Pres Obama Seeks $5 Trillion European Trade Deal

PBO Export
trade.gov
International Trade Administration – trade.gov

The International Trade Administration (ITA) strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of our trade laws and agreements. ITA works to improve the global business environment and helps U.S. organizations compete at home and abroad. ITA supports President Obama’s recovery agenda and the National Export Initiative to sustain economic growth and support American jobs.

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“I’m going to go anywhere I can in the world to create new markets for American goods.  And we’re also not going to stand by when our competitors aren’t following the rules.  We’ve brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate of the previous administration.  We’ve set up a Trade Enforcement Unit to investigate unfair trade practices that are taking place anyplace — anywhere in the world.  Anytime other countries skirt the rules or put our workers and our businesses in an unfair position, we’re going to take action.

We’re also making sure that American businesses have better access to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live beyond our shores.  And that’s why the bipartisan bill that I’m about to sign is so important.  By reauthorizing support for the Export-Import Bank, we’re helping thousands of businesses sell more of their products and services overseas and, in the process, we’re helping them create jobs here at home.  And we’re doing that at no extra cost to the taxpayer.  “

President Obama – May 30, 2012

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Obama seeks $5T European trade deal

2/05/13 05:00 AM ET By Vicki Needham – TheHill

The Obama administration is poised to launch trade talks with the European Union that would form a $5 trillion trans-Atlantic free-trade zone.

European Union Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht will meet with Obama administration officials Tuesday and Wednesday to work toward announcing the talks, which many observers expect could happen this week.

Such a time frame would give President Obama a chance to tout progress in next week’s State of the Union address.

“The business community will be deeply disappointed if it’s not announced by then or, at least, by mid-February,” Stephen Biegun, vice president of international governmental affairs for Ford, told The Hill.

A free-trade agreement between the U.S. and European Union would boost trade by hundreds of billions of dollars, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Just as importantly, it could allow the two powers to set new standards for trade deals going forward in a rapidly globalizing world where China, India and Brazil are increasingly flexing their muscles.

Top U.S. officials including Vice President Biden are making last-minute efforts to ensure that the Europeans are committed to moving forward on a deal. Biden highlighted the talks as a priority during a weekend visit to Germany, where he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

A free-trade deal is “within our reach” Biden said in a speech Saturday to the Munich Security Summit, according to reports. He added that leaders on both sides of the Atlantic had shown “lots of interest.”

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/1005-trade/281063-obama-seeks-5t-euro-trade-deal

US – EU Trade Agreement

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45 Responses to Pres Obama Seeks $5 Trillion European Trade Deal

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:50 AM
    President Obama departs the White House en route Annapolis, Md.

    10:00 AM
    10:10 AM
    President Obama arrives in Annapolis, Md.

    10:30 AM
    President Obama attends the Senate Democratic Issues Conference
    Annapolis, Md.

    11:00 AM
    11:30 AM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    12:00 PM
    12:25 PM
    President Obama departs Annapolis, Md.

    12:45 PM
    President Obama arrives at the White House.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    President Obama Makes a Personnel Announcement
    The White House

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    Vice President Biden Administers the Oath of Office for Secretary of State John Kerry
    Department of State, Washington, DC

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:30 PM
    Vice President Biden delivers remarks at the House Democratic Issues Conference
    Leesburg, Va

    8:00 PM
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    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      February 6, 2013

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

      11:30 AM ET
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      2:00 PM EST
      President Obama Makes a Personnel Announcement
      The White House

      4:00 PM ET
      Vice President Biden Administers the Oath of Office for Secretary of State John Kerry
      Department of State, Washington, DC

      —-

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

      9:00 AM ET
      FHA financial condition hearing
      The House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing on the role of the Federal Housing Administration in the mortgage insurance market.

      9:15 AM ET
      Defense Secretary Leon Panetta talks about leadership and public service
      Georgetown University

      10:00 AM ET
      U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe briefs reporters on what’s being called a “major announcement” on U.S. Postal Service operational restructuring.

      11:30 AM ET
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      12:30 PM ET
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds a briefing with reporters.

      2:00 PM ET
      President Obama will announce the nomination of REI CEO Sally Jewell to become the next secretary of the interior.

      4:00 PM ET
      Vice President Biden Administers the Oath of Office for Secretary of State John Kerry
      Department of State, Washington, DC

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      The Christian Science Monitor will host a breakfast with National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman http://www.c-span.org/Events/NTSB-Chairman-to-Address-Reporters/10737437833/

      9:00 AM ET
      FHA financial condition hearing
      The House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing on the role of the Federal Housing Administration in the mortgage insurance market.

      9:15 AM ET
      Defense Secretary Leon Panetta talks about leadership and public service
      Georgetown University http://www.c-span.org/Events/Sec-Panetta-to-Address-Georgetown-Students-on-Leadership/10737437834/

      9:30 AM ET
      House Committee Science and Technology
      mpact of Research and Development http://www.c-span.org/Events/Experts-Testify-on-Effects-of-RD-in-Economic-Competitiveness/10737437863/

      9:30 AM ET
      Georgetown University
      Defense Secretary Panetta on Leadership and Public Service

      10:00 AM ET
      U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe briefs reporters on what’s being called a “major announcement” on U.S. Postal Service operational restructuring.

      11:30 AM ET
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press http://www.c-span.org/Events/Daily-White-House-Briefing/10737437881/

      12:30 PM ET
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds a briefing with reporters.

      2:00 PM ET
      President Obama will announce the nomination of REI CEO Sally Jewell to become the next secretary of the interior. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Pres-Obama-Expected-to-Nominate-New-Interior-Secretary/10737437882/

      4:00 PM ET
      Vice President Biden Administers the Oath of Office for Secretary of State John Kerry
      Department of State, Washington, DC

      —————

      State Department http://www.state.gov

      4:00 PM ET
      Vice President Biden Administers the Oath of Office for Secretary of State John Kerry
      Department of State, Washington, DC

  2. CR says:

    trade-gov

    International Trade Administration – trade.gov

    The International Trade Administration (ITA) strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of our trade laws and agreements. ITA works to improve the global business environment and helps U.S. organizations compete at home and abroad. ITA supports President Obama’s recovery agenda and the National Export Initiative to sustain economic growth and support American jobs.

    • CR says:

      May 30, 2012

      Remarks by the President at Export-Import Bank Bill Signing

      South Court Auditorium

      11:35 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Everybody, please have a seat. Have a seat. I want to begin by recognizing the members of Congress who are here today. All of them did outstanding work on this legislation. In particular, I want to thank Steny Hoyer, Congresswoman Maloney, as well as Congressman Miller, who helped to make this day possible. Their leadership, their hard work made this bill a reality.

      We’ve talked a lot recently about the fundamental choice that we face as a country. America can either settle for an economy where just a few are doing well and a lot of folks are struggling to get by. Or we can build the kind of economy where everybody is getting a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same rules.

      And part of building that broad-based economy with a strong middle class is making sure that we’re not just known as a nation that consumes. We’ve got to be a nation that produces, a nation that sells. Our middle class was created by workers who made and sold the best products in the world. Our communities and our economy have always done better when we shipped more goods than anybody else, stamped with that phrase: “Made in America.” And I want us to be that nation again. I want us to be that nation in perpetuity.

      Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling American exports over five years.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/30/remarks-president-export-import-bank-bill-signing

    • CR says:

      Obama seeks $5T European trade deal

      2/05/13 05:00 AM ET By Vicki Needham – TheHill

      The Obama administration is poised to launch trade talks with the European Union that would form a $5 trillion trans-Atlantic free-trade zone.

      European Union Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht will meet with Obama administration officials Tuesday and Wednesday to work toward announcing the talks, which many observers expect could happen this week.

      Such a time frame would give President Obama a chance to tout progress in next week’s State of the Union address.

      “The business community will be deeply disappointed if it’s not announced by then or, at least, by mid-February,” Stephen Biegun, vice president of international governmental affairs for Ford, told The Hill.

      A free-trade agreement between the U.S. and European Union would boost trade by hundreds of billions of dollars, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

      Just as importantly, it could allow the two powers to set new standards for trade deals going forward in a rapidly globalizing world where China, India and Brazil are increasingly flexing their muscles.

      Top U.S. officials including Vice President Biden are making last-minute efforts to ensure that the Europeans are committed to moving forward on a deal. Biden highlighted the talks as a priority during a weekend visit to Germany, where he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

      A free-trade deal is “within our reach” Biden said in a speech Saturday to the Munich Security Summit, according to reports. He added that leaders on both sides of the Atlantic had shown “lots of interest.”

      Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/1005-trade/281063-obama-seeks-5t-euro-trade-deal

      • CR says:

        February 13, 2013

        Statement from United States President Barack Obama, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso

        Washington, D.C. – We, the Leaders of the United States and the European Union, are pleased to announce that, based on recommendations from the U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth co-chaired by United States Trade Representative Kirk and European Trade Commissioner De Gucht, the United States and the European Union will each initiate the internal procedures necessary to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

        “The transatlantic economic relationship is already the world’s largest, accounting for half of global economic output and nearly one trillion dollars in goods and services trade, and supporting millions of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

        “We are committed to making this relationship an even stronger driver of our prosperity. In that regard, we welcome the High Level Working Group’s recommendations on how we can expand further our transatlantic trade and investment partnership, promoting greater growth and supporting more jobs.

        “A high-standard Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would advance trade and investment liberalization and address regulatory and other non-tariff barriers.

        “Through this negotiation, the United States and the European Union will have the opportunity not only to expand trade and investment across the Atlantic, but also to contribute to the development of global rules that can strengthen the multilateral trading system.”

  3. CR says:

    AP sources: Pentagon extending benefits for gays

    2/5/13 By LOLITA C. BALDOR | Associated Press – 39 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The military is poised to extend some benefits to the same-sex partners of service members, U.S. officials said Tuesday, about 16 months after the Pentagon repealed its ban on openly gay service.

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has not made a final decision on which benefits will be included, the officials said, but the Pentagon is likely to allow same-sex partners to have access to the on-base commissary and other military subsidized stores, as well as some health and welfare programs.

    Panetta must walk a fine, legal line. While there has been increased pressure on the Pentagon to extend some benefits to same-sex partners, defense officials must be careful not to violate the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. The federal law forbids the federal government from recognizing any marriage other than those between a man and a woman.

    An announcement is expected to come in the next several days. Officials discussed the plan on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss internal Pentagon deliberations.

    Pentagon press secretary George Little declined to comment. Other officials made it clear that there are still last-minute legal discussions going on to determine the details.

    Officials said the military will likely require that some type of document be signed to designate the military member’s partner as a legitimate recipient of the benefits.

    Panetta’s decision comes as he nears the end of his tenure as Pentagon chief and just days after a woman married to a female Army officer at Fort Bragg was invited to become a full member of the North Carolina base’s officers’ spouses club after initially being denied. The Marine Corps has also said that any spouses clubs operating on its bases must admit same-sex partners.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/ap-sources-pentagon-extending-benefits-gays-204402393–politics.html

  4. COS says:

    Great thread CR. Unlike GW, PBO is working as hard as he did in his first term, whereas, GW tuned outin his second term and left the mess for PBO to clean up. I am sure PBO will be succesful with ths European Trade Deal. I love seeing him abroad interacting with all of the world leaders. I

  5. CR says:

    OBAMA TO TALK STRATEGY WITH SENATE DEMOCRATS
    BY JOSH LEDERMAN

    Feb 6, 3:14 AM EST ASSOCIATED PRESS

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is trying to sell Senate Democrats on his strategy for tackling immigration, gun control and a host of fiscal dilemmas.

    Senate Democratic unity will be critical to Obama’s prospects for enacting the ambitious agenda he’s laid out for the start of his second term. Almost all the items on his to-do list face opposition from Senate Republicans – not to mention the even stronger opposition Obama is likely to run up against if and when the GOP-controlled House takes up those items.

    Senate and White House aides are offering few details about Obama’s appearance Wednesday at the Democrats’ annual retreat at a hotel in Annapolis, Md., but Obama is expected to address senators before engaging in a candid discussion about the toughest issues ahead.

    For more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-02-06-03-14-19

  6. CR says:

    MBA Purchase Applications

    Released On 2/6/2013 7:00:00 AM For wk2/1, 2013

    Prior Actual
    Composite Index – W/W Change -8.1 % 3.4 %
    Purchase Index – W/W Change -2.0 % 2.0 %
    Refinance Index – W/W Change -10.0 % 4.0 %

    Highlights
    The purchase index rose 2.0 percent in the Feb. 1 week, extending a bumpy run higher that has taken it to its highest level since the government stimulus days of May 2010. The results are another sign of strength for the housing market. The refinance index is up 4.0 percent despite another increase in interest rates. The average 30-year fixed mortgage for conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) rose 6.0 basis points in the week to 3.73 percent. Rising rates not only defy the Fed’s efforts to keep mortgage rates low but, if they continue to rise, could threaten improvement underway in the housing sector.

    Source; http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=455669&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2013&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  7. CR says:

    Postal Service Announces New Delivery Schedule
    Six Days of Package Delivery, Five Days of Mail Delivery Begins August 2013

    February 06, 2013 Release No. 13-019 usps

    WASHINGTON — The United States Postal Service announced plans today to transition to a new delivery schedule during the week of Aug. 5, 2013 that includes package delivery Monday through Saturday, and mail delivery Monday through Friday. The Postal Service expects to generate cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually, once the plan is fully implemented.

    “The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO. “We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.”

    Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages. However, recent strong growth in package delivery (14 percent volume increase since 2010) and projections of continued strong package growth throughout the coming decade led to the revised approach to maintain package delivery six days per week.

    “Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform,” said Donahoe. “As consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services — especially due to the rise of e-commerce — we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses.”

    Once implemented during August of 2013, mail delivery to street addresses will occur Monday through Friday. Packages will continue to be delivered six days per week. Mail addressed to PO Boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. Post Offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays.

    For more: http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2013/pr13_019.htm

    • CR says:

      Postal Service backs down on cutting Saturday mail

      4/10/13 By PAULINE JELINEK | Associated Press – 56 mins ago

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service says it will delay plans to cut Saturday mail delivery because Congress isn’t allowing the change.

      The Postal Service said in February that it planned to cut back in August to five-day-a-week deliveries for everything except packages, as a way to hold down losses.

      But a statement Wednesday from agency’s Board of Governors notes that Congress has passed a spending bill that continues the long-time prohibition against reducing delivery days.

      As a result, the board says it believe that Congress “has left it with no choice but to delay implementation” of the five-day-a-week plan.

  8. CR says:

    10:30 AM ET
    President Obama attends the Senate Democratic Issues Conference
    Annapolis, Md.

    • CR says:

      February 07, 2013

      Remarks by the President at House Democratic Issues Conference

      Lansdowne Resort
      Leesburg, Virginia

      12:49 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you! (Applause.) Thank you, everybody. Please have a seat. Xavier, thank you for that very gracious introduction and your outstanding leadership.

      Let me begin by saying that I could not be happier that one of my most important friends and partners is still leading our Democrats in the House of Representatives. I love Nancy Pelosi. Give her a big round of applause. (Applause.) Love Nancy Pelosi. (Applause.) Also, she just generates good-looking grandbabies. (Laughter.) They’re all so handsome and sharp and beautiful.

      To Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn, as well as Xavier and Joe Crowley, thank you so much for the great work that you guys are doing each and every day. And to Steve Israel, who worked tirelessly to bring on 49 new outstanding members of this caucus. (Applause.) I am looking forward to spending time with all 49 of you. And hopefully we’ll be seeing you over at the White House and at various events, but obviously I know that you came here to get something done. And I am looking forward to working with you every single day to make sure that we’re doing right by the people who sent us here.

      Now, I actually just changed the format here. I called an audible — because originally the way this was scheduled was I was just going to talk and then I was going to shake some hands, and I thought, since this is not a shy bunch, it might make sense for me to take some questions and some advice I’m sure you guys have for me. (Laughter.) So what I’m going to do is I’m just going to make s few points at the top, and then what I’d like is maybe Xavier or Steve or somebody can come up here, you can call on folks, and we’ll spend a little time with Q&A before I get a chance to say hello to everybody.

      And part of the reason I want to keep my remarks short is because I just made a pretty long speech a couple of weeks ago, and I’m about to make another next week, and I don’t want you guys tired of me. (Laughter.)

      But, obviously, I’m deeply grateful to have been reelected, and I’m humbled by the support that I received from all across the country. (Applause.) And I said at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning — and I was telling the truth — I genuinely am humbled. The fascinating thing about this job is the longer you’re in it, the more humble you get, and the more you recognize your own imperfections. And you try to make up with effort and hard work those gaps in your personality or your intelligence that become so apparent to everybody on the daily news every day. (Laughter.)

      But even as I think it’s important to be humbled by the privilege of this office and the privilege of serving in the United States Congress, even as it’s important not to read too much into any particular political victory — because this country is big, it is diverse, it is contentious, and we don’t have a monopoly on wisdom, and we need to remember that — despite all those things, I think it’s also important for us to feel confident and bold about the values we care about and what we stand for.

      And I tried to do that in my inauguration speech, and I’m hoping that we all do that over the next four years. Because when I think about what it means to be a Democrat in this day and age, I start with the basic proposition that we are all created equal, that we’re all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights. And my governing philosophy and my interest in public service grows out of how we make that union more perfect for more people, day in, day out.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/07/remarks-president-house-democratic-issues-conference

  9. CR says:

    Next Up…

    2:00 PM EST
    President Obama Makes a Personnel Announcement
    The White House

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

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

    http://www.c-span.org/Events/Pres-Obama-Expected-to-Nominate-New-Interior-Secretary/10737437882/

    • CR says:

      February 06, 2013

      Remarks by the President in the Nomination of Sally Jewell as Secretary of the Interior

      State Dining Room

      2:06 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, good afternoon, everybody.

      Ken Salazar likes to say that the Department of the Interior is actually the Department of America. Other members of my Cabinet may not entirely agree with that statement, but you can see where he’s coming from. The Secretary of the Interior is in charge of overseeing 500 million acres of public land — including places like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon — and protecting our natural heritage for our children and our grandchildren and their children to come.

      But the job also requires keeping an eye on America’s future, and making smart decisions about how we create jobs and help businesses grow, and put ourselves on a path towards energy independence. And that’s not always an easy balancing act, but with enthusiasm and skill and dedication, that’s exactly what Ken Salazar has done over the last four years.

      We were just reminiscing a little bit — I’ve known Ken since we were both running for the Senate together and became the only two incoming Democrats in our Senate class — Pete Rouse remembers this. It was a lonely time. (Laughter.) We actually lived in the same building when we first arrived in Washington. And, Ken, you’ll recall it was a little discouraging because basically everyone else who lived there was 20 or 25. (Laughter.) So we were the two geriatrics in this building.

      But I came to appreciate quickly not just his friendship — which, if you’ve got Ken Salazar as a friend, you’ve got a real friend. Not only did I come to appreciate his jump shot — he is surprisingly quick on the court — (laughter) — but also his patriotism, and his belief that we’ve got a responsibility to care for the land with which we’ve been blessed.

      And it’s not surprising that Ken feels this way — after all, his ancestors were living here before the Mayflower set sail. As he explains it — and relevant, as we are working to get immigration reform passed — his family did not cross the border, the border crossed them. (Laughter.) And that’s why, when I needed somebody to lead Interior, I didn’t have to look very far.

      Since being confirmed, Ken has cracked down on waste. He’s improved the management of the Department to make it work better for the American people. He has ushered in a new era of conservation for our land, our water and our wildlife. He’s established seven new national parks, 10 new national wildlife refuges. He has opened more public land and water for safe and responsible energy production, not just gas and oil but also wind and solar, creating thousands of new jobs and nearly doubling our use of renewable energy in this country. He has helped to forge what is probably the strongest working relationship with tribal leaders that the federal government has seen in modern times. And when the unexpected has happened — like the Gulf oil spill or Hurricane Sandy — he has been on the ground making sure that people get help right away and we deal with these challenges as professionally as possible.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/06/remarks-president-nomination-sally-jewell-secretary-interior

      • CR says:

        National Parks Group Praises Obama Nomination of Sally Jewell for Interior Secretary

        February 6, 2013 Statement by NPCA President Tom Kiernan

        “The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) applauds President Obama’s nomination of Sally Jewell, president and chief executive of Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), as Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Sally Jewell is an outstanding business leader, advocate for outdoor recreation, and national parks supporter, and will make a top notch member of the president’s cabinet.

        “A long-standing board member of NPCA, Sally Jewell’s business expertise and passion for the outdoors, recreation and conservation foretells her success as Secretary of the Interior. She is a collaborative leader who has worked tirelessly over the last decade to get kids and families outdoors and address the national parks’ chronic funding needs. As the leader of one of our country’s major outdoor retailers, Sally Jewell understands extremely well the connection between our economy, jobs, and well protected and funded national parks. She has been a strong supporter of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, and worked with former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on the Bush Administration’s effort to restore essential funding for our national parks.

        For more: http://www.npca.org/news/media-center/press-releases/2013/sally_jewell_npca_020613.html

        • CR says:

          Wednesday, February 6, 2013

          Sierra Club

          (Washington, DC) – Today, President Obama will reportedly nominate REI CEO Sally Jewell to be the next Secretary of the Interior.

          Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement in response:

          “Whether it’s been through her work to get more kids outside or her accomplishments in building a business that recognizes the passion Americans have to explore the outdoors, Sally Jewell has demonstrated that she knows just how important our wild places are to our national legacy and our economy.

          “There are few more outspoken or dedicated champions in the effort to connect children with nature than Sally Jewell, who has provided critical support to the Sierra Club Inner City Outings program and played an integral role in founding the Outdoors Alliance for Kids.

          “In Jewell, President Obama chose a leader with a demonstrated commitment to preserving the higher purposes public lands hold for all Americans – recreation, adventure, and enjoyment. We look forward to working closely with her to preserve more of those benefits and more of our natural heritage by designating new national monuments, protecting America’s Arctic from risky drilling, and keeping dirty and dangerous fracking out of our public lands.”

    • CR says:

      President Obama noimnates Sally Jewell for Secretary of the Interior.

      Sally Jewell has sat on the boards of Premera, the National Parks Conservation Association, and the University of Washington Board of Regents. She helped found the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.
      In 2009, Sally Jewell received the National Audubon Society’s prestigious Rachel Carson Award for her leadership in and dedication to conservation.

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Jewell

      ————–

      Seatlle Business – March 2012 Interview with Sally Jewell: http://www.seattlebusinessmag.com/article/executive-q-sally-jewell-president-and-ceo-rei

  10. CR says:

    Next Up…

    4:00 PM ET
    Vice President Biden Administers the Oath of Office for Secretary of State John Kerry
    Department of State, Washington, DC

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

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

    State Department http://www.state.gov

  11. 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

  12. CR says:

    7:30 PM ET
    Vice President Biden delivers remarks at the House Democratic Issues Conference
    Leesburg, Va

    • CR says:

      Joe Biden pushes House Dems on gun control

      2/6/13 9:15 PM EST By KATE NOCERA – POLITICO44

      LANSDOWNE, Va. — In a speech Wednesday night, Vice President Joe Biden implored House Democrats to continue to fight for gun control legislation despite the potential political ramifications of doing so.

      Biden was visibly emotional as he spoke of the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 20 children and six adults and called it a “profound loss” for America.

      “I can imagine how we will be judged as individuals, we will be judged as a Congress, we will be judged as a nation if we do nothing,” Biden told House Democrats at their retreat in Lansdowne, Va. “It’s simply unacceptable.”

      The vice president said he rejected those who would say the political risk “is too high, the outcome is too certain.”

      His voice rising, Biden said that in the 54 days since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, there have been 1,600 shooting deaths, and specifically mentioned the death of Hadiya Pendleton, a Chicago teenager who had marched in the inauguration parade only a few weeks ago.

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/joe-biden-pushes-house-dems-on-gun-control-87298.html?hp=f3

  13. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    Retired basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson meet with President to speak about the impacts of HIV and AIDS on the African American community

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden attends National Prayer Breakfast
    President Obama delivers remarks
    Washington Hilton

    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    11:00 AM
    11:15 AM
    President Obama departs the White House en route Leesburg, Va.

    11:40 AM
    President Obama arrives in Leesburg, Va.

    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at the House Democratic Issues Conference
    Leesburg, VA

    1:00 PM
    1:55 PM
    President Obama departs Leesburg, Va.

    2:00 PM
    2:20 PM
    President Obama arrives at the White House.

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

  14. CR says:

    National Prayer Breakfast

    The 61st Prayer Breakfast

    The 2013 National Prayer Breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, February 7th at the Hilton Washington International Ballroom in Washington D.C. The President of the United States, Members of Congress and other dignitaries will gather with leaders from across the country and around the world. Men and women will come from all parts of Washington state, joining together with their fellow elected officials, business leaders, and visiting dignitaries.

    For more: http://www.waleadership.com/national-prayer-breakfast

  15. CR says:

    Feb. 6, 2013
    U.S. Men vs. Honduras
    3 p.m. CT
    Estadio Olimpico
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    beIN SPORT

    • CR says:

      U.S. Men’s National Team Drops First Hexagonal Match 2-1 to Honduras

      SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras (Feb. 6, 2013) – The U.S. Men’s National Team garnered a first-half lead, but Honduras rallied for a 2-1 victory in Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in the teams’ opener of the Final Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying.

      Clint Dempsey scored the USA’s goal, only to see Honduras get goals from Juan Garcia and Jerry Bengtson to take all three points.

      On the winning Honduras tally, the ball was played to the edge of the box with Honduras midfielder Oscar Garcia, U.S. defender Geoff Cameron and goalkeeper Tim Howard all having an opportunity to get to the ball. Cameron noticeably held back on his run and Garcia took advantage, passing the ball to Bengtson who lost U.S. center back Omar Gonzalez and slotted the ball into the net for the victory.

      For more: http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Mens-National-Team/2013/02/MNT-Drops-First-Hexagonal-Match-21-to-Honduras.aspx

  16. CR says:

    Next Up…

    8:00 AM ET
    President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden attends National Prayer Breakfast
    President Obama delivers remarks
    Washington Hilton

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

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

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/President-Obama-Speaks-at-the-National-Prayer-Breakfast/10737437895/

    • CR says:

      February 07, 2013

      Remarks by the President at the National Prayer Breakfast

      Washington Hilton
      Washington, D.C.

      9:03 A.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Please have a seat.
      Mark, thank you for that introduction. I thought he was going to talk about my gray hair. (Laughter.) It is true that my daughters are gorgeous. (Laughter.) That’s because my wife is gorgeous. (Applause.) And my goal is to improve my gene pool.

      To Mark and Jeff, thank you for your wonderful work on behalf of this breakfast. To all of those who worked so hard to put this together; to the heads of state, members of Congress, and my Cabinet, religious leaders and distinguished guests. To our outstanding speaker. To all the faithful who’ve journeyed to our capital, Michelle and I are truly honored to be with you this morning.

      Before I begin, I hope people don’t mind me taking a moment of personal privilege. I want to say a quick word about a close friend of mine and yours, Joshua Dubois. Now, some of you may not know Joshua, but Joshua has been at my side — in work and in prayer — for years now. He is a young reverend, but wise in years. He’s worked on my staff. He’s done an outstanding job as the head of our Faith-Based office.

      Every morning he sends me via email a daily meditation — a snippet of Scripture for me to reflect on. And it has meant the world to me. And despite my pleas, tomorrow will be his last day in the White House. So this morning I want to publically thank Joshua for all that he’s done, and I know that everybody joins me in wishing him all the best in his future endeavors — including getting married. (Applause.)

      It says something about us — as a nation and as a people — that every year, for 61 years now, this great prayerful tradition has endured. It says something about us that every year, in times of triumph and in tragedy, in calm and in crisis, we come together, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as brothers and sisters, and as children of God. Every year, in the midst of all our busy and noisy lives, we set aside one morning to gather as one community, united in prayer.

      We do so because we’re a nation ever humbled by our history, and we’re ever attentive to our imperfections — particularly the imperfections of our President. We come together because we’re a people of faith. We know that faith is something that must be cultivated. Faith is not a possession. Faith is a process.

      I was struck by the passage that was read earlier from the Book of Hebrews: “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and He rewards those who diligently seek Him.” He rewards those who diligently seek Him — not just for one moment, or one day, but for every moment, and every day.

      As Christians, we place our faith in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus Christ. But so many other Americans also know the close embrace of faith — Muslims and Jews, Hindus and Sikhs. And all Americans — whether religious or secular — have a deep and abiding faith in this nation.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/07/remarks-president-national-prayer-breakfast

  17. CR says:

    Productivity and Costs

    Released On 2/7/2013 8:30:00 AM For Q4:12

    Prior Prior Revised Consensus Consensus Range Actual
    Nonfarm productivity – Q/Q change – SAAR 2.9 % 3.2 % -1.3 % -3.5 % to 0.8 % -2.0 %
    Unit labor costs – Q/Q change – SAAR -1.9 % -2.3 % 3.1 % 1.0 % to 5.8 % 4.5 %

    Market Consensus before announcement
    Nonfarm business productivity for the third quarter was revised up, consistent with the recent upward revision to third quarter GDP. Nonfarm business productivity rose an annualized 2.9 percent in the third quarter, compared to the initial estimate of a 1.9 percent gain and compared to a 1.9 percent gain in the second quarter. Unit labor costs were revised down to an annualized 1.9 percent decrease, compared to the original estimate of down 0.1 percent, and following a 0.5 percent decline in the second quarter.

    Source; http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=456148&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2013&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  18. CR says:

    Fewer Workers Filed Claims for Jobless Benefits in U.S.

    By Alex Kowalski & Shobhana Chandra – Feb 7, 2013 5:39 AM PT

    Claims for U.S. unemployment insurance payments fell last week, returning to levels seen in the second half of 2012.

    Applications for jobless benefits dropped 5,000 to 366,000 in the week ended Feb. 2, Labor Department figures showed today.

    Economists forecast 360,000 claims, according to the median of 53 estimates in a Bloomberg survey

    Claims, after see-sawing in prior weeks as the government had trouble adjusting the data for seasonal swings, are settling at a level that signals there is little change in the pace of firings from last year. The data come after a report last week indicated employers are boosting payrolls at a faster pace as demand holds up.

    “It could be better, but you’re still seeing improvement in other labor market data,” Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, said before the report.

    Stock-index futures remained little changed after the figures. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in March fell less than 0.1 percent to 1,506.5 at 8:36 a.m. in New York.

    Economists’ claims estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 343,000 to 370,000. The Labor Department revised the prior week’s reading to 371,000 from the initially reported 368,000.

    A Labor Department official today said there was nothing unusual that affected today’s figures, and no states were estimated.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-07/fewer-workers-filed-claims-for-u-s-jobless-benefits-last-week.html

  19. CR says:

    Consumer Confidence in U.S. Climbs for First Time in Five Weeks

    Feb 7, 2013 6:45 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

    Confidence among American consumers rose last week for the first time this year, a sign the strain on households from a higher payroll tax is easing.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index climbed to minus 36.3 in the period ended Feb. 3 from minus 37.5, which was the weakest since early October. The gain, reflecting advances by all three of the measure’s components, was the first in five weeks and within the margin of error of 3 percentage points.

    A strengthening job market and higher stock prices are bolstering confidence after households winced following this year’s two percentage-point increase in the levy that funds Social Security. At the same time, climbing gasoline costs may prevent consumers from building on a fourth-quarter pickup in spending that helped offset a plunge in military outlays.

    “An easing of policy tensions in Washington and sustained improvement in the labor market likely prevented further deterioration” in sentiment, said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “The gains appear somewhat tentative given rising gasoline prices, which are reducing discretionary consumption just as households are having difficulty adjusting to the resetting of the payroll tax.”

    A report from the Labor Department showed claims for unemployment benefits remain at a level seen in the second half of 2012. Applications for jobless benefits dropped by 5,000 to 366,000 in the week ended Feb. 2. Economists forecast 360,000 claims, according to the median of 53 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-07/consumer-confidence-in-u-s-climbs-for-first-time-in-five-weeks.html

  20. CR says:

    W.H. to host business groups Thursday

    2/7/13 10:25 AM EST By REID J. EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

    The White House is pushing its immigration and fiscal agendas to business groups Thursday.

    Senior aide Valerie Jarrett, OMB director Jeff Zients, National Economic Council director Gene Sperling and Alan Krueger, the chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers will host one meeting each for representatives from large and small businesses.

    The sessions follow President Obama’s meetings with CEOs and labor and progressive leaders to discuss the same topics Tuesday.

    The groups will discuss the president’s efforts to find a balanced approach to reduce the deficit and avoid the devastating effects of the sequester along with the president’s approach to comprehensive immigration reform and how it fits into our broader economic agenda,” a White House official said.

    For more: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/02/wh-to-host-business-groups-thursday-156362.html

  21. CR says:

    February 06, 2013

    Readout of White House and Department of Homeland Security Officials’ Meeting with Law Enforcement on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

    WASHINGTON, DC – White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC) Director Cecilia Muñoz, Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Janet Napolitano, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Alan Bersin and Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West met with law enforcement officials from across the country today at the White House’s Eisenhower Executive Office Building to discuss the need for commonsense reform to fix our nation’s broken immigration system. DPC Director Muñoz outlined the principles at the heart of the President’s proposal: continuing to strengthen border security, cracking down on employers that hire undocumented workers, creating a pathway to earned citizenship, and streamlining our legal immigration system. Secretary Napolitano highlighted the Department’s work with local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws while securing our borders, and noted that in order to continue making progress, we need to modernize our immigration laws.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/06/readout-white-house-and-department-homeland-security-officials-meeting-l

  22. CR says:

    12:30 PM ET
    President Obama delivers remarks at the House Democratic Issues Conference
    Leesburg, VA

    • CR says:

      February 07, 2013

      Remarks by the President at House Democratic Issues Conference

      Lansdowne Resort
      Leesburg, Virginia

      12:49 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you! (Applause.) Thank you, everybody. Please have a seat. Xavier, thank you for that very gracious introduction and your outstanding leadership.

      Let me begin by saying that I could not be happier that one of my most important friends and partners is still leading our Democrats in the House of Representatives. I love Nancy Pelosi. Give her a big round of applause. (Applause.) Love Nancy Pelosi. (Applause.) Also, she just generates good-looking grandbabies. (Laughter.) They’re all so handsome and sharp and beautiful.

      To Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn, as well as Xavier and Joe Crowley, thank you so much for the great work that you guys are doing each and every day. And to Steve Israel, who worked tirelessly to bring on 49 new outstanding members of this caucus. (Applause.) I am looking forward to spending time with all 49 of you. And hopefully we’ll be seeing you over at the White House and at various events, but obviously I know that you came here to get something done. And I am looking forward to working with you every single day to make sure that we’re doing right by the people who sent us here.

      Now, I actually just changed the format here. I called an audible — because originally the way this was scheduled was I was just going to talk and then I was going to shake some hands, and I thought, since this is not a shy bunch, it might make sense for me to take some questions and some advice I’m sure you guys have for me. (Laughter.) So what I’m going to do is I’m just going to make s few points at the top, and then what I’d like is maybe Xavier or Steve or somebody can come up here, you can call on folks, and we’ll spend a little time with Q&A before I get a chance to say hello to everybody.

      And part of the reason I want to keep my remarks short is because I just made a pretty long speech a couple of weeks ago, and I’m about to make another next week, and I don’t want you guys tired of me. (Laughter.)

      But, obviously, I’m deeply grateful to have been reelected, and I’m humbled by the support that I received from all across the country. (Applause.) And I said at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning — and I was telling the truth — I genuinely am humbled. The fascinating thing about this job is the longer you’re in it, the more humble you get, and the more you recognize your own imperfections. And you try to make up with effort and hard work those gaps in your personality or your intelligence that become so apparent to everybody on the daily news every day. (Laughter.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/07/remarks-president-house-democratic-issues-conference

  23. 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

  24. CR says:

    Obama judicial nomination draws plaudits from gay rights groups

    2/7/13 3:13 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

    President Obama on Thursday nominated Justice Department attorney Todd M. Hughes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

    If confirmed, Hughes would be the first openly gay federal appeals court judge, a prospect that drew plaudits from gay-rights advocates.

    “His nomination is a testament to the expanding opportunities for openly LGBT Americans who want to serve their country, and to the president’s respect for the depth of talent and experience within the LGBT community,” said Chuck Wolfe, leader of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute. “We look forward to his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.”

    The Human Rights Campaign also weighed in, saying it recommended Hughes for a circuit judgeship back in 2010. “We congratulate Hughes and will continue to advocate on his behalf during the Senate confirmation process,” HRC law fellow David Wexelblat wrote in a post.

  25. CR says:

    Magic Johnson visits the White House

    2/7/13 8:00 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

    Retired basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson met with President Obama Thursday, a White House official confirms to POLITICO.

    The former Los Angeles Laker visited the White House and spoke briefly to the president about the impacts of HIV and AIDS on the African American community, the official said.

    Johnson announced in 1991 that he had contracted HIV. An organization he started, the Magic Johnson Foundation, helps raise awareness about HIV and AIDS, among other purposes.

    Thursday was National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and one of Obama’s top aides, Valerie Jarrett, tweeted that she was participating in a discussion on the topic with Russell Simmons. CNN first reported about Magic Johnson’s visit to the White House.

  26. CR says:

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

    Come on over to my newest post titled: “Happy Lunar New Year”

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

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

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