Obama: The most polarizing president. Ever.

by and

President Obama ran — and won — in 2008 on the idea of uniting the country. But each of his first three years in office has marked historic highs in political polarization, with Democrats largely approving of him and Republicans deeply disapproving.

For 2011, Obama’s third year in office, an average of 80 percent of Democrats approved of the job he was doing in Gallup tracking polls, as compared to 12 percent of Republicans who felt the same way. That’s a 68-point partisan gap, the highest for any president’s third year in office — ever. (The previous high was George W. Bush in 2007, when he had a 59 percent difference in job approval ratings.)

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/obama-the-most-polarizing-president-ever/2012/01/29/gIQAmmkBbQ_blog.html?wpisrc=nl_pmpolitics


U.S. economy grew at 2.8 percent rate in fourth quarter

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy grew at a 2.8 percent annual rate in the final three months of last year, the fastest growth in 2011.

Americans spent more on cars and trucks, and companies built up their stockpiles. But growth in the October-December quarter — and all of last year — was held back by the biggest annual government spending cuts in four decades.


Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/economy-likely-strengthened-at-end-of-last-year-but-many-economists-predict-slowdown-ahead/2012/01/27/gIQAt8lmUQ_story.html?wpisrc=al_comboNE_b

Fed: Benchmark Rate Will Stay Low Until ’14

By Craig Torres and Caroline Salas Gage

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the Federal Reserve is considering additional asset purchases to boost growth after extending its pledge to keep interest rates low through at least late 2014.

Policy makers are “prepared to provide further monetary accommodation if employment is not making sufficient progress towards our assessment of its maximum level, or if inflation shows signs of moving further below its mandate-consistent rate,” Bernanke said at a news conference today after a Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington. Bond buying is “an option that’s certainly on the table.”