Rebuilding Middle-Class Education Security

A-Better-Bargain Graph2



President Obama discusses the importance of keeping college costs down for middle class families on a two day bus tour through Syracuse, Binghamton and Buffalo, NY and Scranton, PA


Thursday, August 22
President Barack Obama delivers remarks
University at Buffalo, Buffalo,, NY

President Barack Obama delivers remarks
Henninger High School, Syracuse, NY


Friday, August 23
President Barack Obama holds a town hall
Binghamton University,  Binghamton, NY

President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden deliver remarks
Lackawanna College, Scranton, PA

Learn about the steps that President Obama is taking to rebuild the American Middle-Class

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40 Responses to Rebuilding Middle-Class Education Security

  1. CR says:


    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House

    7:00 AM
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    12:45 PM
    White House Press Deputy Secretary Josh Earnest briefs the press

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  2. CR says:

    Rebuilding Middle-Class Education Security

    President Obama: ‘A Personal Mission’

    Megan Slack August 20, 2013 04:17 PM EDT

    Today, President Obama sent the message below to the White House email list to explain why he’ll be on the road this week talking about his plan to make college more affordable. If you didn’t get the email, be sure to sign up.

    Hello, everybody —

    Michelle and I know exactly how tough it can be to pay for higher education. By the time we finished paying back the loans we took out to go to college and grad school, I was on my way to being a U.S. Senator.

    I believe that anyone who works hard should have the same opportunities that our educations gave us. That’s why, as President, I’ve made it a personal mission to make higher education more affordable — and why I’m going to be visiting school campuses later this week.

    The facts are clear. Over the past three decades, the average tuition at a public four-year college has more than tripled. At the same time, many state governments are actually reducing their support for education, and many middle-class students are getting stuck with the tab. Today, the average student taking out loans to pay for education graduates with more than $26,000 in debt.

    Just tinkering around the edges won’t be enough: To create a better bargain for the middle class, we have to fundamentally rethink about how higher education is paid for in this country. We’ve got to shake up the current system.

    That’s why, starting Thursday, I will be embarking on a bus tour to offer my plan to make college more affordable, tackle rising costs, and improve value for students and their families. My plan includes real reforms that would bring lasting change. They won’t all be popular with everyone –including some who’ve made higher education their business — but it’s past time that more of our colleges work better for the students they exist to serve.

    Over the past four and a half years, we’ve worked to put college in reach for more students and their families through tax credits, improving access to financial aid, and new options that make it easier to repay those loans.

    But if we’re going to keep the doors of higher education open to everyone who works for it, we need to do more — much more. And that’s exactly what I’m going to be talking about this week.

    So learn more here, then help to spread the word:


    President Barack Obama

    • CR says:


      By John DellaContrada –

      As a major public research university, UB is an excellent setting for discussion of issues important to the Obama administration

      BUFFALO, N.Y. – When President Barack Obama addresses an audience at the University at Buffalo on Thursday, Aug. 22, it will mark the first time since 1853 that a sitting U.S. president has spoken at the university.

      “President Obama’s visit to the University at Buffalo will be a historic occasion for our university and our community,” said UB President Satish K. Tripathi, “and we are happy to provide a forum for the president to address issues important to our nation.

      “On behalf of the entire Buffalo-Niagara region, we look forward to welcoming the president of the United States to our university and our community.”

      Obama’s address to the nation from the UB campus is expected to focus on issues important to America’s middle class, such as the rising cost of higher education. As a major public research university and a leading voice in the national conversation about issues vital to higher education, UB is an appropriate setting for such a discussion, Tripathi said.

      A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), UB was praised this year as a national model for higher education reform by the New America Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy institute.

      The New America Foundation report highlighted UB as one of six “next generation” universities nationwide, citing the university’s innovative approaches to controlling costs and expanding student access while improving the quality of education. UB was noted, in particular, for working with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher to enact the historic NYSUNY 2020 legislation, and the report praised UB’s “Finish in 4” graduation pledge to students.

      The university also is at the forefront of other issues important to the Obama administration, including health care, improving STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, and economic revitalization through development of university research.

      For example, the university is building a new medical school in downtown Buffalo to strengthen the region’s health care, pioneer new medical treatments and fuel job creation. And last year, UB launched the New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics, modeled after the Obama administration’s Materials Genome Initiative, to spur discovery and development of new materials important to national security and essential to the manufacture of innovative products and technologies.

      For more:\

    • CR says:

      White House confirms President Obama will visit Henninger High School on Thursday

      8.16.2013 at 11:30 AM by Maren Guse – cnycentral

      SYRACUSE — The White House has confirmed that President Barack Obama will visit Henninger High School in Syracuse on Thursday.

      Multiple sources confirmed to CNY Central on Thursday that the president plans to visit Henninger High School.

      The visit is part of a 2-day bus tour next week where the president will lay out his plan for reducing college costs and improving the value of higher education.

      A White House official says the president will speak at Henninger High School, the University at Buffalo and the State University of New York on Thursday.

      For more:

    • CR says:

      Stenger honored to have Obama visit

      AUGUST 16, 2013 By Darcy Fauci –

      Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said the fact that President Barack Obama is visiting Binghamton is unexpected, but not a surprise. “We are a quality, high-value institution with achievement-oriented students and successful graduates, so when people ask me am I surprised the President of the United States wants to visit our campus? The answer is no! Was this entire visit unexpected? The answer is yes!”
      Stenger told reporters outside the University’s Couper Administration Building today that he is excited about the proposed visit by the President of the United States. He said many details are still being worked out, but the University is thrilled to play host. Stenger said Binghamton University is prepared to do whatever is necessary to make sure the visit goes smoothly and to minimize any disruptions to campus activities during this busy time of the year.

      “We are more than proud that our president is choosing to make our campus one of the stops on his tour through the region,” said Stenger. “He is talking about the importance of higher education and what better place to talk about accessibility, affordability, quality and successful outcomes than Binghamton University?”
      Stenger said many of the University’s students are the first in their families to attend college and he is honored President Obama is drawing attention to how public institutions such as Binghamton University help make higher education more affordable for the middle class.

      If given the opportunity, Stenger said will share with President Obama the University’s many academic and research achievements, but he also hopes to stress the other attributes: the University’s engagement with the surrounding communities; the economic impact the University brings to our region; the outreach and volunteerism that emanates from this campus by students, staff and faculty; as well as the industrial partnerships and internships the school has nurtured with the private sector.

    • CR says:

      LC in the News – 2013
      President Barack Obama to speak at Lackawanna College on Friday August 23, 2013.

      Lackawanna College is pleased to announce that President Barack Obama has chosen to speak to the nation and the world from Lackawanna College on Friday August 23, 2013. We will update our web site on details regarding his visit as soon as they become available to us.

      Orientation has been rescheduled to Monday, August 26th, to give the College Community maximum opportunity to participate in the Presidential Event. Daytime classes at the Scranton Campus will begin on Tuesday; evening classes will be held on Monday evening beginning at 6:00 pm. Daytime classes will be held on Monday at the Centers as scheduled.

      As we begin a new year at Lackawanna College, we can think of no better visitor than the President of the United States. This will be a very busy and very happy start to the new school year.

    • CR says:

      August 22, 2013

      FACT SHEET on the President’s Plan to Make College More Affordable: A Better Bargain for the Middle Class

      A higher education is the single most important investment students can make in their own futures. At the same time, it has never been more expensive. That’s why since taking office, President Obama has made historic investments in college affordability, increasing the maximum Pell Grant award for working and middle class families by more than $900, creating the American Opportunity Tax Credit, and enacting effective student loan reforms eliminating bank subsidies and making college more affordable.

      However, despite these measures, college tuition keeps rising. The average tuition at a public four-year college has increased by more than 250 percent over the past three decades, while incomes for typical families grew by only 16 percent, according to College Board and Census data. Declining state funding has forced students to shoulder a bigger proportion of college costs; tuition has almost doubled as a share of public college revenues over the past 25 years from 25 percent to 47 percent. While a college education remains a worthwhile investment overall, the average borrower now graduates with over $26,000 in debt. Only 58 percent of full-time students who began college in 2004 earned a four-year degree within six years. Loan default rates are rising, and too many young adults are burdened with debt as they seek to start a family, buy a home, launch a business, or save for retirement.

      For more:

  3. COS says:

    Thanks for posting all of the tour information CR. I am looking forward to the bus tour.

  4. CR says:

    Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Rise to Highest Since 2009

    Aug 21, 2013 7:14 AM PT By Victoria Stilwell – bloomberg

    Sales of previously owned U.S. homes climbed more than forecast in July to the fastest pace since November 2009 as more buyers entered the market before further increases in mortgage rates.

    Purchases of previously owned houses advanced 6.5 percent to a 5.39 million annual rate last month, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 76 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 5.15 million pace. Prices increased 13.7 percent from a year earlier, the most since October 2005.

    Higher property values that allow more Americans to list their homes, job gains and still-historically low mortgage rates are underpinning demand. At the same time, bigger increases in borrowing costs threaten to slow the pace of improvement in housing, which has been mainstay of economic growth.

    “If you look at housing affordability it’s still very attractive,” Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies LLC in New York, said before the report. “The rise in mortgage rates is probably going to start having a little bit of an effect in the fall. I do think we’ll see improvement continue but at a little bit of a slower pace as the year progresses, and frankly that’s probably a healthy sign.”

    For more:

  5. CR says:

    August 21, 2013

    Statement from the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden

    Yesterday our son Beau underwent a successful procedure. He is in great shape and is going to be discharged tomorrow and heading home to Delaware. He will follow up with his local physicians in the coming weeks.

  6. CR says:


    Thursday, August 22, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

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

    9:15 AM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews

    10:00 AM
    10:20 AM
    President Obama arrives in Buffalo, N.Y.

    11:00 AM
    11:05 AM
    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the importance of keeping college costs down for middle class families
    University at Buffalo, Buffalo,, NY

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
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    5:55 PM
    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the importance of keeping college costs down for middle class families
    Henninger High School, Syracuse, NY

    6:00 PM
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  7. CR says:

    White House Office Hours: College Affordability

    Kori Schulman August 21, 2013 06:36 PM EDT

    Ed. Note: At 11:05 a.m. ET tomorrow, the President will discuss his plan to make college more affordable at the University at Buffalo. You can watch his remarks live at

    A college education continues to be the ticket to the middle class. More and more, well-paying jobs require education or training after high school. But, despite President Obama’s historic investments in college affordability since taking office, the cost of college has been growing out of reach for decades, and students and their families are taking on more of the costs.

    This week, President Obama will be on the road to talk about an ambitious new agenda to make college more affordable, tackle rising costs, and improve value for students and their families. Back at the White House, senior staff will be on hand to answer your questions on Twitter.

    Have questions about the President’s plan? Tomorrow, Thursday, August 22nd at 1:00 p.m. ET join us for a session of White House Office Hours with Deputy Communications Director Katie Beirne-Fallon and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council James Kvaal. During a live Q&A on Twitter they will answer your questions about President Obama’s plan to keep the cost of college within reach for middle-class families.

    Here’s are the details:

    * Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat
    * Follow the Q&A live through the @WHLive and @Katie44 Twitter accounts
    * If you miss the live Q&A, the full session will be posted on and

    Take a few minutes to learn more about the President’s plan, and then join us for Office Hours on Twitter with Katie Beirne-Fallon and James Kvaal on Thursday, August 22nd at 1:00 p.m. ET.

  8. CR says:

    Jobless Claims in U.S. Decrease to Five-Year Low Over Past Month

    Aug 22, 2013 5:30 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

    The fewest workers in more than five years applied for U.S. unemployment benefits over the past month, indicating the labor market continues to improve.

    The number of claims in the month ended Aug. 17 declined to 330,500 a week on average, the least since November 2007, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. Compared with a week earlier, claims rose by 13,000 to 336,000, in line with the median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

    Firings are waning as employers hold on to workers to meet sales, which may be a precursor to bigger gains in payrolls once the effects of federal budget cuts and higher payroll taxes fades in the second half of 2013. Growth in employment, together with rising incomes, will help buoy consumer confidence and spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

    “The labor market continues to show improvement,” Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit in New York, said before the report. “Businesses will keep adding jobs because they do not feel the fiscal tightening has choked off the recovery.”

    The four-week moving average is a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, and is considered a better gauge of the trend in applications.

    The median forecast of economists surveyed projected a gain in claims to 330,000. Estimates ranged from 315,000 to 350,000. The Labor Department revised the previous week’s figure to 323,000 from an initially reported 320,000.

    No states were estimated last week and there was nothing unusual with the data, a Labor Department spokesman said as the figures were released to the press.

    For more:

  9. CR says:

    PMI Manufacturing Index Flash

    Released On 8/22/2013 8:58:00 AM For Aug, 2013

    Prior Consensus Consensus Range Actual
    Level 53.2 53.5 53.0 to 54.5 53.9

    Manufacturing activity may not be accelerating very much this month but it definitely remains healthy, at least based on the PMI flash index which is at a 5-month high of 53.9 for a 2 tenths gain from the final July reading and for a 7 tenths gain from the flash reading in July.

    The most important detail in the report — new orders — is decidedly positive, up 1.1 points to 56.5 in a reading that is well above breakeven 50 to indicate a very solid rate of monthly growth. New orders have been accelerating for 4 months now and are at their fastest rate of monthly growth since January. Export orders, at 52.0, also show monthly growth and offer some confirmation of improvement in foreign demand, underscored overnight by surprising strength in flash PMIs for Europe and China.

    Another positive on the US side shows a slightly faster rate of employment expansion, at 53.2, and a lengthening in delivery times that points to activity in the supply chain. Other readings are flat including a slightly slower rate of monthly growth in output and a very slight contraction in backlog orders.

    Inventory readings show increasing contraction which may suggest that manufacturers have a cautious outlook on future output. Price readings continue to show modest upward pressure which may be a positive for the economic outlook given concerns that inflation is running too low.


  10. CR says:

    House Prices Rose 7.7% in Year Through June, FHFA Says

    Aug 22, 2013 6:17 AM PT By Prashant Gopal – bloomberg

    U.S. house prices rose 7.7 percent in the year through June, extending a recovery that’s spurring more homeowners to list their properties for sale.

    Prices climbed 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from May, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said today in a report from Washington. The average economist estimate was for a 0.6 percent gain, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Price increases are drawing more sellers to a market where a tight supply of homes has pushed up values, said Paul Diggle, property economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London. The inventory of unsold homes was a seasonally adjusted 5 months in June, up from 4.7 months in January, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

    “The current big gains in prices are temporary and they reflect the bounce from the bottom,” Diggle said in a telephone interview before the FHFA report. “They shouldn’t be expected to continue at that pace that much longer.”

    Diggle’s firm projects that price gains will slow to 4 percent for 2014, down from 8 percent this year.
    Higher mortgage rates may be encouraging buyers to complete deals before borrowing costs rise further. Sales of previously owned U.S. homes climbed 6.5 percent last month to the fastest pace since November 2009, the National Association of Realtors reported yesterday. The median price jumped to $213,500, up 13.7 percent from July 2012.

    For more:

  11. CR says:

    11:05 AM ET
    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the importance of keeping college costs down for middle class families
    University at Buffalo, Buffalo,, NY


    • CR says:

      August 22, 2013

      Remarks by the President on College Affordability — Buffalo, NY

      State University of New York Buffalo
      Buffalo, New York

      11:23 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Buffalo! (Applause.) Hello, Bulls! (Applause.) Well, it is good to be back in Buffalo, good to be back in the north. (Applause.)

      I want to begin by making sure we all thank Silvana for the wonderful introduction. Give her a big round of applause. (Applause.) Her mom and dad are here somewhere. Where are they? I know they’re pretty proud. There they are right there. Give mom and dad a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      A number of other people I want to acknowledge here — first of all, our Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who’s doing a great job. (Applause.) One of the finest governors in the country, your Governor, Andrew Cuomo, is here. (Applause.) Your outstanding Mayor, Brian Higgins, is here. Give him a big round of applause.

      AUDIENCE: Congressman!

      THE PRESIDENT: What?

      AUDIENCE: The Mayor is Byron Brown!

      THE PRESIDENT: Byron Brown. That’s — I’m sorry, Byron. (Applause.) What I meant was — your Congressman, Brian Higgins, is here. (Applause.) Your Mayor, Byron Brown, is here. (Applause.) This is what happens when you get to be 52 years old. (Laughter.) When I was 51 everything was smooth. (Laughter.) But your Congressman and your Mayor are doing outstanding work. We just rode on the bus over from the airport, and they were telling me that Buffalo is on the move. That was the story. (Applause.)

      A couple other people I want to acknowledge — SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, is here, doing a great job. (Applause.) University president Satish Tripathi is here. (Applause.) And we’ve got all the students in the house. Thank all the students for being here. (Applause.)

      Now, today is a check-in day at the dorms. So I want to thank all the students for taking a few minutes from setting up your futons and — (laughter) — your mini-fridges just to come out here. I hear that the last sitting President to speak here was Millard Fillmore. (Applause.) And he was actually chancellor of the university at the same time — which sounds fun, but I’ve got enough on my plate. (Laughter.)

      This is our first stop on a two-day road trip through New York and Pennsylvania. (Applause.) And after this I head to Syracuse — (applause) — yay, Syracuse — to speak with some high schoolers. Tomorrow I’m going to visit SUNY Binghamton and Lackawanna College in Scranton. But I wanted to start here at University at Buffalo. (Applause.)

      And I wanted to do it for a couple reasons. First, I know you’re focused on the future. As I said, talking to the Mayor, he was describing a new medical school — (applause) — and new opportunities for the high-tech jobs of tomorrow. So there’s great work being done at this institution. I also know that everybody here must be fearless because the football team kicks off against Number 2, Ohio State, next weekend. (Applause.) Good luck, guys. (Laughter.) It’s going to be a great experience. (Laughter.) It’s going to be a great experience. It could be an upset. (Applause.)

      And third, and most importantly, I know that the young people here are committed to earning your degree, to helping this university to make sure that every one of you “Finishes in Four” — (applause) — makes sure that you’re prepared for whatever comes next. And that’s what I want to talk about here today.

      Over the last month, I’ve been visiting towns across the country, talking about — yes, feel free to sit down. Get comfortable. (Laughter.)

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. I love you, too. (Applause.)

      Over the last month I’ve been out there talking about what we need to do as a country to make sure that we’ve got a better bargain for the middle class and everybody who’s working hard to get into the middle class -– a national strategy to make sure that everybody who works hard has a chance to succeed in this 21st century economy. (Applause.)

      Now, I think all of us here know that for the past four and a half years, we’ve been fighting back from a brutal recession that cost millions of Americans their jobs and their homes and their savings. But what the recession also did was it showed that for too long we’ve seen an erosion of middle-class security.
      So, together, we saved the auto industry. Together, we took on a broken health care system. (Applause.) We invested in new technologies. We started reversing our addiction to foreign oil. We changed a tax code that was tilted to far in favor of the wealthy at the expense of working families. (Applause.)

      And add it all up, today our businesses have created 7.3 million new jobs over the last 41 months. (Applause.) We now generate more renewable energy than ever before. We sell more goods made in America to the rest of the world than ever. (Applause.) Health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years. Our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years. (Applause.)

      Here in Buffalo, the Governor and the Mayor were describing over a billion dollars in investment, riverfront being changed, construction booming — signs of progress. (Applause.)

      So thanks to the grit and the resilience of the American people, we’ve cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis. We’ve started to lay the foundation for a stronger, more durable economic growth.

      But as any middle-class family will tell you, as folks here in Buffalo will tell you, we’re not where we need to be yet. Because even before the crisis hit — and it sounds like Buffalo knows something about this — we were living through a decade where a few at the top were doing better and better, most families were working harder and harder just to get by. Manufacturing was leaving, jobs moving overseas, losing our competitive edge. And it’s a struggle for a lot of folks.

      So reversing this trend should be, must be, Washington’s highest priority. It’s my highest priority. (Applause.) I’ve got to say it’s not always Washington’s highest priority. Because rather than keeping focus on a growing economy that creates good middle-class jobs, we’ve seen a faction of Republicans in Congress suggest that maybe America shouldn’t pay its bills that have already been run up, that we shut down government if they can’t shut down Obamacare.

      AUDIENCE: Booo —

      THE PRESIDENT: That won’t grow our economy. That won’t create jobs. That won’t help our middle class. We can’t afford in Washington the usual circus of distractions and political posturing. We can’t afford that right now.

      What we need is to build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America, focus on that — a good job with good wages, a good education, a home of your own, affordable health care, a secure retirement. (Applause.) Bread-and-butter, pocketbook issues that you care about every single day; that you’re thinking about every single day. And we’ve got to create more pathways into the middle class for folks who are willing to work for it. That’s what’s always made America great. It’s not just how many billionaires we produce, but our ability to give everybody who works hard the chance to pursue their own measure of happiness. That’s what America is all about. (Applause.)

      For more:

  12. CR says:

    Leading Index Signals U.S. Growth to Pick Up Into 2014

    Aug 22, 2013 1:10 PM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

    The index of U.S. leading indicators climbed in July by the most in three months, signaling improvements in housing and labor markets will help foster faster economic growth through year-end.
    The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months increased 0.6 percent after no change in June, the New York-based group said today. Another report showed the fewest Americans since November 2007 filed applications for unemployment benefits in the past month.

    The increase in the leading index was propelled by the drop in firings, rising stock prices and a thawing in lending that all point to a pickup in consumer spending. More sales of appliances and home-improvement merchandise at retailers such as Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Cos. show the recovery in housing is filtering through to other parts of the economy.

    “One of the big underpinnings is obviously the housing market,” said Tim Quinlan, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. Economists at Wells Fargo are the best forecasters of the LEI in the last two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The leading indicators are “consistent with the outlook for gradual improvement in the U.S. economy.”

    Stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounding from a six-week low, on better-than-estimated global manufacturing data. The S&P 500 advanced 0.9 percent to 1,656.95 at the close in New York.

    For more:

  13. CR says:

    5:55 PM ET
    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the importance of keeping college costs down for middle class families
    Henninger High School, Syracuse, NY


    • CR says:

      August 23, 2013

      Remarks by the President on College Affordability, Syracuse NY

      Henninger High School
      Syracuse, New York

      6:25 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Syracuse! (Applause.) It is good to be in Syracuse! (Applause.)

      Can everybody give Emilio a big round of applause for a great introduction? (Applause.) I think Emilio’s parents are probably here. Where are Emilio’s parents? Wave your hands. There they are right there. He did pretty good, didn’t he? We’re very proud of him. We might have to run him for something.

      In addition to Emilio, I want to mention a couple other people. You already heard from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who’s doing a great job every day. (Applause.) You’ve got Mayor Stephanie Miner here. (Applause.) There she is. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is here. (Applause.) Your Congressman, Dan Maffei, is here. (Applause.) The superintendent of the Syracuse City School District, Sharon Contreras, is here. (Applause.) Your principal, Robert DiFlorio, is here. (Applause.) And most importantly, a bunch of students are here. (Applause.)

      My understanding is there are students from all five Syracuse high schools here. You got Corcoran in the house. (Applause.) You got Fowler in the house. (Applause.) Nottingham. (Applause.) The Institute of Technology. (Applause.) And our host, Henninger, is here. (Applause.) We’re all one family.

      Now, I especially want to thank the students because I know that you’re still on summer vacation. You’ve got a few more days. So taking the time to be here when you’ve still got a little bit, that last little bit of summer break, that’s a big deal, and I’m very honored to be here with you.

      I am on a road trip — by the way, if people have seats, feel free to take a seat. I’m going to be talking for a while. If you’ve got no seats, then don’t sit down — (laughter) — because you will fall down. (Laughter.)

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

      THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.)

      So I’m here on a road trip through New York into Pennsylvania. This morning, I was at the University at Buffalo. Tomorrow, I’ll be at Binghamton University and Lackawanna College in Scranton. But I wanted to come to Syracuse — (applause) — because you’re doing something fantastic here, with programs like “Say Yes” — (applause) — Smart Scholars Early College High School — these are programs that are helping Syracuse kids get ready for college, and making sure that they can afford to go.

      And this is a community effort. All of you are coming together and you have declared that no child in the city of Syracuse should miss out on a college education because they can’t pay for it. (Applause.) And so we’re hoping more cities follow your example, because what you’re doing is critical not just to Syracuse’s future, but to America’s future. And that’s what I want to talk about briefly here today.

      Over the past month, I’ve been visiting towns across the country, talking about what we need to do to secure a better bargain for the middle class and everybody who’s working hard to get into the middle class — to make sure everybody who works hard has a chance to succeed in the 21st century economy.

      And we all understand that for the past four and a half years, we had to fight our way back from a brutal recession, and millions of Americans lost their jobs and their homes and their savings. But what the recession also did was it showed this emerging gap in terms of the life prospects of a lot of Americans.

      What used to be taken for granted — middle-class security

      — has slipped away from too many people. So, yes, we saved the auto industry. We took on a broken health care system. (Applause.) We reversed our addiction to foreign oil. We changed our tax code that was tilted too far in favor of the wealthy at the expense of working families. And so we’ve made progress. Our businesses have created 7.3 million new jobs over the last 41 months. (Applause.) We’ve got more renewable energy than ever. We are importing less oil than in a very long time.

      We sell more goods made in America to the rest of the world than ever before. Health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years. Our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.

      For more:

  14. CR says:

    White House To Name Staunch Online Privacy Advocate To NSA Review Panel

    AUGUST 22, 2013 AT 4:20 PM BY BEN ARMBRUSTER – ThinkProgress

    The White House will reportedly announce that Center for American Progress fellow Peter Swire will be part of an independent expert panel that will review legal, privacy and transparency issues surrounding the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

    ABC news reports that Swire, along with former top CIA official Michael Morell, former White House counterterror czar Richard Clarke and former White House official Cass Sunstein, will be named to the panel.

    Swire brings years of expertise in online privacy and cybersecurity issues. While he was particularly critical of abuse and overreach in the Bush administration’s surveillance programs and counterterror policies, Swire has also taken issue with current NSA programs and the authorities that govern them.

    Swire, now a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, recently signed on to two amicus briefs to the Supreme Court challenging the surveillance programs reveled by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. One brief Swire signed says that the NSA’s order for Verizon to turn over phone call logs and data “clearly violates the law and presents an extraordinary risk to personal privacy of millions of US persons. … Such sweeping collection of data about individuals who ‘have done nothing to warrant government suspicion … has the potential to be a 21st-century equivalent of general searches.’”

    For more:

  15. CR says:

    Justice sues Texas over voter ID law

    8/22/13 01:12 PM ET By Jordy Yager – TheHill

    The Justice Department will file a lawsuit against Texas on Thursday, arguing that the state’s voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act.

    Attorney General Eric Holder vowed to fight state voting laws that the DOJ views as unfair or in violation of federal law, despite a recent Supreme Court decision striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act (VRA).

    “We will not allow the Supreme Court’s recent decision to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights,” Holder said in a statement.

    “The department will take action against jurisdictions that attempt to hinder access to the ballot box, no matter where it occurs. We will keep fighting aggressively to prevent voter disenfranchisement.”

    Holder had promised to file the lawsuit one month after the Supreme Court decision came down in June. It will be filed against the state of Texas, the Texas secretary of State, and the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, according to a DOJ release.

    The DOJ argues that Texas’s photo ID law — SB 14 — is unconstitutional and violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The department says Texas’s voter ID law “was adopted with the purpose, and will have the result, of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group.”

    Read more:

  16. CR says:

    Obama and a Soldier: 3 Meetings, and a Lesson in Resilience

    August 22, 2013 By JACKIE CALMES – NYtimes

    WASHINGTON — Three times, mainly by chance and in very different circumstances, Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg has met President Obama.

    They were introduced near Omaha Beach in France in 2009, when Sergeant Remsburg was part of a select Army Ranger group chosen to re-enact a parachute drop for celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in World War II. The second meeting came less than a year later at a military hospital outside Washington, where Mr. Obama was stunned to see among the wounded troops from Afghanistan a familiar young man — now brain-damaged, a track of fresh stitches across his skull, and partially paralyzed.

    The third time was two weeks ago in a private visit in Phoenix, where Sergeant Remsburg did something that neither Mr. Obama nor military doctors would once have predicted: he stood up and saluted his commander in chief.

    There was more. Grasping his walker, “Cory took a step, then another, and then another,” Mr. Obama said later, “all the way across the room.”

    In more than four years in office, Mr. Obama has met privately with nearly 1,000 men and women injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet his repeated encounters with Sergeant Remsburg stand out for bringing a president face to face with the resilience of the wounded and the brutal costs of the wars.

    Former President George W. Bush and other commanders in chief paid many visits to the wounded, but Mr. Obama’s intersections with one warrior’s life-altering path are unusual. Aides could not name any other wounded service member whom Mr. Obama has met three times, nor any other who first stood before the commander in chief in battle-ready prime.

    For Sergeant Remsburg, the meetings have been “very humbling,” he said in a phone interview last weekend. For Mr. Obama, the soldier has come to personify the challenges endured by more than 50,000 men and women wounded in the two wars of the last decade, many facing recoveries that “will last a lifetime,” as the president recently said.

    For more:

  17. CR says:


    Friday, August 23, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:45 PM
    President Barack Obama holds a town hall on the importance of keeping college costs down for middle class families
    Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:40 PM
    President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden delivers remarks on the importance of keeping college costs down for middle class families
    Lackawanna College, Scranton, PA

    5:00 PM
    5:50 PM
    President Obama departs Scranton, Pa.

    6:00 PM
    6:50 PM
    President Obama arrives at Joint Base Andrews.

    7:00 PM
    7:05 PM
    President Obama arrives at the White House.

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

  18. CR says:

    “We the (Immigrant) Geeks” Google+ Hangout on “Making the U.S. a Geek Magnet”

    Friday, August 23, at 12:00 PM EDT

    Extraordinary immigrant pioneers with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) will share their personal stories and perspectives on why paving the way for future foreign-born innovators is essential to keeping America globally competitive and keeping the Nation’s science and technology enterprise on the cutting-edge. And you can share your stories via Twitter using the hashtag #WeTheGeeks.

    • CR says:

      We The Geeks: Making the U.S. a Geek Magnet

      Streamed live on Aug 23, 2013

      Featuring: Anousheh Ansari, co-founder of TTI and Prodea Systems; co-creator of the Ansari X Prize and one of the first self-funded space tourists Steve Chen, co-founder of MixBit (AVOS) and YouTube Ping Fu, co-founder of Geomagic and chief strategy officer of 3D Systems, Jan Vilcek, Professor of Microbiology at New York University School of Medicine; creator of the Vilcek Prize and recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2012)

  19. CR says:

    Antoinette Tuff receives call from Obama

    By NICK GASS | 8/22/13 8:31 PM EDT POLITICO44

    President Obama called Antoinette Tuff, the woman who calmly talked down an armed 20-year-old as he walked into an Atlanta-area elementary school, on Thursday to thank her for her “courage.”

    “This afternoon, the President called Antoinette Tuff to thank her for the courage she displayed while talking to a gunman who entered the school where she works earlier this week,” the White House said in a statement.

    Tuff shared her life story and troubles with suspect Michael Brandon Hill while waiting for police to respond to the intrusion at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga. During the 911 call, she told Hill that her husband of 33 years had left her and that she had a son who was “multiple-disabled.”

    “I’ve never been so scared in all the days of my life,” she told the 911 dispatcher at the end of the call.

  20. CR says:

    West Wing Week 08/23/13 or, “The Welcome Sunny, Back-to-School, Make College Affordable Edition”

    Published on Aug 22, 2013

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, Bo took on the important role of big brother, the President honored the undefeated, 1972 Miami Dolphins at the White House, and laid out fundamental reforms that would bring real change to the way that we pay for college education in this country during a two-day bus tour in New York. That’s August 16th to August 22nd or “The Welcome Sunny, Back-to-School, Make College Affordable Edition.”

  21. CR says:

    12:45 PM ET
    President Barack Obama holds a town hall on the importance of keeping college costs down for middle class families
    Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY


    Binghamton University

    • CR says:

      August 23, 2013

      Remarks by the President in Town Hall at Binghamton University

      Binghamton University
      Binghamton, New York

      12:48 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Binghamton! (Applause.) It is good to see all of you. Thank you so much. Now, go ahead and have a seat — I’m going to be here a while. (Laughter.)

      Well, first of all, let me thank the university and your president, Harvey Stenger, for having me here today. Give your president a big round of applause. (Applause.) There he is. A couple other people I want to recognize — Mayor Matt Ryan is here. (Applause.) Two wonderful Congressmen — Richard Hanna and Paul Tonko. (Applause.) Your former Representative, Maurice Hinchey, is here as well. (Applause.)

      So, first of all, thank you, because it’s really nice outside, so for you to be willing to come inside, I greatly appreciate. And I’m not going to do a lot of talking at the top because I want to have a conversation with you about a range of issues, but in particular, something that is personal for me.

      A lot of you know that I wasn’t born into a lot of wealth or fame, there wasn’t a long Obama dynasty. And so the only reason I’m here today, the only reason Michelle and I have been able to accomplish what we accomplished is because we got a great education. And I think the essence of the American Dream is that anybody who’s willing to work hard is able to get that good education and achieve their dreams.

      And central to that is the issue that — you’ve got a big sign there — we try to message effectively — (laughter) — College Affordability — making sure that people can afford to go to college.

      I’m on a road trip from New York to Pennsylvania. Yesterday I was at the University of Buffalo. I visited students at Syracuse. Later today, I’m going to meet Joe Biden in Scranton, his hometown. But I decided to stop here for a couple of reasons. Number one, I’ve been told that it’s very important for me to get a spiedies while I’m here. (Laughter and applause.) So we’re going to pick one up and try it on the road. Number two, I’m excited because of the great work that SUNY campuses like Binghamton are doing to keep costs down for hardworking students like so many of you.

      Chancellor Zimpher is making sure that hundreds of thousands of SUNY students all across the state are getting a world-class higher education but without some of the debt and financial burden that is stopping too many young people from going to college. And that’s what we want for all of our students and all of our families all across the country.

      Over the past month, I’ve been visiting towns throughout America, and I’ve talked about how do we secure a better bargain for the middle class and everybody who’s trying to work their way into the middle class.

      For more:

      • CR says:

        Obama surprises N.Y. high school soccer teams

        8/23/13 4:11 PM EDT By POLITICO STAFF

        President Obama showed off his athletic prowess, surprising the Tully Central High School boys and girls soccer teams at practice on Friday. The president was in New York for a town hall at Binghamton University.


        President Obama shows off his soccer skills

        Published on Aug 23, 2013

        President Obama stopped at Tully Central High School in upstate New York to talk with the girls and boys soccer teams that were practicing, showing off some soccer skills and teasing the boys team about whether they could beat the girls team.

  22. CR says:

    4:40 PM ET
    President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden delivers remarks on the importance of keeping college costs down for middle class families
    Lackawanna College, Scranton, PA


    • CR says:

      August 23, 2013

      Remarks by the President and the Vice President on College Affordability

      Lackawanna College
      Scranton, Pennsylvania

      4:42 P.M. EDT

      THE VICE PRESIDENT: Urica, thank you very much for that introduction.

      Hello, Scranton! (Applause.) I tell you, it’s good to be home. I left you a long time ago, but as a lot of my friends out here know, your heart stays here. It never leaves. And it’s a delight to be back.

      And I just want you all to know, since so many of you have asked me about my son, things are — it’s not only good to be here, but things are good at home in Delaware. My son Beau is fine. Sends his love. (Applause.) He wanted me to say hello to all of you, and he wanted to be with his colleague, Kathleen, the Attorney General of the State of Pennsylvania. (Applause.) But he’s doing well. He’s anxious to get back to work.

      Look, it’s great to be at Lackawanna College. As many of you know, my wife, Jill, a Pennsylvania girl from the southeast corner of Pennsylvania, is a full-time community college professor. And she knows what most of you know. She has a great expression — she says, Joe, community college is the best-kept secret in America. And the President and I want you to know that we’re going to do everything to keep it from being a secret.

      And let me introduce you — I know you know my town, Mr. President. The President is right behind the curtain. I know you know my native town, Scranton.

      But I’d like to introduce, Mr. President, because you can hear me back there, the community that formed everything I believed: My absolute conviction that if you gave ordinary folks a fighting chance, they can and do, do extraordinary things. (Applause.) My absolute conviction borne out of my being raised about 20 blocks from here, my absolute conviction that the middle class is what made this country great, what built this country and what binds it together. And my certain knowledge that people who grew up in neighborhoods like this one, the one I grew up in here in Scranton, have dreams just as big, just as expansive and just as accomplishable as anyplace in the world. (Applause.)

      As I said, Mr. President, I grew up not many blocks from here where we are today, and I can tell you there wasn’t a mom or dad in my neighborhood, Green Ridge up by Mary Wood, not a single one — (applause) — not a single one that believed their child couldn’t grow up to be anything they wanted to be. Not a doubt in their mind as they struggled — but no doubt if they were willing to work hard, we could do whatever we wanted to do. And guess what — they were absolutely right.

      You know, Mr. President, some might think this is a bit of nostalgia on my part, talking about Bobby, talking about my native town like I am. And by the way, there’s only three women that I know who are close to perfect. One was perfect — the Blessed Mother. The other was my mother, and the other is Bobby’s mom, Ellen Casey, right there. (Applause.)

      So a lot of you ask why I left Scranton when I was a kid — I went to St. Paul’s and lived in North Washington — why I left Scranton. It was simple. I lived three and a half blocks from the Caseys, and I knew that only one of us was going to be able to make it big, and it wasn’t going to be me. (Laughter.) So I had to get out because I knew that Casey would dominate.

      But, look, it’s not just me believing this about my native town. There’s a large new study that’s been done by a group of four economists at Harvard and the University of California-Berkeley, and here’s what their study concluded — and this is just about a month ago. And I’m quoting from the study: “Scranton still stands out as one of America’s cities where poor people have among the best odds of climbing to the middle class.”

      Mr. President, the American Dream is alive here in Scranton. (Applause.) It’s alive here in Scranton. And I think I know the reason why it’s alive. The values that have made the middle class possible in America still matter here: community, hard work, personal responsibility, faith, family. But most of all, the value that is held most dear by this community, that was held most dear by my mom and dad as they were raising me here, and it’s still held dear by everyone is opportunity.

      For more:

  23. CR says:

    Sal Khan talks to Arne Duncan

    Streamed live on Aug 23, 2013

  24. CR says:


    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” National Dog Day 2013″


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


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