Better Off? Yup.

LA Times: Consumers bought cars at a steady pace in August as the automobile industry continued to help anchor the U.S. economy.

“August continues this summer’s trend of healthy growth,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates.

…. General Motors Co. said its U.S. sales rose 10% to 240,520 in August compared with the same month a year earlier.

Ford Motor Co. reported that sales increased 13% to 197,249 vehicles as shoppers gravitated to smaller cars.

…. Chrysler Group said its sales rose 14% to 148,472 vehicles compared with the same month a year earlier. It was the automaker’s best August sales since 2007.

More here




LA Times: Nationwide home prices shot up 3.8% in July, making their largest year-over-year leap since 2006…. The gain marks the fifth straight rise in the gauge, part of a positive swing following a year and a half of slumps. The last time prices rose so much was in August 2006, when they jumped 4.1%.

Prices in California bounded up 4.4%. Without distressed sales – including foreclosures and short sales – national prices were up 4.3% compared with last July.

The report, coming as a glut of house-hunters clamor after a shrinking inventory, suggests that the real estate market is “clearly seeing the light at the end of a very long tunnel,” said CoreLogic Chief Executive Anand Nallathambi in a statement.

More here



86 Responses to “Better Off? Yup.”

    • 2 theo67
      September 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      Congratulations, Rita!

      • 4 Rita
        September 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm

        Thanks, Chips! And theo!! Love it. Been trying off and on for a while!! PBO has never looked more dashing 😉

        Reading this article: http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/09/since-when-did-paul-ryan-become-a-liar.html . Especially loved this paragraph: “The thing about Ryan is that he has always resided in a counter-factual universe. He is a product of the hermetically sealed right-wing subculture. Many of the facts taken for granted by mainstream economists have never penetrated his brain. Ryan burst onto the national scene with a dense, fact-laden attack on the financing of Obama’s health-care bill that was essentially a series of hallucinations, pseudo-facts cooked up and recirculated by conservative apparatchiks who didn’t know what they were talking about or didn’t care. His big-think speeches reflect the influence of fact-free conservatives and collapse under scrutiny.”

        Sooooo fired up to see the DNC speeches!!

      • 5 Rita
        September 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm

        By the way, Chips, one of my pet peeves is the oft-quoted myth of the Democrats having a supermajority for two years. The Republicans say it and most Democrats think it’s the truth too. It wasn’t. We need to make sure everyone knows this information and knows who it was that stalled the passage of legislation through sustained filibustering! http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/09/03/13641077-a-fleeting-illusory-supermajority

  1. 6 FiredUpInCA
    September 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Q: On the question, are Americans better off than they were four years ago, how do you respond to the question [Republicans] are posing? Are Americans better off than they were four years ago?

    Pelosi: Our country is better off. Our country is better off than where we were. President Obama, this extraordinary president, in a very extraordinary time, pulled our country back from the brink of depression, a meltdown of our financial institutions, a deepening of our deficit. In the first two years, three and a half million jobs were created with the Recovery Act. President Obama was a job creator from day one. One week and one day from his inaugural address we passed the Recovery Act, the auto rescue, just two name a couple.

    It’s no comfort if you don’t have a job to say “well, it could have been worse.” It could have been much worse if we had elected a Republican president. When we lost the House, then the Republicans, who could have done much more if there was any level of cooperation, on jobs, but then they said “no, no, no, a thousand times no.” Which meant millions of jobs not created. […]

    In one year, in one year under President Obama’s leadership, more jobs were created in the private sector than in the eight years of the Bush administration.

    • 7 prettyfoot58
      September 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      Telllllllllllll them!!

      It’s no comfort if you don’t have a job to say “well, it could have been worse.” It could have been much worse if we had elected a Republican president. When we lost the House, then the Republicans, who could have done much more if there was any level of cooperation, on jobs, but then they said “no, no, no, a thousand times no.” Which meant millions of jobs not created. […]

    • 8 prettyfoot58
      September 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      I love this answer..it talks about the country as a whole

    • 9 Cman
      September 4, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Good, but too long a response in my view. If someone asks me that question my response: “Are we better off than 4 years ago when we were starting at another great depression and world economic collapse? Are you fu..king kidding me?”

      That response forces the person asking to question if that is at all a good question to be asking, especially if they are trying to carry water for the GOP.

  2. 11 pugeretto
    September 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Congrats Rita! Hi to everyone, & another congrats to Jackie … new grandbaby!

  3. 25 Obama Grandmama
    September 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Just briefly turned on the tv to MSNBC and abruptly turned it off again as Andrea Mitchell was speaking to the Saul woman that speaks for the Romney campaign. To Andrea’s credit she was trying to address the lies in their campaign but the Saul woman (forgot her 1st name) was droning on in her irritating high pitched voice her incredulous talking points without interruption from Andrea. I cannot stand her whiny voice let alone the continued lies.

  4. 28 jacquelineoboomer
    September 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm

  5. 31 sherijr
    September 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I am better off~ so is my family.. and without a doubt so is our country & frankly the world. Had John McCain been President these last 4 years… I can only imagine the horrors that he & Palin would have brought to this world. Everyday I’m grateful that our President is not seeking war & destruction.. does not use hate rhetoric, chooses his words wisely.. and does just what he says he’s going to do.

    • September 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      It’s ridiculous question, made to hi jack our Convention. The Press is gobbling it up, they are the ones that are better off. Maybe we should ask the Press, are they better off?

    • 33 theo67
      September 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      palin would have quit after seeing the first financial reports, and McCain’s only avenue would have been tax cuts and war. The country would be finished.

  6. September 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    That is all any Reporters are talking about, are you better off?
    Meanwhile, I went to the Biktmore Estates today, the Weather was ok. This is where the Vanderbilts lived and is now a Wine Brewery, 8k acres of beauty. My Dog loved it.
    Just got back from lunch at a Dig friendly Restauraunt. LOL.
    I am going To Charlotte Wed…

    • 37 sherijr
      September 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Best wishes to you & your dog Jovie ~ have a great time!

    • 38 FiredUpInCA
      September 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Consider yourself fortunate that you’re going to the Democratic National Convention. If you were going to the RNC, would have had to build the roads, runway and airplane to get you to the convention.

    • 39 Linda
      September 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      I have been to their estate called ” The Breakers ” in Newport RI. ah…the gilded age. They called it their ” summer cottage ” . It is 65,000 sq.ft.

    • 40 Lovepolitics2008
      September 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      So irritating that the media is using the frame of the GOP (Referendum on Obama) instead of talking about the election as a choice.

      However, I’ve decided it’s a good thing. They’ll use the “Are you better off” for one or two days, than they’ll have to switch to something else. With the big speeches, the campaign really getting started, the debates, we’ll be back to the idea of CHOICE very soon. It’s inevitable. The republicans have such drastic ideas, they won’t be able to obfuscate them for long.

    • 41 vcprezofan2
      September 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Jovie, your camping trip keeps sounding better and better; maybe it’s time I revised my view about camping. I know the Dems favour an all-inclusive policy, but ….the dog, Jovie?

      • 42 0388jojothecat
        September 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm

        I am with you vc……I am going camping with Jovie… 🙂 🙂 🙂 ……No tents, no bugs, no cooking over coal, wood, and propane. Just joking Jovie. Hope you are having a wonderful time.

    • 43 dotster3
      September 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      I was there quite a few years ago—-remember big beautiful garden with tons of colorful flowers, toured the estate, don’t think a winery was there then as I would have remembered that!
      Dining with Doggie. Chgo daughter said they ate at the Bad Dog Cafe Fri. night—–ate on outside patio, everyone brought their dogs, all sizes from “purse dogs” to Big Guys—-mostly a lab under the table with a bowl of water she said.
      Enjoy your “camping” with cable TV and I hope AC.

  7. 44 Linda
    September 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I am hoping they play ” We take care of our own ” when PBO takes the stage on Thursday .

    • 45 edp4bho
      September 4, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Hahaha….listening to “Shaft” right now, was invisioning this being played as PBO stepped onto the stage. Oh well, dreams are nice 😀

    • 46 theo67
      September 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      I kind of like when they play something soaring, like they did with the ’08 Convention – there was something about that U2 song that just seemed perfect for such an historic moment. This is the last nomination for political office that President Obama (Barack Obama) will ever accept – it’s bittersweet. I hope the crowd rises to the occasion.

  8. 47 utaustinliberal
    September 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for the good news Chips.

  9. 50 Eveingeorgia
    September 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Chips, please see this at Charles Pierce: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/voting-rights-dnc-12353394

    This is what has the AA community coming alive. Pierce’s last sentence is absolutely “piercing”.

    • September 4, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks a million for the link Eve, haven’t read Pierce yet today, looking forward to it!

    • 52 theo67
      September 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      It’s pretty sobering, and very sad. I’ve been horrified to see friends I respected claiming that they are still Republicans, even after seeing what the party has become. It’s really made me question their values and their integrity – and motives. Many of them think that the Republican party is the party of rich people, and they don’t want to subsidize “lazy” people. Yet, they ignore the many hard working people and rich people who belong to the Democratic party. They ignore common decency. And many of them imagine that whatever magic gave Romney all that money will somehow rub onto them.

      I don’t want to surround myself with anyone who associates with today’s Republican party. I don’t need that kind of ugly in my life. And I’ve put several friends on to a “watch list”. I don’t mind if they want to be conservative. I don’t mind if they don’t want to be Democrats. But, if they insist on sending me “likes” from Romney websites and speeches, knowing what that party currently stands for – then I have to step away. There’s something off there.

      Charlie Pierce is right – this is the modern Confederate party.

  10. 53 57andfemale
    September 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

  11. 54 utaustinliberal
    September 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm

  12. 55 Ladyhawke
    September 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm


    How Big Business Is Buying the Election



    Never mind the Super PACs, post-Citizens United, it’s trade associations that are shoveling corporate cash into the November elections — and helping foreign money influence American politics.


    Includes amazing charts….


  13. 56 symmetry11
    September 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    My family is definitely better off than we were four years ago. Our request for a modification to our mortgage was approved, thanks to President Obama.

    • 57 Cman
      September 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      SAME here! Paying so much less in mortgage than four years ago when foreclosure seemed like the only option.

    • 58 pugeretto
      September 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      Oh yes, we have a much better rate now also, thank you PBO!

      • 59 carolyn
        September 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

        I’m much better off now for one reason, that I don’t go to bed each night with a huge knot of fear in my stomach fearing what would happen next. My retirement account went down quite a bit, fortunately I have Social Security. I was not the only one! That knot of fear is gone. What is that group that says: “I like it when I wake up each morning knowing Barack Obama is president.” Also, I like it each night going to sleep knowing Barack Obama is president!!!

  14. September 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm

  15. 62 Ladyhawke
    September 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm


    The Fire Last Time

    by Paul Krugman


    Dean Baker has exactly the right metaphor for journalists asking the really dumb “are you better off” question:
    Obama came to office in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. The question should be how well he dealt with that crisis — and in particular whether the man seeking to replace him would have done better.
    Would a Republican president have done better? If so, how? That’s the question — not the dumb “four years” trope.



  16. September 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Aaaaand the RNC just released an ad with the President saying we are not better off.
    However, I must admit, their counter programming was way better than ours.

    • 64 COS
      September 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      PBO said that some time ago. Of course they are taking it out of context. I am sure all of this will be addressed in the convention speeches.

      • September 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm

        I agree. Afterall, it’s not like we have done nothing.
        The reason that question was so potent(in 1980), because the Carter administration was falling apart by the End of his term.

        • 66 carolyn
          September 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm

          Another one taken out of context. With the reputation Lyin’ Ryan is building, and Mitt the prevaricator, that won’t be hard to knock down. It is another show of desperation…..they have NO coherent, long term plan. They operate on the 24 hour news cycle only, and none of them has an original thought.

      • 67 Lovepolitics2008
        September 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm

        I absolutely adore President Obama but I wish he would be more careful in his wording. You just don’t… you never say “we are not better off”. You simply say “we’re on the right track, but we’re not out of the woods”, something like that. And you repeat it over and over again.

        President Obama is not a traditional politician, and his focus is not on tactics. He’s so honest, has so much empathy towards others, is always eager to listen and give consideration to the point of views of others. That is what puts him in trouble from time to time. He sometimes forgets to not accept the premise of a question !!!

        I don’t want him to learn to be less honest, but I wish he would always be very careful to never use some language that can be used against him.

        This is a problem that’s not so difficult to address. What I think is he needs some additional help in the communication department. Plouffe, Axelrod and co. are excellent at building narratives, at playing “the long game”. In addition to them, what President Obama needs is one or two people who can work with him on the tactical aspect of politics. President Obama can still continue to be his wonderful self, continue to take the high road; he simply has to learn to avoid the self-inflicted wounds. It’s important because perception is very important in politics, especially in the american media culture focused on trivialities and superficiality.

        • 68 LDS
          September 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm

          @lovepolitics2008: I respect your view. But the truth will always set us free. This is a man who is honest to the core. When your heart is in it, you will win it! I am nit saying he is “perfect”, but let his actions speak for his words. he backs up what he says. And that’s the truth…..

    • 69 nospin
      September 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm

      jovie, who cares really what they say?

      Bottom line is . . .it won’t work.

  17. 70 jacquelineoboomer
    September 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Another meme today from the media is that First Lady Michelle Obama has a big task to accomplish tonight.

    Uh, no. She just has to show up. We already know all about her and we already know what we need to know about President Obama, and both will be back in the White House for another four years.

    The wife with the big task was last week when Ann had to try to make Willard sound human, while telling us all she loves the women, while trying to give us the ol’ subliminal that it’s “their” turn.

    Uh no. Those seats are taken!

    • 71 COS
      September 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Jacqueline, I was just getting ready to post that. So now they will be scrutinizing every word she says. Alex Wagner said her speech would be under scrutiy. She was saying that just as I was changing channels.

    • September 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Oh and let’s not forget, it’s a tough act to sell, blah blah blah…

    • 73 nospin
      September 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      “We already know all about her and we already know what we need to know about President Obama”

      That is it. That statement right there says it all. Doesn’t matter what anyone tries to say or do or how the media tries to spin. . . . we already know all we need to know about POTUS and FLOTUS.

  18. September 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the Democratic National Convention opens on the heels of some of President Barack Obama’s surrogates fumbling when asked if the country is better off than it was four years ago, Obama campaign aides took the question head-on Tuesday morning.

    “The country is better off,” the president’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter declared.

    Joined by fellow Obama campaign architects Ben LaBolt and Jim Messina, Cutter sat down with Yahoo News’ Olivier Knox and ABC News’ Diane Sawyer and Jake Tapper for a live “Newsmakers” broadcast.


    • 76 Lorraine
      September 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      O’Malley better shut down his ego and stop reading his own press clippings.

      • 77 Lovepolitics2008
        September 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm

        I like him a lot. Let’s not forget he has been an excellent surrogate for President Obama. One of the best. I think his admiration for President Obama is genuine. He’ll do a great job in his speech. I’m sure he has learned some valuable lessons this week.

  19. September 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Hey Chips,
    The Pot advocates are mad, at the Harold and Kumar video that the President just made.
    Apparently, Byron Tau has inside information on the Pot advocates, while he takes a hit off his bong.
    He is so Facetious.

  20. 81 utaustinliberal
    September 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    For those who don’t want to click on the link to see the picture,

    here it is:

  21. September 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm

  22. September 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    11k at Norfolk State!

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