Friday, February 25, 2011

Obama Tells Panel U.S. Recovery Harmed

President Barack Obama told the first meeting of his panel of outside economic advisers that the U.S. must deal with stubbornly high unemployment even as the recovery from the recession is well under way.

“The biggest challenge that we’re seeing right now is that unemployment is way too high,” Obama told the 23-member President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness yesterday. The advisory group, led by General Electric Co. chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt, replaces the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which was headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

In the month since he delivered his State of the Union address, Obama has sought to make the case that investments in education, infrastructure and innovation will help create more jobs. He reiterated that message yesterday, telling members of the panel, “We’re going to have to up our game in this newly competitive world.”

Obama told the group that he wants them to provide “some concrete deliverables” that will help lower the 9 percent unemployment rate.

Today the president is scheduled to meet at the White House with 14 Democratic governors -- including Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Dan Malloy of Connecticut -- to discuss ways Washington can work with states to help spark job creation, according to a White House statement.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Protest and Counter-Protest of King's Muslim

American Muslims
Two groups of protesters met on Tuesday outside King's office, one to protest the hearings and the other to support them.

According to the Wall Street Journal, about 100 people showed up to represent each side. No arrests were made, but police intervened to set up barricades between the two groups after individual confrontations erupted into shouting matches.

King acknowledged the support shown him. "Al-Qaida is recruiting right under our radar screen," he said in an interview. "We are not going to cave to political correctness. There is a real threat to the country from the Muslim community and the only way to get to the bottom of it is to investigate what is happening."

Inna Arolovich of the American Association of Jews from the Former Soviet Union supports King and the hearings. "I believe that radical Islam is threatening each of us, including peaceful Muslims," she said. "It is a very real threat."

Dr. Shaik Ubaid of the Muslim Peace Coalition USA's New York chapter explained their concerns. "We are worried about the way the hearings are being conducted. It will demonize the Muslim community. He should work with the Muslim community who has been working with the FBI and others and get to the root cause of this."

Pax Christi also protested the hearings, as did several individuals, at least one of whose Muslim son Mohammad Salman Hamdani was an EMT who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York.

"American Muslims also died," Hamdani's mother said. "We sacrificed for this nation, for our nation. We are fighting on the front also. We are contributing members of society. For anybody to accuse the American Muslims of collective guilt is not right. We were attacked by foreign terrorists, criminals without a nation, al-Qaida."

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