US National Debt 2012

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$12.7 Trillion Added to the Debt Over the Last Decade

Graph source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/infographics/us-national-debt

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For the last decade, we have spent more money than we take in. In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in the nex tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nationsl’s credit card…To mkae matters worse, the recession meant that there was less money coming in, and it required us to spend even more – on tax cuts for the middle-class families to spur the economy; on unemployment insurance; on aid to states so we could prevent more teachers and firefighters and police officers from being laid off.

Because neither party is blameless for the decision that led to this problem, both parties have a responsibility to solve it.

President Obama

Think Obama’s a huge spender? Then you need to see these two charts.

January 24, 2013 at 9:01 am Posted by Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

On Tuesday, Kevin Drum posted this chart showing the growth in total government spending — that means federal, state and local — adjusted by population (“per capita”).

fed-spending-per-capita-per-president

The takeaway, Drum says, is that “total government spending didn’t go up much during the Clinton era, and it’s actually declined during under President Obama. In the last two decades, it’s only gone up significantly during the Bush era, the same era in which taxes were cut dramatically.”

But some said Drum’s chart was a trick, as it looked at total government spending rather than just federal spending. So on Wednesday, he posted a second chart. This one only included federal spending and it didn’t adjust for population growth. The only thing is adjusts for is inflation. Here it is:

fed-spending-per-president

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/24/think-obamas-a-huge-spender-then-you-need-to-see-these-two-charts/

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Five Things You Should Know About What Steps President Obama has taken in regards to  the National Debt:

1. The Campaign to Cut Waste is hunting down and eliminating misspent tax dollars in every agency and department across the federal government. Already, the Administration has identified $3 billion in information technology cost reductions, is shutting down hundreds of duplicative data centers, and getting rid of excess federal real estate. Learn more

2. For the first time in 13 years, the federal government decreased contract spending. In 2010, contract spending was $80 billion less than it would have been, had it continued to grow at the same rate as it did under the Bush Administration. Learn more
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3. In the 2012 Budget, the President proposed 211 terminations, reductions and savings measures which will save more than $33 billion in 2012 and $400 billion over the next decade. Learn more (PDF)
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4. President Obama’s directive to the federal government to use common-sense and buy office supplies in bulk should save us up to $200 million over the next four years. Learn more (PDF)
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5. Federal agencies are using the latest technology to combat fraud and slash erroneous payments and have made significant strides, tripling the amount of improper payments to contractors recaptured last year. Learn more
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The President discussed the need to tackle our deficits over the long term through tax reform that asks those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare. Though the issues of debt and deficits have dominated much of the recent conversation in Washington, the most immediate concern of most Americans is job creation and growing our economy. That is why President Obama laid out some common sense steps that can be taken right away to spur economic growth such as extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance:

Specifically, we should extend the payroll tax cut as soon as possible, so that workers have more money in their paychecks next year and businesses have more customers next year.

We should continue to make sure that if you’re one of the millions of Americans who’s out there looking for a job, you can get the unemployment insurance that your tax dollars contributed to.  That will also put money in people’s pockets and more customers in stores.

In fact, if Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut and the unemployment insurance benefits that I’ve called for, it could mean 1 million fewer jobs and half a percent less growth.  This is something we can do immediately, something we can do as soon as Congress gets back.

To learn more about President Obama’s plan for reform and fiscal responsibility: http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy/reform

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U.S. Sees First Debt Reduction Since 2007 as Revenue Rises

Apr 29, 2013 1:41 PM PT By Meera Louis – bloomberg

The U.S. Treasury Department (USGG10YR) projected it will reduce government debt this quarter for the first time in six years as tax receipts exceed forecasts and spending diminishes.

The pay-down in net marketable debt was estimated at $35 billion in the April-June period, compared with a projection three months ago for net borrowing of $103 billion, the department said in a statement today in Washington. Treasury officials also see net borrowing of $223 billion in the quarter starting July 1. The estimates set the stage for the department’s quarterly refunding announcement on May 1, when debt issuance plans will be released.

A sustained economic expansion and across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration may help deliver the first net decline in debt since 2007, when the government lowered borrowing by $139 billion before the global financial crisis spawned the worst recession since the 1930s. While the economy’s strength is helping boost tax revenue, total U.S. public debt outstanding is approaching $17 trillion.

“This is a substantial revision,” said Thomas Simons, a government debt economist at Jefferies LLC in New York. Still, “it is possible that Treasury will take a wait-and-see approach in evaluating the sustainability of the recent surge in tax receipts before making adjustments” to debt auctions, he said.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-29/treasury-says-it-will-pay-down-35-billion-in-debt-this-quarter.html

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82 Responses to US National Debt 2012

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden receive the presidential daily briefing

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet for lunch.

    1:00 PM
    1:30 PM
    President Obama holds a press conference on on growing our economy and reducing our deficit
    East Room

    2:00 PM
    2:45 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with more then a dozen CEOs from major companies on growing our economy and reducing our deficit

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
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  2. CR says:

    National Debt – Fiscal Cliff

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    • CR says:

      98% tax_cut_extension

      By the Numbers: 98 Percent

      Yesterday, President Obama called on Congress to extend the middle-class tax cuts for the 98 percent of Americans making less than $250,000 for another year. If lawmakers don’t act, a typical middle-class family of four will see its taxes go up by $2,200 on January 1.

      Our prosperity has always come from an economy built on a strong and growing middle class. That’s why the President has cut middle-class taxes every year– by $3,600 for the typical middle class family.

      No one thinks raising taxes on the middle class is a good idea–it would be a big blow to working families, and it would drag down our entire economy. This should be one of those rare issues where everyone in Washington can agree. But so far, Congress hasn’t been able to extend middle class tax cuts because Republicans in Washington refuse to ask the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share.

      Middle class families should have the certainty and security of knowing their taxes won’t go up in six months, and the President Obama’s message to Congress is clear: Pass a bill extending the tax cuts for the middle class and he’ll sign it tomorrow.

    • CR says:

      November 10, 2012

      Weekly Address: Extending Middle Class Tax Cuts to Grow the Economy

      Hello, everybody.

      On Tuesday, America went to the polls. And the message you sent was clear: you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.

      That’s why I’ve invited leaders of both parties to the White House next week, so we can start to build consensus around challenges we can only solve together. I also intend to bring in business, labor and civic leaders from outside Washington to get their ideas and input as well.

      At a time when our economy is still recovering from the Great Recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth. That’s the focus of the plan I talked about during the campaign. It’s a plan to reward businesses that create jobs here in America, and give people access to the education and training that those businesses are looking for. It’s a plan to rebuild our infrastructure and keep us on the cutting edge of innovation and clean energy. And it’s a plan to reduce our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.

      This is even more important because at the end of this year, we face a series of deadlines that require us to make major decisions about how to pay down our deficit – decisions that will have a huge impact on the economy and the middle class, now and in the future.

      Last year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending, and I intend to work with both parties to do more. But as I said over and over again on the campaign trail, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue – and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes. That’s how we did it when Bill Clinton was President. And that’s the only way we can afford to invest in education and job training and manufacturing – all the ingredients of a strong middle class and a strong economy.

      Already, I’ve put forward a detailed plan that allows us to make these investments while reducing our deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. Now, I’m open to compromise and new ideas. But I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced. I will not ask students or seniors or middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people making over $250,000 aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. This was a central question in the election. And on Tuesday, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach – that includes Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

      Now we need a majority in Congress to listen – and they should start by making sure taxes don’t go up on the 98% of Americans making under $250,000 a year starting January 1. This is something we all agree on. Even as we negotiate a broader deficit reduction package, Congress should extend middle-class tax cuts right now. It’s a step that would give millions of families and 97% of small businesses the peace of mind that will lead to new jobs and faster growth. There’s no reason to wait.

      We know there will be differences and disagreements in the months to come. That’s part of what makes our political system work. But on Tuesday, you said loud and clear that you won’t tolerate dysfunction, or politicians who see compromise as a dirty word. Not when so many of your families are still struggling.

      Instead, you want cooperation. You want action. That’s what I plan to deliver in my second term, and I expect to find leaders from both parties willing to join me.

      Thanks, and have a great weekend.

    • CR says:

      Obama to meet labor, business leaders for fiscal talks

      11/12/12 By Mark Felsenthal | Reuters – 7 hrs ago

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will meet business, labor and civic leaders this week ahead of negotiations with top lawmakers to avert sharp tax hikes and deep spending cuts that loom at the end of the year, a White House official said late on Sunday.

      The president wants to find “a balanced solution to our deficit challenges” and a way to move the economy forward, the official said.

      Obama, re-elected to a second four-year term on Tuesday, faces the immediate challenge of preventing the so-called “fiscal cliff,” a combination of government spending cuts and tax increases due to be implemented in early 2013 that may cut the federal budget deficit, but also tip the economy back into recession.

      Obama has scheduled a meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate on Friday to begin negotiations.

      The president will meet with leaders from the labor community and other leaders of the progressive political movement on Tuesday, the official said. Obama will meet with business leaders on Wednesday and civic leaders on Friday, the White House official said.

      The president and congressional Republicans have sounded conciliatory notes since the election on reaching a deal to avoid the sudden fiscal shock. The two sides are at odds over raising taxes for top earners.

      Obama insisted in his re-election campaign that the wealthy should pay more as part of any fiscal deal, and has said his victory at the polls is an endorsement of that view.

      Still, on Sunday, two Republican Senators made comments that could be seen as suggesting they may be willing to negotiate. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said he had some sympathy for the view that there need to be more government revenues as part of any deficit reduction deal.

      “There has to be revenues,” he said on Fox News Sunday. “Look, I haven’t met a wealthy Republican or Democrat in Tennessee that’s not willing to contribute more as long as they know we solve the problem,” Corker said.

      Separately, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn said there were ways to eliminate tax loopholes for top earners that could provide additional funds for government coffers.

      • CR says:

        Fiscal cliff is now the best shot for farm bill, agriculture lobbyists say

        10/27/12 04:24 PM ET By Erik Wasson – TheHill

        House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) caused a stir on Thursday when he seemed to indicate that a standalone farm bill would come to the House floor after the Nov. 6 election.

        But lobbyists said the remarks mean, at best, that a modified farm bill could be wrapped into a lame-duck bill dealing with expiring tax cuts and automatic spending cuts.

        “I’m committed to bring the issue to the floor and then to see a way forward so we can get the votes to pass (a bill),” Cantor said at a campaign event in Idaho.

        Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) seized on the remarks, saying, “I’m very pleased to hear that Majority Leader Cantor is now committed to bring the Farm Bill to the floor immediately after the election.”

        Republican aides, however, quickly made clear that Cantor was not expressing any new support for moving the farm bill as reported out of the House Agriculture Committee this summer.

        Washington farm lobbyists said that in the wake of Cantor’s comments, the last best hope for the 2012 farm bill to pass will be if it is riding on fiscal cliff legislation.

        For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/264393-fiscal-cliff-is-now-best-shot-for-farm-bill-lobbyists-say

      • CR says:

        Labor bullish after talks with Obama

        11/13/12 By Olivier Knox, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – 2 hrs 50 mins ago

        AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is trailed by reporters as he departs the White House. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuter …

        Labor union leaders emerged from talks with President Barack Obama on Tuesday vowing a side-by-side battle against Republicans to bring about higher taxes on the wealthy as part of an effort to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

        “It was a very, very positive meeting,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters in the White House driveway after the meeting.

        “The president, like we are, [is] committed to preserving the tax breaks for the middle class and making sure that rich people pay their fair share. He’s very, very committed to that, we are committed to that,” Trumka continued. “We are very, very committed to making sure that the middle class and workers don’t end up paying the tab for a party that we didn’t get to go to. And the president is committed to that as well.”

        The meeting, which included top Obama economic advisers like Gene Sperling and White House chief of staff Jack Lew, came a day before the president was to hold similar talks with CEOs from major companies including American Express, General Electric, Ford Motor and PepsiCo. One participant described Obama as being in “listening mode” and said the president’s final negotiating position would depend in part on what he hears from the executives. The president meets Friday with top Republican and Democratic leaders.

        At issue is the best way to handle the looming fiscal cliff—an economically toxic blend of tax hikes, spending cuts and end of long-term unemployment benefits. The president campaigned on a vow to extend Bush-era tax cuts that chiefly benefit families making below $250,000 a year, while letting rates rise on income above that. Republicans want to extend all the rate reductions.

        Obama and his political foes are also looking for a way to avert the so-called sequester—cuts of $1.2 trillion over 10 years from domestic and military programs, triggered by Congress’s failure to reach a debt-cutting deal last year. Going over the cliff could cause another recession, experts say.

        On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama was hunting for a $4 trillion deficit-cutting deal, of which $1.6 trillion would be increased tax revenue.

        Liberal groups, including the AFL-CIO, have warned they will oppose attempts to curtail popular entitlement programs like Medicare or Social Security on the table.

        For more: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/labor-progressives-bullish-talks-obama-221029022–politics.html

        • CR says:

          Tuesday, November 13 , 2012
          11:30 AM ET

          President Obama and Vice President Biden attended a meeting with leaders from the labor community on growing our economy and reducing our deficit

          In attendance:

          · Mary Kay Henry, SEIU

          · Lee Saunders, AFSCME

          · Dennis Van Roekel, NEA

          · Rich Trumka, AFL-CIO

          · Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress

          · John Podesta, Center for American Progress

          · Bob Greenstein, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

          · Laura Burton Capps, Common Purpose Project

          · Max Richtman, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

          · Justin Ruben, MoveOn

          · Deepak Bhargava, Center for Community Change

      • CR says:

        Obama meets privately with women’s groups

        11/13/12 7:05 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK -POLITICO44

        In addition to attending a much-ballyhooed meeting with civic and labor leaders on Tuesday, President Obama also met privately with women’s groups.

        The meeting wasn’t on his public schedule but included many of the same administration officials: senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Cecilia Munoz of the Domestic Policy Council and Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council.

        “The president was cute when he came in. He said ‘I heard Gene was outnumbered and needed some backup,'” said one attendee, Lisa Maatz, director of the American Association of University Women. “This was a very positive meeting. There were some moments of levity like that.”

        Obama went on to crack a joke about how the women’s groups must be excited that Michelle Obama will be first lady for another four years. “He said it was a package deal, we had to take him too,” Maatz said.

        Substantively, the meeting covered many of the same points as Obama’s meeting with progressive leaders, including his intent to hold firm on his push to let tax cuts expire on the wealthy at the end of the year and the need to carry on the campaign for his policies, even though the election is over. Maatz said the women’s groups also spoke with the president about improving Social Security and protecting Medicare and Medicaid.

        “We certainly were talking about our concerns about those programs moving forward,” she said.

        She also laid out the commitment her group and other advocates for women expect from Obama going forward.

        “There was very much a sense of the importance that women played in the election — If not for women, we may very well have been having a meeting with a different president or president-elect,” Maatz said. “We expect him to dance with the one who brought him.”

      • CR says:

        Obama invites CEOs to White House

        11/12/12 4:23 PM EST By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN – POLITICO44

        The White House has invited more than a dozen CEOs – representing major corporations like Walmart, Chevron and Xerox – to meet Wednesday with President Barack Obama on the fiscal cliff, according to a list provided by a K Street insider.

        The line-up includes a mix of Republican and Democratic donors, and a handful of leaders who sit on the council of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, which is promoting a grand bargain on the debt and deficit.

        The invitees include: Mark Bertolini, President, Chairman, and CEO of Aetna; Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox; Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express Company; David Cote, Chairman, CEO, Honeywell; Mike Duke, President, CEO, Walmart; Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman, and CEO, Dow; Robert McDonald, President and CEO, Proctor & Gamble; Alan Mulally, President and CEO, Ford; Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo; Ginni Rometty, President, Chairman, and CEO, IBM; and John Watson, Chairman and CEO, Chevron.

        It is expected to be Obama’s first publicized sit down with leading corporate executives after a presidential campaign in which Republicans accused him of demonizing business success. The meeting is part of Obama’s attempt to expand his reach beyond congressional negotiators in the fiscal cliff talks, but it will also give him an opportunity to begin rebuilding his relationship with corporate players.

        Obama will meet Tuesday with union and progressive leaders, who will undoubtedly give very different advice than the CEOs provide.

        • CR says:

          CEOs make the case for a grand bargain

          October 25, 2012 Posted by Suzy Khimm – washingtonpost

          A group of high-profile business leaders sounded the alarm about the deficit on Thursday morning—this time quite literally. Top executives from Honeywell, JPMorgan and Express Scripts rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange as part of a campaign to enact major deficit reduction through the negotiations over the “fiscal cliff.”

          Companies and economists have warned that the economy would take a major blow if Congress did not act on the tax increases and automatic budget cuts set to go into effect at the beginning of next year. But the CEOs of the “Fix the Debt” campaign have a much bigger agenda: Their push is not just to head off the economic impact of the fiscal cliff but also to use the negotiations as a springboard for major deficit reduction that includes both tax increases and spending cuts.

          The group is pushing to replace fiscal cliff’s major austerity measures — averting the impact of taking more than $700 billion out of the economy in 2013 — with an alternative package that would reduce the deficit even more but that would take effect farther down the road.

          “This plan should be enacted now, but implemented gradually to protect the fragile economic recovery and to give Americans time to prepare for the changes in the federal budget,” the “Fix the Debt” campaign says in a statement supported by more than 80 chief executives, including the heads of Invesco, UPS and Aetna.

          Such a grand bargain “must be bipartisan,” the statement said. The group seeks to reform Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and suggest comprehensive, rate-lowering, base-broadening tax reform. The group also advises that Simpson-Bowles recommendations serve as a framework for the plan. (Former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles is a co-founder of the campaign.)

          The CEOs argue that enacting such a deal would not only avert the sudden, sharp deficit-reduction of the fiscal cliff but also boost enough market confidence to spur economic growth in the short term. ”We can do this in a 10-year plan that doesn’t damage the fragile recovery that we’re dealing with. I think that could be a big boost to the markets,” Honeywell CEO David Cote said in a Thursday morning press conference before the market’s opening bell.

          Simply avoiding the short-term impact of the spending cuts would be “muddling through the middle,” giving up the chance to make bigger changes, Cote said. “There’s a great opportunity for some great growth and economic opportunity.”

          Fix the Debt has raised more than $30 million from business leaders, including support from Pete Peterson, whose foundation also backed the Committee for a Responsible Budget’s broad push for deficit reduction. The CEOs will also be pushing out the message to their employees and the rest of the public through townhall meetings and advertising, according to CFRB president Maya MacGuineas, who’s spearheading the campaign.

          For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/25/ceos-make-the-case-for-a-grand-bargain/

        • CR says:

          AMERICA’S DEBT CHALLENGE

          CEOs optimistic after Obama meeting

          November 14, 2012: 6:43 PM ET By Jennifer Liberto @CNNMoney

          WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) — Honeywell International CEO David Cote struck a hopeful note after his meeting with President Obama on Wednesday.

          “This is going to get solved one way or another,” Honeywell (HON, Fortune 500)’s Cote said in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett.

          Cote was among 12 CEOs of the nation’s largest companies who met with President Obama on Wednesday to talk about the fiscal cliff. The CEOs rushed out of the White House about 90 minutes after the meeting started. They all declined to talk to the media except Xerox (XRX, Fortune 500) CEO Ursula Burns, who said the meeting went well.

          Mike Duke, CEO of the nation’s largest retail store chain Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), urged Washington leaders to strike a deal, in a statement he released after attending the meeting.
          “Our customers are working hard to adapt to the ‘new normal,’ but their confidence is still very fragile,” Duke said. “They are shopping for Christmas now and they don’t need uncertainty over a tax increase.”

          Obama’s meeting was part of a broad campaign to meet with leaders representing different constituencies ahead of negotiations over the fiscal cliff with Congress, which start Friday.

          The fiscal cliff is the top economic issue facing the nation. At the end of this year, the George W. Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire, and on Jan. 2, automatic spending cuts will commence that amount to $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years.

          Leaders of the largest companies have indicated they are holding back hiring and spending because they are worried about Washington gridlock over the fiscal cliff.

          For more: http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/14/news/ceos-obama/

    • CR says:

      US vs World Economic Recovery Comparision:
      International Demand for U.S. Assets Rises on Europe

      Sep 18, 2012 8:07 AM PT By Meera Louis – bloomberg

      International purchases of U.S. financial assets rose more than sevenfold in July as investors sought shelter from the debt crisis in Europe.

      Net buying of long-term equities, notes and bonds totaled $67 billion during the month, up from net purchases of $9.3 billion in June, the Treasury Department said today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected net buying of $27.5 billion of long-term assets, according to the median estimate.

      “The data suggest that European private investors used Treasuries and agencies to protect against deterioration in the euro financial markets in July,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed- income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia. “That trend will likely continue into August’s data.”

      U.S. assets have maintained their attraction as Spanish banks are hemorrhaging deposits and European leaders are still squabbling over the next steps needed to overcome the sovereign debt crisis. A Sept. 14 European Union finance ministers meeting in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia deadlocked over the timetable for a more unified EU banking sector.

      For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-18/international-demand-for-u-s-assets-rises-on-europe-crisis.html

      • CR says:

        UN: Austerity measures threaten global economy

        June 8, 2012 guardian

        UNITED NATIONS—Austerity measures implemented by European countries to contain a roiling debt crisis will likely drag them deeper into recession, unsettling global financial markets and presenting the biggest current threat to the world economy, according to UN report issued yesterday. The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012 midyear update said most developed countries have yet to recover from the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and the fiscal austerity measures deployed in response have been backfiring. “The severe fiscal austerity programmes implemented in many European countries, combined with mildly contractionary policies in others, such as Germany and France, carry the risk of creating a vicious downward spiral with enormous economic and social costs,” the report states.

        The report calls for a shift in focus from short-term consolidation to medium- to long-term fiscal sustainability. It also says fiscal policies should be internationally coordinated and should support job creation. It warns that Italy and Spain currently pose the biggest danger to Europe, as the size of their debts would likely strain the region’s rescue funds. “The main fear is that Spain will slide deeper into recession, driving up its borrowing costs, leading to increased market turmoil and eventually requiring a bailout,” the report states. “This would leave insufficient funds available for Italy and renew speculation on a break-up of the euro area, further unsettling financial markets and triggering a downturn in global economic activity.” The report states that the world gross product increased 2.7 per cent in 2011 and is projected to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2012 and 3.1 per cent in 2013. Those figures represent a downward revision from January’s update. (AP)

      • CR says:

        G-20 Tells U.S. to Avoid Fiscal Cliff as Focus Widens

        Nov 5, 2012 6:07 AM PT By Simon Kennedy and Flavia Krause-Jackson – bloomberg

        Global finance chiefs pressed the U.S. to avoid harming the fragile world economy with excessive austerity, widening their focus on fiscal challenges beyond concerns over Europe’s debt woes.
        On the eve of the U.S. presidential election, Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Mexico City pushed for swift action to prevent the $607 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that will hit in January unless lawmakers act.

        As President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney tussle for the White House, the fear of foreign officials is that failure to limit the damage of the so-called fiscal cliff would tip the world’s largest economy into recession and drag their countries down with it. Europe, the subject of the G-20’s ire for the past three years, remained under pressure amid calls to take promised crisis-fighting steps.

        “I expect each country to voice its hopes for firm efforts toward a resolution of the fiscal cliff problem,” Bank of Japan (8301) Governor Masaaki Shirakawa told reporters late yesterday. “It’s important for each country to work toward stabilizing its own economy.”

        A draft of the statement to be issued by the G-20 today identifies the potential for a sharp fiscal pullback in the U.S. and Japan as a danger to an already modest expansion, said an official from one of the countries who declined to be identified because the text hasn’t been finalized.

        For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-04/fiscal-fears-flip-to-u-s-from-europe-as-g-20-sees-modest-growth.html

      • CR says:

        Austerity pushes Europe back into recession

        Nov 15, 2012 12:35 PM EST By Steve Benen – maddowblog

        It’s starting to look as if austerity undermines economic growth and leads to recessions.

        The European economy shrank for a second quarter in a row, according to official data released Thursday, fulfilling a common definition of recession and signaling that the region still faces a long road to recovery.

        Gross domestic product in the euro zone fell 0.1 percent in the three months through September compared to the previous quarter, according to Eurostat, the European Union statistics agency. The euro zone economy improved slightly from the second quarter, when it contracted by 0.2 percent. But it was the fourth quarter in a row of zero growth or worse.

        The AP’s report added that continental fears are growing that “at a time of high unemployment in many countries, there are fears that the recession will deepen, and make the debt crisis even more difficult to handle.”

        Domestically, the right looks at these developments and says, “See? Europe has debt crises, which is keeping Eurozone in a recession, and if we want to avoid the same fate, we need to reduce our own debt.”

        But the repetition of this conservative message doesn’t make it less misguided. The United States doesn’t have a debt crisis — we have low inflation, low interest rates, and investors around the globe desperate to loan us money. Indeed, if there’s a lesson to be learned about the Eurozone recession it’s that austerity is exactly the wrong course of action given the current circumstances.

        For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/15/15192676-austerity-pushes-europe-back-into-recession

    • CR says:

      IMF: U.S. must tackle ‘fiscal cliff’ to stem global slowdown

      10/9/12 Interview with Stephen Beard- marketplace.org

      Summary: The International Monetary Fund says economic growth is slowing down sharply and that even the U.S. recovery is at risk. The IMF says the world economy will only expand at a rate of 3.3 percent this year — which is three tenths of a percent lower than previously thought.

      Stagnation in the euro zone, the fragile recovery in the U.S., and the slowdown of emerging economies, such as China, India, and Brazil, are all coinciding at once to contribute the bleak global growth outlook, despite proactive central bank policies around the world.

      “Even after very strong actions by central banks — the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan — the job is not done,” says Marie Diron, chief economist at Ernst & Young, “the key word in the IMF report today is ‘uncertainty’.”

      In the euro zone, the IMF blames government for uncertainty because leaders have failed to solve the debt crises and may have made matters worse with austerity. In the U.S., the IMF is calling on congress to tackle the upcoming ‘fiscal cliff’ that will take effect at the start of next year.

      For the audio interview: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/world/imf-us-must-tackle-fiscal-cliff-stem-global-slowdown

    • CR says:

      US ‘Patriotic Millionaires': ‘Tax Us More’

      November 15, 2012 Jeff Swicord – VOAnews

      In Washington – a group calling themselves “Patriotic Millionaires,” storming Capitol Hill with their message for the president and Congress: “tax us more, we can take it.”

      “We have the fastest growing rate of inequality in the developed world,” said one.

      They are in line with President Obama, who has vowed to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans as part of a budget deal needed to avoid the looming crisis. The so-called “fiscal cliff” would force tax increases and deep budget cuts if there is no deal by December 31st.

      “When it comes to the top two percent, what I am not going to do is extend a tax cut for folks who don’t need it. That would cost close to a trillion dollars,” said President Obama.

      But House Speaker John Boehner has made it clear the wealthiest Americans should not see their taxes go up.

      “I have outlined a framework for how both parties can work together to avert the fiscal cliff without raising tax rates,” said Boehner.

      The Patriotic Millionaires disagree with Speaker Boehner. They take issue with the Republican Party’s argument that taxing wealthy job creators will lead to fewer jobs. T.J. Zlotnitsky is CEO of iControl Systems, a data management company.

      “When I make a decision about whether or not I am going to hire people to help grow my business I make those decisions strictly on the basis of whether the company needs them, whether the customers demand them, whether doing so will grow the business. In terms of my own personal tax rates, that never factors in,” he said.

      The millionaires argue that over-burdening the middle-class with taxes to pay for the U.S. deficit would be far worse for the economy.

      “It is especially important about the middle class. If you lose the middle class, you are losing customers. So a strong middle class that is helped by a fair tax system leads long-term to a healthy economy,” said Frank Patitucci, CEO of NuCompass Mobility..

      Patriotic Millionaires‘ has more than 200 members across the United States, who work in the fields of finance, entertainment, and technology.

    • CR says:

      The deep, real spending cuts we’ve already passed—and that no one talks about

      December 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm Posted by Suzy Khimm – washingtonpost

      The prospect of cutting Medicare benefits in a “fiscal cliff” deal has prompted an outcry from concerned liberals. But whether or not legislators actually end up raising the Medicare age or paring back Social Security payments, domestic benefits and services—ranging from veterans’ health care and low-income housing to Head Start programs—are going to get squeezed over the next 10 years.

      Last year’s debt-ceiling agreement included $1.5 trillion in cuts to discretionary programs through 10-year spending caps that are already in effect. According to a new analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the domestic programs subject to the spending caps will face a $615 billion shortfall if they keep their benefits and services at 2012 levels. If such, they’ll be forced to scale back unless Congress decides otherwise—and right now, the Republicans want even less money spent on these domestic programs, not more.

      The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’s Richard Kogan breaks down the impact of the new spending caps:

      We estimate that, with the funds available under the caps, the federal government will fall about $350 billion short over the next ten years of delivering the same level of benefits and services for NDD programs as it did in 2012. This is because: (1) the costs of a number of key programs, especially VA medical care, are projected to grow substantially, and (2) Congress relied on certain temporary savings measures to meet the 2012 caps that it cannot repeat in the future. Furthermore, it would take an additional $265 billion over the next ten years to account for general population growth, which affects NDD programs ranging from Head Start to home-delivered meals for the elderly. In total, it would require $615 billion above what the caps allow to maintain the same level of benefits and servicesper person as in 2012.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/09/the-deep-real-spending-cuts-weve-already-passed-and-that-no-one-talks-about/

  3. CR says:

    Democrats have a caucus meeting scheduled, Nov 13, Wednesday.

    If Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, leaves, Hoyer and Assistant Democrat Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) would likely move up, with Hoyer taking over as leader and Clyburn moving up to whip. Other Democrats, such as Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), have been mentioned as potential challengers to Hoyer, although it is not clear that either would do so.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83646.html#ixzz2BrUwPhtd

  4. CR says:

    Poll finds support for repealing Obama health law at record low

    11/13/12 01:28 PM ET By Sam Baker – TheHill

    Public support for repealing President Obama’s signature healthcare law hit a record low following Obama’s reelection.

    The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll found just 33 percent support for repealing the law, the lowest level the poll has recorded since Obama signed the healthcare law in March 2010.

    The drop comes as many Republicans are acknowledging that “ObamaCare” is here to stay. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said last week that “ObamaCare is the law of the land” and the House therefore won’t keep voting to repeal the entire law.
    Boehner’s office quickly walked the statement back, but the Kaiser poll is further evidence that the public has little interest in continuing the fight over a law that passed more than two years ago.]

    For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/politics-elections/267577-poll-support-for-healthcare-repeal-hits-record-low

  5. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Great work as always, CR. 4 more years! :)

    >^..^<

  6. CR says:

    Geithner Says Higher U.S. Income Taxes Unavoidable

    Nov 13, 2012 3:33 PM PT By Ian Katz – bloomberg

    Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said it will be necessary to raise personal income-tax rates on the wealthiest Americans to reduce long-term budget deficits because capping deductions won’t raise enough revenue.

    President Barack Obama is “not prepared to extend the upper-income tax cuts,” Geithner said today at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council meeting in Washington. “There’s obviously universal support for the middle-class tax cuts. Doing that would remove the greatest source of anxiety and much of the greatest risk in the fiscal cliff.”

    Obama has invited leaders in Congress for talks on a possible deficit-cutting accord that would avert the fiscal cliff, the $607 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases slated to take effect Jan. 1. The Congressional Budget Office has forecast that the fiscal cliff would push the economy into a recession next year.

    The role of tax deductions will be crucial in the negotiations. Geithner said that “when you take a cold, hard look at the amount of resources you can raise from that top 2 percent of Americans through limiting deductions, you will find yourself disappointed relative to the magnitude of the revenue increases that we need.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-13/geithner-says-higher-u-s-income-taxes-unavoidable.html

  7. CR says:

    MBA: Mortgage Applications rebound after Hurricane Sandy, Mortgage Rates fall to Record Low

    11/14/2012 07:01:00 AM by Bill McBride – calculatedrisk

    From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

    The Refinance Index increased 13 percent from the previous week, ending a five-week decline. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 11 percent from one week earlier.

    “Following the decrease in applications two weeks ago due to the effects of superstorm Sandy, mortgage applications in many East Coast states rebounded strongly this week,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Application volume in New Jersey more than doubled over the week, while volume in Connecticut and New York increased more than 60 percent. In addition to the rebound in the states impacted by the storm, the 30 year fixed mortgage rate reached a new record low in the survey.”

    The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) decreased to 3.52 percent from 3.61 percent, with points decreasing to 0.41 from 0.45 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. This record low rate for 30 year fixed mortgages beats the previous survey low of 3.53 percent for the week ending September 28, 2012.
    Some of this decline in activity was related to Hurricane Sandy.

    Read more: http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/11/mba-mortgage-applications-rebound-after.html

  8. CR says:

    Wholesale Prices in U.S. Unexpectedly Fall on Fuel, Vehicles

    By Shobhana Chandra and Alex Kowalski – Nov 14, 2012 5:37 AM

    Wholesale prices in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in October for the first time in five months as energy and vehicle costs dropped.

    The 0.2 percent decline in the producer price index came after a 1.1 percent increase the prior month, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 73 economists called for a 0.2 percent rise. Excluding volatile food and energy, the so-called core measure decreased 0.2 percent, the first drop since November 2010.

    Companies like Neenah Paper Inc. (NP) anticipate expenses for raw materials will remain restrained as Europe’s debt crisis weighs on global demand. Limited prices within the production pipeline are consistent with Federal Reserve policy makers’ view that inflation is likely to be contained, giving them room to focus on steps to spur economic growth.

    “The overall picture is one of fairly subdued price pressures,” David Sloan, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York, said before the report. “There’s no major risk that inflation will accelerate.”
    Economists’ estimates for producer prices ranged from a decline of 0.2 percent to an increase of 0.6 percent. Core wholesale prices were projected to rise 0.1 percent, the Bloomberg survey showed.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-14/wholesale-prices-in-u-s-unexpectedly-fall-on-fuel-vehicles.html

  9. CR says:

    US business stockpiles grow 0.7 pct. in September

    11/14/12 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | Associated Press – 10 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in September, further evidence that economic growth was stronger over the summer than first thought.

    The Commerce Department says inventories grew 0.7 percent in September, after a 0.6 percent increase in August.

    Retailers, manufacturers and wholesale distributors all boosted their stockpiles. Their sales rose 1.4 percent in September— the most in more than a year.

    Companies typically increase their stockpiles when they anticipate sales will rise in coming months. Faster restocking helps drive economic growth. When businesses order more goods, it usually leads to more factory production.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/us-business-stockpiles-grow-0-7-pct-september-150905929–finance.html;_ylt=A2KJNF.JtqNQeAEA4Z3QtDMD

  10. CR says:

    Angus King will caucus with Democrats, giving them 55th seat

    11/14/12 09:42 AM ET By Alexander Bolton – TheHill

    Independent Sen.-elect Angus King announced Wednesday that he will caucus with Senate Democrats.

    The newly-elected senator from Maine was expected to do so but remained mum about his intentions during the election, when he was criticized by Republicans for not saying which party he would favor if he made it to the upper chamber.

    His move gives the Democrats another pickup as he replaces retiring Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine.). Democrats will hold 55 seats in the Senate in the 113th Congress.

    “The outcome of last week’s election in some ways makes this decision relatively easy. In the situation where one party has a clear majority and effectiveness is an important criteria, affiliating with the majority makes the most sense,” King said.

    He noted the majority has more committee slots to fill, more control over what bills to consider and more control over the Senate schedule.

    For more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/267813-king-will-caucus-with-dems-giving-them-55th-seat

  11. CR says:

    Next Up…

    1:30 PM ET
    President Obama holds a press conference on on growing our economy and reducing our deficit
    East Room

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/Pres-Obama-Holds-Post-Election-News-Conference/10737435798/

    • CR says:

      November 14, 2012

      Remarks by the President in a News Conference

      East Room

      1:34 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Please have a seat. I hear you have some questions for me. (Laughter.) But let me just make a few remarks at the top, and then I’ll open it up.

      First of all, I want to reiterate what I said on Friday. Right now, our economy is still recovering from a very deep and damaging crisis, so our top priority has to be jobs and growth. We’ve got to build on the progress that we’ve made, because this nation succeeds when we’ve got a growing, thriving middle class.

      And that’s the idea at the core of the plan that I talked about on the campaign trail over the last year: Rewarding manufacturers and small businesses that create jobs here, not overseas; providing more Americans the chance to earn the skills that businesses are looking for right now; keeping this country at the forefront of research, technology, and clean energy; putting people back to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges, and our schools; and reducing our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.

      Now, on this last item, we face a very clear deadline that requires us to make some big decisions on jobs, taxes and deficits by the end of the year. Both parties voted to set this deadline. And I believe that both parties can work together to make these decisions in a balanced and responsible way.

      Yesterday, I had a chance to meet with labor and civic leaders for their input. Today, I’m meeting with CEOs of some of America’s largest companies. And I’ll meet with leaders of both parties of Congress before the week is out. Because there’s only one way to solve these challenges, and that is to do it together.

      As I’ve said before, I’m open to compromise and I’m open to new ideas. And I’ve been encouraged over the past week to hear Republican after Republican agree on the need for more revenue from the wealthiest Americans as part of our arithmetic if we’re going to be serious about reducing the deficit.

      Because when it comes to taxes, there are two pathways available: Option one, if Congress fails to act by the end of the year, everybody’s taxes will automatically go up — including the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year and the 97 percent of small businesses who earn less than $250,000 a year. That doesn’t make sense. Our economy can’t afford that right now. Certainly no middle-class family can afford that right now. And nobody in either party says that they want it to happen.

      The other option is to pass a law right now that would prevent any tax hike whatsoever on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. And by the way, that means every American, including the wealthiest Americans, get a tax cut. It means that 98 percent of all Americans, and 97 percent of all small businesses won’t see their taxes go up a single dime. The Senate has already passed a law like this. Democrats in the House are ready to pass a law like this. And I hope Republicans in the House come on board, too.

      We should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy. We should at least do what we agree on, and that’s to keep middle-class taxes low. And I’ll bring everyone in to sign it right away so we can give folks some certainty before the holiday season.

      For more; http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/11/14/remarks-president-news-conference

      ———

      President Obama Discusses Helping the Middle Class

      Published on Nov 14, 2012 by whitehouse

      During a press conference, President Obama explains his mandate to help the middle class get ahead and recover from the recession. November 14, 2012.

    • CR says:

      2:45 PM ET

      President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with more then a dozen CEOs from major companies on growing our economy and reducing our deficit

      In attendance:

      · Mark Bertolini, President, Chairman and CEO, Aetna

      · Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox

      · Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express Company

      · David Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell

      · Mike Duke, President and CEO, Walmart

      · Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric

      · Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman and CEO, Dow

      · Robert McDonald, President and CEO, Proctor & Gamble

      · Alan Mulally, President and CEO, Ford

      · Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo.

      · Ginni Rometty, President, Chairman and CEO, IBM

      · John Watson, Chairman and CEO, Chevron

      • CR says:

        AMERICA’S DEBT CHALLENGE

        CEOs optimistic after Obama meeting

        November 14, 2012: 6:43 PM ET By Jennifer Liberto @CNNMoney

        WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) — Honeywell International CEO David Cote struck a hopeful note after his meeting with President Obama on Wednesday.

        “This is going to get solved one way or another,” Honeywell (HON, Fortune 500)’s Cote said in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett.

        Cote was among 12 CEOs of the nation’s largest companies who met with President Obama on Wednesday to talk about the fiscal cliff. The CEOs rushed out of the White House about 90 minutes after the meeting started. They all declined to talk to the media except Xerox (XRX, Fortune 500) CEO Ursula Burns, who said the meeting went well.

        Mike Duke, CEO of the nation’s largest retail store chain Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), urged Washington leaders to strike a deal, in a statement he released after attending the meeting.
        “Our customers are working hard to adapt to the ‘new normal,’ but their confidence is still very fragile,” Duke said. “They are shopping for Christmas now and they don’t need uncertainty over a tax increase.”

        Obama’s meeting was part of a broad campaign to meet with leaders representing different constituencies ahead of negotiations over the fiscal cliff with Congress, which start Friday.

        The fiscal cliff is the top economic issue facing the nation. At the end of this year, the George W. Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire, and on Jan. 2, automatic spending cuts will commence that amount to $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years.

        Leaders of the largest companies have indicated they are holding back hiring and spending because they are worried about Washington gridlock over the fiscal cliff.

        For more: http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/14/news/ceos-obama/

    • CR says:

      President Obama Holds a Press Conference

      Published on Nov 14, 2012 by whitehouse

      President Obama holds a press conference in the East Room of the White House. November 14, 2012.

  12. 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

  13. CR says:

    November 13, 2012

    Readout of the President’s Phone Calls with World Leaders

    Today the President was able to continue returning messages of congratulations from his counterparts. In each call, he thanked his counterpart for their friendship and partnership thus far and expressed his desire to continue close cooperation moving ahead.

    The President spoke with:

    President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan

    Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy

    King Abdullah II of Jordan

    Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani of Qatar

    President Vladimir Putin of Russia

    President Mariano Rajoy of Spain

    • CR says:

      November 14, 2012

      Readout of the President’s Phone Calls with World Leaders

      Today the President was able to continue returning messages of congratulations from his counterparts. In each call, he thanked his counterpart for their friendship and partnership thus far and expressed his desire to continue close cooperation moving ahead.

      The President spoke with:

      Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland
      President Shimon Peres of Israel
      Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan
      President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea
      President Felipe Calderon of Mexico
      President-Elect Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico

    • CR says:

      November 13, 2012

      Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

      Vice President Biden today spoke by phone with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. Prime Minister Maliki congratulated the Vice President and President Obama on their re-election. The two leaders agreed that the coming years presented an opportunity for both nations to enhance our strategic partnership across a range of issues of mutual concern and pledged to continue the close consultations conducted in recent months by a series of senior U.S. visitors to Baghdad. Both leaders also reiterated the importance of implementing the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, in all its dimensions, and noted that upcoming meetings would be dedicated to that objective.

    • CR says:

      November 13, 2012

      Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

      Vice President Biden spoke to the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, today to thank him for his congratulatory message following last week’s U.S. election. Noting the strong interest of the United States in enhancing its relationship with Ukraine, the Vice President voiced concerns over Ukraine’s recent parliamentary elections and asked President Yanukovych to ensure the process is completed in a fair and transparent manner. He also urged Ukraine to live up to its democratic commitments and end selective prosecutions.

  14. CR says:

    Obama defends UN Amb. Rice, invites critics to ‘go after me’

    11/14/12 02:28 PM ET By Julian Pecquet – TheHill

    President Obama called Republican criticism of his ambassador to the United Nations “outrageous” during his press conference Wednesday and vowed to nominate Susan Rice for secretary of State despite their objections if he determines she’s the best choice for the job.

    “When they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me,” Obama said. “And should I choose, if I think that she would be the best person to serve America in the capacity at the State Department, then I will nominate her.”

    Obama singled out Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who are among several Senate Republicans who have said her statement linking the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi should disqualify her for the post. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in the attack.

    “She made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her,” Obama said. “If Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I’d be happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi — and was simply making a presentation based on information that she had received — is outrageous.”

    For more: http://thehill.com/video/administration/267949-obama-calls-republican-criticism-of-susan-rice-outrageous

    • CR says:

      And THAT is why I love and respect my president!

      I think that UN Ambassador Susan Rice would be a natural fit for Secretary of State as she is one sharp woman with the right experience.

  15. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, November 15 , 2012

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:20 AM
    President Obama departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews.

    10:35 AM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews.

    11:00 AM
    11:30 AM
    President Obama arrives in New York City.

    12:00 PM
    12:15 PM
    President Obama views the storm damage of Hurricane Sandy. President Obama speaks with citizens recovering from the storm and thanks first responders for their service

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:55 PM
    President Obama departs New York City.

    3:00 PM
    3:50 PM
    President Obama arrives at Joint Base Andrews.

    4:00 PM
    4:05 PM
    President Obama arrives at the White House.

    4:30 PM
    President Obama hosts the cast and crew of “Lincoln” for a special screening of the movie
    White House

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

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      November 15, 2012

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

      1:00 PM EST
      White House Celebration of Global Entrepreneurship
      The White House

      1:30 PM ET
      President Obama’s remarks on Sandy recovery
      President Obama gives remarks about recovery from “superstorm” Sandy after a helicopter tour around Staten Island, New York.

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      9:30 AM ET
      Senate Armed Services Committee: Afghanistan War Commander Confirmation
      The Senate Armed Services Committee considers President Obama’s nomination of Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as the next U.S. military commander in Afghanistan.

      10:00 AM ET
      Benghazi attack hearing
      Intelligence officials continue to brief members of Congress who complained about feeling shut out of details about the Sept. 11 attack at the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya.

      1:00 PM ET
      Minority Leader Pelosi Holds Weekly Briefing

      1:30 PM ET
      President Obama’s remarks on Sandy recovery
      President Obama gives remarks about recovery from “superstorm” Sandy after a helicopter tour around Staten Island, New York.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:30 AM ET
      Senate Armed Services Committee: Afghanistan War Commander Confirmation
      The Senate Armed Services Committee considers President Obama’s nomination of Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford as the next U.S. military commander in Afghanistan. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Nomination-Hearing-for-Top-Commander-in-Afghanistan/10737435838/

      10:00 AM ET
      Benghazi attack hearing
      Intelligence officials continue to brief members of Congress who complained about feeling shut out of details about the Sept. 11 attack at the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya.

      11:00 AM ET
      National Security Adviser Speaks on Administration’s Asia Policy
      U.S. National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon will speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on President Obama’s Asia policy and his upcoming trip to the region http://www.c-span.org/Events/National-Security-Adviser-Speaks-on-Administrations-Asia-Policy/10737435825/

      12:30 PM ET
      Economic Advisers Chairman Discusses U.S. Economic Issues
      Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger will discuss critical economic issues facing the United States. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Economic-Advisers-Chairman-Discusses-US-Economic-Issues/10737435868/

      1:00 PM ET
      Minority Leader Pelosi Holds Weekly Briefing http://www.c-span.org/Events/Minority-Leader-Pelosi-Holds-Weekly-Briefing/10737435870/

      1:30 PM ET
      President Obama’s remarks on Sandy recovery
      President Obama gives remarks about recovery from “superstorm” Sandy after a helicopter tour around Staten Island, New York.

  16. CR says:

    FEMA – There are three ways to apply for Disaster Assistance:

    Before You Apply

    * What is disaster assistance?
    * Do I qualify for assistance?
    * What information do I need to apply?
    * What items are covered by disaster assistance?
    * What are my rights?
    * Disaster Recovery Center Locator
    * Frequently Asked Questions
    .

    There are three ways to apply for assistance:
    * Apply Online at DisasterAssistance.gov
    * Apply via a smartphone at m.fema.gov
    * Apply by Phone: Call (800) 621-3362
    ………Call TTY (800) 462-7585 for people with speech or hearing disabilities.

    After You Apply

    * Check the status of your application
    * Okay, I’m registered, what next?
    * If You Received Assistance
    * If You Were Denied Assistance
    * If You Move, or Get a New Phone Number
    * Long Term Needs

    Blog Updates from FEMA
    On Twitter @FEMA
    On Facebook http://www.facebook.com/FEMA

    • CR says:

      Sandy telethon raises nearly $23 million, MTV to air fundraiser

      November 5th, 2012 cnn

      Friday night’s concert telethon to benefit Sandy relief efforts was a success, having raised nearly $23 million, NBC reports.

      NBC Universal aired the program across its networks, and included performances from stars who hail from locations affected by the storm, such as Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen (New Jersey), Billy Joel (Long Island), and Mary J. Blige and Christina Aguilera (New York City).

      After witnessing the damage done in his home state, Bon Jovi said Friday that “It was hard to see your hometown devastated like this … my grammar school turned into a shelter, people’s homes gone and them saying to me, ‘We are homeless, we never intended to be homeless.’ These are hard-working, blue-collar people.”

      The rocker, who immediately interrupted a European press junket in London to fly home last week, performed “Living on a Prayer” during the live telethon while Springsteen, Jimmy Fallon and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler did a cover of “Under the Boardwalk.”

      They were joined by a number of famous faces, including Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny DeVito and NBC News’ Brian Williams. The hour-long, commercial-free event, called “Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together,” was hosted by Matt Lauer. Proceeds from the telethon are going toward the American Red Cross, which is providing food, shelter and other forms of assistance to those impacted by Sandy.

      Meanwhile, the “Jersey Shore” cast and MTV are also doing their part with a TV special called “Restore the Shore,” which will encourage viewers to assist in the rebuilding of Seaside Heights, where the reality show is set.

      The network has partnered with Architecture for Humanity to create a “Restore the Shore” fund for donations, which will be “principally directed toward the rebuilding of the famed Seaside Heights boardwalk, as well as supporting the re-building efforts of businesses and residents in the community,” MTV says in a statement.

      The event will air live from the network’s Times Square studio at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 15, and will feature the “Jersey Shore” cast as well as other special guests. (There will be a tape-delay for the West coast.)

  17. CR says:

    November 14, 2012

    Readout of the President’s Phone Calls with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian President Morsi

    Today, the President spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Morsi about the rocket attacks being launched from Gaza into Israel, and the escalating violence in Gaza.

    The President reiterated to Prime Minister Netanyahu the United States’ support for Israel’s right to self-defense in light of the barrage of rocket attacks being launched from Gaza against Israeli civilians. The President urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. The two agreed that Hamas needs to stop its attacks on Israel to allow the situation to de-escalate. The two leaders agreed to stay in close touch in the coming days. Earlier today, Vice President Biden received a briefing from Prime Minister Netanyahu on the events in Gaza.

    The President also spoke with President Morsi given Egypt’s central role in preserving regional security. In their conversation, President Obama condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and reiterated Israel’s right to self-defense. The two leaders agreed on the importance of working to de-escalate the situation as quickly as possible and agreed to stay in close touch in the days ahead.

  18. CR says:

    Biden to court mayors

    11/14/12 9:41 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

    The White House is adding mayors to its grassroots outreach efforts.

    On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden will meet with more than a dozen mayors with hopes they can help pressure Republicans to cave in fiscal cliff negotiations.

    He will speak with them about “the need to get Congress to act to ensure that taxes don’t go up on 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of businesses at the end of the year,” a White House official tells POLITICO.

    The official said it’s all part of the administration’s “outreach to outside groups to discuss the need to urge Congress to extend the middle class tax cuts and find a balanced solution to reduce the deficit and move our economy forward.”

    So far this week, President Obama has made the same push with labor and civic leaders,women’s advocacy groups, and business leaders. His first face-to-face meeting with GOP leadership is scheduled Friday.

    For more: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/11/biden-to-court-mayors-149621.html

  19. CR says:

    BP to pay $4.5 billion, plead guilty to manslaughter in Gulf of Mexico oil spill

    11/15/12 By Ian Johnston and James Eng, NBC News
    Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET:

    BP will pay approximately $4.5 billion and plead guilty to manslaughter and other criminal charges as part of a settlement with the U.S. government over the deadly Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the London-based oil giant and federal officials said Thursday.

    The settlement total, to be paid out over five years, includes more than $1.25 billion in criminal fines — the largest such penalty ever.

    In addition, two BP employees have been indicted on manslaughter charges and a BP executive has been indicted on charges he lied to authorities about his work estimating the Gulf spill rate.

    At an afternoon news conference in New Orleans, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the wide-ranging settlement “the latest step forward in our ongoing efforts to achieve justice for those whose lives and whose livelihoods were impacted by the largest environmental disaster in the history of the United States.”

    He said the settlement amounts mark “both the largest single criminal fine … and the largest total criminal resolution” in U.S. history.

    For more: http://goo.gl/FHj5O

  20. CR says:

    Consumer Comfort in U.S. Advances to a Seven-Month High

    Nov 15, 2012 6:45 AM PT By Elizabeth Dexheimer – bloomberg

    Household confidence climbed last week to the highest level in seven months as Americans became less pessimistic about the economy.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 33.1 in the period ended Nov. 11 from minus 34.4 the previous week. The gauge has stayed above minus 40, the level associated with recessions and their aftermath, for two months. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed, the most since March 2008, had a positive view of the state of world’s largest economy.

    More optimism along with faster job growth would improve the odds of a pickup in retail sales at the start of the holiday shopping season. The risk for consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, is that the prospect of higher taxes tied to the so-called fiscal cliff prompts households to pull back.

    “The long-awaited cyclical recovery in consumer sentiment is gathering momentum, which will likely continue along with what appears to be a quicker pace of labor-market improvement,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “One risk going forward is the fiscal cliff, which has not yet resulted in consumers increasing savings.”

    The gauge of confidence has advanced in 10 of the past 12 weeks for the third time in data going back 26 years and is on pace to reach its highest annual average since 2007.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-15/consumer-comfort-in-u-s-advances-to-a-seven-month-high.html

  21. CR says:

    12:15 PM ET
    President Obama views the storm damage of Hurricane Sandy. President Obama speaks with citizens recovering from the storm and thanks first responders for their service

    • CR says:

      Obama to view Far Rockaway, Staten Island by air

      11/15/12 11:49 AM EST POLITICO44

      President Obama kicks off his visit to New York City to survey the outer borough storm damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy Thursday with an aerial tour.

      “President Obama will begin his visit to New York with an aerial tour where he will view the damage to Far Rockaway, including the Breezy Point neighborhood, and Staten Island,” the White House told reporters.

      During the flight over the storm-ravished neighborhoods, Obama will be briefed on the damage by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

      Obama initially requested a visit to New York the week before the election, but was denied by Bloomberg who feared a presidential visit would divert first responders from storm recovery.

      Obama instead toured the New Jersey shore with Gov. Chris Christie.

  22. CR says:

    1:30 PM ET
    President Obama’s remarks on Sandy recovery
    President Obama gives remarks about recovery from “superstorm” Sandy after a helicopter tour around Staten Island, New York.

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

    • CR says:

      November 15, 2012

      Remarks by the President After Surveying Damage from Hurricane Sandy

      Cedar Grove Avenue
      Staten Island, New York

      2:01 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much, everybody. I’m going to be relatively brief. I came up here right after the storm, was on the Jersey side, and I promised to everybody that I was speaking on behalf of the country when I said we are going to be here until the rebuilding is complete, and I meant it. So I’m going to come back today, but I’m also going to be coming back in the future to make sure that we have followed through on that commitment.

      I want to thank the outstanding leadership that’s been provided by state and local officials. Obviously, Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg have done an outstanding job. To borough president Molinaro, thank you so much for your leadership at a time when the folks here on this island were obviously going through extraordinarily difficult times, the people of Long Island who are going through really tough times.

      Across the board, what we’ve seen is cooperation and a spirit of service. And for the first responders who are here, the police officers, the firefighters, the EMS folks, the sanitation workers who sometimes don’t get credit but have done heroic work, we are so grateful to you because you exemplify what America is all about. I’m grateful to the Red Cross who has been so responsive not just here, but in disasters around the country. And I want to thank all the volunteers. As we were shaking hands over there, we had folks from every part of the country. We had some Canadians who had come down to help out.

      And during difficult times like this, we’re reminded that we’re bound together and we have to look out for each other. And a lot of the things that seem important, the petty differences melt away, and we focus on what binds us together and that we as Americans are going to stand with each other in their hour of need.

      Now, more specifically, we are now still in the process of recovery. As you can see, as you travel around parts of Staten Island, as we flew over parts of — other parts of the city and the region that had been impacted, there is still a lot of cleanup to do. People still need emergency help. They still need heat. They still need power. They still need food. They still need shelter. Kids are still trying to figure out where they’re going to school. So there’s a lot of short-term, immediate stuff that has to be dealt with. And we are going to make sure that we stay here as long as people need that immediate help. That’s FEMA’s primary task. And we’ll be coordinating closely with state and local governments to make sure folks are getting the short-term help.

      But what we’ve also already heard is that there’s going to be some long-term rebuilding that’s required. You look at this block and you know that this is a community that is deeply rooted. Most of the folks that I met here have been here 20, 30, 50 years. They don’t want to see their community uprooted, but there’s got to be a plan for rebuilding, and that plan is going to have to be coordinated, and they’re going to need resources.

      So what I’ve committed to doing is to work with the outstanding congressional delegation led by your Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, also working with Governor Christie and the Jersey delegation to try to come up with a game plan for how we’re going to be able to resource the rebuilding process.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/11/15/remarks-president-after-surveying-damage-hurricane-sandy

    • CR says:

      November 15, 2012

      Ongoing Response to Hurricane Sandy

      On Thursday, November 15th the President travelled to New York, marking his second trip to the affected region since Hurricane Sandy made landfall. During the visit the President toured damaged communities in the New York City area, met with Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, local officials, first responders, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) staff and families recovering from the storm.

      At the President’s direction, the Administration has continued to bring all available resources to bear to support our state and local partners as they continue to respond and recover from the storm. Prior to the storm making landfall, the President provided Emergency Declarations for states up and down the East Coast, and FEMA pre-deployed teams to support Governors in potentially impacted areas. Working with the Department of Defense (DOD), FEMA also established staging locations for water, meals, generators, medical supplies and other important resources, so that they could be quickly deployed to impacted areas once the storm had passed.

      Since that time, following expedited Major Disaster Declarations for New Jersey and New York provided by the President, FEMA has deployed over 7,000 personnel to the impacted area, established 65 Disaster Recovery Centers to support affected communities, provided millions of bottles of water, hundreds of thousands of meals, and hundreds of generators to affected states, and approved over $600 million in direct assistance to hundreds of thousands of individuals impacted by the storm.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/11/15/ongoing-response-hurricane-sandy

  23. CR says:

    1:00 PM EST
    White House Celebration of Global Entrepreneurship
    The White House

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

    • CR says:

      White House Celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Part 1

      Published on Nov 15, 2012 by whitehouse

      Entrepreneurs, investors, and experts discuss how to foster needed skills, strengthen regulatory environments, and provide access to capital through programs, partnerships, and policymaking efforts. November 15, 2012.

    • CR says:

      White House Celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Part 2

      Published on Nov 15, 2012 by whitehouse

      Entrepreneurs, investors, and experts discuss how to foster needed skills, strengthen regulatory environments, and provide access to capital through programs, partnerships, and policymaking efforts. November 15, 2012.

  24. CR says:

    Chrysler to spend $238 million, add 1,250 jobs in Michigan

    11/15/12 Deepa Seetharaman – Reuters – 38 mins ago

    (Reuters) – Chrysler Group LLC, the U.S. automaker majority owned by Fiat SpA, said on Thursday it will invest $238 million to boost engine and truck production in Michigan and add up to 1,250 jobs to meet new demand.

    The company is spending $198 million to make its Pentastar V6 engine at the Mack I Engine Plant, which currently builds a larger engine for the Ram 1500 truck. Production will begin in early 2014 and Chrysler may add up to 250 jobs there, subject to market conditions.

    The automaker is spending $40 million to install a flexible production line at its Trenton North plant, which can build both the V-6 engine and the Tigershark four-cylinder engine.

    Chrysler also will add 1,000 new jobs on a third shift at its Warren Truck Assembly Plant, which builds the 2013 Ram 1500 truck.

  25. CR says:

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

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

  26. CR says:

    New York Sikhs Organize Help for Sandy Victims

    NOVEMBER 14, 2012 BY RAMAA REDDY RAGAVAN ⋅ theworld.org

    Summary: Members of Indian Sikh communities from around New York have organized to help those hardest-hit by Hurricane Sandy.

    Sikh volunteers are in Queens, providing hot food for displaced people in need of a meal.

    Ramaa Reddy Raghavan of “Feet In Two Worlds” reports from Queens.

    For the audio interview: http://www.theworld.org/2012/11/new-york-sikhs-sandy/

    ————–

    MyRM interviews Jitunda Singh from United Sikhs at Sandy Relief Center in The Rockaways Nov 3

    Published on Nov 3, 2012 by MyRockawaysMedia

    My Rockaways Media “MyRM” reporter Mr. Brett A. Scudder interviews Mr. Singh from United Sikhs as he continues coverage of the aftermath of tropical storm Sandy and its impacts on The Rockaways. Mr. Singh and his volunteers came out to support the people of The Rockaways by giving out hot food and refreshments. You can find out more about them at http://www.unitedsikhs.org and please support their efforts. We say a very special Thank You to every org that has come out to support the community. God bless.

  27. CR says:

    4:30 PM ET
    President Obama hosts the cast and crew of “Lincoln” for a special screening of the movie
    White House

    • CR says:

      Remarks and video to follow

    • CR says:

      Obama to host ‘Lincoln’ cast

      11/14/12 8:06 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

      After spending the day touring damage from Hurricane Sandy in New York on Thursday, the president will head back to Washington for a little entertainment.

      He is set to host members of the cast and crew of “Lincoln” for a special screening of the movie at the White House.

      The White House did not say exactly who would be joining Obama, but one might reasonably expect director Steven Spielberg to be there. He was a high-end donor to both Obama’s reelection campaign and pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA, ponying up more than $1 million. And Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO at DreamWorks, which made the movie, was one of Obama’s most prolific bundlers this cycle. He also gave $1 million to Priorities.

      Sally Field, who plays Mary Todd Lincoln in the movie, also appeared at fundraisers for the president, and Daniel Day Lewis, who plays Abraham Lincoln, well, he was last seen #Eastwooding at the BAFTA awards in L.A.

  28. CR says:

    Farthest Known Galaxy in the Universe Discovered

    11/15/12 By Clara Moskowitz | SPACE.com – 2 hrs 49 mins ago

    A new celestial wonder has stolen the title of most distant object ever seen in the universe, astronomers report.

    The new record holder is the galaxy MACS0647-JD, which is about 13.3 billion light-years away. The universe itself is only 13.7 billion years old, so this galaxy’s light has been traveling toward us for almost the whole history of space and time.

    Astronomers spotted the object using NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, with the aid of a naturally occurring cosmic zoom lens as well. This lens is a huge cluster of galaxies whose collective gravity warps space-time, producing what’s called a gravitational lens. As the distant galaxy’s light traveled through this lens on its way to Earth, it was magnified.

    “This cluster does what no manmade telescope can do,” Marc Postman of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., said in a statement unveiling the discovery today (Nov. 15).

    “Without the magnification, it would require a Herculean effort to observe this galaxy.” Postman leads the Cluster Lensing And Supernova Survey with Hubble (CLASH), which performed the study.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/farthest-known-galaxy-universe-discovered-201051161.html

  29. CR says:

    WH

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:15 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with Democratic and Republican leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate at the White House to discuss the action we need to take to keep our economy growing and reduce our deficit.

    Dr Jill Biden visits the Dover Public Library in Dover, Del., for a reading and signing of her book.

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    Dr Jill Biden visits Barnes & Noble in Wilmington, Del., for a reading and signing of her book.

    2:00 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with civic leaders representing the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP, AARP, National Council of La Raza and other groups.

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

  30. CR says:

    Obama to meet with civic leaders after Hill huddle

    11/15/12 7:36 PM EST By JENNIFER EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

    President Obama will follow up his Friday morning meeting about the fiscal cliff with an afternoon session with leaders from civic groups, following up on meetings he had earlier in the week with leaders of business and liberal-leaning groups.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are set to meet with the president and Vice President Joe Biden at 10:15 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room. They’re to speak to cameras at the start of the meeting.

    In the afternoon, Obama and Biden will meet with leaders from a range of organizations representing special interest groups including the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP, AARP and National Council of La Raza, a White House official said.

    At both meetings, Obama will continue to reiterate his message “that he wants to work together with members of Congress in both parties to find common ground to address the challenges facing our nation at the end of the year,” the official said. “The president will continue to urge Congress to act on one thing we all agree on — ensuring that taxes don’t go up on 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small businesses at the end of the year. This would not only give certainty to millions of American families and small businesses but also resolve more than half of the impact of the so-called ‘fiscal cliff.'”

    Obama, the official continued, “will also reiterate that he wants to work with leaders in both parties to achieve a significant, balanced deficit reduction plan that puts our nation on a sustainable fiscal path. He will be make clear that he is willing to compromise and do tough things to get this done, but only in the context of a balanced approach that also asks more in revenues from the wealthiest Americans.”

    For more: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/11/obama-to-meet-with-civic-leaders-after-hill-huddle-149732.html

  31. CR says:

    Machinery Stocks Gain as Global Slowdown Worries Abate

    Nov 15, 2012 9:01 PM PT By Anna-Louise Jackson and Anthony Feld – bloomberg

    Machinery stocks are attracting investors who are optimistic about economic-growth prospects worldwide, even as the fiscal cliff looms in the U.S.

    The Standard and Poor’s Supercomposite Machinery Index — made up of 55 companies including Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW) — has risen 9.4 percent since July 17, compared with a loss of 0.8 percent in the S&P 500 Index. This follows about five months of underperformance when the machinery index lagged behind the broader market by almost 20 percent as economic weakness dragged down the shares, said Robert McCarthy, a senior analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. in Chicago.

    These stocks have “meaningful upside potential” as the companies’ customers are showing signs of improvement since the summer, McCarthy said. The shares appeal to a “growing portion of the market that sees the glass half-full, not half-empty.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-16/machinery-stocks-gain-as-global-slowdown-worries-abate.html

  32. CR says:

    10:15 AM ET
    President Obama meets with Democratic and Republican leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate at the White House to discuss the action we need to take to keep our economy growing and reduce our deficit.

    • CR says:

      November 16, 2012

      Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Meeting with Congressional Leadership

      Today, the President met with the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress at the White House for over an hour. The President and the leadership had a constructive meeting and agreed to do everything possible to find a solution that averts the so-called “fiscal cliff,” and to work together to find a balanced approach to reduce our deficit that includes both revenues and cuts in spending and encourages our long-term economic and job growth. Both sides agreed that while there may be differences in our preferred approaches, we will continue a constructive process to find a solution and come to a conclusion as soon as possible. Members of the President’s senior team will continue meetings and discussions with Members of Congress and staff over the next several days while the President travels in Asia.

  33. CR says:

    Ami Bera defeats Dan Lungren in close California race

    November 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm Posted by Ed O’Keefe – maddowblog

    Rep. Daniel E. Lungren (R-Calif.). (washingtonpost.com)

    Democrat Ami Bera has ousted Rep. Daniel E. Lungren (R-Calif.) to represent a Sacramento-area congressional seat, according to the Associated Press.

    Bera’s lead has grown to more than 5,700 votes as officials continued counting 70,000 provisional and absentee ballots this week.

    As of today, Bera had 51.11 percent of the vote compared to Lungren’s 48.89 percent, according to the AP.

    The announcement of Bera’s victory comes at the end of orientation week for new House lawmakers — a process that Lungren is responsible for overseeing in his role as chairman of the House Administration Committee. That means that the man Bera worked to unseat has been training him on how to do his job.

    Despite the close margin, Bera and other candidates in uncalled races were invited to attend orientation this week in case they eventually win their races.

    With the Bera-Lungren race called, five House races — in Arizona, California, Florida, North Carolina and Utah — remain unresolved. The Democratic candidate leads in each race.

  34. CR says:

    E-Commerce Retail Sales

    11/16/2012 10:00:00 AM For Q3, 2012 – bloomberg

    Highlights
    Third quarter e-commerce sales rose 3.7 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, which is slightly stronger than the second quarter’s upwardly revised gain of 3.5 percent. E-commerce’s share of total retail sales rose to 5.2 percent from 5.1 percent.

    Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/economic-calendar/

  35. CR says:

    2:00 PM ET
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with civic leaders representing the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP, AARP, National Council of La Raza and other groups.

  36. CR says:

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

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

  37. CR says:

    Obama favorability reaches three-year high

    11/16/12 3:04 PM EST By BYRON TAU – POLITICO44

    President Obama’s favorability rating has reached its highest point since 2009, according to Gallup data released Friday.

    In a recent tracking poll, the firm finds Obama with a 58 percent positive rating among all Americans — a three point bump from his favorability rating from a survey taken days before the election.

    The last time Obama’s favorability rating registered his highly was his 66 percent positive rating in July 2009. His highest positive number ever recorded by Gallup was 78 percent — just before his inauguration as president.

    “Obama now enjoys as positive an image in the eyes of Americans as he has at any point in the last three years,” Gallup concludes.

    The Democratic Party has also increased its favorability rating since Election Day. They’re now viewed positively by 52 percent of Americans, up from 45 percent before the election.

    Mitt Romney and the GOP have also seen slight bumps after the election. Positive impresses of Romney are up four points since before Election Day, with 50 percent of the country having a favorable view of their former GOP nominee.

  38. CR says:

    November 16, 2012

    Readout of the President’s Phone Call with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan

    Today, the President called Prime Minister Erdogan to discuss the escalating violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip. The two leaders shared their concerns about the dangers to civilian populations on both sides and expressed their common desire to see an end to the violence. The President and Prime Minister agreed that the continued spiral of violence jeopardizes prospects for a durable, lasting peace in the region. The President underscored his commitment to advancing the goal of Middle East peace. The President’s call to Prime Minister Erdogan follows his outreach to counterparts in Israel and Egypt on November 14.

  39. CR says:

    November 16, 2012

    Readout of the President’s Phone Call with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel

    Prime Minister Netanyahu called the President today to provide an update on the situation in Israel and Gaza. The Prime Minister expressed his deep appreciation to the President and the American people for the United States’ investment in the Iron Dome rocket and mortar defense system, which has effectively defeated hundreds of incoming rockets from Gaza and saved countless Israeli lives. The President reiterated U.S. support for Israel’s right to defend itself, and expressed regret over the loss of Israeli and Palestinian civilian lives. The two leaders discussed options for de-escalating the situation.

  40. CR says:

    November 16, 2012

    Readout of the President’s Call with President Morsi of Egypt

    President Obama called Egyptian President Morsi today to discuss the situation in Gaza. The President commended Egypt’s efforts to de-escalate the situation and expressed his hope that these efforts would be successful. The President expressed regret for the loss of Israeli and Palestinian civilian lives, and underscored the importance of resolving the situation as quickly as possible to restore stability and prevent further loss of life. The two leaders agreed to stay in close contact during the coming days.

  41. CR says:

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

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ ASEAN Summit 2012 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia”
    **********************

    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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