How did we miss International Pillow Fight Day, the housing debate three years later, flooding: second verse, worse than the first; men vs. women in Bangladesh, and Porky's last burnout.
To no surprise, President Obama announced today he's running for re-election.
It was, of course, just a little over two years ago that Obama was swept into office in a tide of clamor for change that -- you may recall -- led people in Minnesota to stand in a line that stretched for nearly two miles to hear him speak during a campaign stop. His election left the "experts" wondering if the Republican Party could ever recover.
But as winning parties usually do, the Democrats overplayed their hand, confident that they spoke for all Americans.
It's a good time to hit the News Cut Wayback Machine. Set the date for January 20, 2009.
"On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics."
A government shutdown looms on Friday.
Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.
"The state of our economy calls for action: bold and swift. And we will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth."
There were 154,185,000 people in the labor force in January 2009. As of the end of March, there were 153,406,000 in the labor force.
"We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality."
The number of people without health insurance dropped for the first time in 23 years, the Census Bureau reported last fall. The U.S. is scaling back its human spaceflight program. A 2009 Obama order expanding research using embryonic stem cells was overturned by a federal judge. An appeals court lifted the temporary injunction pending further review.
"We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories."
President Obama announced his plan for energy independence in a speech six days after his inauguration. Late last month, the president also gave a speech outlining a plan to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
His administration also approved a large wind farm project off Cape Cod.
"What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply."
The Republican victories last November -- at least in Minnesota -- were ripped from the playbook of 2002. The victories on a national scale mirrored the 1994 Contract with America.
"And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."
Congress is about to kill data.gov.
"With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet."
The president failed to get cap-and-trade legislation through Congress and his relationship with environmentalists is on thin ice, according to Politico.
"We'll begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard- earned peace in Afghanistan."
A month after his speech, Obama promised to remove most troops from Iraq by December 2010, leaving 35,000 to 50,000. As of January 2011, 47,000 U.S. troops were in Iraq. There were 135,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq during fiscal year 2009.
President Obama's approval ratings are hovering around 48%, according to Real Clear Politics. His negatives are about 46%, way up from the 20% of Inauguration Day. That's still a significant difference from the 65% negatives of the last days of the Bush administration.
It's halftime for the Obama administration. What locker-room speech would you give?(4 Comments)
Fifty-thousand people will get jobs in one day later this month.
The jobs will be at McDonald's, which announced today that it will hire the workers on April 19.
On the surface, it's quite a numbers story in the company news release:
* McDonald's and its franchisees will spend more than $518 million more in wages and salaries in the coming year, an average of more than $1.4 million every day.
* More than $41.5 million in training will be invested in the company's new workforce - instilling life-long business and customer service skills as well as setting employees up for success in current and future opportunities.
* The addition of 50,000 potential hires translates into $54 million more in payroll taxes contributed to the broader economy.
* Using a statistical multiplier effect, 50,000 new workers will generate almost $1.4 billion in annual spending - more than $3.5 million per day.
$1.4 billion works out to $28,000 per year.
The angle that the McDonald's president is pushing is this one:
..the average pay for the new positions will be $8.30 per hour, higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
The natural conclusion is that McDonald's is paying more than minimum wage to its people, the bulk of whom are the customer service people and cooks. But the figure includes the restaurant managers who will also be hired and, according to McDonald's, they can make up to $50,000 a year.
The company doesn't say how many of the 50,000 jobs are managers.
Are 50,000 fast-food jobs a sign of a recovering economy, or a sign that it's not recovering very fast?
The company's national hiring day mirrors one it had on the West Coast last summer.
"It's hard to be choosy right now," Serena DiPiero, 48, of Sacramento, told the Sacramento Bee at the time.(3 Comments)
Twin Cities gasoline prices got a real jolt today went the price of a gallon of gasoline jumped by more than 20 cents a gallon, to $3.80.
The last time we were in this territory was August 2008.
It's not terribly hard to figure out what's up: Higher oil prices for one.
|Minnesota Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by GasBuddy.com|
Experts says the commodity jumped on reports the war in Libya could last for months, possibly years. Libya is responsible for about 2 percent of the world's oil supply. But refiners are also switching to their "summer blends," for the summer driving season.
This is a good time to resurrect our gas price calculators. Some of these are outdated but one of my favorites is still the one that calculates whether it's worth driving a little farther to save a few pennies a gallon.(5 Comments)
Haunting is a good word for the first images from the sea floor where wreckage of the Air France jetliner that crashed nearly two years ago while on a flight from Brazil to Paris. The report from France today that bodies were also found "inside the fuselage" also raises some perfectly awful questions.
Up to now, it's been assumed the airplane broke apart in flight, from a high altitude. Theoretically, it seems, there shouldn't be an "inside the fuselage." The New Zealand Herald says it now appears the plane hit the ocean "intact."
Nobody -- and for good reason -- seemed to want to ask the obvious question at today's news conference.(3 Comments)