Pres. Obama’s 2012 Achievements Despite A Polarized Congress

Executive Order — Establishing the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force
November 2012

Presidential Memorandum — Emergency Leave Transfer Program for Federal Employees Adversely Affected by Hurricane Sandy
November 2012

Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012
November 2012

Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013
September 2012

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act 
July 2012

Veteran Skills to Jobs Act
July 2012

Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act 
July 2012

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
June 2012

National Flood Insurance Program Extension
May 2012

Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012
May 2012

Post-Deployment/Mobilization Respite Absence Program Modification
May 2012

Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act 
April 2012

Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012
April 2012

Presidential Memorandum — Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce
April 2012

Executive Order — National Defense Resources Preparedness
March 2012

Presidental Proclamation — United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement
March 2012

Providing the Quileute Indian Tribe Tsunami and Flood Protection
February 2012

Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012
February 2012

.

Risk-Based Security Screening for Members of The Armed Forces Act

January 2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

.
It’s official: The 112th Congress was the most polarized ever

January 17, 2013 Posted by Dylan Matthews – washingtonpost

Stats geeks, rejoice: The newest DW-NOMINATE figures are out! DW-NOMINATE, devised by political scientists Keith Poole (now at the University of Georgia) and Howard Rosenthal (now at NYU), is the industry standard system for measuring how members of the House and Senate compare to each other ideologically.

The approach uses roll-call votes to plot members across two left-to-right axes: one for economic issues, and one for social/racial/regional issues. The latter is primarily of interest for analyzing civil rights politics and the movement of segregationist Democrats into the Republican party in the 1960s and ’70s, so for looking at contemporary politics, analysts tend to focus on the first, or economic, dimension.

Yesterday, the DW-NOMINATE team released scores for the 112th Congress, which started in January 2011 and just wrapped up at the start of this month. They confirm what the team has found for years: the parties are moving further and further apart. The most straightforward way to measure polarization using DW-NOMINATE is to calculate the average score of each party in each chamber, and then calculate the difference between the two parties’ means. The further apart the means are, the more polarized the body.

The House is more polarized than the Senate, which makes sense. The fact that senators need to win over whole states means that Democrats in right-leaning states (e.g. Ben Nelson) have to tack right and Republicans in left-leaning states (e.g. Scott Brown) have to tack left, which reduces the ideological uniformity of each party’s caucus. That’s especially true among Democrats, as the Senate is highly geographically biased against liberal urban areas and in favor of conservative rural areas, meaning that Democrats have to appeal heavily to the latter regions to get a majority. But both bodies saw polarization jump up sharply.

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/17/its-official-the-112th-congress-was-the-most-polarized-ever/

.

With the polarized Congress we currently have there are going to be times in the next four years where President Obama will need our help to speak up and add their own voices to the debate to help move legislation through to achieve the CHANGES America desires on gun control, immigration, rights for LGBT citizens and other important issues.

.

“You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.  You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time — not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.”

1/21/13 President Barack Obama

Obama_Biden_thumbnail

About these ads

46 Responses to Pres. Obama’s 2012 Achievements Despite A Polarized Congress

  1. vitaminlover says:

    And he is just getting started!

  2. CR says:

    WH

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:30 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden receive the presidential daily briefing

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

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      January 23, 2013

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

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

      —-

      ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/Live/

      9:00 AM ET
      House to Take Up Debt Ceiling Measure

      9:00 AM ET
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies on the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya- Part I –

      10:00 AM ET
      Military sexual assault hearing
      The House Armed Service Committee takes up the issue of sexual assault in the military following allegations that drill sergeants sexually abused recruits at a Texas Air Force base.

      10:30 AM ET
      Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan
      The deputy commander for U.S. forces in Afghanistan will speak with reporters on current military operations in the war-torn country.

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

      1:00 PM ET
      Gun violence task force hearing
      The Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force discusses what Congress can do to reduce gun violence while respecting constitutional rights.

      2:00 PM ET
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies on the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya- Part II

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:00 AM ET
      Briefing Details Superstorm Sandy Reconstruction Funding http://www.c-span.org/Events/Briefing-Details-Superstorm-Sandy-Reconstruction-Funding/10737437507/

      9:00 AM ET
      House to Take Up Debt Ceiling Measure http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-to-Take-Up-Debt-Ceiling-Measure/10737437505/

      9:00 AM ET
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies on the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya- Part I

      10:00 AM ET
      Military sexual assault hearing
      The House Armed Service Committee takes up the issue of sexual assault in the military following allegations that drill sergeants sexually abused recruits at a Texas Air Force base. http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-Cmte-Investigates-Sexual-Misconduct-at-Lackland/10737437506/

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

      1:00 PM ET
      Gun violence task force hearing
      The Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force discusses what Congress can do to reduce gun violence while respecting constitutional rights. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Gun-Violence-Task-Force-Discusses-Potential-Steps/10737437508/

      2:00 PM ET
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies on the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya- Part II – http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-Hearing-on-US-Consulate-Attack-in-Benghazi/10737437474/

    • CR says:

      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/

  3. CR says:

    Reid To McConnell: Make A Deal Or Dems Will Weaken The Filibuster Ourselves

    JANUARY 22, 2013, 6:19 PM 13585 SAHIL KAPUR – tpm

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) offered his Republican counterpart an ultimatum on Tuesday afternoon: come to a deal on filibuster reform soon or Democrats will do it on our own.

    “I hope that within the next 24 to 36 hours, we can get something that we agree on,” Reid told reporters in the Capitol. “If not we’re going to move forward on what I think needs to be done. The caucus will support me on that.”

    The Democratic majority leader has vowed to weaken the filibuster but is deferring action while he continues weeks-long negotiations with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) over a resolution. He’s keeping his options open to change the rules with a 51-vote majority if a deal is not reached.

    Last week Reid charted out a middle path that would involve shifting some of the burden from a majority seeking to conduct Senate business to a minority seeking to obstruct. Currently the onus is on a majority to maintain a 51-vote quorum while seeking to advance legislation and nominees; Reid’s approach would require a filibustering minority to keep a critical mass of 41 senators in a chamber while stalling.

    As Reid weighs his options, champions of filibuster reform are wary that Republicans will agree to any meaningful changes. And the leading Senate champion of reform is pushing Reid to ditch his hopes of bipartisanship and move forward with the constitutional option.

    “Leader Reid has left open two paths to rules changes,” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said in a statement late Tuesday. “While I’ve always thought that improving how the Senate works should be an area ripe for bipartisan agreement, it is clear at this point that the constitutional option would produce the strongest package and make the Senate more functional.”

    For more: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/01/reid-mcconnell-filibuster-ultimatim.php?ref=fpa

  4. CR says:

    US mortgage applications up for 3rd week despite rate rise: Mortgage Bankers Association

    23 JAN, 2013, 05.44PM IST, REUTERS

    NEW YORK: Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week for the third week in a row, boosted by increased demand for refinancings, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

    The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 7 percent in the week ended Jan 18.

    The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications gained 7.7 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, added 2.5 percent.

    The refinance share of total mortgage activity held steady at 82 percent of applications.

    Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.62 percent, up 1 basis point from the week before.

    The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.

  5. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Happy and HOPEful Wednesday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

    Really, I had no right to be as sleepy yesterday as I was, considering all I did was watch Inaugural TV on Monday! And there were POTUS & FLOTUS, who had a right to be tired, back at work! :)

  6. CR says:

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

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

  7. CR says:

    Exports to Recover in U.S. as Global Growth Firms: Economy

    Jan 23, 2013 1:14 PM PT By Michelle Jamrisko – bloomberg

    Exports from the U.S. are set to pick up in 2013 after slumping last quarter as global growth strengthens from Asia to Latin America, giving American manufacturers a boost.

    Industries in which U.S. companies have a competitive advantage, including agriculture, medical supplies and aviation, will probably benefit the most from improving global demand, said Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics. That would brighten the outlook for corporations from General Electric Co. (GE) to Boeing Co. (BA) and Johnson & Johnson. (JNJ)

    China reported economic growth accelerated in the fourth quarter for the first time in two years, raising prospects that a regional lift will fuel demand for U.S. goods. Developing nations are projected to grow 5.5 percent in 2013, more than last year, while Europe stabilizes, according to projections from the World Bank.

    “The rest of the world is still growing, which means you should have higher exports,” said Maury Harris, chief economist at UBS Securities LLC in New York. “If China is improving, those neighbors are going to have better growth. And if their neighbors have better growth, then they’ll buy more stuff from us.”

    Harris forecasts sales to overseas customers will be 6.7 percent higher in this year’s fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2012. The comparable gain in 2012 was an estimated 1.6 percent, reflecting a projected 5 percent slump at an annual rate from October through December.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-23/exports-set-for-recovery-in-u-s-as-global-growth-firms-economy.html

  8. COS says:

    Hey CR and friends. I had to go back and catch up on the threads. I have been so caught up in this inauguration. I really enjoyed that minister at the National Prayer service. He was so in tune with what PBO has gone through. It was very touching.

  9. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:25 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden receive the presidential daily briefing

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:45 PM
    Vice President Biden will take questions on the Obama administration’s actions on gun violence in a Fireside Hangout event.

    2:00 PM
    2:30 PM
    2:30 PM
    President Obama makes a personnel announcement
    State Dining Room

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:35 PM
    President Obama meets with Secretary of State Clinton

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

  10. CR says:

    Fireside Hangouts: Vice President Biden Joins a Conversation on Reducing Gun Violence

    Kori SchulmanJanuary 23, 2013 12:45 PM EST

    This week, the White House will continue a series of conversations with top administration officials on Google+. On Thursday, January 24 at 1:45 p.m. ET, Vice President Biden will join the latest “Fireside Hangout” – a 21st century take on FDR’s famous radio addresses – to talk about reducing gun violence.

    On January 16, President Obama and Vice President Biden released a plan to help protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence. The plan outlines specific, common-sense steps we can take right now to help keep guns out of the wrong hands, ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, make our schools safer, and increase access to mental health services. Learn more about the plan here.

    During the hangout hosted by Google and moderated by Hari Sreenivasan from PBS NewsHour, Vice President Biden will discuss the White House policy recommendations on reducing gun violence. Google+ users from the around the country will join the discussion, including Guy Kawasaki and Phil DeFranco. If you have a question, you can suggest it by writing it on the participants’ on Google+ pages. Watch the hangout with Vice President Biden live on WhiteHouse.gov, or tune in to the White House’s Google+ page or YouTube channel.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/01/23/fireside-hangouts-vice-president-biden-joins-conversation-reducing-gun-violence

  11. CR says:

    Feinstein to introduce assault weapons ban Thursday

    1/23/13 By Rachel Rose Hartman, Yahoo! News | The Ticket

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., will introduce legislation Thursday morning to reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons, the senator’s office announced Wednesday.

    The “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013,” which centers on banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices—actions backed by President Barack Obama—will be introduced during a press conference at 11 a.m. Thursday. Feinstein will be joined by a coalition of Democratic lawmakers, law enforcement officers, and representatives from gun safety and gun violence groups, among others

    • CR says:

      Feinstein to Introduce Updated Assault Weapons Bill in New Congress

      December 17, 2012

      Stops sale of more than 100 assault weapons; protects gun owners by exempting more than 900 specific hunting and sporting weapons
      Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), author of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004, announced on Sunday that she will introduce updated legislation early next year.

      “On the first day of the new Congress, I intend to introduce a bill stopping the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of assault weapons as well as large ammunition magazines, strips and drums that hold more than 10 rounds,” Feinstein said. “I am in the process of gathering support for the bill in the Senate and House.”

      “I have been working with my staff for over a year on this legislation,” Feinstein added. “It will be carefully focused on the most dangerous guns that have killed so many people over the years while protecting the rights of gun owners by exempting hundreds of weapons that fall outside the bill’s scope. We must take these dangerous weapons of war off our streets.”

      A Justice Department study found the Assault Weapons Ban was responsible for a 6.7 percent decline in total gun murders. However, since the 2004 expiration of the bill, assault weapons have been used in at least 459 incidents, resulting in 385 deaths and 455 injuries.

      A summary of key provisions in the updated bill:

      Stops the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of more than 100 specifically-named firearms as well as certain semiautomatic rifles, handguns and shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.

      Stops the sale, transfer, importation and manufacturing of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.

      Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
      * grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment;
      * exempting more than 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting and sporting purposes; and
      * exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons.

      —————

      Senator Feinstein on assault weapons legislation

      Published on Dec 18, 2012

      Senator Dianne Feinstein appeared on PBS Newshour on Dec. 17, 2012, to discuss the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., and her plans to introduce assault weapons legislation.

  12. CR says:

    Jobless Claims in U.S. Decrease, Prolonging Seasonal Swings

    Jan 24, 2013 5:48 AM PT By Lorraine Woellert – bloomberg

    Claims for jobless benefits in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped last week to a five-year low, highlighting the challenges in adjusting the data for swings at the start of a year.

    Applications for unemployment insurance payments decreased by 5,000 to 330,000 in the week ended Jan. 19, the fewest since the same week in 2008, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. Economists forecast 355,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

    “The swings are attributable to the calendar,” said Brian Jones, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York, who projected a drop to 328,000. He said the numbers probably will rise at the end of the month as the calendar returns to normal. “We’re going to pay for this,” he said.

    A pickup in consumer spending last month may be helping employers look beyond the rancor in Washington over attempts to cut federal spending and trim the national debt. Nonetheless, an increase in the payroll tax at the start of the year has shaken household confidence, raising the risk that sales may cool.

    “Away from the calendar swings, the numbers are getting better,” Jones said. “There’s an improvement in the labor market that is in fact going on.”

    Stock-index futures held earlier losses after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in March fell 0.1 percent to 1,489 at 8:47 a.m. in New York after Apple Inc. reported the slowest profit growth since 2003 and weakest sales increase in 14 quarters.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-24/jobless-claims-in-u-s-decrease-prolonging-seasonal-swings.html

  13. CR says:

    PMI Manufacturing Index Flash

    Released On 1/24/2013 8:58:00 AM For Jan, 2013

    Prior Consensus Consensus Range Actual
    Level 54.2 54.0 52.0 to 55.3 56.1

    Highlights
    Forget about the very weak readings so far this month in the regional manufacturing reports. The PMI manufacturing flash, which is a national index, is at 56.1 this month vs a final December reading of 54.0. The flash is well above 50 to indicate strong monthly growth and is well over December to indicate an even faster rate of growth in general activity.

    Details are mostly positive led by a three point jump in new orders which are at a very strong 57.7. Output shows similar strength and similar acceleration at 57.2 for a 2.7 point gain. Employment is rising at 55.6 for a 1.1 point gain.

    New export orders, at a plus 50 level of 51.3, do show monthly growth but at a slower pace than December’s 52.6. Total backlog orders show a slight contraction in the month.

    Input prices at 59.7 continue to rise, though at a slightly slower rate than December’s 61.9 which is a surprise given the rise now underway in fuel prices. Output prices show respectable pricing power at 54.0.

    A special sign of strength in the report comes from inventory data which show a build for raw materials and a slowing draw for finished goods. Manufacturers were drawing down their inventories going into year end, but today’s data suggest that rebuilding may now be underway which underscores confidence in the economic outlook and points to further strength for output and employment.

    Markit Economics’ PMI report has been consistently showing greater strength than other anecdotal reports and hard government data as well. But it’s the direction of today’s report — much higher — that could prove to be a special positive for today’s stock market, especially given today’s earlier release of very bullish jobless claims.

    Source: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=457816&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2013&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  14. CR says:

    Index of Leading Economic Indicators in U.S. Increases 0.5%

    Jan 24, 2013 7:00 AM PT Alex Kowalski – bloomberg

    The index of U.S. leading indicators rose in December by the most in three months, showing the world’s largest economy is poised to keep growing through the first half of this year.

    The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months increased 0.5 percent after the November reading was revised to unchanged from a previously reported decline, the New York-based group said today. Economists projected the gauge would rise 0.4 percent last month, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

    “The overall picture is one of modest growth,” Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc. in New York, said before the report. “Housing is adding to growth. The labor market is better, so the consumer has more impetus to spend.”

    The recovery in residential real estate, sustained job growth and stock-market gains that are extending through this month are giving Americans the wherewithal to spend. At the same time, higher payroll taxes and possible budget cutbacks threaten to limit how fast the expansion can advance.

    Estimates from 48 economists in the Bloomberg survey ranged from increases of 0.2 percent to 1 percent.

    Claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly dropped last week to a five-year low, highlighting the challenges in adjusting the data for swings at the start of a year, another report showed.

    Applications for unemployment insurance payments decreased by 5,000 to 330,000 in the week ended Jan. 19, the fewest since the same week in 2008, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. Economists forecast 355,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-24/index-of-leading-economic-indicators-in-u-s-increases-0-5-.html

  15. CR says:

    1:30 PM ET
    Women in combat announcement
    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will announce that the U.S. military is ending its policy of excluding women from combat.

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/Defense-Secretary-to-Lift-Ban-on-Women-in-Combat/10737437552/

    Department of Defense http://www.pentagonchannel.mil

    • CR says:

      Statement on Women in Service

      As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, Pentagon Press Briefing Room,

      Thursday, January 24, 2013 defense.gov

      Good afternoon. One of my priorities as Secretary of Defense has been to remove as many barriers as possible for talented and qualified people to be able to serve this country in uniform. Our nation was built on the premise of the citizen-soldier. In our democracy, I believe it is the responsibility of every citizen to protect the nation. And every citizen who can meet the qualifications of service should have that opportunity.

      To that end, I’ve been working closely with General Dempsey and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We’ve been working for well over a year to examine, how can we expand the opportunities for women in the armed services?

      It’s clear to all of us that women are contributing in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission of defending the nation. Women represent 15 percent of the force, over 200,000. They’re serving in a growing number of critical roles on and off the battlefield. The fact is that they have become an integral part of our ability to perform our mission.

      Over more than a decade of war, they have demonstrated courage and skill and patriotism. A hundred and fifty-two women in uniform have died serving this nation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Female servicemembers have faced the reality of combat, proven their willingness to fight and, yes, to die to defend their fellow Americans.

      However, many military positions, particularly in ground combat units, still remain closed to women because of the 1994 direct ground combat definition and assignment rule. Military and civilian leaders in this department have been taking a hard look at that rule based on the experiences of the last decade.

      In early 2012, we announced a series of modifications to that rule which opened up more than 14,000 new positions to women, including positions that were collocated with ground combat units and certain positions in ground combat units below the battalion level. These changes have been implemented, and the experience has been very positive.

      Every time I visited the warzone, every time I’ve met with troops, reviewed military operations, and talked to wounded warriors, I’ve been impressed with the fact that everyone – men and women alike – everyone is committed to doing the job. They’re fighting and they’re dying together. And the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality.

      The chairman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I believe that we must open up service opportunities for women as fully as possible. And therefore today, General Dempsey and I are pleased to announce that we are eliminating the direct ground combat exclusion rule for women and we are moving forward with a plan to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service. In a few moments after we speak, we’ll both sign a memo that will rescind the ’94 barrier.

      Our purpose is to ensure that the mission is carried out by the best qualified and the most capable servicemembers, regardless of gender and regardless of creed and beliefs. If members of our military can meet the qualifications for a job – and let me be clear, I’m not talking about reducing the qualifications for the job – if they can meet the qualifications for the job, then they should have the right to serve, regardless of creed or color or gender or sexual orientation.

      For more: http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1746

    • CR says:

      January 24, 2013

      Statement by the President on the Opening of Combat Units to Women

      Today, by moving to open more military positions—including ground combat units—to women, our armed forces have taken another historic step toward harnessing the talents and skills of all our citizens. This milestone reflects the courageous and patriotic service of women through more than two centuries of American history and the indispensable role of women in today’s military. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice, including more than 150 women who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan—patriots whose sacrifices show that valor knows no gender.

      Earlier today I called Secretary of Defense Panetta to express my strong support for this decision, which will strengthen our military, enhance our readiness, and be another step toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals of fairness and equality. I congratulate our military, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for the rigor that they have brought to this process. As Commander in Chief, I am absolutely confident that—as with the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’—the professionalism of our armed forces will ensure a smooth transition and keep our military the very best in the world. Today, every American can be proud that our military will grow even stronger with our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters playing a greater role in protecting this country we love.

  16. CR says:

    1:45 PM ET
    Vice President Biden will take questions on the Obama administration’s actions on gun violence in a Fireside Hangout event.

    WH Google+: https://plus.google.com/+whitehouse

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    • CR says:

      White House Hangout with Vice President Joe Biden on Reducing Gun Violence

      Published on Jan 24, 2013

      Vice President Biden participates in a “Fireside Hangout” — a 21st century take on FDR’s famous radio addresses — to talk about reducing gun violence. The hangout was hosted by Google and moderated by Hari Sreenivasan of PBS NewsHour. Other participants included Guy Kawasaki and Philip DeFranco. January 24, 2013.

  17. CR says:

    2:30 PM ET
    President Obama makes a personnel announcement
    State Dining Room

    • CR says:

      January 24, 2013

      Remarks by the President at a Personnel Announcement

      State Dining Room

      2:38 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Over the last four years, I’ve talked about how shared prosperity — from Wall Street to Main Street — depends on smart, common-sense regulations that protect the vast majority of Americans from the irresponsible actions of a few.

      That’s why we passed tough reforms to protect consumers and our financial system from the kinds of abuse that nearly brought the economy to its knees. Today, there are rules to help families — responsible families buy a home or send their child to college without worrying about being tricked out of their life savings. There are rules to make sure that financial firms which do the right thing aren’t undermined by those that don’t do the right thing. And there are rules to end taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts once and for all.

      But it’s not enough to change the law. We also need cops on the beat to enforce the law. And that’s why, today, I am nominating Mary Jo White to lead the Security and Exchange Commission, and Richard Cordray to continue leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

      This guy is bothering me here — (swatting at a fly.)

      As a young girl, Mary Jo White was a big fan of the Hardy Boys. I was, too, by the way.

      MS. WHITE: Good. Good.

      THE PRESIDENT: Yes. As an adult, she’s built a career the Hardy Boys could only dream of. Over a decade as a U.S. Attorney in New York, she helped prosecute white-collar criminals and money launderers. In the early 1990s, she brought down John Gotti, the head of the Gambino crime syndicate. And she brought to justice the terrorists responsible for bombing the World Trade Center and the American embassies in Africa. So I’d say that’s a pretty good run. You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo.

      As one former SEC chairman said, Mary Jo “does not intimidate easily.” And that’s important, because she has a big job ahead of her. The SEC played a critical role in protecting our financial system during the worst of the financial crisis. But there’s much more work to be done to complete the task of reforming Wall Street and making sure that American investors are better informed and better protected going forward. And we need to keep going after irresponsible behavior in the financial industry so that taxpayers don’t pay the price.

      I am absolutely confident that Mary Jo has the experience and the resolve to tackle these complex issues and protect the American people in a way that is smart and in a way that is fair.

      And I want to thank Elisse Walter, who has done an outstanding job holding down the fort as chairwoman. And I expect the Senate to confirm Mary Jo as soon as possible so she can get to work.

      My second nominee is a familiar face. A year and a half ago, I nominated Richard Cordray to lead the watchdog agency we created to give Americans the information they need to make sound financial choices and protect them from unscrupulous lenders and debt collectors.

      As a former attorney general of Ohio with a long record of working with Democrats and Republicans on behalf of the American people, nobody questioned Richard’s qualifications. But he wasn’t allowed an up or down vote in the Senate, and as a consequence, I took action to appoint him on my own. And over the last year, Richard has proved to be a champion of American consumers.

      Thanks to his leadership, we’ve made it tougher for families to be tricked into mortgages they can’t afford. We’ve set clearer rules so that responsible lenders know how to operate fairly. We’ve launched a “Know Before You Owe” campaign to help parents and students make smart decisions about paying for college. We’ve cracked down on credit card companies that charge hidden fees, and forced those companies to make things right. And through it all, Richard has earned a reputation as a straight shooter and somebody who’s willing to bring every voice to the table in order to do what’s right for consumers and our economy.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/01/24/remarks-president-personnel-announcement

      • CR says:

        Senate confirms White to lead SEC

        4/08/13 02:42 PM ET By Peter Schroeder – TheHill

        The Senate unanimously approved Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday.

        Shortly after returning from a two-week break, the Senate quickly acted to approve the former federal prosecutor to lead the Wall Street watchdog, signing off on her confirmation by unanimous consent.

        The only lawmaker to oppose her nomination at any step in the process was Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who voted against her when she appeared before the Senate Banking Committee but did not block the consent request on the Senate floor.

        White will now take the reins of the financial regulator following the December departure of its former head, Mary Schapiro. SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter led the agency in the interim.

        Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/292383-senate-confirms-mary-jo-white-to-lead-the-sec

      • CR says:

        GOP WRONG WAY

        ‘We were wrong’

        Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:35 PM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

        It took over 700 days, a recess appointment, and a nuclear-option showdown, but a prominent Republican senator yesterday took stock of his party’s efforts to reject Richard Cordray and nullify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He reached an interesting conclusion.

        “Cordray was being filibustered because we don’t like the law” that created the consumer agency, said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. “That’s not a reason to deny someone their appointment. We were wrong.”

        That’s not a phrase we often hear from politicians, especially congressional Republicans, and it’s a welcome concession. Indeed, since I made the same argument on Monday, I’m delighted by Graham’s candor.

        Perhaps, if Senate Republicans had come to this realization just a little sooner, Elizabeth Warren would be at the CFPB right now and Scott Brown would still be making Wall Street happy as a senator.

        Regardless, the question many Senate Democrats are asking right now is whether yesterday’s breakthrough — which overwhelmingly tilted in their favor — can help lay the foundation for broader progress, at least in the upper chamber. Greg Sargent reported this morning:

        Democrats plan to seize on yesterday’s events to exacerbate what they hope is a developing schism between the GOP leadership/hard right alliance and a bloc of GOP Senators who (Dems are betting) are genuinely fed up with that alliance’s continued flouting of basic governing norms. They hope to renew the push for a return to budget negotiations, with an eye towards replacing the sequester.”

        For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/07/17/19523971-we-were-wrong?lite

    • CR says:

      Obama Chooses Former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White To Head SEC

      January 24, 2013 9:15 AM by MARK MEMMOTT – NPR

      Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney in New York who prosecuted terrorists responsible for the bombings of the World Trade Center and U.S. embassies in Africa, will be nominated by President Obama to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

      NPR’s Scott Horsley gets that word from a senior White House official. Other news outlets are being told the same thing. The president is expected to make the announcement this afternoon. White would succeed Mary Schapiro, who stepped down last month.

      White was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York for nine years, until January 2002. That year, she joined the New York-based law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. She has been a director of the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.

      Obama is also expected to say he will renominate Richard Cordray to lead the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Last January, Obama used a “recess appointment” to put Cordray in that job while the Senate was on vacation. Republicans had been trying to block Cordray’s appointment.

      For more: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/01/24/170150510/obama-chooses-former-u-s-attorney-mary-jo-white-to-head-s-e-c

  18. 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

  19. CR says:

    January 24, 2013

    Statement by the President

    In my State of the Union last year, I urged Congress to take steps to fix the way they do business. Specifically, I asked them to address the fact that a simple majority is no longer enough to pass anything – even routine business – through the Senate. And today, I am pleased that a bipartisan group of Senators has agreed to take action.

    Too often over the past four years, a single Senator or a handful of Senators has been able to unilaterally block or delay bipartisan legislation for the sole purpose of making a political point. At a time when we face critical decisions on a whole range of issues – from preventing further gun violence, to reforming our broken immigration system, to getting our fiscal house in order and creating good paying jobs – we cannot afford unnecessary obstruction. And I am hopeful that today’s bipartisan agreement will pave the way for the Senate to take meaningful action in the days and weeks ahead.

    I also want to thank leaders in Congress for changing the Senate rules in an effort to resurrect the longstanding tradition of considering consensus district court judicial nominations on a more routine basis. After being approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, my judicial nominees have waited more than three times longer to receive confirmation votes than those of my predecessor, even though the overwhelming majority of my nominees have been confirmed with little, if any, dissent. These months of unnecessary delay have threatened our judiciary. Today’s reforms are a positive step towards a fairer and more efficient system of considering district court nominees, and I urge the Senate to treat all of my judicial nominees in the same spirit.

  20. CR says:

    NYPD’s Terahertz Scanner Sees Concealed Weapons

    24 January 2013 Time: 02:48 PM ETby Francie Diep, TechNewsDaily Staff Writer

    The New York Police Department has received a large scanner that is able to detect, from a distance, whether people are carrying weapons.

    The scanner can sit on a street corner or a truck and analyze passersby a few yards away, the Wall Street Journal reported. It detects terahertz radiation, which human bodies emit. The so-called T-rays pass through clothes, paper, wood and masonry, but not metal. T-ray imagers should work fine in fog.

    At a Police Foundation event yesterday (Jan. 23), Commissioner Raymond Kelly presented a sample scanner image of a police officer standing about 30 feet away, dressed in street clothes with a gun hidden in his waistband. The Wall Street Journal and the New York Daily News published copies of the image. It shows the officer’s body glowing bright green, with his gun appearing as a black shape at his side.

    The scanner may reduce the New York Police Department’s practice of stopping people they suspect of committing a crime and physically patting them down to check for weapons.

    For more: http://www.livescience.com/26568-nypd-terahertz-scanner.html

  21. CR says:

    West Wing Week 01/25/13 or… “Behind the Scenes: Inauguration 2013″

    Published on Jan 24, 2013

    This week, Washington D.C. was transformed into an historic stage, with an estimated one million people on hand to witness the President and Vice President take the Oath of Office at the United States Capitol. Through it all, West Wing Week was there, from the terrace of the Capitol to backstage at the balls. America, take a moment to look back at where we’ve been this week for this special edition of West Wing Week, January 18th to the 24th, or “Behind the Scenes: Inauguration 2013.”

  22. CR says:

    WH

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President attends meetings at the White House.

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    Vice President Biden is joined by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Jim Cole, and other Administration officials to a roundtable discussion on reducing gun violence.Experts who worked on gun safety issues after the Virginia Tech shootings will also be in attendance, as well as Senator Tim Kaine, Congressman Bobby Scott.
    Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

    12:00 PM
    12:10 PM
    President Obama Makes a Personnel Announcement
    East Room

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

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  23. CR says:

    Vice President Biden Set To Speak At VCU Friday

    Posted: Jan 24, 2013 9:24 AM PST wric

    Richmond, VA—Vice President Joe Biden will speak at Virginia Commonwealth University on Friday, at a roundtable discussion on reducing gun violence.

    Vice President Biden, as well as Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Jim Cole, and other Administration officials will be present at the discussion, slated to begin at 11:00 a.m.

    Experts who worked on gun safety issues after the Virginia Tech shootings will also be in attendance, as well as Senator Tim Kaine, Congressman Bobby Scott.

    Vice President Biden will make remarks at the conclusion of the roundtable discussion.

  24. CR says:

    Filibuster reform dead until at least 2015

    Jan 25, 2013 8:35 AM EST By Steve Benen – maddowblog

    As expected, the weak, watered-down filibuster reform plan that does not actually reform the filibuster was easily approved by the Senate last night, 78 to 16. Some of the Democrats who took the lead in pushing for bolder changes, including Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), grudgingly went along, knowing it was this or nothing.

    But once it became clear that the measure would pass, reformers tried to put a positive spin on the developments. This package fell far short of expectations, they said, but if these minor changes fail to improve matters, and the Senate remains a dysfunctional mess, Democrats can and will return to the issue and push for more sweeping improvements.

    But if reformers are hoping to get another bite at this apple, they should know they’ll have to wait until 2015, at the earliest. Sahil Kapur reported this morning that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised Republicans “he will not seek to make any further changes to the filibuster or other rules in the 113th Congress without Republican consent.”

    “Finally,” [Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell] asked, “I would confirm with the Majority Leader that the Senate would not consider other resolutions [in] relation to any standing order or rules this Congress unless they went through the regular order process?”

    The Democratic leader was categorical in his response. “That is correct,” Reid responded. “Any other resolutions related to Senate procedure would be subject to a regular order process including consideration by the Rules Committee.”

    In other words, the “constitutional option” (or “nuclear option”) is off the table for at least two years. Though Senate Republicans originally considered making these changes mid-year when the strategy was proposed during the Bush/Cheney era, Reid has ruled out unilateral action — telling Republicans that no matter how much they abuse the rules, and no matter how severe their knee-jerk obstructionism becomes, Democrats won’t do anything about it except complain. If Democrats even try to come up with improvements, Reid has agreed to get the Minority Leader’s permission first — and McConnell will say no.

    If reform-minded activists outside of Congress hope to persuade senators to make more meaningful changes to the broken chamber, they’ll have 24 months to come up with an effective game plan.

  25. CR says:

    11:00 AM ET
    Vice President Biden is joined by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Jim Cole, and other Administration officials to a roundtable discussion on reducing gun violence.Experts who worked on gun safety issues after the Virginia Tech shootings will also be in attendance, as well as Senator Tim Kaine, Congressman Bobby Scott.
    Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    • CR says:

      White House Hangout with Vice President Joe Biden on Reducing Gun Violence

      Published on Jan 24, 2013
      White House Hangout with Vice President Joe Biden on Reducing Gun Violence

  26. CR says:

    12:10 PM ET
    President Obama Makes a Personnel Announcement
    East Room

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

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/Pres-Obama-to-Name-New-Chief-of-Staff/10737437590/

    • CR says:

      January 25, 2013

      Remarks by the President at a Personnel Announcement

      East Room

      12:13 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to the announcement of one of the worst kept secrets in Washington. (Laughter.)

      As President, I rely on an extraordinary team of men and women here at the White House every single day. And I rely on my Chief of Staff to keep up with them — and our entire government — making sure that we’re all moving in the same direction, making sure that my priorities are being carried out and that our policies are consistent with the commitments that I’ve made to the American people, and that we’re delivering progress to the American people.

      As I said earlier this month, I could not be more grateful to Jack Lew for his amazing service, first as our OMB Director, then at the State Department, and ultimately as my Chief of Staff.

      As he prepares for his confirmation hearings and the challenge of leading our Treasury Department, I am pleased to announce my next Chief of Staff, and a great friend to me and everybody who works here at the White House — Mr. Denis McDonough. (Applause.)

      I have been counting on Denis for nearly a decade — since I first came to Washington, when he helped set up my Senate office. Along with Pete Rouse, he was able to show me where the restrooms were and — (laughter) — how you passed a bill. I should point out that even then Denis had gray hair. (Laughter.) I’ve been trying to catch up to him. But at that time, I relied on his intellect and his good judgment, and that has continued ever since. He’s been one of my closest and most trusted advisors — on my presidential campaign, on my transition team.

      He has been an indispensable member of my national security team as well. Denis has played a key role in every major national security decision of my presidency — from ending the war in Iraq to winding down the war in Afghanistan; from our response to natural disasters around the world like Haiti and the tsunami in Japan to the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” to countless crises in between, day and night — and that includes many nights. I’ve actually begun to think that Denis likes pulling all-nighters. (Laughter.) The truth is nobody out-works Denis McDonough.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/01/25/remarks-president-personnel-announcement

  27. 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

  28. CR says:

    S&P 500 Post Longest Winning Streak Since 2004 on Profits

    1/25/13 By Inyoung Hwang & Sarah Pringle – bloomberg

    U.S. stocks rose, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its longest winning streak since 2004, as Starbucks Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co. reported increased profit and German business confidence beat forecasts.

    Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee-shop operator, advanced 4.1 percent. Procter & Gamble, the biggest consumer- products maker, climbed 4 percent as it also raised its 2013 earnings forecast. Halliburton (HAL) Co. jumped 5.1 percent as profit exceeded estimates. Apple Inc. surrendered the title of the world’s most-valuable company to Exxon Mobil Corp. as the iPhone maker slumped 2.4 percent.

    The S&P 500 added 0.5 percent to 1,502.96 in New York. The benchmark gauge closed above 1,500 for the first time since December 2007 and gained for eight straight days, the longest string of advances since November 2004. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 70.65 points, or 0.5 percent, to 13,895.98 today. About 6.3 billion shares traded hands on U.S. exchanges today, in line with the three-month average.

    “Day to day, it is earnings-driven at this point,” Tom Wirth, who helps manage $1.6 billion as senior investment officer for Chemung Canal Trust Co., in Elmira, New York, said by telephone. “There’s a point in time where the market has gone up for so long, so much, that it’s got to take some period of time to consolidate those gains before it goes again.”

    The S&P 500 climbed for the fourth straight week, advancing 1.1 percent since Jan. 18. The measure failed to close above 1,500 yesterday after surpassing that level intraday.

    The benchmark index has more than doubled from a 12-year low in 2009 as corporate earnings have increased for three years and the Federal Reserve expanded its bond purchases to keep interest rates low to spur growth. The S&P 500 is about 4 percent below its all-time high of 1,565.15 set in October 2007.

    For more: https://propresobama.wordpress.com/wp-admin/comment.php?action=editcomment&c=71478

  29. CR says:

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

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” Celebrating US Soccer 100th Anniversary ~ 1913-2013 ”

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

    To get to the newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the thread

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 284 other followers

%d bloggers like this: