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Where Congress isn’t acting, I’ll act on my own to put opportunity within reach for anyone who’s willing to work for it.
Using the setting of his visit to Raleigh, North Carolina, this past week, President Obama in this morning's weekly address re-emphasized his new "year of action" on the economy—with or without the help of Congress—a message he used in last week's address as well. He first focused on past accomplishments:
Thanks in part to our all-of-the-above strategy for American energy, for the first time in nearly two decades, we produce more oil here at home than we buy from the rest of the world. We generate more renewable energy than ever, and more natural gas than anybody. Health care costs are growing at their slowest rate in 50 years – due in part to the Affordable Care Act. And since I took office, we’ve cut our deficits by more than half.
He then moved on to what he envisions for future areas of focus:
So we are primed to bring back more of the good jobs claimed by the recession, and lost to overseas competition in recent decades. But that requires a year of action. And I want to work with Congress this year on proven ways to create jobs, like building infrastructure and fixing our broken immigration system.
He pointed to the launching of the public-private "manufacturing innovation institute" announced during his North Carolina visit as part of a revitalization of our manufacturing sector. He closed with hope that such experiments point the way to the future:
I firmly believe that this can be a breakthrough year for America. But to make that happen, we’re gonna have to act – to create good jobs that pay good wages, and to offer more Americans a fair shot to get ahead. That’s what I’m focused on every day that I have the privilege of serving as your president. That’s what I’m going to be focused on every single day of this year.
To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
January 18, 2014

Hi, everybody. This week, I visited a company in Raleigh, North Carolina that helps make electric motors that save businesses money on energy costs and cut harmful carbon pollution.

And I stopped by N.C. State University, where engineers are set to develop the new technology that will make those motors even better.

It’s part of my push not only to make America home to more high-tech manufacturing – but to make America more attractive for the good jobs that a growing middle class requires.

And increasingly, we are. Thanks in part to our all-of-the-above strategy for American energy, for the first time in nearly two decades, we produce more oil here at home than we buy from the rest of the world. We generate more renewable energy than ever, and more natural gas than anybody. Health care costs are growing at their slowest rate in 50 years – due in part to the Affordable Care Act. And since I took office, we’ve cut our deficits by more than half.

So we are primed to bring back more of the good jobs claimed by the recession, and lost to overseas competition in recent decades. But that requires a year of action. And I want to work with Congress this year on proven ways to create jobs, like building infrastructure and fixing our broken immigration system.

Where Congress isn’t acting, I’ll act on my own to put opportunity within reach for anyone who’s willing to work for it. That’s what I did in Raleigh by launching America’s second “manufacturing innovation institute.” It’s a partnership between companies, colleges, and the federal government focused on making sure American businesses and American workers win the race for high-tech manufacturing and the jobs that come with it – jobs that can help people and communities willing to work hard punch their ticket into the middle class.

I firmly believe that this can be a breakthrough year for America. But to make that happen, we’re gonna have to act – to create good jobs that pay good wages, and to offer more Americans a fair shot to get ahead. That’s what I’m focused on every day that I have the privilege of serving as your president. That’s what I’m going to be focused on every single day of this year.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "every day that I have the privilege of serving as (6+ / 0-)

    your president"
    Rather humble turn of phrase for the most powerful man on earth, no?

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 07:12:10 AM PST

  •  In light of the TPP, (8+ / 0-)

    all I can say is ROFLMAO.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 07:12:27 AM PST

    •  He's made himself into one of those (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ, dfarrah, snoopydawg

      silly and boring old men who like to bloviate a lot but do very little. My god, does he think anyone even listens to him anymore? Actions, not words are what get things done and impress people.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 07:29:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe that's the plan. (0+ / 0-)

        Avoid prime time speeches like the plague so that few people see what he's promising.

        •  I don't care about what he says (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TJ, DaddyO, snoopydawg, dkmich

          I care about what he does. Which continues to be way too little and meager. Even politically, where he has a chance to tarnish Repubs in advance of an election where Dems have a slight if vanishing chance of retaking the house, he chooses to play nice. He'd rather be liked than respected, or get things done. So politically unsuited to this particular job, which demands that you be capable of street fighting-level politics. Another James Monroe in an era of not very good feelings. Lead, dammit, and fuck consensus building. Make a new, progressive consensus, on YOUR terms. That's how it's always been done. He'll praise Reagan's political skills, but won't emulate them.

          He's just categorically incapable of twisting arms and kicking ass. You can't govern effectively if you can't or won't do that. You don't have to go overboard and be like Chris Christie. Just the right amount, for the right reasons.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 07:51:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I said two years ago (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            qofdisks, raboof

            his MO is closest to a corporate facilitator.  As long as a deal is reached, they could care less what's in it.

            •  He's the guy you bring in (0+ / 0-)

              to take care of a problem that you see as more of an image than an actual problem. So it doesn't really matter how it's "solved", because the problem itself isn't the real problem as you see it, but rather how it appears.

              Ironically, he's not even that good at the optics, either, given his approval numbers. He floats on clouds of enthusiasm, not substance, and when those dissipate, he's got nothing but words and token gestures.

              I don't think there's a non-stupid person in politics who doesn't get that. He has, I'm guessing, become kind of a joke among politicos.

              Jimmy Carter without the substance. Ouch.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:04:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TJ, Stude Dude

              No leadership skills, I think actually no interest in being a leader.  Remember what Vaclav Havel said about Dubya and O: the first has convictions without principles, the second has principles without convictions.
              And would I still have voted for him in 2008 and 2012, of course.

          •  There's just one problem (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            qofdisks

            He's not a progressive. Or a liberal. Only FOX News could call him those dirty names and get someone to believe it.

            He's proven his conservative bona fides with his ACTIONS.

            In December 2002, George W. Bush, fresh off his victories with both the AUMF and the mid-term elections, which brought him bigger majorities and political capital, requested and received from Congress an additional 56 weeks of unemployment relief for millions of Americans out of a job. He didn't have to do it. It was his idea. And he signed the bill and made it a reality. It was, for years, one of about four actual actions or quotes that I could attribute to George W. Bush that I actually APPROVED of.

            Obama can't get the same thing passed today. George W. Bush was a much more successful President--if you go by what they set out to do, and actually accomplishing policy changes or implementation.

            Bush was the Worst President Ever, but he was a success compared with poor hobbled-by-Teabaggers/why-didn't-they-tell-me-how-hard-Presidentin'-would-be Obama...

            "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

            by DaddyO on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:14:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obviously Obama's done way more good than Bush (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              qofdisks

              But point taken. In terms of political effectiveness, Bush beats him. At least in their first terms. Bush was a disaster in his second term, which gives Obama a chance to play catch-up. Not optimistic about that as I think he's content to just ride out the next 3 years with small-bore legacy enhancements.

              "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

              by kovie on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:32:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  AFLCIO on the Bill Press Show last Friday said.. (0+ / 0-)

                That the  TPP treaty that the Obama WH is negotiating is worse and gives us less than any trade deal the Bush WH negotiated.   Now that's pretty damn sad.  

                Things are at a tipping point.   The corruption and corporate  take over is flagrant, and people aren't liking it one bit.   Not one damn banker in jail, militarized police, school to prison pipeline, spies everywhere, and the greatest and still growing income inequality in history and on the planet.  

                What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                by dkmich on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 11:51:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  He doesn't care (0+ / 0-)

                  He. Just. Doesn't. Care. And thinks himself a superior being for being "above all that silly pettiness", a sentiment made possible by being rich and powerful and fully protected from any downside to such cruel aloofness. It's like he's saying "If you want to avoid the ill effects of today's corruption and malfeasance, be a brilliant and blessed being life me, otherwise, stop boring me with your petty troubles and being so annoying with the whining".

                  Yeah, there have been fiery speeches, with no meaningful followup, and some action, but token and woefully insufficient. It's not the lack of success, but the lack of effort that bothers me. Rome is burning and while he may not have started the fire, he's playing his violin without a care in the world. That's what he does, detach himself emotionally from the world's troubles and then tell himself that it makes him better than everyone else.

                  He simply does not get his hands dirty, and stop annoying him by asking.

                  "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                  by kovie on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 03:41:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  In case it's not clear enough (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qofdisks, Stude Dude, dkmich

          I feel the need to emphasize that I HOPE Obama REALLY DOES 'double down' on the economy. I really do hope his actions lead to relief for the rest of us. I hope I'm wrong about him.

          But we now have five long years of economic policy neglect at which we can point for reference...and it ain't pretty, folks. And it's only getting worse.

          "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

          by DaddyO on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:16:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are kinder then me. (0+ / 0-)

            He showed his stripes with his cabinet appointments in 2009, and he's only gotten worse.   Obama is the straw that broke the camel and the Democratic brand.   There is no way in hell they can repackage themselves into populists.  What idiot would believe them?  

            What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

            by dkmich on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 11:53:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  "All-of-the-above" (6+ / 0-)

    So the president's jobs strategy is to destroy the climate with more oil and gas drilling? Joy.....

  •  Frankly, I am stunned. For years since his first (5+ / 0-)

    election I have been told  over and over and over again that the President's ability to help was limited by Congress, Republicans, the cookie monster, etc. Now I am being told that in fact he does have some powers not hobbled by the hob goblins?

    Seriously, its good to see our dependence on foreign oil diminished to the point we have to fight companies from exporting it.

    At the same time it is not so good to see the feckless President happily repeating his goofy 'all of the above' slogan.  The amount of environmental destruction and increase in carbon during his administration continue to be a major area of concern.

    The Telegraph:

    Opposition to fracking is also rising in the United States, the shale oil and gas capital of the world

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 07:16:16 AM PST

  •  If he really was concerned about jobs (6+ / 0-)

    he'd kill the TPP and rein in the NSA.  They're going to cost many more jobs than his "experiments" will generate.

  •  Color me "unconvinced." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    Sorry.  Love the President, wish him every possible success. . . but I just don't believe things will improve or that he has the means to bring about solutions.  Not his fault.  Systemic.

    "Where some see a system for encouraging discussion . . . others see an echo chamber of bad grammar, unchecked stupidity, and constructive interference . . . " -- Ars Technica

    by Rikon Snow on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 07:23:33 AM PST

    •  I tend to agree it's systemic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, qofdisks

      OTOH, don't insult my intelligence by talking about regaining jobs lost to other countries while simultaneously pushing the TPP.

    •  Not his fault? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah

      The buck stops right there on his desk.

      It did so with every President. Systemic? Sure. But there have been much better Presidents in my lifetime--and that includes every Democratic President. He is a failure, dude, but if there's one thing I've discovered in the last two Presidents, it's this:

      The rose-colored glasses that George W. Bush supporters wore and still wear to this day are the exact same prescription as those who tell pollsters that Barack Obama is doing a good job as President.

      Checked those numbers lately? Mid-to-low 40s? Eeeee-yup. Apparently, according to a significant majority of Americans, the buck DOES stop right on his desk...

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:04:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is anyone even paying attention (7+ / 0-)

    to these Sternly Worded Speeches of his anymore? Notice how he's become (of mostly his own doing I believe) kind of irrelevant and invisible of late? This is what happens when you persist in subscribing to, whether genuinely or conveniently, the "Politics of Consensus" in an Era of VERY Bad Feelings.

    Just do something already or just STFU. It's gotten really, REALLY boring to listen to all this whining and mewling about how mean Repubs are and how they won't let him govern. Just DO something already and go around the fuckers! Why won't this president fight? Why does he still insist on taking the alleged high road when it's obvious that it's just an excuse for not getting bruised up? Go on the attack. Issue some EO's. Make it personal.

    Because it IS to the rest of us.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 07:26:40 AM PST

    •  Does anyone even bother to watch this on Kos? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah, Jazzenterprises

      It's getting embarrassing...

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:05:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sad that Dems make their greatest gains (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qofdisks

        when Repubs mess up, a la Christie (or that Repub congressman with the male pages ech), and not through their own efforts, most of them not giving enough of a shit about good policy to care or be willing to risk their positions.

        In a symbolic way, Obama was actually the right Dem for these times (though Hillary would have given him a run for it that way). Weak, cowardly, detached, disinterested, dispassionate, self-interested, corrupted. We're going to need a coup in the party if this is to ever change.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:37:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  He's DOUBLING DOWN! (4+ / 0-)

    Because he thinks he's in some farm kitchen in Vandalia, Illinois, playing quarter-ante poker with old soybean farmers and Peabody Coal lobbyists--and LOSING badly!

    WHERE WAS THIS DOUBLING DOWN FIVE LONG YEARS AGO???

    How long will the Daily Kos keep broadcasting this propaganda? Because that's exactly what it is. Both Obama's Saturday 'broadcasts' and YOUR re-publishing thereof. And it's woefully insubstantially reality-based propaganda, while we're at it...

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 07:57:22 AM PST

  •  5 years of lying (0+ / 0-)

    is finally catching up...

    The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

    by Jazzenterprises on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:17:26 AM PST

  •  Wow. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Simpson

    I worked hard to get this man in office.  Considering the fact that he's our first post-Citizens United president and the unbelievably bad mess he was handed, I'm still a very strong supporter.

    Sad to see the derisive and negative opinions on this thread.  You folks deserved McCain/Palin and/or Mittens.  But America didn't.

    If he had done nothing more than re-instate government funding for stem cell research, let alone fight and risk his 2nd term for healthcare reform, that would have been enough for me.  

    The President doesn't have a magic wand.

    by CJB2012 on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 09:07:39 AM PST

    •  Don't forget Nader..... (0+ / 0-)

      Health care reform?     He expanded medicaid, and didn't do one damn thing to contain health care costs.    The only thing universal in his health care bill is the mandate for every man to pay to insure himself whether they can afford it or not.   If you're lucky enough to be poor, the taxpayers will pay for yours too.   If not, you can pay your bronze premiums and deductibles too.

      If you think his job performance meets or exceeds expectations, I think you're wrong.

      What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

      by dkmich on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 01:14:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nader was unelectable; (0+ / 0-)

        Kucinich was unelectable.  

        I'm very proud of what President Obama has been able to accomplish domestically and in foreign affairs.  And...

        he was electable.  

        It's gut-wrenching to see the Congress he has had to work with and the pounding he takes in the media.  It's beyond discouraging to see it on Kos.

        The President doesn't have a magic wand.

        by CJB2012 on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 01:31:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't vote for him a second time and I got (0+ / 0-)

    flamed here for suggesting that we primary him.  He would have still won anyway but, some issues of OUR concerns would have gotten some airing.  As it was/is  alls we hear about is the looney right antics while the Left cowers and does the bidding of the rich.

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