Friday’s second mishmash


1. The president’s statement regarding Egypt, during today’s press conference with PM Harper. He is leading Mubarak out ever so gently.


2. A bit more about the jobs report and the unemployment rate.

 Austan Goolsbee:

…The overall trend of economic data in recent months has been encouraging, as initiatives put in place by this Administration are taking hold, but there is still considerable work to do. Today, the Administration puts forward our comprehensive innovation agenda, which details our efforts to accelerate American leadership in educating our workers, investing in science, and building the infrastructure our companies need to succeed.  Innovation will be a key driver of the economy as we strengthen America’s position as home to the world’s best new businesses and industries, and the best jobs.

In addition to the increases last month, the estimates of private sector job growth for November (now +128,000) and December (now +139,000) were revised up. These revisions, along with the annual payroll survey revisions, show that private sector employment has now grown for eleven consecutive months.

Overall payroll employment rose by 36,000 last month. Among the sectors with the largest payroll employment growth were manufacturing (+49,000), retail and wholesale trade (+36,700), and professional and business services (+31,000). Transportation and warehousing (-38,000), construction (-32,000), finance (-10,000), and local government (-10,000) were among the sectors that subtracted from the total. Severe weather in some parts of the country may have impacted employment and hours in some industries.

The 0.4 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate to 9.0 percent in January was accounted for by a large increase in employment as measured by the household survey (which is separate from the payroll survey). The labor force participation rate was unchanged.

600,000 more people reported they were employed


3. The audacity to get things done the right way.

TARP’s bank bailout program nears break-even point with latest repayment

The program under the $700-billion financial bailout package that pumped money into banks moved closer to break-even Wednesday as another large financial institution repaid its cash infusion.

The Treasury Department announced that Fifth Third Bancorp had fully repaid the $3.4 billion it received  from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The Cincinnati institution received the money on Dec. 31, 2008 — some of the $245 billion dished out under TARP’s Capital Purchase Program to stabilize the U.S. banking system.

With the check from Fifth Third Bancorp, total repayments under that program have reached $243 billion, Treasury said. Programs that bailed out banks are now estimated to turn a $20-billion profit.

Go read eclectablog‘ excellent piece on the subject.


4. President Obama selects President Clinton to co-lead green buildings initiative

Today the President announced an ambitious initiative to make American businesses more efficient as part of his plan to ensure that America wins the future by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the competition. 

In his State of the Union, the President laid out his vision for winning the future by investing in innovative clean energy technologies and doubling the share of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. Alongside that effort, the President is proposing new efforts to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings across the country. The “Better Buildings Initiative,” outlined today at Penn State University, will achieve a 20 percent improvement over the next decade, saving companies and business owners tens of billions of dollars a year. 

The plan will spur innovation by reforming tax and other incentives to retrofit, creating a new competitive grant program for states and localities that streamline their regulations to attract retrofit investment, and challenging the private sector to invest in building upgrades through a new “Better Buildings Challenge.” 

The President has asked President Clinton, who has been a champion for this kind of energy innovation, to co-lead the private sector engagement along with the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, headed by Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric.          

// more and very interesting.


5. Admiral Mike Mullen was on the Daily Show last night, and I really recommend watching this web-only part of the interview. I can see why PBO seems to really like this man.



Friday morning mishmash

Good morning guys,

1. Today’s schedule:

9:30 AM

PBO and VPB receive the presidential daily briefing.

10:00 AM

PBO meets with senior advisers.

11:00 AM  
12:00 PM  
1:00 PM  
1:30 PM

Gibbs briefs the press; Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee and Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling also attend.

2:00 PM  
2:10 PM

PBO holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Harper of Canada.

2:30 PM

PBO holds an expanded bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Harper.

3:00 PM  
3:10 PM

PBO and Prime Minister Harper hold a joint press conference.


2. A truly awesome West Wing Week. 3:58 is just to die for.


3. I’ve been thinking a lot about PBO’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday. I’m not a religious person, I’m actually quite the skeptic, but at the very least, this guy is affecting my whole approach to spirituality. I watched that speech again, quietly, last night, and it just blew my mind. Seems like I’m not alone. If Mark Halperin (!) can say something like this, following that speech, then anything is possible. If you didn’t see the speech, please make time and watch it over the weekend.


4. I can still remember those who said that PBO won’t let Elizabeth Warren to be independent. How he appointed her just to throw a bone to progressives. Oh well, wrong again.



5. Finally, a personal note: I want to thank all those who voted for me over at Daily Kos. Not really going to give them the click and i can hardly remember that specific diary – It seems almost like a different lifetime – but I’m deeply moved by the thought of people actually voting for something I’ve done such a long time ago, in a place that chased me away.

So thank you all. I love you. Have a great weekend.