Good morning -
Jobs, jobs, jobs. President Obama says he won't rest until every American who wants a job can find one. We'll find out how many of them got one - or lost one - at 8:30, when the Labor Dept. releases the March unemployment report.
It could be good news for the White House - and for 200,000 people, because that's the number of jobs most analysts expect the economy added last month. That would end two years of job losses - more than eight million since Feb. 2008, the government says. That would likely bring the unemployment rate down from its current 9.7%. But keep in mind that's the U3 rate; the broader U6 rate, which some analysts think better reflects the true health of the U.S. labor market, is 16.8%.
Look for Obama to talk about all this when he visits Celgard LLC, a Charlotte, NC manufacturer of components for lithium-ion batteries. He'll take a brief tour and also hold a q&a with workers.
That's the only public event on Obama's schedule tomorrow. He returns to Washington after that and, far as we know, will remain in Washington over the weekend - unless there's another secret trip to Afghanistan or Iraq.
Is the U.S. making progress in its efforts to get China on board with sanctions against Iran? Last night, Obama spent an hour on the phone with Chinese President Hu Jintao - keeping everyone waiting on Air Force One as he wrapped up the call - trying to persuade Beijing, which has been reluctant thus far to back Washington. China isn't confirming U.S. reports that it had dropped its opposition to possible new U,N. sanctions against Iran - but Beijing continues to say it is "concerned about the current situation."
New Airport Security
Changes in the way the U.S. looks for potential terrorists on U.S. bound planes: Instead of using nationality as the sole factor in determining which air travelers should be subject to additional security screening, passengers will be selected based on possible matches to intelligence information, including physical descriptions, particular travel patterns - even the numbers in their passport.
The upgraded security screening replaces a system that was rushed into place after the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit bound jet. That system, where passengers from 14 specific countries would be subjected to secondary searches, was criticized by some as a discriminatory.
On This Day
1877 - The first Easter Egg Roll was held on the White House grounds.
1917 - President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany; and the U.S. entered World War I.
"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort." - Franklin D. Roosevelt.