GOP vs Obama 2013 Budget

President Obama believes this is a make or break moment for the middle class and those working to reach it. That’s why he has put forward a blueprint for an economy built to last – one where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.

At the Associated Press Luncheon on April 3rd  President Obama discussed how his vision differs with the radical vision laid out in the House Republican Budget:

“This Congressional Republican budget, however, is something different altogether. It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it – a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last – education and training; research and development – it’s a prescription for decline.”

A partial sampling of the consequences of a Ryan/GOP budget would cause:

* In 2014, nearly 10 million college students would see their financial aid cut by an average of more than $1,000 each

* In 2014, there would be 1,600 fewer medical grants and research grants for things like Alzheimer’s and cancer and AIDS.

* 4,000 fewer scientific research grants, eliminating support for 48,000 researchers, students, and teachers.

* Reduction of investments in clean energy technologies (reducing our dependence on foreign oil would be cut by nearly a fifth)

* in 2014, over 200,000 children would lose their chance to get an early education in the Head Start program

* Two million mothers and young children would be cut from a program that gives them access to healthy food

* 4,500 fewer federal grants at the Department of Justice and the FBI to combat violent crime, financial crime, and help secure our borders

* Hundreds of national parks would be forced to close for part or all of the year.

* Gutting agencies like the EPA would to enforce the laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the food that we eat.

* Cuts to the FAA would likely result in more flight cancellations, delays, and the complete elimination of air traffic control services in parts of the country

* Over time, our weather forecasts would become less accurate because we wouldn’t be able to afford to launch new satellites

* Governors and mayors would have to wait longer to order evacuations in the event of a hurricane.

* Medicaid would simply be handed over to the states

* Would take away health care for about 19 million Americans

* Instead of being enrolled in Medicare when they turn 65, seniors who retire a decade from now would get a voucher that equals the cost of the second cheapest health care plan in their area. If Medicare is more expensive than that private plan, they’ll have to pay more if they want to enroll in traditional Medicare.

President Obama’s approach to reducing our deficit is a balanced approach that asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share, achieves significant health savings and enacts sensible spending cuts while making the investments we need to have a strong middle class.

It’s a test of fairness. The Congressional Republican budget gives every millionaire and billionaire a tax cut of at least $150,000 paid for by ending Medicare as we know it and gutting programs that help the middle class and our economy. This graphic shows just what that $150,000 means to those programs our economic recovery depends on: By standing by massive tax cuts we can’t afford paid for by the middle class and seniors, the Republican establishment has rubber stamped the economic policies of the past that caused the financial crisis in the first place. Just take a look at how much the Republican policies of the past added to our deficit: Changes in Deficit Projections Since January 2001 At this critical moment for our economy and the middle class, the President will continue to stand by a policy of fairness that reflects our core values as a nation.

For the entire article: Three Charts Illustrating Two Different Visions for Our Nation

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105 Responses to GOP vs Obama 2013 Budget

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama and Vice President Biden receive the daily briefing.

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  2. CR says:

    GOP vs Obama 2013 Budget

    • CR says:

      Three Charts Illustrating Two Different Visions for Our Nation

      Dan Pfeiffer April 03, 2012 02:07 PM EDT

      The President believes this is a make or break moment for the middle class and those working to reach it. That’s why he has put forward a blueprint for an economy built to last – one where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.

      Today at the Associated Press Luncheon, the President discussed how his vision differs with the radical vision laid out in the House Republican Budget:

      “This Congressional Republican budget, however, is something different altogether. It’s a Trojan Horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It’s nothing but thinly-veiled Social Darwinism. It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it – a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last – education and training; research and development – it’s a prescription for decline.”

      The President’s approach to reducing our deficit is a balanced approach that asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share, achieves significant health savings and enacts sensible spending cuts while making the investments we need to have a strong middle class.

      Take a look at how the President’s approach and the Congressional Republican policies stack up side by side:

      Side by Side – The President’s Budget vs. Republican Budget

      It’s a test of fairness. The Congressional Republican budget gives every millionaire and billionaire a tax cut of at least $150,000 paid for by ending Medicare as we know it and gutting programs that help the middle class and our economy. This graphic shows just what that $150,000 means to those programs our economic recovery depends on:

      The House Republican Budget – The Budget Fails the Test of Balance, Fairness, and Shared Responsibility

      gop_budget_2013_vs_pres_obama_budget_2013

      By standing by massive tax cuts we can’t afford paid for by the middle class and seniors, the Republican establishment has rubber stamped the economic policies of the past that caused the financial crisis in the first place. Just take a look at how much the Republican policies of the past added to our deficit:

      Changes in Deficit Projections Since January 2001

      At this critical moment for our economy and the middle class, the President will continue to stand by a policy of fairness that reflects our core values as a nation.

    • CR says:

      Getting at the Facts

      Jay Carney April 06, 2012 01:57 PM EDT

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • CR says:

      President Obama Takes on the Republican Budget

      Uploaded by rapidresponse2012 on Apr 4, 2012

      The President tells it like it is. He tears apart the radical Republican budget point by point, and makes it crystal clear how devastating their Millionaires over Medicare plan would be for our country.

    • CR says:

      Romney tax plan on table. Debt collapses table.

      August 4, 2012 at 11:56 am Posted by Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

      I can describe Mitt Romney’s tax policy promises in two words: mathematically impossible.

      Those aren’t my words. They’re the words of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, which has conducted the most comprehensive analysis to date of Romney’s tax plan and which bent over backward to make his promises add up. They’re perhaps the two most important words that have been written during this U.S. presidential election.

      If you were to distill the presumptive Republican nominee’s campaign to a few sentences, you could hardly do better than this statement of purpose from the speech Romney delivered in Detroit, outlining his plan for the economy: “I believe the American people are ready for real leadership. I believe they deserve a bold, conservative plan for reform and economic growth. Unlike President Obama, I actually have one — and I’m not afraid to put it on the table.”

      The truth is that Romney is afraid to put his plan on the table. He has promised to reduce the deficit, but refused to identify the spending he would cut. He has promised to reform the tax code, but refused to identify the deductions and loopholes he would eliminate. The only thing he has put on the table is dessert: a promise to cut marginal tax rates by 20 percent across the board and to do so without raising the deficit or reducing the taxes paid by the top 1 percent.

      The Tax Policy Center took Romney at his word. They also did what he hasn’t done: They put his plan on the table.

      To help Romney, the center did so under the most favorable conditions, which also happen to be wildly unrealistic. The analysts assumed that any cuts to deductions or loopholes would begin with top earners, and that no one earning less than $200,000 would have their deductions reduced until all those earning more than $200,000 had lost all of their deductions and tax preferences first.

      They assumed, as Romney has promised, that the reforms would spare the portions of the tax code that privilege saving and investment. They even ran a simulation in which they used a model developed, in part, by Greg Mankiw, one of Romney’s economic advisers, that posits “implausibly large growth effects” from tax cuts.

      The numbers never worked out. No matter how hard the Tax Policy Center labored to make Romney’s promises add up, every simulation ended the same way: with a tax increase on the middle class. The tax cuts Romney is offering to the rich are simply larger than the size of the (non-investment) deductions and loopholes that exist for the rich. That’s why it’s “mathematically impossible” for Romney’s plan to produce anything but a tax increase on the middle class.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/04/romney-tax-plan-on-table-debt-collapses-table/

    • CR says:

      Paul Ryan Can’t Escape Own Budget Package In Debut Solo Interview

      AUGUST 14, 2012, 6:54 PM EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO – tpm

      Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have insisted they’re not running on the House budget plan Ryan’s best known for. Romney has his own economic plans, vague as they may be, and his campaign has tried to emphasize they’re different from Ryan’s.

      Ryan’s first solo interview as the Republican VP nominee suggested not everyone is persuaded.

      Ryan repeatedly tried to deflect attention from his own highly controversial budget proposal in an interview with Fox News’s Brit Hume Tuesday. Ryan’s plan is both a rallying point for conservatives and a whipping boy for Democratic strategists.

      Hume didn’t buy the suggestion that the Romney-Ryan ticket wasn’t running on Ryan’s budget plan, and the interview focused largely on Ryan’s budget package. In one exchange on balancing the budget, Hume objected when Ryan tried to talk about Romney’s plan — which has drawn fire for being vague at best. Hume insisted Ryan talk about his own economic vision, which doesn’t bring the budget into balance for decades.

      Ryan couldn’t predict when Romney’s plan would balance the budget.

      Hume: The budget plan you’re now supporting would get to balance when?
      Ryan: Well, there are different — the budget plan that Mitt Romney is supporting gets us down to 20 percent of GDP government spending by 2016. That means get the size of government back to where it historically has been. What President Obama has done is he brought the size of government to as high as it hasn’t been since World War II. We want to reduce the size of government to have more economic freedom.

      Hume: I get that. What about balance?

      Ryan: I don’t know exactly what the balance is. I don’t want to get wonky on you but we haven’t run the numbers on that specific plan. The plan we offer in the House balances the budget. I’d put a contrast. President Obama, never once, ever, has offered a plan to ever balance the budget. The United States Senate, they haven’t even balanced, they haven’t passed a budget in three years.

      Hume: I understand that. But your own budget, that you —

      Ryan: You are talking about the House budget?

      Hume: I’m talking about the House budget. Your budget will be a political issue in this campaign.

      Ryan: The House budget doesn’t balance until the 2030s under the current measurement of the CBO baseline.

      There are two things happening here. First, Ryan is unable to change the conversation away from the House budget, which Democrats, and reportedly some Republicans, are convinced is a guaranteed loser this fall.

      For more; http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/paul-ryan-cant-escape-own-budget-package-in-debut-solo-interview.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

    • CR says:

      As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Reemerges

      October 7, 2012 NPR

      “Simpson Bowles,” the name of the much-touted plan to rein in the national debt, rang out repeatedly during Wednesday’s presidential debate. Host Rachel Martin speaks with former Sen. Alan Simpson and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, to see what they make of the candidates’ plans for spending cuts and tax reforms.

      RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

      This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I’m Rachel Martin. Simpson Bowles – the names flew by eight times without explanation during Wednesday’s presidential debate. Google reported that Simpson Bowles was among the most searched-for terms online that night. The reference was to Republican elder statesman Alan Simpson and his Democratic counterpart Erskine Bowles. The two headed a 2010 commission on the national debt. The commission’s proposals never went to Congress for a vote. But now, the nation is facing the threat of the so-called fiscal cliff next year when automatic spending cuts and tax hikes go into effect. So, Washington policymakers are taking another look at Simpson Bowles. And the two gentlemen are making the rounds on Capitol Hill trying again to gin up support for their plan. Senator Simpson and Mr. Bowles join me now to talk about what they’re hearing from lawmakers and from President Obama and Mitt Romney. Welcome to the program.

      SENATOR ALAN SIMPSON: Thank you.

      ERSKINE BOWLES: Thank you so much.

      MARTIN: So, both candidates now talking about embracing parts of this plan. I’d like to hear from both of you – first Mr. Bowles – which candidate’s deficit reduction proposal comes closer to what you have both recommended.

      BOWLES: Well, you know, I think it’s fair to say that neither plan, you know, embraces the total of what we have recommended. We recommend one dollar of revenue and three dollars of spending cuts to get a $4 trillion deficit reduction package. Of the two plans, the only one that is a balanced plan is the one presented by President Obama. I will say that, you know, while he has revenue in his plan, the way he achieves that revenue is not what either Al or I or anyone on our commission felt was the best way to do it, the best way to make American globally competitive. Governor Romney, on the other hand, doesn’t have any revenue in his proposal. He actually increases spending on defense by about two trillion dollars.

      For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2012/10/07/162461953/as-fiscal-cliff-nears-simpson-bowles-reemerges

  3. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    FACT CHECK: PAUL RYAN FALSELY CLAIMS REPUBLICAN BUDGET WOULD FIX THE DEFICIT

    APR 01, 2012 dccc.org

    On CNN State of the Union today, House Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-01) falsely claimed the House Republican budget reduces the deficit, saying, “we put solutions that actually fix the problem.” He also made a similar claim during an appearance on ABC’s This Week, by stating “we’re doing something about” the deficit.

    In reality, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the House Republican budget would add $3.1 trillion to the deficit, greater what the deficit would be under current law, while it ends Medicare and raises health care costs for seniors. Ryan’s plan fails to reduce the debt as it gives a $394,000 tax cut for people making over $1 million a year according to the Tax Policy Center.

    FACT CHECK

    Congressional Budget Office: Ryan’s Plan Adds $3.1 Trillion to the Deficit; Adds More to the Deficit than Under Current Law.
    ( The Hill, 3/20/12,/a>)

    Ryan’s Plan Proposes Nearly $10 Trillion in Tax Cuts
    [
    Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/22/12; see also: Tax Policy Center Table T12-0075]

    House Republican Budget Would Give People Making Over $1 Million Per Year a $394,000 Tax Cut
    [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/27/12; see also Tax Policy Center, Table T12-0078 and T10-0132]

    Ryan Budget Pads Big Oil’s Pockets with Senseless Subsidies
    [Center for American Progress, 3/20/12]

    Tax Expert Called Ryan’s Budget Plan Phony
    [Citizens for Tax Justice, 3/20/12]

    Star-Ledger: Ryan Punts on Deficit Reduction
    [Star-Ledger Editorial, 3/22/12

    Ledger: Ryan’s Budget Simply Isn’t Serious
    [The Ledger Editorial, 3/28/12]

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

    • CR says:

      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

      • 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

    • CR says:

      Hold Mitt Romney accountable

      Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on Apr 3, 2012

      Mitt Romney is lying about President Obama again.

      Mitt Romney: “And the President said something very revealing yesterday. He said that in a perfect world, the government could spend a lot more money. I disagree.”

      President Obama: “Now, if this were a perfect world, we’d have unlimited resources. No one would ever have to pay any taxes, and we could spend as much as we wanted. But we live in the real world. We don’t have unlimited resources. We have a deficit that needs to be paid down. And we also have to pay for investments that will help our economy grow and keep our country safe: education, research and technology, a strong military, and retirement programs like Medicare and Social Security. That means we have to make choices. When it comes to paying down the deficit and investing in our future, should we ask middle-class Americans to pay even more at a time when their budgets are already stretched to the breaking point? Or should we ask some of the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share? That’s the choice.”

    • CR says:

      Why the Republican budgets make the poor pay

      3/21/2012 Posted by Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

      “Not sure I understand @ezraklein’s view that Paul Ryan ‘unintentionally’ wrote a budget that soaks the poor,” tweeted Matt Yglesias earlier today. And he’s right, Wonkbook was a bit unclear. So I’ll explain.

      Go back to Paul Ryan’s original ‘Roadmap.’ It began with a health-care section, the purpose of which was to ensure “universal access to affordable health insurance.” The core of the plan was a restructuring of the tax code so the regressive tax credit for employer-based health insurance became a progressive refundable tax credit for all Americans. There’s also a section trying to modernize and improve the federal government’s suite of job training initiatives.

      Or go back to Mitt Romney’s governorship of Massachusetts. His signature accomplishment was a health-care bill that spent lots of money to insure low-income Bay Staters.

      Fast forward a few years and both men are, in different ways, leaders of the Republican Party who are responsible for putting out comprehensive budgets. And both of their budgets now work the same way: They dramatically cut health-care subsidies and income supports for the poor to fund tax cuts, higher defense spending and substantial deficit reduction, and they do nothing to expand or strengthen the safety net.

      One explanation is that Romney and Ryan changed, or are showing a truer version of themselves now. Another argument — and I think this is clearly part of the story — is that conditions changed, and it’s simply harder now for a Republican to propose expanding access to health insurance. But that doesn’t explain why they’ve embraced such deep cuts to food stamps — which George W. Bush expanded — and housing subsidies, to name just a few.

      For the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/why-the-republican-budgets-make-the-poor-pay-contd/2011/08/25/gIQASzyFSS_blog.html

      • CR says:

        Paul Ryan Mis-Reads Catholic Teachings To Defend ‘Immoral’ Budget

        Published on Apr 27, 2012 by politicalarticles

    • CR says:

      Romney’s and Obama’s tax plans, in one chart

      03/01/2012 Brad Plumer and Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

      The Tax Policy Center has just released its analysis of Mitt Romney’s newest tax proposal. That certainly calls for a chart. So here are Romney’s and Obama’s tax plans, side by side:

      change_in_tax-rates_romney_vs_obama

      Note that the Tax Policy Center could only conduct a partial analysis of Romney’s tax plan. That’s because Romney’s proposal itself is incomplete. He’s said that he wants to scrap various deductions in the tax code, particularly for high earners, in order to broaden the tax base. But he hasn’t offered any details about which deductions he’d scrap or how, so there wasn’t anything for the Tax Policy Center to analyze.

      Based on the details Romney has provided so far, his plan would lower tax rates for the top quintile by 5.4 percent, saving the wealthiest an average of $16,134. (The top 1 percent of earners, meanwhile, would save an average of $149,997.) The lowest fifth of earners, by contrast, would see a small tax increase of 1.3 percent under Romney’s plan, owing the federal government an additional $143 extra on average.

      Obama’s tax proposal, meanwhile, would keep tax rates roughly the same except for married couples making over $250,000 per year (or single earners making more than $200,000 per year). On average, under Obama’s plan, the top 1 percent would be paying about $87,173 more per year.

      • CR says:

        GOP WRONG WAY

        Romney on spending: Guns triumph over butter

        4/23/12 By Andrew Taylor – Associated Press

        WASHINGTON — Reducing government deficits Mitt Romney’s way would mean less money for health care for the poor and disabled and big cuts to nuts-and-bolts functions such as food inspection, border security and education.

        Romney also promises budget increases for the Pentagon, above those sought by some GOP defense hawks, meaning that the rest of the government would have to shrink even more. Nonmilitary programs would incur still larger cuts than those called for in the tightfisted GOP budget that the House passed last month.

        Differences over the government’s budget and spiraling deficits are among the starkest that separate Republican Romney and Democratic President Barack Obama. Obama’s budget generally avoids risk, with minimal cuts to rapidly growing health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid while socking wealthier people with tax increases. It’s all part of an effort to close trillion-dollar-plus deficits.

        Romney, by contrast, proposes broad cuts in government spending, possibly overpromising on reductions that even a Congress stuffed with conservatives might find hard to deliver.

        Estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office put current government spending at $3.6 trillion, or about 23.5 percent of the gross domestic product this year, slipping to 21.8 percent by 2016.

        The math can get fuzzy. But the Romney campaign says it needs to come up with $500 billion in cuts in 2016, the target year. The GOP front-runner suggests raising the Social Security retirement age and reducing cost-of-living increases for better-off retirees.

        He generally endorses a plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to gradually transform Medicare from a program that directly pays hospital and doctor bills into vouchers for subsidizing future beneficiaries in buying health insurance.

        Because Romney promises to protect current Social Security and Medicare recipients from cuts, he cannot get much savings from those programs by 2016.

        Combined, they are projected to make up about 44 percent of the budget that year. Interest costs, which cannot be touched, would make up an additional 9 percent of the budget, while Romney promises to add almost $100 billion to the Pentagon budget that year, based on his pledge that military spending reach 4 percent of GDP.

        So what’s left to cut?

        Medicaid: The program now provides health care for about 50 million mostly poor and disabled people, including nursing home care for 7 of 10 patients nationwide. Obama’s health care law sharply would sharply boost Medicaid enrollment to cover more people above the poverty line, a move that Romney promises to repeal.

        Like House Republicans, Romney promises to transform Medicaid into block grants for states and shed federal supervision of it. He would cap the program’s annual growth to inflation plus a percentage point. His campaign says the approach would unshackle states to innovate and, by the end of a decade, cut costs by more than $200 billion a year.

        Domestic agency budgets: If Social Security is mostly off the table and current Medicare beneficiaries are protected, domestic Cabinet agency budgets would take a major hit in ways that could fundamentally alter government. The future growth of those discretionary programs funded through annual appropriations bills was already cut greatly in last year’s deal to raise the government’s borrowing limit.

        At issue are these programs, just to name a few: health research; NASA; transportation; homeland security; education; food inspection; housing and heating subsidies for the poor; food aid for pregnant women; the FBI; grants to local governments; national parks; and veterans’ health care.

        Other benefit programs: Like Ryan’s budget, the Romney plan would also cut benefit programs other than Social Security and Medicare. They include food stamps, school lunches, crop subsidies, Supplemental Security Income for very poor seniors and disabled people, unemployment insurance, veterans’ pensions and refundable tax credits to the working poor.

  4. CR says:

    Buffet Rule

    “Tax reform should follow the Buffett Rule. If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes. And my Republican friend Tom Coburn is right: Washington should stop subsidizing millionaires. In fact, if you’re earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn’t get special tax subsidies or deductions. On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98 percent of American families, your taxes shouldn’t go up. You’re the ones struggling with rising costs and stagnant wages. You’re the ones who need relief.”

    President Obama- January 24, 2012 State of the Union Address

    • CR says:

      Buffett Rule Facts and Fictions

      Gene Sperling September 21, 2011

      On Monday, the President proposed the Buffett Rule as one of five principles for comprehensive tax reform. This is a rule of simple fairness—no household making over $1 million annually should pay less in federal taxes than middle-class families pay. Contrary to some misconceptions, the Buffett Rule is not designed as the sole or main source of raising new revenues, but one of five principles that should be achieved by tax reform:

      * Cut rates
      * Cut inefficient and unfair tax breaks
      * Cut the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years
      * Increase investment and growth in the United States
      Observe the “Buffett rule.”

      Of these principles — all of which we believe are key to reform — the Buffett rule has received the most attention. It has been attacked with claims of “class warfare” that are completely without merit. How can it be class warfare to ensure that there is greater parity between the taxes paid by the most well-off and those paid by tens of millions of hardworking families?

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/09/21/buffett-rule-facts-and-fictions

    • CR says:

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

      By the Numbers: $0

      Megan Slack April 04, 2012 03:47 PM EDT

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

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

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

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

    • CR says:

      Debt Struggles As Old As America Itself

      4/5/12 FreshAir from WHYY

      (Excerpts)

      As of today, the national debt held by the public is more than $10 trillion. That’s more than $30,000 for every man, woman and child living in the United States.

      We might think heated debates about the national debt are a relatively new phenomenon, but in fact, they stretch back all the way to the earliest days of the Republic, says economist Simon Johnson. His new book, White House Burning, co-written with James Kwak, traces the history of the national debt from America’s earliest days, when the nation started out in dire financial shape.

      “In fact, it was essentially bankrupt,” Johnson tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies. “It was in default on its debt. There wasn’t a stable, robust source of revenue.”…..

      HIGHLIGHTS

      * The normal way to fund deficits are to issue bonds which amount to real borrowing from real assets from entities which we must repay with interest at some future date from tax revenues

      * Average maturity of debt is usually four years

      * The National debt is currently at 15 trillion and is held by social security and medicare trust funds

      * The true debt of the US or the tax payers is called the ‘Debt Held By The Public’ ; which is currently 10 trillion

      * The national debt s/b 50% of annual out put of the GDP

      *Alexander Hamilton economic system and the operating system of the fiscal policy is to raise debt when you need to and to bring it down when you can

      * When you have a financial crisis and the banks collapse like the 2008 where banks collapse that will typically trigger a depression, that was exactly the experience in the US and Europe in 2008, you get a big deficit because the revenue has dropped, you may cut spending or not, it does not matter the big item for deficits was the loss of revenue.

      * Regan started out saying that he wanted to bring the deficit down and cut taxes and have bigger military spending well the combination did not work very well and what he settled for was hight military spending and lower taxes, a bigger deficit and there was a mini deficit crisis in the mid 1980-‘s to which Regan answered with compromise and tax reform and raising tax revenue

      The most important suggestions that need to be taken are to
      :

      * Re-establish (increase it to back to the 1990’s) the revenue base

      * Keep social security and medicare where they are and fund them properly with revenue

      * End Bush Era Tax Cuts

      For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/05/149394336/debt-struggles-as-old-as-america-itself

      • CR says:

        The drivers of our debt

        May 15, 2012 By Steve Benen – maddowblog

        About a year ago, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) hosted a town-hall meeting with some constituents, one of whom said Bush-era policies are largely responsible for the current budget deficit. The Republican didn’t take the news well.

        “This year’s deficit is due to George Bush? That’s insanity!” Grimm said. He added, “That’s insane.”

        I can appreciate why Grimm’s pushback might resonate with some folks. George W. Bush left office more than three years ago, so it may seem as if today’s problems no longer have anything to do with him. Why blame Bush for Obama-era deficits? Grimm, who routinely struggles to understand the basics of current events, was incredulous, and I suspect plenty of Republicans agree.

        But reality isn’t “insane,” and the facts are incontrovertible. Sahil Kapur published this chart this morning.

        us_debt_causes

        For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/15/11715914-the-drivers-of-our-debt?lite

  5. CR says:

    Congress returns to debate dueling tax reform proposals

    4/15/12 By Russell Berman – TheHill

    Lawmakers will return to Washington next week to do battle over competing tax proposals that showcase the wide ideological gulf between Republicans and Democrats.

    In the House, Republicans on Thursday are bringing to the floor a 20 percent tax cut for small businesses that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has championed. Across the Capitol, Senate Democrats are planning a Monday vote on the so-called Buffett Rule, which sets a minimum tax rate for individuals with incomes of $2 million or more and phases that rate in for incomes between $1 million and $2 million.

    The proposals, which are timed to coincide with Tax Day, have little chance of making it into law with the 2012 campaign heating up, and they could hardly be more different in approach. The GOP plan would give $46 billion back to tax-paying businesses, while the Democratic measure would generate about $47 billion in new tax revenue over a decade if current tax rates stay the same.

    For Republicans, the plan marks a return to offense on one of their bread-and-butter issues – tax cuts, which they argue will help stimulate job creation. Democrats had scored a rare pair of victories on tax cuts in December and February, when they wrangled concessions out of a defensive GOP on extending the payroll tax cut.

    In coordinating with the White House on the Buffett Rule, Democrats in the Senate will force Republicans to vote on a plan that enjoys popular support and dovetails with President Obama’s bid to campaign against income inequality and tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/221511-congress-returns-to-debate-dueling-tax-reform-proposals

  6. CR says:

    28th National Space Symposium
    April 16- 19
    Colorado Springs, Colorado

    The National Space Symposium, held at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has brought together space leaders from around the world to discuss, address and dream about the future of space since the inaugural event in 1984. Attendees at that original event numbered barely 250 space enthusiasts, while expected participants at the 28th National Space Symposium will surpass 9,000. The National Space Symposium has become widely known as the premier U.S. space policy and program forum and as the “must attend” opportunity for information on and interaction among all sectors of space.

    Exclusive Networking

    The caliber of participants, the extraordinary venue and the structure of the agenda create the perfect environment for making contacts and getting business done. Our customers tell us their number-one reason for attending the National Space Symposium is the opportunity to network, meet with customers and make things happen – all in one place at one time.

    For more information: http://www.nationalspacesymposium.org/

  7. CR says:

    International Biomass Conference and Expo
    April 16 – 19, 2012
    Denver, CO

    The International Biomass Conference & Expo is the largest gathering of private and public sector biomass professionals in the world. This dynamic event unites industry professionals from all sectors of the world’s interconnected biomass utilization industries—biobased power, thermal energy, fuels and chemicals. Organized by BBI International and coproduced by Biomass Power & Thermal and Biorefining Magazine, This event brings current and future producers of bioenergy and biobased products together with waste generators, energy crop growers, municipal leaders, utility executives, technology providers, equipment manufacturers, project developers, investors and policy makers. It’s a true one-stop shop – the world’s premier educational and networking junction sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for all biomass industries.

    For more information: http://www.biomassconference.com/ema/DisplayPage.aspx?pageId=Home

  8. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Great topic, CR!

    Democrats really are about fairness.

    • CR says:

      Yes! Democrats want to give when they can and help others who have fallen on hard times.

      While the GOP just want to keep it all for themselves and tell others “You’re on your own”,

  9. CR says:

    Business, labor groups gird for vote on controversial NLRB union election rule

    4/15/12 By Kevin Bogardus – TheHIll

    Business groups and unions are bracing for congressional action on the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) union election rule.

    Those in business and labor are expecting a vote in the Senate, perhaps as early as next week, on a joint resolution for congressional disapproval that would block the regulation. A Senate Republican leadership aide told The Hill that a vote on the measure was expected sometime over the next two weeks.

    That will likely step up lobbying on the proposal. On Thursday, the AFL-CIO sent a letter to senators urging them to vote against the joint resolution.

    “The new NLRB rule makes modest, sensible changes to bring balance to the election process. A vote against the Resolution will ensure that the rights of working people to achieve economic security are protected,” said Bill Samuel, the labor federation’s government affairs director, in the letter.

    Business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce oppose the rule, which would speed up union elections. Glenn Spencer, vice president of the Chamber’s Workforce Freedom Initiative, has said in the past that a vote on the joint resolution is likely the most significant labor vote this congres

    this congressional session.

    “This vote is coming soon, and it’s the Senate’s opportunity to tell the board that it has gone too far,” Spencer told The Hill.

    Business groups have said the rule would limit employers’ free speech rights when it comes to union elections. They have argued that could end up hurting job growth.

    Unions have backed the rule, saying it will streamline a burdensome process that can often stop workers from voting in a union election. In his letter, Samuel said the rule would reduce litigation and ensure “a fair vote” for workers.

    “The NLRB’s new rule eliminates many of the barriers workers now face by reducing current delays, eliminating frivolous and duplicative litigation, and ensuring that workers have a fair vote in a reasonable period of time,” Samuel said.

    Forty-five Republican senators are backing the joint resolution so far, with Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, as its main sponsor. The only two GOP senators not to sign onto the joint resolution are Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).

    Centrist Democratic senators — such as Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) — will also likely attract lobbyists’ attention as the vote draws near.

    Michael Eastman, the Chamber’s executive director for labor law policy, said the Chamber and other business groups have been actively lobbying the issue, including engaging their grassroots network.

    “As with most labor issues, we are focusing attention on those members with a more moderate record,” Eastman said.

    Under the Congressional Review Act, the joint resolution cannot be filibustered and can pass the Senate with a simple majority of 51 votes.

    Despite not needing 60 votes in the Senate, it is still a difficult road forward for the joint resolution since it will need Democratic votes to pass. Further, to overturn the rule, the joint resolution would have to be signed by President Obama, who has received labor backing for his reelection bid, after it had passed in both the House and the Senate.

    Other legislative efforts to stop the rule have not made headway. Last year, the House passed separate legislation to block the rule but that has not moved forward yet in the Senate.

  10. 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

  11. CR says:

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

  12. CR says:

    Retail Sales in U.S. Increased More Than Forecast in March

    Apr 16, 2012 By Shobhana Chandra – Bloomberg

    Retail sales in the U.S. rose more than forecast in March, showing consumers are weathering the jump in gasoline prices heading into the second quarter.

    The 0.8 percent gain was almost three times as large as projected and followed a 1 percent advance in February, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a rise of 0.3 percent. Eleven of 13 categories showed increases.

    Americans snapped up Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPads and clothing at chains like Gap Inc. (GPS) and Target Corp. (TGT), indicating an improving job market is boosting incomes and giving households enough confidence to sustain spending in the face of higher fuel costs. Better consumer demand raises the odds that the expansion in the world’s largest economy will endure.

    “The outlook for spending is positive,” Chris Christopher, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, said before the report.

    “Consumers are adjusting to high gasoline prices. Jobs are a little more available, and people are getting hired.”

    Manufacturing in the New York region expanded in April at the slowest pace in five months, a sign the pickup in factory production is moderating, another report today showed.

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index decreased to 6.6 this month, less than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey, from 20.2 in March. Readings greater than zero signal expansion inwthe so-called Empire State Index, which covers New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.

    For the entire article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-16/retail-sales-in-u-s-increased-more-than-forecast-in-march.html

  13. CR says:

    Next Up…

    9:00 AM EDT
    White House Summit on Environmental Education
    The White House Summit on Environmental Education will convene a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the importance of environmental education and the core concepts and principles that contribute the most to environmental literacy. The Summit will feature two panels of environmental education leaders, remarks from several Administration officials and a panel on the Federal government’s on-going commitment to the field of environmental education.
    The White House

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

    • CR says:

      White House Summit on Environmental Education

      Published on Apr 17, 2012 by whitehouse

      The White House convenes a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the importance of environmental education and the core concepts and principles that contribute the most to environmental literacy, including panel discussions with environmental education leaders, remarks from several Administration officials and a panel on the Federal government’s on-going commitment to the field of environmental education.

    • CR says:

      White House Summit on Environmental Education Part 1

      Published on Apr 17, 2012 by whitehouse

      The White House convenes a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the importance of environmental education and the core concepts and principles that contribute the most to environmental literacy, including panel discussions with environmental education leaders, remarks from several Administration officials and a panel on the Federal government’s on-going commitment to the field of environmental education.

    • CR says:

      White House Summit on Environmental Education Part 2

      Published on Apr 17, 2012 by whitehouse

      The White House convenes a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the importance of environmental education and the core concepts and principles that contribute the most to environmental literacy, including panel discussions with environmental education leaders, remarks from several Administration officials and a panel on the Federal government’s on-going commitment to the field of environmental education.

    • CR says:

      White House Summit on Environmental Education Closing Session

      Published on Apr 17, 2012 by whitehouse

      The White House convenes a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the importance of environmental education and the core concepts and principles that contribute the most to environmental literacy, including panel discussions with environmental education leaders, remarks from several Administration officials and a panel on the Federal government’s on-going commitment to the field of environmental education.

  14. Good Monday morning CR and PPO Family. HOPE you all have a great day. I am so very proud of our President. It appears the only people who do not appreciate him are the people living in our own country.

    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 Monday morning and thank you for the candle link Jackie!

      I second being proud of our President Obama. President Obama is slowly bringing America back despite the GOP blocking him and Rove and his croonies trying everything in their power to stymie him.

  15. CR says:

    Manufacturing in New York Area Grew at Slower Pace in April

    Apr 16, 2012 5:54 AM PTBy Timothy R. Homan – bloomberg

    Manufacturing in the New York region expanded in April at the slowest pace in five months, a sign the boost to the U.S. expansion from factories may be moderating.

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index unexpectedly decreased to 6.6 this month, less than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey, from 20.2 in March. The median estimate in the survey of economists called for a drop to 18. Readings greater than zero signal expansion in the so-called Empire State Index, which covers New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.

    Slower economies in Europe and China may restrain exports and limit orders to American factories, which have been the mainstay of the expansion. At the same time, an acceleration in motor vehicle sales in the first quarter remains a source of support.

    “The outlook for manufacturing still remains positive but we’re not accelerating,” said Millan Mulraine, a senior U.S. strategist at TD Securities in New York. “The slowdown in global growth” is keeping manufacturing from expanding further, he said.
    Estimates in the Bloomberg survey of 56 economists ranged from 10 to 22.

    Retail sales rose more than forecast in March, a Commerce Department report showed today. The 0.8 percent gain was almost three times as large as projected and followed a 1 percent advance in February. Eleven of 13 categories showed increases.

    Stock-index futures extended gains after the report.
    The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in June rose 0.6 percent to 1,372.7 at 8:52 a.m. in New York.

    For the entire article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-16/manufacturing-in-new-york-area-expanded-at-slower-pace-in-april.html

  16. CR says:

    US Business Inventories, Sales Rise in February

    Monday, 16 Apr 2012 | 10:23 AM ET Reuters

    U.S. business inventories rose in February and sales increased solidly, according to a government report that showed no signs of an unwanted piling up of unsold goods.

    The Commerce Department said on Monday inventories increased 0.6 percent to a record $1.58 trillion, after rising by an upwardly revised 0.8 percent in January.

    Economists polled by Reuters had forecast inventories rising 0.6 percent in February after a previously reported 0.7 percent increase the prior month.

    Inventories in February were lifted by a 1.8 percent rise in restocking by auto dealers to meet increased demand for motor vehicles from consumers. Auto inventories had increased 2.8 percent in January.

    There were also strong gains in stocks of building materials. However, clothing inventories dipped 0.1 percent.

    Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product changes and February’s report could see economists raising their first-quarter growth estimates, currently around 2.5 percent.

    Inventories helped to lift fourth-quarter GDP to a 3 percent annual rate and economists had expected businesses would have little appetite to continue adding to stocks.

    Business sales increased 0.7 percent to a record $1.24 trillion in February, after advancing 0.4 percent the prior month.

    At February’s sales pace it will take 1.28 months for businesses to clear shelves, unchanged from January.

  17. CR says:

    Obama campaign raises $53 million

    4/16/12 POLITICO44

    The Obama campaigned announced Monday that it had raised $53 million in March — their best fundraising number of the cycle.

    According to a campaign video released early Monday morning, 190,000 donors gave for the first time donors. The average contribution was $50.78 and 97 percent of donations were for $250 or less.

    The campaign raised $45 million in February, and $29.1 million in January. The president’s March haul also outpaces the $40 million raised in March of 2008 — alleviating some concerns that Obama’s fundraising pace was lagging his earth-shattering 2008 fundraising operation.

    “Thank you for everything you’ve done this month to support this campaign. This really is how this works: people building this organization 5 and 10 bucks at a time to take on Mitt Romney,” campaign manager Jim Messina told supporters.

    The fundraising number — especially the high number of small donors — is part of an aggressive strategy by the Obama campaign to prop up the number of small donors by offering dinner with the President and aggressively using email blasts.

  18. CR says:

    Obama loves Univision

    4/16/12 POLITICO44

    POLITICO’s newest blogger Charlie Mahtesian (whose new blog is well worth bookmarking) reports that President Obama’s appearance on Univision this week marked the 15th time that he has appeared on the network:

    Consider this stat: when Enrique Acevedo interviewed President Obama for the “Al Punto” program that ran Sunday, it marked the 15th time the president had been interviewed by Univision – which boasts it reaches 97% of U.S. Hispanic households — since taking office.

    According to Univision, that figure includes 4 Univision Radio interviews, 2 local Univision TV interviews (Miami and Puerto Rico) and 9 network interviews, including a Univision-hosted education town hall in March 2011.

    That’s far more interviews than the cable news networks have grabbed, and not that far off from the number of interviews with ABC (24), CBS (23, including David Letterman) and NBC (21, including Jay Leno), according to a tally provided by Mark Knoller of CBS News.

    It’s no secret that the president’s team has made outreach into the Hispanic community a top priority — convinced that many Latinos won’t cast a vote for a Republican party that has doubled down on harsher immigration laws and opposed a pathway to citizenship or comprehensive immigration reform bill.

  19. CR says:

    Team Obama thinks Arizona is in play

    4/16/12 7:17 AM EDT POLITICO44

    The New York Times’ Adam Nagourney reports that the Obama campaign will put resources into Arizona, a nominally red state:

    President Obama’s re-election campaign is dispatching workers across Arizona’s college campuses and Latino neighborhoods this spring, registering as many new voters as they can in an organized, three-month effort to determine whether they can put this unlikely state into play for Democrats this November.

    By any measure the obstacles are considerable: Arizona has voted for precisely one Democratic president since Truman was in the White House. Yet Mr. Obama’s aides said in interviews that they thought it was possible they could move the needle of history by winning in 2012 a state that analysts believe is heading Democratic in national elections, but may not be there yet.

    Obama strategists are simply following the same techniques they used in 2008 when putting states like North Carolina and Indiana into play. Then, too, there was much initial skepticism, though both states ended up going for Mr. Obama.

    There are two possibilities here. First: the demographic trends in the West have reached a tipping point where Arizona is genuinely in play. States like Colorado were once GOP territory before transitioning into swing states over the last few cycles.

    The second is that their money and strength in certain ‘safe’ Democratic states gives the Obama team a lot of wiggle room in expanding the map as widely as possible — and forcing the GOP to put resources into states they were not expecting to defend. Campaign manager Jim Messina and White House senior advisor David Plouffe also insisted Texas was on the table in closed-door interviews last year — unlikely but remotely possible given the state’s booming Latino population.

  20. CR says:

    Pro-Obama groups, campaign attacking Romney on secrecy

    4/16/12 By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

    Pro-Obama outside groups are up with a new web site, petition and video slamming Mitt Romney for not releasing his tax returns.

    Super PAC Priorities USA Action and American Bridge PAC are behind the push. By law, they are not allowed to coordinate with a candidate’s campaign, but they seem to be headed in the same direction as the Obama campaign anyway.

    Senior campaign adviser David Axelrod told POLITICO Playbook today that the campaign plans to focus on Romney’s secrecy:

    David Axelrod tells us the Obama campaign will make a major umbrella issue of what he calls “Romney’s penchant for secrecy”: “George Bush felt it was appropriate to release the names of his bundlers. John McCain did. But not Mitt Romney. Why did George Bush and John McCain release multiple years of tax returns, but not Mitt Romney?

    …Harkening back to my youth, which extends far beyond yours, there was a show called, ‘I’ve Got A Secret.’ Increasingly, I think that would be the appropriate title for the Romney campaign. There are central issues, but this is a disturbing one and it goes to that question of, like, ‘Who is this guy? What does he stand for? What does he believe? What do we know about him?’”

    The new web site is headlined, “What’s Mitt hiding” and includes a video stringing together various statements about his tax returns made by Romney and his surrogates.

    ——-

    What’s Mitt Hiding?

    Published on Apr 15, 2012 by americanbridge21st

    Why should we believe that Mitt’s got nothing to hide? Between his Swiss bank accounts and off-shore investment funds in the Caymans, don’t you think there’s probably more going on than meets the eye?

    Mitt’s tried to hide his records before, but outcry from citizens like you forced Romney to reveal the truth behind these international bank accounts. Now it’s up to us again to hold Mitt Romney accountable about his tax returns.

    If you haven’t already, please sign our petition calling on Mitt Romney to release his tax records publicly:

  21. CR says:

    Upbeat US indicators help markets recover

    4/16/12 By CARLO PIOVANO | Associated Press – 5 mins a

    LONDON (AP) — Upbeat U.S. economic indicators helped stock markets rise on Monday, offsetting concerns about Spain, which had seen its borrowing rates jump on fears it will eventually need a bailout.

    The Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 0.8 percent in March despite a strong increase in gas prices. Retail sales hit a record high of $411.1 billion, 24 percent higher than the recession low in March 2009.

    The figures are important for global markets because U.S. consumer spending is a major driver of growth. Signs that the U.S. economy was recovering had helped markets post strong gains earlier this year, before hitting a soft patch in the past month.

    Monday’s strong data also encouraged investors look past the flare-up in the debt crisis in the 17-nation eurozone.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/upbeat-us-indicators-help-markets-recover-143627500.html

  22. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Good and HOPEful Monday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

  23. CR says:

    11:30 AM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama attends a campaign event at The Jefferson Hotel
    Washington D.C.

    • CR says:

      Great news Jackie!

      Per MarketWatch “The U.S. economy probably expanded at a 2.6% annual rate during the first three months of the year, according to updated estimates of economists surveyed by MarketWatch, following stronger-than-expected retail sales in March.”

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      Yes!

  24. CR says:

    1:30 PM EDT
    White House Summit on Entrepreneurship
    The White House, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Education co-host a Summit on Entrepreneurship for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) to create awareness and increase entrepreneurial services to minority-serving two- and four-year institutions. Discussions bring together a mix of leaders from HBCUs/MSIs, government experts, and business owners to explore opportunities and support solutions to existing economic challenges within these underserved communities.

    The White House

    • CR says:

      White House Summit on Entrepreneurship Part 1

      Published on Apr 17, 2012 by whitehouse

      The White House, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Education co-host a Summit on Entrepreneurship for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) to create awareness and increase entrepreneurial services to minority-serving two- and four-year institutions. Discussions bring together a mix of leaders from HBCUs/MSIs, government experts, and business owners to explore opportunities and support solutions to existing economic challenges within these underserved communities.

    • CR says:

      White House Summit on Entrepreneurship Part 2

      Published on Apr 17, 2012 by whitehouse

      The White House, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Education co-host a Summit on Entrepreneurship for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) to create awareness and increase entrepreneurial services to minority-serving two- and four-year institutions. Discussions bring together a mix of leaders from HBCUs/MSIs, government experts, and business owners to explore opportunities and support solutions to existing economic challenges within these underserved communities.

  25. CR says:

    World Bank Taps Obama Nominee To Be Its President

    4/16/12 by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 1 hour ago

    Jim Yong Kim, an American who is president of Dartmouth College, has been chosen to be the next president of the World Bank. His selection Monday extends the U.S. hold on the top job at the 187-nation development agency.

    Kim, a surprise nominee of President Obama, was selected in a vote by the World Bank’s 25-member executive board. He’ll succeed Robert Zoellick, who’s stepping down after a five year term.

    Developing nations waged an unsuccessful challenge to Kim, 52, a physician and pioneer in treating HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in the developing world.

    Kim’s selection marks a break from previous World Bank leaders who were typically political, legal or economic figures.

    The World Bank raises money from its member nations and borrows from investors to provide low-cost loans to developing countries.

    Developing countries had put forward two candidates for the post Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo.

    Both had argued that it was time to break the hold the United States has had on the World Bank job and provide a greater voice for developing nations.

    Kim will begin a five-year term in July. Born in South Korea, Kim is an American who moved to the United States with his family at age 5. His selection extends the tradition of Americans leading the World Bank, dating to the institution’s founding in 1944.

    Kim was in Lima, Peru, on Monday — the latest stop in a global tour that has taken him to Africa, Asia and Latin America to try to build support among developing countries.

    He and the other candidates were interviewed by the World Bank’s board last week. In his statement to the board, Kim said he had worked throughout his career for “reform and change” and would continue those efforts at the World Bank.

    Obama’s announcement March 23 that Kim would be the U.S. nominee for the World Bank post came as a surprise. His name had not been mentioned as a possible candidate.

    For the entire article: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/16/150730453/world-bank-taps-obama-nominee-to-be-its-president?ft=1&f=1006

    • CR says:

      April 16, 2012

      Statement by the President on the selection of Dr. Jim Yong Kim as World Bank President

      On behalf of the United States, I would like to offer my congratulations to Dr. Jim Yong Kim on his selection as the next President of the World Bank. I am confident that Dr. Kim will be an inclusive leader who will bring to the Bank a passion for and deep knowledge of development, a commitment to sustained economic growth, and the ability to respond to complex challenges and seize new opportunities. I appreciate the strong support offered to Dr. Kim from leaders around the world.

      I am also pleased that this has been an open and transparent process, and would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding qualifications and commitment of the other two candidates. I look forward to working with Dr. Kim and our partners throughout the world in support of a strong and effective World Bank.

  26. CR says:

    The Buffett Rule Would Make Sure Everyone Plays by the Same Rules

    Megan Slack April 16, 2012 02:40 PM EDT

    The share of national income earned by the very wealthiest Americans in recent years is among the highest it’s been since the 1920s. The top one percent of households—the wealthiest one out of every 100—now takes home 17 percent of the national income. The top .1 percent—the wealthiest one out of every 1,000 households—makes more than 7 percent of the national income.

    Meanwhile, the average tax rate, including federal income and payroll taxes, for that.1percent has dropped a stunning 50 percent over the last 50 years, from 51 percent to 26 percent. This is nearly the lowest rate in over 50 years and is, in fact, one-half the rate they would have paid in 1960. Tax rates for middle-class families, who are earning a smaller percentage of the national income, have actually increased slightly during the same period.

    President Obama has proposedt the Buffett Rule to make sure that everyone does their fair share and plays by the same rules, so that millionaires and billionaires pay at least the same share of their income in taxes as middle class families pay.

    For more information:

    * Find out how many millionaires paid a lower tax rate than you did

    * The Buffett Rule Explained

    * Your Federal Taxpayer Receipt: Understand how and where your federal tax dollars are spent

    income_growth_buffet_rule_chart

  27. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    Republicans to slash food stamps

    By DAVID ROGERS | 4/16/12 12:04 PM EDT

    Food stamps moved front-and-center in the budget wars Monday morning, as House Republicans began rolling out a first wave of $33.2 billion in 10-year savings that will have an immediate impact in the farm bill debate and come November, the 2012 elections.

    An average family of four faces an 11 percent cut in monthly benefits after Sept. 1, and even more important is the tighter enforcement of rules demanding that households exhaust most of their savings before qualifying for help. This hits hardest among the long-term unemployed, many of whom never before used the aid –now titled SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)—but have found it valuable in trying to stay afloat in the current recession.

    Indeed food stamp enrollment and costs have exploded since the financial collapse four years ago, making SNAP a target for the right— but also far bigger political issue in swing states like Florida, Nevada and Ohio.

    National food stamp enrollment reached 46.4 million people in January 2012, a nearly two-thirds increase from the average participation in fiscal 2008. The annual costs—now running in excess of $80 billion—have more than doubled in the same period. And even the most ardent food stamp proponents will sometimes say SNAP is a program “asked to do too much.”

    The White House deliberately increased monthly benefits in 2009 by about $20 per person as a way to pump stimulus dollars into the economy. And in this post welfare-reform crisis, hard-strapped governors have sought to maximize food stamp dollars as a cheap way to help families without tapping state funds.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75190.html

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      Compassion is not a plank in the GOP platform. Neither is the common sense that people need to have money to spend in order to renew the economy.

  28. CR says:

    WH

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    All Times Eastern

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

    11:00 AM
    11:10 AM
    President Obama Speaks on Plan to Increase Oversight and Crack Down on Manipulation in the Oil Market
    The White House

    11:30 AM
    President Obama meets with senior advisers.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    12:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee event
    The Pinnacle at Symphony Place
    Nashville, Tennessee

    12:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    The President meets with Secretary Geithner; the Vice President also attends
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    3:00 PM
    3:30 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama meets with service members and their families from the 911th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command and the 171st Air Refueling Wing.
    Pittsburgh International Airport
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    4:00 PM
    4:30 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    4:50 PM
    President Obama honors Tony Stewart’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
    White House
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    7:00 PM
    7:45 PM
    Vice President Biden speaks at a campaign fundraiser
    Washington D.C.

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      April 17, 2012

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

      11:10 AM EDT
      President Obama Speaks on Plan to Increase Oversight and Crack Down on Manipulation in the Oil Market
      The White House

      12:30 PM EDT
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

      4:50 PM EDT
      President Obama honors Tony Stewart’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
      White House

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      8:30 AM EDT
      The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee holds a hearing on the GSA’s spending practices

      10:00 AM EDT
      The House Energy and Commerce Committee will mark up a pair of bills designed to serve as platforms for criticism of the administration energy policies.

      10:00 AM EDT
      Senate Committee Judiciary
      Racial Profiling

      10:15 AM EDT
      Discovery heads to new home
      Space shuttle Discovery, strapped atop a NASA jetliner, arrives at Dulles International Airport outside Washington en route to its permanent home at the Smithsonian.

      11:00 AM EDT
      Pentagon Navy briefing
      The U.S. Navy will hold a briefing on the Pacific Partnership, one of the largest annual humanitarian and civic action missions in the Asia-Pacific region.

      11:10 AM EDT
      President Obama Speaks on Plan to Increase Oversight and Crack Down on Manipulation in the Oil Market
      The White House

      12:30 PM EDT
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

      4:50 PM EDT
      President Obama honors Tony Stewart’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
      White House

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      8:30 AM EDT
      The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee holds a hearing on the GSA’s spending practices http://www.c-span.org/Events/Hearing-Examines-GSAs-Management-and-Spending-Practices/10737429922/

      10:00 AM EDT
      The House Energy and Commerce Committee will mark up a pair of bills designed to serve as platforms for criticism of the administration energy policies.

      10:00 AM EDT
      House Ways and Means Cmte. Studies Retirement Options http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-Ways-and-Means-Cmte-Studies-Retirement-Options/10737429938/

      10:00 AM EDT
      Senate Committee Judiciary
      Racial Profiling http://www.c-span.org/Events/Senators-Discuss-Racial-Profiling-in-America/10737429920/

      10:15 AM EDT
      Discovery heads to new home
      Space shuttle Discovery, strapped atop a NASA jetliner, arrives at Dulles International Airport outside Washington en route to its permanent home at the Smithsonian. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Space-Shuttle-to-Fly-Over-Washington/10737429925/

      10:30 AM EDT
      Senate Subcmte. Reviews Proposed Wartime Contracting Bill http://www.c-span.org/Events/Senate-Subcmte-Reviews-Proposed-Wartime-Contracting-Bill/10737429937/

      11:00 AM EDT
      Pentagon Navy briefing
      The U.S. Navy will hold a briefing on the Pacific Partnership, one of the largest annual humanitarian and civic action missions in the Asia-Pacific region.

      11:10 AM EDT
      President Obama Speaks on Plan to Increase Oversight and Crack Down on Manipulation in the Oil Market
      The White House http://www.c-span.org/Events/Pres-Obama-Discusses-Oil-Market-Manipulation/10737429952/

      12:30 PM EDT
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

      4:50 PM EDT
      President Obama honors Tony Stewart’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
      White House

  29. CR says:

    President Obama to Honor NASCAR Champion at the White House

    WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, April 17, President Obama will welcome Tony Stewart and the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to the White House to honor Tony Stewart’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. The President will also recognize the efforts by Tony Stewart and NASCAR to give back to their community as part of their visit, continuing the tradition begun by President Obama of honoring athletes and sports teams for their efforts on and off the field.

  30. CR says:

    April 17, 2012 – The United States will cede wartime control of the military of South Korea after 50 years and dissolve the Combined Forces Command. Two distinct military commands (South Korea and the United States) will operate in Korea during wartime, rather than one unified command under the Combined Forces Command

    Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/02/24/us-korea-usa-forces-idUSN2332126220070224

  31. CR says:

    March 29, 2012

    Statement by the Press Secretary on House Passage of the 90-Day Surface Transportation Extension

    While it is critical that we not put American jobs and safety at risk and hurt our economic recovery by allowing funding to run out, it is not enough for us to continue to patch together our nation’s infrastructure future with short-term band-aids. States and cities need certainty to plan ahead and America’s construction workers deserve the peace of mind that they won’t have to worry about their jobs every few months.

    The Senate has done its part, passing a bipartisan bill with 52 Democrats and 22 Republicans that would keep American workers on the job maintaining our roads, bridges, and railways. As soon as the House gets back to work, they should do their part and pass that bill in similarly bipartisan fashion.

  32. CR says:

    2012 Tax Season with Deadline Extended to April 17

    IR-2012-1, Jan. 4, 2012

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today opened the 2012 tax filing season by announcing that taxpayers have until April 17 to file their tax returns. The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file as it is the best way to ensure accurate tax returns and get faster refunds.

    The IRS also announced a number of improvements to help make this tax season easy for taxpayers. This includes new navigation features and helpful information on IRS.gov and a new pilot to allow taxpayers to use interactive video to get help with tax issues.

    “At the IRS, we’re working hard to make the process of filing your taxes as quick and easy as possible,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “Providing quality service is one of our top priorities. It not only reduces the burden on taxpayers, but also helps in filing an accurate return right from the start.”

    Taxpayers will have until Tuesday, April 17, to file their 2011 tax returns and pay any tax due because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, falls this year on Monday, April 16. According to federal law, District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do; therefore, all taxpayers will have two extra days to file this year. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 15 to file their 2012 tax returns.

    The IRS expects to receive more than 144 million individual tax returns this year, with most of those being filed by the April 17 deadline.

    The IRS will begin accepting e-file and Free File returns on Jan. 17, 2012.

    For the entire article: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=251825,00.html

  33. CR says:

    obama_prousa_growth_despite_gop

    President Obama is slowly bringing America back despite the GOP, Rove and their croonies trying everything in their power to stymie PBO.

  34. CR says:

    ‘Buffett Rule’ is rejected by Senate in symbolic vote

    4/16/12 By Rachel Rose Hartman | The Ticket – 2 hrs 5 mins ago

    Senate Republicans on Monday voted to block the advancement of “Buffett Rule” legislation, offering Democrats new political fodder as they continue to paint the Republican party as the protectors of America’s wealthiest earners at the expense of the middle-class.

    “Republicans in Congress would rather end Medicare as we know it and slash education funding than ask the richest of the rich to contribute even a penny more,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said earlier Monday during a Senate floor speech.

    Senate Democrats failed to garner the 60 votes required to advance Democratic-backed legislation requiring those earning at least $2 million per year to pay an income tax rate of at least 30 percent. That rate increase would be phased in for those making $1 million or more under the proposed legislation.

    The president and Democrats in Washington have been pushing to put the “Buffett Rule” (named after billionaire Warren Buffett) to a vote in recent weeks to drive a wedge between the parties. The president on Friday released his 2011 tax filings which showed the president pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

    Both sides expected Monday’s vote to fail– turning it into a mostly symbolic action.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/buffett-rule-rejected-senate-symbolic-vote-224510145.html

    • CR says:

      April 16, 2012

      Statement by the President on the Buffett Rule

      Tonight, Senate Republicans voted to block the Buffett Rule, choosing once again to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest few Americans at the expense of the middle class.

      The Buffett Rule is common sense. At a time when we have significant deficits to close and serious investments to make to strengthen our economy, we simply cannot afford to keep spending money on tax cuts that the wealthiest Americans don’t need and didn’t ask for. But it’s also about basic fairness – it’s just plain wrong that millions of middle-class Americans pay a higher share of their income in taxes than some millionaires and billionaires. America prospers when we’re all in it together and everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

      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 I will continue to push Congress to take steps to not only restore economic security for the middle class and those trying to reach the middle class, but also to create an economy that’s built to last.

  35. CR says:

    House Investigator Issa Has Faced Allegations As Well

    4/16/12 by ANDREA SEABROOK – NPR

    The man driving the investigation into the General Services Administration, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, took the top seat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after the GOP won a majority in 2010.

    Issa has led several splashy investigations since. But he’s also been dogged by allegations of his own.

    Issa has made news in recent months by threatening to subpoena Attorney General Eric Holder, and by calling a panel of only men to talk about women’s contraception.

    The Car Alarm Voice

    Issa made his fortune building and selling Viper car alarms. He is the wealthiest member of Congress, worth as much as $450 million. In fact, it’s Issa’s voice on the popular alarm’s signature warning to would-be thieves: “Protected by Viper. Stand back.”

    What’s less well known is how Issa got into car alarms in the first place.

    “For years I used to tell everyone that I went into it because my brother was a car thief. Then they found out when I ran for office my brother did spend time in prison as a car thief, and it ruined the whole joke I’d had for 20 years in business,” Issa said during an interview with WhoRunsGov.

    Issa himself was accused several times of auto theft. In the early 1970s, he and his brother were arrested after police suspected them of stealing a Maserati sports car from a dealership in Cleveland. Issa says the police mistook his identity, and the charges were later dismissed.

    Another time, Issa was arrested and eventually pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon. Police found a handgun and a tear-gas gun — plus ammunition for both — in Issa’s glove compartment.

    Questions In The Past

    These stories first arose when Issa ran for the Senate in 1998. An investigative reporter named Lance Williams was looking into the then-candidate’s biography.

    “He had been a soldier, and he claimed that he was part of an elite bomb detecting unit that guarded President Nixon at the 1971 World Series,” said Williams.

    Williams called up the Nixon Presidential Library, and was told that Nixon hadn’t gone to any World Series games that year. Then Williams looked into Issa’s purportedly stellar career in the Army.

    “The biography that he was providing the press in the context of his campaign was all wrong. He had a bad conduct rating. He was demoted, and a fellow soldier accused him of stealing his car,” said Williams.

    Issa eventually took over the company that built car alarms.

    Ryan Lizza, a reporter for The New Yorker magazine, detailed Issa’s early business moves in a 2011 story.

    The Fire

    Issa had a warehouse full of electronics that, one night in 1982, caught fire. Investigators later found “suspicious burn patterns,” Lizza reported, and found that Issa had done some odd things.

    A co-worker claimed that before the fire, Issa had put important electronic prototypes in a fireproof box, and that he’d removed the business’s computer and financial files from the building. Investigators also found that less than three weeks before the blaze, Issa had increased the company’s fire insurance from $100,000 to more than $400,000.

    “So you add the more than quadrupling of the insurance along with the taking the computer and putting the other stuff in a fireproof box, and you can see why both the arson investigators and the insurance investigators pointed a finger, you know, at Issa after this fire,” said Lizza.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/16/150739985/house-investigator-issa-has-faced-allegations-as-well

    • Kat 4 Obama says:

      Holy cow. One of the commenters on the NPR story quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”

  36. COS says:

    This is a fantastic thread CR. Thanks.

  37. CR says:

    Instant View: March housing starts fall, new permits surge

    4/17/12 7:45 AM ET Reuters

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Groundbreaking on homes fell unexpectedly in March, but permits for future construction rose to their highest level in 3 1/2 years, Commerce Department data showed on Tuesday.

    COMMENTS:
    ESINER, CHIEF MARKET ANALYST, COMMONWEALTH FOREIGN EXCHANGE, WASHINGTON
    “The housing data was mixed. On the one hand housing starts came in below expectations and on the other hand it was a strong month for permits, which bodes well for the months ahead. So the rise in permits kind of offsets the disappointing data. On balance it should not mean much for the market as investors remain focused on Europe and Spain in particular.”

    VIMOMBI NSHOM, ECONOMIST, IFR ECONOMICS, A UNIT OF THOMSON REUTERS
    “Housing starts realized a surprisingly large shift in activity in March, when the market was expecting a relatively small gain, as starts dropped a noted 5.8% fell to 654k. Permits also surprised, beating market expectations by jumping 4.5% to 747k. March is the second straight month permits have risen while starts lost momentum. Seeing as how permits lead construction, there should be an upwards correction in forthcoming starts figures. Despite the decline, starts are up 10.3% from March 2011. Permits, having assumed a stronger rising trend (down twice in the past seven months, while starts have been down in four month), are up 30.1% from last March.”

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

  38. CR says:

    World growth improves slightly but still very fragile: IMF

    4/17/12 By Stella Dawson | Reuters – 30 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Global growth is slowly improving as recovery in the United States gains traction and dangers from Europe recede, but risks remain elevated and the gains are very fragile, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

    Another flare-up of the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis or sharp escalation in oil prices on geopolitical uncertainty could easily undermine confidence and disrupt the improving growth path for world economy, the IMF said.

    “With the passing of the crisis and some good news about the U.S. economy, some optimism has returned. It should remain tempered,” said Oliver Blanchard, the IMF’s chief economist, in the latest World Economic Outlook.

    “Even absent another European crisis, most advanced economies still face major brakes on growth. And the risk of another crisis is still very much present and could well affect both advanced and emerging economies,” he said.

    The global economy is on track to expand this year by 3.5 percent and by 4.1 percent in 2013, up slightly from 3.3 percent and 3.9 percent GDP output respectively that the IMF had forecast in January, when market concern was rampant that Greece could default and Italy and Spain were facing budget crises.

    Since then, Greece has restructured its debt, Italy and Spain are adopting tough fiscal measures and euro-zone leaders have agreed to enlarge their bailout fund, causing financial market tensions to ease.

    The United States, meanwhile, is gradually gaining momentum while China and other emerging economies appear on track for gradual slowdowns without crashing, it said.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/world-growth-improves-slightly-still-very-fragile-imf-132023782–business.html

  39. CR says:

    U.S. Industrial Production Was Unchanged for Second Month

    Apr 17, 2012 6:36 AM PT By Timothy R. Homan – bloomberg

    Industrial production in the U.S. was unchanged in March for a second month as a slowdown at factories was offset by a pickup in utility use.

    The output last month at factories, mines and utilities compared with a median projection for a 0.3 percent increase in a Bloomberg News survey of economists, data from the Federal Reserve showed today in Washington. Manufacturing, which makes up about 75 percent of total production, dropped 0.2 percent in March, the most since April 2011.

    Weaker economies in Europe and parts of Asia may temper overseas orders at the same time companies in the U.S. reduce the rate of inventory building, limiting the pace of factory output. Business purchases of new equipment are helping sustain gains in manufacturing, which grew in the first quarter at the fastest pace since the second quarter of 2010.

    For the entire article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-17/u-s-industrial-production-was-little-changed-for-second-month.html

  40. CR says:

    The top 10 fastest-growing U.S. industries (Hint: Think hot sauce)

    4/17/12 By Brad Plumer – washingtonpost

    The future of the U.S. economy, apparently, is hot sauces and self-tanning creams. Last week, we looked at the nation’s top 10 dying industries — everything from DVD rentals to, uh, newspapers. But now IBIS World is out with a new report (pdf) on the 10 fastest-growing industries:

    1. Generic pharmaceuticals
    2. Solar panel manufacturing
    3. For-profit universities
    4. Pilates and yoga studios
    5. Self-tanning product manufacturing
    6. 3-D printer manufacturing
    7. Social network game development
    8. Hot sauce production
    9. Green and sustainable building construction
    10. Online eyeglasses sales

    Continue Reading »http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-top-10-fastest-growing-us-industries-hint-think-hot-sauce/2012/04/17/gIQAqzZpNT_blog.html

  41. CR says:

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

  42. CR says:

    Next Up…

    11:10 AM EDT
    President Obama Speaks on Plan to Increase Oversight and Crack Down on Manipulation in the Oil Market
    The White House

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/Pres-Obama-Discusses-Oil-Market-Manipulation/10737429952/

    • CR says:

      April 17, 2012

      Remarks by the President on Increasing Oversight on Manipulation in Oil Markets

      Rose Garden

      11:27 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. Lately, I’ve been speaking a lot about our need for an all-of-the-above strategy for American energy — a strategy that produces more oil and gas here at home, but also produces more biofuels and fuel-efficient cars, more solar power and wind power and other sources of clean, renewable energy.

      This strategy is not just the right thing to do for our long-term economic growth; it’s also the right way for us to reduce our dependence on foreign oil right now. It’s the right way for us to put people to work right now. And ultimately, it’s the right way to stop spikes in gas prices that we’ve put up [with] every single year — the same kind of increase that we’ve seen over the past couple of months.

      Obviously rising gas prices means a rough ride for a lot of families. Whether you’re trying to get to school, trying to get to work, do some grocery shopping, you have to be able to fill up that gas tank. And there are families in certain parts of the country that have no choice but to drive 50 or 60 miles to get to the job. So when gas prices go up, it’s like an additional tax that comes right out of your pocket.

      That’s one of the reasons we passed a payroll tax cut at the beginning of this year and made sure it extended all the way through this year, so that the average American is getting that extra $40 in every paycheck right now.

      But I think everybody understands that there are no quick fixes to this problem. There are politicians who say that if we just drilled more then gas prices would come down right away. What they don’t say is that we have been drilling more. Under my administration, America is producing more oil than at any time in the last eight years. We’ve opened up new areas for exploration. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to circle the Earth and then some.

      But as I’ve said repeatedly, the problem is we use more than 20 percent of the world’s oil and we only have 2 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. Even if we drilled every square inch of this country right now, we’d still have to rely disproportionately on other countries for their oil. That means we pay more at the pump every time there’s instability in the Middle East, or growing demand in countries like China and India.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/17/remarks-president-increasing-oversight-manipulation-oil-markets

    • CR says:

      April 17, 2012

      Fact Sheet: Increasing Oversight and Cracking Down on Manipulation in Oil Markets

      At a time when instability in the Middle East is contributing to rising global oil prices that impact consumers at the pump, it is critically important to give American families confidence that illegal manipulation, fraud and market rigging are not contributing to gas price increases.

      President Obama has already taken significant action to step up oversight of oil markets and close dangerous loopholes that for too long allowed energy traders to operate in the shadows. Early on in the Administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) moved to close the “Enron” and “London” loopholes, which previously allowed traders to evade oversight by using electronic and overseas platforms. Through Wall Street Reform, the President fought for new position limits to ensure that no single trader can manipulate oil markets and to enhance the CFTC’s anti-manipulation authorities. And at the President’s direction, the Attorney General has been working to ensure that enforcement agencies are exercising their full authorities through the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group. (See Appendix for full record).

      Today, the Administration is going further – announcing new steps to strengthen oversight of energy markets while calling on Congress to pass a package of measures that would deter illegal behavior and hold accountable those who manipulate markets for financial gain at the expense of consumers. Congress should act immediately on these measures to ensure that illegal manipulation by financial traders is not contributing to prices at the pump.

      The President’s Five-Part Plan Includes:

      1. Requesting Immediate Funding to Put More “Cops on the Beat” Overseeing Oil Markets

      2. Funding Critical Technology Upgrades in the Oversight and Surveillance of Energy Market Activity

      3. Substantially Increasing Civil and Criminal Penalties for Manipulation in Key Energy Markets

      4. Empowering the CFTC to Raise Margin Requirements in Oil Futures Markets

      5. Taking Immediate Steps to Expand Access to CFTC Data to Better Understand Trading Trends in Oil Markets

      CRACKING DOWN ON MANIPULATION IN OIL MARKETS

      Details of the Administration’s Five Part Plan

      1. Immediate Funding to Put More “Cops on the Beat” Overseeing Oil Markets

      2. Critical Technology Upgrades in the Oversight and Surveillance of Energy Market Activity

      3. Increased Civil and Criminal Penalties for Manipulation in Key Energy Markets:

      4. New Authorities for the CFTC to Raise Margin Requirements in Oil Futures Markets

      5. Immediate Steps to Expand Access to CFTC Data to Better Understand Trading Trends in Oil Markets

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/17/fact-sheet-increasing-oversight-and-cracking-down-manipulation-oil-marke

    • CR says:

      7:45 PM EDDT
      Vice President Biden speaks at a campaign fundraiser
      Washington D.C.

  43. CR says:

    April 13, 2012

    Executive Order — Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources

    EXECUTIVE ORDER

    SUPPORTING SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT OF UNCONVENTIONAL DOMESTIC NATURAL GAS RESOURCES

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to coordinate the efforts of Federal agencies responsible for overseeing the safe and responsible development of unconventional domestic natural gas resources and associated infrastructure and to help reduce our dependence on oil, it is hereby ordered as follows:

    Section 1. Policy. In 2011, natural gas provided 25 percent of the energy consumed in the United States. Its production creates jobs and provides economic benefits to the entire domestic production supply chain, as well as to chemical and other manufacturers, who benefit from lower feedstock and energy costs. By helping to power our transportation system, greater use of natural gas can also reduce our dependence on oil. And with appropriate safeguards, natural gas can provide a cleaner source of energy than other fossil fuels.

    For these reasons, it is vital that we take full advantage of our natural gas resources, while giving American families and communities confidence that natural and cultural resources, air and water quality, and public health and safety will not be compromised.

    While natural gas production is carried out by private firms, and States are the primary regulators of onshore oil and gas activities, the Federal Government has an important role to play by regulating oil and gas activities on public and Indian trust lands, encouraging greater use of natural gas in transportation, supporting research and development aimed at improving the safety of natural gas development and transportation activities, and setting sensible, cost-effective public health and environmental standards to implement Federal law and augment State safeguards.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/13/executive-order-supporting-safe-and-responsible-development-unconvention

  44. CR says:

    12:00 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee event
    The Pinnacle at Symphony Place
    Nashville, Tennessee

    • CR says:

      April 17, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at a Campaign Event

      The Pinnacle at Symphony Place
      Nashville, Tennessee

      12:36 P.M. CDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Oh, my goodness. (Applause.) Wow. Well, thank you all so much. (Applause.) Oh, my goodness. I cannot tell you all — oh, please, rest yourselves. (Applause.) Rest yourselves. That is so kind.

      I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be here with all of you. And this beautiful view — we should just turn around and look outside for a little bit. (Laughter.)

      Of course, I want to start by thanking Nicole. Words cannot express — (applause) — just a powerful statement. And as a child with a dad with MS, I can only imagine, which is why this work is so important, and there is so much at stake. So we have to give her another round of applause. And William! Yay for William for having an amazing mom. (Applause.)

      I want to recognize a few other people who are here as well — Representative Steve Cohen; Mayor Dean is here. (Applause.) I want to thank the both of you for your service and for taking the time to join us here today.

      I want to give a wonderful hello to my dear friend, Bishop Vashti McKenzie; she’s one of our national co-chairs. (Applause.) And she has just been amazing, just a wonderful ally on so many things that I have done. And to all of the members of the Host Committee for organizing this magnificent event — thank you all for your tremendous work. Thank you so much. (Applause.)

      And of course, I want to thank the one and only Emmylou Harris for not just her wonderful performance — (applause) — but she has been an advocate, a fighter, a friend, and we are thrilled that she could join us again, as she has so many other times. Thank you, Emmylou. (Applause.)

      And finally — yeah, I got — you, fanning, you see, I took my sweater off. (Laughter.) Finally, I want to thank all of you for taking the time to be here with us today.

      And I know that there’s a reason why you all took the time out to be here today. You’re here because you know that next November, we are going to make a choice that will impact our lives for decades to come — I cannot say that enough. (Applause.) And I know that you’re here because you know that choice won’t just affect all of us; as Nicole said, it’s going to affect our children and our grandchildren, and it’s going to impact the world we leave behind for them long after we’re gone.

      And that’s why I’m here today as well. That’s why I am going to be out there on the campaign trail like nobody has ever seen. (Laughter and applause.)

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/17/remarks-first-lady-campaign-event

  45. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Good and HOPEful Tuesday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

  46. CR says:

    Securing Equal Pay

    Posted by Cecilia Muñoz on April 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM EDT

    Today – Tuesday, April 17 – is Equal Pay Day, which marks the fact that, nearly 50 years since President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the average woman still has to work well into the calendar year to earn what the average man earned last year. According to the latest U.S. Census statistics, on average, full-time working women earned 77 cents to every dollar earned by men, and the gap is significantly more for women of color. This substantial gap is more than a mere statistic. It has real-life consequences. Women, who compose nearly half of the workforce, are bringing home 23 percent less than their male counterparts – which means less for families’ everyday needs, less for investments in our children’s futures, and, when added up over a lifetime of work, substantially less for retirement.

    President Obama understands how much this issue impacts our nation’s economic well-being, and that’s why, from his earliest days in office, he has been committed to closing the pay gap. Today, in conjunction with Equal Pay Day, we are proud to announce the following additional initiatives:

    1) The White House released the Equal Pay Task Force Accomplishments Report: Fighting for Fair Pay in the Workplace.

    2) Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced the winners of the “Equal Pay App Challenge

    3) In our ongoing effort to educate employees and employers about their rights and responsibilities under our nation’s equal pay laws, the Department of Labor today published two brochures that will educate employees regarding their rights under the existing equal pay laws and enable employers to understand their obligations.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/17/securing-equal-pay

    • CR says:

      FACT SHEET: Fighting for Equal Pay

      From the very beginning of his administration, President Obama has worked to ensure that women are paid fairly for their work. The President is committed to securing equal pay for equal work because it’s a matter of fair play, and because American families and the health of our nation’s economy depends on it. Today – Tuesday, April 17 – is Equal Pay Day, which marks the fact that, nearly 50 years since President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the average woman still has to work well into the calendar year to earn what the average man earned last year.

      Today, in conjunction with Equal Pay Day:
      The White House released the Equal Pay Task Force Accomplishments Report: Fighting for Fair Pay in the Workplace. The Equal Pay Task Force brings together the best expertise of professionals at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor and the Office of Personnel Management, who work daily to combat pay discrimination in the workplace. The report details the significant progress that the Task Force has made to fight pay discrimination – including improving inter-agency coordination and collaboration to ensure that the full weight of the federal government is focused on closing the gender pay gap once and for all.

      Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced the winners of the “Equal Pay App Challenge.” In January of this year, the Department of Labor, in conjunction with the Equal Pay Task Force, launched this challenge, inviting software developers to use publicly available data and resources to create applications that accomplish at least one of the following goals: provide greater access to pay data organized by gender, race, and ethnicity; provide interactive tools for early career coaching or online mentoring or to help inform negotiations. A solution to the pay gap has been elusive, in part because access to basic information – e.g., typical salary ranges and skill level requirements for particular positions, advice on how to negotiate appropriate pay – is limited. Because of the enthusiastic response to the “Equal Pay App Challenge” and the creative apps that were developed, anyone with a smartphone, tablet or computer can access answers to these basic, but important, questions. This challenge represents just one more way that women can empower themselves with the tools they need to make sure they get equal pay for equal work. Representatives from the Equal Pay Task Force will be participating in a Twitter chat on Friday, April 20th, at 12pm EDT to discuss the App Challenge and the winning apps. Follow the hashtag #EqualPayChat for this discussion.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/17/fact-sheet-fighting-equal-pay

  47. 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

  48. CR says:

    Michelle Obama: Trayvon Martin’s death ‘a tremendous loss’

    4/17/12 2:25 PM EDT POLITICO44

    First lady Michelle Obama weighed in on the Travyon Martin case in an interview with NPR broadcast on Thursday.

    “My heart goes out to the parents, because we all as parents understand the tragedy of that kind of loss, and I think that’s really the thing that most people connect to,” Obama said. “And it’s important for us not to lose sight of the fact that this is a family that’s grieving and there’s been a tremendous loss. And we all have to rally around that piece of it.”

    Obama also said that the incident was part of the ongoing American conversation on race, a “complicated” conversation that can’t only happen when there’s a high profile incident.

    “Talking is good. Conversations have to be forever. You know, they can’t come in spits and starts when there’s an incident. I think we all need, as a country, to continue to talk about these issues, to understand our communities and the challenges that we face, which are different and unique depending upon where you live,” Obama said.

    “It’s all about, you know, continuing to get to know ourselves in a very diverse and complicated country that is America. It is a wonderful place to live. But because it is so diverse, our challenges are complex. So there isn’t, you know, a one-shot solution to this. It is complicated. It takes time. It takes openness. It takes compassion. It takes patience. And it takes a lot of work. So we should all be ready to roll up our sleeves and keep doing that work,” Obama said.

  49. CR says:

    3:30 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama meets with servicemembers and their families from the 911th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command and the 171st Air Refueling Wing.
    Pittsburgh International Airport
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  50. CR says:

    White House Announces First Google+ Photowalk: Spring Garden Tour

    Kori SchulmanApril 17, 2012 01:23 PM EDT

    Today, we’re excited to announce our first Google+ photowalk at the White House. Photo enthusiasts and White House followers on Google+ are invited to join us for the 2012 Spring White House Garden Tour, a tradition since Pat Nixon first opened the White House gardens in 1972.

    The President and Mrs. Obama are committed to opening the doors of the White House to all Americans. Google+ photowalks bring the online community offline to photograph places and events around the world. The White House Garden Tour Photowalk will take place in the morning on Saturday, April 21st and are invited to tour and photograph the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden and the South Lawn. They’ll also visit the White House Kitchen Garden – the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden. With the Garden Tour Photowalk, people across the country and around the world will be able to tour the White House grounds in pictures on Google+.

    Interested in joining? Here’s how you can apply through Google+:

    * Share a favorite nature or garden photo that you have taken on Google+ with the tag #WHPhotowalk

    * Briefly tell us why you’d like to join the White House Garden Tour Photowalk

    * Make sure that you follow the White House on Google+

    If selected, you will receive a message via Google+ with additional information no later than Wednesday, April 18th at 5 p.m. ET.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/17/white-house-announces-first-google-photowalk-spring-garden-tour

  51. CR says:

    4:30 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    • CR says:

      April 17, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at a Campaign Event

      Three Rivers Club, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      5:03 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Wow. Yes! (Applause.) Pittsburgh! Now let me tell you — (applause) — I have to say, every time we come around — or come through it, and we — you step out into this magnificent city, it just takes your breath away. And today was no exception. This is a beautiful day in this glorious city, and it is such a pleasure and an honor to be here with all of you. Thank you so much.

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Michelle.

      MRS. OBAMA: Love you guys. Love you guys. (Applause.)

      I want to start by thanking Betsy for that very kind and right-on-point introduction and for her outstanding work. Thank you so much, Betsy. (Applause.) Yay for Betsy! (Applause.)

      And I know that they had to leave early to make it to our next event, but I also want to recognize County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Ravenstahl, who were here. I want to thank them for their leadership and for their service. I also want to acknowledge the state party chair, Jim Burn, and I want to thank him for his terrific work. Thank you, Jim.

      And I want to give a good-old shoutout to Cliff and to Lazar for — and to the entire Host Committee — (applause) — all of you for making this such a successful event. Thank you guys so much.

      And finally, I want to thank all of you. I want to thank you for your support. I want to thank you for your love, for your prayers. Thank you for being here today.

      And I know that there’s a reason that you’re all here, and it’s not just to see me — while I’m happy that you’re here. We’re here because we all know that next November we’re going to make a choice that will impact our lives for decades to come. We know this. You’re here because you know that choice will not just affect all of us in this room, but it’s going to affect our children, it’s going to affect our grandchildren, and it’s going to impact the world we leave for them long after we’re gone. And trust me, that is why I’m here today as well, and that’s why I am going to be campaigning like nobody’s business all over this country for the next six and a half months. (Applause.)

      One of the great things I’ve had the privilege of doing as First Lady is traveling across our magnificent country, meeting folks from all different backgrounds and hearing what’s going on in their daily lives. And every day, I hear about how people are working to try to keep it together. Everyone, struggling to make ends meet; how they’re trying to pay the bills; about the businesses they’re trying to keep afloat; about the home they love but are struggling to afford.

      But no matter what they’re going through, no matter what the challenges they face, they keep on working and sacrificing because they desperately want something better for their kids. That’s what we all do. We’re all here for our kids. Folks across America believe in the fundamental vision for our economy that we all share — the idea, as your President says, that hard work should pay off, that responsibility should be rewarded — things we teach our kids — that everyone should get a fair shot, do their fair share, play by the same rules.

      See, those values are the foundation for an economy built to last. And more importantly, they’re basic American values, the values — yes — that so many of us were raised with, including myself.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/17/remarks-first-lady-campaign-event-0

  52. CR says:

    Next Up..

    4:50 PM EDT
    President Obama honors Tony Stewart’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
    White House

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    • CR says:

      April 17, 2012

      Remarks by the President Honoring 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart

      South Lawn

      4:50 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much, everybody. Please, please have a seat. Welcome to the White House. And congratulations to Tony Stewart on his third Sprint Cup Championship. You can give him a round of applause for that. (Applause.) It is great to have NASCAR back in Washington.

      I want to thank Brian France and Mike Helton for their leadership. We’ve got some members of Congress who are big racing fans who are here. We’ve got some of my staff who are big racing fans who are here. I also want to welcome the rest of the drivers who are with us — the best of the best right here. Thank you all for coming. We really appreciate it. (Applause.)

      Now, full disclosure: I invited Tony here today because of what he did on the track. But I was also hoping he would give me some tips on the media, because he’s got that quiet, reserved personality — (laughter) — and I was figuring I’d stay out of trouble if Tony gave me some advice on that.

      It’s good to see Number 14 on the South Lawn. Every year I try to take a lap; nobody lets me do it. (Laughter.) But I am still holding out hope that, at some point, I’m going to be able to get behind the wheel.

      A few years ago, Jimmie Johnson showed up and showed me how to start one of these cars up, explained how everything worked. It was impressive. But what was even more impressive is he got in and got out dressed like he is now, and he did not rip his suit — (laughter) — which took some skill.

      And I do want to acknowledge Jimmie because, even though his five-year streak is over, I think we can all acknowledge he is one of the all-time greats. And I know he is itching to take the title back. So congratulations, Jimmie, on everything that you’ve done. (Applause.)

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/17/remarks-president-honoring-2011-nascar-sprint-cup-champion-tony-stewart

  53. CR says:

    6:30 PM EDT
    First Lady delivers remarks at a Campaign Event
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    • CR says:

      April 17, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at a Campaign Event

      Private Residence
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      6:36 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Well, thank you. (Applause.) Thanks so much. I can’t tell what a pleasure it is to be here. Pittsburgh, I love this city, I really do. And that’s true — there are no cameras here. I mean, I always talk about the fact that this is such a surprising diamond, and the people here are always so warm. And today, oh, gosh, this is a — what did someone say? — it’s a Chamber of Commerce day, made to order. (Laughter.) But it is beautiful here, and I’m just so pleased to spend this intimate time with all of you.

      And I want to start by thanking Cindy for that very kind introduction. And I want to thank both Cindy and David, and their family, for hosting us here in this beautiful, magnificent setting. I will be moving in. (Laughter.) I think I saw a room down there. I can hang out with the dog. (Laughter.) It’s pretty good, pretty good. So we should give them a round of applause. (Applause.)

      And I also want to recognize Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Ravenstahl, who have been just magnificent since I’ve been here. Thank you all so much for your leadership and your service and your support. (Applause.) Thank you guys so much.

      And I want to thank just everyone who has been involved in making this event such a success — to all the members of the Host Committee, you all, well done. This visit here to this city has just been an absolute success, and I want to thank you all for what you’ve done to make it possible. Thank you so much.

      And to all my friends, all our supporters — most of all, thank you. Thank you for what you have done to make it possible for us to serve this country, and thank you for being here.

      And I know we’re here for a reason. We like to see one another. I’ve got friends I’ve known forever. It’s always good to hang out for our 30 seconds on the rope line, really catch up. (Laughter.) But we’re here because we know that next November we have to make a choice, and it’s a choice that’s going to impact our lives for decades to come. And you also know that this choice won’t just affect all of us, but it’s going to affect our children and our grandchildren, and it’s going to impact the world we leave for them long after we’re gone. I say this again and again: It is about them. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I do what I do. I am just so inspired. You see me — when I see a couple of kids — I can talk to you guys forever. (Laughter.) You’re amazing. And your dog stories were just phenomenal. (Laughter.) But we’re doing it for them.

      And one of the things I get to do as First Lady that is a true privilege is that I get to travel all across the country, meeting folks from different backgrounds and hearing about what’s going on in their daily lives. And every day, I hear about how people are struggling to keep it together — the bills they’re trying to pay; the businesses they’re trying to keep afloat; the home that they love but they’re struggling to afford.

      But no matter what they’re going through, no matter what challenges they face, they just keep on working and sacrificing because they want something better for their kids. That’s what keeps America going. They believe in that fundamental vision for our economy that we all share — the idea that, as Barack says, hard work should pay off, and responsibility should be rewarded — things we teach our children — that everyone should get a fair shot, and do their fair share, and play by the same rules. Right?

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/17/remarks-first-lady-campaign-event-1

  54. CR says:

    Kitchen Garden Fun: Sam Kass Welcomes Chef Alice Waters And Food Corps To White House

    APRIL 18, 2012 obamafoodorama.blog

    Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass had a busier day than usual at the White House on Tuesday, hosting loads of visitors for tours of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Kitchen Garden. His most famous guest: Berkeley, CA’s acclaimed chef Alice Waters. Kass also separately escorted members of the volunteer service organization Food Corps and a group of agriculture journalists through the garden.

    Waters’ White House visit on Tuesday was not, of course, announced to media, but she was on hand as Food Corps got their special tour in the morning. Founder of the famous Chez Panisse restaurant and The Edible Schoolyard project, Waters celebrated the 40th anniversary of her eatery last August, which included having her portrait installed at the Smithsonian. She has visited Kass at the White House before, and he was in Berkeley for her anniversary celebration, too. Waters also cooked at a Campaign fundraiser Mrs. Obama attended in Berkeley last June.

    For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/04/kitchen-garden-fun-sam-kass-welcomes.html

  55. CR says:

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

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ Increasing Oversight & Cracking Down on Manipulation in Oil Markets ”
    **********************

    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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