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Obama agenda: A new head of WH Council of Economic Advisers

“President Barack Obama plans to name Alan Krueger, a labor economist and former Treasury official, to lead the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said a White House official,” Bloomberg reports.

On the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream speech,” John Lewis in the Washington Post writes what he thinks King would say to President Obama: “As a minister, never elected to any public office, Dr. King would tell this young leader that it is his moral obligation to use his power and influence to help those who have been left out and left behind.  He would encourage him to get out of Washington, to break away from handlers and advisers and go visit the people where they live. He would urge him to meet the coal miners of West Virginia; to shake the hands of the working poor in our large urban centers, juggling mutiple jobs to try to make ends meet; to go to the barrios of the Southwest; and to visit native Americans on their reservations.  He would urge Obama to feel the hurt and pain of those without work, of mothers and their children who go to bed hungry at night, of the families living in shelters after losing their homes, and of the elderly who chose between buying medicine and paying the rent. Dr. King would say that a Nobel Peace Prize winner can and must find a way to demonstrate that he is a man of peace, a man of love and non-violence.  He would say it is time to bring an end to war and get our young men and women out of harm’s way. Dr. King would assert without hesi­ta­tion that war is obsolete, that it destroys the very soul of a nation, that it wastes human lives and natural resources.” 

Jim Clyburn writes in The Hill: “Too often overlooked in Dr. King’s speeches and activities is his focus on jobs and opportunity.  Dr. King said he refused to believe the vault of opportunity in this great country is empty. Yet in 2011, the gap continues to grow wider between those who enjoy great wealth and those who struggle to get by with little thought of ever getting ahead. What more proof do we need that ‘human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability?’ Now is the time to rededicate ourselves to Dr. King’s work.”