National Freedom Day & National Prayer Breakfast

President Harry Truman signs the bill proclaiming February 1 as National Freedom Day – June 30, 1948

National Freedom Day

National Freedom Day is a United States observance on February 1 honoring the signing by Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. President Lincoln signed the Amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865, although it was not ratified by the states until later.

Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a former slave, believed that there should be a day when freedom for all Americans is celebrated. While living in Philadelphia towards the end of his life, he invited local and national leaders to meet to organize a movement for a national holiday to commemorate Lincoln’s signing of the 13th Amendment. The resulting National Freedom Association proposed having a memorial date to call attention to the continuing struggle for freedom for African-Americans. Since President Lincoln had signed the 13th Amendment on the first day of February, that date was chosen to celebrate National Freedom Day. The first commemoration took place on February 1, 1942, at Independence Hall. As it has every year since, the remembrance included laying a wreath at the Liberty Bell.

On June 30, 1948, President Harry Truman, a Democrat,  signed a bill proclaiming February 1 as National Freedom Day. It is not a federal holiday; government offices and banks are open for business.

For the entire article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Freedom_Day

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The 60th National Prayer Breakfast
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
Hilton Washington International Ballroom in Washington D.C

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The National Prayer Breakfast is hosted by members of the United States Congress and is organized on their behalf by The Fellowship Foundation, a conservative Christian organization more widely known as “The Family”. Initially called the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, the name was changed in 1970 to the National Prayer Breakfast.

This interfaith gathering features speakers focused on affirming commonly held religious values and putting aside political differences. National and world leaders have read from the Bible, the Torah, and quoted the Koran.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Prayer_Breakfasthttp://www.waleadership.com/national-prayer-breakfast

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103 Responses to National Freedom Day & National Prayer Breakfast

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    First Lady Michelle Obama appears on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    First Lady Michelle Obama holds a Let’s Move! event in Inglewood, CA to promote her healthy eating initiative

    10:00 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:45 AM
    Vice President Biden Speaks on bringing manufacturing jobs back to America
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

    11:00 AM
    President Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Va.

    12:00 PM
    President Obama meets with senior advisers.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    1:00 PM
    1:15 PM
    The Vice President attends a campaign event

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in Northgate González Market in Inglewood, CA

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

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      February 1, 2012

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

      10:45 AM EST
      Vice President Biden Speaks on bringing manufacturing jobs back to America
      Grand Rapids, Michigan (Audio Only)

      11:00 AM EST
      President Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Va.

      1:00 PM EST
      Press Briefing by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan
      The White House

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      9:30 AM EST
      Recess appointments hearing
      The House Oversight Committee holds a hearing on President Obama’s recess appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and NLRB.
      10:00 AM EST
      House Budget Cmte: CBO Director Douglas Elmendorg on Budget & Economic Outlook

      10:00 AM EST
      Eurozone outlook hearing
      The Senate Budget Committee holds a hearing on the future of the Eurozone amid economic troubles for Greece and other countries.

      11:00 AM EST
      President Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Va.

      12:00 PM EST
      House considers federal pay
      House lawmakers will consider legislation to extend the salary freeze for members of Congress and federal employees.

      12:30 PM
      Honest Budget Act briefing
      House and Senate Republicans unveil legislation they say will end the use of budgeting tricks that increase government spending.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:30 AM EST
      Recess appointments hearing
      The House Oversight Committee holds a hearing on President Obama’s recess appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and NLRB. http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-Cmte-Looks-Into-Pres-Obama39s-Recess-Appointments/10737427789/

      10:00 AM EST
      House Budget Cmte: CBO Director Douglas Elmendorg on Budget & Economic Outlook http://www.c-span.org/Events/CBO-Director-Discusses-Economic-Outlook/10737427773/

      10:00 AM EST
      Eurozone outlook hearing
      The Senate Budget Committee holds a hearing on the future of the Eurozone amid economic troubles for Greece and other countries. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Senate-Budget-Committee39s-Outlook-for-the-Eurozone/10737427824/

      11:00 AM EST
      President Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Va. http://www.c-span.org/Events/President-to-Discuss-Housing-Initiatives/10737427770/

      12:00 PM EST
      House considers federal pay
      House lawmakers will consider legislation to extend the salary freeze for members of Congress and federal employees. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Conferees-Meet-Again-on-Payroll-Tax-Legislation/10737427788/

      12:30 PM
      Honest Budget Act briefing
      House and Senate Republicans unveil legislation they say will end the use of budgeting tricks that increase government spending.

  2. CR says:

    National Freedom Day

    National Freedom Day is a United States observance on February 1 honoring the signing by Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. President Lincoln signed the Amendment outlawing slavery on February 1, 1865, although it was not ratified by the states until later.

    Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a former slave, believed that there should be a day when freedom for all Americans is celebrated. While living in Philadelphia towards the end of his life, he invited local and national leaders to meet to organize a movement for a national holiday to commemorate Lincoln’s signing of the 13th Amendment. The resulting National Freedom Association proposed having a memorial date to call attention to the continuing struggle for freedom for African-Americans. Since President Lincoln had signed the 13th Amendment on the first day of February, that date was chosen to celebrate National Freedom Day. The first commemoration took place on February 1, 1942, at Independence Hall. As it has every year since, the remembrance included laying a wreath at the Liberty Bell.

    On June 30, 1948, President Harry Truman, a Democrat, signed a bill proclaiming February 1 as National Freedom Day. It is not a federal holiday; government offices and banks are open for business.

    For the entire article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Freedom_Day

    Learn more: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/es/pa/es_pa_free_1.html

  3. CR says:

    National Prayer Breakfast

    The 60th Prayer Breakfast

    The 2012 National Prayer Breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, February 2nd at the Hilton Washington International Ballroom in Washington D.C. The President of the United States, Members of Congress and other dignitaries will gather with leaders from across the country and around the world. Men and women will come from all parts of Washington state, joining together with their fellow elected officials, business leaders, and visiting dignitaries.

    Each year several guest speakers visit the various events connected with the Breakfast. However, the main event, the Thursday morning Breakfast, typically has two guest speakers: the President of the United States who delivers prepared remarks and a specially invited speaker who presents the keynote address. Speakers have varied over the years, ranging from Muslim, Christian and Jewish religions. This interfaith gathering features speakers focused on affirming commonly held religious values and putting aside political differences. National and world leaders have read from the Bible, the Torah, and quoted the Koran.

    Source: http://www.waleadership.com/national-prayer-breakfast

    • CR says:

      September 10, 2010

      Press Conference by President Obama

      Anne Kornblut [Washington Post reporter asks a question]

      Q Thank you, Mr. President. Nine years after the September 11th attacks, why do you think it is that we are now seeing such an increase in suspicion and outright resentment of Islam, especially given that it has been one of your priorities to increase — to improve relations with the Muslim world?

      THE PRESIDENT: I think that at a time when the country is anxious generally and going through a tough time, then fears can surface, suspicions, divisions can surface in a society. And so I think that plays a role in it.

      One of the things that I most admired about President Bush was after 9/11, him being crystal-clear about the fact that we were not at war with Islam. We were at war with terrorists and murderers who had perverted Islam, had stolen its banner to carry out their outrageous acts. And I was so proud of the country rallying around that idea, that notion that we are not going to be divided by religion; we’re not going to be divided by ethnicity. We are all Americans. We stand together against those who would try to do us harm.

      And that’s what we’ve done over the last nine years. And we should take great pride in that. And I think it is absolutely important now for the overwhelming majority of the American people to hang on to that thing that is best in us, a belief in religious tolerance, clarity about who our enemies are — our enemies are al Qaeda and their allies who are trying to kill us, but have killed more Muslims than just about anybody on Earth. We have to make sure that we don’t start turning on each other.

      And I will do everything that I can as long as I am President of the United States to remind the American people that we are one nation under God, and we may call that God different names but we remain one nation. And as somebody who relies heavily on my Christian faith in my job, I understand the passions that religious faith can raise. But I’m also respectful that people of different faiths can practice their religion, even if they don’t subscribe to the exact same notions that I do, and that they are still good people, and they are my neighbors and they are my friends, and they are fighting alongside us in our battles.

      And I want to make sure that this country retains that sense of purpose. And I think tomorrow is a wonderful day for us to remind ourselves of that.”

      For the entire transcript: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/10/press-conference-president-obama

      ———-

      President Obama: 9/11 a Day to Remember Religious Tolerance

      Uploaded by PBSNewsHour on Sep 10, 2010

      • CR says:

        Obama talks about his faith

        8/21/12 12:44 PM EDT POLITICO44

        In an interview with the Washington National Cathedral magazine, President Obama discussed how his faith influenced his politics — saying that at the end of the day ‘God is in control.’

        “First and foremost, my Christian faith gives me a perspective and security that I don’t think I would have otherwise: that I am loved. That, at the end of the day, God is in control,” Obama said.

        Obama also tied faith in God to his belief in a compassionate role for government.

        “Faith tells us that there is something about this world that ties our interest to the welfare of a child who can’t get the health care they need, or a parent who can’t find work after the plant shut down, or a family going hungry,” Obama told the magazine.

        “Faith has always provided a moral framework and vocabulary for this country to come to terms with its most pressing challenges. One of the great things about this nation is that it is a place where people from all walks of life can advocate on behalf of their faith and beliefs and be open about what drives and motivates them,” Obama said.

        “From slavery to the suffrage movement to civil rights, faith — and the moral obligations that derive from our faith — have always helped us to navigate some of our greatest moral challenges with a recognition that there’s something bigger than ourselves: we have obligations that extend beyond our own self-interest,” Obama said.

        Obama also briefly addressed the ongoing (false) doubts about his faith — including rumors that he is a Muslim (which he is not).

        “I have a job to do as president, and that does not involve convincing folks that my faith in Jesus is legitimate and real. I do my best to live out my faith, and to stay in the Word, and to make my life look more like His,” Obama said “What I can do is just keep on following Him, and serve others—trying to make folks’ lives a little better using this humbling position that I hold.”

        Obama also nodded to religious pluralism in the U.S. — and the idea that there are people of many faiths in the country.

        “This country has a rich tradition of seeking to create an environment where people of different beliefs can live together and share common goals. As Americans, I think we understand that—in protecting our ability to advocate for our own positions—we must protect the ability of those who come from different backgrounds and beliefs to do so as well. Faith demands that we see the image of God in one another and respect it,” Obama said.

        “Faith can express itself in people in many ways, and I think it is important that we not make faith alone a barometer of a person’s worth, value, or character,” Obama said.

  4. CR says:

    President Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Va.

  5. CR says:

    Biden to tout jobs plan, tour Grand Rapids plant

    1/31/12 BY DAVID SHEPARDSON – DETROIT NEWS

    Washington— Vice President Joe Biden will make his seventh trip to Michigan since taking office, visiting a seating factory in Grand Rapids on Wednesday.

    Biden will visit the American Seating Co. factory in Grand Rapids to tout the administration’s efforts to keep factory jobs in the United States. Biden also will promote the administration’s plan to help businesses bring manufacturing jobs back to America by eliminating incentives to ship jobs overseas and offering tax credits for insourcing.

    American Seating is a 125-year-old company that makes seats for buses, trains, stadiums and concert arenas. The company has done its work in Grand Rapids since the 1880s, and 75 percent of its components come from Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, the White House said.

    This afternoon, President Barack Obama is set to visit the Washington, D.C., auto show and look at some new vehicles built by Detroit’s automakers — his first trip to an auto show since taking office.

    Obama will meet with executives from General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group — and is expected to see a 2013 Ford Fusion or C-Max Energi, 2013 Dodge Dart and 2013 Chevrolet Malibu — but the vehicles he actually will see had not been confirmed late Monday.

    Earlier this month, Obama praised Ford Motor Co. for bringing hundreds of jobs from Mexico, China and Japan back to the United States.

  6. CR says:

    First Lady at Parklawn Elementary School to unveil USDA’s new school lunch standards. The Rachel Ray interview will air on Feb. 1.

    January 26, 2012 obamafoodorama.blogspot

    First Lady Michelle Obama will have three network television outings ahead of the second anniversary of her Let’s Move! campaign in February. All will air next week: Mrs. Obama will be on the Rachael Ray Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Mrs. Obama marks the second anniversary of her campaign on Feb. 9 with an event in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Mrs. Obama filmed her interview with Ray on Wednesday when the celebrity chef joined the First Lady at Parklawn Elementary School to unveil USDA’s new school lunch standards. The interview will air on Feb. 1. Ray told Obama Foodorama that she talked about the Super Bowl, exercise and “how excited Mrs. Obama is” about the second anniversary of the Let’s Move campaign.

    On Wednesday, Feb. 1, Mrs. Obama will tape her show with DeGeneres. The interview will air on Thursday, Feb. 2. Before the show, Mrs. Obama will deliver remarks at a Democratic National Committee luncheon, and in the morning she will participate in a Let’s Move! event focused on food deserts.

    For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/01/michelle-obamas-tv-schedule-for-lets.html

  7. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Another.
    Great.
    Topic.

    Thank you, CR!

  8. CR says:

    Drug approved to treat cystic fibrosis’ root cause
    Vertex drug is breakthrough for handful of cystic fibrosis patients, offers hope to many more

    1/31/12 By Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer | Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The first drug that treats the root cause of cystic fibrosis won approval Tuesday, offering a life-changing treatment for a handful of patients with the deadly illness and broader hope for thousands more patients with the inherited disease.

    About 30,000 Americans live with cystic fibrosis, a disease that causes sticky mucus buildup in the lungs and other organs, leading to infections, digestive problems and death in young adulthood. The typical life expectancy is about 37 years, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

    The Food and Drug Administration approved Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Kalydeco for patients with a rare form of the disease that affects just 1,200 people in the U.S., about 4 percent of affected population nationwide. These patients have a protein defect that prevents their cells from properly absorbing and excreting salt and water. Studies of the drug showed it significantly improved lung function and reduced other symptoms of cystic fibrosis.

    “Even though this drug isn’t for the majority of people, it proves that you can look at the mistake in the genes and design a drug in a rational way that will fix the problem,” said Dr. Drucy Borowitz of the State University of New York at Buffalo, where she directs the cystic fibrosis program.

    The twice-a-day pill is among the first drugs designed to a correct a specific genetic defect. Its development characterizes both the promise and challenges of that approach. Scientists first identified the gene that causes cystic fibrosis in 1989, but it took more than two decades and more than $75 million in outside funding to develop a drug to treat the disease.

    For the entire article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/drug-approved-treat-cystic-fibrosis-161347691.html

  9. CR says:

    ‘I Wanted To Live’: New Depression Drugs Offer Hope For Toughest Cases

    1/31/2 by JON HAMILTON – nor

    A club drug called “Special K” is generating a lot of buzz among researchers who study depression.

    That’s because “Special K,” which is actually an FDA-approved anesthetic named ketamine, can relieve even suicidal depression in a matter of hours. And it works on many patients who haven’t responded to current antidepressants like Prozac.

    Those traditional drugs, which act on the brain’s serotonin system, can take more than a month to kick in, and don’t work for up to 40 percent of people with major depression.

    “We can take care of a migraine in hours,” says Carlos Zarate, a brain researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health who is studying ketamine. “So why do we have to wait weeks or months with depression?”

    Ketamine itself isn’t likely to become the next big drug for depression because it has troubling side effects, including hallucinations, Zarate says. But understanding how ketamine works could lead to safer drugs that are just as effective, he says.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/01/31/146096540/i-wanted-to-live-new-depression-drugs-offer-hope-for-toughest-cases

  10. CR says:

    8th Annual Clean-Tech Investor Summit

    February 1 – 2, 2012
    Palm Springs, CA

    The Clean-Tech Investor Summit, co-produced by International Business Forum and Clean Edge, and chaired by Technology Partners’ Ira Ehrenpreis, is the premier clean-tech investment and innovation event of the year. Held each winter in Palm Springs, CA, the event brings together leading investors, Fortune 500 executives, entrepreneurs, and service providers for two days of high-level presentations, conversations, and networking. Attendance is capped at 500 registrants to guarantee the optimum networking experience. The 8th Annual Clean-Tech Investor Summit is sponsored by The National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

    http://cleantechsummit.com/

  11. CR says:

    Obama Debuts Cell Phone Credit Card Swipe for Donations

    1/31/12 By Devin Dwyer | ABC OTUS News 2 hrs 18 mins ago

    The campaign team that pioneered an iPhone app for volunteer recruitment and get-out-the-vote efforts for President Obama in 2008 is out with a new tool aimed at tapping into more cash in 2012: the Obama Victory Fund mobile phone credit card donations app, with swipe attachment.

    The system, powered by the tech start-up Square, is being rolled out by a select group of Obama campaign staff at hundreds of field offices across the country this month, a campaign aide told ABC News.

    Organizers equipped with the small, 1-inch square attachment that plugs into a smart phone will be able to accept credit card swipes from donors, whose information will be automatically entered into the campaign’s database through the software interface downloaded on the phone.

    “The idea is that if you’re at a house party or in daily interactions – at a grocery store shopping – and someone sees your Obama for America button and wants to talk to you about the campaign, you can ask for a donation and accept it right then and there,” the aide said.

    The tool will be made widely available this spring, when supporters will be able to download the free app in the Apple iTunes store and obtain the swipe attachment.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-debuts-cell-phone-credit-card-swipe-donations-224834335–abc-news.html

  12. CR says:

    Democrat favored in Oregon congressional election

    1/31/12 By Teresa Carson | Reuters – 1 hr 44 mins ago

    PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) – Oregon voters dropped off last minute ballots on Tuesday in a special mail-in election that a former Democratic state lawmaker is favored to win, filling a seat vacated by disgraced Democrat David Wu, who resigned in a sex scandal.

    Suzanne Bonamici, who most recently served as a state senator, is running against Republican businessman Rob Cornilles to represent a diverse district that includes part of Portland, Nike Inc.’s headquarters, much of Oregon’s high-tech industry, affluent suburbs and areas dependent on farming and fishing.

    As in all Oregon elections, the race was being conducted by mail. Ballots for the special election were distributed on January 13, and voters had until 8 p.m. Pacific time on Tuesday to turn them in marked with the candidates of their choice.

    Instead of polling places, drop-off boxes were set up for those who waited too long to mail their ballots on time.

    The contest between Bonamici and Cornilles has attracted an unusual level of interest for a traditionally safe Democratic seat, drawing almost $2 million in independent expenditures since November.

    The western Oregon district has sent only Democrats to the U.S. House of Representatives since 1974, and Democrats hold a 12-percentage-point advantage in voter registration over Republicans.

    President Barack Obama easily carried the district in 2008 and Wu fended off a challenge from Cornilles in a 2010 election year that heavily favored Republicans elsewhere in the country. Polls showed Bonamici with a considerable lead.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/democrat-favored-oregon-congressional-election-014357866.html

    • CR says:

      Suzanne Bonamici wins special election for Oregon’s 1st Congressional District

      January 31, 2012, 8:03 PM – Jeff Mapes – oregonlive

      Democrat Suzanne Bonamici swept to victory Tuesday in Oregon’s 1st Congressional District as her party continued its nearly four-decade-long hold on the seat covering the northwestern corner of the state.

      Partial returns showed Bonamici defeated Republican Rob Cornilles as she carried over 50 percent of the vote in a special election to fill the seat left vacant following the resignation of Democrat David Wu in August.

      A former state legislator, Bonamici becomes the only woman in the seven-member Oregon congressional delegation and her campaign expects that she will be sworn in within the next week.

      Besides becoming accustomed to Congress, Bonamici also has to get ready for another election in just over four months. To earn a full two-year term starting next year, she needs to run in the May primary and November general election.

      For the entire article: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/01/suzanne_bonamici_wins_special.html

  13. CR says:

    Ask Michelle Obama About Let’s Move!

    JANUARY 31, 2012 obamafoodorama.blogspot

    First Lady Michelle Obama is taking a page from President Obama’s virtual playbook, and answering questions submitted via video about her Let’s Move! initiative. CNN is running the project, ahead of the second anniversary of the campaign, which Mrs. Obama will celebrate next week with a visit to Des Moines, Iowa.

    “Interested parties can post a video for Mrs. Obama by noon ET on Tuesday, February 7,” CNN said, asking that these be kept short: “under 15 seconds works best for video questions.” The network also invited participants to “share an update from your community on how people are combating childhood obesity.”

    In Iowa, Mrs. Obama will host an event at the Wells Fargo Arena, joined by thousands of kids and Gov. Terry Branstad, the Republican leader who has adopted his predecessor’s Healthiest State program, a public-private partnership with a goal of making Iowa the nation’s healthiest state by 2016. The project is the key reason Mrs. Obama is visiting Des Moines, according to an aide.

    “I’m looking forward to visiting Des Moines and celebrating all that Let’s Move! and Iowa have done to help our kids lead healthier lives,” Mrs. Obama said.

    For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/01/ask-michelle-obama-about-lets-move.html#more

  14. Good morning CR and everyone. HOPE you all have a great Wednesday.

    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

  15. This makes me sick. The rich buying an election. WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    Rich Patrons Are Major Source of Romney’s Cash

    Close to 60 corporations and wealthy individuals gave checks of $100,000 or more to a “super PAC” supporting Mitt Romney in the months leading up to the Iowa caucuses, according to documents released on Tuesday, underwriting a $17 million blitz of advertising that has swamped his Republican rivals in the early primary states.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/01/us/politics/campaign-finance-reports-show-super-pac-donors.html?_r=1&hp

  16. CR says:

    Key Washington state gay marriage vote Wednesday

    2/1/12 By RACHEL LA CORTE | Associated Press – 5 hrs ago

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state Senate is set to take a crucial vote Wednesday on a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage.

    The bill has narrow support in the Senate, but is expected to pass because supporters have secured 25 “yes” votes — the minimum required for approval. Five senators, two Democrats and three Republicans, have not indicated how they will vote.

    If passed by the Senate, the measure moves to the House, which has enough votes to pass the bill by a more comfortable margin. Also, Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire supports the measure and said she will sign it into law, which would make Washington state the seventh state to approve gay marriage.

    The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Ed Murray of Seattle, still cautioned, “Nothing is done until it is actually voted on.”
    The Senate vote Wednesday is expected to come in the late afternoon or early evening.

    The Senate Rules Committee voted Tuesday to advance the measure for a vote by the full chamber with Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, president of the Senate, saying that he has emphasized tolerance and diversity at state schools for decades, which would make it “hypocritical for me to not support this bill.”

    “For me, this is not a religious question,” said Owen, a Democrat. “It’s a legal question.”

    The committee advanced the bill on a 14-7 vote, with seven of the eight Republicans on the committee in opposition. Sen. Cheryl Pflug, R-Maple Valley, voted to advance it. She is one of two Republican senators who have said they will support the measure.
    Opponents of same-sex marriage have already promised a referendum battle at the ballot if the measure becomes law.

    Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

    For the entire article:http://news.yahoo.com/key-washington-state-gay-marriage-vote-wednesday-004345442.html

    • CR says:

      Washington state Senate passes gay marriage bill

      2/1/12 By Nicole Neroulias | Reuters – 7 hrs ago

      OLYMPIA, Wash (Reuters) – The Washington state Senate passed legislation on Wednesday to legalize gay marriage in a highly charged vote that moved the state closer to joining six others and the District of Columbia in recognizing same-sex nuptials.

      The 28-21 vote in favor of the measure — three more votes than needed for passage — sent it on to the state’s House of Representatives, where the bill is expected to win swift approval by a comfortable margin as early as next week.

      Both legislative bodies are controlled by Democrats. But the political dynamic on the issue shifted after Governor Christine Gregoire, a Democrat in her final year in office, announced last month she was backing the gay marriage bill.

      The vote was greeted with raucous cheers from gay couples and their supporters, and with determined looks from opponents. Both groups packed the Senate’s public galleries to witness the landmark action.

      With passage in the House seen as virtually assured, foes of same-sex matrimony said they would seek the measure’s repeal with a referendum asking voters to reaffirm marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman.

      To qualify for the November ballot, they need to collect at least 120,577 signatures of registered voters by July 6.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/washington-state-senate-poised-ok-gay-marriage-032034135.html

  17. CR says:

    Private sector adds 170,000 jobs in January: ADP

    2/1/12 Leah Schnurr – Reuters – 41 mins ago

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The pace of job creation by private employers slowed in January after a sharp gain the month before, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

    The private sector added 170,000 jobs last month, the ADP National Employment Report showed, shy of economists’ expectations for a gain of 185,000 jobs.

    December’s private payrolls were revised down to an increase of 292,000 from the previously reported 325,000.

    The report is jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.

  18. CR says:

    Chrysler earns first annual profit in more than a decade’

    February 1, 2012, 5:53 a.m. By Jerry Hirsch – latimes

    Chrysler Group earned its first annual profit as an independent company since 1997, a sign that the Detroit automaker is recovering from its bankruptcy reorganization and the conflicting strategies of its recent owners.

    Chrysler said it earned $183 million last year, compared with a loss of $652 million in the prior year. Sales rose 31% to $55 billion.

    “The house is in good order. We are proud of the work we’ve done,” said Sergio Marchionne, who is chief executive of Chrysler and Fiat, the Italian automaker that owns a controlling interest in the company.

    “We are looking at 2012 with some degree of enthusiasm,” he said. But he noted that competition in the U.S. marketplace will be tough. Rivals are all producing strong products.

    “Nobody is falling asleep at the switch here,” Marchionne said.

    Since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, Chrysler has introduced new models and merged development operations with Fiat, which owns 58.5% of Chrysler’s shares. A healthcare fund known as the VEBA trust and operated by the United Autoworkers Union owns the remainder of Chrysler’s shares.

    Helped by a memorable “Imported From Detroit” advertising campaign launched during the Super Bowl last year, Chrysler sold 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S. last year, a 26% gain. Its share of the U.S. market grew to 10.7%, up more than a percentage point., according to Autodata Corp.

    Since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, Chrysler has spent about $4.5 billion on its factories and facilities in the U.S. and Canada and added about 9,400 jobs after a period of steep employment reductions. It now employs more than 57,000 workers.

    “It is great to see that the phoenix can come out of the ashes,” said Thilo Koslowski, an auto analyst at Gartner Inc. “Chrysler has really changed its culture. The organization is much more empowered that it has been in the past and it is coming out with exciting products.”

    For the entire article: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mo-chrysler-profit-0120131,0,1318889.story?track=rss

    • CR says:

      Resurgence of the American Auto Industry

      Posted by Amy Brundage on January 10, 2012 at 06:00 AM EST

      Yesterday, the North American International Auto Show kicked off in Detroit, with companies unveiling their new vehicles and folks eager to get their first peek. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was on hand for the opening events, and Commerce Secretary John Bryson, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, and the Labor Department’s Director Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers Jay Williams are all taking part in auto show activities this week.

      The auto industry had a strong year in 2011. It’s easy to forget, but just a few years ago many people doubted whether there would even be an American auto industry in 2011.

      When President Obama took office, we faced the worst recession since the Great Depression, and the American auto industry was hit hard. Hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost in the auto industry, and entire communities that depended on a dealership or a parts manufacturer were affected.

      Both GM and Chrysler faced the stark choice of seeking government support or facing almost certain uncontrolled liquidations, which would have had a ripple effect across the industry, causing at least one million more jobs to be lost. The President refused to let that happen.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/10/resurgence-american-auto-industry

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      New Hampshire debate: Mitt Romney talks against auto bailout

      10/11/11 By MAGGIE HABERMAN – POLITICO

      In language that will probably come back to hit him in a general election if he’s the nominee in ads in Michigan, Mitt Romney offered what was supposed to be a careful criticism of the auto bailout:

      “Should they have used the funds to bail out General Motors and Chrysler? No, that was the wrong source for that funding,” he said.

      The question wasn’t actually about the auto bailout, it was about TARP, which he spoke in favor of at the time – and Romney raised the auto bailout voluntarily.

      The TARP discussion was drawn out and not Romney at his best, but none of his opponents seized the chance to call him out on it – including Rick Perry, who needs to score points off the frontrunner.

      —————

      Hit the road, Mitt

      November 08, 2011 Posted by Elizabeth Chan – democrats.org

      Mitt Romney’s headed back to Michigan, asking for votes. But what does Michigan say to the man who said, “Let Detroit go bankrupt“?

      Hit the road.

      Michigan voters will have a clear choice between Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican field, who wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt, and President Obama, who not only extended a loan and restructuring package that saved 1.4 million jobs but has also made investments that are creating jobs.

      • CR says:

        Made in America – Obama for America 2012 Ad

        Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on Feb 22, 2012

        Get the facts: https://my.barackobama.com/madeinamericaad

        In 2009, the President decided to extend emergency loans to GM and Chrysler—preventing the collapse of a major American industry:

        The Rescue

        -More than 1.1 million jobs saved in 2009, more than 310,000 jobs saved in 2010, and nearly $97 billion in personal income losses prevented

        -More than 200,000 jobs added since June 2009—the most growth in a decade

        -Industry expects to add 167,000 jobs by 2015

    • CR says:

      US auto sales rise in January, led by Chrysler, VW

      2/1/12By DEE-ANN DURBIN and TOM KRISHER | Associated Press – 31 mins ago

      DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales are off to a strong start this year, continuing their brisk pace from late 2011.

      Sales of cars and trucks rose 11 percent to 913,287 in January, kicking off what is expected to be the strongest year for the industry since before the recession in 2007. New products, low interest rates and better loan availability helped overcome lingering worries about the economy and pushed the sales pace to its highest level since the Cash for Clunkers program in August 2009.

      Chrysler had its best January in four years. Toyota and Honda were back in the game, getting boosts from important new vehicles. Volkswagen, which wants to aggressively expand in the U.S., reported big increases. The only loser among the major automakers was General Motors Co., whose sales fell 6 percent from a strong January last year.

      “For the first time in several years, we are starting the year off with a warm and fuzzy feeling,” said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends for TrueCar.com,

      January’s sales pace was even faster than December’s, a relief for the industry after a bumpy 2011. Sales started at a healthy pace last year but plummeted after the Japanese earthquake in March caused car shortages and didn’t really recover until the last four months of the year.

      If sales stay at the same pace as this January, they would reach 14.2 million, up from 12.8 million in 2011, according to Autodata Corp. While that’s below the 2000 peak of 17.3 million, it’s better than the 10.4 million trough in 2009.

      One reason car sales are improving is that buyers need to replace aging vehicles. The average age of a vehicle in the U.S. is a record 10.8 years, nearly two years older than a decade ago.

      Coverage of the glitzy Detroit auto show at the start of the month may have piqued buyers’ interest. Unseasonably warm weather may also have drawn some to dealerships, but Ford’s U.S. sales chief Ken Czubay said the weather effect was probably a wash. Frigid temperatures can also boost sales because older cars may not start during a cold snap, he said.

      Chrysler’s January sales jumped 44 percent, led by surge in demand for Chrysler’s revamped 200 and 300 sedans. Chrysler sold 7,007 of the 200 midsize sedan last month, more than eight times the number it sold a year earlier. Sales of the Chrysler 300 large sedan almost quadrupled. Chrysler also reported its first full-year net income since 1997, helped its new lineup.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/us-auto-sales-rise-january-led-chrysler-vw-171343032.html

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      Five reasons Rick Santorum’s policies would be a disaster for the middle class

      February 20, 2012 Elizabeth Chan – democrats.org

      1. Santorum’s tax plan benefits the wealthy while exploding the national deficit. Just like the other Republican presidential candidates, Santorum is proposing a tax plan that benefits millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the middle class and our deficit. His plan would give the top 0.1 percent an average tax cut of $1.3 million—and add $900 billion to the deficit in 2015. Even the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute’s senior fellow Kevin Hassett acknowledged, “It is just not a defensible plan.”

      2. Just yesterday, Santorum attacked the very idea of public education. In a speech to the Ohio Christian Alliance, Santorum argued that public support for education is an “anachronism” and a remnant of the Industrial Revolution, “when people came off the farms where they did home school or had a little neighborhood school, and into these big factories…called public schools.”

      3. Santorum thinks the Ryan plan doesn’t go far enough. Tea Party Rep. Paul Ryan has proposed an extreme budget plan that would end Medicare as we know it and force seniors to pay twice as much for their health care. And yet Santorum doesn’t think the plan is extreme enough, saying, “I support in principle what Paul Ryan is suggesting. The only concern I have is I don’t think Paul Ryan goes far enough.”

      4. He opposes the payroll tax cut. President Obama has fought for a payroll tax cut for the middle class that would put an average of $1,500 back into workers’ paychecks. Like his fellow candidate Mitt Romney, who called the payroll tax cut a “temporary little Band-Aid,” Santorum says he would not vote to extend the payroll tax cut for another year. So if you’re keeping score, middle-class tax cuts: bad. Tax cuts for the wealthy that explode the deficit: good.

      5. Santorum opposed rescuing the auto industry. If it had been up to Santorum, “we should not have had the auto bailout.” Yet without government assistance, the Big Three automakers would have been liquidated—and resulted in a massive loss of good American manufacturing jobs. President Obama’s decision to lend Detroit a hand saved 1.4 million jobs, and helped this industry make a profit for the first time in decades.

  19. CR says:

    Why I’m Not Worried About Mitt Romney’

    Posted: 31 Jan 2012 Deaniac83 – ThePeoplesView

    You know, I think the conventional wisdom is right in this instance: Mitt Romney is the most electable candidate for the Republicans this year. But what that really means is this: out of their current cadre of nutjobs, he will lose to President Obama the least badly. How can I be so sure of that, given the political media’s dire predictions of a president in peril come November? How can I be so certain, with “Left” outlets whining constantly that Obama isn’t farting enough rainbows for the base?

    Because I live in the real world. And in the real world, there are stories that go beyond the political dogfights of the day. In the real world, there is every reason to be optimistic about four more years for President Obama. Don’t confuse the optimism with complacency – winning in November is going to take all we can give, but give it we must, and we will – which is in and of itself one of the main reasons for my optimism. But let me lay out the reasons why I’m not worried about Mitt Romney.

    Reason: The Current GOP.

    It was barely a year ago that Republicans were basking in the glory of an electoral resurgence on the backs of the extremist Tea Party crowd – taking over the US House, gaining heavily in state governorships and state legislatures. Then, the American people got to see their real governing style – one that focused on eliminating economic opportunities, attacking fundamental rights of workers and women, and holding the well being of this country hostage for political gain. Last year, the American people repudiated at the polls extremist GOP ideological agenda of restricting the rights of voters, dismantling the rights of workers, forcing women to bear the children of rapists, and ending Medicare. The American people also soured on the GOP’s attempts to hold the debt limit hostage in order to extract ideological concessions.

    For the entire article: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/01/why-im-not-worried-about-mitt-romney.html

  20. CR says:

    Empowering AAPIs in an America Built to Last

    Posted by Chris Lu on January 27, 2012 at 03:40 PM EST

    Earlier this week, in his annual State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out his Blueprint for an America Built to Last. This includes our Administration’s unwavering commitment to preserving the American dream for all, including the nearly 17 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) across our nation. Below, read more about how the Initiative will help carry the President’s message to AAPIs across the country. Also, learn about our upcoming Weekly Web Chat Series and other exciting federal work.

    In his State of the Union Address, the President laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values. The President believes this is a make or break moment for the middle class and those trying to reach it. What’s at stake is the very survival of the basic American promise that if you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family, own a home, and put enough away for retirement.

    The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent; no debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while more Americans barely get by, or we can build a nation where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. At stake right now are not Democratic or Republican values, but American values – and for the sake of our future, we have to reclaim them.

    Over the next few weeks, the White House Initiative on AAPIs will have many opportunities for you to take an active role in the work of our government. Here’s what’s coming up:

    February 1, 2012: Conference call with AAPI community on the State of the Union Address, centering on initiatives to alleviate student debt, featuring Zakiya Smith, Domestic Policy Council, and Chris Lu, Co-chair of the White House Initiative

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/27/empowering-aapis-america-built-last

  21. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    Richard Cohen: The GOP has gone brain dead

    1/31/2012 By Richard Cohen – washingtonpost

    On Saturday night, at precisely 9:19 and 30 seconds, my iPhone, my iPad, my computer and, for all I know, my toaster were informed that Herman Cain had endorsed Newt Gingrich. The ping-ping of the devices suggested that something momentous had happened, but in fact it was just additional evidence that the Republican Party has become a circus: One clown endorsed another.

    It’s hard to know who is the more ridiculous figure — the grandiloquent, bombastic and compulsively dishonest Gingrich, or the beguilingly ignorant Cain, a man who has never held elective office and who was reduced to speechlessness when asked a question about Libya. Nonetheless, Gingrich, his Alfred E. Neuman grin on his face, accepted the endorsement and then went on with his nihilistic campaign for the White House. This has been an exceedingly silly political season.

    But it has also been a sad one. The Republican establishment acts as if this season’s goon squad of presidential candidates has come out of nowhere, an act of God. In column after column, conservative commentators lament the present condition, but not their past acquiescence as their party turned hostile to thought, reason and the two most important words in the English language: It depends.

    If you ask me what I think of abortion, I’d say, “It depends.” It depends on whether you’re talking about the ninth month of pregnancy, the first, the health of the mother, the fetus — or, even, the morning-after

    pill. But in the Republican contest, the answer to the question is always the same: no, no and no again.

    Thanks for giving the matter such careful thought.

    It is the same with taxes. Should they be raised? It depends. It depends on economic and fiscal conditions — and on whose taxes will be raised and by how much. The answer cannot be “No, never.”

    That’s not an economic position; it is an ideological one and exhibits a closed mind.

    Similarly with global warming, GOP candidates are not certain it is exacerbated by industry, auto emissions and such. They take this position not because they have studied the science, but because they are opposed to government regulations. They fear the solution more than they do the problem.

    This rampant anti-intellectualism is worrisome. The world is a complex place, but to deal with it the GOP presented a parade of hopefuls who proposed nostrums or, in the case of Michele Bachmann, peddled false rumors about vaccinations. When this started I cannot say — the late Richard Hofstadter won the Pulitzer Prize for his “Anti-intellectualism in American Life” in 1964 — but the embrace of Sarah Palin by the GOP establishment has got to be noted.

    For the entire article: http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_19861748

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      Romney’s aw-shucks rhetoric rings false

      1//9/12 By Richard Cohen – washingtonpost

      Mitt Romney is starting to get on my nerves. He reminds me of Reggie, the rich, handsome, athletic and effortlessly superficial character in the “Archie” comics. He does almost everything well, and he looks like a million bucks (leveraged for much more), but he rings hollow, like the class president who would bring glee to all of Riverdale High by slipping on a banana peel. I’d kill for that.

      Lately, Romney has been on something of an insincerity tear. This son of a big-state governor, this Harvard Law School graduate, this multimillionaire, this hunk with the voice of an AM radio weatherman (“Good morning, Southland!”) has been portraying himself as an average guy. He said, for instance, that he, too, knows a bit about job insecurity.

      “I know what it’s like to worry whether you’re going to get fired,” he said the other day in New Hampshire.

      “There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.” His campaign has been unable or unwilling to document those instances, and a close reading of his biography shows no time when he worked on an assembly line, supporting his wife and five kids, or calling home to Michigan for his father, the governor and one-time chairman of American Motors, to send him some money. Instead, Romney comes across as the sort of person whose knowledge of pink is limited to the coats worn by fox hunters. Tally ho!

      Similarly, Romney has adopted an aw-shucks pose about his presidential ambitions. His father ran for president in 1968, and Mitt himself must have declared pre-natally. This is the second time around for him — a campaign of such duration that it brings to mind Hannibal’s multiyear foray into Italy. Yet, Romney is capable of looking all of New Hampshire straight in the eye and saying, “I have to tell you: This chance to run for president of the United States, I never imagined I’d do it. This is just a very strange and unusual thing to be in the middle of.” He added: “I mean, I was just a high school kid like everybody else with skinny legs. And, you know, I imagined that I’d be, you know, in business all my career. And somehow I backed into the chance to do this.”

      For the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/romneys-aw-shucks-rhetoric-rings-false/2012/01/09/gIQAZPDamP_story.html

  22. CR says:

    1:00 PM EST
    First Lady Michelle Obama at a DNC Event — Los Angeles, CA

    • CR says:

      February 01, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at a DNC Event — Los Angeles, CA

      Private Residence, Los Angeles, California

      1:18 P.M. PST

      MRS. OBAMA: All right! (Applause.) All right, this is some good stuff. This really is. (Applause.) Wow. Thank you all so much. Please, rest yourselves, because you obviously have been working hard already. (Laughter.)

      Wow, the power of women — and a few brave men, too. (Laughter.) It’s a good thing. Thank you so much. It is such a pleasure and an honor to be here with so many fabulous, fabulous women. And you all brothers are okay, too — the men — men are good, men are good. (Laughter.)

      I want to start by thanking Mattie for that very kind introduction. But, more importantly, she and Michael have — they have been with us from the way beginning; the “Barack Obama Who?” beginning; the Barack — what? You want me to write a check for that guy? (Laughter.) They were there from the very start, and they have not just been supporters but they have been friends, they have been our encouragers, they have been the handful of people who kind of keep us grounded in ways that I don’t think they even really understand. So I want to take this time to just give them a shoutout of love, because they are just amazing people. Thank you. Thank you, guys. Thank you for opening up your home. (Applause.)

      I’ve been in L.A. for a couple of days, doing a few things, but today we had a wonderful event with your wonderful mayor, in Inglewood. And it was a true privilege. I mean, that’s something that — I know we come here to raise money, but it is so important for us to get out in the neighborhoods and to focus on what’s going on on the ground. (Applause.) Thank you, mayor. Thank you for your leadership, thank you for your service, and thank you for taking time to be here with me today. It means a lot.

      And of course, I want to recognize all the co-chairs and all the host committee people, and everyone here who worked so hard to make this event what is obviously a tremendous success. Thank you all so much.

      And finally, I want to thank everyone — everyone — for being here this afternoon. Because the women in this room, the people in this room are busy folks. And I know there’s a reason why you are all here today. And while you all may love me, it’s not just because you like me — which I hope you do. (Laughter and applause.)

      But you’re here because you also know that we stand at a fundamental crossroads for our country. This is serious stuff. You’re here because you know that in less than a year from today, we’re going to make a choice that will impact our lives for decades to come.

      And you’re here because you know that that choice won’t just affect all of us, but more importantly, it’s going to affect our children and our grandchildren and the world we leave for them long after we’re gone. And that’s why I’m here today. That’s why I’m going to be out there, working hard. That’s — we have only just begun.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/01/remarks-first-lady-dnc-event-los-angeles-ca

  23. CR says:

    Manufacturing expands at fastest pace since June

    2/1/12 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | Associated Press – 16 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories grew in January at the fastest pace in seven months, boosted by a rise in new orders. The report bolsters other data showing the U.S. economy started the year strong.

    The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index rose last month to 54.1 from 53.1 in December. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

    Consumers are buying more cars and trucks, while businesses ordered more machinery and other equipment. That has driven factory output. The sector has expanded for 29 straight months, according to the index.

    A measure of hiring dipped, indicating factories are still adding jobs but at a slower pace than in December. Export orders also rose, a sign that U.S. manufacturers haven’t yet been affected by Europe’s slowing economy.

    Manufacturing output has jumped in recent months. Auto sales have rebounded from the spring, when Japan’s earthquake disrupted supply chains and fewer cars were available on dealer lots.

    Businesses also ordered more big-ticket manufactured items in December, the government said last week. And orders for so-called core capital goods, which are a good measure of businesses’ investment plans, reached an all-time high last month.

    Factory output rose in December by the most in a year, according to the Federal Reserve. Production rose for goods used in the early stages of manufacturing, such as metals, wood products and construction materials. That suggests the output of finished goods will pick up.

    Still, U.S. factories are vulnerable to economic shocks.

    Exports are likely to decline if Europe suffers a recession, as many predict.

    And the key reason the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the final three months of last year was that companies restocked their warehouses. That kept helped drive factory output at the end of last year.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/manufacturing-expands-fastest-pace-since-june-151329951.html

  24. CR says:

    Nexr Up…

    10:45 AM EST
    Vice President Biden Speaks on bringing manufacturing jobs back to America
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

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

  25. CR says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama holds a Let’s Move! event in Inglewood, CA to promote her healthy eating initiative.

    First Lady Michelle Obama appears on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”

    • CR says:

      February 01, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at Let’s Move Food Access Event

      Northgate Gonzalez Market Site
      Inglewood, California

      9:19 A.M. PST

      MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. Good morning, Inglewood, yes! (Applause.) It’s good to say that, right? It’s good to be here. You all rest yourselves.

      I am more than thrilled to be here with all of you today. And thank you for having me, because I know having me in your neighborhood is a little disruptive. (Laughter.) So thank you for putting up with it.

      I want to start by thanking Mayor Butts and Mayor Villaraigosa for their terrific work serving the people of L.A., and for their leadership and for their friendship and support. I am so glad that they took the time out of their busy schedules to be here today.

      I also have to recognize and thank Dr. Ross and the California Endowment for their outstanding leadership in building healthy communities and bringing fresh food to areas in need all across this state. It’s been just truly a privilege and a joy to work with the endowment and to work with Dr. Ross. He’s a smart guy. He’s a funny guy. And he does what he says he’s going to do. And that’s always refreshing. Yes, indeed. (Laughter.) They’ve really set the standard on this issue, and we’re just grateful for everything that they’ve done.

      And finally, I want to thank Oscar for that kind introduction, but more importantly for what he and his family are doing here in this community and across the state of California. The story is so inspiring on so many different levels. But the story of Northgate and the new Northgate Gonzales Market that is being built here is the story that we want to tell in cities and towns across America. This is the story. This is what it’s all about. It’s a story about bringing fresh, healthy, affordable food into communities that need it most. It’s a story about creating jobs, about revitalizing neighborhoods. And it’s a story — the story, like the Northgate story — that don’t just sell healthy food, but they also promote healthy lifestyles by helping their customers make the decisions that are right for their families.

      And that’s more than just owning a store. That’s being a responsible member of the community. That’s like being family. And that’s what you would hope for the institutions that come into our community. Again, this is the story that we want to tell, and that’s why I’m here, and that’s why I’m glad so much of the country and the world will hear this story.

      And that’s also why, last spring, as part of Let’s Move, we brought together nonprofit organizations and grocery stores large and small. That was just a year ago that we pulled these folks together, and now we’re celebrating the second anniversary of Let’s Move in just a couple of weeks. And when we brought these people together, we asked them one simple question. We said, “What can we do together to get fresh food into every community in our country?” Not just some of them, but every community. What can we do if we put all our resources and energy to this task? And within a couple of months — it didn’t take that long — we had our answer.

      Companies ranging from small local grocers to major national chains agreed to build or expand 1,500 stores in underserved areas in our country.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/01/remarks-first-lady-lets-move-food-access-event

      • CR says:

        First Lady in Inglewood promoting CAFreshWorks Fund progress

        Uploaded by HealthHappensHere on Feb 2, 2012

        Los Angeles – On February 1, 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama helped celebrate the first commitments made by the California FreshWorks Fund to bring three new markets to Southern California neighborhoods at a Health Happens Here press conference. She was joined by Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, The California Endowment President and CEO Robert K. Ross, M.D., Los Angles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Northgate Gonzalez Markets President Oscar Gonzalez and community members from Inglewood and The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Community: South Los Angeles.

    • CR says:

      Remarks and video to follow of FLOTUS at the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”

  26. CR says:

    Next Up…

    11:00 AM EST
    President Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Va.

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/President-to-Discuss-Housing-Initiatives/10737427770/

    • CR says:

      February 01, 2012

      Remarks by the President on Housing

      James Lee Community Center
      Falls Church, Virginia

      11:05 A.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Everybody please have a seat. Have a seat. It is great to be back in Falls Church. (Applause.) Thank you for having me.

      Last week, in my State of the Union, I laid out my blueprint for an economy that’s built to last. And I want to assure you I am not going to go over the whole thing again this morning. (Laughter.) That was a long speech. I’m not going to repeat the whole thing. (Laughter.) But I do want to talk about some of the issues that I discussed last week because the blueprint we put forward was one that focuses on restoring what have always been this country’s greatest strengths — American manufacturing, American energy, skills and education for American workers so that we can compete with anybody around the world in this 21st century economy, and most importantly, the American values of fairness and responsibility. Fairness and responsibility. (Applause.)

      Now, we know what happens, because we’ve just seen it — what happened when we stray from those values. We saw what happened over the past decade when we strayed from those values — especially when it comes to the massive housing bubble that burst and hurt so many people. Millions of families who did the right and the responsible thing, folks who shopped for a home that they could afford, secured a mortgage, made their payments each month — they were hurt badly by the irresponsible actions of other people who weren’t playing by the same rules, weren’t taking the same care, weren’t acting as responsibly. By lenders who sold loans to people who they knew couldn’t afford the mortgages; and buyers who bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford; and banks that packaged those mortgages up and traded them to reap phantom profits, knowing that they were building a house of cards.

      It was wrong. It was wrong. It triggered the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. And it has been the single biggest drag on our recovery from a terrible recession. Crushing debt has kept millions of consumers from spending. A lack of building demand has kept hundreds of thousands of construction workers idle. Everybody involved in the home-building business — folks who make windows, folks who make carpets — they’ve all been impacted. The challenge is massive in size and in scope, because we’ve got a multitrillion-dollar housing industry. And economists can tell you how it’s affected all sorts of statistics, from GDP to consumer confidence.

      But what’s at stake is more than just statistics. It’s personal. I’ve been saying that this is a make-or-break moment for the middle class. And this housing crisis struck right at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America: our homes — the place where we invest our nest egg, place where we raise our family, the place where we plant roots in a community, the place where we build memories.

      It’s personal. It affects so much of how people feel about their lives, about their communities, about the country, about the economy. We need to do everything in our power to repair the damage and make responsible families whole again. Everything we can. (Applause.)

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/01/remarks-president-housing

    • CR says:

      CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s Response to Administration Housing Announcement

      Colleen Curtis February 01, 2012 12:31 PM EST

      In response to press inquiries received on today’s housing announcement by the Obama administration, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director (CFPB) Richard Cordray issued the following statement:

      “The principles articulated by the Obama administration today are good guideposts for much-needed reforms in the mortgage market. The problems that plague consumers are well-documented. Too many consumers were steered into complicated mortgages that they did not understand and couldn’t afford. Too many families were forced into foreclosure because paperwork was lost, phone calls went unanswered, errors were not resolved, or documents were falsified.

      “To protect consumers, there must be clear rules of the road and real consequences for breaking them. The Consumer Bureau is already hard at work making the costs and risks of mortgages clear upfront through our Know Before You Owe project. The financial reform law also requires us to create new mortgage servicing rules that hold servicers accountable for disclosing fees and fixing problems. We are also working with other federal agencies to develop common-sense national servicing standards. But having rules in place isn’t enough. We are closely monitoring mortgage servicers to make sure that no one gains an unfair advantage by breaking the law. Taking these steps to fix the mortgage market is good for consumers, honest businesses, and our entire economy.”

      The CFPB’s draft simplified mortgage disclosure is available online at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Jan2012_Estimate_Honeylocust.pdf

  27. CR says:

    Builders step up spending for fifth straight month

    2/1/12 By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | Associated Press – 58 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Builders increased their spending in December for the fifth consecutive month, ending a weak construction year on a hopeful note.

    Spending on construction projects rose 1.5 percent in December after a revised 0.4 percent gain in November, the Commerce Department said Wednesday That pushed spending to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $816.4 billion, the highest level in 20 months.

    The gains coincide with other signs that show the troubled housing industry may be improving. Homebuilders are more confident after seeing more interest from would-be buyers. Single-family home construction rose in the final three months of last year. And home sales ticked up at the end of last year.

    Still, spending on all construction projects for 2011 was just $787.4 billion. That’s 2 percent lower than the previous year and roughly half the level economists consider healthy. Last year was the worst year on record for single-family home construction, according to government data released last month.

    Analysts say it could be years before the industry returns to full health.

    Residential construction rose 0.8 percent in December on the strength of single-family homes. Nonresidential building jumped 3.3 percent, led by factory construction. Government spending rose 0.5 percent.

    Builders broke ground on more homes in each of the last three months of last year. The increase in residential construction contributed to annual growth of 2.8 percent in the October-December quarter.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/builders-step-spending-fifth-straight-month-150722985.html

  28. CR says:

    Next Up…

    1:00 PM EST
    Press Briefing by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan
    The White House

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

    • CR says:

      Remarks and video to follow

    • CR says:

      February 01, 2012

      FACT SHEET: President Obama’s Plan to Help Responsible Homeowners and Heal the Housing Market

      In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a Blueprint for an America Built to Last, calling for action to help responsible borrowers and support a housing market recovery. While the government cannot fix the housing market on its own, the President believes that responsible homeowners should not have to sit and wait for the market to hit bottom to get relief when there are measures at hand that can make a meaningful difference, including allowing these homeowners to save thousands of dollars by refinancing at today’s low interest rates. That’s why the President is putting forward a plan that uses the broad range of tools to help homeowners, supporting middle-class families and the economy.

      Key Aspects of the President’s Plan

      • Broad Based Refinancing to Help Responsible Borrowers Save an Average of $3,000 per Year

      • Homeowner Bill of Rights

      • First Pilot Sale to Transition Foreclosed Property into Rental Housing to Help Stabilize Neighborhoods and Improve Home Prices

      • Moving the Market to Provide a Full Year of Forbearance for Borrowers Looking for Work

      • Pursuing a Joint Investigation into Mortgage Origination and Servicing Abuses

      • Rehabilitating Neighborhoods and Reducing Foreclosures

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/01/fact-sheet-president-obama-s-plan-help-responsible-homeowners-and-heal-h

  29. CR says:

    1:15 PM
    The Vice President attends a campaign event

  30. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Good and HOPEful February, CR and all friends!

    • CR says:

      Hah!

      Newt Romney is NOT cool.

      President Barack H Obama is WAYYY COOL! :)

    • CR says:

      Michelle Obama sings praises for the president’s singing

      2/1/12 By JENNIFER EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

      First lady Michelle Obama appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Tuesday night, and sang praises for her husband’s singing skills. From POLITICO’s story about the interview:

      She said the president’s impromptu performance at the Apollo Theater two weeks ago was a surprise, but his choice of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” wasn’t. “He does have a beautiful voice, and he sings to me all the time …. He doesn’t hesitate to show off his lungs to his wife,” she said. “He sings that song. That’s why I knew when people said he sang, I thought, ‘I’ll bet he sang Al Green.’”

      President Obama also favors Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. “He likes the classics,” the first lady said.

      But daughters Malia and Sasha aren’t so impressed. “Anything we do is highly embarrassing,” Obama said. “They just want us to be very quiet.”

  31. CR says:

    Rooting Out the Corrosive Influence of Money in Politics

    Dan Pfeiffer February 01, 2012

    In last week’s State of the Union Address, the President laid out a blueprint for an economy built to last, where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules, especially those elected officials who have been sent here to Washington.

    During the speech, the President called on Congress to pass a bill that makes clear that current insider trading laws apply to Members of Congress. No one should be able to trade stocks based on nonpublic information they learned on Capitol Hill. This is a no-brainer.

    I’d like to point out that Executive Branch employees are already covered by the insider trading prohibitions. That’s right — there are laws on the books to prevent Executive Branch employees from trading stock based on information that is not public. In fact, the SEC and the Department of Justice have brought insider trading actions against employees of the Executive Branch based on this clear authority under the law. So, the Executive Branch is covered. It’s time to make it clear that Congress is subject to the same rules.

    Now, there are some folks out there who suggest the Administration is trying to impose a higher standard on Congress. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only do the insider trading laws already apply to the Executive Branch, but there are other laws on the books that prohibit Executive Branch employees from using their positions to benefit their own personal financial interest. These laws don’t apply to Congress.

    For instance, as a matter of criminal law, Executive Branch employees can’t work on matters that would affect their personal financial interest. There is no criminal conflict of interest law that likewise applies to Members of Congress. Additionally, Executive Branch employees must get rid of private assets that conflict with their official duties or be walled off from decisions that affect their private assets. Members of Congress can hang onto those assets and make decisions that could affect them.

    The Executive Branch employees are currently held to a higher standard. The STOCK Act simply brings Congress closer to that standard. So, we are pleased the Senate is one step closer to passing the STOCK Act. We urge Congress to pass this bill, and President will sign it right away.

  32. CR says:

    5:00 PM EST
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in Northgate González Market in Inglewood, CA

  33. CR says:

    ‘Buffett Rule’ Legislation Introduced in the Senate

    2/1/12 By Sunlen Miller | ABC OTUS News – 4 hrs ago

    Senate Democrats today introduced legislation for the “Buffett Rule,” as called for in President Obama’s State of the Union address last week .

    The so-called Buffett Rule, dubbed as such because of the example used by the administration that billionaire investor Warren Buffett pays a rate lower than his own secretary, would ensure that the highest-earning taxpayers pay at least a 30 percent tax rate.

    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, today introduced the legislation, formally called now the “Paying a Fair Share Act,” today on the Senate floor.

    “We should celebrate the success of people who are earning $1 million and more a year, but we really don’t, particularly in this time of tight budgets and hard choices, need to subsidize that,” Whitehouse said.

    The legislation ensures that people with incomes exceeding $1 million pay at least a minimum federal tax rate of 30 percent. Taxpayers earning less than $1 million would not be affected by the bill.
    If a person’s total income, capital gains included, is more than $1 million, he or she would calculate the taxes under the current system. If a person’s effective tax rate turns out to be greater than 30 percent, he or she would pay the 30 percent. But if a person’s effective tax rate is less than 30 percent, as with Warren Buffett’s at 11 percent, then he or she would pay this fair-share tax rate.

    There is a provision in the new legislation that would also for the tax to be gradually phased in for taxpayers earning between $1 million and $2 million per year so that no taxpayers face a “tax cliff” where earning an additional dollar of income increases their taxes by more than a dollar. Those between $1 million and $2 million would pay on a phased-in basis a portion of the extra tax required to get up to the 30 percent effective tax rate.

    The bill faces an uphill climb with Republican opposition.

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/vVEe7

  34. CR says:

    Alabama immigration crackdown costs state up to $11 bln: study

    2/1/12 By Verna Gates | Reuters – 6 hrs ago

    BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) – Alabama’s crackdown on illegal immigrants, widely seen as the toughest in the United States, has cost the state’s economy up to $10.8 billion, according to a new study.

    The Alabama law, passed in June, requires police to detain people they suspect of being in the U.S. illegally if they cannot produce proper documentation when stopped for any reason, among other measures.

    The cost-benefit analysis by University of Alabama economist Samuel Addy estimated up to 80,000 jobs were vacated by illegal immigrants fleeing the crackdown, costing Alabama’s economy up to $10.8 billion.

    The lost jobs also cost Alabama up to $264.5 million in lost state sales and income taxes, and as much as $93.1 million in lost city and county sales taxes, it found.

    A U.S. appeals court has blocked Alabama from enforcing parts of the law, including a provision that permits Alabama to require public schools to determine the legal residency of children upon enrollment. But the court left most of the law untouched.

    State Republicans who support the law say it will help create jobs for legal residents by driving out undocumented workers and their families, and save up to $280 million they said is spent by the state each year on health and education services for the undocumented.

    The findings of the new University of Alabama study served up ammunition to critics of the law in the state, which is trying to trim spending to balance its budget.

    “It is hypocritical for ‘no tax and spend’ Republicans to pass something like this that sucks money right out of the general fund when we are cutting funding by 25 percent,” said state Representative Patricia Todd, a Birmingham Democrat.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/alabama-immigration-crackdown-costs-state-11-bln-study-155547677.html

  35. CR says:

    AMERICAN GRADUATE

    February 1, 2012 at 3:33 PM EDT’pbsnewshour

    Join a Live Chat Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET on Dropouts and Delinquents
    BY: KELLY CHEN

    This week, the NewsHour’s American Graduate team takes a look at juvenile justice and gang violence as it relates to the dropout crisis, with reports starting Wednesday on our broadcast and website.

    Join us for a live chat* with two people featured in our series — Victor Rios, a former gang member and high school dropout turned sociology professor, and Richard Ross, a photographer who documents what life is like for young people in prison.

    To participate in our live chat, join us here this Friday from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. ET. You can also leave your questions in the comments section below or tweet them to @NewsHourAmGrad using the hashtag #AmGrad.

    The participants scheduled to join the chat (subject to change) include:

    Victor Rios, is a former gang member who grew up in Oakland, Calif. He is now a sociology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara studying juvenile criminal justice and gang life for young people. He is also the author of “Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys.” The NewsHour broadcast will air a report on Rios and his efforts on Wednesday.

    Richard Ross is a photographer and professor at UC Santa Barbara. For the past five years, he has documented and interviewed juvenile delinquents as part of his”Juvenile In Justice” project. The NewsHour report featuring Ross is scheduled to air on Thursday’s NewsHour broadcast.

    To learn more: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/topic/american-graduate/

    • CR says:

      American Graduate

      Feb. 1, 2012, 12:39 p.m. ET BY MIKE FRITZ AND APRIL BROWN – pbsnewhour

      One Man’s Journey From Gang Member to Academia
      Victor Rios says he has lived two lifetimes. In his first, he was a gang member, juvenile delinquent and high school dropout. Today, he’s a sociology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who studies at-risk youth.

      SANTA BARBARA, Calif. | It’s clear why 19-year-old Miguel doesn’t like labels.

      To the state of California he is a high school dropout. To the city of Santa Barbara he is a gang member with a criminal past. And statistically speaking he is as likely as anyone to end up in prison.

      Miguel, who asked the NewsHour not to use his last name, did his first stint in juvenile detention at age 12 after he was caught stealing a bike. He’s been in and out of the justice system ever since and remains on probation.

      Yet Victor Rios, a sociology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, labels Miguel as a work in progress. Rios studies street-life-oriented youth and has written two books on his own life and juvenile delinquency.

      Raised in some of the worst projects of Oakland, Rios came to the United States with his mother from Mexico when he was 2.

      ———————

      One Man’s Journey From Gang Member to Academia

      Uploaded by PBSNewsHour on Feb 1, 2012

      Victor Rios says he has lived two lifetimes. In his first, he was a gang member, juvenile delinquent and high school dropout. Today, he’s a sociology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who studies at-risk youth.

  36. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    President Obama delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. Vice President Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama attend.
    Washington Hilton
    Travel Pool Coverage

    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    President Obama meets with senior advisers.
    Oval Office
    Open Press

    The Vice President delivers remarks at the Communications Workers of America Legislative Conference
    Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington
    Open Press

    1:00 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet for lunch.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    1:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    2:00 PM
    President Obama meets with Secretary of State Clinton.

    2:30 PM
    President Obama meets with Treasury Secretary Geithner
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      February 2, 2012

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

      8:00 AM EST
      President Obama delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. Vice President Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama attend.

      1:30 PM EST
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      5:30 PM EST
      White House Hangout: Startup America
      Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council, Steve Case, Chairman of the Startup America Partnership, and Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer take your video questions about Startup America.
      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      8:00 AM EST
      President Obama delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. Vice President Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama attend.

      9:00 AM EST
      Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the “Fast and the Furious” program.

      10 AM EST
      Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the House Budget Committee . on the state on the economy.

      10 AM EST Elmendorf testifies before the Senate Budget Committee

      10 AM EST
      Investigation of Failed MF Global Continues
      The House Financial Services Cmte. hears about ongoing investigations into the collapse of futures and commodities brokerage MF Global.

      10 AM EST
      Conferees Discuss Payroll Tax Legislation Resolution

      10:00 AM
      Emerging threats hearing
      A Congressional subcommittee looks at whether the Department of Homeland Security is effectively implementing a strategy to counter emerging threats.

      10:30 AM
      Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan
      The Pentagon holds a briefing with reporters on the situation in Afghanistan.

      12:30 PM
      Military hazing briefing
      House lawmakers will discuss the need for adequate military policies and enforcement when it comes to ending military hazing.

      1:30 PM EST
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      8:00 AM EST
      President Obama delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. Vice President Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama attend. http://www.c-span.org/Events/President-Obama-Attends-60th-Annual-National-Prayer-Breakfast/10737427883/

      9:00 AM EST
      Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the “Fast and the Furious” program. http://www.c-span.org/Events/AG-Holder-Testifies-on-DOJs-Response-to-Operation-quotFast-and-Furiousquot/10737427861/

      10 AM EST
      Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the House Budget Committee . on the state on the economy. http://www.c-span.org/Events/The-State-of-the-US-Economy/10737427842/

      10 AM EST
      Elmendorf testifies before the Senate Budget Committee http://www.c-span.org/Events/Senate-Budget-Cmte-Hears-Details-of-CBO39s-New-Economic-Outlook/10737427885/

      10 AM EST
      Investigation of Failed MF Global Continues
      The House Financial Services Cmte. hears about ongoing investigations into the collapse of futures and commodities brokerage MF Global. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Investigation-of-Failed-MF-Global-Continues/10737427876/

      10 AM EST
      Conferees Discuss Payroll Tax Legislation Resolution http://www.c-span.org/Events/Conferees-Discuss-Payroll-Tax-Legislation-Resolution/10737427884/

      10:00 AM
      Emerging threats hearing
      A Congressional subcommittee looks at whether the Department of Homeland Security is effectively implementing a strategy to counter emerging threats.

      10:30 AM
      Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan
      The Pentagon holds a briefing with reporters on the situation in Afghanistan.

      12:30 PM
      Military hazing briefing
      House lawmakers will discuss the need for adequate military policies and enforcement when it comes to ending military hazing.

      1:00 PM EST
      House Minority Leader Pelosi Briefs Reporters
      Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Leader, holds a news briefing to discuss the House Democrats’ agenda and answer questions from the media.
      http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-Minority-Leader-Pelosi-Briefs-Reporters/10737427873/

      1:30 PM EST
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

  37. CR says:

    Obama shares stage with Rep. Giffords’ husband at National Prayer Breakfast

    February 3, 2011, 10:43 am by Christina Wilkie – washingtonscene

    President Obama on Thursday called his Christian faith a “sustaining force,” especially in the face of those who have publicly doubted it.

    Speaking at the annual National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton, the president (shown here helping First Lady Michelle Obama to her seat) said “My Christian faith has been a sustaining force for me over the years, all the more so when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned,” a nod to those who incorrectly assert that Obama is Muslim.

    The president reflected on how his faith and prayers had been particularly helpful for him in the wake of recent tragedies: the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) last month, as well as the ongoing turmoil in Egypt.

    “We have been praying for Mark’s wife, Gabby Giffords, for many days now,” Obama said, referring to Mark Kelly, who delivered the closing prayer at the breakfast. “[W]e are with them for the long haul, and God is with them for the long haul.”

    Kelly closed the meeting by telling the crowd of religious and political leaders that his wife’s recovery from a seemingly fatal gunshot wound to the head may have been “fate,” and that while “horrible and tragic, [the shooting] was not merely random. Maybe something good can come from this.”

    An Air Force Captain and an astronaut, Kelly added that he “hadn’t been a big believer in fate until recently. I thought the world just spins, and the clock just spins.”

  38. CR says:

    A tale of two Romneys

    2/01/12 By Brent Budowsky – TheHill

    President Obama will receive great credit from historians and many voters in November for his triumph reviving the American auto industry, and making Made in America a badge of honor for this key sector of the national economy.

    It is a useful moment to consider the career of a great man, former Michigan governor and auto-industry CEO George Romney. George Romney was an early and strong champion of fuel-efficient cars, partnerships for prosperity between labor and management, civil rights, major disclosure of candidate tax returns and a philosophy he called competitive cooperative consumerism. He joined with Victor Reuther of the United Auto Workers to better the lot of workers.

    If George Romney were here today, Mitt Romney would probably be calling him a European socialist, while George Romney would probably be supporting the auto policies of Obama and possibly endorsing Obama for reelection.

    My Dickensian title is not about a tale of the three Mitt Romneys of left, right and center who have emerged as pretenders when convenient over the years. Rather, this is a tale of two Romneys named George and Mitt, and how the difference between them speaks to a profound debate about the nature of the Republican Party today and the great decision the voters will make in November.

    The Obama policy to revive the auto industry was so successful because he brought together management and workers behind a shared mission with shared purpose, shared pain, shared success and shared rewards. George Romney would have valued this, and supported it. Mitt Romney despised it, and attacked it.

    Mitt Romney advocated a different approach based on Dickensian business practices that even some Republicans call vulture capitalism, which would have been alien to George Romney. What Mitt Romney wanted would have destroyed the American auto industry. What Barack Obama did saved it.

    Tens of thousands of auto-related jobs are back. More are coming. The words profit, growth, new jobs and Made in America are again proudly part of the lexicon of the American auto industry because Barack Obama was president, and Mitt Romney was not.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/brent-budowsky/208119-a-tale-of-two-romneys

  39. CR says:

    House approves bill to freeze federal worker pay through 2013

    2/01/12 By Pete Kasperowicz – TheHill

    The House on Wednesday evening handily approved a GOP proposal to extend the pay freeze for federal workers through 2013, despite the high hurdle for passage set by Republican leaders.

    The House voted 309-117 in favor of the bill, easily clearing the two-thirds majority required for passage under a suspension of House rules. Republicans needed about 50 Democrats for passage, and the bill, H.R. 3835, was supported by 72 Democrats.

    Republicans called up the bill to build support for the pay freeze as a way to help pay for a year-long payroll tax holiday — the measure would raise $26 billion over 10 years. But the vote also gives Republicans a chance to remind voters that they are looking for ways to control federal spending, while portraying some Democrats as resistant to this proposals to trim the budget.

    The White House had called for federal workers to receive a slight raise next year.

    In early debate on the bill, Republicans argued that the poorly performing “Obama economy” is a major reason to support the federal pay freeze, as it is becoming harder to justify rising high federal wages at a time when millions of people in the private-sector are still looking for a job.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/208097-house-approves-bill-to-freeze-federal-worker-pay

    • COS says:

      Hello CR and friends. It is to bad that they did not separate the other workers from congress in freezing the pay. Republicans are very selfish. Romney proved it today.

  40. Good morning CR and everyone. HOPE you all have a great Thursday.

    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

  41. CR says:

    Next Up…

    8:00 AM EST
    President Obama delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. Vice President Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama attend.

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/President-Obama-Attends-60th-Annual-National-Prayer-Breakfast/10737427883/

    • CR says:

      February 02, 2012

      Remarks by the President at the National Prayer Breakfast

      Washington Hilton
      Washington, D.C.

      9:10 A.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Please, please, everybody have a seat. Well, good morning, everybody. It is good to be with so many friends united in prayer. And I begin by giving all praise and honor to God for bringing us together here today.

      I want to thank our co-chairs Mark and Jeff; to my dear friend, the guy who always has my back, Vice President Biden. (Applause.) All the members of Congress –- Joe deserves a hand –- all the members of Congress and my Cabinet who are here today; all the distinguished guests who’ve traveled a long way to be part of this. I’m not going to be as funny as Eric — (laughter) — but I’m grateful that he shared his message with us. Michelle and I feel truly blessed to be here.

      This is my third year coming to this prayer breakfast as President. As Jeff mentioned, before that, I came as senator. I have to say, it’s easier coming as President. (Laughter.) I don’t have to get here quite as early. But it’s always been an opportunity that I’ve cherished. And it’s a chance to step back for a moment, for us to come together as brothers and sisters and seek God’s face together. At a time when it’s easy to lose ourselves in the rush and clamor of our own lives, or get caught up in the noise and rancor that too often passes as politics today, these moments of prayer slow us down. They humble us. They remind us that no matter how much responsibility we have, how fancy our titles, how much power we think we hold, we are imperfect vessels. We can all benefit from turning to our Creator, listening to Him. Avoiding phony religiosity, listening to Him.

      This is especially important right now, when we’re facing some big challenges as a nation. Our economy is making progress as we recover from the worst crisis in three generations, but far too many families are still struggling to find work or make the mortgage, pay for college, or, in some cases, even buy food. Our men and women in uniform have made us safer and more secure, and we were eternally grateful to them, but war and suffering and hardship still remain in too many corners of the globe. And a lot of those men and women who we celebrate on Veterans Day and Memorial Day come back and find that, when it comes to finding a job or getting the kind of care that they need, we’re not always there the way we need to be.

      It’s absolutely true that meeting these challenges requires sound decision-making, requires smart policies. We know that part of living in a pluralistic society means that our personal religious beliefs alone can’t dictate our response to every challenge we face.

      But in my moments of prayer, I’m reminded that faith and values play an enormous role in motivating us to solve some of our most urgent problems, in keeping us going when we suffer setbacks, and opening our minds and our hearts to the needs of others.

      We can’t leave our values at the door. If we leave our values at the door, we abandon much of the moral glue that has held our nation together for centuries, and allowed us to become somewhat more perfect a union. Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Jane Addams, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, Abraham Heschel — the majority of great reformers in American history did their work not just because it was sound policy, or they had done good analysis, or understood how to exercise good politics, but because their faith and their values dictated it, and called for bold action — sometimes in the face of indifference, sometimes in the face of resistance.

      This is no different today for millions of Americans, and it’s certainly not for me.

      I wake up each morning and I say a brief prayer, and I spend a little time in scripture and devotion. And from time to time, friends of mine, some of who are here today, friends like Joel Hunter or T.D. Jakes, will come by the Oval Office or they’ll call on the phone or they’ll send me a email, and we’ll pray together, and they’ll pray for me and my family, and for our country.

      But I don’t stop there. I’d be remiss if I stopped there; if my values were limited to personal moments of prayer or private conversations with pastors or friends. So instead, I must try — imperfectly, but I must try — to make sure those values motivate me as one leader of this great nation.

      And so when I talk about our financial institutions playing by the same rules as folks on Main Street, when I talk about making sure insurance companies aren’t discriminating against those who are already sick, or making sure that unscrupulous lenders aren’t taking advantage of the most vulnerable among us, I do so because I genuinely believe it will make the economy stronger for everybody. But I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God’s command to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” I know the version of that Golden Rule is found in every major religion and every set of beliefs -– from Hinduism to Islam to Judaism to the writings of Plato.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/02/remarks-president-national-prayer-breakfast

  42. CR says:

    Fewer seek unemployment aid as job market improves

    2/2/12 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | Associated Press – 4 mins 27 secs ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment aid fell last week, a sign that companies are cutting fewer jobs and likely stepping up hiring.

    Weekly unemployment applications fell 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped for the third straight week to 375,750.

    That’s the second-lowest level for the four-week average since June 2008. When applications stay consistently below 375,000, it usually signals that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

    The report comes a day before the government will issue its jobs report for January. Economists forecast that the report will show that employers added 155,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate remained at 8.5 percent. In December, employers added 200,000 jobs.

    Economists forecast that the nation will gain about 160,000 jobs a month this year, according to a survey of economists by the Associated Press. That’s up from an average of about 135,000 last year.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/fewer-seek-unemployment-aid-job-market-improves-133623473.html

  43. CR says:

    Good Thursday morning everyone! I HOPE that you have a good day! :)

    • COS says:

      Good morning CR and friends. I just finished watching PBO speak at the Nat’l Prayer Breakfast and his words were so genuine and real. Brought tears to my eyes.

  44. CR says:

    Consumer Confidence in U.S. Increases for a Second Week in Bloomberg Index

    Feb 2, 2012 6:45 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – Bloomberg

    Consumer confidence in the U.S. climbed for a second week as Americans became less pessimistic about the prospects for the world’s largest economy.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 44.8 in the period to Jan. 29 from minus 46.4 the previous week. A measure of Americans’ view of the state of economy climbed to the highest since June.

    Gains in employment and post-holiday clearance sales at retailers also helped create a better buying climate for consumers, the report showed. At the same time, increasing gasoline costs threaten to hinder progress in household spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

    “Rising incomes and aggressive discounting by retailers likely created a better buying climate and bolstered consumer confidence to close out January,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “That being said, the increase in the cost of gasoline and the most tenuous of gains in the labor market does place the improvement in confidence in jeopardy.”

    Another report from the Labor Department today showed applications for jobless claims decreased by 12,000 to 367,000 last week. The median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for 371,000 first-time claims.

    Stocks climbed after the figure showed the labor market is improving. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent to 1,326.84 at 9:35 a.m. in New York.

    For the entire article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-02/consumer-confidence-in-u-s-increases-for-a-second-week-in-bloomberg-index.html

  45. CR says:

    Freddie Mac’s Conflict Is ‘Unsavory,’ ‘Shocking,’ ‘Stunning,’ Key Senators Say

    2/1/12 by MARK MEMMOTT – NPR

    Two senators who have taken the lead on legislation aimed to help homeowners refinance at historically low interest rates were blunt this morning about how concerned they are by the news NPR reported earlier this week that Freddie Mac “has placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages.”

    The taxpayer-owned mortgage company’s actions are “at best unsavory and at worst immoral,” Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said.

    “Shocking and stunning,” added Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. “The mission of Freddie Mac,” she said, is “to make homeownership affordable.” The program that NPR’s Chris Arnold detailed indicates Freddie Mac has turned “against their mission,” the senator said.

    The senators were interviewed today by Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep. More from the conversation is due on Thursday’s broadcast. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show. We’ll add the as-aired version of the discussion to the top of this post when it’s ready.

    As Chris Arnold reported this week, Freddie Mac “has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won’t be able to refinance their mortgages at today’s lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.”

    Isakson said it’s one thing for financial institutions to “hedge” against circumstances they can’t control, but something altogether different for an institution such as Freddie Mac to have influence over something such as mortgage rates and then to make investments that could pay off if those rates move in a certain direction.

    Boxer places much of the blame on Edward DeMarco, acting director of Freddie Mac’s regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). In a contentious meeting with DeMarco (held before the NPR/ProPublica story was released), Boxer said, DeMarco told her that “his interest is making sure Fannie [Mae] and Freddie do well financially,” not making homeownership more affordable.

    NPR has invited DeMarco to make his case and will continue to seek an interview with him, Steve Inskeep says.

    Isakson and Boxer are sponsors of legislation “intended to help some eight million homeowners with mortgage rates exceeding 6 percent to refinance at today’s lower interest rates, below 4 percent,” as Chris Arnold has reported. Isakson said today he’s encouraged that the White House seems to have “embraced” their effort — most notably with today’s speech by President Obama in which he laid out more details of his plan to make refinancing easier for many homeowners.

    The senators say they plan to seek answers from DeMarco and other Freddie Mac officials.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/02/02/146214885/freddie-macs-conflict-is-unsavory-shocking-stunning-key-senators-say

  46. CR says:

    Bernanke urges caution in sharp deficit cutting

    2/2/12 By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | Associated Press – 16 mins
    ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Ben Bernanke is urging lawmakers to balance their desire to cut deficits with policies that could help boost the weak economy in the short run.

    Bernanke said Thursday in prepared testimony for the House Budget Committee hearing that he recognizes that huge budget deficits represent a serious threat to the economy.

    “Even as fiscal policymakers address the urgent issue of fiscal sustainability, they should take care not to unnecessarily impede the current economic recovery,” Bernanke says. “Fortunately, the two goals … are fully compatible.”

    The Federal Reserve chairman is testifying a week after the Fed signaled that a full recovery could take at least three more years. As a result, the Fed said it doesn’t plan to raise its benchmark interest rate from a record low before late 2014 at the earliest.

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/7sKVf

  47. CR says:

    12:00 AM EST
    The Vice President delivers remarks at the Communications Workers of America Legislative Conference
    Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington

  48. CR says:

    12:00 AM EST
    The Vice President delivers remarks at the Communications Workers of America Legislative Conference
    Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington

  49. CR says:

    Retailers deliver solid sales gains for January

    2/2/12 By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO | Associated Press – 29 mins ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Americans were shopping in January, but that doesn’t mean every store felt the love.

    Retailers reported mixed sales results for the month in a sign that U.S. consumers continue to be cautious about when and where they spend their money in the shaky economy

    Overall, merchants reported a 4.8 percent increase for January, according to the International Council of Shopping Center’s tally of 20 retailers. That’s above the 3 percent gain that ICSC had expected.

    But the results were divided among merchants. Retailers like Target that sell basic household goods did well, as did luxury chains like Saks that cater to wealthier shoppers. Meanwhile, Macy’s and other stores that sell mid-price clothing posted disappointing results.

    “The take away is that the underlying demand is still there, but business continues to be uneven,” said Michael P. Niemira, ICSC’s chief economist. “It was definitely a divided picture.”

    The results provide a glimpse into the psyche of the American consumer. January typically is the time when stores offer deep discounts on winter stuff so they can clear it out to make room for spring merchandise. This past January, the average consumer continued to focus more on buying what they need, while unseasonably warm weather made markdowns on puffy coats and furry boots at mid-priced chains unappealing.

    Industry watchers look closely at retailers’ monthly sales numbers, but only a small number of retailers report those figures. Home Depot, Best Buy and even Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, don’t report monthly revenue. A fuller picture of January spending will come in a government retail sales report that will be released Feb. 14.

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

  50. CR says:

    Next Up…

    5:30 PM EST
    White House Hangout: Startup America
    Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council, Steve Case, Chairman of the Startup America Partnership, and Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer take your video questions about Startup America.

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

    • CR says:

      White House Hangout with Startup America

      From: whitehouse | Feb 2, 2012

      Gene Sperling, Steve Case, and Aneesh Chopra answer questions about Startup America in a Google Hangout. February 2, 2012.

  51. CR says:

    Tim Geithner: ‘no credible evidence’ financial reform hurting recovery

    2/2/12 By JOSH BOAK – TheHill

    Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner punched back hard at Republican critics Thursday, declaring there’s “no credible evidence” that the administration’s sweeping financial reforms have harmed the economy.

    Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have both pledged to repeal the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, telling primary voters that stricter oversight of banks, brokerages and investment funds has suffocated lending and damaged the housing market.

    But Geithner said the law could prevent a repeat of the financial implosion that left more than 13 million Americans unemployed, prominent banks and companies near bankruptcy, and vast swaths of the country on the verge of foreclosure.

    “If you want to go back to that, if you want to choose that future, then you should be in favor of repeal of the law,” he said at a news conference Thursday. “There is no credible evidence to support the argument that these reforms are having a material negative effect on the ability of the economy to recover and grow. In fact, the evidence is overwhelmingly the opposite.”

    A Romney campaign spokeswoman reiterated the frontrunner’s message on the trail, telling POLITICO Wednesday that “a host of Obama Administration policies, and especially Dodd-Frank, have caused credit to dry up and made a bad thing worse.”

    Geithner said the Obama administration plans to take additional steps in cleaning up the housing mess by working with Congress to wind down the troubled mortgage firms under government control, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    But progress on implementing financial reforms has been incredibly slow. Dodd-Frank requires regulators to establish 400 new rules. Federal officials have blown about 73 percent of the 225 rulemaking deadlines so far, according to a report updated Wednesday by the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell.

  52. CR says:

    “Equal Pay App Challenge” to Help Close the Gender Pay Gap

    Posted by Hilda Solis and Aneesh Chopra on February 01, 2012

    Yesterday, we celebrated the launch of an open innovation initiative to eliminate the gender gap in pay. Working together with the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force, we commenced the “Equal Pay App Challenge” – a national competition to develop software applications, or “apps,” that leverage public data to promote equal pay for men and women.

    Last Tuesday in his State of the Union address, President Obama recognized that “an economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country.” “That,” the President emphasized, “means women should earn equal pay for equal work.”

    In America, women make up half of the workforce and two-thirds of our families rely on a mother’s wages for a significant portion of their income. Yet, women, on average, make less on the dollar than men, and the gap is even greater for women of color and women with disabilities. Lower pay not only means less economic security for women, but also for the families that depend on them.

    The President is committed to closing the pay gap once and for all. The first bill he signed into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, helps women who were victims of pay discrimination recover their wages. The President then created an inter-agency Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force to crack down on equal pay law violations. And yesterday’s announcement is yet another way the administration is working to accomplish this goal.

    The Equal Pay App Challenge calls on developers to incorporate publicly available data and resources to create innovative, easy-to-use apps that educate users about the pay gap and provide tools to combat it. By encouraging developers to help us solve this problem, we’re leveraging the unique ability of the federal government to provide mountains of valuable data as well as the innovation power of the private sector.

    We’ve successfully done this before – to help veterans transition to civilian employment, we celebrated “Apps for Heroes”; to empower women we celebrated “Apps Against Abuse”; and to improve childhood nutrition, we celebrated “Apps for Healthy Kids.”

    Now, for The Equal Pay App Challenge, we’ve designed it to:

    * Increase access to pay data aggregated by gender, race, and ethnicity through tools that can help women throughout their careers as they negotiate starting pay, request a promotion or a raise, or consider switching fields to a more lucrative career path.
    * Provide interactive tools for early career coaching to educate young women on the pay gap and enable informed decision-making when selecting a career path.
    * Help inform negotiations by providing feedback and tips that guide women through the process of negotiating starting salary, pay rate, job level, or requesting a promotion or raise.
    * Promote online mentoring by providing a means to connect with others in broader communities.

    Achieving equal pay for women is not just the right thing to do – it is vital to strengthening our country’s economic forecast. In launching the app challenge, we are proud to enlist new partners in this critical effort and take a significant step forward in closing the gender pay gap.

    Additional information and submission guidelines for the Equal Pay App Challenge are available at http://equalpay.challenge.gov. The winner of the challenge will be announced in April.

  53. CR says:

    Canada, US women’s soccer teams qualify for Olympics

    Jan 28, 2012 By Michael Lewis | AFP News

    The United States and Canada reached the Olympics for the second consecutive time by posting semi-final wins at the CONCACAF women’s Olympic soccer tournament in a doubleheader.

    The two-time defending gold medalists Americans on Friday overcame a determined Costa Rica team 3-0 while the Canadians also booked a spot at the London Summer Games behind a 3-1 victory over Mexico at BC Place stadium.

    The US and Canada will meet Sunday for the CONCACAF championship. Since both teams already have qualified, the game is more for the bragging rights of the region that includes North and Central American and the Caribbean.

    Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd and second-half substitute Alex Morgan scored for the US, which has outscored its opposition in this competition 34-0.

    Heath put in a rebound of an Abby Wambach shot in the 16th minute, Lloyd struck from the top of the penalty area in the 72nd minute for an insurance goal before Morgan sealed the Costa Rica’s fate in the 89th minute.

    “We celebrated. It was the first time we celebrated [at the tournament],” goalkeeper Hope Solo said.

    “It was a sigh of relief. We gave hugs to everybody. You could tell it was all right. We are London bound. It was time to relax a little. We have a final match and its going to be a great game. And we’re going to London.”

    For the entire article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/canada-us-womens-soccer-teams-qualify-olympics-081941261–soccer.html

  54. CR says:

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

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ Nevada Caucus 2012”
    **********************

    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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