6th Summit of the Americas


6th Summit of the Americas

The Sixth Summit of the Americas will be held at Cartagena, Colombia on 14 and 15 April 2012. The central theme of the summit is ““Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity.”

The Summits of the Americas are a continuing series of summits bringing together the leaders of North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America. The function of these summits is to foster discussion of a variety of issues affecting the western hemisphere. These high-level summit meetings have been organized by a number of multilateral bodies under the aegis of the Organization of American States. In the early 1990s, what were formerly ad hoc summits came to be institutionalized into a regular “Summits of the Americas” conference program.

Participants:

OAS Member States
– Partner Institutions
– Social Actors
– Virtual Community

Guide: The VI Summit of the Americas

* Follow the Summit and related forums through live webcast.

For more information: http://www.summit-americas.org/sixthsummit.htm

President Obama will attend the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia

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123 Responses to 6th Summit of the Americas

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Friday, April 13, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:50 AM
    President Obama departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews.
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    10:00 AM
    10:05 AM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews en route Tampa, Florida.
    Travel Pool Coverage

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:15 PM
    President Obama arrives in Tampa, Florida.
    Tampa International Airport
    Open Press

    12:40 PM
    President Obama tours the port of Tampa.
    Port of Tampa
    Travel Pool Coverage

    1:00 PM
    1:20 PM
    President Obama Highlights the Benefits of Trade with Latin America for the Tampa Bay Region and Communities Across America
    Port of Tampa, Florida
    Open Press

    2:00 PM
    2:35 PM
    President Obama departs Tampa, Florida, en route Cartagena, Colombia.
    Tampa International Airport
    Open Press

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:45 PM
    President Obama arrives in Cartagena, Colombia.
    Local Event Time: 4:45PM COT
    Rafael Nunez International Airport
    Open Press

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM
    10:10 PM
    President Obama arrives at the base of Castillo, San Felipe de Barajas.

    10:20 PM
    President Obama attends the 6th Summit of the America’s leader’s dinner.
    Cartagena, Colombia

  2. CR says:

    6th_summit_of_the_americas

    6th Summit of the Americas

    The Sixth Summit of the Americas will be held at Cartagena, Colombia on 14 and 15 April 2012.

    The central theme of the summit is ““Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity.”

    The Summits of the Americas are a continuing series of summits bringing together the leaders of North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America. The function of these summits is to foster discussion of a variety of issues affecting the western hemisphere. These high-level summit meetings have been organized by a number of multilateral bodies under the aegis of the Organization of American States. In the early 1990s, what were formerly ad hoc summits came to be institutionalized into a regular “Summits of the Americas” conference program.

    President Obama will attend the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

    For more information: http://www.summit-americas.org/sixthsummit.htm

    ————————————

    The White House, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Council of the Americas, will host the White House Conference on Connecting the Americas leading up to the President’s participation in the 6th Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia this weekend. Building off the Summit’s theme – “Connecting the Americas: Partners in Prosperity,” Obama Administration officials will join Hispanic community and business leaders from across the country who have cultural and economic ties to the rest of the Americas to further identify ways in which they can partner up with the Administration to promote economic growth and prosperity.

    • CR says:

      March 19, 2012

      Readout of the President’s Call with Colombian President Santos

      Earlier today, President Obama spoke with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia to discuss the April 14-15 Summit of the Americas to be held in Cartagena, Colombia. President Obama praised President Santos for his work as Summit host and said that he looks forward to a productive visit to Cartagena. The Presidents reaffirmed the importance of focusing on the major issues facing the people of the Americas today during the Summit to build a future defined by increased security and broad economic growth throughout the hemisphere.

      President Obama also welcomed President Santos’s decision to seek emergency legislation intended to complete the necessary work to implement the United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement as soon as possible and underscored the importance of continued progress on implementation of the Colombian Action Plan Related to Labor Rights announced in the context of the meeting between the Presidents at the White House on April 7, 2011.

      Finally, the President thanked President Santos for his invitation to hold bilateral meetings following the conclusion of the Summit on Sunday, April 15, noting that he looks forward to the opportunity to discuss a wide range of bilateral, regional, and global issues with President Santos.

    • CR says:

      Summit of Americas to Spotlight Drug Violence, Development

      4/13/12 Dan Robinson | White House – VOA

      Economic integration and violence fueled by the illegal drug trade top the agenda as 33 North American, Latin American and Caribbean leaders participate this Saturday and Sunday in the sixth Summit of the Americas. U.S. President Barack Obama is to arrive Friday in Cartagena, Colombia.

      Three years after Obama attended his first summit in Trinidad, where he pledged to re-focus the United States on building equal partnerships in the hemisphere, Latin America is undergoing dramatic change.

      It is the fastest-growing trading region for the United States, and includes economic powerhouse Brazil, now the world’s sixth largest economy. It is also a region in which China and Europe compete with the United States for influence and investment opportunities.

      Democracy has generally strengthened in the Americas, but faces challenges. Some new political blocs have emerged, including countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia that seek to exclude the United States and Canada.

      Council of the Americas vice president Eric Farnsworth said the United States is still seen as having the most influence, but there is also disappointment.

      “There was a huge anticipation, expectation that the U.S. would fundamentally change policy towards the region, but those expectations were unfounded and indeed many people in the region were disappointed that things did not change overnight from traditional U.S. approaches to the hemisphere,” said Farnsworth.

      Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos hosts the summit, which has the official title of “Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity.”

      For the entire article: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/americas/Summit-of-Americas-to-Spotlight-Drug-Violence-Development-147224465.html

    • CR says:

      April 14, 2012
      Fact Sheet: Summit of the Americas: Connecting the Americas

      Earlier today, in remarks at the Plenary Session of the 6th Summit of the Americas, President Obama highlighted his efforts to engage countries of the region as equal partners to leverage connections throughout the hemisphere to improve the lives of people across the Americas. The President reaffirmed his commitment to work together to address the central challenges facing the Americas today and build upon the track record of accomplishment created by his sustained engagement with the region during the course of the past three years.

      The United States and Western Hemisphere region enjoy extensive economic linkages, rich cultural people-to-people connections, and a shared belief in inclusive growth and broad-based opportunity. Over decades of collaboration and partnership, the United States and the Western Hemisphere have built one of the most active trading relationships in the world, strong cooperation on cutting edge energy security, and a network of connections among our countries and people that allow the efficient movement of knowledge, ideas and technology.

      To build on these linkages, the President underscored his commitment to a series of initiatives:

      * Prosperity and Opportunity
      * Citizen Security
      *Renewed Energy Partnership

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/14/fact-sheet-summit-americas-connecting-americas

  3. CR says:

    caucus

    ID, NE, WA, WI & WY 2012 Democratic Caucuses

  4. CR says:

    Obama to interview with Telemundo Friday

    4/12/12 By JOSH GERSTEIN – POLITICO44

    President Barack Obama is scheduled to sit down for an interview with Spanish-language television network Telemundo Friday afternoon, as he makes his way to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, a network spokesman told POLITICO.

    The interview is set to take place in Tampa, where Obama is stopping for an event framing the international summit meeting as a way to create American jobs by boosting trade with the booming economies in Latin America.

  5. CR says:

    Obama to announce initiatives to spur small business trade with Americas on Friday stop in Tampa

    4/10/12 tampabay

    President Barack Obama plans to announce new initiatives Friday to promote small business trade with Latin America when he visits the Port of Tampa. It’s an event the White House is billing as official business but it will undoubtedly have the feel of a second campaign stop in Florida within days.

    The president was in South Florida today both for campaign events and to promote the so-called “Buffett Rule,” a proposal to require the rich to pay at least 30 percent in income taxes.

    Administration officials say the president on Friday will announce efforts to help small businesses trade with Central and South American nations through programs that, for instance, would offer loan guarantees to owners, training and networking with potential buyers. He will also tour the port, where 40 percent of exports are headed to parts of Latin America. Obama will be stopping in Tampa on his way to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, and Florida is a natural jumping off point, one official said.

    For the entire article: http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/obama-announce-initiatives-spur-small-business-trade-americas-friday-stop-tampa

  6. CR says:

    StartUp America

    3 Day Startup

    The idea of 3 Day Startup is simple: start a technology company over the course of three days. We rent work space for an entire weekend, recruit 40 students with a wide range of backgrounds, cater food and drinks, invite top-notch entrepreneurs and investors, pick the best idea for a software startup during the Friday brainstorming session, and release a minimal prototype by Sunday night. The goal is to build enough momentum among a network of motivated people to sustain the company beyond the weekend. Sponsored by StartUp America

    Participants: Passionate students with an entrepreneurial drive, including Computer Science (PhD, MS, undergraduate), MBAs, law students, graphic designers, PR, business undergraduates, etc.

    April 13th at 2pm until Sunday April 15th at 10pm

    Homeaway World Headquarters
    1011 West 5th Street
    Austin, TX 78703

    For more information: http://www.s.co/event/3-day-startup-homeaway

    ———–

    Friday, April 13, 2012 – 3:00pm – Sunday, April 15, 2012 – 10:00pm

    Duke and University of North Carolina
    Durham, NC

    For more information: http://www.s.co/event/3-day-startup-triangle-duke-and-university-north-carolina

  7. CR says:

    West Wing Week: 4/13/12 or “You’re Proof of Change”

    Published on Apr 12, 2012 by whitehouse

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President hosted a forum on Women and the Economy, welcomed the President of Brazil, traveled to Florida to urge the Senate to pass the Buffett Rule, and took part in the great annual White House tradition, the Easter Egg Roll. That’s April 6th to April 12th or “You’re Proof of Change.”

  8. CR says:

    Josh Hartnett helps out Team Obama

    4/9/12 By CAITLIN MCDEVITT – POLITICO

    Josh Hartnett is teaming up with President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign to host a student summit at the University of Minnesota on Friday.

    The actor, who grew up in Minnesota, will appear with Obama for America national field director Jeremy Bird and DNC vice chair Mayor R.T. Rybak at the event. Students from across the state are invited to discuss “strategies for talking about the president’s accomplishments,” according to a release from the campaign.

  9. CR says:

    Rise in US exports brightens outlook for economy

    4/12/12 By MARTIN CRUTSINGER and PAUL WISEMAN | Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The outlook for U.S. economic growth is looking slightly better.

    American businesses sold a record number of goods and services in Europe, China and other foreign markets in February, while imports declined.

    Many economists began raising their forecasts for January-March growth after seeing Thursday’s government report on the lowest trade deficit since the fall.

    And the jump in exports helped drive stocks higher for a second straight day. The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 160 points, while broader indexes also increased.

    The economy still has a long way back to full health. More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the government said in separate report. That followed last week’s report that hiring slowed sharply in March after three months of strong job growth.

    The mixed economic picture, along with tame inflation cited in a third report, gives the Federal Reserve more ammunition to stick with its plan to hold interest rates near record lows when it meets later this month.

    “The underlying message is actually a good one,” said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, after the trio of reports was released. “It suggests that growth is a bit stronger.”

    The U.S. trade deficit narrowed more than 12 percent in February to $46 billion. That’s down from $52.5 billion in January, the widest deficit in three and a half years.
    Exports rose to a record $181.2 billion, while imports dropped to $227.2 billion.

    A smaller trade deficit reduces the drag on growth. More exports help the economy grow because they typically boost factory production, which can fuel more hiring and lead to greater consumer spending.

    And fewer imports subtract less from growth, largely because consumers are spending less on overseas goods and services.

    Most economists were encouraged by the trade report, as well as a report earlier this week that said wholesale businesses restocked at a faster pace in February. That also meant factories were busier because businesses anticipated more consumer spending in the months ahead.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/rise-us-exports-brightens-outlook-economy-182141720.html

  10. CR says:

    North Korean launches long-range missile; launch fails

    4/12/12 By Eric Pfeiffer | The Upshot – 50 mins ago

    UPDATE: [8:07pm ET]: This story will be updated as events unfold.

    A U.S. official has confirmed that a North Korean long-range missile broke apart midair after launch, ABC News reports. U.S. officials say they believe the missile fell apart within the Earth’s atmosphere before crashing into the sea.

    The U.N. Security Council will meet Friday to discuss a response to the North’s attempted launch.

    South Korea’s Defense Ministry first reported the launch, which is seen as defying international warnings and widely viewed as a provocation from the rogue nation.

    Japan’s Defense Minister Naiki Tanaka has backed U.S. reports that the launch failed. “We have confirmed that a certain flying object has been launched and fell after flying for just over a minute,” Tanaka said.

    Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told reporters in a nationally televised news conference that the rocket was fired at 7:39 a.m.

    South Korean and U.S. intelligence reports say the launch was made from the west coast launch pad in the hamlet of Tongchang-ri, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said.

    The launch comes after weeks of speculation regarding the possible launch, which North Korea’s government says is being done to send a weather satellite into orbit. If true, it would represent the third failed attempt by North Korea to send a satellite into space since 1998.

    North Korea says it was timing the launch to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the country’s former leader, Kim Il Sung, which they are celebrating Sunday

    However, most observers say the launch is actually tied to the country’s missile program. Japan has already given its military clearance to shoot-down the rocket if it crosses into Japanese airspace.

    CNN, MSNBC and the AP have confirmed the launch. A White House statement is expected to be issued shortly.

    There was no word from Pyongyang about the launch.

    • CR says:

      April 13, 2012

      Statement by the Press Secretary on North Korea’s Missile Launch

      Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea’s provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments. While this action is not surprising given North Korea’s pattern of aggressive behavior, any missile activity by North Korea is of concern to the international community. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security our allies in the region.

      The President has been clear that he is prepared to engage constructively with North Korea. However, he has also insisted that North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to its international obligations and deal peacefully with its neighbors.

      North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displays while the North Korean people go hungry. North Korea’s long-standing development of missiles and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not brought it security – and never will. North Korea will only show strength and find security by abiding by international law, living up to its obligations, and by working to feed its citizens, to educate its children, and to win the trust of its neighbors.

      W.H. press statement on N.K. missile launch

      4/12/12 9:08 PM EDT POLITICO44

      Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea’s provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments. While this action is not surprising given North Korea’s pattern of aggressive behavior, any missile activity by North Korea is of concern to the international community. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations, and is fully committed to the security our allies in the region.

      The President has been clear that he is prepared to engage constructively with North Korea. However, he has also insisted that North Korea live up to its own commitments, adhere to its international obligations and deal peacefully with its neighbors.

      North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displays while the North Korean people go hungry. North Korea’s long-standing development of missiles and pursuit of nuclear weapons have not brought it security – and never will. North Korea will only show strength and find security by abiding by international law, living up to its obligations, and by working to feed its citizens, to educate its children, and to win the trust of its neighbors.

      • Kat 4 Obama says:

        North Korea has the most incredibly self-destructive government. It’s like they can’t stop doing things that make them spiral down into even worse conditions.

  11. CR says:

    Two Coast Guard members shot dead at Alaska base

    4/12/12 By Yereth Rosen | Reuters – 1 hr 35 mins ago

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Two members of the U.S. Coast Guard were shot dead at an air base on Kodiak Island off Alaska, prompting an investigation by the FBI and a lockdown of the base and nearby schools, officials said on Thursday.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation said there was no immediate evidence of terrorist intent or sabotage, but a security alert was in force at the installation because the circumstances surrounding the deaths were unknown.

    “Since we don’t have all the details, we strongly advise that all Kodiak residents remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement officials,” Captain Jesse Moore, base commanding officer, said in a statement.

    “We are deeply saddened that we lost two shipmates. This is a rare occurrence, and we are going to do everything possible to ensure we find out exactly what happened.”

    The Coast Guard declined to identify or give any details about the victims until their next of kin had been notified.

    The Guardsmen were found at a communications facility on the Coast Guard Base Support Unit Kodiak, about 250 miles southwest of Anchorage. Authorities were looking for a potential suspect who might be at large, the Coast Guard said.

    Nearly 1,000 active-duty personnel and hundreds of civilians are stationed at the installation, the center of operations for Coast Guard patrol and search-and-rescue missions in the region.

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

  12. CR says:

    White House Conference on Connecting the Americas: Part 1

    Published on Apr 12, 2012 by whitehouse

    In partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Council of the Americas, the White House Conference on Connecting the Americas — held in the immediate lead up to the upcoming Summit of the Americas — connects Obama Administration officials with the Latino diaspora and community business leaders to discuss the issues critical to the Hispanic community and Latin America.

    • CR says:

      White House Conference on Connecting the Americas: Part 2

      Published on Apr 12, 2012 by whitehouse

      In partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Council of the Americas, the White House Conference on Connecting the Americas — held in the immediate lead up to the upcoming Summit of the Americas — connects Obama Administration officials with the Latino diaspora and community business leaders to discuss the issues critical to the Hispanic community and Latin America.

  13. CR says:

    Rise in US exports brightens outlook for economy

    4/12/12 By MARTIN CRUTSINGER and PAUL WISEMAN | Associated Press – 8 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The outlook for U.S. economic growth is looking slightly better.

    American businesses sold a record number of goods and services in Europe, China and other foreign markets in February, while imports declined.

    Many economists began raising their forecasts for January-March growth after seeing Thursday’s government report on the lowest trade deficit since the fall.

    And the jump in exports helped drive stocks higher for a second straight day. The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 160 points, while broader indexes also increased.

    The economy still has a long way back to full health. More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the government said in separate report. That followed last week’s report that hiring slowed sharply in March after three months of strong job growth.

    The mixed economic picture, along with tame inflation cited in a third report, gives the Federal Reserve more ammunition to stick with its plan to hold interest rates near record lows when it meets later this month.

    “The underlying message is actually a good one,” said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, after the trio of reports was released. “It suggests that growth is a bit stronger.”

    The U.S. trade deficit narrowed more than 12 percent in February to $46 billion. That’s down from $52.5 billion in January, the widest deficit in three and a half years.
    Exports rose to a record $181.2 billion, while imports dropped to $227.2 billion.

    A smaller trade deficit reduces the drag on growth. More exports help the economy grow because they typically boost factory production, which can fuel more hiring and lead to greater consumer spending.

    And fewer imports subtract less from growth, largely because consumers are spending less on overseas goods and services.

    Most economists were encouraged by the trade report, as well as a report earlier this week that said wholesale businesses restocked at a faster pace in February. That also meant factories were busier because businesses anticipated more consumer spending in the months ahead.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/rise-us-exports-brightens-outlook-economy-182141720.html

    • CR says:

      Exports help California reverse long-term manufacturing decline

      4/12/12 By Ronald D. White – lattices

      Consistently strong demand for California exports has helped the state reverse a long-term decline in manufacturing jobs, according to a report released by Beacon Economics.

      The report said California has had an unbroken string of year-over-year export increases from November 2009 through February of this year.

      The value of goods shipped abroad by California businesses in February reached $12.85 billion, up 9.2% from the $11.76 billion in exports reported in February 2011, according to the Beacon Economics analysis of U.S. Commerce Department trade statistics.

      California’s exports of manufactured goods grew 9.1% to $8.22 billion, while non-manufactured exports, which are mostly raw materials and agricultural products, were up 3.6% to $1.61 billion.

      The totals were affected by the fact that February had 29 days this year instead of the usual 28.

      “With 2012 a leap year, we got the Sadie Hawkins Day bump this February,” said Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics’ international trade advisor. “Discounting for that one extra day, California’s export trade this February was up by a solid 5.5% over last February.”

      Jordan Levine, Beacon Economics’ director of economic research, said the continuing strength in the state’s exports has helped California add 9,900 manufacturing jobs since February 2010, when the statewide total had fallen to 1.24 million jobs.

      The modest job gain comes after a decade of steady declines in California manufacturing jobs, which dropped 32.61% between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, the state had 1.84 million such jobs.

      “Today’s figures indicate that the [manufacturing] sector will continue to be aided by foreign demand for California-made goods,” Levine said.

      For the entire article: http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-california-export-gains-20120412,0,4696862.story

  14. CR says:

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

  15. Good morning CR and PPO Family. HOPE you all have a great Friday. Already at work.. Another busy day at the salt mines. I will check in later.

    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

  16. CR says:

    Next Up…

    12:00 PM EDT
    Phoenix Urban Economic Forum – I
    The Urban Economic Forum on Friday, April 13th in Phoenix, AZ will focus on the city’s growing sector of urban entrepreneurs. The Administration is committed to supporting the area’s small businesses, and the forum will provide participants with the knowledge, resources, and networks vital to growing their businesses, and expanding into new industries that will create an economy built to last.
    Phoenix, Arizona

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

  17. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Good and HOPEful Friday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

  18. CR says:

    Next Up…

    1 :00 PM EDT
    White House Hangout: In the Kitchen with Cris Comerford & Gail Simmons
    The White House

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

    • CR says:

      White House Hangout: Let’s Move! with Chef Cris Comerford and Gail Simmons

      Published on Apr 13, 2012 by whitehouse

      In a Hangout live from the White House Kitchen, Executive Chef Cris Comerford and Gail Simmons answered questions from people across the country about the Let’s Move! Initiative and making healthy choices. People submitted questions for Cris and Gail through Twitter, Facebook in a live multi-person video chat on Google+.

  19. CR says:

    Next Up…

    1:02 PM EDT
    Phoenix Urban Economic Forum – II
    The Urban Economic Forum on Friday, April 13th in Phoenix, AZ will focus on the city’s growing sector of urban entrepreneurs. The Administration is committed to supporting the area’s small businesses, and the forum will provide participants with the knowledge, resources, and networks vital to growing their businesses, and expanding into new industries that will create an economy built to last.
    Phoenix, Arizona

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

  20. CR says:

    Now Streaming…

    1:20 PM EDT
    President Obama Highlights the Benefits of Trade with Latin America for the Tampa Bay Region and Communities Across America
    Port of Tampa, Florida

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/Pres-Obama-to-Spotlight-Trade-at-Port-of-Tampa/10737429837/

    • CR says:

      April 13, 2012

      Remarks by the President at the Port of Tampa

      Port of Tampa-Ports America
      Tampa, Florida

      1:12 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Tampa! (Applause.)

      Well, it is great to be here in Tampa. Good to be in Florida. I just got a tour of this magnificent port. I was hoping to try out one the cranes — (laughter) — Secret Service wouldn’t let me. They don’t let me have fun. They were more concerned about your safety than mine, though — (laughter) — they didn’t want me messing anything up.

      I want to thank David for that introduction. I want to thank Mayor Buckhorn for welcoming us to Tampa. I want to thank an outstanding member of Congress, Kathy Castor, for joining us here today. (Applause.)

      Now, if you guys have chairs, feel free to sit down — some of you do. I don’t want you to feel — it’s warm in here, we want you to — I don’t want anybody dropping off. (Laughter.) I’ve been talking a lot lately about the fundamental choice that we face as a country. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really, really well, while a growing number are struggling to get by, or we can build an economy where everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same set of rules.

      Now, part of building that economy is making sure that we’re not a country that’s known just for what we buy and what we consume. After all, our middle class was built by workers who invented products and made products and sold products — the best in the world — all around the world. Our economy was thriving when shipping containers left ports like this packed with goods that were stamped with three proud words: Made in America. And those exports supported a lot of good-paying jobs in America, including right here in Florida.

      That’s the country I want us to be again. And that’s why, two years ago, I set the goal of doubling American exports by the end of 2014. Today, with the trade agreements that I’ve signed into law, we’re on track to meet that goal. Soon, there are going to be millions of new customers for American goods in South Korea, in Colombia, in Panama. Soon there will be new cars on the streets of Seoul that are imported from Detroit and Toledo and Chicago.

      And that’s progress. And I want to thank two key members of my Cabinet who are here today –- Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is in the house — (applause) — and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk –(applause) — because they worked really hard to make this happen.

      Now, one of the ways that we’ve helped American businesses sell their products around the world is by calling out our competitors, making sure they’re playing by the same rules. For example, we’ve brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration. We just brought a new case last month. And we’ve set up a trade enforcement unit that’s designed to investigate any questionable trade practices taking place anywhere in the world. See, we’re going to take action whenever other countries are skirting the rules, breaking the rules, and putting our workers and our businesses at an unfair position.

      We’re also going to make sure that you’ve got access to more customers. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside our borders. We want them buying our products. And I’m willing to go anywhere in the world to open up new markets for American businesses. In fact, that’s what I’m going to be doing right after this visit to Tampa. I’m heading to Colombia to take part in the Summit of the Americas, which brings together leaders from the Caribbean, and from North, South and Central America.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/13/remarks-president-port-tampa

    • CR says:

      April 13, 2012

      Fact Sheet: The U.S. Economic Relationship with the Western Hemisphere

      In Tampa, Florida today President Obama will underscore the interconnectedness of the U.S. economic and commercial relationship with Latin America. Tampa has a long history of trade with Latin America: over 40 percent of total exports from the Port of Tampa are destined for countries throughout Latin America.

      As strengthened, market-based economic policies continue to lift millions of people in the region out of poverty and into the middle class, the Obama Administration is moving decisively to seize opportunities for U.S. firms. The President reaffirms U.S. commitment to work with our partners in the region to further reduce the gap between developing and developed economies in the hemisphere, and promote the prosperity of all peoples.

      The United States and Western Hemisphere region enjoy extensive economic linkages, rich cultural people-to-people connections, and a shared belief in inclusive growth and broad-based opportunity. Over decades of collaboration and partnership, the United States and the Western Hemisphere have built one of the most active trading relationships in the world, strong cooperation on cutting edge energy security, and a network of connections among our countries and people that allow the efficient movement of knowledge, ideas and technology.

      Policies that Promote Economic Growth and Job Creation at Home and Abroad

      Through the National Export Initiative, the Obama Administration is partnering with U.S. businesses to promote American-made goods and services in the hemisphere through trade advocacy and export promotion efforts; increase access to credit, especially for small and medium-sized businesses; remove barriers to the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad; robustly enforce trade rules; and pursue policies at the global level to promote strong, sustainable, and balanced growth.

      Passage of the Colombia and Panama trade agreements and the resolution of the U.S.-Mexico trucking dispute underscore the President’s commitment to creating new opportunities for U.S. exporters, and support a rules-based trade.

      Intensifying trade and investment ties are spurring demand for greater physical integration of our region. Over the last year the United States joined Canada, Colombia, Mexico and Spain to create a groundbreaking donor trust fund at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) called the Crossroads Fund to incentivize countries to pursue investment in cross-border transport and logistics integration.

      Our Relationship with the Western Hemisphere by the Numbers:

      * The Western Hemisphere is the destination for approximately 42 percent of U.S. exports, more than any other region across the globe.

      * Since 2009, U.S.goods exports to the Western Hemisphere increased by over $200 billion, or 46%, to nearly $650 billion, supporting nearly 4 million U.S. jobs in 2011.

      * U.S. exports to the Western Hemisphere grew by more than 17 percent between 2010 and 2011, surpassing growth in exports to every part of the world, except Africa.
      The United States has free trade agreements with twelve Western Hemisphere countries, more than with any other region in the world.

      * The North American Free Trade Agreement created the largest free trade area in the world, linking 457 million people producing $18 trillion worth of goods and services.

      * Canada and Mexico each buy more goods from the United States than China; Canada buys more than the European Union. In 2011, U.S. two-way trade with Canada and Mexico reached $1.06 trillion.

      * The United States accounted for approximately one-third of all foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into Latin America and the Caribbean over the last decade, and remains the largest individual source of foreign investment in the region.

      * U.S. FDI in Canada is above $300 billion, and accounts for half of all Canada’s FDI. The United States also currently has Open Skies agreements with 17 countries, vastly expanding international passenger and cargo flights to and from the United States.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/13/fact-sheet-us-economic-relationship-western-hemisphere

    • CR says:

      April 13, 2012

      Fact Sheet: Small Business Network of the Americas

      President Obama has noted that “small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our Nation’s promise.” The same is true throughout the Western Hemisphere, where the small business sector plays a critical role in job creation and broad-based economic growth.

      Announced today in Tampa, the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) will promote and support job creation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and encourage greater trade among these businesses throughout the Western Hemisphere. The SBNA will expand the pool of available resources for business development, enhance access to business counseling services for entrepreneurs, and foster SME growth by providing a framework to connect businesses across the hemisphere.

      To achieve these goals, SBNA will promote progress and strengthen networks by:

      * Expanding the successful Small Business Development Center (SBDC) model to other countries in the hemisphere

      * Connecting the more than 2,000 SBDCs and similar SME support centers throughout the hemisphere

      * Providing matchmaking services and export counseling through U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs) and other platforms to SBDC clients seeking business partners in other countries

      * Enhancing the use and availability of virtual trade platforms like SBDCglobal.com

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/13/fact-sheet-small-business-network-americas

  21. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XIII

    Apr 13, 2012 By Steve Benen – maddowblog

    Mitt Romney recently felt comfortable lecturing journalists about, of all things, “quality control” when sharing the news with the American public.

    As Ed Kilgore joked, “Now I suppose when you have already developed a reputation for towering mendacity on subjects large and small, a medium-sized lie about your views on media accuracy is as easy as changing those jeans and a lot easier than changing your entire political persona on a regular basis. But you might think at some point the man would fear being struck down by a thunderbolt right on the spot if he lectures the media — old or new — about ‘sourcing’ and ‘quality control.'”

    If the presumptive Republican nominee has any such fears, he’s not showing it. Those looking for proof need only consider the 13th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt’s mendacity.

    1. Romney told voters about the cost of the Affordable Care Act, “[W]e’ve just learned from the CBO, it’s not a trillion dollars. It’s more like double that…. Obamacare is massively more expensive than had been originally estimated.”

    That’s not even close to being true.

    2. On the same subject, Romney argued, “Thirty percent of employers said they are going to drop the coverage for their employees when Obamacare is installed.”

    Actually, no, they didn’t say that at all.

    3. He said he would save “about $100 billion a year” eliminating Obamacare.

    That’s not only absurdly untrue, it’s actually backwards — scrapping the entirety of the Affordable Care Act would add hundreds of billions of dollars to the debt.

    4. Romney claimed Obama had created an “unaccountable panel, with the power to prevent Medicare from providing certain treatments.”

    That’s simply not true.

    5. Romney argues in a new fundraising letter that the numbers for unemployment, bankruptcies, and foreclosures are “soaring.”

    Actually, that’s the exact opposite of the truth — unemployment, bankruptcies, and foreclosures are all falling.

    6. Romney claims in the same mailing that Obama stood over “the greatest job loss in modern American history.”

    Not really.

    7. Romney went on to argue, “President Obama has mortgaged our future, increased the budget by more than 20% and allowed our debt to skyrocket.”

    The debt has increased (thanks to Bush-era policies), but the budget hasn’t increased by more than 20%.

    8. Romney told voters in Philadelphia this week, “This president did not cause the recession; he just made it worse and made it longer.”

    There’s no way around the fact that Romney’s simply lying. He knows he’s lying because he’s also said the American economy has improved under Obama.

    9 Romney argued repeatedly this week, “Women account for 92.3 percent of the jobs lost under Obama.”

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

    10 The Romney campaign and its surrogates spent all day Thursday describing Hillary Rosen as an “advisor to the Obama campaign.”

    Hillary Rosen is not an advisor to the Obama campaign.

    11. Romney argued yesterday, “President Obama is the first president in history to openly campaign for reelection on a platform of higher taxes. He has already raised taxes on millions of Americans, but he won’t stop there. He wants to raise taxes on millions more by taxing small businesses and job creators.”

    That’s actually three lies in one paragraph.

    12. On a Romney campaign conference call yesterday, a campaign spokesperson said the Obama administration needs to “stop disrespecting stay-at-home moms.”

    The Obama administration has never disrespected stay-at-home moms, and when pressed for evidence to back up the charge, the Romney campaign couldn’t think of anything.

    Paul Krugman noted this week, “Mitt Romney’s campaign is setting new standards in serial dishonesty. Really. He makes Bush look like a font of truth and accuracy.”

    That’s more than fair, though the question is no longer whether Romney has a problem telling the truth — he clearly does — but rather whether he’ll face any electoral consequences for recklessness.

  22. CR says:

    More Walmarts in an area, more hate groups: Study

    4/11/12 By QMI Agency

    The presence of big-box retail stores erodes a community’s social fabric, according to a study out of Penn State university that found the number of Walmart stores in a U.S. county is significantly correlated with the number of hate groups in the area.

    Societal factors known to influence hate group participation, like unemployment rate, high crime rate and low education, are less statistically significant than the than how many Walmarts there are, said lead author Stephan Goetz.

    The reasons, Goetz and his colleagues posit, is that several community values start to break down.

    Local merchants, often forced out of business by big-box stores, cease being leaders in the community and participating in the types of activities that bring about civic engagement and cohesion, the researchers said.

    Furthermore, the anonymous nature of mega-stores may play a role in fraying social bonds, which are strongest when people feel their actions are more closely watched. For example, people may be less likely to shoplift from their neighbours’ stores.

    A potentially more controversial theory the researchers proposed is that Walmart’s “Protestant values” of thrift and savings constitute a form of what’s called religious priming — the use of words or phrases to encourage certain attitudes and behaviours — and that religious priming is linked to racism and intolerance.

    For the entire article: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2012/04/11/19619806.html?cid=rssnewsworld

  23. CR says:

    Facilitating Safe and Responsible Expansion of Natural Gas Production

    Heather Zichal April 13, 2012 11:56 AM EDT

    A key part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is expanding production of American energy resources. Since the President took office, energy from renewable sources like wind and solar has nearly doubled, the administration provided funding for the first nuclear power plant in over 30 years, and production of domestic oil and gas has increased each year, trends the President has made clear he wants to make sure continue.

    The most dramatic expansion has been in natural gas. Since taking office the President has made clear that he believes this important, abundant domestic resource holds unique promise to fuel our energy sector, fuel our vehicles, as well as fuel job growth – all while reducing harmful emissions. U.S. natural gas production grew in 2011 – the largest year-over-year volumetric increase in history – and easily eclipsed the previous all-time production record set in 1973.

    To ensure that we can successfully tap this critical resource for decades to come, we must develop it safely and responsibly, taking full advantage of the opportunity while also giving American families and communities the confidence that our air and water are safe.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/13/facilitating-safe-and-responsible-expansion-natural-gas-production

    • CR says:

      April 13, 2012

      Readout of Meeting on Interagency Working Group to Support Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Natural Gas

      Today, OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein and Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate policy Heather Zichal convened a White House meeting with key stakeholders, including representatives from the American Chemistry Council, the American Gas Association, the American Natural Gas Association, the American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers, to discuss the recently issued Executive Order supporting safe and responsible development of unconventional domestic natural gas resources. The new Executive Order establishes a deputy-level interagency working group to coordinate policy and to promote sensible, cost-effective approaches. Today’s action is a key part of the administration’s ongoing commitment to an “all of the above” energy approach. Coordinated efforts to promote development of unconventional domestic natural gas resources enhance our energy security and create jobs. The participants in the meeting represented all components of the value chain – from the exploration and production companies to the manufacturers and other end users. The conversation focused on promoting cross-agency coordination and cost-effective approaches as well as additional opportunities for working together to take full advantage of our natural gas resources – all while also providing communities the confidence that environmental protection and public health will not be compromised.

    • CR says:

      Obama’s All-Of-The-Above Energy Strategy

      Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on Mar 6, 2012

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

      What are we doing to address rising gas prices? Only President Obama has laid out a real strategy to take control of our energy future. And we’re already seeing a change: US oil production is the highest in 8 years. And our reliance on oil imports is the lowest in 16 years. Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is a real plan to get control of runaway gas prices and cut our reliance on foreign oil. Get the facts.

  24. CR says:

    60,000 Veterans and Military Spouses Have Been Hired Through Joining Forces Employment Initiatives

    Brad Cooper April 13, 2012 03:34 PM EDT

    It was a great day in Shreveport, Louisiana, yesterday. First Lady Michelle Obama joined the leadership of the Kansas City Southern (KCS) Railway Company in announcing Michael Abitago, Junior as the 50,000 veteran or military spouse to have been hired by a company through the Joining Forces employment efforts this past year! Abitago literally left active duty in the Army last Saturday after 4 years of service (including 2 tours in Iraq) and starts work on Monday as a Conductor-trainee. He was hired by KCS in mid-March at a Joining Forces hiring event in Ft Hood, Texas.

    And there’s even more great news. A couple of months ago when we first wanted to highlight this event, we had planned on announcing our 50,000 hire. But as we approached our visit to Shreveport we had already hit that mark. By April another 8,000 veterans and military spouses were hired. And yesterday, Mrs. Obama revealed the news that the surge in hiring pushed the number of veterans and military spouses hired through Joining Forces to 60,000!

    Through Joining Forces, American businesses have not only hired more than 60,000 veterans and military spouses to date, they have also pledged to hire at least 160,000 more in the years ahead.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/13/60000-veterans-and-military-spouses-have-been-hired-through-joining-forces-employmen

  25. CR says:

    Beyoncé pens open letter praising Michelle Obama

    4/13/12 By Olivier Knox | The Ticket – 4 hrs ago

    Amid the political controversy over Hilary Rosen’s comments on Ann Romney’s status as a stay-at-home mom, Michelle Obama thanked Beyoncé on Friday for an open letter in which the music superstar praised the first lady’s mothering skills and declared her “the ULTIMATE example of a truly strong African American woman.”

    @Beyonce Thank you for the beautiful letter and for being a role model who kids everywhere can look up to. —mo,” Michelle Obama said on @MichelleObama, a Twitter feed run by her husband’s re-election campaign. (The “mo” indicates the tweet did not come from an aide but from the first lady herself.)

    Beyoncé, in a handwritten note dated Wednesday on her official website, said of Mrs. Obama, “She is a caring mother, she’s a loving wife, while at the same time, she is the FIRST LADY!!!!”

    She added, “I am proud to have my daughter grow up in a world where she has people like you, to look up to.”

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/beyoncé-pens-open-letter-praising-michelle-obama-180424359.html

  26. CR says:

    Obama Arrives in Colombia for Summit of the Americas

    April 13, 2012 Dan Robinson | Cartagena, Colombia – VOAnews

    President Barack Obama has arrived in Cartagena, Colombia for the sixth Summit of the Americas. The president will emphasize the importance of expanding economic and other ties across the region, and underscore Colombia’s progress.

    A welcome dinner hosted by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos marked the official start of this summit that brings together 33 leaders from the United States and Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.

    On Saturday, Obama, Santos and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attend a CEO summit with business leaders before the actual summit, which has the theme, “Connecting the Americas: Partners for Prosperity.”

    Stop in Tampa

    On his way to Cartagena, Obama stopped in the port of Tampa, Florida, from where an increasing percentage of U.S. exports flow to major trading partners such as Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

    Obama has set a goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015. He wants to expand trade and investment opportunities for small and large businesses in the U.S. and throughout the Americas to help boost job creation.

    The president used the Tampa appearance to highlight the importance of regional trade before he sits down with leaders at the summit.

    “We now export more to the Western Hemisphere than to any other region in the world. And those exports support nearly 4 million U.S. jobs,” said Obama.

    High-profile entourage

    Officials here with the president include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

    The summit is also an opportunity for Santos to showcase his country’s progress after years of conflict with narco-traffickers and FARC guerrillas. Colombia received billions of dollars in U.S. military and other assistance.

    In remarks in Washington this past week, Clinton spoke about the strength of the relationship.

    “If we look back at the work we have done through the last years to support Colombia, it is quite remarkable where Colombia stands today,” she said.

    For the entire article: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/americas/Obama-Touts-US-Trade-with-Latin-America-Ahead-of-Regional-Summit-147354545.html

  27. CR says:

    Forecasters say Saturday storms ‘life threatening’

    4/13/12 By SEAN MURPHY | Associated Press – 1 hr 0 mins ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — In an unusually early and strong warning, national weather forecasters cautioned Friday that conditions are ripe for violent tornadoes to rip through the nation from Texas to Minnesota this weekend.

    As states across the middle of the country prepared for the worst, storms were already kicking off in Norman, Okla., where a twister whizzed by the nation’s tornado forecasting headquarters but caused little damage.

    It was only the second time in U.S. history that the Storm Prediction Center issued a high-risk warning more than 24 hours in advance, said Russ Schneider, director of the center, which is part of the National Weather Service. The first time was in April 2006, when nearly 100 tornadoes tore across the southeastern U.S., killing a dozen people and damaging more than 1,000 homes in Tennessee.

    This weekend’s outbreak could be a “high-end, life threatening event,” the center said.

    The strongly worded message came after the National Weather Service announced last month that it would start using terms like “mass devastation,” ”unsurvivable” and “catastrophic” in warnings in an effort to get more people to take heed. It said it would test the new warnings in Kansas and Missouri before deciding whether to expand them to other parts of the country.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/forecasters-saturday-storms-life-threatening-190840695.html

    ————-

    NOAA NATIONAL WEATHER WARNINGS AND FORECAST: http://www.weather.gov/

  28. CR says:

    attorney_carrasquill_obama_fan

    Colombian attorney Silvio Carrasquilla takes a phone call while surrounded by his U.S. President Barack Obama memorabilia collection which he has used to adorn his home in Turbaco, near Cartagena, April 11, 2012. Carrasquilla, Turbaco’s former mayor who considers himself Colombia’s number one Obama fan, is sprucing up his house by painting it the red, white and blue of the U.S. flag to celebrate Obama’s arrival in Cartagena for the VI Summit of the Americas on Friday. REUTERS/Joaquin Sarmiento (COLOMBIA – Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY)

    • CR says:

      A donkey for Obama at the Summit of the Americas

      Published on Apr 15, 2012 by UnivisionNews1

      Silvio Carrasquilla, an Obama aficionado and resident of a town on the outskirts of Cartagena, wants to present the US President with a very special gift.

  29. CR says:

    10:20 PM EDT
    President Obama attends the 6th Summit of the America’s leader’s dinner.
    Cartagena, Colombia

    CouncilOfTheAmericas.org Webcast

    http://videobox-vicumbre.com/senal-en-vivo/cumbre-2/

    • CR says:

      Summit Of The Americas: President Obama Attends The Opening Leaders’ Dinner

      APRIL 14, 2012 obamafoodorama

      President Obama arrived via motorcade at the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas at 9:40 PM local time in Cartagena, Colombia on Friday night, for the sixth Summit of the Americas Leaders’ Dinner. The huge affair for the 30-plus hemispheric leaders attending the weekend summit was hosted by President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia in the massive colonial-era fortress that sits on a hilltop above the old city. Clad in a dark suit and a white shirt with no tie, President Obama, surrounded by his security contingent and aides, walked up a short stone hill and and greeted President Santos

      President Obama shook hands with Santos, his wife Maria Clemencia “Tutina” Rodriguez, and the Colombian minister of foreign affairs, Maria Angela Holguin. They posed for news photographers and then walked off to the Leaders’ Dinner together.

      Formerly ground-zero for a massive drug trade, Cartagena has reinvented itself as a cosmopolitan resort city. The dinner for the leaders of North, Central, and South America was held on the grounds outside the castle, which pool described as having a “Carnivale-like atmosphere,” with dramatic theatrical lighting and colored banners. Dozens of dinner tables and buffet lines were set around the base of the massive castle and spilled onto a plaza within. Dance groups or “comparsas” clad in sequined costumes and traditional garb from up and down the Atlantic coast had been performing, along with the philharmonic orchestra from the city of Cali.

      For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/04/summit-of-americas-president-obama.html

  30. CR says:

    WH

    Saturday, April 14, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    11:10 AM
    President Obama speaks at a CEO Summit of the Americas
    Cartagena, Colombia

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    President Obama joins the other leaders of the Americas for an arrival ceremony

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    President Obama attends a Summit of the Americas
    plenary session

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM
    10:10 PM
    President Obama attends a Summit of the Americas dinner with the other leaders

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      April 14, 2012

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

      11:10 AM EDT
      President Obama speaks at CEO Summit of the Americas
      Cartagena, Colombia

      5:00 PM EDT
      Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
      with Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes (Audio Only)
      Cartagena, Colombia

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      —–

      CouncilOfTheAmericas.org Webcast

      http://videobox-vicumbre.com/senal-en-vivo/cumbre-2/

      11:10 AM EDT
      President Obama speaks at CEO Summit of the Americas

      1:00 PM EDT
      President Obama joins the other leaders of the Americas for an arrival ceremony

      10:10 PM EDT
      President Obama attends a Summit of the Americas dinner with the other leaders

  31. CR says:

    U.S. on more equal footing with neighbors as Obama heads to Summit of the Americas

    4/12/12 By Scott Wilson – washingtonpost

    President Obama travels to a weekend summit of the hemisphere’s leaders Friday as the head of a nation that remains in many ways the economic envy of its closest neighbors, but also one whose influence is on the wane in a rising region.

    At his first Summit of the Americas three years ago, Obama offered a different vision of American leadership in a region where, for decades, its economic policy and political preferences often left leaders and electorates angry at their powerful northern neighbor. Obama promised an equal partnership.

    When he arrives in Cartagena, Colombia, where 33 of the hemisphere’s 35 leaders will gather for the summit, Obama will find himself on much more equal terms with his neighbors — for better or worse.

    A Latin America more assertive politically and prosperous financially will be waiting for a president whose policies on immigration, the illicit drug trade and Cuba remain either at odds with the rest of the region or irritating to its people. Many are planning to let him know.

    As the United States struggles to regain its economic footing, Latin America’s leaders have moved on from the largely U.S.-centric view of the world that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some of the most influential have embraced policies that welcome China, India and Iran as economic and political partners.

    “This summit is hugely different from the first Summit of the Americas in terms of the United States and the hemisphere.,” said Cynthia J. Arnson, director of the Latin American program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “Latin America has clearly emerged on its own.”

    Obama, too, has focused on other parts of the world.

    His immediate foreign policy priorities have been unwinding America’s wars, managing the unpredictable Arab Spring and shifting the country’s military, diplomatic and economic center of gravity toward Asia — leaving his backyard neighbors largely alone to forge their own way forward.

    His advisers say he intends to emphasize trade, alternative energy development and other areas of economic cooperation during the summit — assets in an election year when the economy occupies center stage — while hearing out his Latin American and Caribbean counterparts on drug-trade violence, immigration and other issues where U.S. policy is not consistent with their own.

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/9E17E

    US is largest group at Summit of the Americas in Colombia

    MONDAY, 09 APRIL 2012 06:49 ARRON DAUGHERTY – colombiareports

    The US will be the largest delegation at the 6th Summit of the Americas in Colombia.

    Radio Nacional de Colombia said the US delegation will consist of over 700 people.

    The US delegation is also one of the few delegations to have its own security, on top of the protection Colombia is providing.

    The conference between all the countries of the Americas – with the exception of Cuba – officially runs from April 14 to 15, but preliminary meetings have already begun.

    Major topics of the agenda include a debate on drug legalization which the US has said it is “willing to listen to,” and Colombia’s Free Trade Agreeement with the US, which US President Barack Obama is expected to approve despite Colombia’s violent labor record.

    • CR says:

      Obama dedicará todo abril a América Latina

      31-03-12 | POLÍTICA – american.infobae

      El presidente de los Estados Unidos recibirá en la Casa Blanca a los mandatarios de Brasil y México. Además, viajará a Cartagena de Indias para participar de la Cumbre de las Américas y se reunirá a solas con Juan Manuel Santos

      Este mismo lunes 2 de abril Obama se reunirá con el mandatario mexicano, Felipe Calderón, en el marco de la cumbre entre los líderes de los países miembros del Tratado de Libre Comercio para América del Norte (TLCAN), en la que también participará el primer ministro canadiense, Stephen Harper.

      La cumbre entre los tres países del TLCAN se iba a celebrar en noviembre pasado en Honolulu (EE.UU.), pero fue aplazada ante la ausencia de Calderón, que canceló su viaje tras la muerte en un accidente aéreo de su ministro de Gobernación, Francisco Blake. En Washington Obama, Calderón y Harper hablarán este lunes de crecimiento económico, energía y seguridad ciudadana, según la Casa Blanca.

      Desde que llegó a la Casa Blanca en enero de 2009 Obama ha mantenido cinco reuniones bilaterales con Calderón -la última en Washington en marzo de 2011-, lo que refleja la importancia que EE.UU. concede a la relación con México, marcada por la lucha contra el narcotráfico y la inmigración.

      El 9 de abril, una semana después de la cumbre con Calderón y Harper, Obama volverá a hacer de anfitrión, esta vez con la presidenta brasileña, Dilma Rousseff.
      Para Rousseff, que recibió a Obama en Brasil en marzo de 2011, será su primera visita oficial a EE.UU. como presidente y estará enfocada en comercio, energía y negocios, según han adelantado ambos Gobiernos.

      Por mas: http://america.infobae.com/notas/47449-Obama-dedicara-todo-abril-a-America-Latina

    • CR says:

      US is largest group at Summit of the Americas in Colombia

      MONDAY, 09 APRIL 2012 06:49 ARRON DAUGHERTY – colombiareports

      The US will be the largest delegation at the 6th Summit of the Americas in Colombia.

      Radio Nacional de Colombia said the US delegation will consist of over 700 people.

      The US delegation is also one of the few delegations to have its own security, on top of the protection Colombia is providing.

      The conference between all the countries of the Americas – with the exception of Cuba – officially runs from April 14 to 15, but preliminary meetings have already begun.

      Major topics of the agenda include a debate on drug legalization which the US has said it is “willing to listen to,” and Colombia’s Free Trade Agreeement with the US, which US President Barack Obama is expected to approve despite Colombia’s violent labor record.

      • CR says:

        Secretary Clinton: Travel to Colombia, Brazil and Belgium
        April 13, 2012 to April 19, 2012

        April 13, 2012 state.gov

        Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton travels to Colombia, Brazil, and Belgium from April 13 to April 19. Secretary Clinton will accompany President Obama for the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia from April 13-15. There, the U.S. delegation will meet with democratically-elected heads of state and government from throughout the Hemisphere to strengthen ties, expand partnerships, and continue progress in economic growth, social inclusion, and citizen security.

        The Secretary will then travel to Brasilia, Brazil April 16-17. On April 16, she will lead the U.S. delegation for the third U.S.-Brazil Global Partnership Dialogue. This Dialogue builds upon the agreements the United States and Brazil reached during President Obama’s visit to Brazil in 2011 and President Rousseff’s visit to the United States on April 9-10, 2012. Issues discussed in the Global Partnership Dialogue range from development and education cooperation to global political and economic issues. The Dialogue provides a forum to transform our agreements into concrete action. The Secretary will also meet with government officials and representative of the private sector.

        For the entire article: http://www.state.gov/secretary/trvl/2012/187726.htm

        • CR says:

          Remarks at the Summit of the Americas Civil Society Meeting

          Remarks
          Hillary Rodham Clinton
          Secretary of State
          Cartagena, Colombia

          April 13, 2012

          SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. It is wonderful to be here for this social forum, and I want to thank President Santos for that excellent speech that covered so many of the important issues that are facing the Americas. And I also wish to thank Maria Angela for the excellent work and the great collegiality as a foreign minister, and all of my colleagues as foreign ministers, and a special warm welcome to President Morales. He and I were born on the same day, and I am delighted that he is here to give the closing address.

          I think we just heard a comprehensive review of many of the issues that are confronting us in this hemisphere. What I am excited about is the progress we are making and the vision that we have that will drive that progress further. I remember when the first Summit of the Americas was held. My husband hosted it in Miami. It was 18 years ago. It was like a hundred years ago, because the entire political, cultural, economic landscape of the Americas has changed in those short 18 years. Just look around you. This forum is a great tribute to that change.

          When I think of the challenges that we face – how to strengthen democracy and the rule of law, reduce crime and inequality, advance the lives of indigenous people, of women and girls – it is clear that government alone never could and never would do that without the strong support and partnership of civil society.

          For the entire article: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/04/187896.htm

        • CR says:

          April 09, 2012

          Fact Sheet: The U.S.-Brazil Strategic Energy Dialogue

          Today in Washington, President Obama and President Rousseff reviewed the accomplishments of the presidential-level Strategic Energy Dialogue (SED). On the occasion of President Obama’s March 2011 visit to Brazil, they announced the creation of this Dialogue to support the two countries’ common goals of developing safe, secure and affordable supplies of energy for economic growth, energy security, and the transition to a clean energy economy. Priority areas of cooperation in the SED include oil and natural gas, biofuels, clean energy and efficiency, and clean energy. Since then, the United States and Brazil have undertaken collaborative activities with the goal of strengthening our energy relationship, increasing bilateral trade in energy-related goods and services, and enhancing national and shared energy security. In January, the two governments also committed, through the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue, to develop a work plan related to the energy sector to further enhance the private sector’s role in the SED. The partnerships resulting from this Dialogue will seek to create jobs in both countries, make energy supplies more secure, and help address the challenge of global climate change.

          * Oil and Natural Gas
          * Biofuels
          * Hydropower and Wind Energy
          * Energy Efficiency
          * Smart Grid
          * Science
          * Nuclear Energy

          For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/09/fact-sheet-us-brazil-strategic-energy-dialogue

  32. CR says:

    April 13, 2012
    Statement by the Press Secretary on Guinea Bissau

    The United States strongly condemns the actions taken by certain elements of Guinea Bissau’s military to seize power from the country’s civilian leadership, and we call for the immediate restoration of the legitimate government.

    We remain deeply concerned about the safety of the country’s interim president, senior figures, and others who may be put in harm’s way because of these actions. We call for the release of all government leaders and urge all parties to reconcile their differences through the democratic process.

    We welcome the strong statement by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) condemning this unconstitutional seizure of power, and we applaud ECOWAS’s consistent efforts to reinforce constitutional rule. We also welcome the United Nations Security Council’s attention to the situation in Guinea Bissau and its swift condemnation of the events there.

  33. CR says:

    Analysis: Obama’s “green jobs” have been slow to sprout

    Fri Apr 13, 2012 By Andy Sullivan – POLITICO44

    (Reuters) – Three weeks ago, President Barack Obama stood in front of a sea of gleaming solar panels in Boulder City, Nevada, to celebrate his administration’s efforts to promote “green energy.”

    Stretching row upon row into the desert, the Copper Mountain Solar Project not far from Las Vegas provided an impressive backdrop for the president.

    Built on public land, the facility is the largest of its kind in the United States. Its 1 million solar panels provide enough energy to power 17,000 homes.

    And it employs just 10 people.

    Three years after Obama launched a push to build a job-creating “green” economy, the White House can say that more than 1 million drafty homes have been retrofitted to lower heating and cooling costs, while energy generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar has nearly doubled since 2008.

    But the millions of “green jobs” Obama promised have been slow to sprout, disappointing many who had hoped that the $90 billion earmarked for clean-energy efforts in the recession-fighting federal stimulus package would ease unemployment – still above 8 percent in March.

    Supporters say the administration over-promised on the jobs front and worry that a backlash could undermine support for clean-energy policies in general.

    “All of this stuff is extraordinarily worthy for driving long-term economic transformation but extremely inappropriate to sell as a short-term job program,” said Mark Muro, a clean-energy specialist at the Brookings Institution.

    Others say the green-jobs push has crowded out less fashionable efforts that would have put people back to work quickly.

    “From my perspective it makes more sense for us to arm our clients with the basic skills, rather than saying, ‘By golly, you will do something in the green economy or you won’t work,'” said Janet Blumen, the head of the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow, a Las Vegas job-training organization that has seen positions in trucking and accounting go unfilled because training money had been earmarked for green efforts.

    A $500 million job-training program has so far helped fewer than 20,000 people find work, far short of its goal.

    For the entire article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/13/us-usa-campaign-green-idUSBRE83C08D20120413

  34. CR says:

    Chili Peppers give it away for Obama

    4/10/12 POLITICO44

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers are playing a free concert for volunteers working on the president’s re-election campaign in Ohio, the Plain Dealer reports:

    The Los Angeles-based group will perform a free concert for Obama campaign workers at the House of Blues in Cleveland Sunday afternoon, following the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Saturday night.

    The group, which supports President Barack Obama, saw giving a free concert as a way to help him, said an Obama campaign official in Ohio.

    But to get in the concert, you must be willing to work for the Obama campaign this week by volunteering at any Northeast Ohio phone bank. A link was activated Monday night allowing people to volunteer. Tickets are limited.

  35. CR says:

    Western Diplomats Hoping for ‘Something Substantial’ in Iran Talks

    April 14, 2012 VOAnews

    Western diplomats remain cautious but are hoping to make progress as they sit down with Iranian negotiators for the first time in more than a year.

    Representatives from six of the world’s top powers met with Iranian officials Saturday in Istanbul to discuss Tehran’s controversial nuclear program.

    Michael Mann, the spokesman for European Union Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton, told reporters they are hoping progress can be made.

    “We are hopeful that there will be a willingness on both sides and a good atmosphere to have a substantial negotiations, and that we will be able to announce the second round of talks, but it will be based on something substantial. We are hoping to kick off a process here,” he said.

    Mann described the atmosphere surrounding the talks as friendly but made clear that any progress will depend on Iranian negotiators showing “they are prepared to come into line with their international obligations.”

    Security in Istanbul has been tight for the high stakes meeting between between Iranian diplomats and representatives of the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, known as the P5 + 1.

    For the entire article: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Iran-World-Powers-Launch-Nuclear-Talks-147387325.html

  36. CR says:

    April 14, 2012

    WEEKLY ADDRESS: It’s Time for Congress to Pass the Buffett Rule

    WASHINGTON, DC— In this week’s address, President Obama urged Congress to pass the Buffett Rule, a principle of fairness that says 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. Meanwhile, if you make under $250,000 a year – like 98 percent of American families do – your taxes shouldn’t go up. The President has been pushing Congress to pass the Buffett rule to help ensure we have a system that’s fair, where everyone plays by the same set of rules and we can continue to make the investments we need to grow our economy and help the middle class and those trying to get in it.

    Remarks of President Obama
    Weekly Address
    The White House
    April 14, 2012

    One of the fundamental challenges of our time is building an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.

    And as many Americans rush to file their taxes this weekend, it’s worth pointing out that we’ve got a tax system that doesn’t always uphold the principle of everyone doing their part.

    Now, this is not just about fairness. This is also about growth. It’s about being able to make the investments we need to strengthen our economy and create jobs. And it’s about whether we as a country are willing to pay for those investments.

    In a perfect world, of course, none of us would have to pay any taxes. We’d have no deficits to pay down. And we’d have all the resources we needed to invest in things like schools and roads and a strong military and new sources of energy – investments that have always bolstered our economy and strengthened the middle class.

    But we live in the real world, with real choices and real consequences. Right now, we’ve got significant deficits to close. We’ve got serious investments to make to keep our economy growing. And we can’t afford to keep spending more money on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans who don’t need them and didn’t even ask for them.

    Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest men in the world. But he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. That’s just the way the system is set up. In fact, one in four millionaires pays a lower tax rate than millions of hardworking middle-class households.

    As Warren points out, that’s not fair and it doesn’t make sense. It’s wrong that middle-class Americans pay a higher share of their income in taxes than some millionaires and billionaires.

    This week, Members of Congress are going to have a chance to set things right. They get to vote on what we call the Buffett Rule.

    It’s simple: If you make more than $1 million every 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 less than $250,000 a year — like 98 percent of American families do — your taxes shouldn’t go up.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/14/weekly-address-it-s-time-congress-pass-buffett-rule

  37. CR says:

    Next Up…

    11:10 AM EDT
    President Obama speaks at CEO Summit of the Americas
    Cartagena, Colombia

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

    CouncilOfTheAmericas.org Webcast

    http://videobox-vicumbre.com/senal-en-vivo/cumbre-2/

    • CR says:

      April 14, 2012

      Remarks by President Obama at CEO Summit of the Americas

      Gran Salon Bolivar
      Hilton Hotel
      Cartagena, Colombia

      10:43 A.M. COT

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, I want to thank President Santos and the people of Colombia for the extraordinary hospitality in the beautiful city of Cartagena. We’re having a wonderful time. And usually when I take these summit trips, part of my job is to scout out where I may want to bring Michelle back later for vacation. So we’ll make sure to come back sometime in the near future. (Applause.)

      I want to acknowledge Luis Moreno of IDB, as well as Luis Villegas of the National Business Association of Colombia, for helping to set this up, and everybody who’s participating.

      As President Rousseff indicated, obviously we’ve gone through some very challenging times. These last three years have been as difficult for the world economy as anything that we’ve seen in our lifetimes. And it is both a result of globalization and it is also a result of shifts in technology. The days when we could think of each of our economies in isolation, those days are long gone. What happens in Wall Street has an impact in Rio. What happens in Bogota has an impact in Beijing.

      And so I think the challenge for all of our countries, and certainly the challenge for this hemisphere, is how do we make sure that that globalization and that integration is benefiting a broad base of people, that economic growth is sustainable and robust, and that it is also giving opportunity to a growing, wider circle of people, and giving businesses opportunities to thrive and create new products and new services and enjoy this global marketplace.

      Now, I think the good news is this hemisphere is very well positioned in this global economy. It is remarkable to see the changes that have been taking place in a relatively short period of time in Latin and Central America and in the Caribbean. When you look at the extraordinary growth that’s taken place in Brazil, first under President Lula and now under President Rousseff, when you think about the enormous progress that’s been made here in Colombia under President Santos and his predecessor, what you see is that a lot of the old arguments on the left and the right no longer apply.

      And what people are asking is, what works? How do we think in practical terms about delivering prosperity, training our people so that they can compete in the global economy? How do we create rule of law that allows businesses to invest with some sense of security and transparency? How do we invest in science and technology? How do we make sure that we have open and free trade at the same time as we’re making sure that the benefits of free trade are distributed both between nations but also within nations?

      And the good news is I think that, through various international organizations and organizations here within the hemisphere, we’ve seen enormous progress. Trade between the United States and Latin, Central — South America, Central America and the Caribbean has expanded 46 percent since I came into office — 46 percent.

      Before I came to Cartagena, I stopped in Tampa, Florida, which is the largest port in Florida. And they are booming and expanding. And the reason is, is because of the enormous expansion of trade and commerce with this region. It’s creating jobs in Florida, and it’s creating jobs in Colombia, and it’s creating jobs in Brazil and throughout the region. Businesses are seeing that if they have an outstanding product or an outstanding service, they don’t have to restrict themselves to one market, they now have a regional market and ultimately a global market in which they can sell their goods and succeed.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/14/remarks-president-obama-ceo-summit-americas

    • CR says:

      President  Obama speaks at the CEO Summit of the Americas

      President Obama speaks at the CEO Summit of the Americas

  38. CR says:

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

  39. CR says:

    1:00 PM EDT
    President Obama joins the other leaders of the Americas for an arrival ceremony

  40. Good morning CR and PPO Family. HOPE you all have a terrific Saturday. Tonight is my granddaughter’s jjunior prom. So exciting. She organized and planned the entire event. I am so proud of her. We are suprising her with a car tonight. Not new, but much needed with her activities, two working parents and a young boy to shuttle around.

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

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

    • CR says:

      Good morning and thank you for the candle link Jackie.

      My first car was my mother’s old Nova; I gave her a $100 for it from my savings. HOPE that your granddaughter has a magical night! HOPE that you have a good day!

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      37 candles from 4 countries! Good thing I didn’t sneeze and blow them all out.

      HOPE your granddaughter has a wonderful time!

  41. CR says:

    Obama pledges to pursue immigration reform in second term

    4/14/12 By Jonathan Easley – TheHill

    Obama vowed in an interview with Univision to pursue comprehensive immigration reform and attacked Romney and GOP lawmakers, saying they would oppose his efforts.

    President Obama promised to pursue immigration reform in his second term, but said Republicans in Congress may keep him from succeeding.

    “I can promise that I will try to do it in the first year of my second term,” Obama said in an interview with Univision set to air on Sunday. “I want to try this year. The challenge we’ve got on immigration reform is very simple. I’ve got a majority of Democrats who are prepared to vote for it, and I’ve got no Republicans who are prepared to vote for it.”

    The president also took a shot at Mitt Romney, his likely Republican opponent in the fall, for supporting Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal immigration law.

    “We now have a Republican nominee who said that the Arizona laws are a model for the country; that – and these are laws that potentially would allow someone to be stopped and picked up and asked where their citizenship papers are based on an assumption.”

    Univision reporter Enrique Acevedo interjected to describe such stops as “racial profiling.”

    “Very troublesome,” Obama continued. “And this is something that the Republican nominee has said should be a model for the country. So what we need is a change either of Congress or we need Republicans to change their mind, and I think this has to be an important debate during – throughout the country.”

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/221493-obama-pledges-to-pursue-immigration-reform-in-second-term

    • CR says:

      Univision News Interviews President Obama

      Published on Apr 13, 2012 by UnivisionNews1
      In an interview with Univision News anchor Enrique Acevedo President Barack Obama said that he did “not mind’ debating the decriminalization of drugs. However, he added that in his opinion legalization is not the way to go as far as drug policy is concerned.

  42. CR says:

    UN approves first observers for Syria

    4/14/12 By EDITH M. LEDERER | Associated Press – 1 hr 47 mins ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — For the first time since the Syrian conflict began more than a year ago, the U.N. Security Council on Saturday united behind a legally binding resolution calling for violence to end immediately and peace talks to begin.

    The resolution authorized the deployment of the first wave of U.N. military observers to monitor a fragile cease-fire between the Syrian government and opposition fighters.

    It also called for “the urgent, comprehensive, and immediate implementation” of international envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan.

    Russia and China vetoed two previous resolutions that would have condemned Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government for its bloody crackdown on protesters, calling them unbalanced because they demanded that the government stop attacks, but not the opposition. Russia, Syria’s most powerful ally, accused Western nations of seeking regime change.

    The cease-fire, which formally took effect Thursday, is at the center of Annan’s peace plan, which is aimed at ending more than a year of bloodshed that has killed over 9,000 people, according to the United Nations, and to launch inclusive Syrian-led talks on the country’s political future.

    But scattered violence continued on Saturday, sparking concern among council members.

    “We hope that in the immediate term, this will open the way to a cessation of brutal violence, and we hope that we’ll be able to say to the Syrian people that the time of indiscriminate violence is finally behind it,” said France’s U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/un-approves-first-observers-syria-155715697.html

  43. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Good and HOPEful Saturday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

    There is pollen everywhere. I have allergies and brain fog. But the exciting news is tomorrow's caucuses! GUESS WHO WE WILL CAUCUS FOR. :)

  44. CR says:

    4:00 PM EDT
    President Obama attends a Summit of the Americas
    plenary session

    • CR says:

      April 14, 2012
      Remarks of President Barack Obama — As Prepared for Delivery — Summit of the Americas Opening Plenary

      Summit of the Americas Opening Plenary

      Cartagena, Colombia

      Saturday, April 14, 2012

      As Prepared for Delivery –

      Thank you, President Santos, for welcoming us here today and for your leadership in bringing our nations together. Thank you to you, Foreign Minister Holguin and to the people of Cartagena and Colombia for your wonderful hospitality.

      I think it’s fair to say that not so long ago, few could have imagined this summit occurring here – in this city, in this nation. But in Colombia today we see a level of security and economic growth not enjoyed in decades. This reflects the leadership of President Santos and the incredible sacrifices of the Colombian people. It also speaks to the progress we’re seeing across the Americas.

      In the dynamism of our hemisphere, we’ve learned anew an old truth – as nations, as neighbors, we rise and fall together. So I say to my fellow leaders, and to the citizens you represent – your success is absolutely vital to our shared future, including to the security and prosperity of the United States. Indeed, no other region so profoundly affects the daily lives of people in the United States, including the tens of millions of Hispanic Americans who bind our families and nations. I firmly believe that this region is only going to become more important to our future.

      That’s why, at our summit two years ago in Trinidad and Tobago, I pledged to seek partnerships of equality, based on mutual interest and mutual respect and rooted in shared responsibility. I’ll say it again – in the Americas there are no senior or junior partners, we’re simply partners. That’s the spirit that’s allowed us to make progress in recent years. And it’s the spirit of this summit – “Connecting the Americas” – which we need to sustain our momentum in key areas.

      First, our shared prosperity. Across the region, tens of millions of people have joined the middle class, creating new markets and jobs for us all. But too many still endure the injustice of poverty and inequality, and it’s estimated that trade across the hemisphere is just half of what it could be. So we’ve worked together to increase lending through the Inter-American Development Bank, promote microfinance, reform tax systems, eliminate barriers to investment and forge clean energy and climate partnerships. In the United States, we’ve secured trade agreements with Colombia and Panama and increased trade with Brazil and others. With partners like Chile and Peru, we’re making progress toward a Trans-Pacific Partnership.

      Here in Cartagena, we’re going further. With the Small Business Network of the Americas I launched yesterday, we’ll make it easier for our small and medium-sized companies to export and create jobs. With our “WE Americas” initiative, we’ll help women entrepreneurs compete and succeed. Our hemisphere is setting a new goal – universal access to electricity in one decade so families and businesses have the energy they need at a price they can afford. And to ensure that no one is left behind in our digital age, today I’m proposing a Broadband Partnership of the Americas to provide faster Internet to more communities, especially in rural areas.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/14/remarks-president-barack-obama-prepared-delivery-summit-americas-opening

  45. CR says:

    Next Up…

    5:00 PM EDT
    Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney
    with Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes (Audio Only)
    Cartagena, Colombia

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

    • CR says:

      April 11, 2012

      Press Briefing by Ben Rhodes and Dan Restrepo to Preview the President’s Trip to the Summit of the Americas

      Via Conference Call

      3:07 P.M. EDT

      MR. VIETOR: Hi, everyone. Thanks for getting on. We are doing a on-the-record call today to preview the President’s trip to the Summit of the Americas this weekend. Our speakers are going to be Ben Rhodes and Dan Restrepo, who is our Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere.

      And so I think Ben is going to kick it off and hand it over to Dan. Then we’ll do some Q and A. And if you have any questions, please feel free to email me during the call or after, and we’ll follow up. So with that, I’ll hand it over to Ben.

      MR. RHODES: Great. Thanks, everybody, for getting on the call. We’re here to talk through the President’s upcoming trip to the Summit of the Americas. This is the President’s fourth trip to the Americas since taking office, and follows on the Summit of the Americas in 2009 in Trinidad and Tobago.

      It’s an important trip because the Western Hemisphere is increasingly a prosperous and peaceful region. And our engagement in the Americas supports both our economic growth here at home and the advance of security and democracy throughout the hemisphere, which is very much in our interest.

      Over the course of the last three years, President Obama has significantly bolstered the image of the United States in the region. U.S. leadership in survey after survey is far more welcomed and respected throughout the Americas. And we believe that has opened the door to greater economic and security cooperation with the countries of the region.

      In the first instance, the U.S. economy benefits substantially from our trade in the Americas, and over 40 percent of our exports currently go to the Americas. And those exports are growing faster than our trade with the rest of the world. So this is very much in line with the President’s initiative to double U.S. exports, which supports job creation back at home. And at the summit, he’ll continue his efforts to advocate for U.S. businesses and increase trade and investment across the Americas. And Dan can speak to that.

      We’re also working with countries across the region on a range of priorities from confronting violence and drug trafficking to supporting the continued democratic development in the region. And those will be agenda items for the President, and Dan will also speak more about that.

      I’ll just walk you through the schedule for the next several days. On the way to the summit, the President will do an event at the Port of Tampa, where he will speak about the importance of U.S. exports to the Americas and the need to deepen trade and investment. In particular, the President will talk about his efforts to open those markets, to support increased trade, building on the FTAs that we’ve had with Colombia and Panama, and also to increase opportunities for small businesses across the Americas.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/11/press-briefing-ben-rhodes-and-dan-restrepo-preview-presidents-trip-summi

  46. CR says:

    10:10 PM EDT
    President Obama attends a Summit of the Americas dinner with the other leaders

    • CR says:

      APRIL 15, 2012

      Summit Of The Americas: President Obama Atttends Second Leaders’ Dinner

      After a busy Saturday at the sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Columbia, marred by a building scandal over the misbehavior of a cadre of US Secret Service agents, President Obama attended a second dinner for the 30+ hemispheric leaders visiting for the weekend conclave. The two-hour dinner was held at Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ island retreat, Casa de Huéspedes. The house is located offshore just outside the old city of Cartagena, and President Obama arrived at 9:53 PM local time for an affair that was closed to press.

      For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/04/summit-of-americas-president-obama_15.html

  47. CR says:

    WH

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:20 AM
    President Obama participates in an Official Leaders’ Photo.

    10:30 AM
    President Obama participates in a Leaders’ Retreat.

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:50 PM
    President Obama holds a multi-lateral meeting with Caribbean Leaders.

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    3:10 PM
    President Obama attends a bilateral meeting with President Santos of Colombia.

    3:40 PM
    President Obama holds a bilateral working lunch with President Santos of Colombia.

    4:00 PM
    4:35 PM
    President Obama holds a joint press conference with President Santos of Colombia.

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    6:10 PM
    President Obama tours San Pedro Claver Church.

    7:00 PM
    7:10 PM
    President Obama departs Colombia en route Washington, D.C.

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM
    11:00 PM
    11:50 PM
    President Obama arrives the White House.

  48. CR says:

    Sunday talk show tip sheet

    By LEIGH MUNSIL | 4/13/12 6:10 PM EDT Updated: 4/14/12 8:10 AM EDT

    (Democratic excerpts only)

    The economy leads this Sunday’s television talk shows, with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner headlining ABC’s “This Week,” NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

    And White House National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling is on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

    NBC has as well Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)…

    “Fox News Sunday,” meanwhile, hosts President Barack Obama’s top campaign strategist, David Axelrod, and Republican rival Mitt Romney’ new senior adviser, Ed Gillespie – as well as a tribute to the late CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent Mike Wallace by his son, Fox anchor Chris Wallace.

    CNN’s “State of the Union” has Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, along with Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.). And Bloomberg TV’s “Political Capital” hosts senior White House adviser David Plouffe…

    Finally, C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” has Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil and National Republican Senatorial Committee Executive Director Rob Jesmer, interviewed by Reid Wilson of National Journal Hotline and Charles Mahtesian of POLITICO.

    For the entire article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75119.html

  49. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    Catholic group criticizes Paul Ryan

    4/13/12 1:43 PM EDT By TIM MAK – POLITICO

    Nearly 60 progressive Catholic leaders released a statement Friday, condemning Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s assertion that his budget proposal was shaped by his Catholic faith.

    “When a high-profile Catholic congressman is mangling church teachings, that should be challenged,” John Gehring, Catholic Outreach Coordinator for Faith in Public Life, the organization that put together the statement, told POLITICO.

    In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network released Tuesday, Ryan said that his religious convictions influenced his budget plan, claiming that the proposal reflects Catholic teachings of local control and concern for the poor.

    “[T]he preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenets of Catholic social teaching, means don’t keep people poor, don’t make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life, help people get out of poverty out onto life of independence,” said Ryan.

    But some Catholic leaders disagree strenuously that Ryan’s policies represent their faith.

    “If Rep. Ryan thinks a budget that takes food and health care away from millions of vulnerable people upholds Catholic values, then he also probably believes Jesus was a tea partier who lectured the poor to stop being so lazy and work harder,” said Gehring. “This budget turns centuries of Catholic social teaching on its head. These Catholic leaders and many Catholics in the pews are tired of faith being misused to bless an immoral agenda.”

    Indeed, 59 Catholic leaders and theologians took issue with Ryan’s claims, signing a scathing letter that slammed the Ryan budget plan.

    “Simply put, this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good. A budget that turns its back on the hungry, the elderly and the sick while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest few can’t be justified in Christian terms,” argue the signatories.

    The signatories include the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a women’s Catholic organization, a retired Priest in Ryan’s district, and the former Associate General Secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    For the entire article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75109.html

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      YES!!

    • CR says:

      James 5:14
      Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;

      Matthew 10:8
      “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give

  50. CR says:

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

  51. CR says:

    10:20 AM EDT
    President Obama participates in an Official Leaders’ Photo.

    • CR says:

      6th Summit of the Americas - Family Photo

      VI Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia April 15, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (COLOMBIA – Tags: POLITICS)

  52. CR says:

    10:30 AM EDT
    President Obama participates in a Leaders’ Retreat.

  53. CR says:

    1:50 PM
    President Obama holds a multi-lateral meeting with Caribbean Leaders.

  54. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Washington Democrats can find their caucus location here:

    http://www.wa-democrats.org/caucuses

  55. CR says:

    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

  56. CR says:

    Mitt Romney flashback: Stay-at-home moms need to learn ‘dignity of work’

    4/15/12 Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

    Mitt Romney, it turns out, was against calling stay-at-home mothers “working moms” before he was for it.

    MSNBC’s Chris Hayes broke the news this morning. Back in January, Romney appeared at a town hall even in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he explained his position on welfare.

    “While I was governor,” Romney said, “85 percent of the people on a form of welfare assistance in my state had no work requirement. I wanted to increase the work requirement. I said, for instance, that even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work.

    And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless,’ and I said ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.’”

    Read that again: “I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.” And by “individuals,” Romney means “mothers.”

    For the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/mitt-romney-flashback-stay-at-home-moms-need-to-learn-dignity-of-work/2012/04/15/gIQAhmbZJT_blog.html

    —–

    Romney – Parents of 2 year olds should go back to work

    Published on Apr 15, 2012 by jecarter4

    January 4, 2012 – Mitt Romney says that welfare recipients should leave their 2 year olds in daycare and go back to work. These would be stay-at-home parents should have the “dignity of work.” That’s apparently a dignity that Ann Romney doesn’t need to have.

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      Oh, Mitt — How can he say that raising children and taking care of a home is not work and that there is no dignity in it. How can Mitt Romney insult his own wife like this.

      *clicks tongue in disapproval*

  57. CR says:

    3:10 PM EDT
    President Obama attends a bilateral meeting with President Santos of Colombia.

  58. CR says:

    Next Up…

    4:35 PM EDT
    President Obama and President Santos of Colombia hold a Joint Press Conference
    Cartagena, Colombia

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

    CouncilOfTheAmericas.org Webcast

    http://videobox-vicumbre.com/senal-en-vivo/cumbre-2/

    • CR says:

      April 15, 2012

      Remarks by President Obama and President Santos of Colombia in Joint Press Conference

      Courtyard
      Casa de Huespedes
      Cartagena, Colombia

      4:30 P.M. COT

      PRESIDENT SANTOS: (As interpreted.) Good afternoon to you all. I’d like to announce that we have had a bilateral meeting with President Obama and his team. This has been highly productive. Colombia and the U.S. have been successful partners in fighting against drug trafficking, fighting against terrorism, and in defending democracy.

      In this meeting we have made even more progress. Our countries have moved from being just good friends and partners to become real allies. We are allies in building a new world order — the world of the 20th century is behind; it is in the past. Now there is a new international reality and we cannot simply be passive observers of this reality. Only joint work of those who share the ideals of freedom and democracy makes sure of a peaceful transition towards a better world. And we feel that we must work together.

      We have talked with President Obama about bilateral problems and world problems, and we have also worked at the Security Council coordinating our positions. And we have been doing this and we will do it at the G20 where we will meet in a few months. And here at the summit, in this Summit of the Americas, we have had very positive results. And I’m not only saying this as president of the summit, but most of the heads of state and government who were present said the same thing. And one of the reasons why it has been so successful was thanks to President Obama, who stayed here for two nights, and we discussed openly and candidly, with respect and cordiality, all problems. Everything was discussed. And that was really appreciated by Latin America and the Caribbean in a very special fashion.

      So I’d like to thank you, President Obama. This was part of the success of the summit.

      We all have the feeling that there are enormous opportunities to work together in a more integrated fashion. North and South America will be able to find common denominators that will create synergies for the benefit of the North American and Latin American peoples.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/15/remarks-president-obama-and-president-santos-colombia-joint-press-confer

  59. CR says:

    6:10 PM EDT
    President Obama tours San Pedro Claver Church.

    • CR says:

      Peter Claver (Spanish: San Pedro Claver Corberó) (26 June 1580–8 September 1654) was a Jesuit who, due to his life and work, became the patron saint of slaves, Colombia and African Americans. He was born in 1580 into a prosperous farming family in the Spanish village of Verdu, Cataluña (about 54 miles (87 km) from Barcelona—70 years after King Ferdinand of Spain set colonial slavery culture in motion by authorizing the purchase of 250 African slaves in Lisbon for his territories in New Spain. Claver’s parents were devout Catholics, teaching Peter from early childhood to let nothing come between him and the love of God. As a student at the University of Barcelona, he was noted for his intelligence and piety. He was permitted to enter the Jesuit College at Palma, Majorca in 1602. After two years of study there, he wrote these words in the notebook he kept throughout his life: “I must dedicate myself to the service of God until death, on the understanding that I am like a slave.”

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

    • CR says:

      April 15, 2012

      Remarks by President Obama at a Land Titling Event

      Plaza San Pedro
      Cartagena, Colombia

      6:09 P.M. COT

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Buenas tardes! It is — (applause) — it is a great honor to be here with President Santos, the First Lady, so many distinguished guests. I am especially thankful to all the children because they are sitting very still and well-behaved, and I want to get lessons for my own children from the parents and teachers, because they’re doing a great job here. (Applause.)

      And I’m thrilled that — I’m thrilled we’re joined by another champion of these communities, especially the education development of these beautiful children. So thank you, Shakira, for the wonderful work that you do. (Applause.)

      This is a historic day — decades, even centuries in the making. For generations, many of you have lived on these lands, toiled these lands, raised your families on these lands. And now, from this day forward, you will at long last hold title to this land — La Boquilla and Basilio de Palenque. (Applause.)

      And being here holds special meaning for me. Early in my presidency, my family and I visited Ghana, in West Africa. And we visited the historic Cape Coast Castle, and I’ll never forget my two young daughters — the descendants of Africans and African Americans — looking out through the “door of no return” where so many Africans began their forced journey to this hemisphere.

      Today, we gather in a port city where so many of those Africans arrived in chains. Like their brothers and sisters in both our countries and across this hemisphere, they endured unimaginable cruelty. But in their suffering — which revealed man’s capacity for evil — we also see the spirit of this day — man’s capacity for good, for perseverance, for healing; the belief that we can overcome.

      President Santos and I just took a tour of this magnificent cathedral dedicated to a man of faith who devoted his life to the least among us — San Pedro Claver; in the United States, Peter Claver. And in the United States, it was another man of faith, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, who said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. And that’s what’s happening today. (Applause.)

      Throughout my visit here in Colombia, I’ve spoken about the remarkable transformation that’s underway in this country — more security, more prosperity, more hope. And this is a tribute to the perseverance of leaders like President Santos and you, the Colombian people. But we all understand that peace is not simply the absence of war. True and lasting peace has to be based on justice and dignity for every person.

      And that’s why today is so important. Giving you and so many Afro-Colombian communities title to this land is part of ending this nation’s long conflict. It gives you a new stake in a new Colombia. Not far from here, your ancestors were bought and sold. Going forward, Colombia can realize its full potential by empowering all of its people, no matter what you look like or where you come from.

      Both our nations have struggled to overcome a painful past. Both keep striving to fulfill our ideals of justice and equality. And I stand here today as President of the United States, and you can stand here with title to the land, and that is proof that progress is possible. (Applause.)

      And so when we look out to these children behind us, these beautiful children, they have a brighter future ahead of them. But that future will only be fulfilled if we’re making investments in them every single day, as Shakira and the First Lady are working to do; as President Santos and I have to commit ourselves to do. But today is an important first step in creating that brighter future for them. And as you seek peace and prosperity and the dignity that all people deserve, I promise you, you will always have a strong and steady partner in the United States of America.

      Muchas gracias. (Applause.)

      END
      6:17 P.M. COT

  60. Kat 4 Obama says:

    We are home from our precinct caucuses, where the vote was 100% for PBO! What a difference from 2008, when the same school auditorium was packed solid, standing room only and very excited. Things were much calmer this time, so we got through the necessary business easily! I volunteered to be our precinct secretary and wrote the minutes. Mr. K4O and I also volunteered to be delegates to the county convention in 2 weeks. We have our little blue certificates of election that will allow us to get in.

    The chairman emphasized how important it was to not only re-elect PBO but also VOTE DEMOCRATIC at every level!

  61. CR says:

    US, Colombia trade deal to be implemented in May

    4/15/12 By JULIE PACE | Associated Press – 9 hrs ago

    CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) — The Obama administration said Sunday that a key free trade deal with Colombia will be fully enforced next month, an expected but important victory for the U.S. business community, which contends the pact will be an economic boon for America. Obama officials insisted they moved ahead only after the Colombia took steps to halt deadly violence against labor unionists.

    President Barack Obama and Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos were expected to hail the agreement at an afternoon news conference. For Obama, it amounted to a chance to shift some focus back to his original mission in Latin America — creating jobs back home — amid the distraction of a Secret Service scandal involving prostitutes that all unfolded before Obama arrived.

    The news of the trade-deal implementation came as Obama huddled with about three dozen regional leaders in hot and steamy Cartagena as the Summit of the Americas drew to a close. Throughout his trip, Obama has touted Latin America as a growth region for U.S. businesses in an election-year economic appeal aimed at voters back home.

    U.S. unions have opposed the trade deal, saying Colombia still has an abysmal record of violence against labor leaders. Union workers are a core Obama constituency, but have opposed some of his efforts to expand free trade deals, which they believe take jobs away from U.S. companies.

    Under the terms of the trade pact, more than 80 percent of industrial and manufactured products exported from the U.S. and Colombia will immediately become duty free, making it cheaper for American businesses to sell their goods to the South American country. More than half of U.S. agriculture exports to Colombia will also become duty free.

    In a conference call with reporters, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said Colombia has taken a number of important steps to implement the “labor action plan” that was a prerequisite for putting the trade deal into place. The plan included enforcing laws recognizing the rights of workers to organize and prosecuting past cases of violence against labor leaders.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/us-colombia-trade-deal-implemented-may-173952927.html

    • CR says:

      April 06, 2011

      FACT SHEETS: U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement and Action Plan

      President Obama is committed to pursuing an ambitious trade agenda that will help grow our economy and support good jobs for U.S. workers by opening new markets. To achieve that objective, we seek to provide a level playing field that creates economic opportunities for U.S. workers, companies, farmers, and ranchers, and that ensures our trading partners have acceptable working conditions and respect fundamental labor rights. As part of this broader trade agenda, the Obama Administration has worked closely with the government of Colombia to address serious and immediate labor concerns. The result is an agreed “Action Plan Related to Labor Rights” that will lead to greatly enhanced labor rights in Colombia. The Colombian government’s swift implementation of the Action Plan to date has cleared the way for the U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement to move forward to Congress. The U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement will expand U.S. goods exports alone by more than $1.1 billion and give key U.S. goods and services duty free access in sectors from manufacturing to agriculture. It will increase U.S. GDP by $2.5 billion and support thousands of additional U.S. jobs.

      FACT SHEET: Benefits of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

      FACT SHEET: Leveling the Playing Field: Labor Protections and the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

      FACT SHEET: Trade & the U.S.-Colombia Partnership

      FACT SHEET: U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement: Expanding Markets for America’s Farmers and Ranchers

  62. CR says:

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

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ GOP vs Obama 2013 Budget -”
    **********************

    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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