Stop the politics, Act now for the American people

Highlights from President Obama’s June 29th press conference:

” There are a lot of folks out there who are still struggling with the effects of the recession. Many people are still looking for work or looking for a job that pays more. Families are wondering how they’d deal with a broken refrigerator or a busted transmission, or how they’re going to finance their kids’ college education, and they’re also worrying about the possibility of layoffs.

The struggles of middle-class families were a big problem long before the recession hit in 2007. They weren’t created overnight, and the truth is our economic challenges are not going to be solved overnight. But there are more steps that we can take right now that would help businesses create jobs here in America.

Today, our administration is trying to take those steps, so we’re reviewing government regulations so that we can fix any rules in place that are an unnecessary burden on businesses. We’re working with the private sector to get small businesses and start-ups the financing they need to grow and expand. And because of the partnership that we’ve launched with businesses and community colleges, 500,000 workers will be able to receive the right skills and training for manufacturing jobs in companies all across America — jobs that companies are looking to fill.

In addition to the steps that my administration can take on our own, there are also things that Congress could do right now that will help create good jobs

* Congress can send me a bill that would make it easier for entrepreneurs to patent a new product or idea

* Congress can send me a bill that puts construction workers back on the job rebuilding roads and bridges

* Congress can advance a set of trade agreements that would allow American businesses to sell more of their goods and services to countries in Asia and South America

* Congress can extend the tax cut I signed for middle-class families in December for one more year.

* Congress can get rid of tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners

“So the bottom line is this: Any agreement to reduce our deficit is going to require tough decisions and balanced solutions. And before we ask our seniors to pay more for health care, before we cut our children’s education, before we sacrifice our commitment to the research and innovation that will help create more jobs in the economy, I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or a corporate jet owner that has done so well to give up a tax break that no other business enjoys. I don’t think that’s real radical. I think the majority of Americans agree with that.

So the good news is, because of the work that’s been done, I this we can actually bridge our differences. I think there is a conceptual framework that would allow us to make huge progress on our debt and deficit, and do so in a way that does not hurt our economy right here and right now.

And it’s not often that Washington sees both parties agree on the scale and the urgency of the challenge at hand. Nobody wants to put the creditworthiness of the United States in jeopardy. Nobody wants to see the United States default. So we’ve got to seize this moment, and we have to seize it soon. The Vice President and I will continue these negotiations with both leaders of both parties in Congress for as long as it takes, and we will reach a deal that will require our government to live within its means and give our businesses confidence and get this economy moving. “

President Obama 6/9/11

For the entire transcript: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/29/press-conference-president

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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121 Responses to Stop the politics, Act now for the American people

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:50 AM
    The President delivers remarks at the Armed Forces Farewell Tribute in honor of Secretary Gates; The Vice President attends
    The Pentagon
    Pooled TV, Open to Correspondents

    10:00 AM
    The President and The Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:00 AM
    11:30 AM
    The President meets with senior advisors
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    12:00 PM
    Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
    Press Briefing Room
    Open Press

    12:30 PM
    The President and The Vice President meet for lunch
    Private Dining Room
    Closed Press

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    3:15 PM
    The President departs the South Lawn en route Joint Base Andrews
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    3:30 PM
    The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Joint Base Andrews
    Travel Pool Coverage

    4:00 PM
    415 PM
    The President arrives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia International Airport
    Open Press

    5:00 PM
    5:35 PM
    The President delivers remarks at a DNC event
    The Hyatt at the Bellevue
    Pooled TV, Open to Correspondents

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    8:30 PM
    The President delivers remarks at a DNC event
    Private Residence
    Print Pool

    9:00 PM
    9:50 PM
    The President departs Philadelphia, Pennsylvania en route Joint Base Andrews
    Philadelphia International Airport
    Travel Pool Coverage

    10:00 PM
    10:35 PM
    The President arrives at Joint Base Andrews
    Joint Base Andrews
    Travel Pool Coverage

    10:50 PM
    The President arrives at the White House
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      June 30, 2011

      WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

      9:50 AM EDT
      The President delivers remarks at the Armed Forces Farewell Tribute in honor of Secretary Gates; The Vice President attends – The Pentagon

      12:00 PM EDT
      White House Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      9:45 AM EDT
      The President delivers remarks at the Armed Forces Farewell Tribute in honor of Secretary Gates; The Vice President attends – The Pentagon

      10:00 AM EDT
      Senate Homeland Security Subcmte: Afghanistan Reconstruction Contracts

      12:00 PM EDT
      White House Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

      12:00 PM EDT
      U.S. Senate: Nomination & Confirmation of David Petraeus to be CIA Director

      12:30 PM EDT
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the situations in Libya and Yemen.

      2:00 PM EDT
      Prince William, bride arrive in Canada
      Britain’s Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, arrive in Ottawa for the start of their Canadian tour.
      Royal couple’s North American tour entourage

      2:35 PM EDT
      Royal couple attends wreath-laying ceremony
      Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge pay respect to Canadians who served in times of war.

      3:15 PM EDT
      Royal couple honored in Canada
      Canadian government officials formally welcome Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to the country.

      5:35 PM EDT
      President Obama participates in a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:45 AM EDT
      The President delivers remarks at the Armed Forces Farewell Tribute in honor of Secretary Gates; The Vice President attends – The Pentagon http://www.cspan.org/Events/Secretary-Gates-Last-Day-as-Defense-Secretary/10737422581/

      10:00 AM EDT
      Senate Homeland Security Subcmte: Afghanistan Reconstruction Contracts http://www.cspan.org/Events/Senate-Committee-Examines-Afghanistan-Reconstruction-Contracts/10737422596/

      12:00 PM EDT
      White House Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

      12:00 PM EDT
      U.S. Senate: Nomination & Confirmation of David Petraeus to be CIA Director http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/300291-2

      12:30 PM EDT
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the situations in Libya and Yemen.

      3:00 PM EDT
      Senate Panel Works on Free Trade & Aid to Displaced Workers
      Agreements with Korea, Colombia, Panama debated http://www.cspan.org/Events/Senate-Panel-Works-on-Free-Trade-Aid-to-Displaced-Workers/10737422593/

      5:35 PM EDT
      President Obama participates in a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

      Department of Defense http://www.defense.gov/live

      9:50 AM EDT
      The President delivers remarks at the Armed Forces Farewell Tribute in honor of Secretary Gates; The Vice President attends – The Pentagon

      Middle East Protest

      Al Jazeera – English http://english.aljazeera.net

    • CR says:

      President Obama challenges Congress: Stop the politics, Act now for the American people
      Highlights from President Obama’s June 29th press conference:

      ” There are a lot of folks out there who are still struggling with the effects of the recession. Many people are still looking for work or looking for a job that pays more. Families are wondering how they’d deal with a broken refrigerator or a busted transmission, or how they’re going to finance their kids’ college education, and they’re also worrying about the possibility of layoffs.

      The struggles of middle-class families were a big problem long before the recession hit in 2007. They weren’t created overnight, and the truth is our economic challenges are not going to be solved overnight. But there are more steps that we can take right now that would help businesses create jobs here in America.

      Today, our administration is trying to take those steps, so we’re reviewing government regulations so that we can fix any rules in place that are an unnecessary burden on businesses. We’re working with the private sector to get small businesses and start-ups the financing they need to grow and expand. And because of the partnership that we’ve launched with businesses and community colleges, 500,000 workers will be able to receive the right skills and training for manufacturing jobs in companies all across America — jobs that companies are looking to fill.

      In addition to the steps that my administration can take on our own, there are also things that Congress could do right now that will help create good jobs“

      * Congress can send me a bill that would make it easier for entrepreneurs to patent a new product or idea

      * Congress can send me a bill that puts construction workers back on the job rebuilding roads and bridges

      * Congress can advance a set of trade agreements that would allow American businesses to sell more of their goods and services to countries in Asia and South America

      * Congress can extend the tax cut I signed for middle-class families in December for one more year.

      * Congress can get rid of tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners

      “So the bottom line is this: Any agreement to reduce our deficit is going to require tough decisions and balanced solutions. And before we ask our seniors to pay more for health care, before we cut our children’s education, before we sacrifice our commitment to the research and innovation that will help create more jobs in the economy, I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or a corporate jet owner that has done so well to give up a tax break that no other business enjoys. I don’t think that’s real radical. I think the majority of Americans agree with that.

      So the good news is, because of the work that’s been done, I this we can actually bridge our differences. I think there is a conceptual framework that would allow us to make huge progress on our debt and deficit, and do so in a way that does not hurt our economy right here and right now.

      And it’s not often that Washington sees both parties agree on the scale and the urgency of the challenge at hand. Nobody wants to put the creditworthiness of the United States in jeopardy. Nobody wants to see the United States default. So we’ve got to seize this moment, and we have to seize it soon. The Vice President and I will continue these negotiations with both leaders of both parties in Congress for as long as it takes, and we will reach a deal that will require our government to live within its means and give our businesses confidence and get this economy moving. “

      President Obama 6/9/11

      For the entire transcript: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/29/press-conference-president

      • CR says:

        Good Riddance to Rottenest Congress in History

        Jan 2, 2013 3:17 PM PT By Ezra Klein – bloomberg

        On January 3rd, the 112th Congress of the United States of America finally ends. Thank God.

        To properly evaluate the 112th, consider the record of its predecessor, the 111th Congress, which ran from January 2009 to January 2011. The fighting 111th passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (better known as the “stimulus”), the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), and the Dodd-Frank financial reforms. It passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and expanded both the Serve America Act for community service and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It created significant new anti-tobacco regulations, ratified the New Start nuclear arms reduction treaty, ended “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the armed forces and agreed to the 2010 tax deal, which extended the Bush tax cuts in return for the passage of middle- class stimulus.

        The laws passed by the 111th Congress were controversial, particularly among Republicans. They were also big, bold initiatives that, if not always fully equal to the size of our problems, surely perched on the outer edge of Congress’s capacity to deliver solutions. Love it or hate it, the 111th Congress governed. No Congress in recent history has a record of productivity anywhere near it.

        Terrible Policy
        What’s the record of the 112th Congress? Well, it almost shut down the government and almost breached the debt ceiling. It almost went over the fiscal cliff (which it had designed in the first place). It cut a trillion dollars of discretionary spending in the Budget Control Act and scheduled another trillion in spending cuts through an automatic sequester, which everyone agrees is terrible policy. It achieved nothing of note on housing, energy, stimulus, immigration, guns, tax reform, infrastructure, climate change or, really, anything. It’s hard to identify a single significant problem that existed prior to the 112th Congress that was in any way improved by its two years of rule.

        The 112th, which was gaveled into being on Jan. 3, 2011, by newly elected House Speaker John Boehner, wasn’t just unproductive in comparison with the 111th. It was unproductive compared with any Congress since 1948, when scholars began keeping tabs on congressional productivity.

        When it ends, the 112th Congress will have passed about 220 public laws — by far the least of any Congress on record. Prior to the 112th, the least productive Congress was the 104th, from January 1995 to January 1997. Not coincidentally, that Congress also featured a new Republican House majority determined to ruin a Democratic president in advance of the next campaign. The 104th, however, passed 333 public laws — almost 50 percent more than the 112th. The 112th stands alone in its achievement of epic failure.

        For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-02/good-riddance-to-rottenest-congress-in-history.html

  2. CR says:

    June 29, 2011

    Press Conference by the President

    East Room

    11:40 A.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. Have a seat, please. I just want to say a few words about the economy before I take your questions.

    There are a lot of folks out there who are still struggling with the effects of the recession. Many people are still looking for work or looking for a job that pays more. Families are wondering how they’d deal with a broken refrigerator or a busted transmission, or how they’re going to finance their kids’ college education, and they’re also worrying about the possibility of layoffs.

    The struggles of middle-class families were a big problem long before the recession hit in 2007. They weren’t created overnight, and the truth is our economic challenges are not going to be solved overnight. But there are more steps that we can take right now that would help businesses create jobs here in America.

    Today, our administration is trying to take those steps, so we’re reviewing government regulations so that we can fix any rules in place that are an unnecessary burden on businesses. We’re working with the private sector to get small businesses and start-ups the financing they need to grow and expand. And because of the partnership that we’ve launched with businesses and community colleges, 500,000 workers will be able to receive the right skills and training for manufacturing jobs in companies all across America — jobs that companies are looking to fill.

    In addition to the steps that my administration can take on our own, there are also things that Congress could do right now that will help create good jobs. Right now, Congress can send me a bill that would make it easier for entrepreneurs to patent a new product or idea –- because we can’t give innovators in other countries a big leg up when it comes to opening new businesses and creating new jobs. That’s something Congress could do right now.

    Right now, Congress could send me a bill that puts construction workers back on the job rebuilding roads and bridges –- not by having government fund and pick every project, but by providing loans to private companies and states and local governments on the basis of merit and not politics. That’s pending in Congress right now.

    Right now, Congress can advance a set of trade agreements that would allow American businesses to sell more of their goods and services to countries in Asia and South America -– agreements that would support tens of thousands of American jobs while helping those adversely affected by trade. That’s pending before Congress right now.

    And right now, we could give middle-class families the security of knowing that the tax cut I signed in December will be there for one more year.

    So there are a number of steps that my administration is taking, but there are also a number of steps that Congress could be taking right now on items that historically have had bipartisan support and that would help put more Americans back to work.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/29/press-conference-president

    • CR says:

      Obama uses presser to hit GOP on taxes, debt and leadership

      6/29/11 By Sam Youngman – TheHill

      An aggressive President Obama castigated Republicans on taxes, the debt ceiling and not doing more to create jobs Wednesday in his first news conference in months.

      In an animated appearance before reporters, Obama scoffed at the notion that he has lacked leadership on the debt talks, and challenged Congress to stay in Washington until more progress is made.

      Mocking the recess schedule of Congress, Obama said they should “stay here and cancel things until we get it done.”
      “They’re in one week. They’re out one week. And then they’re saying, ‘Obama’s got to step in,’ ” the president said. “You need to be here. I’ve been here. I’ve been doing Afghanistan and bin Laden and the Greek crisis and — you stay here. Let’s get it done.”

      Obama scolded Republicans on taxes, the biggest sticking point in negotiations to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by an Aug. 2 deadline, and suggested they were out of touch with the country.

      For the entire article: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/169037-obama-uses-presser-to-hit-gop-on-taxes-debt-and-leadership-

    • CR says:

      Thank you President Obama for having the average American’s back

    • CR says:

      The Nation: Tax Breaks For The Wealthy Gotta Go

      6/30/11 by JOHN NICHOLS -TheNation

      Rejecting Republican demands for massive cuts in federal programs while maintaining tax breaks for the wealthy as not “sustainable,” President Obama used a press conference Wednesday to argue that serious negotiations about balancing the budget and addressing deficits and debt must include plans to end tax breaks for “millionaires and billionaires, oil companies and corporate jet owners.”

      Making the case that new tax revenue will be needed — in combination with cuts — to achieve even a measure of balance in budgeting, Obama said, “You can’t reduce the deficit without having some revenue in the mix. And the revenue we’re talking about…is coming out of folks who are doing extraordinarily well.”

      The president presented an extended and substantial argument that fair taxation of the wealthy is reasonable and needed. Rejecting the notion that there is anything “radical” about demandig that the wealthiest Americans share the sacrifice that is being demanded of working Americans, the president explained: “If you are a wealthy CEO or hedge fund manager in America right now, your taxes are lower than they have ever been. They are lower than they have been since the 1950s. And they can afford it. You can still ride on your corporate jet. You’re just going to have to pay a little more.”

      For the entire article: http://www.npr.org/2011/06/30/137520036/the-nation-tax-breaks-for-the-wealthy-gotta-go

    • CR says:

      ‘Hardball with Chris Matthews’ for Wednesday, June 29, 2011

      updated 6/30/2011 12:47:36 PM ET

      Guests: David Corn, Michael Steele, Tyler Mathisen, Chuck Todd, Howard Fineman, Bob Shrum, Susan Milligan, Megan McArdle, Karen Tumlin

      CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Give ‘em hell, Barry!

      Let‘s play HARDBALL.

      Good evening. I‘m Chris Matthews down in Washington. Leading off tonight: Wild about Harry—Truman, that is. President Obama called out a do-nothing Congress today, saying Congress needs to stop taking vacations and do its job. He shaped the battlefield for both 2011 and 2012.

      If the poor and the sick and the middle class have to accept spending cuts, then millionaires, billionaires, corporate jet owners and hedge fund managers will simply have to pay more. This is just what supporters on the president‘s side have long wanted to hear.

      Also, how close will the 2012 election get to be? A lot closer than 2012 (SIC), most people believe. And a new poll shows who has the best chance of besting President Obama. We‘ll try to figure it out ourselves.

      For the entire article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43595033/ns/msnbc_tv-hardball_with_chris_matthews/

    • CR says:

      June 24-26 New York Times – CBS News Poll

      Blame for the current state of US economy

    • CR says:

      The Tax Cut Cult The GOP is Deliberately Trying To Bring Down The Economy

      Uploaded by politicalarticles on Jul 5, 2011

    • CR says:

      The risk of a U.S. default: By the numbers

      Jul 15, 2011 The Week – news.yahoo

      If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will have to make some very tough choices

      It’s all coming down to the wire. If Congress and President Obama don’t reach a deal to raise the U.S. debt limit by early August, the government won’t be able to honor all of its financial obligations. The nation’s savings account would be essentially empty, and without the authority to borrow, Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would have to choose which bills to pay from incoming tax revenue — and which bills and obligations to ignore. “You can move the chess pieces around all you want,” says Jay Powell of the Bipartisan Policy Center, but “you’re going to lose.” How much? Here, a look at some numbers underpinning the debate:

      $14.294 trillion – Current debt ceiling, reached May 16. Geithner has moved money around so the feds can continue paying the bills through Aug. 2, even though the nation’s legal borrowing limit has already been reached.

      80 million – Number of payments U.S. makes every month

      $306.7 billion – Amount the U.S. is obligated to pay from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $172.4 billion – Amount of revenue the U.S will bring in from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      44 – Percentage of those August payments that would have to be immediately scrapped if no deal is reached

      $29 billion – Interest payments on Treasury securities due to investors on Aug. 15

      $49.2 billion – Social Security benefits to be paid from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $50 billion – Medicare and Medicaid benefits to be paid from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $31.7 billion – Payments to defense contractors due from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $12.8 billion – Unemployment benefits to be paid from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $2.9 billion – Active-duty military pay due from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $2.9 billion – Veterans Affairs program payments due from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $14.2 billion – Federal salaries and benefits due from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $12 billion – U.S. tax income expected to be received on Aug. 3

      $32 billion – U.S. spending planned for Aug. 3 (including $23 billion in Social Security checks)

      50 – U.S. credit rating within 90 days

      7,000 – Number of top-rated municipal bonds Moody’s will automatically downgrade without a debt-ceiling deal

      $130 billion – Amount of municipal debt affected by the Moody’s ultimatum

      74 – Number of times the debt ceiling has been raised since 1962

      10 – Number of times the debt ceiling has been raised since 2001

      Sources: Bipartisan Policy Center (2, PDF), Bloomberg, CNNMoney (2), Washington Post (2)

    • CR says:

      <br />
GOP fakes trying

      FACT CHECK: ERIC CANTOR FALSELY CLAIMS HE WANTS TO “WORK TOGETHER”

      OCT 16, 2011 dccc.org

      On Fox News Sunday this morning, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor repeatedly claimed he wanted to work with Democrats to find common ground to create jobs and improve the economy. Cantor claimed he wanted to “work together” and “set aside” differences.

      In reality, Cantor has been the House Republicans’ chief obstructionist on job creation and deficit reduction since the start of this Congress. Cantor quit bipartisan negotiations with Vice President Biden on reducing the deficit and pushed Speaker John Boehner to break off discussions with President Obama and Democrats for a grand bargain to reduce the deficit and strengthen our economy. Cantor has refused to bring to the floor President Obama’s jobs plan and Republicans have refused to pass a single bill to create jobs. It was Cantor’s brinkmanship that nearly forced the U.S. to default on its credit and helped cause the nation’s credit downgrade. Last month Cantor led the Republican effort to block disaster relief and nearly sent the government to the brink of government shutdown.

      FACT CHECK

      New York Times: Budget Talks Near Collapse as G.O.P. Leader Quits [New York Times, 6/23/11]

      Cantor’s Refusal To Compromise Helped Kill the “Grand Bargain” on Deficit Reduction

      Milbank: What Eric Cantor Wants is Power — and He is Prepared to Risk the Full Faith and Credit of the United States to Get It.

      Washington Post: Young Guns Directly Responsible for Bringing the Nation to the Brink of Default

      National Journal Said Standard & Poor’s Downgrade Explanation was a “Blast at Republicans.”

      For the entire article: http://dccc.org/newsroom/entry/fact_check_eric_cantor_falsely_claims_he_wants_to_work_together/

      • CR says:

        Getting at the Facts

        Jay Carney April 06, 2012 01:57 PM EDT

        On Tuesday, the President gave a speech in which he contrasted his vision for our economy – one where everyone pays their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules – with the Republican approach of giving massive tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires paid for by cuts to programs that the middle class and seniors depend on.

        Congressman Ryan and his staff has since taken issue with some of the critiques the President made about the Republican approach. We believe in backing up our facts – so here’s some further explanation of some of the core problems with the Ryan Republican Budget.

        1. The Republican budget enacts a drastic, unspecified 19 percent cut in non-defense discretionary programs that help the middle class and help our economy grow.

        2. The Republican approach would end Medicare as we know it.

        3. The Republican budget would mean 19 million Americans lose the health coverage they are already getting under current Medicaid

        For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/06/getting-facts

  3. CR says:

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates

    Robert M Gates – Retrospective

    “I would be more than happy if the only legacy I took away from this job is [that] those kids out there in the field knew they had someone who was looking after them, all the time.”

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates
    Afghanistan, June 5, 2011

    http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2011/0611_gatesfarewell/

    • CR says:

      Gates Makes Final Overseas Journey to Thank Deployed Troops

      June 23, 2011 By Jim Garamone
American- Forces Press Service

      WASHINGTO– It’s 110 degrees in the shade, and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is answering questions from about 200 soldiers at a bleak U.S. installation near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in mid-June.

      At the end of the session, he tells them he has one more thing to say: “I’ve come out here to thank you for the last time for your service and for your sacrifice. More than anybody except the president, I’m responsible for you being here. I’m the person that signed the deployment papers that got you here. And that weighs on me every day.”

      It’s tough for the secretary to get through this statement. He steps away from the microphone, and there are tears in his eyes. The soldiers in the audience — from the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade — are moved, as well. Gates receives prolonged applause. As he hands out commemorative coins to the troops, they thank him for his service and all he has done for them.

      “I’ve told friends that I would be more than happy if the only legacy I took away from this job is those kids out there in the field knew they had someone who was looking after them, all the time,” Gates said in a recent interview with American Forces Press Service during his last trip to visit deployed troops.

      For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=64421

    • CR says:

      Farewell Message from Secretary Gates
      As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, The Pentagon, Wednesday,

      June 29, 2011 defense.gov

      “To the Men and Women of the United States Armed Forces: Tomorrow, 30 June 2011, I will retire as Secretary of Defense. It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve and to lead you for the past four and a half years. All of that time we have been engaged in two wars and countless other operations.

      It has been a difficult time for you and for your families, from long and repeated deployments for those in all four services — and the associated long separations from loved ones — to the anguish of those of you who have lost friends and family in combat or those of you who have suffered visible and invisible wounds of war yourselves. But your dedication, courage and skill have kept America safe even while bringing the war in Iraq to a successful conclusion and, I believe, at last turning the tide in Afghanistan. Your countrymen owe you their freedom and their security. They sleep safely at night and pursue their dreams during the day because you stand the watch and protect them.

      For four and a half years, I have signed the orders deploying you, all too often into harm’s way. This has weighed on me every day. I have known about and felt your hardship, your difficulties, your sacrifice more than you can possibly imagine. I have felt personally responsible for each of you, and so I have tried to do all I could to provide whatever was needed so you could complete your missions successfully and come home safely — and, if hurt, get the fastest and best care in the world.

      You are the best that America has to offer. My admiration and affection for you is without limit, and I will think about you and your families and pray for you every day for the rest of my life. God bless you.”

    • CR says:

      Thank you Secretary Gates for your years of service.

  4. CR says:

    Michelle Obama To Visit VT
    First Lady Hosts Political Fundraiser

    Michelle Obama To Visit VT
    June 7, 2011 wptz.com

    BURLINGTON, Vt — The Vermont Democratic Party revealed that Michelle Obama will visit the Green Mountain state.

    The first lady is scheduled to be at a fundraiser on June 30th at the Sheraton in South Burlington.

    The event will be held by the Obama Victory fund.

    Doors will open at 3:30 pm and events are slated to begin at 4:15pm.

    A product of Chicago public schools, Mrs. Obama studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University.

    After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1988, she joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she later met her husband.

    Michelle and Barack Obama have two daughters: Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9

    • CR says:

      June 30, 2011

      Remarks by the First Lady at DNC event in Boston, Massachusetts

      Private Residence, Boston, Massachusetts

      1:22 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: I won’t be using the box. (Laughter.) Oh, my goodness, thank you so much. Oh, okay, let’s just go home now. (Laughter.)

      I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to be here with all of you today. And I want to thank Elaine for that very kind introduction, and to Elaine and Jerry and their entire family for hosting this event here in their beautiful home. I can’t tell you how much this means to us to have your support. You are true public servants, as well. You live it out every day. You live it out throughout the generations. And it is that foundation that allows Barack and I to do the work that we do. So we are so truly, truly grateful to you for your work and your dedication, your support. So thank you again. (Applause.)

      I also want to thank your fabulous governor, who is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. Yeah, yeah, he is. (Applause.) Governor Patrick. And the only other person I like more than you is Diane. (Laughter.) It’s okay. I know how that goes. (Laughter and applause.)

      And also to all the other elected officials here — Elaine acknowledged everyone — I got to meet and say hello to each of you — thank you for your leadership and your service.

      And finally, I want to thank all of you for being here today. I love when I get to take pictures and actually talk to everybody before I actually talk, because I feel like I know you all already in our little conversations and hugs.

      I am thrilled to see so many new faces in the crowd. But I’m also thrilled to see so many folks who’ve been with us right from the beginning, as well, folks who’ve been through all the ups and downs and the nail-biting moments along the way, because there were many. And today, as we look ahead to the next part of the journey, I’m thinking back to how it all began.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/30/remarks-first-lady-dnc-event-boston-massachusetts

    • CR says:

      June 30, 2011

      Remarks by the First Lady at Vermont National Guard Joining Forces Rally

      Army Aviation Support Facility, Vermont National Guard, Burlington, Vermont

      3:40 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. (Applause.) Oh, my goodness. (Applause.) Good job. Thank you so much. (Applause.) Oh, my goodness! (Applause.) Got to come to Vermont more often! (Applause.) Yes! (Applause.) Oh, my goodness, thank you so much. (Applause.)

      Please, please rest yourselves. Oh, I am thrilled to be here with all of you today. Let me just say that when I found out I was coming to Vermont — I’m coming to do some other things, but I told my staff — I said I have got to do something with the Vermont Guard and my dear friend, Marcelle. So I am just thrilled to be here and that you all have taken the time to come and be here with me. We are proud, so very proud.

      I want to start by thanking Marcelle for that very kind introduction and for all her hard work on behalf of our Guard and Reserve families. But I also want to personally thank her for being my big sister in the U.S. Senate. She told you that we met then, but the truth is, is that she’s my big sister. She was assigned to me to look after me as a new spouse, and she did that well then and she continues to do that. She is a truly wonderful woman who I consider a dear friend, and she has always had my back. So we have to give Marcelle Leahy a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      And I also want to acknowledge someone who couldn’t be here today but who would have been here today. She’s been a phenomenal partner to me every day on this issue. She’s a military mom herself, a tireless champion for military families, and also my friend, Dr. Jill Biden. (Applause.)

      And I want to recognize your wonderful governor, Governor Shumlin. And his daughter is here, as well. She’s gorgeous, having a great summer. Stay out of trouble. Listen to your parents. (Laughter.) Thanks so much. As well as General — Major General Dubie for his outstanding leadership. I had an opportunity to meet his wife, as well.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/30/remarks-first-lady-vermont-national-guard-joining-forces-rally

      • CR says:

        Michelle Obama at Vermont Army National Guard in Colchester

        Uploaded by VermontPublicTV on Jul 1, 2011

        First Lady Michelle Obama visited on June 30, 2011 and spoke with military, guests and families at the Vermont Army National Guard in Colchester, Vermont. Vermont Public Television recorded the entire event.

  5. Good morning CR and everyone. HOPE you all have a wonderful Thursday.

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our beloved President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  6. True colors shining through. Here is what Mark Halperin said about the President’s press conference yesterday on Morning Joke.

  7. CR says:

    Now Streaming…

    9:50 AM EDT
    The President delivers remarks at the Armed Forces Farewell Tribute in honor of Secretary Gates; The Vice President attends – The Pentagon

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/Events/Secretary-Gates-Last-Day-as-Defense-Secretary/10737422581/

    Department of Defense http://www.defense.gov/live

    • CR says:

      June 30, 2011

      Remarks by the President and Secretary Gates at Armed Services Farewell Tribute in Honor of Secretary Gates

      Pentagon

      10:09 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Admiral Mullen, thank you for your eloquent words, but also for your extraordinary service. As you near a well-deserved retirement, thank you for four decades of incredible service — to you and Deborah.

      Members of Congress, Vice President Biden, Deputy Secretary Lynn, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, service secretaries and distinguished guests, men and women of the finest military in the world, and, most of all, Secretary Gates, Becky, Brad, and although she could not be here, I also want to acknowledge your daughter Eleanor.

      When I took office, Bob Gates had already served under seven Presidents during an illustrious career that spanned four decades. He would have been forgiven if he had opted for a private life of comfort and ease. He had earned it. And when asked by a reporter whether he might stay on to serve an eighth President, he offered the answer — “inconceivable.” (Laughter.)
      Why did he stay? I know there are days when Bob asked that himself. I’m sure Becky asked that also. But I believe I know the answer, because I’ve seen this man in those moments of debate and decision when a person’s character is revealed —- in the Oval Office, in the Situation Room, in the theaters of war.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/30/remarks-president-and-secretary-gates-armed-services-farewell-tribute-ho

  8. The President at LGBT Pride Month event at the Whitehouse yesterday.

  9. CR says:

    Democrats Need a Marriage Counselor

    June 29, 2011 Posted by Tien – ThePeople’sView

    There is a saying that Republicans fall in line, and Democrats fall in love. Democrats fell hard in love with Senator Barack Obama. For many, like me, it was love at first sight. I was switching channels one day and saw this interesting man on the Oprah Winfrey show, so I stopped to listen and was transfixed. Before the television segment was complete, I was already saying out loud, “This man needs to be Presidentnow.” It was one of those ‘remember where you were when it happened’ experiences.

    In Senator Obama I recognized someone who understood complex problems and had common sense solutions. Here was a man who knew how to get things done. Right then I dedicated myself to helping him get elected and marveled at his capability throughout the campaign, was dazzled by the cleverness of his transition (there needs to be a book written just about that time in history) and am in complete awe of his competence as Commander In Chief.

    For the entire article: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2011/06/democrats-need-marriage-counselor.html

  10. CR says:

    Exclusive: U.S. small business borrowing surges

    6/30/11 By Ann Saphir – Reuters

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – Borrowing by small U.S. businesses rose at a record pace in May, data released by PayNet Inc on Thursday showed, a sign that economic growth is poised to pick up in coming months.

    The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the overall volume of financing to U.S. small businesses, rose 26 percent in May from a year earlier, PayNet said.

    The index is now at its highest since July 2008, two months before the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the near derailment of the world financial system.

    Borrowing by small businesses is seen as a harbinger for the broader economy because they account for as much as 80 percent of new hiring. The loans PayNet tracks are typically used to buy or update plants and equipment.

    The Federal Reserve has kept rates near zero since December 2008 to try to pull the economy from the worst downturn since the 1930s.

    Last week Fed officials reiterated their promise to keep rates low for an extended period, but predicted a slower-than-expected Spring would give way to faster growth later this year.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-u-small-business-borrowing-surges-102137105.html

  11. CR says:

    USPTO Director Kappos Talks Jobs, Innovation and Patent Reform with Kojo Nnamdi

    June 29, 2011 commerce.gov

    Today USPTO Director David Kappos was interviewed by popular Washington, D.C. radio host Kojo Nnamdi for a segment focused on patents as a vehicle to create new jobs, the patent reform legislation currently pending in Congress, and improvements made at the USPTO under Director Kappos’ leadership.

    Topics discussed in the interview included the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and how a change from a first-to-invent system to a first-to-file system as called for in the legislation would impact the innovation community. Kappos noted that this is really a first-inventor-to-file system, meaning that the person who files the patent application has to be the inventor. He pointed to this system as one that is more transparent, simple and objective and one that provides greater certainty for inventors.

    For the entire article: http://www.commerce.gov/blog/2011/06/29/uspto-director-kappos-talks-jobs-innovation-and-patent-reform-kojo-nnamdi

  12. CR says:

    Debt Limit in Focus: A Question to the President and Two Treasury Letters to the Hill

    6/29/2011 By: Colleen Murray – treasury.gov

    Today, President Obama and Secretary Geithner made it clear that failing to raise the federal government’s debt limit by the August deadline would have catastrophic consequences for the U.S. economy and hurt families paying for college, maintaining a mortgage or owning a car. Ordinary Americans from all walks of life – including our Armed Forces, whose members depend on their paychecks; Social Security recipients, who rely on monthly benefits to maintain their retirement and health care security; and small business owners, who provide goods and services to the country – could all be affected.

    At a press conference today at the White House, the President said the ramifications would be far-reaching: “This is a jobs issue. This is not an abstraction,” the President said. “The consequences for the U.S. economy will be significant and unpredictable. We don’t know how capital markets will react.”

    Earlier today, Secretary Geithner sent a response letter to Senator DeMint in which he explained that there was no way to prioritize payments to avoid a sovereign default.

    “Even if the idea of ‘prioritization’ were not so unwise, it would not be a mere exercise in ‘belt tightening,’ as you suggest,” he wrote. “The United States is now required to borrow approximately 40 cents for every dollar of expenditures. Your proposal would require cutting roughly 40 percent of all government payments. These deep cuts would be felt by all Americans, and they would risk throwing the economy back into recession.”

    For the entire article: http://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/Debt-Limit-in-Focus-A-Question-to-the-President-and-Two-Treasury-Letters-to-the-Hill.aspx

  13. CR says:

    Department of Energy Announces New Partnerships to Support Manufacturing Job Training

    National Training and Education Resource (NTER) Offers Tools to Train Workers

    June 29, 2011 energy.gov

    Washington, D.C. – To complement the Obama Administration’s launch last week of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today announced a series of new manufacturing job training partnerships using the Department of Energy’s National Training and Education Resource (NTER). DOE will be partnering with the Manufacturing Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, and Macomb Community College to explore opportunities to provide students with highly interactive and engaging materials in a variety of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) areas, as well as virtual technician training. Partner organizations will be able to access the federal resources available through the NTER – an open-source, web-based, interactive learning environment – and be able to develop new training programs and materials.

    “The public-private partnerships we are announcing today will play an important role in educating and training a new generation of U.S. manufacturers,” said Secretary Chu. “These organizations and others nationwide will be able to leverage the Department’s online education platform – the National Training and Education Resource – to develop and distribute training materials quickly and cost-effectively.”

    For the entire article: http://www.energy.gov/news/10402.htm

  14. CR says:

    Department of Energy Offers Conditional Loan Guarantee Commitments to Support Nearly $4.5 Billion in Loans for Three California Photovoltaic Solar Power Plants
    Projects Expected to Create 1,400 Jobs and Generate Approximately 1330 Megawatts of Installed Solar Power

    June 30, 2011 energy.gov

    Washington D.C. – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced offers of conditional commitments for loan guarantees, of approximately $4.5 billion, to support three alternating current Cadmium Telluride (Cd-Te) thin film photovoltaic (PV) solar generation facilities. The Department is offering a conditional commitment for a $680 million loan guarantee to support the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch 1 project, conditional commitments for partial loan guarantees of $1.88 billion in loans to support the Desert Sunlight project, and conditional commitments for partial loan guarantees of $1.93 billion in loans to support the Topaz Solar project. First Solar, Inc., with headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, is sponsoring all three projects and will provide Cd-Te thin film solar PV modules for the projects from a new manufacturing plant that has begun construction in Mesa, Arizona, as well as from its recently expanded manufacturing plant in Perrysburg, Ohio, which serves as its primary hub for engineering, research and development. The company expects that the projects will create a combined 1,400 jobs in California during peak construction.

    “These projects will bring immediate jobs to California in addition to hundreds more across the supply chain,” said Secretary Chu. “Together the projects will power hundreds of thousands of homes with clean, renewable power and increase our global competitiveness in the clean energy economy.”

    For the entire article: http://www.energy.gov/news/10404.htm

  15. CR says:

    Jobless Benefit Claims Dipped Last Week

    June 30, 2011 by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits was mostly unchanged last week, evidence that the weak U.S. economy is struggling to generate jobs.

    Unemployment benefit applications ticked down 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 428,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

    Applications have topped 400,000 for 12 straight weeks. Applications had fallen in February to 375,000, a level that signals sustainable job growth. They stayed below 400,000 for seven of nine weeks. But applications then surged to an eight-month high of 478,000 in April and have shown only modest improvement since that time.

    For the entire article: http://www.npr.org/2011/06/30/137522988/jobless-benefit-claims-dipped-last-week

  16. CR says:

    Senate to work next week on debt limit impasse

    6/30/11 JIM KUHNHENN – Associated Press | AP – 1 hr 6 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate abandoned plans for a July 4 break as time dwindled for lawmakers to strike a compromise on avoiding a government default and reducing mammoth federal deficits. In a challenge to President Barack Obama, the chamber’s top Republican invited him to the Capitol to discuss the impasse with GOP lawmakers.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced the scheduling change Thursday, a day after President Barack Obama prodded lawmakers to act swiftly to extend the government’s ability to borrow money. The Senate had been scheduled to take a week’s break but instead will meet beginning Tuesday.

    “We’ll do that because we have work to do,” Reid said.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/senate-next-week-debt-limit-impasse-140257248.html

  17. CR says:

    How To Make Change Series

    Posted by Kalpen Modi on June 30, 2011

    Through the summer, we’ll be rolling out events based on your feedback during the “Your Future, Your Solutions” 100 Roundtables Initiative in a series called How to Make Change. We’ll update the schedule with emails and on our website with specifics on timing of the events below and for added events here at the White House, and around the country.

    * Kickoff Conference Call with President Obama and Administration Officials

    * Civic Engagement: Youth Incarceration, Environment, and LGBT Issues

    * Tackling Poverty

    * E-Book Launch

    * College Affordability, Student Financial Aid, and Pell Grants

    * Educational Awards, Low Income Housing, and Grants

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/06/30/how-make-change-series

  18. CR says:

    #AskObama at the First Ever Twitter @Townhall at the White House

    Posted by Kori Schulman on June 30, 2011

    The White House is all a-Twitter about an exciting event that’s happening next week. On Wednesday, July 6th at 2pm ET, President Obama will answer your questions in the first ever Twitter Town Hall at the White House, and you’re invited. Starting today, you can tweet your questions about jobs and the economy using the hashtag #AskObama and follow @townhall for the latest updates. Then, come back to watch the President respond to your questions in a live event moderated by Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder and Executive Chairman.
    WH Twitter Town Hall

    Today, we’re also kicking off White House Tweetups (h/t NASA). For our first Tweetup, a portion of the town hall’s live audience will be drawn from people who follow @whitehouse and register online. We look forward to hosting future Tweetups that will give @whitehouse followers the opportunity to attend events, engage with Administration officials, and share their ideas with other @whitehouse followers. Visit WhiteHouse.gov/tweetup to sign up and learn more.

    The White House uses Twitter to share breaking news, provide updates and engage with the people across the country. Join the 2.25 million @whitehouse followers, and be sure to check out our other official accounts:

    * First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! @letsmove and Joining Forces @joiningforces initiatives
    * White House Communications Director, Dan Pfeiffer @pfeiffer44
    * White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney @PressSec
    * White House Director of Digital Strategy Macon Phillips @macon44
    * Chief Official White House Photographer and Director of the White House Photography Office Pete Souza @petesouza
    * Director of Progressive Media & Online Response, Jesse Lee @jesseclee44

  19. CR says:

    Latest developments in Arab world’s unrest

    6/30/11 By The Associated Press | AP – 13 mins ago

    LIBYA
    Libya’s opposition leader says rebels need more weapons and funding, as China and Russia raise concerns over revelations that France supplied arms to civilians fighting Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. Mahmoud Jibril of Libya’s Transitional National Council says foreign deliveries of military hardware would give the rebels a chance to “decide this battle quickly (and) to spill as little blood as possible.” France acknowledges air-dropping weapons to the rebels.
    ___

    SYRIA
    Syrian army forces spread through a rebellious mountainous area near the Turkish border as the death toll from a two-day military siege rises to 19. The action by Syrian troops in the northwestern area of Jabal al-Zawiya appears aimed at preventing residents from fleeing to Turkey, where more than 10,000 Syrians have already taken shelter in refugee camps.
    ___

    BAHRAIN
    Bahrain riot police fire tear gas and stun grenades to disperse thousands gathered near the square that was the epicenter of the nation’s Shiite-led protests earlier this year. Also, Bahrain is ending a practice of bringing anti-government protesters to trial at a special tribunal with military prosecutors. The procedure has been criticized as unfair by rights activists and the Gulf kingdom’s Western allies.
    ___

    EGYPT
    An Egyptian court orders an independent review of disputed forensic evidence used in the defense of two policemen accused of beating a young businessman whose death helped trigger Egypt’s uprising. The state forensic report concluded that Khaled Said died as a result of swallowing a packet of drugs. The finding has been widely ridiculed because photos of Said’s battered body showed his face bloodied and his jaw shattered.
    ___

    MOROCCO
    Moroccans are preparing to vote on a new constitution that the king has presented as a wide ranging set of democratic reforms, though activists maintain it perpetuates an autocracy. The measure, backed by the king and a massive media campaign, is likely to pass.
    ___

    TUNISIA
    A Tunisian court delays a second criminal trial of the country’s ousted president because of a lawyers’ strike. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia amid a popular revolt against his authoritarian regime, is not expected to show up in court. Ben Ali and his wife were convicted in absentia earlier this month on embezzlement and other charges.
    ___

    JORDAN
    Dozens of Jordanians pelted the parliament with eggs, demanding the dismissal of the prime minister and all parliament members. The police briefly scuffle with protesters. The protesters are angry that lawmakers this week cleared Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit of involvement in a casino scandal during his previous 2005-2007 term.

  20. CR says:

    Bringing Transparency to College Costs

    Posted by Ezra Mechaber on June 30, 2011

    More and more, Americans understand the critical role that earning a college degree plays in their lives, with prospects for higher earnings and further advancements that extend throughout their careers. However, one of the greatest challenges Americans face is the rising cost of higher education.

    To help students make informed decisions about their choice for higher education, today the Department of Education launched an online College Affordability and Transparency Center on the Department of Education’s College Navigator website. As part of this Center, the Department posted lists that highlight institutions with the highest tuition prices, highest net prices, and institutions whose prices are rising at the fastest rates. Institutions whose prices are rising the fastest will report why costs have gone up and how the institution will address rising prices. The Department will summarize these reports and make them publicly available to parents and students.

    The President has been committed to making higher education more affordable, and today’s announcement complements our ongoing efforts. Since taking office, we have worked to expand student aid, improve options to repay student loans, and give more students access to higher education. We have also enhanced consumer information on the FAFSA and on the College Navigator portal, a resource that can provide information on thousands of institutions of higher education across the nation. These existing tools will complement the informative resources newly available today.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/06/30/bringing-transparency-college-costs

  21. CR says:

    Senate confirms Petraeus as CIA director

    6/30/11By Jason Ukman – WashingtonPost

    The Senate on Thursday unanimously confirmed Gen. David H. Petraeus to be the next director of the CIA, putting one of the most decorated soldiers in the U.S. military at the helm of the nation’s preeminent intelligence agency.

    Petraeus, currently top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, is expected to assume the new post in September.

    On the Senate floor Thursday, lawmakers lavished praise on Petraeus, describing him as a brilliant tactician whose leadership helped turn the tide against insurgents in Iraq and has helped U.S. and allied forces make considerable gains in Afghanistan.

    “At the CIA, he’ll have a chance to take the fight to the enemy in a different way,” said Sen. Lindsay O. Graham (R-S.C.), noting that U.S. intelligence in Afghanistan will play an increasingly important role there as U.S. troops are withdrawn.

    Petraeus, said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), will “provide our nation with the very best strategy, tactics, thought and action to keep our nation safe.”

    The general’s nomination was approved by a 94 to 0 vote.

    On Tuesday, the Senate unanimously confirmed outgoing CIA Director Leon Panetta as the new secretary of defense. The agency’s deputy director, Michael J. Morell, is expected to serve as interim director until Petraeus’s arrival.

  22. CR says:

    U.S. turns joint security stations over to Iraqis

    June 29, 2011 Spc. Anthony T. Zane, 362nd MPAD – army.mil

    BASRAH, Iraq, June 24, 2011 — Three joint security stations located in southern Iraq were signed over to the Iraqis June 19-22, 2011.

    U.S. military officers met with Iraqi officials at Sifer and Al Sheeb in Maysan Province and Minden located in Basrah Province to sign over control of the three stations as the U.S. continues its responsible drawdown.

    “The significance of these last three sites is that they were done with very little advanced notice,” said Lt. Col. Charles Schoening, division engineer and chief of transition, 36th Infantry Division, Austin, Texas. “We got approval to close Sheeb, Sifer and Minden June 1, which is right around three weeks, and prior to that no bases had been closed in that short a time period,” he added, emphasizing the efficiency of the drawdown.

    Preparing each site for the transition included many steps to ensure that the bases were in proper order once returned to the government of Iraq.

    “There is an exhaustive environmental process in order to ensure that when we return these bases, there is nothing hazardous or harmful to the environment left on the bases,” said Schoening. “We have a very good ongoing environmental program, so if there is an incident, say a fuel spill, we have a process for getting that cleaned up immediately,” he added.

    The official turnover occurred not in a public forum, but in the privacy of small meeting rooms located at each station, including Sifer, located on the Iranian border.

    For the entire article: http://www.army.mil/article/60792/U_S__turns_joint_security_stations_over_to_Iraqis/

  23. CR says:

    Now Streaming…

    5:35 PM EDT
    President Obama participates in a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    • CR says:

      June 30, 2011

      Remarks by the President at DNC Event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

      Hyatt at the Bellevue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

      5:25 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Philly! (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you, Philadelphia! (Applause.) It is good to be back — (applause) — good to be back in the great state of Pennsylvania. (Applause.) Congratulations, Phillies fans. (Applause.) That is quite a rotation.

      There are a couple of people I want to acknowledge. First of all, you just heard from somebody who I consider just a dear, dear friend. This is a guy who stood with me when nobody was sure whether I was going to win or not. And he didn’t have to do it, but he was just a terrific, terrific supporter, a great friend. He is a great senator. Please give it up for Bob Casey. (Applause.)

      Two other outstanding members of your congressional delegation who have been with me and supportive of everything we’ve been trying to do — I could not be prouder of the work they do on behalf of their constituents — Congressman Brady and Congressman Fattah are here. (Applause.) Thank you.

      Your outstanding mayor, Mayor Nutter is in the house. (Applause.) And one of the great legislators in Congress who also happens to be a pretty good political mind, and that is why we are so proud to have her as the chairwoman of the DNC — Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Please give her a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      Now, I see a lot of new faces out here. And then I see a few faces I’ve known for a long time. (Applause.) Some of you who are here knew me before I had gray hair. (Laughter.)

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/30/remarks-president-dnc-event-philadelphia-pennsylvania

    • CR says:

      Philly Campaign Trail Treat: President Obama Drops By John’s Water Ice

      JUNE 30, 2011 JUNE 30, 2011

      “I love being in Philly. Especially when I’ve got ice like this,” President says as he heads for DNC fundraisers…

      In Philadelphia to attend two DNC fundraising events late on Thursday afternoon, President Obama stopped off for a lemon frozen treat at John’s Water Ice. Located at 7th & Christian Streets on Philly’s South Side, the tiny icery bills itself as “family owned and operated since 1945,” and is popular with locals. Accompanied by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), President Obama, clad in his shirtsleeves, bounded in and ordered at the counter at about 4:40 PM. They were soon joined by Reps. Fakkah Chatta and Robert Brady (both D-PA) and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

      President Obama dubbed his cup of lemon ice “outstanding.” It’s $3.00 for a cup.

      “I strongly recommend it,” the President said.

      For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2011/06/philly-campaign-trail-treat-president.html

  24. CR says:

    VOTE OF CONFIDENCE

    6/30/11 POLITICO44

    Former President Bill Clinton says President Obama has a pretty good chance of winning a second term. Here’s what he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday:

    “Well, on today’s facts, I’ll be surprised if he’s not reelected. I think people understand this recession was more severe than the one I had. And if you just look at what’s going on in Michigan, a terrible year for the Democrats in Michigan in 2010. But the United States on the day Barack Obama became president had two percent of the world’s market for these high percentage, high powered batteries, to make hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

    “Today we have 20 percent of the world market because of incentives he put in and pushed and aggressively sought. We have over 30 new battery factories, 18 of them in Michigan, built or under construction. I could give you other examples like that where we’re trying to build a competitive economy, where they’re going forward. I think he’s got a good story to tell.”

  25. CR says:

    June 30, 2011

    Obama Administration Announces 14 Initial Partners in the Better Buildings Challenge

    Private sector partners, local governments commit more than $500 million and 300 million square feet to improving energy efficiency

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced today at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in Chicago the 14 initial partners committing to the Better Buildings Challenge. The Better Buildings Challenge is part of the Better Buildings Initiative that President Obama launched in February to catalyze private sector investment in commercial building upgrades and make America’s commercial buildings 20 percent more efficient over the next decade. The Better Buildings Initiative is co-led by the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and former President Clinton. Earlier this month, the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness recommended to President Obama prioritizing the Better Buildings Initiative as an important way to support job creation. The initial partners in the Better Buildings Challenge include private sector companies, financial institutions and local governments.

    “Improving building energy efficiency on a large scale is a challenge we can’t afford not to take,” said Secretary Chu. “It will create jobs, reduce energy waste, save our businesses and institutions money, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

    “The Better Buildings Challenge harnesses the creativity and ingenuity of leaders across the public and private sectors to ensure America leads the world in tapping the potential of saving energy to create jobs” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. “Upgrading the energy performance of the built environment will cut waste, lower pollution and spur market growth.”

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/30/obama-administration-announces-14-initial-partners-better-buildings-chal

  26. CR says:

    Jewish Community Roundtable in Silicon Valley

    Posted by Polly Trottenberg on June 30, 2011

    On Friday, June 25, I had the pleasure to lead a White House Outreach Roundtable in Los Gatos, California, where I met with an impressive group of community leaders from Silicon Valley synagogues, the Jewish Federation, interfaith working groups and transit providers.

    The discussion focused on improving transportation options for older Americans who can no longer drive, which is a top area of concern for local Jewish congregations. The service providers in the area report the demand for transit and ride services greatly exceed the supply, especially in more rural areas.

    We also discussed ways that communities could encourage more walking and biking and make local streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists of all ages through better street design, using many proven low-cost solutions like prioritizing pedestrian crossings through better traffic light timing and street markings.

    The group was very interested in learning about USDOT’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Partnership seeks to better integrate transportation, housing, economic development and environmental investments and policies, which has become a statewide priority in California since the passage of that state’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/06/30/jewish-community-roundtable-silicon-valley

  27. CR says:

    Could Obama ignore Congress if they refuse to raise the debt ceiling? Yes, and he should, some experts say

    Jun 30, 2011 By Chris Moody | The Ticket @ news.yahoo

    As both major parties debate their conditions for raising the nation’s debt ceiling, some Senate Democrats and constitutional scholars are questioning whether the limit is constitutional in the first place.

    Delaware Sen. Chris Coons told The Huffington Post this week that he’s part of a group of lawmakers now examining whether, in the case that debt negotiations fail, the Treasury could ignore Congress and continue paying its bills on time.

    “This is an issue that’s been raised in some private debate between senators as to whether in fact we can default, or whether that provision of the Constitution can be held up as preventing default,” Coons told Huffington Post reporters Ryan Grim and Samuel Haass. “[I]t’s going to get a pretty strong second look as a way of saying, ‘Is there some way to save us from ourselves?’ ”

    Critics of the debt limit cite the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which states: “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” (Emphasis ours)

    Of course, the Fourteenth Amendment is open to wide, and varying, interpretation and debate. The most basic question here is, does a limit on debt “question” the “validity” of the debt?

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/pLz6c

  28. CR says:

    Republicans reject their own deficit-reduction report

    6/30/11 By Ezra Klein

    By the end of the debt-ceiling negotiations, the Obama administration had agreed to a deal that would reduce the deficit by $2.4 trillion, with $2 trillion of the total coming from spending cuts and $400 billion coming from tax increases. Taxes, in other words, would be about 17 percent of the final deal. Republicans rejected it. But as little as four months ago, it was the Republican ideal.

    Mike Konczal points us to “Spend Less, Owe Less, Grow the Economy,” the March 2011 report released by the Republicans on the Joint Economic Committee. The report, which tried to argue that fiscal austerity would lead to short-term growth, was as methodologically unsound, and quickly forgotten. But for our purposes, that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is the report’s golden ratio: “successful fiscal consolidations averaged 85% spending cuts and 15% revenue increases, while unsuccessful fiscal consolidations averaged 47% spending cuts and 53% revenue increases,” it concluded. There was even a graph:

    So when the GOP’s economic policy team sat down to make the strongest case they could for growth-inducing deficit reduction, they recommended a mix an 85:15 mix, not a 100:0 mix. And then, when the Obama administration agreed to an 83:17 mix, the Republican leadership walked out of the room and demanded that taxes be excluded from the deal altogether. How do you negotiate with that?

  29. CR says:

    Geithner says he’ll stay for ‘foreseeable future’

    6/30/11 By JIM KUHNHENN – Associated Press,KAREN HAWKINS – Associated Press | AP – 4 mins 31 secs ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday he’ll stay in his job for the “foreseeable future,” addressing speculation he might leave the Obama administration following the current round of budget negotiations.

    “I live for this work. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done. I believe in it,” Geithner said when questioned about his plans by former President Bill Clinton onstage at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.

    “We have a lot of challenges in the country and I’m going to be doing it for the foreseeable future,” he said.

    Geithner, 49, acknowledged the interest in his plans, noting that he’d been commuting back and forth from New York and had a son who was going to be finishing high school there. Earlier a person familiar with his thinking told The Associated Press that Geithner saw an opening to potentially leave once a deal was reached on raising the nation’s borrowing limit, but the source emphasized no decisions had been made. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

    Geithner reiterated his warnings Thursday of financial chaos if the federal government’s debt limit is not raised by Aug. 2. Along with other administration officials, Geithner is deep in negotiations to make it happen alongside spending cuts demanded by congressional Republicans.

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/fM1BQ

  30. CR says:

    WH

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:15 AM
    The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:45 AM
    The President meets with senior advisors
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:15 PM
    The Vice President delivers remarks at the Teamsters 28th International Convention at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:30 PM
    The President departs the South Lawn en route Camp David
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      July 1, 2011

      WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

      2:15 PM EDT
      Vice President Biden Speaks at Teamsters 28th International Convention
      Las Vegas, Nevada (Audio Only)

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      8:30 AM EDT
      Leon Panetta’s first day at the Pentagon
      Leon Panetta is sworn in as the new defense secretary, replacing Robert Gates.

      12:30 PM EDT
      State Department briefing on Sudan
      A State Department envoy briefs reporters on the current situation in Sudan.

      1:00 pm EDT
      NPC: NASA Administer Charles Bolden, Jr. on Future of Human Spaceflight

      1:15 PM EDT
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the situations in Libya and Yemen.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      8:30 AM EDT
      Leon Panetta’s first day at the Pentagon
      Leon Panetta is sworn in as the new defense secretary, replacing Robert Gates.

      12:30 PM EDT
      State Department briefing on Sudan
      A State Department envoy briefs reporters on the current situation in Sudan.

      1:00 pm EDT
      NPC: NASA Administer Charles Bolden, Jr. on Future of Human Spaceflight http://www.cspan.org/Events/NASA-Administrator-Discusses-Space-Shuttle-Program-at-National-Press-Club/10737422628/

      1:15 PM EDT
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the situations in Libya and Yemen.

      Department of Defense http://www.defense.gov/live

      8:30 AM EDT
      Leon Panetta’s first day at the Pentagon
      Leon Panetta is sworn in as the new defense secretary, replacing Robert Gates.

      Middle East Protest

      Al Jazeera – English http://english.aljazeera.net

  31. CR says:

    Friday, July 1st

    President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

    The First Family will spend the weekend at Camp David. They will depart on Friday afternoon and return on Sunday.

    • CR says:

      Camp David’s infrequent visitor

      7/1/11AMIE PARNES – POLITICO

      Camp David has been an alluring retreat for presidents since Franklin Roosevelt, its lush hills and secluded trails miles from the Beltway bubble and the prying eyes of the press.

      But as President Barack Obama enters his third summer at the White House, he hasn’t embraced the rustic getaway the same way as many of his predecessors.

      The president, a BlackBerry guy who prefers being on the grid to being on a nature trail, has made a habit of skipping weekend trips to Camp David. His day-and-a-half-long visit to the retreat June 10-12 was his first trip there since October, and he hasn’t invited any world leaders or lawmakers to the wooded hideaway in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains.

      During his presidency, Obama has made 17 visits to Camp David, spanning all or part of 39 days, according to Mark Knoller, the veteran CBS White House correspondent who keeps detailed records of presidential travels. At this point in George W. Bush’s presidency, by comparison, he had made 62 visits spanning 189 days in total, Knoller said.

      For the entire article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57357.html

  32. CR says:

    Leon Panetta heads to DOD on high note

    5/9/11 By JOHN BRESNAHAN – POLITICO

    Riding high following the death of Osama bin Laden, CIA Director Leon Panetta got a standing ovation when he went before House members last Tuesday to brief them on the U.S. raid that took out the world’s most wanted terrorist.
    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) openly lauded Panetta for “doing an excellent job” as CIA director, and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — a frequent White House basher — said President Barack Obama was “fortunate to be able to call upon” Panetta to serve in his administration.

    The heaping bipartisan praise suggests Panetta has reached “untouchable” status — for the moment — in official Washington, a status generally reserved for celebrities and war heroes.

    And his enhanced stature couldn’t come at a better time for either him or the White House because he has been tapped to replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates, with thetransition expected to take place this summer.

    For the entire article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/54550.html

  33. CR says:

    Seizing Opportunities to Support American Jobs, American Values in Trade

    Posted by Ambassador Ron Kirk on March 18, 2011

    President Obama has set an ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015, supporting at least two million additional American jobs. As the President departs for Latin America to promote U.S. exports and U.S. jobs, we at the Office of the United States Trade Representative are continuing to work on three pending free trade agreements – with Korea, Panama, and Colombia – that can support these National Export Initiative goals.

    In December, President Obama announced that the United States and South Korea have finalized an historic trade deal that will increase U.S. exports to Korea by $11 billion annually while supporting 70,000 American jobs. The news has been met with high praise from a wide range of groups, including the United Auto Workers, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, the U.S. Chamber and the American Farm Bureau Federation, to name a few stakeholders. They know the positive impact this agreement will have on U.S. businesses and families, from auto workers to cattle ranchers to high-tech manufacturers and service providers.

    The U.S.-Korea trade agreement would eliminate tariffs on more than 95 percent of industrial and consumer goods within five years, creating a more open and fair Korean market for U.S. auto companies and workers, and new opportunities for U.S. manufacturers, farmers and ranchers. In real terms, U.S. beef producers could expect to save $90 million annually with the progressive elimination of Korea’s existing tariff.

    With this landmark deal struck, it is now Congress’ turn to ratify it quickly – especially important since South Korea’s trade agreement with the EU takes effect on July 1.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/03/18/seizing-opportunities-support-american-jobs-american-values-trade

  34. CR says:

    ARCHIVE:

    VETERANS COMPENSATION COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT LEGISLATION SENT TO WHITE HOUSE

    6/24/2009 veterans.senate.gov

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following unanimous approval by the House and Senate, Congress is sending S. 407, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009 to the White House. If approved by President Barack Obama, S. 407 would protect the value of compensation for veterans and their survivors from potential inflation.

    “Millions of disabled veterans and their survivors rely on monthly compensation, and the value of their payments should be protected from potential inflation,” said Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), author of the bill. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to measure inflation. In the event that the CPI increases, S. 407 would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to increase, as of December 1, 2009, the rates of:

    • Veterans’ disability compensation,
    
• Dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children, and
    
• Additional related benefits.

    The cost of living adjustment (COLA) is designed to offset inflation. If the CPI increases, COLA for the above-mentioned benefits would match the annual increase provided to Social Security recipients. This year’s COLA rate has not been determined, and some predict that the CPI will decrease this year. In the event of a decrease in the CPI, veteran and survivor compensation will remain at last year’s rate.

    • CR says:

      S. 407 Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009

      As cleared by the Congress on June 23, 2009, and signed by the President on June 30, 2009

      S. 407, enacted as Public Law 111-37, will increase the amounts paid to veterans for disability compensation and to their survivors for dependency and indemnity compensation by the same cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) payable to Social Security recipients. The increase will take effect on December 1, 2009, and the resulting adjustment will be rounded to the next lower dollar. S. 407 also codifies the rates of disability compensation as adjusted by the 2008 COLA.

      The COLA that is authorized by this bill is assumed in CBO’s baseline, consistent with section 257 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, and savings, if any, from rounding it down were achieved by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-33) and extended to 2013 by the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-183). Furthermore, based on its current economic forecast, CBO does not anticipate a cost-of-living increase in 2010 for Social Security; thus, CBO estimates that enacting this bill will have no impact on spending for those programs.

      For the entire article: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10469/s407.pdf

  35. CR says:

    Joe Biden visits Las Vegas looking for Teamster support
    Vice president critical of GOP during speech at Paris hotel-casino

    JUSTIN M. BOWEN
    Vice President Joe Biden speaks to thousands of Teamsters gathered for the 28th International Brotherhood of Teamsters at the Paris hotel-casino convention center in Las Vegas Friday, July 1, 2011.

    July 1, 2011 Delen Goldberg – lasvegassun

    Vice President Joe Biden credits organized labor with helping him win a U.S. Senate seat and the vice presidency. Now he’s looking for Teamster support to return him and President Barack Obama to the White House in 2012.

    Biden visited Las Vegas on Friday to speak to thousands of members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters who gathered at Paris Las Vegas for their annual convention. Biden said his speech wasn’t supposed to be political but nevertheless warned, “Don’t come to me if you (vote Republican). You’re on your own, Jack.”

    In fact, Biden’s speech was the definition of political. He ticked off a list of policies the Obama administration has fought for to help unions and strengthen the middle class and blasted GOP opposition as arrogant and elitist.

    “Your logo is the horse’s head,” he told the Teamsters. “Their logo should be the other end.”

    Biden said the GOP believes in concentrating power and wealth in the hands of a chosen few, while Democrats support opportunity for all. He warned the Teamsters that Republicans had launched the most direct assault on unions since the 1920s.

    “They think you don’t even know what’s in your best interests. They’ve convinced themselves they know best. You’re the only thing that stands between the barbarians at the gate and them taking over,” Biden said.

    Biden was clearly trying to parlay his popularity with labor into support for his and Obama’s 2012 campaign. They’ll need it: The administration has faltered in polls recently, both in Nevada and nationwide.

    For the entire article: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/jul/01/vice-president-joe-biden-visits-las-vegas-looking-/

    • CR says:

      July 01, 2011

      Presidential Proclamation–40th Anniversary of the 26th Amendment

      40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 26TH AMENDMENT

      BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

      A PROCLAMATION

      Forty years ago, the 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution took effect, lowering the universal voting age in America from 21 years to 18 years. Millions of young Americans were extended the right to vote, empowering more young people than ever before to help shape our country. On this anniversary, we remember the commitment of all those who fought for the right to vote and celebrate the contributions of young adults to our Nation.

      The right to vote has been secured by generations of leaders over our history, from the women’s groups of the early 20th century to the civil rights activists of the 1960s. For young people, the movement to lower America’s voting age took years of hard work and tough advocacy to make the dream a reality. Yet, once proposed in Congress in 1971, the 26th Amendment was ratified in the shortest time span of any Constitutional Amendment in American history.

      In the midst of the Vietnam War, our Nation bestowed upon our young people the ability to change the status quo and entrusted them with a new voice in government. Today, young adults across America continue to exercise this enormous responsibility of citizenship. Countless young people are involved in the political process, dedicated to ensuring their voices are heard.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/07/01/presidential-proclamation-40th-anniversary-26th-amendment

  36. CR says:

    July is Ice Cream Month!

    Do you remember this one?
    .

    Yes Pecan! Yes Pecan tub

    Yes, Pecan! (US)
    To celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama as President, we switched the name of Butter Pecan to “Yes, Pecan!” in our scoop shops in the United States for the month of January. In collaboration with the nonprofit group Common Cause, we used the media attention we attracted, as well as our Facebook and web presence, to call for more transparency and accountability in government in the new administration. Ben & Jerry’s made a cash contribution to the Common Cause Education Fund for every person who made a donation to Common Cause through our appeal – and we also kicked in a little bit for everyone who friended Common Cause on Facebook at our urging. Altogether, we gave $20,000 to the Common Cause Education Fund in 2009 as a part of this campaign.

  37. CR says:

    Good Friday morning everyone!

    Our area will have triple digits for the next four days and I will not have my computer on during the hottest time of those days.

    I HOPE that you have a good day! :)

  38. CR says:

    Next Up…

    8:30 AM EDT
    Leon Panetta’s first day at the Pentagon
    Leon Panetta is sworn in as the new defense secretary, replacing Robert Gates.

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

    Department of Defense http://www.defense.gov/live

    • CR says:

      Message to the Department of Defense from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta

      7/1/11 defense.gov

      “Today, I was honored to take the oath of office to become the 23rd Secretary of Defense. I am mindful of the great responsibility the President has entrusted to me, and I will work with you — America’s men and women in uniform and this Department’s civilian employees — as I lead the Department of Defense in its mission to protect our citizens and our nation’s interests around the world. My long career in public service began in the 1960s when I proudly donned the uniform of this country as a young Army intelligence officer. In the decades since, my respect for the military has only grown stronger.

      “Bob Gates, my outstanding predecessor and good friend, has been a tireless advocate for our troops and their families, and I pledge to be the same. You and your families will always be foremost on my mind and at the top of my agenda.

      “In the weeks and months ahead, I look forward to visiting with troops and civilian employees of every rank and hearing your ideas, thoughts, and concerns. As your leader, I will ensure that our nation continues to have the best-trained, best-equipped, and strongest military in the world – a force prepared to confront the challenges that face us. As CIA Director, I saw first-hand the tremendous capabilities of our military, and I was always impressed by the professionalism and patriotism of the men and women of the Armed Forces.

      For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=14621

  39. Good morning CR and everyone. HOPE you all have a wonderful Friday. We will hit 120 degrees here in Phoenix on Sunday, so the pool is going to be where you will find me this weekend!

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  40. CR says:

    West Wing Week 07/1/11 or “Magic Mountains and Volcanoes”

    From: whitehouse | Jun 30, 2011

    This week, on West Wing Week, The President speaks about innovation in Pittsburgh, PA, visits an advanced manufacturing facility in Iowa, holds a news conference in the East Room and welcomes champion soccer and basketball teams to the White House. That’s June 24th to June 30th or “Magic Mountains and Volcanoes”

  41. CR says:

    Los Angeles firms bring apparel jobs home on cost concerns

    7/1/11 By Mary Slosson | Reuters

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The apparel industry in Los Angeles, California is riding a small but growing wave of “insourcing” as costs in China and India rise and the city’s factories cater to demand for high-quality garb and fast-turn fashion.

    One company bucking the offshoring trend by bringing jobs back home is Los Angeles-based Karen Kane, which sells women’s clothing — primarily dresses — in department stores like Nordstrom and Dillard’s.

    The privately held company is shifting 80 percent of its production to Southern California from China as manufacturers take a second look at the true costs and complications related to traditionally low-cost foreign labor markets.

    “The attitude toward American production has changed,” said Michael Kane, director of marketing and eldest son of the company’s namesake. “We looked at the cost of doing manufacturing here domestically, and the cost is not that different.”

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/los-angeles-firms-bring-apparel-jobs-home-cost-131604945.html

  42. CR says:

    Manufacturing activity grew faster in June

    7/1/11 By TALI ARBEL – AP Business Write

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. manufacturing activity recovered somewhat in June from a sharp slowdown in May.

    The rebound suggested that the pain from the late-spring spike in gas prices and supply problems that hurt auto sales are easing.
    But growth was muted compared to earlier this year, suggesting that the recovery is still weak.

    The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said Friday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to 55.3 in June from 53.5 in May, the slowest growth in 20 months.

    A reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing sector is expanding. The index had topped 60 from January to April.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/manufacturing-activity-grew-faster-june-144018566.html

    • CR says:

      China manufacturing at lowest in 2 years

      July 1, 2011 By Simon Rabinovitch in Beijing and Enid Tsui in Hong Kong – ft.com

      Chinese manufacturing growth has fallen to its lowest level in more than two years, while soft data from India and South Korea have added to the picture of a slowdown in Asia after moves to tame inflation.

      With price pressures still high, economists said that policymakers would be able to shift only gingerly from fighting inflation to supporting growth.

  43. CR says:

    LA Business Roundtable Highlights Key Role for Small Businesses

    Posted by David Strickland on July 01, 2011

    As the nation continues to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, it’s clear that small businesses are playing a critical role in helping our communities rebound and rebuild.

    Last week, in my first trip to southern California during my tenure at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, I heard from members of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce just how eager entrepreneurial leaders in that community are to help improve opportunities for businesses and residents alike. In a business roundtable with representatives from industries ranging from finance to construction, chamber members discussed ways to improve education and support job creation by expanding programs that benefit small businesses. The kind of engagement I witnessed that day shows promise for Los Angeles—and for other areas around the country.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/01/la-business-roundtable-highlights-key-role-small-businesses

  44. CR says:

    Agreement Reached on Internet Policymaking Principles

    Posted by Danny Weitzner and Karen Kornbluh on July 01, 2011

    This week, at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) High Level Meeting on the Internet Economy, we joined Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf, along with representatives from business, civil society, and Internet technical communities from 34 countries to discuss how to preserve the openness of the Internet. Also present were policymakers who, over a decade ago, helped establish the Internet policy framework—elegant in its restraint—that enabled the open Internet to flourish with innovation and human connections beyond our wildest expectations.

    After intensive conversations, the OECD issued a communique of fundamental principles , highlighting commitments to:

    * Promote and protect the global free flow of information

    * Promote the open, distributed, and interconnected nature of the Internet

    * Co-operate in multi-stakeholder policy development processes

    * Ensure transparency, fair process, and accountability

    * Strengthen consistency and effectiveness in privacy protection

    * Maximize individual empowerment

    * Promote creativity and innovation

    * Limit Internet intermediary liability

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/01/agreement-reached-internet-policymaking-principles

  45. CR says:

    Collaborating with Tribes through the White House Rural Council

    Posted by Kimberly Teehee on July 01, 2011

    On June 9th, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the first White House Rural Council. While rural communities face challenges, they also present economic potential. The Council will address these challenges, build on the Administration’s rural economic strategy, and improve the implementation of that strategy.

    The Council, chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, was established to focus on policy initiatives for Rural Americans and will coordinate to increase the effectiveness of federal engagement with tribal governments. According to the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census, 42.6 percent of all Native Americans live in rural areas. In addition, some reservations face unemployment rates of up to 80 percent. The Council will work across federal agencies to address these challenges and promote economic prosperity and quality of life in Indian Country and across rural America. The Council will work to break down silos and find areas for better collaboration and improved flexibility in government programs and will work closely with state, local and tribal governments, non-profits, and the private sector to leverage federal support.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/01/collaborating-tribes-through-white-house-rural-council

    • CR says:

      Champions of Change: Native American Youth Leaders

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Dec 1, 2011

      This week’s Champions of Change event honors Native American youth leaders. December 1, 2011.

  46. azgrammy says:

    Hi CR & Jackie,
    Thanks for candle link prayer reminder Jackie…
    This article is good news CR:
    “Los Angeles firms bring apparel jobs home…” Thanks for posting.
    Guess you guys have heard there is wholesale-rebellion brewing on OFA website…
    If you feel so inspired, please visit Tori’s website, as she is collecting info on “what is wrong with OFA”, & enter in your concerns into the pool of comments:
    “OFA/DNC has destroyed the barackobama site”

    http://www.reelectobamabiden2012.com/

    We ought to be all working together to re-elect our President…sigh…

  47. CR says:

    Next Up…

    2:15 PM EDT
    Vice President Biden Speaks at Teamsters 28th International Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live (Audio Only)

    • CR says:

      BIDEN TO TEAMSTERS: YOU PROTECT THE MIDDLE CLASS

      July 1, 2011 teamster.org

      Vice President Addresses Teamsters’ 28th International Convention

      (LAS VEGAS) — Vice President Joe Biden said today at the Teamsters’ 28th International Convention that unions are the only institution protecting the middle class from assault by concentrated power and wealth.

      Biden said recent attacks on working people by politicians in state capitals and Congress represent “the most direct assault on labor in modern American history.”

      During the five-day convention, which closed today, Teamsters focused on the war being waged on workers by extremist politicians in the states and in Congress. Biden’s remarks echoed the union’s message that attacks on unions are attacks on the middle class.

      “What other institution in America has the power to take on this concentration of power and wealth?” Biden said. “It’s you.”

      “For white-collar workers in the middle class who don’t see any relevance to unions, for my kids, for my grandkids, we can’t lose this war,” he said.

      For the entire article: http://www.teamster.org/content/biden-teamsters-you-protect-middle-class

  48. CR says:

    President Obama Drops in on Community Leaders Briefing

    Posted by Lauren Kelly on July 01, 2011

    This summer, the White House Office of Public Engagement is hosting Community Leaders Briefings. These events, held weekly at the White House, bring together leaders and activists from communities all across the country for an opportunity to discuss common challenges and learn how the government can help them as they work to improve their neighborhoods. Last week, the participants got to hear from a speaker who happens to know a little something about community organizing: The President of the United States.

    The President recalled his time working on the south side of Chicago and noted that these briefings were a means to ensure that activists, organizers, and leaders throughout the country were aware of the ways in which the government could lend a hand.

  49. CR says:

    July 01, 2011

    CEA Releases Seventh Quarterly Report on the Economic Impact of the Recovery Act

    WASHINGTON, DC – The Council of Economic Advisers today released its latest quarterly report on the economic impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The report shows that the Recovery Act continues to play a key role in supporting the economy. Specifically, the Recovery Act added as much as 3.2 percent to the level of first quarter GDP and raised employment by as many as 3.6 million jobs.

    Overall, the Recovery Act has played a significant role in the turnaround of the economy, which has grown for seven straight quarters and has added 2.1 million private sector jobs over the past 15 months.

    This is the seventh quarterly report the Council of Economic Advisers has submitted to Congress on the employment and economic impact of the Recovery Act. The report can be viewed in full HERE.

    Key Findings

    * As of the first quarter of 2011, the Recovery Act raised employment by 2.4 to 3.6 million jobs.

    * GDP began to grow steadily in the third quarter of 2009, and has now grown for seven consecutive quarters, including continued growth in the first quarter of 2011.

    * The Recovery Act has raised the level of GDP as of the first quarter of 2011 by between 2.3 percent and 3.2 percent.

  50. CR says:

    HHS Announces $150 Million in Grants to Support Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families

    Posted by Nicole Young on July 01, 2011

    On Wednesday, June 29, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced funding for four discretionary grant awards totaling $150 million for Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grants. “This funding provides organizations in underserved communities with the tools they need to promote responsible parenting, to encourage healthy marriage and relationships, and to remove barriers to financial security and self-sufficiency,” said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

    Learn more by reading Secretary Sebelius’s recent blog on Huffington Post or by visiting the HHS website.

  51. CR says:

    Joining Forces for Our Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes

    Posted by Andy Lipsky on July 01, 2011

    Last week, the National Ocean Council brought together more than 500 Federal, state, tribal, and local government representatives, indigenous community leaders, and other stakeholders and members of the public from across the country for a National Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) Workshop in Washington, DC. An additional 260 participants joined us online for the Workshop webcast. The workshop kicked off a major program of regional collaboration to advance the stewardship of our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes—and by all accounts it provided a great start to achieving this important goal.

    We heard from participants how cooperative ocean and coastal planning can be used to create jobs, help secure energy independence, enhance recreational opportunities, and maximize the uses of our Nation’s working waters while ensuring their conservation for future generations. We also discussed how our country’s first comprehensive National Ocean Policy engages tribal nations as equal partners alongside states and the Federal government to produce a balanced plan that serves all Americans who have equities in our ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/01/joining-forces-our-oceans-coasts-and-great-lakes

  52. Has Romney never heard of “The Google”?

  53. CR says:

    Honoring Their Service with Ours

    Posted by Katelyn Sabochik on July 01, 2011

    This Independence Day, you can join First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden in supporting our troops, military families, and veterans by getting involved with Joining Forces.

    Here’s a few things you can do right now:

    * Operation Honor Card. You can get involved right now through Operation Honor Card – an effort to encourage Americans to support our military families by participating in service projects to serve those who serve us. At HonorCards.org, you can pledge hours of community service, find service projects in your area, and track your progress.

    * Send a Message of Thanks. A simple act of kindness can mean so much. Say thanks to a military family today.

    * Share Your Story of Support. How are you serving our nation’s military families? Tell us your story.

    * Stay Connected. There are plenty of ways to stay connected with Joining Forces. You can sign up for email updates, like Joining Forces on Facebook, or follow @JoiningForces on Twitter.

  54. CR says:

    I sent Austen Goolsbee an email and I have HOPE-

    Mr. Goolsbee,

    I am a supporter of President Obama. I (and many others outside of the Administration) found your explanations of the Nation’s economic situations very valuable; you have the gift of communicating matters in an intelligent yet easy to understand way. WE as a nation and President Obama and his administration still need that communication to continue, maybe you could write Op-Eds in major newspapers from time to time to continue to help.

    The last article written on the WH Council of Economic Advisor’s website was written by you.

  55. Thank you CR. Well written.

  56. CR says:

    July 01, 2011

    President Obama Announces Intent to Nominate Matthew Olsen as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center

    Today, President Obama will announce his intent to nominate Matthew Olsen as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Mr. Olsen will play a key role on the President’s national security team – bringing a strong voice and critical knowledge to integrate intelligence in order to protect Americans across the nation and around the world.

    “I am pleased to nominate Matthew Olsen to be the next Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Matt has a distinguished record of service in our intelligence community and I’m confident he will continue to build on our strong counterterrorism efforts,” said President Obama. “Matt will be a critical part of my national security team as we work tirelessly to thwart attacks against our nation and do everything in our power to protect the American people.”

    If confirmed, Mr. Olsen will build on the important work of the dedicated intelligence professionals at NCTC who work every day to keep our nation safe and secure. Mr. Olsen will continue NCTC’s mission to integrate intelligence relating to counterterrorism and to share that information with agencies and departments across the federal government. Additionally, Mr. Olsen will continue NCTC’s critical effort to conduct strategic operational planning for counterterrorism activities across the federal government, ensuring that we bring the full weight of our diplomatic, financial, military, intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement authorities and capabilities to bear to thwart terrorist plans. NCTC is organizationally part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/07/01/president-obama-announces-intent-nominate-matthew-olsen-director-nationa

    • CR says:

      Obama chooses new counterterror chief

      7/1/11 By BEN FELLER – AP White House Correspondent

      WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s choice for his next counterterrorism chief is Matthew Olsen, a former prosecutor with extensive experience in intelligence matters for the federal government, the White House announced Friday.

      Olsen, if confirmed by the Senate, would direct the National Counterterrorism Center, an agency born in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on America. That agency is charged with analyzing and integrating information gathered across the intelligence community and then providing assessments to the president and other senior policymakers.

      “Matt will be a critical part of my national security team as we work to tirelessly thwart attacks against our nation and do everything in our power to protect the American people,” Obama said a statement.

      Olsen, 49, currently serves as the general counsel for the National Security Agency. He has also held high-level roles in overseeing intelligence matters at the Justice Department and the FBI. From 2009 to 2010, Olsen directed the task force that, on Obama’s orders, reviewed the intelligence on detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-chooses-counterterror-chief-173855592.html

  57. CR says:

    Latest developments in Arab world’s unrest

    July 1, 2011 By The Associated Press

    LIBYA
    Moammar Gadhafi threatens to carry out attacks in Europe against “homes, offices, families,” unless NATO halts its campaign of airstrikes against his regime in Libya. He delivers the comments in an address to one of the largest pro-government rallies in months in Tripoli’s Green Square.
    ___

    SYRIA
    Hundreds of thousands of protesters flood cities around Syria on Friday in what activists describe as the largest outpouring against the regime of President Bashar Assad. At least 14 people were killed in various clashes, activists say/ The centerpiece of the protests is in the city of Hama, where the streets seem fully under the opposition’s sway.
    ___

    BAHRAIN
    Bahrain’s biggest Shiite bloc says it will join reconciliation talks with Sunni rulers despite a harsh crackdown on pro-reform protests in the Gulf kingdom. The decision by the group, Al Wefaq, lends important credibility to the U.S.-encouraged talks after more than four months of Shiite-led protests for greater rights and harsh crackdowns.
    ___

    EGYPT
    The Muslim Brotherhood says it is willing to enter a dialogue with the United States, taking up an offer that signals Washington’s acknowledgment that the fundamentalist group will play a significant political role in the new Egypt. Several thousand pro-democracy protesters rally in Tahrir Square, demanding speedy trials for former regime figures and policemen accused of killing protesters during the 18-day revolt that claimed 846 lives.
    ___

    MOROCCO
    Moroccans brave searing temperatures to vote for a new constitution their king says will bring the country much needed democratic reform. While the constitution, like all past referendums, is expected to be approved by a landslide, the real test will be in the turnout indicating whether Moroccans have faith in the reform process of 47-year-old King Mohammed VI.
    ___

    YEMEN
    The son of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh has led a crackdown arresting dozens of military officers suspected of turning against his wounded father, including many one of the country’s most elite forces, the Republican Guards, military officials say.

  58. CR says:

    WH

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  59. CR says:

    Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    Washington, DC

    Right now, there are a lot of folks who are still struggling with the effects of the recession. They’re wondering how they’d deal with an unexpected expense if their car breaks down. They’re worried about layoffs. They’re not sure if they can help their kids pay for college. And for many families, these challenges were around long before the recession hit in 2007.

    I ran for President because I believed in an America where ordinary folks could get ahead; where if you worked hard, you could have a better life. That’s been my focus since I came into office, and that has to be our focus now. It’s one of the reasons why we’re working to reduce our nation’s deficit. Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can’t afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs.

    The good news is, Democrats and Republicans agree on the need to solve the problem. And over the last few weeks, the Vice President and I have gotten both parties to identify more than $1 trillion in spending cuts. That’s trillion with a ‘t.’ But after a decade in which Washington ran up the country’s credit card, we’ve got to find more savings to get out of the red. That means looking at every program and tax break in the budget – every single one – to find places to cut waste and save money. It means we’ll have to make tough decisions and scale back worthy programs. And nothing can be off limits, including spending in the tax code, particularly the loopholes that benefit very few individuals and corporations.

    Now, it would be nice if we could keep every tax break, but we can’t afford them. Because if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or for hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners, or for oil and gas companies pulling in huge profits without our help – then we’ll have to make even deeper cuts somewhere else. We’ve got to say to a student, ‘You don’t get a college scholarship.’ We have to say to a medical researcher, ‘You can’t do that cancer research.’ We might have to tell seniors, ‘You have to pay more for Medicare.’

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/07/02/weekly-address-cutting-deficit-and-creating-jobs

    • CR says:

      Obama: We can’t afford to keep every tax break

      07/02/11 By Jamie Klatell – TheHill

      President Obama used his weekly address to reiterate his demand for ending tax breaks for “millionaires and billionaires” in any budget deal to raise the nation’s debt limit.

      “It would be nice if we could keep every tax break, but we can’t afford them,” Obama said. “Because if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or for hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners, or for oil and gas companies pulling in huge profits without our help – then we’ll have to make even deeper cuts somewhere else.”

      For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/169503-obama-we-cant-afford-tax-breaks-for-millionaires-and-billionaires

  60. CR says:

    Did Fox News originate in the Nixon White House?

    Jul 1, 2011 The Week

    Gawker unearths a decades-old memo that suggests Roger Ailes was an early proponent of Fox-style news — even when he was a young Nixon aide

    Since its launch in 1996, Fox News has rocketed to dominance in the cable wars. But Roger Ailes’ “fair and balanced” alternative to what he calls the liberal bias of other news outlets was far from an overnight success. In fact, according to documents obtained by Gawker, his idea for a conservative news source was conceived in 1970, when Ailes worked as a media consultant for then-President Richard Nixon. Here, a brief guide to how it all (might have) started:

    Where was the idea for Fox News born?
    According to Gawker, the concept was first outlined in a 1970 memo titled “A Plan for Putting the GOP on TV News.” Gawker’s John Cook found the document “buried deep within the Richard Nixon Presidential Library.” In it, the author proposes sidestepping the “prejudices of network news” to get “pro-administration,” pro-Republican video directly to local TV stations.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/did-fox-news-originate-nixon-white-house-133000588.html

  61. CR says:

    How The Debt Debate Might Play Out

    7/2/11 by NPR STAFF

    Summary:

    The White House and Congress continue to wrangle over a deal on the debt ceiling before Aug. 2. If they don’t, the nation will default on its loans. Host Scott Simon talks to Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, about the obstacles to a deal, what a short-term deal might look like, and the consequences of no deal being reached at all.

    For the audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/07/02/137572592/how-the-debt-debate-might-play-out

  62. CR says:

    Cost Of Georgia’s Immigration Laws Passed To Farms

    7/2/11 by NPR STAFF

    Summary:

    A handful of states are set to enact tough immigration laws, similar to Arizona’s controversial legislation. In Georgia, a crackdown on illegal immigrants has resulted in a severe shortage of farm labor. Host Scott Simon talks with Bryan Tolar, president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council.

    For the audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/07/02/137572612/cost-of-georgias-immigration-laws-passed-to-farms

  63. CR says:

    Good Saturday morning everyone! I HOPE that you have a good day!

  64. Good morning CR and everyone. HOPE you all have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. It will be 117 degrees here in sunny Phoenix today and the forcast is 120 degress for tomorrow.

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

    • CR says:

      Good Saturday morning Jackie!

      I don’t like when the temperatures get above 90 so I was happy that our triple digit heat started late this year. Keep cool and safe!

  65. CR says:

    U.S. slams Gaddafi threat to attack Europe

    7/2/11 By Arshad Mohammed and Lutfi Abu-Aun | Reuters – 24 mins ago

    MADRID/TRIPOLI (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stepped up Western calls on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to quit on Saturday, brushing off his threat to attack Europeans in their homes and offices.

    In a telephone address relayed to some 100,000 supporters in Tripoli’s Green Square on Friday, Gaddafi urged NATO to halt its bombing campaign or risk seeing Libyan fighters descend on Europe “like a swarm of locusts or bees.”

    “Retreat, you have no chance of beating this brave people,” Gaddafi said in his address.

    “They can attack your homes, your offices and your families, which will become military targets just as you have transformed our offices, headquarters, houses and children into what you regard as legitimate military targets,” he said.

    NATO announced it had stepped up strikes on Gaddafi forces in west Libya including the capital Tripoli, saying it had carried out more than 50 attacks since Monday.

    “Instead of issuing threats, Gaddafi should put the well-being and the interests of his own people first and he should step down from power and help facilitate a democratic transition,” Clinton told reporters on a trip to Spain.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/gaddafi-vows-attack-europe-114404354.html

  66. CR says:

    Latest development in Arab world’s unrest

    By The Associated Press | AP – 21 mins ago

    LIBYA
    NATO says it is ramping up its airstrikes on military targets in western Libya, where rebel forces have claimed a string of advances through territory still largely under Moammar Gadhafi’s control. Meanwhile, the African Union has called on member states to disregard a warrant for Gadhafi’s arrest issued by the International Criminal Court against the Libyan leader. This could enable Gadhafi to travel freely on the continent.
    ____

    YEMEN
    About 50 Yemeni soldiers are missing after fierce clashes with the al-Qaida-linked group Ansar al-Sharia in the southern city of Zinjibar, a military official says. Government forces do not appear to have the will to fight the militants, raising fears that al-Qaida is making significant gains. Amid continued calls for his ouster, President Ali Abdullah Saleh remains bedridden in Saudi Arabia, according to a Yemeni official.
    ____

    BAHRAIN
    Riot police in Bahrain have fired tear gas at anti-government protesters who oppose reconciliation talks between the Gulf kingdom’s Sunni rulers and the Shiite-led opposition. Bahrain’s biggest Shiite party, Al Wefaq, is taking part in the government-led talks in the capital, Manama. About 300 delegates from various political parties and government-linked groups are attending the meetings.
    ____

    SYRIA
    Syrian President Bashar Assad has dismissed the governor of the key central city of Hama in apparent political payback after hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the largest demonstration yet against Assad’s regime. Activists say the governor was believed to be leaning toward the protesters after he reportedly urged security forces to avoid another bloodbath. Last month, at least 65 people were killed in Hama last month.

  67. CR says:

    BAHRAIN TALKS

    7/2/11 POLITICO44

    The White House on Saturday welcomed talks between Bahrain’s ruling Sunni monarchy and the Shiite-led opposition as riot police sought to quell anti-government protests in the Gulf state.

    In a statement, the Obama administration praised Western ally King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, whose forces have undertaken a four-month security crackdown amid wider revolutionary protests across the Middle East, and Bahrain’s largest opposition group, al Wifaq, for commencing dialogue. Delegates from Bahrain’s secular opposition party, al Waad, also attended the talks.

    Washington has strongly pushed for dialogue. The monarchy has made token concessions ahead of the so-called “national dialogue,” including sanctioning an international investigation that will include probes into the conduct of security forces during the revolt, the Associated Press reported.

    The statement read: “We urge all Bahrainis to seize this opportunity to forge a more just future together. It is important that government and political leaders create a positive atmosphere to help promote a successful dialogue process.

    “The United States also welcomes the formation of a commission of inquiry to investigate and report on events connected with the unrest of recent months. By providing an independent assessment of what happened and identifying those responsible, the Royal Commission will play an essential role in advancing reconciliation, justice, and peace in Bahrain.

    “As a long-standing partner of Bahrain, the United States continues to believe that Bahrain’s stability will be enhanced by respecting the universal rights of the people of Bahrain and reforms that meet the aspirations of all Bahrainis.”

    There were no immediate reports of injuries during the demonstrations that started after a funeral for a protester, who died on Thursday in a military hospital from injuries sustained during the unrest in March, the AP reported.

  68. CR says:

    Small plane strays into Camp David airspace while Obama there

    7/2/11 By Cynthia Johnston | Reuters – 45 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A small plane wandered into the airspace around Camp David, Maryland, on Saturday while President Barack Obama was there, prompting an F-15 fighter jet to scramble to intercept it, authorities said.

    The civilian plane, a two-seater that was out of radio communication, got within 6 miles of the presidential retreat before being intercepted, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement.

    The fighter jet guided the plane to a landing at nearby Hagerstown, Maryland, where it landed without incident.

    “He (the pilot) was met by authorities,” NORAD spokeswoman Angela Young said, without giving further details on why the plane may have strayed into the area.

    It was the second incident of a plane straying into the Camp’s airspace in recent weeks. On June 11 while Obama was there, fighter jets scrambled to guide another small plane away from the area without incident.

    Camp David has been a presidential weekend and holiday retreat in the nearby Maryland mountains for decades. Obama rarely goes there but flew up from Washington on Friday ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

  69. CR says:

    White House says stimulus boosted employment by as many as 3.6M jobs

    7/01/11 By Alicia M. Cohn – TheHill

    A White House report released Friday said the 2009 stimulus bill raised GDP by as much as 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

    The report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers said the stimulus added 2.3 to 3.2 percent to gross domestic product in the first quarter relative to what it otherwise would have been.

    The stimulus package also increased employment relative to what it otherwise would have been by between 2.4 and 3.6 million jobs, the report said.

    Obama and Republicans have butted heads over the effectiveness of the stimulus, which was estimated to cost $787 billion when enacted.

    Republicans, pointing to the latest report that unemployment rose again to 9.1 percent in May, claim it was a waste of money that did nothing to slow the recession. Obama maintains that the economy would be in worse shape without the stimulus.

    The report credits the stimulus with positively changing “the trajectory of the economy” starting in the third quarter of 2009 and continuing through the first quarter of 2011.

  70. CR says:

    July 02, 2011

    Statement by the Press Secretary on Bahrain

    President Obama welcomes the launch of the National Dialogue in Bahrain, which represents an important moment of promise for the people of Bahrain. The United States commends King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa for his leadership in initiating the dialogue. We also commend the decision by Al Wifaq, Bahrain’s largest opposition group, to join the dialogue. We urge all Bahrainis to seize this opportunity to forge a more just future together. It is important that government and political leaders create a positive atmosphere to help promote a successful dialogue process. The United States also welcomes the formation of a commission of inquiry to investigate and report on events connected with the unrest of recent months. By providing an independent assessment of what happened and identifying those responsible, the Royal Commission will play an essential role in advancing reconciliation, justice, and peace in Bahrain. As a long-standing partner of Bahrain, the United States continues to believe that Bahrain’s stability will be enhanced by respecting the universal rights of the people of Bahrain and reforms that meet the aspirations of all Bahrainis.

  71. CR says:

    *********************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “Independence Day 2011”
    **********************

    To get to newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the page and click on the title of the newest post

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