University of PA 2013 Commencement & World Fair Trade Day

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University of Pennsylvania’s 257th Commencement
Vice President Joseph R. Biden – Commencement Speaker
Monday, May 13, 2013 @ 10:15 AM ET
Franklin Field, Philadelphia, PA

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Vice President Biden to speak at Penn’s 257th Commencement

3/14/12 By Penn Current Staff upenn.edu

Joseph R. Biden, Jr., vice president of the United States, will deliver the address at Penn’s Commencement on Monday, May 13, 2013.

Biden began his more than 40 years in public service as a county council member in Delaware, then spent more than three decades as a U.S. senator, where he served until becoming vice president in 2008.

“In his career-long work in government, his consummate dedication to public service and his finely-honed capacity to craft landmark bipartisan legislation, Joe Biden has improved the lives of countless fellow Americans and people around the world,” says Penn President Amy Gutmann. “From shaping U.S. foreign policy to creating laws that protect civil liberties and prevent crime, Joe Biden has earned enormous respect and admiration at home and abroad as a major force for making our nation a better country. He is the perfect choice to address the 257th class of Penn graduates as we prepare to launch our wonderful students into the world.”

For more: http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/current/2013-03-14/latest-news/vice-president-biden-speak-penn’s-257th-commencement

Commencement Streamed Live:  http://www.upenn.edu/commencement/webcast.html

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World Fair Trade Day is May 14, 2013

Fair trade involves:

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Fair_Trade_Day#cite_note-10

Ensuring Fair Trade


ITA monitors industry access to overseas markets and works to remove costly barriers to product and service exports. According to a University of Michigan study, the average U.S. family of four still stands to gain an estimated $7,800 per year if there was total elimination of global barriers to trade in goods and services. The World Bank has reported that the elimination of global trade barriers could lift 300-500 million of the world’s poor out of poverty over the next 15 years.


The International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance (MAC) Unit’s objective is to obtain market access for American firms and workers and to achieve full compliance by foreign nations with trade agreements they sign with our country. In doing so, MAC is liberalizing trade, which has been shown to pull the world’s poor out of poverty and increase the standard of living for the average U.S. worker. Through the Trade Compliance Center, ITA is able to track specific cases where U.S. firms are experiencing barriers to entry or not receiving the full potential of negotiated agreements.


Unfair foreign pricing and government subsidies distort the free flow of goods and adversely affect American business in the global marketplace. When that happens, the International Trade Administration can take enforcement actions. ITA’s Import Administration is the agency’s lead unit on enforcing trade laws and agreements to prevent unfairly traded imports and to safeguard jobs and the competitive strength of American industry. From working to resolve disputes to implementing measures when violations are found, we are there to protect U.S. companies from unfair trade practices.

For more: http://trade.gov/fairtrade/index.asp

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“Global trade is unsustainable if it favors only the few. This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many. Together, we must forge trade that truly rewards the work that creates wealth, with meaningful protections for our people and our planet. This is the moment for trade that is free and fair for all. “

Senator Barack  Obama – Speech in Berlin  Jul 24, 2008

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41 Responses to University of PA 2013 Commencement & World Fair Trade Day

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Monday, May 13, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama welcomes British Prime Minister David Cameron to the White House

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    8:40 AM
    President Obama attends a DSCC/ DCCC fundraiser
    Waldorf Astoria, New York City, NY

    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron

    10:15 AM
    Vice President Joseph R. Biden delivers the commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania
    Franklin Field, Philadelphia, PA

    11:00 AM
    President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron hold a joint press conference

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:55 PM
    President Obama departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews.

    2:00 PM
    2:10 PM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews.

    3:00 PM
    3:05 PM
    President Obama arrives in New York City.

    4:00 PM
    4:30 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at a DNC event.
    New York, NY

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    6:05 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at a DNC event.
    New York, NY

    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    8:40 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at a DCCC/DSCC event at the The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, NY

    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM
    10:00 PM
    President Obama departs New York City.

    10:50 PM
    President Obama arrives at Joint Base Andrews.

    11:05 PM
    President Obama arrives at the White House.

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      May 13, 2013

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

      10:15 AM ET
      Vice President Joseph R. Biden delivers the commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania
      Franklin Field, Philadelphia, PA

      11:00 AM ET
      President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron hold a joint press conference

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      10:00 AM ET
      Newseum Hosts Journalists Memorial Ceremony
      NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel speaks at the Newseum’s Journalists Memorial Rededication Ceremony on dangers facing journalists around the world. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/218680

      11:00 AM ET
      President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron hold a joint press conference http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/218722

      2:00 PM ET
      The Korea Economic Institute of America takes a look at the U.S.-Korea relationship, after the meeting between President Obama and South Korean President

      http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/218664

      3:00 PM ET
      Senate Committee Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs
      Office of Management and Budget Nomination Hearing
      Thomas Carper; Thomas Coburn; Brian Deese http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/218652

      —-

      University of Pennsylvania’s 257th Commencement http://www.upenn.edu/commencement/webcast.html

      10:15 AM ET
      Vice President Joseph R. Biden delivers the commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania
      Franklin Field, Philadelphia, PA

  2. CR says:

    Vice President Biden to speak at Penn’s 257th Commencement

    3/14/12 By Penn Current Staff upenn.edu

    Joseph R. Biden, Jr., vice president of the United States, will deliver the address at Penn’s Commencement on Monday, May 13, 2013.

    Biden began his more than 40 years in public service as a county council member in Delaware, then spent more than three decades as a U.S. senator, where he served until becoming vice president in 2008.

    “In his career-long work in government, his consummate dedication to public service and his finely-honed capacity to craft landmark bipartisan legislation, Joe Biden has improved the lives of countless fellow Americans and people around the world,” says Penn President Amy Gutmann. “From shaping U.S. foreign policy to creating laws that protect civil liberties and prevent crime, Joe Biden has earned enormous respect and admiration at home and abroad as a major force for making our nation a better country. He is the perfect choice to address the 257th class of Penn graduates as we prepare to launch our wonderful students into the world.”

    For more: http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/current/2013-03-14/latest-news/vice-president-biden-speak-penn’s-257th-commencement

  3. CR says:

    Ensuring Fair Trade

    ITA monitors industry access to overseas markets and works to remove costly barriers to product and service exports. According to a University of Michigan study, the average U.S. family of four still stands to gain an estimated $7,800 per year if there was total elimination of global barriers to trade in goods and services. The World Bank has reported that the elimination of global trade barriers could lift 300-500 million of the world’s poor out of poverty over the next 15 years.

    The International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance (MAC) Unit’s objective is to obtain market access for American firms and workers and to achieve full compliance by foreign nations with trade agreements they sign with our country. In doing so, MAC is liberalizing trade, which has been shown to pull the world’s poor out of poverty and increase the standard of living for the average U.S. worker. Through the Trade Compliance Center, ITA is able to track specific cases where U.S. firms are experiencing barriers to entry or not receiving the full potential of negotiated agreements.

    Unfair foreign pricing and government subsidies distort the free flow of goods and adversely affect American business in the global marketplace. When that happens, the International Trade Administration can take enforcement actions. ITA’s Import Administration is the agency’s lead unit on enforcing trade laws and agreements to prevent unfairly traded imports and to safeguard jobs and the competitive strength of American industry. From working to resolve disputes to implementing measures when violations are found, we are there to protect U.S. companies from unfair trade practices.
    For more: http://trade.gov/fairtrade/index.asp

    • CR says:

      Fair Trade for Women

      Posted by Ambassador Miriam Sapiro on March 29, 2010 at 04:33 PM EDT

      On March 11th, 2010, President Obama issued an Executive Order launching the National Export Initiative, with the goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next 5 years in support of 2 million new jobs. As Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, one of the ways in which I help promote exports and support new jobs is by supervising the Office of Small Business, Market Access, and Industrial Competitiveness. This office is responsible for supporting small businesses and helping them increase their exports.

      Today, there are nearly 30 million small and medium-sized businesses of every kind in the United States. These businesses are the primary sources of jobs for Americans, and they have generated almost two-thirds of all new employment during the last 15 years. Within this part of the business community, there is one segment that is growing faster than most: enterprises owned by women. Today small businesses owned by women employ more than 4 million workers and contribute about $1 trillion to the U.S. economy. Even among these thriving companies, it is clear that businesses that export tend to grow faster, add jobs faster, and pay higher wages. Yet currently only 1 out of every 100 small and medium-sized businesses markets its products abroad, and most of these companies export only to a single country. At the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and in coordination with other U.S. government agencies as part of the National Export Initiative, we are working to find new ways to help these business owners boost their exports in order to grow and prosper.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/03/29/fair-trade-women

    • CR says:

      “We want our companies building those products right here in America. But to do that, American manufacturers need to have access to rare earth materials — which China supplies. Now, if China would simply let the market work on its own, we’d have no objections. But their policies currently are preventing that from happening. And they go against the very rules that China agreed to follow.

      Being able to manufacture advanced batteries and hybrid cars in America is too important for us to stand by and do nothing. We’ve got to take control of our energy future, and we can’t let that energy industry take root in some other country because they were allowed to break the rules. So our administration will bring this case against China today, and we will keep working every single day to give American workers and American businesses a fair shot in the global economy.

      We’re going to make sure that this isn’t a country that’s just known for what we consume. America needs to get back to doing what it’s always done best — a country that builds and sells products all over the world that are stamped with the proud words: “Made in America.” That’s how we create good, middle-class jobs at home, and that’s how we’re going to create an economy that’s built to last. ”

      President Obama – March 13, 2012

    • CR says:

      May 17, 2013

      Presidential Proclamation — World Trade Week, 2013

      WORLD TRADE WEEK, 2013

      – – – – – – –

      BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

      A PROCLAMATION

      As a Nation, we need to do everything we can to create good, middle-class jobs right here in America. And one of the best ways we can do that is by boosting manufacturing and expanding trade that allows us to sell more of our goods and services all around the world. We have made important progress toward meeting that goal under our National Export Initiative, and we are taking historic steps to help our businesses access new markets abroad. But we cannot stop there. We need to keep making the investments in commerce and infrastructure that drive our economic growth and bring more Americans into a thriving middle class.

      We can start by modernizing our roads, bridges, and ports. These upgrades would allow American companies to ship their goods faster and cheaper, and they would encourage businesses worldwide to set up shop here and bring more jobs to our shores. So earlier this year, I proposed the Partnership to Rebuild America — a collaboration between the private and public sectors to break ground on our most pressing infrastructure projects.

      In the past 4 years, we have focused on opening up growing markets for our businesses through historic trade agreements and enforcing trade rights so American workers can compete on a level playing field. To build on that progress, we are joining nations in Asia and the Americas to negotiate a new, high-standard trade agreement: the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Once realized, the deal would boost our exports, support American jobs, and help our companies succeed in the global marketplace. And to ramp up trade with Europe, we also plan to launch talks for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.

      My Administration is committed to expanding international commerce that creates jobs and grows our economy. During World Trade Week, we recognize workers, growers, and entrepreneurs nationwide who share that ambition, and we rededicate ourselves to advancing it in the year ahead.

      NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 19 through May 25, 2013, as World Trade Week. I encourage all Americans to observe this week with events, trade shows, and educational programs that celebrate and inform Americans about the benefits of trade to our Nation and the global economy.

      IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of May, 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

  4. CR says:

    British PM Cameron to visit Obama

    5/8/13 7:12 PM EDT By JENNIFER EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

    British Prime Minister David Cameron will visit the White House on Monday ahead of President Obama’s June trip to Northern Ireland for the G-8 Summit.

    “The visit will highlight the fundamental importance of the U.S.-UK relationship — a relationship through which together we address a broad range of shared global and regional security concerns,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday in a statement announcing the visit.

    Obama looks forward to discussing issues including “Syria, trade and economic cooperation, countering terrorism, and priorities for the upcoming G-8 Summit” with Cameron.

    “The Prime Minister’s visit underscores the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom that has been crucial in advancing our shared security and prosperity, and the tremendous strategic importance we place on broadening and strengthening our collaboration on global challenges,” Carney said.

  5. CR says:

    Retail Sales Gain Shows Resilient American Consumer: Economy

    May 13, 2013 9:12 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

    Sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly advanced in April, helping ease concern of a sustained pullback in consumer spending that would stifle the economy.

    The 0.1 percent gain followed a 0.5 percent decrease in March, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.3 percent drop. Retail purchases climbed by the most in four months minus receipts from service stations, where cheaper gasoline prices depressed the dollar value of sales.

    Lower fuel costs combined with rising stock and home values are boosting buying power, which will help underpin purchases as the labor market improves. Resilient sales indicate the effects on spending from a higher payroll tax will prove temporary, corroborating forecasts of a pickup in the economy after a second-quarter soft spot.

    “Consumers are staying active and providing support to the economy,” said Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Capital Markets America Inc. in New York, who correctly forecast the increase in sales. “We will see a slowdown this quarter, but it won’t be dramatic. There will be some damping of spending due to the payroll tax, but it will be mild.”

    Another report showed companies held inventories in check in March as sales cooled. Stockpiles were little changed for a second month, Commerce Department figures showed.

    Stocks fluctuated after benchmark indexes climbed to records last week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.1 percent to 1,634.48 at 12:01 p.m. in New York.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-13/retail-sales-in-u-s-unexpectedly-increase-on-broad-based-gains.html

  6. CR says:

    U.S. Animal Spirits Since ’07 Proves Superior to EU Slump

    May 12, 2013 4:01 PM PT By Simon Kennedy & Rich Miller – bloomberg

    America’s aggressive strategy for tackling its financial and economic ills is working better than Europe’s go-slow approach — and investors are taking notice.

    Even amid the weakest recovery in modern history, the U.S. economy is outperforming the euro area and soon may break higher. More than a year after U.S. gross domestic product returned to its pre-crisis level, Europe still has to make up lost ground and is back in recession. While America’s unemployment, at 7.5 percent, is 2.5 percentage points higher than at the start of the recession, it’s below the 12.1 percent rate of the euro zone — and the gap is the most since 2000. Manufacturing is shrinking in the 17-nation bloc; U.S production is expanding.

    “The U.S. is in a transition from the intensive-care unit to out of the hospital,” said Mohamed El-Erian, the chief executive officer at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California. “Europe is out of the ICU, but in a ward close by.”

    The source of America’s relative economic success may lie in the decisions of policy makers. While the U.S. quickly addressed bank solvency, Europe battled over how to deal with its sovereign-debt turmoil and still is struggling to craft a comprehensive banking plan. The Federal Reserve eased monetary policy faster than the European Central Bank, and governments in Europe put their faith in austerity over the U.S. preference for fiscal stimulus.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-12/u-s-animal-spirit-since-07-proves-superior-to-eu-slump.html

  7. CR says:

    10:00 AM ET
    President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron

  8. CR says:

    Next Up…

    10:15 AM ET
    Vice President Joseph R. Biden delivers the commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania
    Franklin Field, Philadelphia, PA

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

    University of Pennsylvania http://www.upenn.edu/commencement/webcast.html

  9. CR says:

    11:00 AM ET
    President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron hold a joint press conference

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

    CSPAN http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/218722

    • CR says:

      May 13, 2013

      Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom in Joint Press Conference

      Rose Garden

      11:41 A.M. EDT

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good morning, everybody. Please have a seat. And to all our moms out there, I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day.

      It’s always a great pleasure to welcome my friend and partner, Prime Minister David Cameron. Michelle and I have wonderful memories from when David and Samantha visited us last year. There was a lot of attention about how I took David to March Madness — we went to Ohio. And a year later, we have to confess that David still does not understand basketball — I still do not understand cricket.

      As we’ve said before, the great alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom is rooted in shared interests and shared values, and it’s indispensable to global security and prosperity. But as we’ve seen again recently, it’s also a partnership of the heart. Here in the United States, we joined our British friends in mourning the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, a great champion of freedom and liberty and of the alliance that we carry on today. And after the bombings in Boston, we Americans were grateful for the support of friends from around the world, particularly those across the Atlantic. At the London Marathon, runners paused in a moment of silence and dedicated their race to Boston. And David will be visiting Boston to pay tribute to the victims and first responders.

      So, David, I want to thank you and the British people for reminding us that in good times and in bad, our two peoples stand as one.

      David is here, first and foremost, as he prepares to host the G8 next month. I appreciate him updating me on the agenda as it takes shape, and we discussed how the summit will be another opportunity to sustain the global economic recovery with a focus on growth and creating jobs for our people. Michelle and I are looking forward to visiting Northern Ireland, and I know that the summit is going to be a great success under David’s fine leadership.

      We discussed the importance of moving ahead with the EU towards negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Our extensive trade with the U.K. is central to our broader transatlantic economic relationship, which supports more than 13 million jobs. And I want to thank David for his strong support for building on those ties, and I look forward to launching negotiations with the EU in the coming months. I believe we’ve got a real opportunity to cut tariffs, open markets, create jobs, and make all of our economies even more competitive.

      With regard to global security, we reviewed progress in Afghanistan, where our troops continue to serve with extraordinary courage alongside each other. And I want to commend David for his efforts to encourage greater dialogue between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is critical to regional security.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/13/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-cameron-united-kingdom-joint-

  10. CR says:

    Myanmar state TV says president to make 1st state visit to US in nearly 5 decades as ties warm

    Monday, May 13, 8:05 AM By Associated Press

    YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar state television has announced that President Thein Sein will make a state visit to the United States in the near future, the first by a Myanmar head of state in 47 years.

    It said Monday night that the visit comes at the invitation of President Barack Obama. No exact date was announced. Former Myanmar dictator Ne Win visited the White House in 1966.

    The United States has been a prime mover in urging Thein Sein to introduce reforms after five decades of repressive military rule that ended when he became an elected head of state in 2011.

    The U.S. applied sanctions against the previous military regime, but the Obama administration shifted its policy to engagement, gradually lifting most sanctions following reforms.

  11. CR says:

    Drug manufacturer agrees to $500 million penalty

    5/13/13 By ERIC TUCKER | Associated Press – 1 hr 12 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A subsidiary of India’s largest pharmaceutical company has agreed to pay $500 million in fines and civil penalties for selling adulterated drugs and lying about tests of the medications to federal regulators, the U.S. Justice Department said Monday.

    Prosecutors said the guilty plea by Ranbaxy USA Inc. represents the largest financial penalty by a generic drug company for violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which prohibits the sale of impure drugs.

    The subsidiary of Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited admitted that it made and sold impure drugs at two manufacturing sites in India. The batches of adulterated drugs, whose strength, purity or quality differed from the specifications, included generic versions of an antibiotic and other medications used to treat severe acne, epilepsy and nerve pain, prosecutors said.

    The company said it fully cooperated with the investigation, which it said involved actions from several years ago, and expects “future growth in the U.S. and around the world.”

    “While we are disappointed by the conduct of the past that led to this investigation, we strongly believe that settling this matter now is in the best interest of all of Ranbaxy’s stakeholders; the conclusion of the DOJ investigation does not materially impact our current financial situation or performance,” Ranbaxy CEO Arun Sawhney said in a statement.

    The company agreed to a fine and forfeiture of $150 million as well as an additional $350 million penalty to settle civil claims that it submitted false statements to Medicaid, Medicare and other government health care programs. About $49 million of that penalty will go to a former Ranbaxy executive who acted as a whistleblower, prosecutors said.

    The company also admitted making false statements to the Food and Drug Administration about dates of stability testing, which detect impurities of a drug and determines appropriate storage conditions of it. In some cases, the tests were done months after the company had said they’d been performed, or were done on the same day — or within days of each other — instead of months apart.

  12. CR says:

    Poll: Voters trust Hillary Clinton more than GOP lawmakers on Benghazi

    5/13/13 02:03 PM ET By Alexandra Jaffe – TheHill

    A new poll finds Hillary Clinton more trusted than congressional Republicans over the Benghazi, Libya, controversy, as GOP lawmakers continue to probe the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate.

    Democratic firm Public Policy Polling found that 49 percent of respondents trust former Secretary of State Clinton, while 39 percent trust congressional Republicans more on the issue.

    The survey was conducted from May 10-12, at the end of a week during which congressional Republicans held hearings and hammered the administration’s response to the terrorist attack, which left four Americans dead.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) this week suggested Clinton be subpoenaed to testify on the attack, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said that responsibility for the attacks lies, if not with Clinton, than with “somebody close” to her.

    Many Republicans see the Benghazi attack as a possible early line of offense with which to hammer Clinton ahead of her possible run for president in 2016. And two of her potential Republican opponents — Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — penned op-eds criticizing the administration’s response last week.

    Paul was particularly forceful in his op-ed, writing that: “The new evidence we have today — and that continues to mount — suggests that at the very least, Mrs. Clinton should never hold high office again.”

    But the new poll indicates the issue is not yet catching on with voters. A majority, by a 56-38 split said passing immigration reform was more important than investigating Benghazi. And a majority said passing a bill that requires background checks for gun purchases should be a priority over Benghazi by 52-43 percent.
    Sixty-five percent of respondents said they didn’t think Benghazi was the biggest political scandal in American history.

    And despite GOP attacks, more than half of respondents still view Clinton favorably, by 52-44 percent. More than half of respondents, though, view congressional Republicans unfavorably, at 36-57.

    The survey was conducted among 576 voters nationwide and has a 4-point margin of error.

    • CR says:

      GOP WRONG WAY

      A classic Cheney modifier

      Wed May 8, 2013 10:40 AM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      Dick Cheney won’t let a little thing like the absence of credibility stand in the way of cheap shots, as he hopes to exploit the deaths of Americans abroad for partisan gain.

      Former Vice President Dick Cheney criticized the Obama administration on Tuesday for its handling of the September 11, 2012 terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, calling it ‘a failure of leadership.’ Cheney said U.S. leaders should have been better prepared for violence on the anniversary of the al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

      ‘They should have been ready before anything ever happened,’ Cheney told MailOnline exclusively during a party in Georgetown celebrating the launch of a new book by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. ‘I mean, it’s North Africa – Libya, where they’ve already had major problems,’ Cheney said.

      Actually, “North Africa” is a pretty big place, as Cheney may recall. To say the Obama administration, the U.S. military, and all U.S. diplomatic outposts in the region “should have been ready” is easy for a failed former official to say from his Beltway home, but in practice, it’s a little more complex. Indeed, we’re talking about Benghazi, Libya, where support for the U.S. is strong and we were arguably less likely to face a violent attack.

      But this was the part of Cheney’s harangue that struck me as especially noteworthy.

      ‘When we were there, on our watch, we were always ready on 9/11, on the anniversary,’ he recalled.

      Yes, “on the anniversary” is an instant Cheney classic, because on their watch, they certainly weren’t ready “on 9/11″ itself.

      For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/05/08/18125198-a-classic-cheney-modifier?lite

  13. CR says:

    John Kerry’s brother to join Cabinet

    5/13/13 02:05 PM ET By Justin Sink – TheHill

    The brother of Secretary of State John Kerry will temporarily join President Obama’s Cabinet as the acting head of the Commerce Department.

    Cameron Kerry, Commerce’s general counsel, will become acting secretary when Rebecca Blank, the current acting head, steps down at the end of the month.

    The Cabinet-level brother act may be short-lived, however: President Obama earlier this month nominated Chicago hotel executive Penny Pritzker to lead the department.

    Kerry’s appointment was noted in an all-staff email Monday from Blank obtained by CNN. Patrick Gallagher, director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has been named acting deputy secretary.

    “I have every confidence that they will provide effective and strong leadership for the Department for as long as they serve,” she wrote.

    According to the Washington Post, which first reported Kerry’s appointment, it appears that it may be the first time that brothers served together as Cabinet secretaries. Robert Kennedy famously served as attorney general for his brother, President John F. Kennedy.

  14. CR says:

    Saudi Man Traveling With Pressure Cooker Arrested

    MAY 13, 2013, 2:06 PM – tpm

    DETROIT (AP) — A Saudi man was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after federal agents said he lied about why he was traveling with a pressure cooker, according to a court documents filed Monday.

    Two pressure cookers were used in last month’s Boston Marathon bombings.

    Hussain Al Kwawahir was being held Monday in Detroit on allegations of using a passport with a missing page and lying to Customs and Border Protection agents.

    A criminal complaint says Al Kwawahir arrived at the airport Saturday on a flight from Saudi Arabia via Amsterdam. The complaint says Al Kwawahir told agents he was visiting his nephew, who he said is a student at the University of Toledo in Ohio.

    The complaint says Al Kwawahir originally said he brought the pressure cooker with him because pressure cookers aren’t sold in America, then later said his nephew had bought one but it “was cheap” and broke after one use.

    Agents said they also noticed a page was missing from Al Kwawahir’s passport from Saudi Arabia. He told them he didn’t how it had been removed, and said the document had been locked in a box that only he, his wife, and three children have access to in his home, according to the complaint.

    Al Kwawahir was read his Miranda rights, which he said he understood, and he invoked his right to remain silent, according to the complaint.

    A Monday detention hearing for Al Kwawahir was delayed and a message seeking comment about whether he has an attorney was left with a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit.

    Authorities say brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev set off two shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs April 15 near the Boston Marathon finish line, an attack that killed three people and injured more than 260.

  15. CR says:

    4:30 PM ET
    President Obama delivers remarks at a DNC event.
    Weinstein Private Residence, New York City, NY

    • CR says:

      May 13, 2013

      Remarks by the President at a DNC Event — New York, NY

      Private Residence
      New York, New York

      4:24 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Well, first of all, I have to thank Harvey and Georgina for once again extending incredible hospitality to us. We are so grateful for their friendship and support, and for the amazing movies that they’ve made. And it is wonderful to see all of you. I see old friends, new friends and people who when I have time to watch movies or TV, I very much appreciate. So thank you for the great work that you guys do.

      I’m going to spend most of this time in a conversation with everybody, so I’m not going to give a long speech at the front end. Over the last three weeks, month, the country has gone through some tough times. Obviously, we had the Boston bombing and the incredible tragedy that marred what is one of the greatest sporting events in the world, and an iconic event here in America. We went out to West, Texas to a tiny town that had been devastated by an explosion there.

      And I remember, I was with Deval Patrick, a wonderful governor — the Governor of Massachusetts — as we were driving to a memorial in Boston shortly after the attack. And we talked about that in the midst of tragedy, the incredible strength and courage and resolve of the American people just comes out, and the neighborliness, and the sense of willing to support strangers and neighbors and friends during tough times. And that same spirit, which I would later see when I visited West, Texas — you can’t get two places more different than Boston and West, Texas. So it’s a pretty good representative sampling of America.

      And part of what Deval and I talked about was what do we need to do to make sure that that same spirit is reflected in our politics and our government — because it’s there every day for people to see. It doesn’t matter whether people are Democrats or Republicans or independents. If you go into schools, you go to Little League games, you talk to people at the workplace — everybody has the same sense that we live in the greatest country on Earth, that we’ve gone through some tough times, but we’re resilient and we can overcome whatever challenges are thrown at us. And there’s a desire to get outside of the constant squabbling and bickering and positioning and gamesmanship, and get to the business of figuring out how do we make sure that the next generation does better than this generation.

      And as I think about my second term, and people have asked me, what’s different about your second term — well, other than me being grayer — (laughter) — and my girls being taller, the main thing about a second term is, A, I don’t have to run for office again; but, B, you also start just thinking about history, and you start thinking about — in longer sweeps of time, and you start saying to yourself that the three and a half years that I’ve got is not a lot, and so I’ve got to make sure that I use everything I’ve got to make as much of a difference as I can.

      And more than anything, what I will be striving for over the next three and a half years is to see if that spirit that I saw in Boston and West, Texas, if we can institutionalize that, if we can create a framework where everybody is working together and moving this country forward.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/13/remarks-president-dnc-event-new-york-ny-0

  16. CR says:

    6:05 PM ET
    President Obama delivers remarks at a DNC event.
    Private Residence, New York City, NY

    • CR says:

      May 13, 2013

      Remarks by the President at a DNC Event — New York, NY

      Private Residence
      New York, New York

      5:52 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I want to make sure everybody has got their food — (laughter) — because I don’t want to get in the way of dinner here because it looks delicious.

      I want to thank Alexandra and Sam for their wonderful hospitality. It is not easy opening up your house for an event with the President — between all the tables and then the Secret Service, and this and that. But you guys have been great friends and this means so much to us, so we are very, very grateful. (Applause.) Yes, absolutely.

      I see a lot of friends and supporters in the room. So many of you were active during the course of the campaign. I could not be more grateful for it and more humbled. One person I do want to acknowledge, because not only was he active in the campaign, but he has now been volunteered to head up the DNC Finance Committee — Henry Muñoz is here from the great state of Texas. (Applause.) So I want to say thank you to Henry.

      This is a pretty rambunctious group, so I want to use most of my time for questions and answers. But let me just make a few comments at the top. Obviously, this last month, America faced some enormous challenges. We had the Boston bombing, the explosion in West, Texas. And I was mentioning at an event before I came here — I was driving with Deval Patrick to the memorial service in Boston, and we remarked on how when tragedy strikes, when a crisis occurs, there’s something about the American spirit — the resilience, strength, but most of all that sense of community and neighborliness just shines through.

      And even in our darkest hours, you can’t help but come away incredibly optimistic about the country. Now, the question Deval and I asked ourselves is how do we sustain that beyond moments of crisis and tragedy, and how do we translate that into our politics and our institutions — because, obviously, that spirit isn’t always in evidence in Washington. (Laughter.) But, having said that, one of the virtues of a second term is it gives you some perspective. And I don’t have another race to run. And what I’ve learned from my first term in office, and probably what I’ve learned during the course of my life is things that are worth doing don’t happen right away. And it requires persistence and just the steady, constant application of hard work and tenacity and the ability to maintain a vision about where you want to go.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/13/remarks-president-dnc-event-new-york-ny

  17. CR says:

    8:30 PM ET
    President Obama delivers remarks at a DCCC/DSCC Event
    The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, NY

    • CR says:

      May 13, 2013

      Remarks by the President at a DCCC/DSCC Event — New York, NY

      The Waldorf Astoria Hotel

      New York, New York

      8:29 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: (Applause.) Thank you, everybody. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you. Please, everybody have a seat.

      Well, first of all, thank you so much, Steve Israel, not only for the wonderful introduction, but I love the story of your grandparents. And so often we spend time thinking about how we got into this strange business — (laughter) — but so often it traces back to the values that were passed on generation through generation. And to hear that story I think affirms not only why you’re such an outstanding Congressman but also the kind of man you are. And so we’re thrilled to have you here, and just the great job you’re doing on behalf of the DCCC. So give Steve a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      I want to say thank you to somebody who has been a great friend — if you are in a foxhole, this is the person you want with you — the soon-to-be-again Speaker of the House, Leader Nancy Pelosi. We love Nancy. (Applause.)

      And one of my favorite senators — just a guy who everybody who meets him says, that guy, he’s just solid, sincere, hardworking, a wonderful family and has really helped to transform politics in Colorado — Michael Bennet. Give Michael a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      And of course, I want to acknowledge all the outstanding members of the New York delegation who are here. But I’ve got to give a special shout-out to somebody who is helping to engineer some of the most important legislative agenda items that we’ve got in my second term; could not be prouder of him — Chuck Schumer. Give Chuck a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      So over the last month, we’ve gone through some tough times in this country. Obviously, we saw the horrific bombing of the Boston Marathon. I had traveled down to a tiny town in West, Texas to deal with the aftermath of a terrible explosion there that had such a devastating impact on the city. It’s hard to find two communities more different than Boston, Massachusetts and West, Texas, I assure you. (Laughter.) And yet, what was striking about that very difficult, challenging week was the consistency of spirit from Boston all the way to West, Texas.

      And I remember being in a car with Deval Patrick, the outstanding mayor of — Governor of Massachusetts, and we were driving to a memorial service and we were talking about the emergency response and how first responders who were actually running in the race all ran to the site of the explosion, and how the hospitals and doctors responded magnificently to sort through who would go where to maximize their ability to care for the victims, and the people who were driving runners to their homes — complete strangers — because of everything that had happened. And what Deval and I agreed on was that in times of tragedy, in the midst of just terrible pain, there’s something about the American spirit that just rises up.

      And it’s not just resilience. There is a generosity and a sense of neighborliness and an insistence on doing the right thing and thinking about others. And Deval and I talked about how this is a constant in America, and it’s not just during tragedies, not just during crises. You can see it out on a Little League field where parents are out there volunteering. You see it in churches and synagogues and mosques and temples all across the country. You see it in neighbors helping neighbors, and you see it in workplaces where workers are taking pride of great American products and services that they’re creating, helping to build a nation.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/13/remarks-president-dcccdscc-event-new-york-ny

  18. CR says:

    Minnesota Poised To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

    May 13, 2013 3:00 PM by SASHA ASLANIAN – NPR

    Minnesota is poised to become the 12th state to legalize gay marriage. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign the bill on Tuesday, making Minnesota the second state in the Midwest to allow same sex couples to marry. Iowa’s Supreme Court legalized it in 2009. Minnesota’s embrace of gay marriage caps a dramatic political story that’s dominated state politics for two years.

    AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

    You’re listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

    Minnesota is poised to become the 12th state to legalize gay marriage. Democratic Governor Mark Dayton is expected to sign the bill tomorrow.

    As we hear from Sasha Aslanian of Minnesota Public Radio, the embrace of gay marriage in the state caps a dramatic few years of political tug-of-war.

    SASHA ASLANIAN, BYLINE: It’s been a reversal of fortune that same-sex marriage supporters here could scarcely have imagined. Almost exactly two years ago, Republican majorities in Minnesota’s House and Senate voted to put a constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot. It would have banned gay marriage. Similar amendments had an unbroken string of victories in 30 states. The original force behind Minnesota’s amendment to ban gay marriage was Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, back when she was a state senator in 2004.

    REPRESENTATIVE MICHELE BACHMANN: And I felt the Lord speaking into my heart at that time: Bring forth a constitutional amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman.

    ASLANIAN: It took other Republican lawmakers seven years to get Bachmann’s amendment on the ballot. In May of 2011, same-sex marriage supporters vowed to defeat it.

    UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Love will prevail. Love will prevail.

    ASLANIAN: Back then, Scott Dibble, a Democratic state senator from Minneapolis who’s gay, worried about what lay ahead.

    STATE SENATOR SCOTT DIBBLE: It’s going to touch off 18 months of a very angry and divisive and negative campaign, but we’re going to overcome all that anger and all that divisiveness and all of that misinformation that they’re going to try to tell about us and our families.

    ASLANIAN: The marriage amendment became the most expensive ballot campaign in state history – $18 million. Gay marriage supporters enjoyed a two-to-one financial advantage over their opponents, primarily Catholic and evangelical Christian groups.

    Minnesotans United for All Families built a statewide campaign that encouraged Minnesotans to talk with neighbors, friends and family members about why marriage matters. Then on election night, shortly before 2 a.m., campaign manager Richard Carlbom delivered the news to a packed ballroom in Saint Paul.

    RICHARD CARLBOM: Minnesota has become the first state in the nation.

    (SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

    ASLANIAN: Minnesota voters defeated the amendment by five percentage points. It was a night full of surprises in Minnesota politics. Voters returned control of the House and Senate to Democrats. With a Democratic governor who favored marriage rights for same-sex couples, gay marriage supporters saw their best opportunity yet, and two weeks before the end of the legislative session, the House approved the marriage bill. As one of the co-sponsors, Representative Steve Simon told supporters their work was almost done.

    REPRESENTATIVE STEVE SIMON: It’s not time to uncork the champagne yet, but it’s chilling. It is chilling.

    For the entire article and audio interviews: http://goo.gl/jpMrb

  19. CR says:

    WH

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House.

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

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:45 PM
    President Obama meets with Defense Secretary Hagel

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

  20. CR says:

    Small-Business Optimism in U.S. Rose in April to Six-Month High

    May 14, 2013 4:30 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

    Confidence among U.S. small businesses climbed in April to a six-month high as the outlook for the economy and sales brightened.

    The National Federation of Independent Business’s optimism index increased to 92.1 last month from 89.5 in March. The 2.6 point gain was the biggest advance since October 2010. Four of the measure’s 10 components contributed to the improvement, the Washington-based group said.

    The share of business owners expecting sales will increase climbed 8 points to 4 percent in April and the portion planning to create jobs increased. Those looking for business conditions to improve over the next six months jumped 13 points to minus 15 percent.

    At the same time, measures of credit-condition expectations and capital-spending plans retreated. The gauge is less than two points above its average of 90.7 since the start of the recovery in June 2009.

    “The sub-par recovery is still well in place for the small business sector,” William Dunkelberg, the group’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Nothing in the NFIB data suggests that the small business half of the economy is growing other than by an amount driven by population growth and associated new business starts now in excess of terminations.”

    The NFIB report was based on a survey of 1,873 small-business owners through April 30. Small companies represent more than 99 percent of all U.S employers, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. A small business is defined as an independent enterprise with no more than 500 employees.

  21. CR says:

    Pablo Pantoja Turns Democrat: RNC Florida Hispanic Director Cites GOP ‘Intolerance’ In Making Party Switch

    Posted: 05/13/2013 11:44 pm EDT | Updated: 05/14/2013 12:07 am EDT The Huffington Post | By Chris Gentilviso

    Less than two months after the Republican National Committee announced a multi-million dollar campaign to improve minority outreach, one of its state Hispanic directors is leaving the Republican Party altogether.

    In a letter released by The Florida Nation on Monday, RNC State Director Of Florida Outreach Pablo Pantoja announced that he is changing his political affiliation to the Democratic Party.

    “It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today,” he wrote. “I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them.”

    Back in March, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced that the organization was investing $10 million to send hundreds of workers into Hispanic, black and Asian communities to improve standing with voters. Here in May, questions continue to linger whether a line of amendments proposed by Republican voices will derail immigration reform, and subsequently dampen chances for improving relations with minority voters.

    Pantoja is not the first Republican in the Sunshine State to recently change their party affiliation. Back in December, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist moved over from the GOP to the Democratic Party, hailing how he was “proud and honored” to make the switch. Democrats eked out a 2012 presidential election win in Florida, with President Barack Obama defeating GOP challenger Mitt Romney by less than 75,000 votes.

  22. CR says:

    The last play in the playbook

    Posted: 13 May 2013 05:41 PM PDT ThePeoplesView

    You will have to have been under a rock for the past two weeks to have missed the feeding frenzy being engaged in by what passes as the other major political party and its enablers in the press.

    Between BENGHAZI!!! and IRS-gate, it seems that nothing at all of importance has been happening in the world.

    The GOP and the press finally feel they have what they’ve been looking for: a political “mistake” by Barack Obama which they can use to cut him down to size. One has to admit, that the nation’s first black President has been quite scandal-free since his first Inauguration, in spite of the usual suspects’ best efforts.

    Obamacare was supposed to be his “Waterloo”; it now promises to cement a generation of Democratic dominance as citizens benefit from a new social program, one which will guarantee that they don’t have to choose between the rent and their health. Obama brought Osama Bin Laden to justice, something which the previous administration had no interest in doing. And of course, before he was even elected, he had the Reverend Wright “scandal”—a moment he used to give the nation a sorely needed lesson on race. The scandal-mongers have, quite frankly, lacked decent material with which to work.

    Read more: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2013/05/the-last-play-in-playbook.html#more

  23. CR says:

    teabagger-flag

    How Citizens United Came Back to Bite Teabaggers in the Ass

    Posted: 13 May 2013 02:24 PM PDT ThePeoplesView

    That’s the way the story about the IRS giving extra scrutiny to Tea Party groups sounded to me. For all the concerns about the IRS’ Cincinnati office’s higher-than-usual scrutiny of Teabagger groups, here’s something that’s gone unnoticed in all the reportage about the story:

    The appendix of the inspector general’s report — which was requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has yet to be publicly released — chronicles the extent to which the IRS’s exempt organizations division kept redefining what sort of “social welfare” groups it should single out for extra attention since the 2010 Supreme Court ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. That decision allowed corporations and labor unions to raise and spend unlimited sums on elections as well as register for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, as long as their “primary purpose” was not targeting electoral candidates.

    The number of political groups applying for tax-exempt status more than doubled in the wake of the Citizens United ruling, forcing agency officials to make a slew of determinations despite uncertainty about the category’s ambiguous definition.

    Citizens United was a group that basically were the Tea Party before it came to be known as the Tea Party. It was that case that made it possible for overly political groups to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on politics and still be tax exempt – which, by the way, created a huge, tax-payer subsidized sector of political speech – and in turn created room for the extra scrutiny under the IRS.

    Read more » http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2013/05/how-citizens-united-came-back-to-bite.html#more

  24. CR says:

    Left-Brainiest States of the Union

    May 14, 2013 7:41 AM PT Wei Lu – Bloomberg

    Red, White and Nerdy

    Are you surrounded by the pocket-protector set? Bloomberg Rankings recently compiled a list of U.S. states with the highest concentrations of professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). And for you smart alecks, yes, the countdown begins with No. 51. The District of Columbia was included in the ranking.

    (Here’s more information about the methodology for the STEM rankings, as well as each state’s job gains and highest pay.)

  25. CR says:

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

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

  26. CR says:

    May 14, 2013

    Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia

    President Obama called Prime Minister Najib on the evening of May 13 to congratulate him on his victory in parliamentary elections and to reaffirm the strong bonds of friendship between the United States and Malaysia. The President noted that Malaysians had turned out in record numbers to vote and welcomed the Prime Minister’s efforts to address concerns about election irregularities. The two leaders discussed the importance of continuing to deepen our bilateral cooperation, including on expanding cooperation on trade, regional security, and multilateral cooperation.

  27. CR says:

    May 14, 2013

    Statement by the President

    I have now had the opportunity to review the Treasury Department watchdog’s report on its investigation of IRS personnel who improperly targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. And the report’s findings are intolerable and inexcusable. The federal government must conduct itself in a way that’s worthy of the public’s trust, and that’s especially true for the IRS. The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test.

    I’ve directed Secretary Lew to hold those responsible for these failures accountable, and to make sure that each of the Inspector General’s recommendations are implemented quickly, so that such conduct never happens again. But regardless of how this conduct was allowed to take place, the bottom line is, it was wrong. Public service is a solemn privilege. I expect everyone who serves in the federal government to hold themselves to the highest ethical and moral standards. So do the American people. And as President, I intend to make sure our public servants live up to those standards every day.

  28. CR says:

    May 14, 2013

    Readout of President Obama’s Call with Nawaz Sharif

    President Obama spoke by phone today with Nawaz Sharif, President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, to congratulate him on his party’s success in the May 11 Parliamentary elections. The President also thanked Mr. Sharif for his role in the historic transfer of power between civilian governments, a significant milestone in Pakistan’s democracy.

    President Obama praised the extraordinary voter turnout and courage that Pakistanis displayed in the face of intimidation by violent extremists, which was an inspiration to all who support democracy around the globe. The two leaders agreed to continue to work together to strengthen U.S.-Pakistan relations and advance our shared interest of a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan and region.

  29. CR says:

    1948 Palestinian exodus

    The 1948 Palestinian exodus, known in Arabic as the Nakba (Arabic: النكبة‎, an-Nakbah, lit. “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”), occurred when approximately 711,000 to 725,000 Palestinian Arabs left, fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine and the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The term nakba also refers to the period of war itself and events affecting Palestinians December 1947 to January 1949, and is synonymous in that sense with what is known to Israelis as the War of Independence (Hebrew: מלחמת העצמאות or מלחמת הקוממיות, Milkhemet Ha’atzma’ut, a term which covers those two events).
    The exact number of refugees is a matter of dispute.The causes remain the subject of fundamental disagreement between Arabs and Israelis.

    Nur-eldeen Masalha writes that over 80 percent of the Arab inhabitants left their towns and villages in 1948, while Rashid Khalidi puts the percentage at 50. Factors involved in the flight include Jewish military advances, attacks against Arab villages and fears of massacre after Deir Yassin,:239–240 which caused many to leave out of panic; expulsion orders by Zionist authorities; the voluntary self-removal of the wealthier classes, the collapse in Palestinian leadership, and an unwillingness to live under Jewish control. Later, a series of laws passed by the first Israeli government prevented them from returning to their homes, or claiming their property. They and many of their descendants remain refugees.Later in the war, Palestinians were expelled as part of Plan Dalet. The expulsion of the Palestinians has since been described by some historians as ethnic cleansing, while others dispute this charge.

    For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Palestinian_exodus

    • CR says:

      Palestinians mark their 1948 displacement

      5/15/13 By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH | Associated Press – 23 mins ago

      RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in the West Bank and Gaza on Wednesday to mark the 65th anniversary of their mass displacement during the war over Israel’s 1948 creation.

      Every May 15, Palestinians commemorate the “nakba,” or “catastrophe” — the term they use to describe the displacement. Hundreds of thousands fled or were driven out during the fighting.
      The dispute over the fate of those Palestinians and their descendants, now numbering several million people, remains at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

      Israel views the Palestinians’ return as demographic suicide and expects the displaced and their descendants to be taken in by a future Palestinian state.

      But intermittent Israeli-Palestinian attempts to agree on the terms of such a state have so far failed.

      The Israeli military said Palestinian protesters across the West Bank threw rocks at soldiers who responded with tear gas. Palestinians hurled a fire bomb at a military vehicle near Hebron, causing it to overturn and injuring four soldiers, the military said. Gaza militants fired a rocket into southern Israel that exploded in an open field causing no injuries, the military said.

      Sirens wailed at noon in the West Bank for 65 seconds, the number of years since 1948. Thousands marched in Ramallah from the grave of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to the city center. Many wore black in a sign of mourning, holding Palestinian flags and large keys symbolizing the homes they left behind.

      “The right of return will not die,” chanted the protesters. Schools closed at midday and parents brought their children to the demonstration.

      In Ramallah, 38-year-old Manwal Awad brought her 11-year-old twins to the protest. “Every year I bring them with me to inherit the story of our nakba, and to keep the dream of return,” she said.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/palestinians-mark-1948-displacement-093248796.html

  30. CR says:

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

    Come on over to my newest post titled: “The Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) Hospital Cost Comparison ”

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

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

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