Heads-Up: President Obama in Puerto Rico (And a big mishmash)

Live cover of the president short and historic visit to Puerto Rico here and here and here.


All kinds of this and that:

The second half – and this time quite enjoyable – of PBO’s Today Show interview.


2012: Dems’ redistricting advantage

“In January, I estimated in this space that redistricting would be close to a wash, with neither party making major gains, but with Republicans solidifying many of their unexpected 2010 gains,” Stu Rothenberg writes in Roll Call. “With redistricting completed in only a few states but the writing on the wall in many others, it now appears that Democrats — not the GOP — will make a small, single-digit gain from redistricting when the process finally is complete.”


U.S. households lower debt, boost wealth

U.S. households shed debt and grew their collective wealth by $943 billion in the first quarter, laying the groundwork for stronger consumer spending that could allay fears of a prolonged economic soft patch.

// more


Jobs prospects improve in most economies

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hiring prospects for the coming quarter have improved in most large economies from three months ago, while holding steady in the United States, according to a quarterly survey of employers by ManpowerGroup Inc.

After two or more years of making do with minimal staff levels, employers are seeing enough demand for their products and services that they now need to start adding jobs, Manpower found. Fewer employers are sitting on the fence.


Google creates $280-million solar power fund

In a move that could boost solar energy use in homes, Google Inc. is creating a $280-million fund to help finance rooftop installations.

The Internet search giant, an avid investor in renewable energy technologies, said the deal with SolarCity, a solar panel installation company based in San Mateo, Calif., is the largest green investment it has ever made.


Women, Minorities Make Gains in Senior Government Jobs

The number of women and minorities in senior-level jobs increased in fiscal 2010, according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management.
Women represented 31.2 percent of senior-level positions in fiscal 2010, up from 30.4 percent in fiscal 2009; blacks made up 6.7 percent of the top government jobs in 2010, an increase from 6.4 percent in 2009. The proportion of women and minorities in General Schedule grades 13 through 15 increased by 7.9 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively. Overall, though, the number of women employed last year dropped slightly from 2009, from 44.2 percent to 43.9 percent.


91 thoughts on “Heads-Up: President Obama in Puerto Rico (And a big mishmash)

  1. Last night’s “debate” summed up: “Blah blah blah Obama sucks, blah blah blah shrink the government, blah blah blah one term President, blah blah blah take the country back.”

    And yet there is a fraction of our populace who believes any of these knuckleheads is better suited to lead the country than Barack Obama.

  2. The Us household lowering debt/saving but not spending will hopefully chance once the debt ceiling mess is settled. Right now folks are holding on to their money because the great unknown if the US Government defaults and I can’t blame them. I mean should I go out and buy a new car or a big screen television when Grandma could lose coverage? The GOP is creating so much uncertainty and fear because they know consumer confidence is very fickle and easy to manipulate.

    Big businesses will use the same excuse – they’re sitting on billions and billions right now and can’t invest with the debt ceiling garbage. States haven’t spent billions in stimulus monies yet either – I bet it’s much higher in red states who want a bad economy as well.

    Nobody cares about the debt – they want job creation. GOP doesn’t want job creation because that’s all they got to run on in 2012.

    It’s time the Obama Administration and Democrats went on the hard offensive over the GOP debt ceiling histrionics and jobs.

  3. Hi guys is this true, I just read it on yahoo. Billions of US dollars missing, vanished without a trace in Iraq in 2003,http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/feb/08/usa.iraq1 ,where is the public outrage, who stole these tax payer monies? Where is the accountability by the US Government under Bush? And the media is distracting the public with minutia like sexting by a grown man, and what type of mustard the President eats.

  4. I agree. We’re just keep playing on their turf, this is a huge mistake. PBO won’t let the country default, and since Republicans have no moral, conscience or piece of sanity, it’ll end with tons of concessions. I learned to trust PBO, but there’s accumulating damage to always be on defense.

  5. Comeback to Romney on Healthcare remark:
    Romney ‘Why didn’t you call me if you were patterning your plan after mine?’ Obama ‘Because you’d already flip flopped on that too’.

  6. Those two ads are great, especially the Romney ad. Thanks as always BWD for the mishmash, you always provide the facts.

  7. I’m just hoping it’s like the budget negotiations where Boehner gets a number he can bring back to his caucus but President Obama names where the cuts are.

    I assume the agreement will be reached without the Bush Tax cuts getting ended. After the agreement is voted and passed I’d love for the Admin to propose a huge jobs bill that would be paid for completely by ending the Bush tax cuts.

  8. SR, what do you think of the much bally-hooed notion of the Pres is doing his famous rope-a-dope on the repugs with this debit thing. I imagine that he is letting them walk into a trap. He lets them eat up the time on deficit and then runs on their failure to creat jobs. Maybe?

  9. Yeah it’s been known for awhile. I figure Cheney and the neo-cons squirreled it away to fund their private armies and fight their proxy wars to keep pushing their agenda while out of office.

  10. Let me ask this about PR. Do they want to become a state or become independent? What’s the deal. Economically I don’t think it’s in their best interest to become independent but I don’t see them becoming a state either.

  11. Voters have zero knowledge or interest of the political games. I saw a poll that 38% of Americans can’t tell if Republicans control the House or the Senate. If someone is out of work, he’ll blame the president, and he won’t hear anything else. And the president can’t run an entire campaign “whining” that Republicans didn’t let him create jobs. No president can do that, and this president is on such higher ground than anyone else, that he would rather go home than run on this.

  12. From the twitter feed, a very disturbing post. This is one of my biggest concerns about the upcoming 2012 election – too many Americans just don’t understand basic civics. Too many don’t know how a bill becomes law or what the roles and responsibilities of the three branches of government are. And clearly too many don’t know who is the current speaker of the house. This is just awful……..


    Few Americans know the specifics of political power in Congress. Asked about the legislative branch in a recent News IQ survey, just 38% of the public can say the Republican Party currently has a majority in the House of Representatives. About one-in-ten (11%) say the GOP controls the Senate, 18% believe the Republicans control both houses, 6% say neither and 27% admit they do not know. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to be aware of the details of divided power in Washington. Still, only about half of Republicans (49%) know that the GOP controls only the House, compared with 39% of independents and just 33% of Democrats. As with many political knowledge questions, older adults and those with a college education are more likely to know that the GOP controls the House of Representatives. In a separate question about Congress, just 43% of adults were able to identify John Boehner as the speaker. Nearly two-in-ten (19%) still believed Nancy Pelosi controlled the speaker’s gavel. Read more


  13. I don’t know. He’s negotiating with the Senate now and as much as I hate all of them, McConnell, Cornyn and the Senate GOP leadership is much brighter than Boehner, Cantor and Ryan.

    Basically negotiations are pointless until there is a hard and legit deadline. When there isn’t folks just posture and try to get concessions so they can then move the goal post and ask for more. The Admin is waiting for the mid-July date when Moody’s will downgrade the bonds or even the early August true default date because they know the GOP games and are not playing it. The GOP recently complained that the Obama Administration wasn’t serious because President Obama wasn’t personally involved for this reason.

    The GOP desperately wants the President and the Dems to give them cover on the medicare issue and will sell any minor tweaks as major deals to either say “Look the Dems radically cut medicare too” or “See we brought up the issue in order to get it seriously dealt with – this is really what we wanted all along, but said that other stuff only as a negotiation starting point”.

    Now if we could only get Weiner to resign and get out off the front page. I think the Dems would love to have another NY(ie big media market) special election that would have the GOP candidate embracing the Ryan Budget get soundly defeated.


  15. I saw this and it’s scary. I got into a FB argument with a woman in the Air Force and she thought the Dems were in control of both the House and Senate and another man thought that the President passes a budget. That’s basic civics and most Americans don’t know or are extremely confused. So sad.

  16. That’s a good idea. The other thing I’d love to see come out of this debt deal is a restructuring of the tax code. Companies are rewarded for sitting on cash now in the tax code. Let’s change that so companies get better tax cuts by spending money on U.S. jobs or reward companies who bring jobs back from overseas.

  17. In the end, as you said, the only thing that matters are jobs. I’ve been worried sick about that for a couple of months and to be honest, I’m getting more worried every day. In my dream, PBO gives a prime time address where he say one thing: “I want a huge jobs bill on my desk tomorrow. Until then, I don’t even want to hear about cutting anything”. So that it’ll be clear who is against creating jobs, But this is just a dream…

  18. Can’t thank you enough BWD for this Blog.

    I am still watching President Obama visit to Puerto Rico and people reactions and how excited
    they are to have the President there.

    Thanks again for the link.

  19. Shouldn’t all that needs to be said is “Until Republicans talk about increasing revenue, they are not serious. They would rather destroy Medicare than ask the 25% ADDITIONAL millionaires since the Recession began to help repair a bridge or a road and create an American job doing it.”

  20. BWD: Awesome and thank you , The Flip Floper from Mit Romney is not only funny that is going to bite Mitt on his ASS big time, keep talking Romney he, he. he.
    It seems that the so call GOP debate was NOT a debate it was Carnival Barking.

  21. Bravo Ann Curry. I know there are some none to happy with her interview, but I thought it was on target and on point. She was very respectful, responsive and reasonable. Of she let President Obama answer each question completely without interruptions. She asked the questions that so many are thinking. Yes, there are folks who like the President and want him to succeed but want the tough questions asked and answered. Great chemistry between Ms. curry and President Obama.

  22. And the GOP and their MSM water carriers would harp about the deficit and spending money we don’t have. Now you and I know that folks care much more about jobs than deficit spending, but that’s not the narrative that would run and thus there isn’t political will to make it happen. The GOP would hold firm and Dems would lose Nelson, Manchin, McCaskill and a few others and the messaging would go to hell.

  23. This debt ceiling business can’t come to a head too soon enough for me because I think even for consumers who don’t understand the machinations are worried about how it impacts them.

    The Republicans are going to vote for it, but the psychological trip they are taking the country on is just not worth it.

    The Chamber of Commerce have all but told them that they will vote for it. I read an article yesterday in which Donohue pointedly told Teabaggers that they will vote for it or they will be voted out.

    I was amazed at how much power these guys weild.

  24. It was okay but disappointing. The patience meme should be part of the message but not all of it. I loved Gibbs on the campaign trail and have been underwhelmed by him ever since.

    He hit Romney hard on the facts. It wasn’t a setback (read: Bobby Jindal after the SOTU). But it didn’t move the ball down the court, it didn’t take control of the narrative.

  25. President Obama was definitely on to something with that speech. And the GOP whined that he wasn’t being nice to them. And inexplicably the Dems only pushed the “they want to gut medicare” meme without the “while giving tax breaks to billionaires” tie in that made the Ryan Budget such a gift to the Dems in the first place.

  26. I remember seeing at link at Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s website that is basically a government 101 course. I think it is called Ben’s Guide to the government. It’s focused on kids, but anyone can benefit from reading it.

  27. I did not see the rebuttal. What is the diary saying about it and what did you come away with?

  28. Marc Anthony and JLo along with Gloria E. will be huge fundraisers in Florida for POTUS. I’m glad he’s in Puerto Rico. I wish he could have spent more time than one day.

  29. I thought bbb was wrong as usual. He doesn’t seem to grasp politics at all and his hypothetical Gibbs response was too inside baseball and too angry. It also would have elevated the GOP to an equal level with the President.

  30. But this the mistake: Considering what beltway will say. The WH knows exactly that voters are only interested in jobs, but they keep on reacting to whatever crap the GOP and their MSM water carriers invent. In November 2012 it was jobs jobs jobs, and suddenly it’s not? Gotta tell you, those damn Republicans are very good at this crap. I guess it’s easy when you have no moral obligation to tell the truth.

  31. Gibbs problem is that he’s seen as an Obama spox still pushing the official line. He’s better off behind the scenes pushing others to push memes than doing it himself. Whatever he says will be treated as spin.

    Of course all the Bushies who crawled out from under there rock after Bin Laden was killed were treated much differently – they were honest folks just looking to set the record straight.

  32. That Gibbs’ rebuttal was defensive and he should have done it this (bbb’s) way. I agrre with Faith above that dems aren’t that good at setting the narratives – be it medicare, debt ceiling or even jobs. We can’t be blaming the media all the time (though it’s true) and need to get some messengers and a solid professional team behind them.

  33. Hopefully Pitbull (he’s a rapper) can influence the Cuban youth to vote and Gloria E. can work on the older demographic. Jennifer and Marc Anthony will also do heavy lifting with the PR vote and Eva Longoria and America Ferrera will work with the central American votes. I excited for 2012 (but extremely nervous).

  34. Gloria Estefan? I am surprised by that. She’s pretty hardline anti-Castro so I thought she’d be against Obama’s relaxing of the Cuba restrictions.

  35. She did a fundraiser at the White House couple months ago. Relaxing the restrictions on Cuba is good for Cubans with family in America because they can receive money and have their family visit them. Obama is no friend of Castro and vice-versa but he is a big time family guy (we all know that).

  36. Maybe she is, but it seems that she has been extremely supportive of this Administration so far. She has already held a fundraiser at her house in Florida for the DNC with POTUS in attendance.

    Maybe she has decided she doesn’t want to be a one issue voter.

  37. We have plenty of Frank luntz, the problem is that some in the party refuse to allow the President to make the decisions and follow. Dems are stuck on the old way of getting things done . Tmes has changed and so has messaging, if they would listen to the president and follow his lead we would be in a better postion. Most of congress dems are to busy listening and following the pl instead of taking the lead. They wanted thee president to be their puppet and its not working out so, instead of following they are trashing him.

  38. As a child of Cuban immigrants, I can tell you that my generation is far from hard-line Republican. We’re pretty socially liberal, and the GOP’s anti-immigrant rhetoric turns us off. We’re more likely to be Independent than registered Dem or GOP, but our vote is in no way a lock for the Republicans. With the generation of exiles dying off, the Cuban vote is no longer a monolith for the GOP. (And I can tell you that you could’ve knocked me over with a feather when my dear old mother told me that she was a registered Dem!)

  39. I disagreed vehemently with bbb. In fact I challenged the entire anti-Obama crowd on DKOS to stop lecuturing Gibbs on “messaging” when they seem to have their own problems with messaging – in light of the fact that yesterday on DKOS there was a front page article literally worshipping Mitt Romney’s lying hypocritical ad declaring it “brilliant!” and “very effective” before anyone had a chance to see it much less evaluate it’s impact. Furthermore, the author of that front page article simply went along with Romney’s numerous lies about Obama and the jobs situation/economy, without raising a single objection to Romney’s own miserable record on that front. One poster commented that any Republican President would probably be better than Obama anyway, and that comment did not get HR’d.

    Daily Kos has done a whole lot of campaigning for Republican candidates disguised as heavy criticism of President Obama and/or anyone associated with him. A day after the Republican mess that was a debate, not a single rec-list diary on the numerous lies and garbage that was spewed from the mouths of these so called candidates. I have reason to believe that BBB, like many on that site, does NOT want this President to be re-elected. Clarknt67 will write 10 diaries in a single week condemning Black homophobic celebrities and media monguls, but will give a free pass to Presidential candidates who are extremely bigoted and who are more likely to be directly impacting the LGBT and other communities in terms of their executive and legislative powers. I will not hesitate to call them out on their nonsense when I see it. They are ALL full of it.

  40. agree—–and bbb has been on a determined anti-obama streak for a long time. He fits in well where he is, always finding some kind of fault with anything or anyone re. Obama.

  41. Dkos is not a progressive or liberal site and they should not be referred to as the opinions of democrats. They allow ugly bigoted rhetoric to be spewed of their without any fact checking on diaries. Dkos and Huff post is the problem,they have no credibility .

  42. I’m aware of the differences in the generations. I’ wonder why, tho, young Marco Rubio is so socially conservative. I would think he would try to engage more with the younger generation.

  43. Probably because he ran in an unfriendly Dem year and wanted to get elected any way he could. A lot of people did that (in 2008 too). The Tea Party is already giving him heat for not being crazy enough even though he’s voted for enough crazy to last a lifetime. I don’t expect him to last long but you never know.

  44. There is a fraction, and I do mean fraction, of our populace that believes that crap. I envision all manner of sound bites for opposition ads coming from that debate. Did any of them actually say, for instance, that they want to do away with or remake Social Security and Medicare? Think about the ads that could generate. And how those ads will play in Florida. Seems to me like they’re all being fitted for albatross feathers.

  45. While brilliant numbers, these folks need to realize President Obama can’t do anything without the Dems taking back the house and holding the Senate. Obama and Dems can push the DREAM Act all they want to, but it’s not getting past the GOP House or Senate GOP filibuster.

    Any idea the final support numbers for Obama/Biden in 2008 – that might paint a better picture. Naming Katherine Archuleta as his campaign’s political director will further help the Obama Latino base reach out. We have to make sure they are registered to vote and GOTV.

    I’d love to see a grassroots campaign on support of the DREAM Act like we saw for “It Gets Better” and the Prop 8 Campaign in Cali. The GOP is against it because these voters would likely be overwhelmingly Dem – as they’d be young, multicultural and educated.

  46. That all but guarantees POTUS will win Florida in the GE next year… along with Governor Scott’s huge unpopularity, although I expect Rubio to speak up and attempt to muddy the waters and attempt to convince Latinos and Hispanics in Florida to vote for the GOP candidate.

  47. I doubt that would happen because Obama hates pointless political theater and that is exactly what that speech would be. It’s too bad because he really needs to give that speech. All of his touring around plants, etc. to pitch jobs is getting very little coverage in the real world. His political staff has to be worried about him looking out of touch by not doing a national address on jobs.

  48. I was looking for Dan Choi on twitter to see what he’d say about the fact that all of the candidates would keep DADT, and all but Cain and Paul (I think) would support a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage.

    Nutroots Nation is going to be a hatefest freakshow. There is one program called “What to do when the President is just not that into you” with Dan Choi, Jane Hamsher and John Aravosis as it’s speakers.

  49. Yeah, that front page piece was by mcjoan. She is in over her head in being a frontpage writer. Basically, she is just pulling her work from FDL. That’s why it always has negative spin.

  50. Yep, he’s been on that kick since early 2010. He seems to think he is some kind of messaging genius.

  51. Oh, there are still doctrinaire right-wingers in the younger generation. That’s true in all communities in this country. But I think Rubio is in a diminishing minority.

  52. I wouldn’t go that far. I’d say it gives us a fighting chance there given how they’re trying to make it harder to vote in Fla and I don’t think many will hold Scott against the Republican nominee – who I suspect will run away from Scott in Fla.

    Scott at the Republican Convention will be interesting.

  53. For those of you who don’t tweet, like me, learn how. I found someone from the Young Democrats who said he’d take the time teach me. He already helped me set up a Facebook page. The resources are out there if you look.

  54. You guys tweet away. My personality is too obsessive and I’d be on it all day and never get anything else done. I am after ways to easily get to the over 65’s who ALWAYS vote.

  55. SR…yes, I think Florida will be very very close. Real estate still a mess, panhandle deep red, etc.

    I couldn’t stomach the “debate’ last night. Maybe you know this: did Romney endorse the Ryan plan? Was the Ryan plan used as a litmus test question? If Romney supported it, I’d be thrilled. PBO will hang that very very heavy stone around his neck…

  56. What’s with the doom and gloom? Dems need to do this, PBO needs to that. Its like the sky falling. Maybe its just me and I need to disengaged from political blogs until 2012.

  57. The doom n gloom happens here periodically. It seems to happen when there isn’t any big Obama admin news for awhile.

  58. I don’t think it’s doom n gloom, I think it’s a very reasonable and even necessary discussion. Since we’re all very secure in our support of PBO, we should be able to talk honestly about the challenges and pass constructive criticism.

  59. Im feeling the same way, change does not come easy After 2012 i will definitely vote for obama but them i am out. The dems is disgusting. once a gain people is letting feat get in the way or work and progress.

  60. We have him, ready to go to work. But no Democrat will hire him: George Lakoff. I will never for the life of me understand why this man isn’t on Obama’s and the DNC payroll.

  61. I did not agree with bbb’s micro-managing. I did agree in spirit, however. Democrats need to be mindful of a basic tenet of political speech — push your agenda at all times. Gibbs’ response was reactive. And yes, you can say that he was responding to the Repub debate. But here was an opportunity where the MSM couldn’t shut him out: he was giving the response. MSM can set the stage way too often (just look at the Sunday morning news talk shows). Here was a case to put Republicans on the defensive.

    It was not a total loss. Gibbs hit a number of great points, Romney’s dismal record on well, everything he’s ever did. But I watch even the most minor Republicans before a camera or microphone and they know just how to phrase things to push their way of looking at things. Now these guys are not just batshit crazy now, but they have to be phenomenally stupid as well to believe the Earth is flat and tax cuts create jobs. So someone is coaching them, coaching them well. That’s what I’d like to see Democrats do.

  62. I agree. Abnd the key word is constructive. We all know that nobody, no group of people, no organization is perfect and does everything just the right way. A constructive critique is helpful.

    Soemtimes we out here beyond the beltway have a better sense of what will resonate than people within the beltway. Even if they are as attentive as the Obama campaign appears to be.

  63. Oh dear. Now I’m going to have to learn how to Twitter. God.

    Does anyone know: can I have just a political page or does everything filter through your regular facebook page (I do have that).

  64. Thank you. I totally agree. I just want us to be as effective as possible. I love this President. I love this country. It’s very hard to be my age and see an America I never thought I would see. I’m more afraid for the young children of my friends who weren’t brought up in the America I was brought up in, who only know politics from George Bush on.

    I want this President to win and win big. I want the House back. I want more and better Democrats. It’s not “sky is falling” in my opinion to discuss what happens on a given day, good or bad, as long as it’s constructive

  65. BWD, NEVER EVER forget that President Obama is working the long game. He knows that the structural deficit is INDEED a problem and with the republicans constantly harping over this he sees an opportunity to do some hard stuff on the deficit but on HIS terms, for the most part of it. And since the process is painful, it’s good that the democrats are not the only ones to carry the burden.

    President Obama thinks it’s better to have a serious round on deficit reduction RIGHT NOW, so it would become politically very difficult for republicans to come back with deficit reduction AGAIN next year. I don’t think there will be a lot of appetite for FURTHER cuts after THIS round of negociations.

    He’s letting the republicans “win” on narrative ? Maybe. Doesn’t matter that much. He’ll be back at jobs after the debt ceiling vote. And I’m absolutely SURE he hasn’t given up on winning on the tax cuts. He’ll find a way. The opposition on the tax cuts for the rich is steadily growing in the minds of voters. And Barack Obama knows it.

  66. It’s a crime that the fate of the world rests on these kind of ignorant shoulders.

  67. I agree with all of you and constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement on messaging are fine. Hateful, arrogant criticism (particularly when all the facts are unknown) is not. The latter characterizes bbb’s diary (and general attitude towards this President) . The latter also characterizes a select segment of DKOS posters and diaries, and some in the PL media (e.g., Rachel Maddow’s “presidential speech” on the oil spill which Obama shouldda used instead) . There is another rec listed diary – again disguised as an advice-giving to the President, using quotes from the NYT that the President should “take his gloves off.” The majority of comments in that diary are explicitly anti-Obama, with some posters stating that they are not going to vote for him, and will write in “howard dean” or “bernie Sanders” on the ballot.

    So my protests about bbb’s diary were made along the context of the history and ownership of that site, the type of comments that such diaries attract, and the diarist’s own attitude towards the President.

  68. Joan at dkos has been anti-Obama from the get-go. All of her writing has been anti-Obama. Joan has, as we say, “issues”.

  69. I don’t go to that site, I was bullied away from that site and I’ll never let this place become even remotely close to that site. I’ll close it the same day. Also, I asked people more than once to try and not bring stuff from there here, and I’m going to ask it again.

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