freedom. Being able to discuss many things in the news affecting US policies in one place – well, it like a wonderful patchwork quilt with every new edition she puts out. It is like going to a party every day and chatting away with friends about all sorts of things.

    Oh, yes, Ireland is green, all right. You can’t believe just how green until you are flying in and look down upon it. Took my breath away the first time. The grass is also a monster and will fight trying to keep it at bay and usually win.

  43. Those photographs of the prayer breakfast are very nice. Love Michelle’s suit. Thanks BWD!!

  44. I they they are called skorts. I buy them for my neice whenever I see them because she likes them and my brother likes her in skirts or dresses and she likes shorts.

  45. Wonderful photos, as always. And thanks for including my little nerd pet Austan Goolsbee. Sigh! I just love to see him drawing on his white boards and explaining stuff.

  46. The president’s speech at the prayer breakfast moved me like I have not been spiritually moved in a very long time. I’m one to take my Christ teachings calmly, not with shouting (there’s a time for everything), and his entire tone I found convincing as well as soothing, and most of all, from his very soul. What a president. Just wow!

  47. Wow, that was a beautiful speech by PBO at the prayer breakfast meeting. He truly is an amazing man and funny, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at his comments about his daughter and when he mentioned his friend who was praying 8 or 9 times for him.

    Jokes aside though, I am grateful for all the people who worked tirelessly for President Obama in 2008 and elected him to office. I am sure that when he won, a collective sigh of relief from around the world could be heard loud and clear in the US :o)

    I still remember the day after the election in 2008, here in Toronto, a stranger smiled at me in the subway and gave me the thumbs-up. She was from Barbados and I come from South East Asia … but boy oh boy, were we overjoyed or what :o)

    Thank you for this site BWD. You are much loved.

  48. As far as PBO’s original appointments of men like Summers and Geithner to become key figures of his economic policy-making team during his first two years goes, my feeling has always been that he was following a similar rationale to FDR’s appointment of Joseph P. Kennedy as the first head of the Securities and Exchange Commision (an appointment that outraged the Professional Left of the day): “Set a thief to catch thieves.”

    During the beginning of Obama’s presidency his greatest concern was with stopping the economy from going into a meltdown, and to do this he needed to surround hiself with experienced hands who knew the system. Some of them might not have been very pleasant individuals, some not very in tune with the President’s own political sympathies, but that wasn’t the point. The idea was to put out the fire before starting to rebuild the house, and men like LS played a key part in dousing the flames. Now that the economy has been saved from the possibility of imminent catastrophe, Obama is visibly reshuffling his economic team and shifting gears on his economic policy for the next step: Winning the Future.

  49. Great assesment and I completely agree. Let’s work to give him another 4 more years to lay some solid foundation.

  50. I watched President Obama’s speech this morning, and I could not keep the tears from flowing. To hear him publicly acknowledge his God as Lord of his life, and to give details of how much he prays, touched me deeply. What a gentle, humble, compassionate,intelligent human being!!I’m so proud he is my president. My families,acquaintances and I continuously pray for him, and I believe our prayers are answered and the hosts of angels are protecting him and his beautiful family. The world is a better place with PBO as our leader. As 2012 draws near, let us all refocus, team-up and work real hard to re-elect him for another term. We need PBO to continue the teriffic job he’s doing for the betterment of the citizens of the USA, and the world at-large. God richly bless you Mr. President!

    And what a gentleman… he still remembers to pull out Michelle’s chair… plus he is so dog-gone handsome.

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