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Obama agenda: Carolina in my mind

The AP: “Deep in the mountains of politically important North Carolina, Obama soaked up the region’s autumn beauty as he assailed foes of his jobs legislation, accusing them of failing to listen to the public.” More: “In North Carolina, the president directed his most pointed remarks at Senate Republicans, who last week blocked action on his full $447 billion proposal combining tax cuts and new spending… Republicans denounced the bus trip as nothing more than a taxpayer-funded campaign trip to try to bolster Obama’s standing for the 2012 election. As he traveled along on his imposing black bus, there was little denying the presidential politics at play at each stop.”

The coverage from the Asheville Citizen-Times: “Barack Obama made it clear Monday the gloves are off.

Speaking to more than 2,000 people at Asheville Regional Airport, the president vowed to take his jobs fight back to Congress, breaking a $447 billion plan that failed in the Senate into smaller, easier-to-digest pieces. His plan, the president said, would put teachers, construction workers, public safety employees and others back to work ‘right now’ — a phrase he touched on repeatedly.”

“That message hit home with Scott Anderson, a 34-year-old Asheville construction worker who’s been unemployed for nearly a year. ‘This is what the country needs,’ said Anderson, a father of three. ‘The people in Washington fight with each other all the time. They never think about what’s good for the people. What’s good for working people. They don’t know how tough it is for a lot of folks out here.’”

During his bus tour, Obama has said that the Senate GOP jobs plan has been panned by the same economist who said Obama’s job bill would create 1.9 million jobs. As Greg Sargent wrote last week, “Moody’s recently estimated that Obama’s jobs plan, if passed, would add two percentage points to economic growth next year, add 1.9 million jobs, and cut unemployment by a full percentage point. By contrast, the Senate GOP plan isn’t designed to help the economy in the short term, [Moody’s] Faucher said. ‘Should we look at regulations and make sure they make sense from a cost benefit standpoint? Certainly. Should we reduce the budget deficit over the long run? Certainly,’ Faucher said. ‘But in the short term, demand is weak, businesses aren’t hiring, and consumers aren’t spending. That’s the cause of the current weakness — and Republican Senate proposals aren’t going to address that in the short term.’”

“The White House sent mixed messages yesterday on the future of a financially troubled long-term care program in President Obama’s health overhaul law, as supporters and foes heaped criticism on the administration,” the AP says. “At stake is the CLASS Act, a major new program intended to provide affordable long-term care insurance. Last Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the administration would not proceed with the plan because she has been unable to find a way to make the program financially solvent. Yesterday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a ruling that cleared the way for repealing the act, but the administration rejected that step - and created considerable confusion. Backers and opponents said the White House is trying to have it both ways.”

NBC Washington writes: “A van containing President Obama's teleprompter and podium were stolen from a Virginia hotel parking lot on Monday, NBC12 in Richmond reports. The truck was parked at the Virginia Center Commons Courtyard Marriott near Richmond before the president's scheduled Wednesday appearance in Chesterfield, the Richmond station reports.  In addition to the teleprompter, $200,000 worth of audio equipment and presidential seals mounted on Obama's podium were inside the stolen vehicle.”