Obama sat for an interview with the New York Times over the weekend and said: “Most economists believe that growth will actually pick up next quarter and the second half of the year. And the one thing that could really screw things up would be if you have a manufactured crisis and Republicans choose to play brinksmanship all over again.” More: “If we stand pat, if we don’t do anything, then growth will be slower than it should be.”
He also noted on a couple of occasions that there seem to be Republicans in the Senate he can work with, and some in the House who “aren’t the loudest voices right now.” “We also have a number of very thoughtful and sensible Republicans over in the Senate who have said that we should not play brinksmanship, that we should come up with a long-term plan. … But one of the challenges, as I said in the speech, is that there’s almost a kneejerk habit right now that if I’m for it, then they’ve got to be against it.”
Obama also sounded down on the Keystone XL Pipeline. “Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator. There is no evidence that that’s true. And my hope would be that any reporter who is looking at the facts would take the time to confirm that the most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline -- which might take a year or two -- and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in a economy of 150 million working people. … [Some unions] might like to see 2,000 jobs initially. But that is a blip relative to the need. So what we also know is, is that that oil is going to be piped down to the Gulf to be sold on the world oil markets, so it does not bring down gas prices here in the United States. In fact, it might actually cause some gas prices in the Midwest to go up where currently they can’t ship some of that oil to world markets.” And: “I'm going to evaluate this based on whether or not this is going to significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere. And there is no doubt that Canada at the source in those tar sands could potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release.”
“President Barack Obama says his next Fed chairman should take ordinary people into account when setting monetary policy,” AP writes. “Obama tells The New York Times in an interview on the paper’s website Saturday that he wants someone who won’t just work abstractly to keep inflation in check and maintain stability in the markets. He says he wants the next Fed chairman to also promote policies that will help make ordinary people’s lives better.”
Politico looks at what some states are doing to try and nullify Obama efforts on guns, health care and even national standards for driver’s licenses.
Obama and Hillary Clinton will grab lunch today at the White House.
Two Gitmo detainees are headed to Algeria.
“Amazon.com Inc unveiled a new hiring spree on Monday ahead of a visit by President Barack Obama to one of the Internet retailer’s giant distribution warehouses this week,” the New York Daily News writes. “Amazon said it is looking to fill more than 5,000 new full-time jobs at 17 of its fulfillment centers across the United States.” Obama heads there Tuesday.
Gallup: “If given the opportunity to vote on a law legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states, the slight majority of Americans, 52%, say they would cast their vote in favor, while 43% would vote against it.”
According to a South Korean report, Jimmy Carter’s on a mission to North Korea to try and win the release a U.S. citizen held there.