America

Obama To Nominate New Staffers

President Barack Obama is poised to name Gene Sperling as director of the Nationa Economic Council later today.  NPR's Mara Liasson discussed this last night on All Things Considered:

...you're likely to hear that Gene Sperling, who's a Treasury Department official, also a former Clinton aide, is going to be made the head of the National Economic Council. He takes the place of Larry Summers, who went back to Harvard.

USA Today reports the president will tap three other people for administration jobs: Jason Furman as Sperling's deputy; Katharine Abraham as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Heather Higginbottom as deputy of the Budget Office.

LATEST UNEMPLOYMENT REPORT

It's due out at 8:30 AM. According to Reuters, some economists believe the December jobless rate will improve, from November's 9.8% reading to 9.7%. Watch this space.

MORE SNOW COMING TO NYC

A pedestrian walks an unplowed street in Brooklyn days after a blizzard blew through in December. i i

A pedestrian walks an unplowed street in Brooklyn days after a blizzard blew through in December. Seth Wenig/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Seth Wenig/AP
A pedestrian walks an unplowed street in Brooklyn days after a blizzard blew through in December.

A pedestrian walks an unplowed street in Brooklyn days after a blizzard blew through in December.

Seth Wenig/AP

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Northeast and New York City may get up to five inches of snow. As the Wall Street Journal notes, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to reassure New Yorkers that the city really is prepared this time.

"While I realize that there were problems with the snow-cleaning efforts last week, we want to assure all New Yorkers that we are doing everything in our power to make sure that we don't experience those kinds of problems again," Mr. Bloomberg said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. "We plan to do a great job."

He might want to examine his latest poll numbers: Politico reports a Marist College survey finds Bloomberg's approval rating fell to 37%; snow-battered residents of Brooklyn are the angriest with him.

NASHVILLE SYMPHONY OVERCOMES FLOODING

From May 4, 2010: freight containers are under water Tuesday, May 4, 2010 near Nashville, Tenn. i i

From May 4, 2010: freight containers are under water Tuesday, May 4, 2010 near Nashville, Tenn. Jeff Gentner/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Gentner/AP
From May 4, 2010: freight containers are under water Tuesday, May 4, 2010 near Nashville, Tenn.

From May 4, 2010: freight containers are under water Tuesday, May 4, 2010 near Nashville, Tenn.

Jeff Gentner/AP

Many people simply don't realize the scale of catastrophe Nashville experienced last May, when 14 inches of rain nearly obliterated parts of the Tennessee capital, killing 31 people and swamping historic buildings. The Nashville Symphony's new Schermerhorn Center swallowed 5 million gallons of water. Last night, the musicians returned with Mendelssohn and Mozart. Our pal, Fred Child of American Public Media's Performance Today, reflects:

Venting tubes run into the Schermerhorn Symphony Center after deadly Nashville flooding. i i

Venting tubes run into the Schermerhorn Symphony Center after deadly Nashville flooding. Mark Humphrey/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Humphrey/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Venting tubes run into the Schermerhorn Symphony Center after deadly Nashville flooding.

Venting tubes run into the Schermerhorn Symphony Center after deadly Nashville flooding.

Mark Humphrey/ASSOCIATED PRESS

On the night of the floods, members of the symphony who could get to the Schermerhorn stacked sandbags, with help from community volunteers.  Despite their efforts, water cascaded into the sub-basement and most of the basement. Two 9-foot Steinway grand pianos were destroyed. Fifty other instruments were wiped out. It appeared the water would fill the main hall, but the deluge stopped rising — with five inches to spare.

Fred blogged the event, here. For fun, check out the FB page, 'Those of Us Who Think Fred Child Is Cool'.

APM Performance Today host, Fred Child. i i

APM Performance Today host, Fred Child. Facebook hide caption

itoggle caption Facebook
APM Performance Today host, Fred Child.

APM Performance Today host, Fred Child.

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