National Worker’s Rights Day 2012

Workers_Rights_cwaAction

On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to support AFSCME sanitation workers. That evening, he delivered his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech to a packed room of supporters. The next day, he was assassinated.

Read the full Mountaintop” speech

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AFSCME: 75 Years of History

The history of AFSCME began in 1932, as the country suffered through a severe economic depression, when a small group of white-collar professional state employees met in Madison, Wisconsin, and formed what would later become Wisconsin State Employees Union/Council 24. The reason for the group’s creation was simple: to promote, defend and enhance the civil service system. They also were determined to help spread the civil service system across the country.

Gearing up for the biggest nationwide mobilization of workers in decades, CWA, the union movement and a growing list of allies are planning activities and events for April 4, the day in 1968 that Martin Luther King was murdered while supporting striking sanitation workers in Memphis.

From wearing stickers that say, “Stand Up for Workers’ Rights” to leafleting, community outreach, rallies, candlelight vigils and more, CWA locals, sectors and districts will be working hard to meet President Larry Cohen’s goal to have dramatic events in every workplace across the United States.

“On April 4 this year, the anniversary of Dr. King’s death, we will stand together across this country for those same human rights and human dignity for working men and women,” the call to action states. “We will remember the courage and determination of those 1,300 workers who endured assault and arrest as they walked a picket line for two months, as we stand with public workers whose bargaining rights are under attack, with private workers who can’t get bargaining rights, and against those politicians and their allies who want to silence our political voice.”

“President Obama is the only choice for the 99%. We must put people back to work, make the 1 percent pay their fair share, and protect Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. President Obama will stand up for working families,” said AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee. “Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have a prescription for the U.S. economy that was written by the same corporate interests that got us into this mess in the first place. We’ve all seen the depths the right-wing extremists governors will go to at the expense of working families, and we certainly don’t need that type of leadership in the White House. The GOP candidates just don’t get it, they are out of touch with reality. We believe that American voters are smarter than that and will say thanks but no thanks to their 1 percent agenda and work to re-elect President Obama to a second term.”

Gerald McEntee, AFSCME President, 12/6/11

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107 Responses to National Worker’s Rights Day 2012

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Wednesday, April 4 , 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:30 AM
    President Obama hosts an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House; Vice President Biden also delivers remarks
    East Room
    Pooled Press

    10:00 AM
    10:45 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden receive the presidential daily briefing.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:00 AM
    11:15 AM
    President Obama meets with senior advisors.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:30 AM
    First Lady Michelle Obama holds a conference call with reporters in the week leading up to the one-year anniversary of Joining Forces.

    11:55 AM
    President Obama signs the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which makes clear that Members of Congress are subject to the same insider trading laws that apply to everyone else; the Vice President also attends
    South Court Auditorium
    Open Press

    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    Vice President Biden hosts a working lunch with Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani in the Roosevelt Room.

    1:00 PM
    1:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    2:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama will visit the Fisher House located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

    Vice President Biden meets with President Barzani at the White House.

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

  2. CR says:

    Nationall Workers Rights Day

    “On April 4 this year, the anniversary of Dr. King’s death, we will stand together across this country for those same human rights and human dignity for working men and women,” the call to action states. “We will remember the courage and determination of those 1,300 workerattacks who endured assault and arrest as they walked a picket line for two months, as we stand with public workers whose bargaining rights are under , with private workers who can’t get bargaining rights, and against those politicians and their allies who want to silence our political voice.”

    On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to support AFSCME sanitation workers. That evening, he delivered his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech to a packed room of supporters. The next day, he was assassinated.

    Read the full Mountaintop” speech

    • CR says:

      AFSCME: 75 Years of History

      The history of AFSCME began in 1932, as the country suffered through a severe economic depression, when a small group of white-collar professional state employees met in Madison, Wisconsin, and formed what would later become Wisconsin State Employees Union/Council 24. The reason for the group’s creation was simple: to promote, defend and enhance the civil service system. They also were determined to help spread the civil service system across the country.

      Read More http://www.afscme.org/union/history/afscme-75-years-of-history

    • CR says:

      Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: 75 Years of AFSCME

      Uploaded by afscme on Dec 9, 2011

      A powerful video featuring key moments in the history of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), including the union’s organizing campaigns, fights to protect Social Security and pass affordable health care for all and the current battle to save and rebuild America’s working middle class.

      For more, visit the interactive online exhibit at http://75.afscme.org

    • CR says:

      pbo_meets_1968_memphis_sanitation_strike_participants

      An Historic Meeting at the White House with Memphis Sanitation Workers

      Posted by Jared Bernstein on April 29, 2011

      Civil rights, economic and social justice, the rights of workers to bargain collectively…the air here at the White House was thick with these sentiments today.

      They were brought to us by eight of the surviving members of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike, who came to the White House today for the first time in their lives.

      If that long-ago strike sticks out in your mind, it’s because Dr. Martin Luther King went to Memphis to support the almost entirely African-American sanitation workforce as they struck for union recognition, better pay, safer working conditions, and, fundamentally, respect.

      It was there, on April 3, that Dr. King delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech.

      And it was there, on April 4, when that amazing man was taken from us.

      Please, if you do nothing else today, read (or reread) that speech. Read it to yourself, to your partner, to your parents and to your kids. You would be hard-pressed to find another document that so perfectly weaves together the beautiful yet all too fragile fabric of the historical struggle for basic human rights.

      And what’s so remarkable about the way Dr. King told the story that day was not the pain, frustration, and violence of that endless struggle for justice, but the hope, the optimism, the non-violent sensibility, and most profoundly, the faith that he brought, and urged us all, to bring to that struggle.

      A key theme of the speech, one that resonates today as well as it did in 1968, is the inseparability of social and economic justice. Dr. King’s civil rights work is of course well remembered, but you may not recall that toward the end of his life, he led the “Poor People’s Campaign,” a movement organized around the need for jobs, health care, and housing for the poor and disadvantaged.

      As embodied in those striking workers in Memphis, and stressed repeatedly in his speech to them, the issue was, and remains, one of fairness. These men here today and their former cohort faced hard, even fatal working conditions (weeks before the strike, two men were killed on a city truck). Yet, they also faced deep discrimination and earned poverty-level wages.

      So they decided to join a public-sector union—to tap their collective strength in pursuit of the fair treatment that eluded them as individuals. The mayor of Memphis declared the strike illegal but the workers, with Dr. King’s support, never gave up. And ultimately, they succeeded. Less than two weeks after King’s tragic assassination, the union was recognized and the strike ended.

      Of course, that’s not the end of the story. The struggle to protect and add to the gains that Dr. King and those Memphis workers fought and died for is a lifelong one. It’s a struggle that President Obama knows well, and one he continues to wage each day. It’s a struggle that persists to this very day, as public-sector workers continue to fight for the right to bargain collectively.

      But to see these eight men come to the White House and meet with this President…well, there really are no words to describe the moment other than to say that somewhere, from a distant mountaintop, Dr. King smiled down on the world today.

  3. CR says:

    afscme_obama_2012_endorsement

    AFSCME Endorses President Obama for Reelection

    McEntee: “Obama is the only choice for the 99%

    DECEMBER 06, 2011 Washington, DC – afscme.org

    The 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union, AFL-CIO (AFSCME) announced today their endorsement of Pres. Barack Obama for reelection in 2012. The AFSCME International Executive Board passed a resolution of endorsement at today’s International Executive Board Meeting.

    “President Obama is the only choice for the 99%. We must put people back to work, make the 1 percent pay their fair share, and protect Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. President Obama will stand up for working families,” said AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee. “Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have a prescription for the U.S. economy that was written by the same corporate interests that got us into this mess in the first place. We’ve all seen the depths the right-wing extremists governors will go to at the expense of working families, and we certainly don’t need that type of leadership in the White House. The GOP candidates just don’t get it, they are out of touch with reality. We believe that American voters are smarter than that and will say thanks but no thanks to their 1 percent agenda and work to re-elect President Obama to a second term.”

    AFSCME’s Executive board voted to endorse today, and will now begin an extensive conversation with members and non-members nationwide. In 2008, AFSCME launched a one-of-a-kind nationwide campaign to elect President Obama. AFSCME recruited more than 40,000 activists, made more than 6 million calls to members and deployed hundreds of staff to 17 key battleground states to ensure a victory.

    “It’s unbelievable that the GOP leadership and Presidential candidates are so eager to protect the Bush tax breaks for millionaires that they are willing to cut off benefits for the long-term unemployed and repeal a payroll tax cut,” added Michael Ebersole, a highway maintenance technician for the Florida Department of Transportation and Local 3106 AFSCME member. “President Obama’s call—to invest in innovation and infrastructure that will put people back to work today and build a strong foundation for the future—is what this country needs. I intend to work day and night to ensure this President gets a second term.”

    Source: http://www.afscme.org/news/press-room/press-releases/2011/afscme-endorses-president-obama-for-reelection

  4. CR says:

    President Obama will host an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House, his third such event. Later President Obama signs STOCK Act.

    • CR says:

      March 22, 2012

      Statement by the President on the Passage of the STOCK Act

      In my State of the Union Address, I laid out a blueprint for an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules, including those who have been elected to serve the American people.

      Today, I’m pleased Congress took bipartisan action to pass the STOCK Act. After I sign this bill into law, Members of Congress will not be able to trade stocks based on nonpublic information they gleaned on Capitol Hill. It’s a good first step. And in the months ahead, Congress should do even more to help fight the destructive influence of money in politics and rebuild the trust between Washington and the American people.

  5. CR says:

    First Lady Michelle Obama holds a conference call with reporters in the week leading up to the one-year anniversary of Joining Forces.

    First Lady Michelle Obama will visit the Fisher House located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

  6. CR says:

    Michelle Obama – All TIME Top 100 Icons in Fashion , Style and Design

    Muses
    Michelle Obama

    Apr. 02, 2012 By FEIFEI SUN – time.com

    She’s hardly the first First Lady to be recognized for her sartorial sense, but Michelle Obama is unparalleled in her influence on American fashion, from her arm-baring dresses and colorful cardigans to her mix of high-end and mass-retail designers. From the beginning of her tenure as First Lady, Obama has been a champion of young designers, famously choosing a one-shoulder white dress by then little known designer Jason Wu for her Inaugural Ball. She hasn’t been afraid to defy tradition in the White House either, stirring controversy for picking a sleeveless black Michael Kors shift for her official portrait. These qualities have ingratiated her to fashion heavyweights, including Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, a Barack Obama supporter who spearheaded “Runway to Win,” in February 2012, an initiative that sold designer clothing and accessories to benefit the president’s re-election campaign. Meanwhile, the First Lady’s appearances in outfits by more affordable brands such as J. Crew and White House Black Market have caused those items to sell out within days, proving that Obama’s influence is not just backed by love from the fashion industry, but empirical evidence, too.

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2110513_2110627_2110769,00.html

  7. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Great topic, CR.

    • CR says:

      MLK was a great man who fought for the American worker.
      PBO also fights for the American worker.

  8. CR says:

    April 03, 2012

    Readout of the President’s Call with University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari

    Today, President Obama called John Calipari to congratulate him and the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team on their 2012 NCAA championship victory. The President told Coach Calipari that his team played with class and dignity, and that it was a great game to watch. Coach Calipari passed the phone to Anthony Davis, and the President congratulated the Chicago native on earning the Final Four Most Outstanding Player Award. The President also commended Coach Calipari on his first title win and told him that he looks forward to congratulating the entire team in person and receiving his own Wildcats jersey at the White House.

  9. CR says:

    U.S. Private-Sector Employment Increased by 209,000 Jobs in March, According to ADP National Employment Report

    4/4/12 Press Release: ADP – 1 hour 14 minutes ago

    ROSELAND, N.J., April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Private-sector employment increased by 209,000 from February to March on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report® released today. The ADP National Employment Report, created by Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP®), in partnership with Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC, is derived from actual payroll data and measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month. Estimated gains for previous months were revised higher; the gain from December to January was revised up by 9,000 to 182,000, and the gain from January to February was revised up by 14,000 to 230,000.

    U.S. Nonfarm Private Employment Highlights – March 2012 Report:
    Total employment: +209,000
    Small businesses:* +100,000
    Medium businesses:** +87,000
    Large businesses:*** +22,000
    Goods-producing sector: + 45,000
    Service-providing sector: +164,000
    Addendum:
    Manufacturing industry: + 23,000
    * Small businesses represent payrolls with 1-49 employees
    ** Medium businesses represent payrolls with 50-499 employees
    *** Large businesses represent payrolls with more than 499 employees

    Note: All data included in the ADP National Employment Report is based on size of payroll. In some cases, small and medium-size payrolls belong to businesses employing more workers than indicated by the size grouping.

    According to today’s ADP National Employment Report, employment in the nonfarm private business sector rose 209,000 from February to March on a seasonally adjusted basis.

    Employment in the private, service-providing sector increased 164,000 in March, after rising a revised 183,000 in February.

    Employment in the private, goods-producing sector rose 45,000 in March. Manufacturing employment increased 23,000, while construction employment advanced 13,000 and the financial services sector added 8,000 jobs during that period.

    “During the first quarter of this year, monthly gains in employment shown in The ADP National Employment Report averaged 207,000 jobs, compared to 156,000 per month over all of 2011,” said Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO of ADP.

    “This is a positive development, and I would hope that job growth will be even more robust for the remainder of the year.”

    According to Joel Prakken, Chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC, “Labor market conditions continue to improve at a moderate pace. Employment grew in all the major sectors of the economy tracked in The Report, and across payrolls of all sizes.

    Today’s data marks the twenty-sixth consecutive monthly gain in private employment as measured in The Report.

    “The March increase in private employment suggests that the national unemployment rate may have declined slightly last month. It would also be consistent with other indicators suggesting some firming of labor market conditions, such as the downward trend in unemployment claims and upturns in the components of consumer sentiment and confidence influenced by perceptions about the availability of jobs.”

    Prakken added: “Employment on medium payrolls—those with 50 to 499 workers—rose 87,000 in March. Employment on large payrolls—those with 500 or more workers—increased 22,000 during that same period.”

  10. CR says:

    Next Up…

    9:30 AM EDT
    President Obama hosts an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House; Vice President Biden also delivers remarks

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    • CR says:

      April 04, 2012

      Remarks by the President at Easter Prayer Breakfast

      East Room

      9:43 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. (Applause.) Please, have a seat. Have a seat. Well, welcome to the White House. It is a pleasure to be with all of you this morning.

      In less than a week, this house will be overrun by thousands of kids at the Easter Egg Roll. (Laughter.) So I wanted to get together with you for a little prayer and reflection — some calm before the storm. (Laughter.)

      It is wonderful to see so many good friends here today. To all the faith leaders from all across the country — from churches and congregations large and small; from different denominations and different backgrounds — thank you for coming to our third annual Easter prayer breakfast. And I’m grateful that you’re here.

      I’m even more grateful for the work that you do every day of the year — the compassion and the kindness that so many of you express through your various ministries. I know that some of you have joined with our Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. I’ve seen firsthand some of the outstanding work that you are doing in your respective communities, and it’s an incredible expression of your faith. And I know that all of us who have an opportunity to work with you draw inspiration from the work that you do.

      Finally, I want to just express appreciation for your prayers. Every time I travel around the country, somebody is going around saying, we’re praying for you. (Laughter.) We got a prayer circle going. Don’t worry, keep the faith. We’re praying. (Laughter.) Michelle gets the same stuff. And that means a lot to us. It especially means a lot to us when we hear from folks who we know probably didn’t vote for me — (laughter) — and yet, expressing extraordinary sincerity about their prayers. And it’s a reminder not only of what binds us together as a nation, but also what binds us together as children of God.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/04/remarks-president-easter-prayer-breakfast

  11. CR says:

    Geithner criticizes proposed GOP budget cuts

    4/4/12 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | Associated Press – 30 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took a shot at Republicans for focusing too much on spending and tax cuts and not doing enough to support economic growth.

    In a speech in Chicago, Geithner says government support is necessary to invest in education, build roads and infrastructure and help job growth.

    He also disputed GOP criticism that the Obama administration has imposed too much regulation on business.

    “A growth strategy for the American economy requires more than promises to cut taxes and spending,” Geithner said in prepared remarks to the Economic Club of Chicago. “We have to be willing to do things, not just cut things.”

    Geithner’s remarks were made one day after President Barack Obama ramped up his attacks on GOP budget proposals and Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney.

  12. CR says:

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

  13. Good morning CR and PPO Family. HOPE you all have a terrific Wednesday.

    My brother is having eye surgery this morning. I have my tablet and can keep updated on what’s happening but have not figured out how to post links on my tablet.

    CR can you post candle?

  14. CR says:

    NMI at 56%; March Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®; Business Activity Index at 58.9%; New Orders Index at 58.8%; Employment Index at 56.7%

    4/4/12 Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance – 22 minutes ago

    TEMPE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

    Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in March for the 27th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

    The report was issued today by Anthony Nieves, C.P.M., CFPM, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The NMI registered 56 percent in March, 1.3 percentage points lower than the 57.3 percent registered in February, and indicating continued growth at a slower rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 58.9 percent, which is 3.7 percentage points lower than the 62.6 percent reported in February, reflecting growth for the 32nd consecutive month. The New Orders Index decreased by 2.4 percentage points to 58.8 percent, and the Employment Index increased by 1 percentage point to 56.7 percent, indicating continued growth in employment at a slightly faster rate. The Prices Index decreased 4.5 percentage points to 63.9 percent, indicating prices increased at a slower rate in March when compared to February. According to the NMI, 16 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in March. Respondents’ comments remain mostly optimistic about business conditions. They indicate that increased discretionary spending reflects the increased confidence level of businesses and consumers. There is continued concern about cost pressures and the instability of fuel prices.”

    INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE
    The 16 non-manufacturing industries reporting growth in March — listed in order — are: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Management of Companies & Support Services; Accommodation & Food Services; Construction; Other Services; Wholesale Trade; Finance & Insurance; Information; Public Administration; Health Care & Social Assistance; Utilities; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Retail Trade; Educational Services; Professional, Scientific & Technical Services; and Transportation & Warehousing. The two industries reporting contraction in March are: Mining; and Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting.

    For the entire article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/nmi-56-march-non-manufacturing-140000625.html

  15. CR says:

    Obama clinches Democratic nomination

    4/3/12 CNN Political Unit

    (CNN) – President Barack Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday by winning primaries in the District of Columbia and Maryland, CNN projects.

    He has now surpassed the 2,778 delegate-threshold needed to secure his party’s nod. For more information, click here: http://on.cnn.com/HdHRsb

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      Wait, Washington hasn’t caucused yet! Oh well, I’ll go vote for him anyway and give him some extra delegates. :)

  16. CR says:

    11:30 AM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama holds a conference call with reporters in the week leading up to the one-year anniversary of Joining Forces.

    • CR says:

      First Lady Announces 15,000 Jobs for Military Spouses

      Brad Cooper April 04, 2012 06:58 PM EDT

      Earlier today, I joined with First Lady Michelle Obama, to announce a major commitment by forward looking businesses that have launched an ambitious new effort to deliver more than 15,000 jobs to military spouses and veterans in the coming years. This new effort will help deliver jobs that are physically located near bases, as well as thousands of highly sought-after at-home employment opportunities to military families across the country.

      Military families are 10 times more likely to move across state lines than civilian families. Home based jobs are especially valuable for military families because they can move with military spouses as they relocate from base to base across the country, accommodate flexible work hours, enable spouses who care for children or elderly parents to work from home, and give home-bound veterans with disabilities new opportunities to have a fulfilling job.

      At home jobs with flexible work schedules can also lead to better work life balance, and extend job opportunities into communities often left behind. Military families will also benefit from the new job commitments being announced at nearly two-dozen physical contact centers located in close proximity to active military bases. These contact centers often support military families through: family-friendly scheduling, maintaining service accrual records, enabling the seamless transfer from one contact center to another in an event of a relocation, as well as extensive training and immense growth opportunities from agents to supervisors.

      These companies and their associated job opportunities will also be integrated into the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), a Department of Defense-led effort with more than 100 companies in the private sector who have committed to a focused effort on military spouse employment. MSEP was launched by Dr Jill Biden last summer.

      Additional information specifics of the commitments can be found at: http://www.joiningforces.gov/commitments

  17. CR says:

    11:55 AM EDT
    President Obama signs the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which makes clear that Members of Congress are subject to the same insider trading laws that apply to everyone else; the Vice President also attends
    South Court Auditorium

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/President-Obama-Signs-the-STOCK-Act-Into-Law/10737429621/

    • CR says:

      April 04, 2012

      Remarks by the President at STOCK Act Bill Signing

      South Court Auditorium
      Eisenhower Executive Office Building

      11:56 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you, everybody. Please, have a seat. Have a seat. Well, good morning, and welcome to the White House. I want to thank my outstanding Vice President, Joe Biden, for being here. (Applause.) And we are joined by members of both parties in Congress who helped to get this bill to my desk. So I’m very grateful to them.

      I want to recognize Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, and wish her a speedy recovery. She broke her leg yesterday, so she can’t be here in person. I think she’ll be okay. But she first introduced the STOCK Act in 2006, and I know how proud she is to see this bill that she championed finally become law.

      Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about the choices facing this country. We can settle for a country that — and an economy where a shrinking number of people do exceedingly well, while a growing number struggle to get by, or where we can build an economy where everybody gets a fair shot, everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules.

      That last part — the idea that everybody plays by the same rules — is one of our most cherished American values. It goes hand in hand with our fundamental belief that hard work should pay off and responsibility should be rewarded. It’s the notion that the powerful shouldn’t get to create one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everybody else.

      And if we expect that to apply to our biggest corporations and to our most successful citizens, it certainly should apply to our elected officials — especially at a time when there is a deficit of trust between this city and the rest of the country.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/04/remarks-president-stock-act-bill-signing

    • CR says:

      April 04, 2012

      FACT SHEET: The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act: Bans Members of Congress from Insider Trading

      “Send me a bill that bans insider trading by members of Congress; I will sign it tomorrow.” — President Obama, State of the Union, January 24, 2012

      In the State of the Union Address, the President laid out a blueprint for an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules, including those who have been elected to serve the American people.

      Today, the President signed into law the STOCK Act, a bipartisan bill that prevents Members of Congress from trading stocks based on nonpublic information they gleaned on Capitol Hill. While this is a good first step, the President will continue to work with Congress to do even more to help fight the destructive influence of money in politics and rebuild the trust between Washington and the American people.

      Details of the STOCK Act:

      Answers the President’s Call to Ban Insider Trading for Members and Congressional Staff

      Increases Transparency in Financial Disclosure Reporting

      New Ethics Requirements:
      • Expands Pension Forfeiture for Corrupt Members
      • Requires Disclosure of Terms of Mortgages
      • Bans Special Access to Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)
      • Requires Report on Political Intelligence in the Financial Markets
      • Requires Job Seekers to Disclose

      Bans Bonuses for Fannie & Freddie Executives

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/04/fact-sheet-stock-act-bans-members-congress-insider-trading

    • CR says:

      April 04, 2012

      Statement by the Press Secretary on S. 2038

      On Wednesday, April 4, 2012, the President signed into law:

      S. 2038, the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012” or the “Stock Act” which prohibits members of Congress, Executive Branch employees, Federal judges, and judicial employees from using nonpublic information derived from their official positions for personal profit; and requires financial forms of certain Federal Government employees to be made available to the public electronically.

  18. CR says:

    12:30 PM EDT
    Vice President Biden hosts a working lunch with Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani in the Roosevelt Room.

  19. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Good and HOPEful Wednesday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

    I'm still happy from PBO's amazing speech yesterday!

  20. CR says:

    The Story of “Fired up! Ready to go!” – Obama for America 2012

    Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on Apr 3, 2012

    Are you in? https://my.barackobama.com/firedupreadytogovid

    Edith S. Childs is the one that got Barack Obama fired up.

    While attending a small campaign event in Greenwood, South Carolina, then-Senator Obama first heard the chant “Fired up! Ready to Go!”.

    As then-Senator Obama shared in his pre-election night speech in Virginia:

    “After a minute or so I’m feeling kind of fired up. I’m feeling like I’m ready to go! So I joined in the chant. And it feels good.

    And for the rest of the day, even after we left Greenwood, I’d see my staff and I’d say,

    ‘Are you fired up?’

    They’d say ‘We’re fired up boss. Are you ready to go?’

    I’d say, ‘I’m ready to go.’

    So some people start putting ‘Fired up! Ready to go!’ on their shirts. Some people start putting ‘Fired up! Ready to go!’ on signs. Everybody’s saying ‘Fired up!’ and ‘Ready to go!’

    It shows you what one voice can do. One voice can change a room. And if a voice can change a room it can change a city. And if it can change a city it can change a state. And if it can change a state it can change the nation. And if it can change the nation it can change the world.

    Your voice can change the world.”

    April 4th, 2012 is the one year anniversary of the 2012 campaign.

    Help President Obama stand up for working Americans. Join this campaign now. https://my.barackobama.com/firedupreadytogovid

  21. CR says:

    US service firms grow at steady pace, boost hiring

    4/4/12 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | Associated Press – 1 hr 36 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. service companies expanded at a healthy pace last month and stepped up hiring, more evidence that the economy is growing and adding jobs.

    The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its index of non-manufacturing activity dropped to 56 in March. That’s down from February’s 57.3, which was a 12-month high. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

    Economists said the slight decline wasn’t troubling because the reading was still at a healthy level that points to growth. And a measure of employment rose to near a six-year high reached in January.

    The trade group of purchasing managers surveys roughly 90 percent of U.S. companies in all sectors outside of manufacturing. That includes retail, construction, financial services, health care, and hotels.

    Separately, payroll processor ADP said the economy added 209,000 private-sector jobs in March. The job gains in January and February were also revied up. The ADP survey does not include government jobs.

    The two reports were encouraging ahead of Friday’s government report on March job growth. Many economists expect that will show the fourth straight month of strong hiring.

    “The (ISM) survey still suggests that domestic demand is contributing more to the recovery,” said Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients. “This survey is still consistent with some decent rates of economic growth.”

    For the entire article; http://news.yahoo.com/us-firms-grow-steady-pace-boost-hiring-141054497.html

  22. CR says:

    2:00 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama will visit the Fisher House located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

    • CR says:

      April 04, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at a Fisher House Easter Event

      Maryland Fisher House IV
      Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
      Bethesda, Maryland

      2:02 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Hey! (Applause.) You guys, thank you so much. It is always one of my favorite things to come visit Fisher House, and — because this house is a home away from home to so many of our military families. The work they do here is amazing. Every single house that I have visited is just like this — the level of quality, the level of comfort, the staff is always is amazing.

      But what I always say is that you all deserve this. Our military families, our troops — you all deserve this kind of high-level treatment for what you go through for this country, for what you sacrifice. This should be the kind of place that welcomes you in times like these. So we always are just thrilled to shine a light on the good work.

      But I just didn’t come to visit; I’m going to come around to tables. But I come bearing treats: I’ve got Easter cookies from the White House. (Laughter.)

      CHILD: Yay!

      MRS. OBAMA: And I’ve got — oh, this — I’m going to put this here. We’ve got some Easter cookies — we’ve got enough for everybody to have an Easter cookie. And I have a second surprise, which is I also brought tickets to the Easter egg roll for everybody here, on Monday. (Applause.) Easter egg roll tickets! (Laughter.)

      So you guys are all invited to the White House. We’ve got — yes, do you have a question? (Laughter.) Yes, it’s very exciting. We’ve got — it’s going to be so much fun. And parents who are coming — yes, people come to the White House dressed up, but the Easter egg roll is fun. We’ve got hula-hooping, and we’ve got tennis, and we’ve got games. So come ready to play, okay? Come ready — are you ready to play?

      And I have a final treat, which is I think the most important treat: I brought one of my best friends in the whole world, my only son — I brought with me today — I brought Bo. (Laughter.)

      All right, so I’m going to come around. Do you guys want to see Bo?

      END
      2:05 P.M. EDT

      ——————-

      Month of the Military Child: First Lady Visits Families at Walter Reed Fisher House

      Uploaded by InstallationMgt on Apr 6, 2012

      By Terri Moon Cronk – American Forces Press Service

      BETHESDA, Md., April 4, 2012 — The first ladies of the United States and the U.S. military helped to observe Easter and the Month of the Military Child here today by visiting children and their families at a Fisher House on the campus of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

    • CR says:

      First Lady Michelle Obama Pays Easter Visit To Military Families At Walter Reed Fisher House

      APRIL 04, 2012 obamafoodorama.blogspot

      First Lady Michelle Obama doubled as the Easter Bunny on Wednesday afternoon, delivering cookies from the White House Pastry Shop and a couple of fun surprises to the military families living at Fisher House #4 on the campus of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. Clad in a pastel yellow cardigan and a floral shirt, Mrs. Obama was celebrating both Easter and April’s Month of the Military Child.

      “It is always one of my favorite things to come visit Fisher House,” Mrs. Obama told the group of about 45 recovering service members, their spouses and children. “This house is a home away from home to so many of our military families. The work they do here is amazing. Every single house that I have visited is just like this — the level of quality, the level of comfort, the staff is always is amazing.”

      The First Lady was joined by Deanie Dempsey, wife of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey as she participated in an Easter-themed craft session with the kids, who are living with their families at the residential house while a loved one receives specialized medical treatment. Mrs. Obama also brought a family member with her to spread holiday cheer.

      “I brought one of my best friends in the whole world, my only son,” Mrs. Obama said, pointing to First Dog Bo. An attempt to put pink silk bunny ears on Bo’s head caused a lot of laughs. The First Lady had another treat for the families, too: Tickets to next Monday’s White House Easter Egg Roll.

      For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/04/first-lady-pays-easter-visit-to.html

    • CR says:

      An early Easter

      04.05.12 Posted by: CNN Producer Stacey Samuel

      Easter came early for some of the military families at the Fisher House at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. And, it was First Lady Michelle Obama who came bearing pastries from the White House. Bo, the first dog dressed in bunny ears accompanied the first lady on her visit.

      “It is always one of my favorite things to do, to come to the Fisher House,” said the first lady holding a basket of Easter cookies, “This house is a home away from home for so many of our military families.”

      The Fisher House is a refuge for veterans and their families as they receive medical care at Walter Reed. On Wednesday, 19 of those families took part in making arts and crafts, with the first lady on hand to spend some time chatting and signing autographs.

      The families are among the 73 that live on the premises at Walter Reed, there are 57 Fisher Houses across the country in total.

      Wednesday’s event is a part of Mrs. Obama’s campaign to bring recognition and support to military families. It’s been a year since the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden kicked-off their “Joining Forces” initiative, and next week the two will hit the road on a two-day tour (which will include an appearance on the Colbert report, while in New York City) to celebrate its one year anniversary.

      For more: http://www.fisherhouse.org/news/2012/april/an-early-easter/

  23. CR says:

    2:00 PM EDT
    Vice President Biden meets with President Barzani at the White House.

    • CR says:

      April 05, 2012

      Readout of the President and Vice President’s Meeting with Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani

      This afternoon, President Obama joined a meeting between Vice President Biden and Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, at the White House. President Obama and Vice President Biden reaffirmed that the United States is committed to our close and historic relationship with Kurdistan and the Kurdish people, in the context of our strategic partnership with a federal, democratic and unified Iraq. President Obama and Vice President Biden also encouraged President Barzani’s continued engagement in the Iraqi political process, under the auspices of Iraq’s constitution. Before this meeting, Vice President Biden hosted President Barzani and his delegation for a working lunch. The two leaders discussed a range of issues related to Iraq and the region and steps the U.S. would take to expand services offered at Consulate Irbil. They also expressed support for continued high-level consultations between U.S. officials and representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

  24. CR says:

    Next Up…

    2:30 PM EDT
    White House Champions of Change: Youth Violence Prevention
    On Wednesday April 4th, the White House will honor Andrea Perry as one of twelve leaders recognized for their work to prevent youth violence within their communities as part of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (the Forum). Launched at the direction of President Obama in 2010, the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention is a network of communities and federal agencies working together to share information and build local capacity to prevent and reduce youth violence.
    The White House

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

    • CR says:

      Champions of Change: Youth Violence Prevention

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Apr 4, 2012

      The White House honors 12 leaders as Champions of Change for their work to prevent youth violence within their communities as part of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. Launched at President Obama’s direction in 2010, the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention is a network of communities and federal agencies working together to share information and build local capacity to prevent and reduce youth violence and keep our kids safe. April 5, 2012.

  25. Kat 4 Obama says:

    On the 44th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, it is poignant to remember the 60s.

    Last year the PBS series “Pioneers in Television” featured an interview with actress Nichelle Nichols.

    NYDaily News.com:

    …. After a year with “Star Trek” as communications officer Lieutenant Uhura, she turned in her resignation. But at an NAACP event that weekend, she ran into King….

    “He was telling me why I could not [resign],” she recalls. “He said I had the first nonstereotypical role, I had a role with honor, dignity and intelligence. He said, ‘You simply cannot abdicate, this is an important role. This is why we are marching. We never thought we’d see this on TV.’”

    http://bit.ly/n2vKpm

    Today Ms. Nichols Tweeted this great photo of a visit she paid in February to a certain office in Washington DC:

  26. CR says:

    April 04, 2012

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Attack on the National Theater in Mogadishu, Somalia

    The United States strongly condemns the outrageous attack today in Mogadishu that resulted in a tragic loss of life. We offer our condolences to the Somali people, particularly those who lost family and loved ones. Somalia, with the support of African Union peacekeepers, has made great strides in the past months to improve security and rebuild Mogadishu after two decades of civil strife. Al-Shabaab’s attack on the newly reopened National Theater is another sign that it is standing in the way of Somalia’s path to peace and stability, and demonstrates why it is being rejected by the Somali people. We remain committed to the people of Somalia and assisting them in countering al-Shabaab’s violence and in returning peace to their country.

  27. CR says:

    Al Qaeda apparent victim of cyberattack

    4/04/12 By Carlo Munoz – TheHill

    Several extremist websites tied to al Qaeda remain offline almost two weeks after the sites were the apparent victims of a major cyberattack.

    Those sites, which play a key role in the terror group’s propaganda efforts, were knocked offline 12 days ago by an unknown hacker or group of hackers, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

    The relatively low level of technological sophistication used during the attacks all but rules out the United States as the culprit, according to the Monitor.

    However, the attack comes as DOD is in the midst of drafting new rules of engagement for cyberwarfare. Pentagon officials have told lawmakers in recent weeks that U.S. cyberwarfare capabilities are still mainly focused on defensive, not offensive, operations.
    The more likely scenario is the attack was an operational test of some unknown country’s burgeoning cyberwarfare capabilities.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/operations/219967-al-qaeda-apparent-victim-of-cyberattack

  28. CR says:

    Treasury: Regions Financial repays TARP funds

    4/4/12 Glenn Somerville – Reuters – 2 hrs 55 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Regions Financial Corp has repaid $3.5 billion to the U.S. Treasury Department that it received under the bank bailout program and is now fully out of the financial crisis-era program, the Treasury said on Wednesday.

    The Treasury said that after the latest payment, the overall positive return on bank investments made under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, has reached $18 billion.

    A total of $245 billion was invested in banks under TARP’s bank programs and some $263 billion now has been returned in the form of repayments, dividends, interest and other income.

    When Treasury put money into a bank during the 2007-2009 financial crisis, it received preferred shares and banks repay the funds by buying back the preferred stock. The Treasury still holds warrants to buy common shares in Regions Financial and could earn an additional return on those.

    So far, taxpayers have recovered about 81 percent, or $337 billion, out of the total $415 billion that the government disbursed across all TARP programs.

    TARP was set up as a $700-billion program at the height of the 2007-2009 financial crisis and was used as a mechanism for propping up struggling financial institutions that are regaining strength as economic conditions improve.

    About 350 banks, mostly smaller ones, still have not paid back the TARP money that they received.

  29. CR says:

    1470 people made $million & paid $0 US taxes in 2009

    By the Numbers: $0

    Megan Slack April 04, 2012 03:47 PM EDT

    In 2009, 1,470 people who made more than $1 million paid $0 in federal income tax. That means that while millions of middle class families paid their fair share in taxes that year—money that went to funding things like education, our military, and health care for seniors —a small group of high-income Americans paid nothing at all.

    And, in addition to the small group of very wealthy who paid no taxes, thousands of other households with incomes of $1 million or more paid a lower percentage of their incomes in taxes than middle class families paid that year. Warren Buffett, for example, pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary, and that’s not fair.

    President Obama believes in building an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. That’s why he proposed the Buffett Rule .

    The Buffett Rule is simple: if you make more than $1 million a year, you should pay at least the same percentage of your income in taxes as middle class families do. On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year – like 98 percent of American families do – your taxes shouldn’t go up.

  30. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    11:30 AM
    Vice President Biden meets with Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi of Kosovo at the White House.

    11:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    12:00 PM
    The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    12:30 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet for lunch.
    Private Dining Room
    Closed Press

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:10 PM
    President Obama signs the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which includes key initiatives to help small businesses and startups grow and create jobs
    Rose Garden
    Open Press

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    President Obama hosts a screening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
    Family Movie Theater
    Closed Press

    5:35 PM
    President Obama attends a campaign event at The Jefferson Hotel.
    DC, The Jefferson Hotel, Washington
    Closed Press

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    8:10 PM
    President Obama attends a campaign event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  31. CR says:

    Obama to sign JOBS Act

    4/3/12 3:40 PM EDT POLITICO44

    The White House announced that President Obama will sign the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act Thursday. The bill was a bipartisan fusion of small business proposals from both President Obama and House Republicans, and was shepherded through the House by Majority leader Eric Cantor.

  32. CR says:

    President Obama introducing special TV broadcast of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’

    4/3/12 by Adam B. Vary – insidetv.ew

    There are few films that stir the heart and soul more than the 1962 classic To Kill A Mockingbird. To commemorate the Oscar-winning film’s 50th anniversary, President Barack Obama will introduce a special broadcast of a restored and digitally remastered print of the film on USA at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Saturday, April 7.

    Starring Gregory Peck as the heroically decent Alabama lawyer Atticus Finch, and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee, the film will air with limited commercial interruption.

    In a rare public statement, Lee said she was “deeply honored” that President Obama would be participating in celebrating the film. “I believe it remains the best translation of a book to film ever made,” she said, “and I’m proud to know that Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus Finch lives on — in a world that needs him now more than ever.”

    For the entire article: http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/04/03/president-obama-to-kill-a-mockingbird/

  33. CR says:

    #AskVP: Vice President Biden Answers Your Questions on College Affordability

    Kori Schulman April 04, 2012 05:51 PM EDT

    In his first #AskVP chat on Twitter, Vice President Biden answered your questions about college affordability and discussed how the Obama Administration is tackling rising costs. To kick things off, the Vice President tweeted, “College costs high. Debt burdensome. Help needed. That’s why I’m here. Fire away. Use #AskVP -vp.” He responded to nearly twenty questions with the hashtag #AskVP and covered topics including student loan debt, rising college costs and the emphasis on higher education in the proposed budget.

    Check out the full question and answer session below, or on Storify. Be sure to follow @VP on Twitter for the latest news from the Vice President’s Office and upcoming chances to #AskVP.

  34. CR says:

    “Yes” or “No” on Proposition 5: Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative

    March 23, 2012 By Shelly Wade – alaskapublic

    The polls will open at 7:00 a.m. on April 3rd and Anchorage residents will vote “yes” or “no” on Proposition 5. Proposition 5, or the “Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative,” asks the question: “Shall the current Municipal Code sections providing legal protections against discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, physical disability, and mental disability be amended to include protections on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity?” Join me, Shelly Wade, and my guests on the next Hometown Alaska, when we take your calls and answer your questions about the potential impact of Proposition 5.

    • CR says:

      Anchorage Voters Reject Extension of Rights Protections to Gay Residents

      Published: April 4, 2012 By WILLIAM YARDLEY – nytimes

      It has been more than 35 years since George M. Sullivan, the former mayor of Anchorage, vetoed a bill passed by the city assembly that would have extended basic civil rights protections to gays. It has been three years since his son, Dan, the current mayor, vetoed a similar bill.

      On Tuesday, supporters of gay rights in the city, Alaska’s largest, took the issue out of the mayor’s hands — but the end result was the same. In a citywide ballot measure, voters overwhelmingly rejected language, known as Proposition 5, that would have added protections for people regardless of “sexual orientation or transgender identity” to the city’s civil rights laws.

      A surprisingly strong turnout caused many polling sites to run out of ballots late Tuesday, and as many as 8,000 votes, possibly more, had not been counted on Wednesday, said Barbara Gruenstein, the clerk for the Municipality of Anchorage. But Proposition 5 trailed by nearly 9,000 votes, defying polls that had suggested it would succeed.

      “Amazing what happens when the curtain closes behind you in a voting booth,” Jim Minnery, the chairman of Protect Your Rights Campaign — Vote No on Prop. 5, said Wednesday morning in an e-mail.

      The vote followed an unusually loud and expensive campaign for a city ballot measure in Anchorage. The organizers of Proposition 5, a group called One Anchorage, included prominent politicians from both sides of the aisle (Alaska’s United States senators, Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Mark Begich, a Democrat, both said they supported it), and the group outspent the opposition more than 4 to 1.

      For the entire article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/us/proposition-5-gay-rights-anchorage-alaska.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

  35. CR says:

    Mitt Romney versus reality

    Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on Apr 4, 2012

    Are you in? https://my.barackobama.com/distortionvid

    Mitt Romney: “The President has pledged to “transform America,” and he has spent the last four years laying the foundation for a new Government-Centered Society.”

    President Obama: “I have never been somebody who believes that government can or should try to solve every problem.”

    Mitt Romney: “He saw free enterprise as the villain and not the solution.”

    President Obama: “I believe deeply that the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history.”

    Mitt Romney: “When you attack business and vilify success, you’re going to have less business and less success.”

    President Obama: “I know that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not Washington.”

    Mitt Romney: “… tax increases become not only a necessity, but also a desired tool for social justice.”

    President Obama: “I’ve cut taxes for small business owners 17 times over the last three years.”

    Mitt Romney: “… government spending always increase because…well why not?”

    President Obama: “As President I’ve eliminated dozens of programs that weren’t working. And put annual domestic spending on a path to become the smallest share of the economy since Dwight Eisenhower held this office”

    Mitt Romney: “If we become one of those societies that attack success, one outcome is certain — there will be a lot less success.”

    President Obama: “In this country broad based prosperity has never trickled down from the success of a wealthy few. It has always come from the success of a strong and growing middle class.”

    Mitt Romney: “We’ll stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad.”

    President Obama: “I have no doubt that we will continue our long and prosperous journey as the greatest nation on Earth. Thank you. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.”

  36. CR says:

    Boycotts Hitting Group Behind ‘Stand Your Ground’

    4/5/12 by PETER OVERBY – NPR

    Two of America’s best-known companies, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have dropped their memberships in the American Legislative Exchange Council, a low-profile conservative organization behind the national proliferation of “stand your ground” gun laws.

    ALEC promotes business-friendly legislation in state capitols and drafts model bills for state legislatures to adopt. They range from little-noticed pro-business bills to more controversial measures, including voter-identification laws and stand your ground laws based on the Florida statute. About two-dozen states now have such laws.

    Florida’s stand your ground law has been cited in the slaying of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on Feb. 26.

    “We have a longstanding policy of not taking positions on issues that don’t have a direct bearing on our company or on our industry,” said Coca-Cola Co. spokeswoman Diana Garza Ciarlante, after the soft drink giant dropped its membership in ALEC on Monday.

    Opposition To Voter ID Laws

    Coca-Cola’s announcement came hours after a civil rights group, ColorOfChange.org, launched an online drive calling on Coca-Cola to stop underwriting the ALEC agenda on voter ID laws in several states.

    It’s part of a much broader campaign to spotlight companies that sell products to a public that might object to hard-line conservative policies such as stand your ground laws or requirements that voters show a photo ID at the polls.

    Some civil rights groups say voter ID laws are discriminatory and suppress minority voter turnout.

    “The clear and simple message was that you can’t come for black folks’ money by day and try to take away our vote by night,” said Rashad Robinson, director of ColorOfChange.

    PepsiCo, another soft drink giant, belonged to ALEC for 10 years. In January, a company vice president told ColorOfChange that it wouldn’t renew for 2012.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/05/150013705/boycotts-hitting-group-behind-stand-your-ground

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      Good. Companies that support the abuse of American citizens need to hear their customers leaving.

  37. CR says:

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

  38. CR says:

    Jobless claims fall to lowest since 2008

    4/5/12 Reuters – 4 mins 4 secs ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans lining up for new jobless benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly four years last week, according to a government report that showed ongoing healing in the labor market.

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 357,000, the lowest level since April 2008, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

    The prior week’s figure was revised up to 363,000 from the previously reported 359,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a claims reading of 355,000 for last week.

    The four-week moving average for new claims, a measure of labor market trends, declined 4,250 to 361,750.

    Thursday’s report has no direct relationship to the March employment report due on Friday.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/jobless-claims-fall-lowest-since-2008-123508447.html

  39. CR says:

    Retailers report positive March sales

    4/5/12 By MAE ANDERSON | Associated Press – 37 mins ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers from discounter Target to department-store chain Macy’s reported better-than-expected sales in March in the latest sign that Americans are feeling better about the economy.

    A combination of warm weather and high demand for spring fashions boosted revenue for the month, but analysts say there’s much more than higher temperatures at play. Americans initially cut back on spending during the recession and have continued to hold back in the slow recovery, but in recent months they’ve been feeling better about the economy as the stock market rises and unemployment falls.

    “Retailers are benefiting from an improving employment and consumer confidence picture,” said Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, a research firm.

    Only a small group of retailers report monthly revenue figures, which only take into account revenue at stores open at least a year. Still, industry watchers say there’s a reason to be optimistic because the numbers offer a snapshot of consumer spending, which accounts for more than 70 percent of all economic activity.

    Americans cut back on spending during the recession and have continued to hold back in the slow recovery. But in recent months, U.S. consumers have been seeing hope in some positive economic news. The stock market is up and unemployment is down.

    Gap Inc., which owns Old Navy and Banana Republic and has been struggling recently, was one of the biggest success stories of the month. Revenue in stores open at least one year rose 8 percent, better than the 5.4 percent rise analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected. That includes a 9 percent rise at namesake stores, an 11 percent rise at Old Navy and a 5 percent rise at Banana Republic.

    “We delivered solid sales performance in March and are pleased with customer response to product across all brands,” said CEO Glenn Murphy.

    Target Corp. and Macy’s also posted solid results and raised their forecasts.

    Target reported revenue in stores open at last one year rose 7.3 percent, better than the 5.4 percent analysts expected. The company raised its fiscal first quarter guidance based on the strong results.

    Macy’s reported the revenue figure rose 7.3 percent, beating expectations of a 4.8 percent rise. The company raised its forecast for revenue in stores open at least one year during the combined March and April period, to a 4.3 to 4.5 percent rise, from prior guidance of 3 to 3.5 percent rise.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/retailers-report-positive-march-sales-121644768.html

  40. CR says:

    Consumer Comfort in U.S. Climbed to Four-Year High Last Week

    4/5/12By Alex Kowalski – Apr 5, 2012 6:45 AM PT

    Consumer confidence climbed last week to the highest level in four years as brighter job prospects and an advancing stock market bolstered Americans’ view of the economy.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (COMFCOMF) rose to minus 31.4 in the period ended April 1, the best reading since March 2008, from minus 34.7 the prior week. All three of its components, the economy, personal finances and buying plans, advanced.

    Employers probably took on more than 700,000 workers in the first three months of this year, the best quarter for job growth since 2006, a report tomorrow may show, while equities rallied the most since 1998. The improvements may support consumer spending in the face of rising gasoline prices.

    “Sustained gains in the equity market are clearly bolstering confidence among upper-income households that are critical to overall personal consumption,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. Middle-income households may also be seeing a “mini wealth effect” as their retirement accounts climb in value, he said.

    First-time filings for jobless benefits declined last week to the lowest level in four years, another report showed today. Unemployment claims dropped by 6,000 to 357,000 in the week ended March 31, the Labor Department said.

    For the entire article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-05/consumer-comfort-in-u-s-climbed-to-four-year-high-last-week.html#disqus_thread

  41. CR says:

    President Obama Drops By Personal Finance Online Summit

    Kori Schulman April 05, 2012 10:48 AM EDT

    President Obama dropped by a meeting at the White House to speak with journalists and editors from a range of personal finance and financial news sites.

    Before the President stopped by, senior White House officials discussed the Administration’s policies to address key issues, including rising gas prices, jobs, housing and the economy at large. And with tax day just around the corner, speakers highlighted the new federal taxpayer receipt on WhiteHouse.gov and discussed the importance of passing the Buffett Rule .

    Participating officials included Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council; Jason Furman, Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council; Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council; and Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. Additionally, Dan Pfeiffer, Director of Communications, Macon Phillips, Director of Digital Strategy, Sarah Bernard, Deputy Director of Digital Strategy, and Jon Carson, Director of the Office of Public Engagement, participated in a candid dialogue about online engagement and communications.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/05/president-obama-drops-personal-finance-online-summit

  42. CR says:

    Next Up….

    11:30 AM EDT
    Vice President Biden meets with Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi of Kosovo at the White House.

    • CR says:

      April 05, 2012

      Readout of Vice President Biden’s Meeting with Prime Minister Thaçi of Kosovo

      Vice President Biden welcomed Republic of Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi to the White House today as part of the United States’ ongoing commitment to peace and stability for Kosovo and for the entire Balkan region. The Vice President congratulated Prime Minister Thaçi on the recent progress in the European Union-facilitated Dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, as well as the start of the EU’s feasibility study on next steps toward Kosovo’s European integration. The United States strongly supports the Dialogue and looks forward to the full implementation of agreements reached between Kosovo and Serbia, which will benefit the people of both countries. Vice President Biden reiterated our support for Kosovo’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Prime Minister Thaçi reaffirmed to the Vice President his commitment to help build a region based upon good neighborly relations and to carry out further needed democratic and economic reforms.

  43. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Good and HOPEful Thursday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

  44. CR says:

    Next Up…

    11:30 AM EDT
    White House Champions of Change: AAPI “What’s Your Story?” Video Challenge
    On Thursday, April 5th, the White House will honor ten Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders and organizations as Champions of Change. The ten champions were chosen as part of the White House Initiative on AAPI’s “What’s Your Story” Video Challenge.
    The White House

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

    • CR says:

      Champions of Change: AAPI “What’s Your Story” Challenge Winners Part 1

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Apr 5, 2012

      The White House honors nine Asian American and Pacific Islander community leaders who were selected to represent their community through the “What’s Your Story” video challenge. These The Champions of Change represent the millions of Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders who are making a difference in their community, many of whom continue to make a difference without being formally recognized. The nine leaders and organizations have stood out as demonstrating exceptional leadership in civil rights, immigration, community empowerment, LGBT engagement, anti-bullying, health, and the arts. Their work has been an integral part ensuring that the underserved among them are given a voice.

    • CR says:

      Champions of Change: AAPI “What’s Your Story” Challenge Winners Part 2

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Apr 5, 2012

      The White House honors nine Asian American and Pacific Islander community leaders who were selected to represent their community through the “What’s Your Story” video challenge. These The Champions of Change represent the millions of Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders who are making a difference in their community, many of whom continue to make a difference without being formally recognized. The nine leaders and organizations have stood out as demonstrating exceptional leadership in civil rights, immigration, community empowerment, LGBT engagement, anti-bullying, health, and the arts. Their work has been an integral part ensuring that the underserved among them are given a voice.

  45. CR says:

    Former Giffords aide raises more than $500,000 for special election

    4/05/12 By Josh Lederman – TheHill

    Democrat Ron Barber raised almost $550,000 in the first seven weeks of his campaign to finish the term of former Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), his campaign announced Thursday.

    Barber’s campaign said 3,293 individuals had pitched in since he announced in February his campaign for the special election.

    “I believe that fundraising isn’t just about the bottom line — it’s about people investing in someone they know will stand up for their values,” Barber said in a statement.
    The former district director for Giffords, Barber was shot twice in the January 2011 shooting spree that critically injured Giffords and led to her resignation one year later.

    Barber is unopposed in the Democratic primary, but four Republicans are duking it out in the GOP primary, including Jesse Kelly, who came within 2 points of unseating Giffords in 2010 in a toss-up district.

    Most of the Republican candidates have not yet released their fundraising figures, but sports broadcaster Dave Sitton announced he raised more than $250,000 during the same period.

    Barber’s first goal is to win a June special election to finish the remainder of Giffords’s term. But Barber has also announced plans to seek a full term in the House that starts in 2013. Barber will compete in the fall in the regular election in a redrawn district that slightly improves chances for Democrats.

    • CR says:

      ron_baber_for_az_congress

      Ron Barber for AZ Congress http://ronbarberforcongress.com

      AZ 8th Congressional District Special Election

      Ron Barber for Arizona Congress

      I’ve lived here in Southern Arizona most of my life, running a small business with my wife, and helping to solve problems for people — whether it was heading up Congresswoman Giffords’s district operations to help people resolve their problems, or working for 35 years to look out for people with disabilities.

      I’m running for Congress because we need someone who will put politics aside to solve problems for the people of Southern Arizona. We need someone who will be honest with people, and who will lead with civility. And someone who will focus on the needs of Southern Arizona — balancing the budget the right way, by protecting Social Security and Medicare, creating jobs, protecting our military families and bases, and securing our border.

      My children and grandchildren are all here in Southern Arizona — and I want this to be as special a place for them as it’s been for me.

      Ron Barber

  46. Kat 4 Obama says:
    • CR says:

      Thanks Kat! I will repeat this message on the next thread as well.

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      From ThinkProgress.org:

      …. The Obama campaign hit back at Priebus in a statement from Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter:

      “Reince Priebus’ comparison of Republican attempts to limit women’s access to mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and contraception to a ‘war on caterpillars’ shows how little regard leading Republicans, including Mitt Romney, have for women’s health. … Reince Priebus’ comments today only reinforce why women simply cannot trust Mitt Romney or other leading Republicans to stand up for them.”

      http://thinkprogress.org/special/2012/04/05/458902/reince-priebus-war-on-caterpillars/?mobile=nc

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      Romney campaign can’t say if he supports equal-pay law

      4/11/12 11:29 AM ET By Josh Lederman – TheHill

      Mitt Romney’s economic and policy aides were caught off guard on Wednesday when asked whether the former Massachusetts governor supports equal-pay legislation signed into law by President Obama.

      Fresh off of a great day for Mitt Romney on Tuesday, when his main rival for the GOP nomination dropped out, the Romney campaign dispatched surrogates to knock Obama’s proposed “Buffet Rule” and to double down on their arguments that Obama’s policies have led to massive job losses for women.

      On a conference call with reporters Wednesday was Romney’s policy director, Lanhee Chen, and Kevin Hassett, one of his economic policy advisers. The aides accused Obama of setting women back 20 years and promoting policies that led to the hemorrhaging of women in the workforce.

      But asked by a reporter whether Romney supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which Obama signed in 2009 barely a week after taking office, the aides weren’t so sure.

      “We’ll get back to you on that,” said one of the Romney surrogates.

      The campaign had no immediate response to The Hill’s inquiry seeking clarification on Romney’s position on the law, which expands workers’ ability to sue over equal-pay discrimination claims.

      Ledbetter, in a statement released by Obama’s reelection campaign, criticized Romney for not having an answer.

      “I was shocked and disappointed to hear that Mitt Romney is not willing to stand up for women and their families. If he is truly concerned about women in this economy, he wouldn’t have to take time to ‘think’ about whether he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,” she said. “Anyone who wants to be President of the United States shouldn’t have to think about whether they support pursuing every possible avenue to ensuring women get the same pay for the same work as men.”

      Both campaigns have made a priority of winning female voters, with polls showing a significant gender gap between Obama and Romney.

      Source; http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/220971-romney-aides-on-equal-pay-law-well-get-back-to-you

  47. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Toward a More Inclusive America: Telling the Story of Women in America

    by Ken Salazar

    …. As Secretary of the Interior, where I have responsibility for the stewardship of our nation’s history and culture, I am keenly aware of how much of women’s history remains untold. In fact, just 12 of our 397 national parks focus solely on the lives and accomplishments of women, and just 4 percent of our National Historic Sites and National Historic Landmarks….

    As our nation’s storyteller, the National Park Service will play a central role in expanding our understanding and preservation of the sites that tell the story of women in America.

    Over the coming months, the National Park Service will broaden a successful partnership with the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites, through which they interpret women’s history in the northeastern region of the country. We want to take that successful model to a national scale.

    The National Park Service will also be launching a new study on the identification, preservation and education of women’s suffrage and women’s rights historic sites across the country.

    These steps are part of a broader effort under President Obama’s leadership to ensure that we are telling all of America’s story. In the last year alone, we have created the Fort Monroe National Monument, celebrated the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to the National Mall, dedicated the Cesar Chavez “Forty Acres” site as a National Historic Landmark, taken steps to protect the sites of Japanese internment camps from world War II, and many other things….

    http://www.doi.gov/news/editorials/Toward-a-More-Inclusive-America-Telling-the-Story-of-Women-in-America.cfm

    • CR says:

      Another good one Kat! I’ll repeat this one as well.

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      I have just discovered the amazing photos and information at Interior Department’s Tumblr. What a natural paradise this country is.

      Fascinating stuff about the parks, too. For example, I had no idea about the Nez Perce National Historical Park — it has 38 sites in 4 states to reflect the wide distribution of the Nimiipuu or Nez Perce people. Learning something new every day here!

      http://americasgreatoutdoors.tumblr.com/

  48. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Beyond Star Trek… a real women astronaut visits an elected official:

  49. Kat 4 Obama says:
  50. CR says:

    Next Up…

    2:10 PM EDT
    President Obama signs the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which includes key initiatives to help small businesses and startups grow and create jobs

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/President-Obama-Signs-the-JOBS-Act-Into-Law/10737429665/

    • CR says:

      April 05, 2012

      Remarks by the President at JOBS Act Bill Signing

      Rose Garden

      2:36 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Hello, everybody. Please, please have a seat. Good afternoon. I want to thank all of you for coming, and in particular, I want to thank the members of Congress who are here today from both parties, whose leadership and hard work made this bill a reality.

      One of the great things about America is that we are a nation of doers — not just talkers, but doers. We think big. We take risks. And we believe that anyone with a solid plan and a willingness to work hard can turn even the most improbable idea into a successful business. So ours is a legacy of Edisons and Graham Bells, Fords and Boeings, of Googles and of Twitters. This is a country that’s always been on the cutting edge. And the reason is that America has always had the most daring entrepreneurs in the world.

      Some of them are standing with me today. When their ideas take root, we get inventions that can change the way we live. And when their businesses take off, more people become employed because, overall, new businesses account for almost every new job that’s created in America.

      Now, because we’re still recovering from one of the worst recessions in our history, the last few years have been pretty tough on entrepreneurs. Credit has been tight. And no matter how good their ideas are, if an entrepreneur can’t get a loan from a bank or backing from investors, it’s almost impossible to get their businesses off the ground. And that’s why back in September, and again in my State of the Union, I called on Congress to remove a number of barriers that were preventing aspiring entrepreneurs from getting funding. And this is one useful and important step along that journey.

      Here’s what’s going to happen because of this bill. For business owners who want to take their companies to the next level, this bill will make it easier for you to go public. And that’s a big deal because going public is a major step towards expanding and hiring more workers. It’s a big deal for investors as well, because public companies operate with greater oversight and greater transparency.

      And for start-ups and small businesses, this bill is a potential game changer. Right now, you can only turn to a limited group of investors — including banks and wealthy individuals — to get funding. Laws that are nearly eight decades old make it impossible for others to invest. But a lot has changed in 80 years, and it’s time our laws did as well. Because of this bill, start-ups and small business will now have access to a big, new pool of potential investors — namely, the American people. For the first time, ordinary Americans will be able to go online and invest in entrepreneurs that they believe in.

      Of course, to make sure Americans don’t get taken advantage of, the websites where folks will go to fund all these start-ups and small businesses will be subject to rigorous oversight. The SEC is going to play an important role in implementing this bill. And I’ve directed my administration to keep a close eye as this law goes into effect and to provide me with regular updates.

      It also means that, to all the members of Congress who are here today, I want to say publicly before I sign this bill, it’s going to be important that we continue to make sure that the SEC is properly funded, just like all our other regulatory agencies, so that they can do the job and make sure that our investors get adequate protections.

      This bill represents exactly the kind of bipartisan action we should be taking in Washington to help our economy. I’ve always said that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not the government. Our job is to help our companies grow and hire. That’s why I pushed for this bill. That’s why I know that the bipartisan group of legislators here pushed for this bill. That’s why I’ve cut taxes for small businesses over 17 times. That’s why every day I’m fighting to make sure America is the best place on Earth to do business.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/05/remarks-president-jobs-act-bill-signing

      • Kat 4 Obama says:

        PBO is all about jobs, jobs, jobs. The GOP is all about defeating PBO.

    • CR says:

      April 05, 2012

      President Obama To Sign Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act

      Will Announce New Steps to Promote Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs and Protections for Investors

      WASHINGTON, DC – Today President Obama will sign the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a bipartisan bill that enacts many of the President’s proposals to encourage startups and support our nation’s small businesses.

      The President believes that our small businesses and startups are driving the recovery and job creation. That’s why he put forward a number of specific ways to encourage small business and startup investment in the American Jobs Act last fall, and worked with members on both sides of the aisle to sign these common-sense measures into law today. The JOBS Act will allow Main Street small businesses and high-growth enterprises to raise capital from investors more efficiently, allowing small and young firms across the country to grow and hire faster.

      “America’s high-growth entrepreneurs and small businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and growing the economy,” said President Obama. “I’m pleased Congress took bipartisan action to pass this bill. These proposals will help entrepreneurs raise the capital they need to put Americans back to work and create an economy that’s built to last.”

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/05/president-obama-sign-jumpstart-our-business-startups-jobs-action

    • CR says:

      Ask An Entrepreneur: What’s Crowdfunding?

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Apr 5, 2012

      Dana Mauriello, Co-Founder and President of ProFounder, talks about what crowdfunding is and why the JOBS act that the President signed on April 5th, 2012 will make access to capital more readily available for small business.

  51. Good morning CR, Kat and PPO Family. HOPE you all have a great Thursday. Sorry I am late. Follow up on my brother’s surgery this morning.

    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

  52. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Mitt Romney is about an inch away from accusing PBO of being a multimillionaire white guy who used to be the governor of Massachusetts.

    TPM:

    …. Speaking in Harrisburg, Pa., Romney told an audience that Obama may have spent “too much time at Harvard,” according to NBC. Obama, who has a law degree from Harvard, spent three years there. Romney, who earned both a Harvard law degree and business degree, spent four years at the university and was by all accounts a motivated student who was happy with the institution during his time there….

    Three of his sons attended Harvard and he has donated over $50,000 to the university. His campaign lists over a dozen advisers with Harvard ties, including Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw and international affairs professor Meghan O’Sullivan….

    http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/04/romney-who-holds-two-harvard-degrees-says-obama-spent-too-much-time-at-harvard.php?ref=fpa

  53. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Not to mention the War on Caterpillars.

    • Kat 4 Obama says:
  54. CR says:

    5:00 PM EDT
    President Obama hosts a screening of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

    • CR says:

      April 05, 2012

      Readout from the President’s Film Screening of To Kill A Mockingbird at the White House

      This evening, the President hosted a film screening of To Kill a Mockingbird in the Family Theater at The White House to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The President welcomed guests including local students from Washington-Lee High School, Mary Badham Wilt, the actress who played Scout, and Veronique Peck, widow of Gregory Peck who played Atticus Finch. The President also acknowledged the American Film Institute for their commitment to the fine arts and NBC Universal and USA Network for their efforts to commemorate this important film. The President thanked Wilt for “bringing the character of Scout to life” and Veronique Peck and her family for coming to the White House in support of the late Gregory Peck who would have been 96 years old today. The President described Harper Lee’s novel as a timeless American classic and one of his favorite books.

  55. CR says:

    5:35 PM EDT
    President Obama attends a campaign event at The Jefferson Hotel.

  56. Kat 4 Obama says:

    The USAID Twitter recommends this article:

    MillionMomsChallenge.org

    …. Only 8 percent of peace accords make reference to sexual violence as a war crime. This is likely due to the fact that presently, less than 10 percent of negotiators and less than 3 percent of those who sign peace agreements are women. By increasing the number of women in actual peace negotiations, we can make sure women’s concerns are being addressed. While women make up the vast majority of civilian victims and people displaced by war, they are not receiving an adequate share of resources post-conflict and their issues aren’t receiving the attention they deserve.

    USAID is helping to cover travel and family care costs so that women can participate in peace negotiations. We are also preparing women leaders for peace negotiations so that they can actively participate in conversation about the priorities of women and children. At the same time, organizations like the United Nations are striving to recruit more female peacekeepers, so that troops can better work with and protect women, children and civilians around the world. …

    http://millionmomschallenge.org/stories/entry/2/480

  57. CR says:

    8:10 PM EDT
    President Obama attends a campaign event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

    • CR says:

      April 05, 2012

      Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event

      Mandarin Oriental Hotel
      Washington, D.C.

      7:28 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you so much. Everybody, please have a seat. Thank you so much. Well, nice job, everybody! (Laughter.) What an extraordinary event. It is wonderful to be here with so many old friends and new friends as well.

      A couple of people I just want to say a special thank-you to — first of all, somebody who is a class act and cares about working families, has been working so hard for so many years, first in the House, now our junior Senator from the great state of Maryland — Ben Cardin. (Applause.) Thank you. I also want to acknowledge somebody who is going to be critical to what’s happening this year because he is going to be our host for the Democratic National Convention — the Mayor of the great city of Charlotte, Anthony Foxx is in the house. (Applause.)

      Now, it is good to see all of you.

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good to see you!

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you. (Laughter.)

      Obviously I have, every once in a while, a little bit of time to reflect in between a few responsibilities as President — (laughter) — and coaching Sasha’s basketball team — (laughter) — and making sure I’m doing what I’m told by my wife. And so I think back to the last three years. And I think back to all the work we did in 2008 and all the people who were involved in this remarkable journey that we’ve been on. And I’m reminded that, let’s face it, back in 2008, the reason why you guys got involved and supported me was not because it was a sure thing. (Laughter.) I was not the odds on favorite. (Laughter.) Whenever you support somebody named Barack Hussein Obama to run for President of the United States — (laughter) — you’re betting on the underdog.

      But the reason that so many of you put your heart and soul into the campaign, the reason that I decided to run, despite having a pretty young family and asking enormous sacrifices from them, was because we shared a vision about what America should be. We shared commitments to each other about who we are as a people and what we want to leave behind for our children and our grandchildren.

      And that’s what the campaign was about. It was about bringing about change not for change’s sake, but bringing about change because there were certain values that we cared deeply about and we didn’t see those values reflected in the policies of our government. And we worried about the future.

      Now, this was all before we knew that we were entering into the worst financial crisis and the worst economic crisis that any of us have seen in our lifetimes. We didn’t understand that we would be losing 4 million jobs in the six months before I took office, and another 4 million just in the few months after I took office — 800,000 jobs the month I was sworn in. We didn’t realize the magnitude of the collapse of the housing industry and the possibility that we might dip into a Great Depression.

      But we did understand that for too long, for too many people, the basic American compact, the basic idea that if you work hard, if you’re responsible, if you’re looking after your family, that you should be able to find a job that pays a living wage, and you should be able to have health insurance so that you don’t worry about going bankrupt if somebody in your family gets sick, that you should be able to send your kids to college and aspire to higher heights than you ever achieved, that you should be able to retire with some dignity and respect — we understood that that basic compact for too many people felt like it was slipping away.

      And so the vision we shared was an American where everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same set of rules. That’s what we were fighting for — that basic American promise.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/05/remarks-president-campaign-event

  58. CR says:

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

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ White House Forum on Women and the Economy”

    **********************

    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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