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Political Notebook

Obama wants healthy Main St.

September 5, 2010

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WASHINGTON — A strong economy needs bustling Main Streets and a thriving middle class, not just a healthy stock market, President Obama said in paying tribute to the American worker.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama yesterday outlined what he has done to help the middle class, a group he says has been squeezed the most during the recession.

He spoke of efforts to create jobs, make college more affordable, help the middle class build retirement nest eggs, cut taxes on these families, and stop health insurance companies from refusing to cover people with preexisting medical conditions.

Labor Day is about more than grilling food and spending time with family, Obama said. “It’s also a day to honor the American worker — to reaffirm our commitment to the great American middle class that has, for generations, made our economy the envy of the world,’’ he said.

But Obama said that, for a decade, middle-class families have experienced stagnant incomes and declining economic security while tax breaks were given to companies that shifted jobs overseas and Wall Street firms reaped huge profits.

“We should recommit ourselves to our time-honored values and to this fundamental truth: To heal our economy, we need more than a healthy stock market; we need bustling Main Streets and a growing, thriving middle class,’’ Obama said.

In the weekly Republican message, Representative Geoff Davis of Kentucky criticized nearly 200 pending rules and regulations as a threat to job creation. Davis said many of the mandates would cost small-business owners who don’t have the money or time to comply with them. “The more time small-business owners spend pushing paper, the less time they have to focus on creating jobs,’’ Davis said.

He highlighted legislation he introduced that would require Congress to vote on every major new rule before it can take effect.

— Associated Press

McGinniss moves out of Palin’s neighborhood
ANCHORAGE — Sarah Palin can take down the fence.

Palin’s neighbor of three months on Wasilla’s Lake Lucille, author Joe McGinniss, is packing his bags and leaving today for his home in Massachusetts to write the book he has been researching on the former governor and GOP vice presidential candidate.

His arrival in May made headlines and drew an indignant reaction from Palin and a visit from her husband, Todd. The Palins even tacked an extension onto an 8-foot board fence between the homes, leaving only a part of their second-story home visible from McGinniss’s driveway.

Peeping into windows or peering through knotholes was never part of his research, McGinniss said.

“I’ve been very busy but on Lake Lucille it’s been very quiet,’’ he said. “As I told Todd back in May — he came over to get in my face about moving in there — I said, ‘You’re not even going to know I’m there. . . . I don’t care what happens on your side of the fence. That’s not why I’m here.’ ’’

And that’s how it has played out, McGinniss said.

A Palin spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

McGinniss has written best-selling books, including “The Selling of the President,’’ on the marketing of Richard Nixon.

McGinniss said he didn’t seek out the home. During his search for a place to live, he said, the homeowner sought him out. The price was right and it was close to the people he wanted to talk to.

McGinniss would not reveal what his book will say about Palin. But he did get a taste of the support Palin has inspired.

“The people who respond when she complains about something are just so filled with hate. I got some of the ugliest, most vile e-mails directed at me, my grandchildren, my children, my wife.’’

— Associated Press