Sustainable Energy

USDA_EnergyPBO green quote

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have,  the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.

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President Obama’s Stance on Sustainability

Under President Obama’s leadership, the United States has engaged the international community to promote sustainable economic growth and to meet the climate change challenge through a number of important venues, including:

  • International Climate Negotiations
    • In December 2009, President Obama and other world leaders came together to negotiate the Copenhagen Accord, an important milestone in which, for the first time, all major developed and developing economies agreed to implement measures to limit their greenhouse gas emissions and to do so in an internationally transparent manner. In 2010, the Cancun Agreement confirmed and substantially extended the core elements of the Copenhagen Accord in the areas of finance, technology and adaptation as well as mitigation and transparency in an instrument that the Parties enthusiastically endorsed.In December 2011 at Durban, the United States and the international community took important steps to make operational all of the key elements of the Cancun agreement, including a transparency regime to monitor and review mitigation efforts by developed and developing countries, as well as established a Green Climate Fund. In addition, a process was launched to negotiate a new legal instrument to take effect from 2020, and U.S. leadership was crucial to ensuring that the instrument will be applicable to all parties and include all of the major economies within a common legal system.
  • The Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, launched by President Obama in April 2009, facilitates a candid dialogue among major developed and developing economies to make progress in meeting the climate change and clean energy challenge. The 17 major economies which are members of the Major Economies Forum are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • The Clean Energy Ministerial, announced by President Obama and the Leaders of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, and led by Energy Secretary Chu, has made progress towards its goal of driving transformational low-carbon, climate friendly technologies by providing tools and platforms to improve the policy environment for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean energy access.
  • At the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit chaired by President Obama in Honolulu, leaders agreed to eliminate non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services, including local content requirements, and cut applied tariffs on such goods and services to 5 percent by 2015. This will help lower costs, increase the dissemination of clean technologies, and create jobs. Leaders further committed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and aimed to reduce the energy intensity of APEC economies by 45 percent by 2035.
  • In February 2012, the United States launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollution, a new global initiative to make rapid progress on climate change and air quality. Reducing pollutants that are “short-lived” in the atmosphere, such as methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which together account for one-third of current global warming, can prevent more than 2 million premature deaths a year, avoid the annual loss of over 30 million tons of crops, increase energy security, and address climate change. Founding coalition partners include Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, and the UN Environment Program.

For more information on President Obama’s stance on Energy, Climate Change and Our Environment

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EPA - Sustainable Communities

Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities

Many communities around the country are asking for tools to help them achieve their desired development goals, improve quality of life, and become more economically and environmentally sustainable. In response to this demand, EPA developed the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.

Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities provides quick, targeted technical assistance to selected local and/or tribal governments using a variety of tools that have demonstrated results and widespread application. The purpose of delivering these tools is to stimulate a discussion about growth and development and strengthen local capacity to implement sustainable approaches.

In 2013, EPA will select up to 44 communities for assistance. Each technical assistance project in a community will include:

  • Public engagement, a one-day workshop that is open to the public.
  • Direct consultation with relevant decision-makers.
  • A memo outlining specific steps the community could take to implement the ideas generated during the site visit.

Technical assistance will be delivered by EPA staff. In addition, four nonprofit organizations with extensive expertise in sustainable communities will select up to 55 additional communities for assistance. These organizations-Forterra, Global Green USA, Project for Public Spaces, and Smart Growth America-have received grants from EPA to offer assistance using tools they have chosen.

For more: http://epa.gov/smartgrowth/buildingblocks.htm

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More government links:

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47 Responses to Sustainable Energy

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    Tom Donilon, National Security Advisor, delivers remarks at the Center on Global Energy Policy Launch Event
    Columbia University Morningside Campus Low Library Rotunda
    New York, NY

    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    11:45 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    12:00 PM
    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden attend a memorial service for slain MIT police officer Sean Collier
    Briggs Field at MIT, Cambridge, MA

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

    12:45 PM
    Vice President Joe Biden remarks at the memorial service for slain MIT police officer Sean Collier
    Briggs Field at MIT, Cambridge, MA

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    3:30 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with Treasury Secretary Lew

    4:00 PM
    4:25 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle depart the White House en route Joint Base Andrews.

    4:40 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle depart Joint Base Andrews en route Dallas.

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:35 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle arrive in Dallas.

    President Obama delivers remarks at DNC event; First Lady Michelle also attends
    Dallas, TX

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

    President Obama and First Lady Michelle overnight in Dallas, TX

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      April 24, 2013

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

      10:30 AM ET
      White House Champions of Change: Honoring Hurricane Sandy Volunteers
      The White House

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

      12:45 PM ET
      Vice President Joe Biden remarks at the memorial service for slain MIT police officer Sean Collier
      Briggs Field at MIT, Cambridge, MA

      —-

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

      10:00 AM ET
      FAA Administrator on Budget and Sequestration
      Michael Huerta; Thomas Latham; Ed Pastor

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

      12:45 PM ET
      Vice President Joe Biden remarks at the memorial service for slain MIT police officer Sean Collier
      Briggs Field at MIT, Cambridge, MA

      2:00 PM ET
      Hearing on Army Corps of Engineers
      Top Army officials review the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) chairs the hearing.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      10:00 AM ET
      FAA Administrator on Budget and Sequestration
      Michael Huerta; Thomas Latham; Ed Pastor http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217731

      10:00 AM ET
      Sec. Sebelius Testifies on Health Care Budget and Sequestration http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217737

      10:00 AM ET
      House Cmte. Holds Hearing on Health Care Implementation http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217736

      10:00 AM ET
      Industry Experts Testify on Freight Transportation
      The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee holds a hearing on the future of Freight Transportation http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217741

      12:30 PM ET
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217765

      2:00 PM ET
      Hearing on Army Corps of Engineers
      Top Army officials review the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) chairs the hearing. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217732

      3:00 PM ET
      DARPA Briefs Reporters on Innovative Defense Projects
      Dr. Arati Prabhakar, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), briefs defense reporters on ongoing critical technology projects http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217735

  2. CR says:

    Sustainability

    Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

    Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.

    Source: http://epa.gov/sustainability/basicinfo.htm

    ———————-

    Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities

    Many communities around the country are asking for tools to help them achieve their desired development goals, improve quality of life, and become more economically and environmentally sustainable. In response to this demand, EPA developed the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.

    Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities provides quick, targeted technical assistance to selected local and/or tribal governments using a variety of tools that have demonstrated results and widespread application. The purpose of delivering these tools is to stimulate a discussion about growth and development and strengthen local capacity to implement sustainable approaches.

    In 2013, EPA will select up to 44 communities for assistance. Each technical assistance project in a community will include:

    Public engagement, a one-day workshop that is open to the public.
    Direct consultation with relevant decision-makers.
    A memo outlining specific steps the community could take to implement the ideas generated during the site visit.
    Technical assistance will be delivered by EPA staff. In addition, four nonprofit organizations with extensive expertise in sustainable communities will select up to 55 additional communities for assistance. These organizations-Forterra, Global Green USA, Project for Public Spaces, and Smart Growth America-have received grants from EPA to offer assistance using tools they have chosen.

    For more: http://epa.gov/smartgrowth/buildingblocks.htm

    • CR says:

      President Obama’s Stance on Sustainability

      Under President Obama’s leadership, the United States has engaged the international community to promote sustainable economic growth and to meet the climate change challenge through a number of important venues, including:

      International Climate Negotiations
      In December 2009, President Obama and other world leaders came together to negotiate the Copenhagen Accord, an important milestone in which, for the first time, all major developed and developing economies agreed to implement measures to limit their greenhouse gas emissions and to do so in an internationally transparent manner. In 2010, the Cancun Agreement confirmed and substantially extended the core elements of the Copenhagen Accord in the areas of finance, technology and adaptation as well as mitigation and transparency in an instrument that the Parties enthusiastically endorsed.In December 2011 at Durban, the United States and the international community took important steps to make operational all of the key elements of the Cancun agreement, including a transparency regime to monitor and review mitigation efforts by developed and developing countries, as well as established a Green Climate Fund. In addition, a process was launched to negotiate a new legal instrument to take effect from 2020, and U.S. leadership was crucial to ensuring that the instrument will be applicable to all parties and include all of the major economies within a common legal system.

      The Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, launched by President Obama in April 2009, facilitates a candid dialogue among major developed and developing economies to make progress in meeting the climate change and clean energy challenge. The 17 major economies which are members of the Major Economies Forum are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

      The Clean Energy Ministerial, announced by President Obama and the Leaders of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, and led by Energy Secretary Chu, has made progress towards its goal of driving transformational low-carbon, climate friendly technologies by providing tools and platforms to improve the policy environment for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean energy access.

      At the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit chaired by President Obama in Honolulu, leaders agreed to eliminate non-tariff barriers to environmental goods and services, including local content requirements, and cut applied tariffs on such goods and services to 5 percent by 2015. This will help lower costs, increase the dissemination of clean technologies, and create jobs. Leaders further committed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and aimed to reduce the energy intensity of APEC economies by 45 percent by 2035.

      In February 2012, the United States launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollution, a new global initiative to make rapid progress on climate change and air quality. Reducing pollutants that are “short-lived” in the atmosphere, such as methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which together account for one-third of current global warming, can prevent more than 2 million premature deaths a year, avoid the annual loss of over 30 million tons of crops, increase energy security, and address climate change. Founding coalition partners include Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, and the UN Environment Program.

      For more information on President Obama’s stance on Energy, Climate Change and Our Environment

      • CR says:

        Youth Sustainability Challenge Twitter Town Hall

        Published on Aug 31, 2012

        This spring, the White House challenged youth to share their stories about how they were promoting sustainability in their communities. Several winners of that challenge were highlighted during events at the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil in June and then came together at a White House event to discuss the work they are doing around environmental stewardship. August 31, 2012.

    • CR says:

      Companies that Invest in Sustainability Do Better Financially

      Sep 20, 2012 5:16 PM PT By Gerrit Heyns – bloomberg

      \It’s a common misperception that responsible or sustainable investments are all in the hug yourself, warm feeling, good intention category, the inevitable consequence of which is diminished investment return.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

      In the past decade, investor demand has increased transparency and communication, creating a large and growing pool of data on corporate sustainability. With this, objective decision-making can happen. Analysis of the data shows two important relationships:

      Resource efficient companies — those that use less energy and water and create less waste in generating a unit of revenue — tend to produce higher investment returns than their less resource-efficient rivals.

      Resource-efficient companies also display high levels of innovation and entrepreneurship, pushing core value metrics above the average large cap global business.

      What these findings suggest is that an investment strategy based on resource efficiency not only produces returns in excess of global benchmarks, it also identifies management teams that are forward thinking, aware of the economic imperatives brought about by resource constraint. Just the kinds of companies a responsible investment manager would put clients’ money into.

      And while a global portfolio constructed around a resource efficiency metric will certainly include less well-known global firms like Lundin Petroleum and Shire Ltd, it will mostly be comprised of household names. The data on sustainability shows that companies like Boeing, BMW, UPS, and L’Oreal are highly resource efficient in their respective industries.

      Resource efficiency, therefore, is not just some nice-to-have quality. It is a leading indicator of economic performance and one that every investment manager should be tracking. It’s about time that the financial community woke up to this fact and started to take advantage of the data.

      For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-21/companies-that-invest-in-sustainability-do-better-financially.html

      • CR says:

        What will sustainability look like in 2013?

        January 03, 2013 By Liz Enochs – greenbiz

        (Excerpts)

        As 2012 comes to a close, GreenBiz asked executives from a range of companies and organizations to reflect on the past year and look at what lies ahead.

        They obliged by telling us about their accomplishments, frustrations, lessons learned, their thoughts about the biggest issues of 2012 and what they think will drive sustainability in 2013.

        A few big themes emerged: the failure to make significant progress at major global conclaves — Rio+20 and the Doha Climate Change conference in particular — the lack of urgency and action from policymakers on climate change, and the need for stronger, more transparent standards and ratings systems to meet increased consumer, investor, and corporate demand.

        Here’s what they said when we asked:

        What were the most significant sustainability trends in 2012?

        Mark Lee, Executive Director, SustainAbility:
        My three young children! And worrying about their future on a hotter planet. It looks bleak on climate change/arresting global warming. What are we leaving them?

        Peter Madden, Chief Executive, Forum for the Future:
        The fact that the financial sector institutions still have their heads in the sand. They urgently need to start valuing things appropriately and investing for sustainability. But at the moment, they seem to be going backwards, not forwards.

        Angela Nahikian, Director of Global Environmental Sustainability, Steelcase:
        The scale of change still needed The challenges of globalization: both in implementing sustainability and in the core business challenges it creates.

        Aron Cramer, President & CEO, BSR
        Climate change is moving much faster than thought, and much faster than action that’s needed to transition to low-carbon prosperity.

        Amy Hargroves, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sprint Nextel Corporation:
        The lack of standards in reporting, in supplier requirements, in products, is creating unnecessary complexity and work load. Will the new GRI report be better or worse than G3.1?

        Neil Hawkins, Vice President, Sustainability and EH&S, Dow Chemical Co.:
        The specter of a global recession if the Euro crises does not end favorably.

        Leisha John, Americas Director of Environmental Sustainability, Ernst & Young:
        How we balance our client demand for face-to-face collaboration with our efforts to minimize our emissions related to business travel.

        Beth Shiroishi, Vice President, Sustainability & Philanthropy, AT&T:
        2012 was a year of incredible momentum at our company for our sustainability efforts; so my night brain ponders how we continue to keep this momentum going next year.

        Bridgett Luther, President, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute:
        All the sustainability efforts still feel very incremental. Big problems with small steps. Let’s pray that Obama makes some big moves this year.

        Terry Yosie, President and CEO, World Environment Center:
        The cascading impacts of climate change. We’ve already baked significant climate change potential into the atmosphere with no real basis of optimism that current emission trends can be reversed. It’s not only the developing world that is at risk.

        For the entire article: http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2013/01/03/sustainability-look-2013?page=0%2C1

      • CR says:

        Champions of Change: Corporate Environmental Sustainability

        Published on Apr 13, 2012

        The White House honors seven local leaders as Champions of Change for their work demonstrating that corporate environmental leadership makes sense, both for business and for American communities. April 12, 2012.

    • CR says:

      Organics: Anaerobic Digestion

      Anaerobic digestion is a process where microorganisms break down organic materials, such as food scraps, manure, and sewage sludge, in the absence of oxygen. Anaerobic digestion produces biogas and a solid residual. Biogas, made primarily of methane and carbon dioxide, can be used as a source of energy similar to natural gas. The solid residual can be land applied or composted and used as a soil amendment. The benefits of anaerobic digestion include renewable energy generation, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and waste diversion.

      Anaerobic digestion occurs at:

      * Wastewater Treatment Plants
      * Manure Digesters
      * Stand-Alone Digesters

      Co-Digestion is a process whereby additional, energy-rich organic waste materials (e.g. Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) and/or food scraps) are added to a dairy or wastewater digester with excess capacity. Co-digestion uses existing infrastructure to divert food scraps and FOG. In addition to diverting food scraps and FOG from landfills and the public sewer lines, these high-energy materials have at least three times the methane production potential of biosolids and manure. Methane production potential correlates to the amount of energy that the material produces when digested anaerobically.

      Permitting Tool Kit for Food Waste Anaerobic Digesters - Based on the experience of Humboldt Waste Management Authority (HWMA) in California, this report provides an overview of key permitting steps and regulatory requirements for anaerobic digesters processing wasted food. It includes:

      * Key Permitting Steps
      * Overview of the Current Regulatory Environment
      * List of Potential Impacts and Mitigations Measures
      * Lessons Learned Throughout the Permitting Process

      While permitting and regulatory requirements differ by geographic location, site characteristics, and the size of the project, this provides general information about permitting and specific information about HWMA’s experience. The purpose is to help other cities and project developers move through the permitting process with more ease.

      Co-Digestion Financial Analysis Tool – New tool to help assess initial economic feasibility assessment of food waste co-digestion at wastewater treatment plants for the purpose of biogas production.

      Turning Food Scraps Into Energy- Learn more about how East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) is co-digesting food scraps from restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area at their wastewater treatment plant to generate renewable energy.

      For more: http://www.epa.gov/region9/organics/ad/index.html

      • CR says:

        San Jose biogas facility will turn food waste into energy

        11/12/13 By Dana Hull -mercurynews

        SAN JOSE — The nation’s largest facility for turning food scraps into biogas is about to go online in north San Jose.

        The project is a unique partnership between GreenWaste, which collects garbage, recycled materials and compostibles, and Zanker Road Resource Management, which operates recycling facilities. The two firms formed the Zero Waste Energy Development Company in 2011 to take organic recycling to the next level: extracting energy.

        Food waste, largely from restaurants and commercial businesses across San Jose, will be processed at the Los Esteros Road location by 16 massive digestion chambers that each can hold 350 tons of waste.

        The process takes roughly 21 days, during which the food breaks down into compost and methane biogas. The gas can then be converted into electricity to power the facility or for use as fuel elsewhere. The technology, known as “dry fermentation anaerobic digestion,” uses bacteria to break down organic matter in an oxygen-free environment and without using large quantities of water.
        Scheduled to open later this month, the new facility arrives as California works to divert more materials — from garbage to food scraps to consumer electronics — away from landfills.

        For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_24500983/greenwaste-biogas-san-jose-food-scraps-energy-zero-waste-green?source=rss

  3. CR says:

    The World Ocean Council’s Sustainable Ocean Summit 2013
    Schedule and Program

    The World Ocean Council is an unprecedented international, cross-sectoral industry leadership alliance on “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”.

    The World Ocean Council (WOC) brings together the diverse ocean business community to collaborate on stewardship of the seas. This unique coalition is working to improve ocean science in support of safe and sustainable operations, educate the public and stakeholders about the role of responsible companies in addressing environmental concerns, more effectively engage in ocean policy and planning, and develop science-based solutions to cross-cutting environmental challenges that cannot be solved by one company or industry, such as: invasive species, ocean noise, marine mammal impacts, marine debris, the Arctic, and others.

    Sustainable Ocean Summit 2013 Session Topics:

    * Smart Ocean/Smart Industries: Scaling Up Industry Observations of Ocean, Weather and Climate
    * Ocean Policy and Ocean Industries in International Waters
    * Marine Spatial Planning
    * Sound and the Marine Environment
    * BioFouling and Invasive Species
    * Responsible Cargo Management and Port Waste Reception
    * The Arctic: Challenges and Opportunities for Responsible Industries
    * Marine Ecosystem Services and Blue Carbon
    * Climate Change and Sea Level Rise: Port and Coastal Infrastructure Adaptation
    * Financing Innovation and Technology for Ocean Sustainability
    * PRE-SOS WORKSHOP: Oceans 2050: Drivers, Trends and Scenarios for Ocean Industries and Sustainable Seas

    To View the SOS Program
    For the Draft SOS 2013 Schedule at a glance

    For more: http://www.oceancouncil.org/site/

    • CR says:

      World Ocean Council Announces Second Sustainable Ocean Summit

      Posted by Will Ramos on Monday, November 19th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      Global Ocean Business Community to Meet 22-24 April 2013 in Washington DC

      24 October 2012 – Sam Walker, Group Marine Science Expert for BP International and Chairman of the 2013 Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) organizing committee, announced that this event will take place in Washington DC on 22-24 April. The SOS 2013 follows on from the highly successful inaugural SOS convened by the World Ocean Council (WOC) in Belfast in 2010, and the steady growth of the WOC since then as the only international, multi-industry leadership alliance on “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”.

      For Full Announcement. http://www.oceanleadership.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/WOC-News-Release-2012-10-24-Save-the-Date-announcement-FINAL.pdf

  4. CR says:

    Vice President Joe Biden to attend memorial service for Sean Collier, White House says

    4/22/2013 2:17 PM By Jim O’Sullivan, Globe Staff

    Vice President Joe Biden to attend memorial service for Sean Collier, White House says

    4/22/2013 2:17 PM By Jim O’Sullivan, Globe Staff

    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will travel to Cambridge on Wednesday for the memorial service for MIT police officer Sean Collier, whom authorities say was killed in a confrontation with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects last Thursday night, a White House official said Monday.

    Collier’s public memorial will be held at noon on Briggs Field at MIT, according to the school.

    Collier was shot multiple times after 10 p.m. Thursday. He was found by other officers in his cruiser, and later declared dead at Massachusetts General Hospital.

  5. CR says:

    9:00am – 1:00pm
    Center on Global Energy Policy Launch Event
    Tom Donilon, National Security Advisor, delivers remarks
    Columbia University Morningside Campus Low Library Rotunda
    New York, NY

    • CR says:

      April 24, 2013

      Remarks by Tom Donilon, National Security Advisor to the President At the Launch of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy

      Introduction

      Thank you, Jason. During your time at the White House, the President and our team counted on your deep knowledge of energy, climate and national security. Thank you also to Columbia University. You chose well in Jason and there could scarcely be a more timely moment for a Center like this one. Finally, a special thanks to Dan Yergin, who has made an unparalleled contribution to how we understand and talk about energy. Dan, I look forward to our discussion today. But, I want to tell you that I think I should be interviewing you. Congratulations also on hiring David Sandalow, who has been an important part of our team at the Department of Energy for the past four years, as your inaugural fellow.

      It is a bit unusual for a National Security Advisor to address an energy conference like this one. So let me begin with a straightforward proposition: energy matters profoundly to U.S. national security and foreign policy. It matters because the availability of reliable, affordable energy is essential to our economic strength at home, which is the foundation for our leadership in the world. It matters because scarce resources have driven both commerce and conflict since time immemorial—and still do today. It matters because energy supplies present strategic leverage and disposable income for countries that have them. It matters because the challenge of accessing affordable energy is one shared by people and businesses in every country in the world—in young democracies, emerging powers and developing economies; in allies and adversaries alike. It matters because disruptions in supply anywhere can have economic impacts that are global.

      Energy shapes national interests and relations between nations. It shapes politics, development and governance within nations. And it shapes the security and stability of the climate and environment. For all these reasons and many others, increasing global access to secure, affordable and ever cleaner supplies of energy is a global public good and a national interest of the United States.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/24/remarks-tom-donilon-national-security-advisor-president-launch-columbia-

  6. CR says:

    MBA Purchase Applications

    Released On 4/24/2013 7:00:00 AM For wk4/19, 2013

    Prior Actual
    Composite Index – W/W Change 4.8 % 0.2 %
    Purchase Index – W/W Change 4.0 % 0.3 %
    Refinance Index – W/W Change 5.0 % 0.3 %

    Highlights
    The purchase index, up 0.3 percent in the latest week, is climbing slowly in what is a positive indication for the spring housing season. The index is at its highest level since the stimulus efforts of May 2010. Gains for this index point to strength for home sales and housing starts which up until March had been soft. The refinance index also rose 0.3 percent in the week. Helping both indexes was a dip in mortgage, down 2 basis points for conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) to an average 3.65 percent.

    Source: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=455680&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2013&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  7. CR says:

    10:30 AM EDT
    White House Champions of Change: Honoring Hurricane Sandy Volunteers
    The White House

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

    • CR says:

      Champions of Change: Honoring Hurricane Sandy Volunteers

      Published on Apr 29, 2013

      The White House honors fourteen local volunteers and organizations from the neighborhoods and communities damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

  8. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Happy and HOPEful Wednesday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

    Like this topic, CR!

  9. CR says:

    April 24, 2013

    Statement from the President on the Confirmation of Sylvia Mathews Burwell

    I am pleased that the Senate took bipartisan action today to confirm Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Sylvia shares my commitment to growing our economy, shrinking our deficits in a balanced way, and reigniting a rising, thriving middle class. Sylvia has spent a career fighting for working families, and she was part of an OMB team that presided over three budget surpluses in a row. Her experience will be especially important as we continue our efforts to replace the indiscriminate budget cuts that are already starting to cost jobs, hurt families, and inconvenience Americans. Sylvia will be a key member of my economic team, and I look forward to working with her in the years ahead.

  10. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    Senate Republicans Block Progress On Budget

    TUESDAY APRIL 23, 2013 BRIAN BEUTLER 10:30 AM EDT – tpm

    The GOP isn’t reversing its 180 on returning to “regular order” in the budget process.

    On the Senate floor Tuesday morning, Majority Leader Harry Reid moved to appoint seven Democratic and five Republican Senate negotiators to a conference committee with House counterparts, to iron out major differences between the two chambers’ budgets.

    Now that both bodies have passed budgets, convening a conference committee is the next step in “regular order,” which Republicans have insisted on returning to for several months.

    But speaking on behalf of Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) objected to Reid’s request.

    • CR says:

      Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood – 2/22/13 Press Briefing

      Published on Apr 24, 2013

      Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaks to the press on 2/22/13 in the Press Briefing Room at the White House

  11. CR says:

    12:45 PM ET
    Vice President Joe Biden remarks at the memorial service for slain MIT police officer Sean Collier
    Briggs Field at MIT, Cambridge, MA

    • CR says:

      Biden rails against ‘twisted, perverted, knock-off jihadists’ who attacked Boston

      4/24/13 01:42 PM ET By Jonathan Easley – TheHill

      Vice President Biden on Wednesday railed against the “twisted, perverted, knock-off jihadists” alleged to have planted the bombs that killed three and injured hundreds at the Boston Marathon last week.

      Biden made the comments at the memorial service for Sean Collier, the MIT officer allegedly slain by the suspects before a firefight killed one of them and set off a chaotic manhunt for the other.

      Some media reports estimated 10,000 people were on hand for the event. Biden’s voice boomed across the outdoor venue as he roused onlookers with a harsh indictment of religious and political extremists that resort to acts of terror.

      Biden called the terrorists “craven, misguided, perverted apostles” that misunderstood the Islamic faith. He said they hated the U.S. for “our open society, our system of justice that guarantees freedom, and the access of every American to opportunity.”

      “It infuriates them,” Biden said.

      “Our very existence makes a lie of their perverted ideology, so the only way they can gain ground is to instill fear a as way to get us to jettison our values, to get us to change,” he continued. “The moment we change … or get in a crouch or get defensive, that is the moment they win.”

      Two ethnic Chechen brothers — Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — are believed to have carried out the bombing.

      Tamerlan, 26, died after a shootout with police last Friday morning in Watertown, Mass. Dzhokhar, 19, was captured after a citywide manhunt later that day.

      He is recovering in a Boston hospital from gunshot wounds and has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property in the United States.

      Biden said the refusal of Americans to live in fear of terrorist attacks would someday crush the spirits of potential attackers.

      “On every frontier, terrorism as a weapon is losing, it is not gaining adherence,” he said. “What galls them the most is that America does remain that shining city on the hill. We’re a symbol of the hopes and dreams of the very aspirations of people around the world.”

      Biden also spoke personally to Collier’s family and recalled a personal tragedy in which he lost his newborn daughter and wife in car accident.

      “I know from experience that the moment will come when that thing that triggers the memory of Sean, that moment … you’ll know it’s going to be OK when your first instinct is to get a smile to your lips rather than a tear to your eye,” he said.

      “It’s impossible to fathom that will happen now, but I’m telling you it will.”

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) spoke before Biden. She said Collier’s spirit of service was evident in the city’s reaction to the bombing.

      “It is that same spirit we saw in the firefighters, police officers, EMS, and Guard, coordinating the first response and turning peril into protection,” she said.

      “It is that same spirit we saw in the world-class hospitals — doctors and nurses and support staff — who worked through the day and the night and the day again, and who made the difference between life and death.”

    • CR says:

      Raw Video: Dr. Jill Biden at the Marathon Memorial in Copley Square, Boston

      Published on Apr 24, 2013

      After attending the memorial for slain MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, Dr. Jill Biden made the short trip across the Charles River to the Marathon Memorial Site in Copley Square. Here, she left flowers and a pair of running shoes in honor of the victims of last week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.

  12. CR says:

    7:35 PM ET
    President Obama delivers remarks at a Dallas DNC event; First Lady Michelle also attends
    Dallas, TX

    • CR says:

      April 25, 2013

      Remarks by the President at DNC Event

      April 24, 2013
      Private Residence
      Dallas, Texas

      8:06 P.M. CDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you so much. Well, let me begin by thanking Naomi and Larry for opening up this extraordinary home to all of us. It is wonderful to see them again. And they’ve been such longtime supporters. They were there back in the day when many of you could not pronounce my name. (Laughter.) But they’ve just been great friends and are active on so many fronts. Obviously, Larry is labor and Naomi is management — (laughter) — as is true in our household as well. (Laughter.) But we really appreciate them and their very impressive sons.

      I also want to acknowledge Henry Munoz who’s here and is just doing an outstanding job as our finance chair of the DNC. Where’s Henry? There he is. (Applause.) Thank you, Henry. And I understand that the former mayor of this great city, Ron Kirk, is still around. So, everybody, give a big round of applause to Ron. (Applause.)

      Obviously this has been a tough couple of weeks for the country. I have spent time in Boston and have been inspired by the incredible resilience of that city in the wake of such a horrific tragedy; had a chance to visit with some of the victims of the explosion and talk to the families of some of the folks who were lost. And then tomorrow I’ll be attending a memorial service for the tragedy that took place in West, Texas, and have a chance to visit with some of those families.

      And there’s no words that are satisfactory when you’re confronting these kinds of losses. And families cope, they do their best, but obviously their lives are transformed by this. And so I don’t want to pretend that somehow you can put a positive gloss on those kinds of events. On the other hand, what is remarkable is the strength and the courage and the fellowship that you see in people when they’re confronted with these kinds of challenges. And in Boston, what you saw was not just the character of an extraordinary American city, but it was also the character of a nation.

      There is something about tough times that brings out the best in us, and all the petty differences and the divisions of race and class and religion and political persuasion all seem to fade away. And I remember, as I was driving from the airport to the memorial service in Boston, I was with Deval Patrick — outstanding Governor of Massachusetts and a great friend who handled the whole situation as well as anybody could — and we agreed that wouldn’t it be something if we could just somehow capture and sustain that spirit beyond tragedy.

      That’s kind of a cliché. We talk about this a lot.
      We talked about this after 9/11; we talk about it after a natural disaster like Sandy. We’re all struck by how we come to each other’s aid, and these huge waves of empathy come forward and people are willing to do anything for strangers because they understand there but for the grace of God go I. And they also understand that there’s something fundamental that binds us together as Americans, and that we love this country, and this country is simply a collection of incredible people — our fellow citizens.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/25/remarks-president-dnc-event

  13. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    8:30 AM
    Vice President Biden meets with His Majesty King Abdullah II
    Naval Observatory

    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle attend the George W. Bush Presidential Library Opening Ceremony
    SMU, Dallas, TX

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    Vice President Biden meets with gun safety advocates
    White House

    3:00 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle attend the memorial service for victims of the West, Texas fertilizer plant blast.
    Baylor University, Waco, TX

    President Obama and First Lady Michelle meet with the family of victims of the West, Texas fertilizer plant blast.
    Baylor University, Waco, TX

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:10 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle depart Dallas en route Washington, D.C.

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    9:40 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle arrive at Joint Base Andrews.

    9:55 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle arrive at the White House.

    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      April 25, 2013

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

      11:00 AM ET
      President Obama and First Lady Michelle attend the George W. Bush Presidential Library Opening Ceremony
      SMU, Dallas, TX

      3:00 PM ET
      President Obama and First Lady Michelle attend the memorial service for victims of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant blast.
      Baylor University, Waco, TX

      —-

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

      9:45 AM ET
      House Foreign Affairs Cmte. Discusses Federal Aid Budget
      Rajiv Shah, the Administrator for the Agency for International Development, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the 2014 Budget Request.

      10:00 AM ET
      Senate Cmte. Looks at Effect of Drought on Energy Resources

      10:00 AM ET
      Experts Report on Homeland Counterterrorism Efforts
      Counterterrorism experts charged with keeping track of federal and local agencies testify to the House Homeland Security Committee.

      10:00 AM ET
      House Cmte. Examines Federal Railroad Budget
      Federal Railroad Administration head Joseph Szabo testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies on the 2014 federal budget

      11:00 AM ET
      President Obama and First Lady Michelle attend the George W. Bush Presidential Library Opening Ceremony
      SMU, Dallas, TX

      3:00 PM ET
      President Obama and First Lady Michelle attend the memorial service for victims of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant blast.
      Baylor University, Waco, TX

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:45 AM ET
      House Foreign Affairs Cmte. Discusses Federal Aid Budget
      Rajiv Shah, the Administrator for the Agency for International Development, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the 2014 Budget Request. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217788

      10:00 AM ET
      Senate Cmte. Looks at Effect of Drought on Energy Resources http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217787

      10:00 AM ET
      Experts Report on Homeland Counterterrorism Efforts
      Counterterrorism experts charged with keeping track of federal and local agencies testify to the House Homeland Security Committee. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217780

      10:00 AM ET
      House Cmte. Examines Federal Railroad Budget
      Federal Railroad Administration head Joseph Szabo testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies on the 2014 federal budget http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217793

      11:00 AM ET
      President Obama and First Lady Michelle attend the George W. Bush Presidential Library Opening Ceremony
      SMU, Dallas, TX http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/216887

      2:30 PM ET
      House Committee Ways and Means | Oversight
      Discussion on 2013 Tax Filing Season http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217789

      3:00 PM ET
      President Obama and First Lady Michelle attend the memorial service for victims of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant blast.
      Baylor University, Waco, TX http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217792

  14. CR says:

    April 24, 2013

    Presidential Proclamation — Honoring the Victims of the Explosion in West, Texas

    HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE EXPLOSION IN WEST, TEXAS

    ——-

    BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    A PROCLAMATION

    As a mark of respect for the memory of those who perished in the explosion in West, Texas, on April 17, 2013, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at all public buildings and grounds and at all military facilities and naval stations of the Federal Government in the State of Texas on April 25, 2013.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

    BARACK OBAMA

    • CR says:

      Obamas to attend service for victims of Texas explosion

      4/22/13 01:00 PM ET By Justin Sink – TheHill

      President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will attend a memorial service Thursday at Baylor University for the victims of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.

      “The President and first lady will travel to Baylor University in Waco, Texas, to attend the memorial service for those lost and injured in the deadly explosion at the fertilizer plant,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

      The Obamas will attend the event after the dedication of former President George W. Bush’s presidential library. Obama will arrive in Texas on Wednesday night, where he will headline a $10,000 per plate fundraising dinner for the Democratic National Committee.

      West, Texas, was devastated last week when a fertilizer plant caught fire and exploded. The blast killed 14, injured hundreds more and left large sections of the small town leveled.

      Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/295299-obamas-to-attend-service-for-plant-blast-victims

  15. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    George W. Bush’s Legacy

    43rd President of the United States
    In office: January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009

    Bush’s Economy Policy

    * The Bush administration increased federal government spending from $1.789 trillion to $2.983 trillion (60%) while revenues increased from $2.025 trillion to $2.524 trillion (from 2000 to 2008). Individual income tax revenues increased by 14%, corporate tax revenues by 50%, customs and duties by 40%. Discretionary defense spending was increased by 107%, discretionary domestic spending by 62%, Medicare spending by 131%, social security by 51%, and income security spending by 130%. Cyclically adjusted, revenues rose by 35% and spending by 65%.

    * The increase in spending was more than under any predecessor since Lyndon B. Johnson.The number of economic regulation governmental workers increased by 91,196.

    * The surplus in fiscal year 2000 was $237 billion—the third consecutive surplus and the largest surplus ever. In 2001, Bush’s budget estimated that there would be a $5.6 trillion surplus over the next ten years. Facing congressional opposition, Bush held townhall style meetings across the U.S. in order to increase public support for his plan for a $1.35 trillion tax cut program—one of the largest tax cuts in U.S. history. Bush argued that unspent government funds should be returned to taxpayers, saying “the surplus is not the government’s money. The surplus is the people’s money.”Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned of a recession and Bush stated that a tax cut would stimulate the economy and create jobs. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, opposed some of the tax cuts on the basis that they would contribute to budget deficits and undermine Social Security. O’Neill disputes the claim, made in Bush’s book “Decision Points”, that he never openly disagreed with him on planned tax cuts. By 2003, the economy showed signs of improvement, though job growth remained stagnant. Another tax cut program was passed that year.

    * During the 2001 to 2008 years, GDP grew at an average annual rate of 2.0375%, less than for past business cycles.

    * Unemployment originally rose from 4.2% in January 2001 to 6.3% in June 2003

    * Adjusted for inflation, median household income dropped by $1,175 between 2000 and 2007

    * By October 2008, due to increases in spending, the national debt had risen to $11.3 trillion, an increase of over 100% from 2000 when the debt was only $5.6 trillion. Most debt was accumulated as a result of what became known as the “Bush tax cuts” and increased national security spending.

    * In December 2007, the United States entered the longest post–World War II recession, which included a housing market correction, a subprime mortgage crisis, soaring oil prices, and a declining dollar value.

    * In February, 63,000 jobs were lost, a five-year record.

    * The Bush administration pushed for significantly increased regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2003

    Bush’s War on Terrorism

    * Bush presents then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
    After September 11, Bush announced a global War on Terror. The Afghan Taliban regime was not forthcoming with Osama bin Laden, so Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban regime. In his January 29, 2002 State of the Union Address, he asserted that an "axis of evil" consisting of North Korea, Iran, and Iraq was "arming to threaten the peace of the world" and "pose[d] a grave and growing danger". The Bush Administration asserted both a right and the intention to wage preemptive war, or preventive war. This became the basis for the Bush Doctrine which weakened the unprecedented levels of international and domestic support for the United States which had followed the September 11 attacks.

    * Dissent and criticism of Bush's leadership in the War on Terror increased as the war in Iraq continued. In 2006, a National Intelligence Estimate concluded that the Iraq War had become the "cause célèbre for jihadists"

    * Beginning with his January 29, 2002 State of the Union address, Bush began publicly focusing attention on Iraq, which he labeled as part of an "axis of evil" allied with terrorists and posing "a grave and growing danger" to U.S. interests through possession of weapons of mass destruction.
    In the latter half of 2002, CIA reports contained assertions of Saddam Hussein's intent of reconstituting nuclear weapons programs, not properly accounting for Iraqi biological and chemical weapons, and that some Iraqi missiles had a range greater than allowed by the UN sanctions. Contentions that the Bush Administration manipulated or exaggerated the threat and evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities would eventually become a major point of criticism for the president.

    Foreign perceptions

    In 2006, most respondents in 18 of 21 countries surveyed around the world were found to hold an unfavorable opinion of Bush. Respondents indicated that they judged his administration as negative for world security. In 2007, the Pew Global Attitudes Project reported that during the Bush presidency, attitudes towards the United States and the American people became less favorable around the world.

    Interrogation policies
    Bush authorized the CIA to use waterboarding as one of several enhanced interrogation techniques. Between 2002 and 2003 the CIA considered certain enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to be legal based on a secret Justice Department legal opinion arguing that terror detainees were not protected by the Geneva Conventions’ ban on torture.

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

  16. CR says:

    Obama forges ahead with historic overhaul of export controls

    4/24/13 07:24 PM ET By Ben Goad – TheHill

    The Obama administration has begun to roll out a series of regulations that would represent the largest overhaul of federal export controls in U.S. history.

    But lawmakers, who must approve a central component of the effort, appeared torn Wednesday between the economic benefits it would yield and potential national security threats that could arise if U.S. technology were to fall into the wrong hands.

    The State and Commerce departments in recent days have issued hundreds of pages of regulations to begin the process of streamlining and updating Cold War-era rules for exporting items deemed sensitive.

    Current regulations, rooted in the 1960s, require companies to apply for federal permission to export tens of thousands of items that are on federal control lists. Critics say the system is outdated and needlessly protects nuts, bolts and other seemingly benign items that could be used to build weapons.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/296035-obama-forges-ahead-with-overhaul-of-export-controls

  17. CR says:

    8:30 AM ET
    Vice President Biden meets with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan
    Naval Observatory

    • CR says:

      April 25, 2013

      Readout of Vice President Biden’s Meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan

      The Vice President hosted His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan for breakfast at the Naval Observatory today. The Vice President and the King discussed how best to advance a political transition to a peaceful, democratic post-Assad Syria where moderates are empowered. The Vice President underscored the strength of the U.S.- Jordanian relationship and noted enduring U.S. support for Jordan. The King will meet with President Obama on Friday.

  18. CR says:

    Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell Last Week to 339,000

    Apr 25, 2013 5:45 AM PT By Alex Kowalski – TheHill

    Fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week, pointing to an improving labor market.

    Applications for jobless benefits decreased by 16,000 to 339,000 in the week ended April 20, the lowest since March 9, according to Labor Department data released today in Washington. Economists projected 350,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. A Labor Department spokesman said the claims data typically bounce around this time of year.

    The figures indicate companies have enough confidence to maintain current staffing levels and are in a position to add to headcount should sales strengthen. At the same time, recent data showing the economy began to cool at the end of the first quarter give businesses reason to pause, prolonging the time it takes joblessness to retreat to pre-recession levels.

    “The layoff side of the equation is improving quite a bit,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, a U.S. strategist at TD Securities Inc. in New York, who projected filings would drop to 340,000. “The big question is on the hiring side and whether that can actually pick up and bring down the unemployment rate.”

    Stock-index futures maintained gains after the figures and as companies from Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. to 3M Co. reported earnings that topped estimates. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in June advanced 0.5 percent to 1,581.6 at 8:44 a.m. in New York.

    Estimates for first-time claims ranged from 340,000 to 370,000 in the Bloomberg survey of 49 economists. The Labor Department revised the previous week’s figure up to 355,000, from an initially reported 352,000.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-25/initial-jobless-claims-in-u-s-fall-16-000-last-week-to-339-000.html

  19. CR says:

    Consumer Comfort in U.S. Held Last Week Close to Five-Year High

    Apr 25, 2013 6:45 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

    Consumer sentiment last week held close to a five-year high as Americans gained confidence their financial situation was mending, a sign the biggest part of the economy will keep expanding.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell to minus 29.9 in the week ended April 21 from the prior period’s minus 29.2 that was the highest since January 2008. The decline was within the margin of error of 3 percentage points. Households were the most optimistic about their finances in 10 months.

    Confidence held up even in the face of the biggest weekly drop in stock prices in five months, indicating that rising home values and easing fuel costs are helping to shore up balance sheets. The report may mean any slowdown in consumer spending will prove temporary just as other parts of the economy, including manufacturing, are cooling.

    “Americans are feeling more secure about their own financial situation,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “Household wealth is recovering. The decline in gasoline prices is providing some relief to households across the income spectrum.”

    Of the three components of the comfort index, the personal finances gauge climbed to 3.5 last week, the highest since June, from 1.6, the survey showed.

    The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen 10.7 percent this year through yesterday, helping repair the damage done by the 2007-2009 recession. The gauge has surged 133 percent from a 12- year low in 2009.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-25/consumer-comfort-in-u-s-held-last-week-close-to-five-year-high.html

  20. CR says:

    11:00 AM ET
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle attend the George W. Bush Presidential Library Opening Ceremony
    SMU, Dallas, TX

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

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

    CSPAN http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/216887

    ———

    Remarks by President Obama at Dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library

  21. CR says:

    Plouffe joins ‘the jackals’

    4/25/13 10:00 AM EDT By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

    As first reported in Playbook, former Obama adviser David Plouffe is joining Bloomberg Television as an on-air analyst and off-air adviser.

    Plouffe, the data-obsessed architect of Obama’s victory in 2008 and top aide in 2012, “will lend his expertise to the discussion of technology, demographic changes and crisis management,” according to a release.

    “I am excited for both the on- and off-air relationship with Bloomberg,” Plouffe said. “Their programming lends itself to fuller discussion, which given the complexity of the issues before our country, is of great value.”

    He is the latest from the top ranks of the Obama camp to join the media — which he and others from Team Chicago have famously called “the jackals.” David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs have signed on with NBC and MSNBC. According to POLITICO’s Dylan Byers, deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter is in talks with CNN.

  22. CR says:

    2:00 PM ET
    Vice President Biden meets with gun safety advocates
    White House

  23. CR says:

    3:00 PM ET
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle attend the memorial service for victims of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant blast.
    Baylor University, Waco, TX

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

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

    CSPAN http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217792

    • CR says:

      April 25, 2013

      Remarks by the President at Memorial Service — Waco, TX

      University of Baylor
      Waco, Texas

      3:54 P.M. CDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you. Please. Thank you, Senator Cornyn, Governor Perry, President Starr, gathered dignitaries, the community of Baylor and Waco — most of all, the family and the friends and neighbors of West, Texas.

      I cannot match the power of the voices you just heard on that video. And no words adequately describe the courage that was displayed on that deadly night. What I can do is offer the love and support and prayers of the nation.

      The Book of Psalms tells us, “For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us. We went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance. “We went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.”

      For this state, for our country, these have been trying and difficult days. We gather here in Texas to mourn the brave men who went through fire and all those who have been taken from us. We remain mindful of our fellow Americans in flooded states to the north who endure the high waters. We pray for those in Boston who have been tested, and the wounded whose greatest tests still lie ahead.

      But know this: While the eyes of the world may have been fixed on places far away, our hearts have also been here in your time of tribulation. And even amidst such sorrow and so much pain, we recognize God’s abundance. We give thanks for the courage and the compassion and the incredible grace of the people of West.

      We’re grateful for Mayor Muska and Mayor Duncan, and all those who have shown such leadership during this tragedy. And to the families and neighbors grappling with unbearable loss, we are here to say, you are not alone. You are not forgotten. We may not all live here in Texas, but we’re neighbors, too. (Applause.) We’re Americans, too, and we stand with you, and we do not forget. And we’ll be there even after the cameras leave and after the attention turns elsewhere. Your country will remain ever ready to help you recover and rebuild and reclaim your community. (Applause.)

      Until last week, I think it’s fair to say that few outside this state had ever heard of West. And I suspect that’s the way most people in West like it. (Laughter and applause.) Now, it is true that weary travelers, and now the wider world, know they can rely on the Czech Stop for a brief respite in the middle of a long stretch of highway. I want to say, by the way, all the former Presidents in Dallas send their thoughts and prayers, and George W. and Laura Bush spoke longingly about the kolaches — (laughter) — and the even better company, as they’ve driven through West. And what they understand, and what all of you understand, is what makes West special is not the attention coming from far-flung places. What makes West special, what puts it on the map is what makes it familiar: The people who live there. The neighbors you can count on. Places that haven’t changed. Things that are solid and true and lasting.

      Most of the people in West know everybody in West. Many of you are probably descended from those first settlers — hardy immigrants who crossed an ocean and kept on going. So for you, there’s no such thing as a stranger. When someone is in need, you reach out to them and you support them, and you do what it takes to help them carry on.

      That’s what happened last Wednesday, when a fire alarm sounded across a quiet Texas evening. As we’ve heard, the call went out to volunteers — not professionals — people who just love to serve. People who want to help their neighbors. A call went out to farmers and car salesmen; and welders and funeral home directors; the city secretary and the mayor. It went out to folks who are tough enough and selfless enough to put in a full day’s work and then be ready for more.

      And together, you answered the call. You dropped your schoolwork, left your families, jumped in fire trucks, and rushed to the flames. And when you got to the scene, you forgot fear and you fought that blaze as hard as you could, knowing the danger, buying time so others could escape. And then, about 20 minutes after the first alarm, the earth shook, and the sky went dark — and West changed forever.

      Today our prayers are with the families of all who we’ve lost — the proud sons and daughters of West whose memories will live on in our hearts. Parents who loved their kids, and leaders who served their communities. They were young and old, from different backgrounds and different walks of life. A few were just going about their business. An awful lot ran towards the scene of disaster trying to help. One was described as the kind of guy whose phone was always ringing with folks in need of help — help he always provided. That’s just who these folks were.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/25/remarks-president-memorial-service-waco-tx

  24. 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

  25. CR says:

    President Obama and First Lady Michelle meet with the family of victims of the West, Texas fertilizer plant blast.
    Baylor University, Waco, TX

  26. CR says:

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

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” 21st Century Drug Policy”

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

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

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