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Obama in Detroit: Honing His Economic Message

TIME's Michael Scherer covered Barack Obama's visit to Detroit on Friday. Here's an excerpt from his story:

One of the women who took Barack Obama on a tour of the Jeep Grand Cherokee assembly line Friday wore a t-shirt with the president's image that read "Our Dreams Do Come True." A few miles away, at the Hamtramck General Motors plant, workers brought in red-white-and-blue pom poms to celebrate his arrival. "It's the savior of the company," joked Dave Notarianni, an electrician of 38 years for GM. "Barack, our boss."

In terms of raw star power, it's hard to top the U.S. President in an American auto factory these days. Not only is Obama, by dint of his job, the majority shareholder in GM and a major investor in Chrysler, he is quite literally both companies' savior. "You did! You did! You did!" shouted the enthusiastic throng at GM, when Obama recounted his own decision to invest $60 billion in taxpayer money to prevent the dissolution of the two companies last year.

"Don't bet against the American worker," Obama now proclaims, congratulating himself on his investment. Indeed, the trend line is good: American auto giants are all making a profit so far this year, the first time since 2004, and the government estimates that Obama's $60 billion investment still has a market value of about $60 billion or more, suggesting that taxpayers may yet be made whole on his investment. At the Jeep plant, another shift had just been added, with 1,100 additional workers. "I feel like I did back in '94, when I first started," explained Shearard Myricks, a Chrysler worker, who spent months in 2009 collecting unemployment benefits. "It's a feeling of euphoria."

But one only need look across the street from the factories Obama visited Friday to see that the euphoria is not so widely held. Detroit remains a struggling shell of its former self, with boarded up and burned out houses lining the major roads, and an unemployment rate around 25%. The contrast between spots of success and the broader agony in Michigan served as an apt metaphor for the broader state of the American economy. Just as Obama boarded Air Force One Friday, the Commerce Department announced that economic growth had fallen sharply in the second quarter, to 2.4% from 3.7%. Economists say the lower rate spells high unemployment for the foreseeable future.

Read the full story here.

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  • 1

    No one should be upset about the old balloon frame houses that are long past their time and that many of them have come down either on devil's nights or through abandonment and demolition.

    But they should be upset about HUD and our Planning Department's failure over the years to really do something about it.

    The lack of a plan is showing it's hideous head or lack of one thereof.

    Look at the Brewster High rises... Brand new windows about 5 years ago left to be stripped... that is HUD's fault not ours.

    And Baraq placed a Harvard Architect on his Cabinet. I jumped for joy, but no longer... so much for Harvard Architects... he should have done a lot. What has he done... nothing as far as I can see. That is more than disgusting.

    Hud was initially headed by George Romney who actually tried to do some good things.

    So while we bear some responsibility for not having a dynamic and viable Planning Department some of the blame goes to Washington for not encouraging new, fine housing and careful Urban Development.

    Habitat for Humanity really doesn't count. There stuff looks like Southern Sharecropper revisited.

    We should have had a great international architectural design competition by now...and HUD should have been in there pitching for it.

    After all, Lafayette Park was the first Urban Renewal project and still remains the finest. It perfectly illustrates the benefit of fine Architecture and fine Architects.

    Let's do better. Time to get down and do it.

    So what's this guy's name on the Cabinet? Has he visited us? What initiatives has he taken.

    And there are so many things that need being done.

    FDR put people to work, not simply paid them for being alive.

    And many great things were done. Isn't it time we get to work? Fixing up our cities and the Countryside?

    And it seems that intelligence is lost on too many. When Architects set to work, it means that lots of people are going to get work.

    So where are the projects for the Architects?

    Is it Washington's misguided notion that Architects work under Contractors. If it is, woe be to America!

    Just look at the horrible things that are being done to M.L.King high school. And most probably the others. Extravagantly, overly priced non solutions.

    If Obama is responsible for this he should then have no complaint about all the money going to Mitt Romney and his campaign.


  • 2

    Who is Melvin Turner and why is he wearing a Detroit Police Badge?

    Police Officers must have the trust and respect of the community to effective protect the community?

    Then why is Melvin Turner wearing a police uniform?

    Just like Warren Evans, while Melvin Tuner was the 2nd in command at the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, he notoriously dated a female Lieutenant (Pam McClain) who he directly supervised, and promoted another of his girlfriends to the rank of Commander Rose Fodera.

    Melvin Turner was fired from 4 different police departments.

    He was fired from his $185,000 per year job as Undersheriff of the Wayne County Sheriff's Department after he beat up his baby momma, but not right away, because who cares if cops beat up their baby mommas. He was fired only after being convicted of domestic violence and had his police powers taken away.

    Next he took a job as police chief in Highland Park, Melvin came in and broke the backs of the Police Union and helped the city to go bankrupt. The police department was dissolved.

    Next he convinced the Emergency Financial Manager in Hamtramck, however the Hamtramck Cops disliked Melvin Turner and filed complaints and whistleblower lawsuits against him. The Emergency Financial Manager investigated the complaints and decided to fire Melvin Turner.

    Then he arrived in Sumpter Township as Chief of Police. He pissed off everyone there from the city dog catcher to the Township Supervisor. Seem Melvin thought the Township should provide him with his personal police car to take home. He was fired at one year.

    Then Melvin applied for every open police chief job in the State of Michigan and the State of Texas. When Clinton Township told him to hit the brick and that he was a four time looser, the filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against them claiming they would not make him Chief of Police because he was a dark black guy.

    Melvin Turner lead the State Police on a high speed chase down the lodge freeway.

    Melvin Turner was told that he was barred from testifying against drug dealers because many of the Circuit Court judges found him to be habitually untruthful witness. (a liar)

    Melvin Tuner has several complaints filed against him by drug dealers stating that he had unlawfully taken their gold jewelry for his own personal use. Melvin Turner had a retail store were he sold second hard goods and allegedly a lot a stolen merchandise.

    Melvin Turner threatened to shoot and kill Wayne County's Personnel Director when she told him politely it was not appropriate for him to attempt to kiss her and other females on the cheek at the start of a meeting. She advised Melvin that a hand shake was proper for the workplace.

    Melvin Turner was sued for sexual harassment by one of his female subordinates.

    Warren Evans hired Melvin Turner to be Deputy Chief of Police in Detroit.

    Mayor Bing and his new broom is sweeping clean. Time to sweep Mel Turner right out the door.

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