Obama visits Asheville, NC manufacturing plant, renews call for federal minimum wage hike

Does this guy EVER learn? Yes, that was a rhetorical question. Via WRAL:

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — President Barack Obama pushed for a higher minimum wage at a re-opened manufacturing plant in Asheville Wednesday because he says Americans who work full-time should not be in poverty.

The president followed up his call for the increase from $7.25 to $9 an hour in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address with a trip to reach voters outside Washington on the plan.

In 2011, Canadian-based Linamar Corp. announced that its fourth U.S. manufacturing facility would be at the site of a shuttered Volvo Construction Equipment plant in Asheville that closed in 2010 and laid off 220 workers.

Since then, the company has hired 160 workers and will hire 40 more by the end of the year. It’s expected to expand the operation further to 650 jobs and boost the total capital investment from $75 million to $200 million.

“There’s a good story to tell here,” Obama said, touted it as an example of America attracting jobs from overseas. “A few years ago, a manufacturing comeback in Asheville may not have seemed real likely. Volvo had just left town. This plant had just gone dark, 228 jobs had vanished, and it was a big blow for this area.”

The key to reviving America’s economy, he said, is to bring more jobs to the United States, give Americans the skills they need to perform them and provide those workers with a decent living.

“There’s no magic bullet here, it’s just some common sense stuff. People still have to work hard,” Obama said, arguing that just a few structural changes could have an outsize impact. He said he needs Congress to help pass his initiatives.

“It’s not a Democratic thing or a Republican thing,” he said. “Our job as Americans is to restore that basic bargain that says if you work hard, if you meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead.”

“If you work full time, you shouldn’t be in poverty,” Obama said to applause.

But if this dunce forces employers to raise the minimum wage by nearly $2 an hour, employees – many of who are just feeling fortunate to have a job at all right now in this anemic “wreckovering” economy – will be lucky to even be working PART time, let alone FULL time, and poverty will indeed be on the horizon.  The hike in the hourly wage will be partly to blame, and rising health care coverage costs as a result of ObamaCare will be even more of a factor.  In fact, hours and jobs are already being cut by employers who can’t afford to keep their employees full time while offering health insurance, too.  Even worse is how this impacts future employment:  a recent poll indicated a large number of employers who, in effect, predicted hiring freezes due to ObamaCare and fears of over-regulation by the feds.  This ain’t rocket science, folks, but sadly our Ivy League leftist Prez just does not get it.

Or … maybe he does? *she said, in a sinister voice*

And BTW, would you say a  prayer for the employees of the Asheville Linamar plant, please?  The Obama kiss of death has already hurt too many businesses in my fair state.  I’d hate to see it strike another.

Related: Photos of Obama in Asheville today – via the Charlotte Observer.

.@MarcoRubio’s “water gaffe” lands him over 13,000 new Twitter followers

While the Usual Suspects in the MSM and in the Democrat party (but I repeat myself) have made sure to laugh, ridicule, and mock Senator Marco Rubio’s SOTU response from last night purely on the basis of his “water gaffe” (rather than the actual SUBSTANCE, of course), Rubio was busy earning new followers and potential future voters – to the tune of over 13,000 (via Twitchy Team):

For the record, here was his full response to Obama’s SOTU on video. The transcript here.

All in all, nice work, Senator Rubio! The petty juveniles on the left have had their fun at the Florida Senator’s expense, but in the end, he wins. =d>

Presented for your approval: Marco Rubio and Rand Paul school Barack Obama

**Posted by Phineas

So, last night was the State of the Union address. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t watch. First off, Obama’s a tedious, hackneyed speaker, and listening to him for an hour would be painful. If you did, you’re made of sterner stuff than I.

Second, we know what he’s going to say. As I posted on Twitter yesterday morning:

And, from what I can see in the transcript, he mostly lived down to my expectations. (1)

But I was interested in the Republican response. For one, prior response speeches have ranged from indifferent to outright flops, but, as this was the first speech of Obama’s second term, there was a chance to begin anew and to lay the first paving stones on the road to 2014 and 2016. Also, the speakers were two men whose careers I’ve followed with interest: Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fl) and Rand Paul (R-Ky). Both, I think, gave very good responses, concentrating on philosophy over wonky policy details and providing an excellent contrast between our vision of limited government, liberty, and free markets, on the one hand, and Obama’s progressive dream of limitless government, statism, and dependency on the other.

First, Marco Rubio (2):

And then Rand Paul:

While I have points of disagreement with both men, I could comfortably, happily vote for either for president. Along with Governor Jindal of Louisiana, I think we have at least three strong candidates for 2016, and a great improvement over the last group.

(1) About that proposed $9 per hour minimum wage, indexed to inflation. I suggest anyone who thinks that’s a good idea look up the words “inflationary spiral.” Government should have no role in setting prices or wages, period. It’s just bad policy.
(2) You probably noticed the awkward moment when Rubio reached for a bottle of water. According to actor Adam Baldwin on Twitter last night, that was a sign that the producers screwed up and left the room too warm, which, when combined with the hot lights, left Rubio dying of thirst. He handled it well that night and this morning, though, making jokes about it and disarming the inevitable “OMG!! He drank water!” attacks from the Left. (Really, guys. Is that the best you’ve got?)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)