STOP Angery Tantrums. START Passing Laws to Help Middleclass

GOP_Elephant_NO_cartoon

Obama to GOP: Stop hating

7/30/14 By KENDALL BREITMAN - POLITICO

President Barack Obama had some blistering words for congressional Republicans during a speech Wednesday in Kansas City, saying they need to stop “hating all the time.” “We could do so much more if Congress would just come on and help out a little bit,” Obama said. “Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time. Lets get some work done together.”

The president’s speech comes on the day that the House is set to vote on whether they will be moving forward in a lawsuit against Obama.

“Now everybody knows this is a political stunt,” Obama said of the lawsuit, “but it’s worse than that because every vote they’re taking like that means a vote they’re not taking to help you. And by the way, you know who is paying for this suit they are going to file? You!” “The main vote that they scheduled for today is whether or not they decide to sue me for doing my job,” Obama told the laughing audience. “So, you know, they’re mad because I’m doing my job. And by the way, I’ve told them, I said ‘I’d be happy to do with with you. So the only reason I’m doing it on my own is because you don’t do anything.’”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/obama-gop-stop-hating-109543.html?hp=l3 .

Update: “House Republicans Just Voted to Sue President Obama”

Ezra Mechaber July 30, 2014 07:02 PM EDT

The House of Representatives just took a vote — and it wasn’t to raise the minimum wage, put in place equal pay, create jobs, or reform our broken immigration system.

Instead, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives just voted to sue the President for using his executive authority. This lawsuit will waste valuable time and potentially millions of taxpayer dollars.

This is the least productive Congress in decades. And instead of doing their job, they are suing the President for doing his.

The President is committed to making a difference for the millions of hardworking Americans trying to do right by their families and communities. While Republicans in Congress continue to waste taxpayer money, this President is going to keep doing his job. President Obama remains ready and willing to work with Republicans in Congress if they decide to get serious and do something for the American people. But he is also committed to acting even as Congress won’t. You’ve seen that time and time again this year — from raising the federal minimum wage on new federal government contracts, to expanding apprenticeship opportunities and making student loan payments more affordable.

The President is not going to back away from his efforts to use his authority to solve problems and help American families. In fact, the day after the vote, President Obama will announce his next executive action to crack down on federal contractors who put workers’ safety and hard-earned pay at risk. It’s just the next in a series of steps this Administration will be taking this year to make sure that American workers are getting a fair deal, and he has pledged to take executive action to deal with our broken immigration system in the months ahead.

For more:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/07/30/dan-pfeiffer-house-republicans-just-voted-sue-president-obama

..

This Congress poised to be least productive in history

Yahoo Finance

This session of Congress, the 113th, is currently the least productive Congress ever. With only 125 public laws enacted since it began nearly two years ago and an August recess coming up leading straight into midterm elections, it seems like the record for least done is all but won.

“Even by [congress’] terrible standards, they’re going to underwhelm,” says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and chief economic policy advisor to U.S. Senator John McCain.

“Our nation has many deep needs for permanent reforms, whether they’re immigration, or education, or entitlements taxes. You look around and there’s big legislation that’s really necessary. Congress is doing none of that,” says Holtz-Eakin, now president of American Action Forum. “They can’t even get the little things done like … the annual spending bills.”

So will this Congress be able to get anything done before the next one starts? Holtz-Eakin has little hope for any big initiatives but he does think there will be some tax extenders, and possibly reauthorization of terrorism risk insurance and the Export-Import Bank.

President Obama has publicly lambasted the 113th Congress saying, “This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory. And that’s by objective measures – just basic activity.”

Of course quality comes before quantity, and a Congress that passed a few very important bills could be more noteworthy than a Congress that passed a large number of smaller bills. The 113th Congress, however, hasn’t been able to do that either, says Holtz-Eakin. “They’re not going to get anything major done … get ready for the 114th Congress and see you in January.”

 .

3 big issues Congress will likely punt for now

July 29, 2014 By REBECCA KAPLAN - CBS NEWS

Congress is getting ready to leave Washington for a five-week summer recess and, despite progress on reforming the VA and a short-term fix to prevent the Highway Trust Fund from running dry, there are a host of difficult issues that will be left hanging until they return.

The biggest items lawmakers are punting to the fall include the crisis of child migrants flooding across the southern border, a host of foreign policy crises, and a long-term fix to the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

Part of the problem is the looming midterm elections, where, according to a CBS News/New York Times analysis, Republicans are narrowly projected to capture the Senate in November.

“The kind of Republican mindset right now is, ‘we’re on a roll heading into this election: don’t give Barack Obama any signing ceremonies’ and so the incentives to cut deals across House and Senate are very limited,” American Enterprise Institute congressional scholar Norm Ornstein told CBS News. “

At the same time we have [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid looking very hard to get as many confirmations through as he can. Each one is being filibustered, and that means even thought he has the votes for them it soaks up a lot of floor time.”

For more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/3-big-issues-congress-will-likely-punt-for-now/  .

GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_smallWHAT GOP CONGRESS HAS DONE in 2014 FOR 99% OF  AMERICANS

 

. 2014 Year of Action

President Obama is Taking Action

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama affirmed that this would be “A Year of Action” to help ensure opportunity for all Americans.

Since January, the President has taken more than 20 actions on his own to help build real, lasting economic security for the middle class and expand opportunities for every hardworking American to get ahead.

.

President Obama speaks on expanding opportunity for more Americans

Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Missouri Jul 30, 2014

“Let’s really fight to make sure that everybody gets a chance and, by the way, that everybody plays by the same rules. (Applause.) We could do so much more if we got that kind of economic patriotism that says we rise or fall as one nation and as one people. And that’s what Victor believes.

When Victor wrote me his letter, he said, “I believe, regardless of political party, we can all do something to help our citizens to have a chance at a job, have food in their stomachs, have access to great education and health care.” That’s what economic patriotism is. (Applause.) That’s what we should all be working on.

Instead of tax breaks for folks who don’t need them, let’s give tax breaks to working families to help them pay for child care and college. Don’t reward companies shipping jobs overseas; let’s give tax breaks to companies investing right here in Missouri, right here in the Midwest. (Applause.) Let’s give every citizen access to preschool and college and affordable health care. And let’s make sure women get a fair wage. (Applause.) Let’s make sure anybody who is working full-time isn’t living in poverty. (Applause.) These are not un-American ideas; these are patriotic ideas. This is how we built America. (Applause.)

So just remember this: The hardest thing to do is to bring about real change. It’s hard. You’ve got a stubborn status quo. And folks in Washington, sometimes they’re focused on everything but your concerns. And there are special interests and there are lobbyists, and they’re paid to maintain the status quo that’s working for somebody. And they’re counting on you getting cynical, so you don’t vote and you don’t get involved, and people just say, you know what, none of this is going to make a difference. And the more you do that, then the more power the special interests have, and the more entrenched the status quo becomes.

You can’t afford to be cynical. Cynicism is fashionable sometimes. You see it all over our culture, all over TV; everybody likes just putting stuff down and being cynical and being negative, and that shows somehow that you’re sophisticated and you’re cool. You know what — cynicism didn’t put a man on the moon. Cynicism didn’t win women the right to vote. Cynicism did not get a Civil Rights Act signed. Cynicism has never won a war. Cynicism has never cured a disease. Cynicism has never started a business. Cynicism has never fed a young mind. (Applause.)

I do not believe in a cynical America; I believe in an optimistic America that is making progress. (Applause.) And I believe despite unyielding opposition, there are workers right now who have jobs who didn’t have them before because of what we’ve done; and folks who got health care who didn’t have it because of the work that we’ve done; and students who are going to college who couldn’t afford it before; and troops who’ve come home after tour after tour of duty because of what we’ve done. (Applause.)

You don’t have time to be cynical. Hope is a better choice. (Applause.) That’s what I need you for.”

 

 

. Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO START WORKING WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA TO HELP AMERICA’S RECOVERY!!

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55 Responses to STOP Angery Tantrums. START Passing Laws to Help Middleclass

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:55 AM
    President Obama meets with members of Congress on foreign policy; Cabinet Room

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    Press Briefing by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest
    The White House

    12:30 PM
    President Obama has lunch with Vice President Biden

    1:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference
    The Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C.

    1:20 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks and signs an executive order on workplace safety
    South Court Auditorium

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    3:30 PM
    President Obama welcomes a New Secretary to HUD
    Department of Housing and Urban Development

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:25 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts “A Celebration of Special Olympics and A Unified Generation” to mark the anniversary of the Special Olympics.
    East Room

    8:00 PM
    8:25 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts a concert commemorating the Special Olympics
    State Dining Room

    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. CR says:

    CONGRESS STOP Angery Tantrums. START Passing Laws to Help Middleclass

    Obama to GOP: Stop hating

    7/30/14 By KENDALL BREITMAN – POLITICO

    President Barack Obama had some blistering words for congressional Republicans during a speech Wednesday in Kansas City, saying they need to stop “hating all the time.”

    We could do so much more if Congress would just come on and help out a little bit,” Obama said. “Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time. Lets get some work done together.”

    >The president’s speech comes on the day that the House is set to vote on whether they will be moving forward in a lawsuit against Obama.
    “Now everybody knows this is a political stunt,” Obama said of the lawsuit, “but it’s worse than that because every vote they’re taking like that means a vote they’re not taking to help you. And by the way, you know who is paying for this suit they are going to file? You!”

    The main vote that they scheduled for today is whether or not they decide to sue me for doing my job,” Obama told the laughing audience. “So, you know, they’re mad because I’m doing my job. And by the way, I’ve told them, I said ‘I’d be happy to do with with you. So the only reason I’m doing it on my own is because you don’t do anything.’”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/obama-gop-stop-hating-109543.html?hp=l3

    • CR says:

      This Congress poised to be least productive in history

      7/30/14 By Nicole Goodkind – Yahoo Finance
      This session of Congress, the 113th, is currently the least productive Congress ever. With only 125 public laws enacted since it began nearly two years ago and an August recess coming up leading straight into midterm elections, it seems like the record for least done is all but won.

      “Even by [congress’] terrible standards, they’re going to underwhelm,” says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and chief economic policy advisor to U.S. Senator John McCain.

      “Our nation has many deep needs for permanent reforms, whether they’re immigration, or education, or entitlements taxes. You look around and there’s big legislation that’s really necessary. Congress is doing none of that,” says Holtz-Eakin, now president of American Action Forum. “They can’t even get the little things done like … the annual spending bills.”

      So will this Congress be able to get anything done before the next one starts? Holtz-Eakin has little hope for any big initiatives but he does think there will be some tax extenders, and possibly reauthorization of terrorism risk insurance and the Export-Import Bank.

      President Obama has publicly lambasted the 113th Congress saying, “This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory. And that’s by objective measures – just basic activity.”

      Of course quality comes before quantity, and a Congress that passed a few very important bills could be more noteworthy than a Congress that passed a large number of smaller bills. The 113th Congress, however, hasn’t been able to do that either, says Holtz-Eakin. “They’re not going to get anything major done … get ready for the 114th Congress and see you in January.”

    • CR says:

      3 big issues Congress will likely punt for now
      July 29, 2014 By REBECCA KAPLAN - CBS NEWS

      Congress is getting ready to leave Washington for a five-week summer recess and, despite progress on reforming the VA and a short-term fix to prevent the Highway Trust Fund from running dry, there are a host of difficult issues that will be left hanging until they return.

      The biggest items lawmakers are punting to the fall include the crisis of child migrants flooding across the southern border, a host of foreign policy crises, and a long-term fix to the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

      Part of the problem is the looming midterm elections, where, according to a CBS News/New York Times analysis, Republicans are narrowly projected to capture the Senate in November.

      “The kind of Republican mindset right now is, ‘we’re on a roll heading into this election: don’t give Barack Obama any signing ceremonies’ and so the incentives to cut deals across House and Senate are very limited,” American Enterprise Institute congressional scholar Norm Ornstein told CBS News.

      “At the same time we have [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid looking very hard to get as many confirmations through as he can. Each one is being filibustered, and that means even thought he has the votes for them it soaks up a lot of floor time.”

      For more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/3-big-issues-congress-will-likely-punt-for-now/

    • CR says:

      President Obama speaks on expanding opportunity for more Americans
      Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Missouri

      Jul 30, 2014

      Let’s really fight to make sure that everybody gets a chance and, by the way, that everybody plays by the same rules. (Applause.) We could do so much more if we got that kind of economic patriotism that says we rise or fall as one nation and as one people. And that’s what Victor believes.

      When Victor wrote me his letter, he said, “I believe, regardless of political party, we can all do something to help our citizens to have a chance at a job, have food in their stomachs, have access to great education and health care.” That’s what economic patriotism is. (Applause.) That’s what we should all be working on.

      Instead of tax breaks for folks who don’t need them, let’s give tax breaks to working families to help them pay for child care and college. Don’t reward companies shipping jobs overseas; let’s give tax breaks to companies investing right here in Missouri, right here in the Midwest. (Applause.) Let’s give every citizen access to preschool and college and affordable health care. And let’s make sure women get a fair wage. (Applause.) Let’s make sure anybody who is working full-time isn’t living in poverty. (Applause.)

      These are not un-American ideas; these are patriotic ideas. This is how we built America. (Applause.)

      So just remember this: The hardest thing to do is to bring about real change. It’s hard. You’ve got a stubborn status quo. And folks in Washington, sometimes they’re focused on everything but your concerns. And there are special interests and there are lobbyists, and they’re paid to maintain the status quo that’s working for somebody. And they’re counting on you getting cynical, so you don’t vote and you don’t get involved, and people just say, you know what, none of this is going to make a difference. And the more you do that, then the more power the special interests have, and the more entrenched the status quo becomes.

      You can’t afford to be cynical. Cynicism is fashionable sometimes. You see it all over our culture, all over TV; everybody likes just putting stuff down and being cynical and being negative, and that shows somehow that you’re sophisticated and you’re cool. You know what — cynicism didn’t put a man on the moon. Cynicism didn’t win women the right to vote. Cynicism did not get a Civil Rights Act signed. Cynicism has never won a war. Cynicism has never cured a disease. Cynicism has never started a business. Cynicism has never fed a young mind. (Applause.)

      I do not believe in a cynical America; I believe in an optimistic America that is making progress. (Applause.) And I believe despite unyielding opposition, there are workers right now who have jobs who didn’t have them before because of what we’ve done; and folks who got health care who didn’t have it because of the work that we’ve done; and students who are going to college who couldn’t afford it before; and troops who’ve come home after tour after tour of duty because of what we’ve done. (Applause.)

      You don’t have time to be cynical. Hope is a better choice. (Applause.) That’s what I need you for.

    • CR says:

      July 31, 2014

      Statement by the Press Secretary

      It is extraordinary that the House of Representatives, after failing for more than a year to reform our broken immigration reform system, would vote to restrict a law enforcement tool that the Department of Homeland Security uses to focus resources on key enforcement priorities like public safety and border security, and provide temporary relief from deportation for people who are low priorities for removal. In the face of Congressional inaction, the Administration’s use of Deferred Action for DREAMers in 2012, which has benefitted more than 500,000 young people who are Americans in every way except on paper, is the most significant progress we have made toward immigration reform in years. By failing to act on an immigration reform bill that requires that people who are here illegally pay taxes, undergo background checks and get on the right side of the law, the House is instead driving an approach that is about rounding up and deporting 11 million people, separating families, and undermining DHS’ ability to secure the border.

      • CR says:

        Congressional Hispanic Caucus and House Democrats On Child Migrant Humanitarian Situation

        Aug 1, 2014

      • CR says:

        August 01, 2014

        Statement by the Press Secretary

        The legislation put forward tonight by House Republicans does not responsibly address the problem of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border, and could result in the deportation of hundreds of thousands of DREAMers, young people who were brought to this country as children and are Americans in every way but on paper. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program prioritizes the limited resources of the Department of Homeland Security to deport dangerous criminals rather than DREAMers. It is extraordinary that House Republicans are demanding that we reverse that prioritization as a price for getting the resources needed to deal with the urgent humanitarian situation at the border, reduce the immigration court backlog, and address the root cause of child migration.

        Republicans in Washington have repeatedly called the situation at our border a crisis; yet, tonight they are considering partisan legislation that will not address the problem and is sure to be rejected by the Senate. As the President said today, the Administration will continue to manage the border as responsibly as possible and address our broken immigration system, but no Administrative action is a substitute for Congressional action. That’s why the President will urge Congress to fix our broken immigration system once and for all upon returning from their recess by doing what the Senate did over a year ago and pass serious, comprehensive immigration reform legislation with bipartisan support.

    • CR says:

      GOP tantrum derails ambassadorial nominations

      8/01/14 09:35AM By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      Political scientist Norm Ornstein noted last night that “blocking ambassadors when the world is in turmoil and America’s national interest is at stake is simply shameful.” Senate Republicans, I think he was speaking to you.

      We’ve been keeping a close eye lately on the vacant U.S. ambassadorial offices around the world, which comes at an unusually awful time. According to the United Nations, there are 193 nations in the world, and of that total, the United States maintains embassies in 169 countries. As of earlier this week, the ambassador’s office is currently empty in a fourth of those embassies because the Senate hasn’t confirmed anyone.

      The Senate Democratic majority was eager to address the problem before Congress left for its five-week break, but in a sad and unnecessary tantrum, the Senate Republican minority had other ideas.

      The Senate may not be confirming nominees to posts in a slew of countries before departing for the August recess, but after some procedural maneuvering, the U.S. will be getting a top diplomat in Russia.

      Senators confirmed the nomination of John F. Tefft by voice vote as the chamber finished evening business after he faced objection to confirmation by unanimous consent earlier in the night.

      For more: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/gop-tantrum-derails-ambassadorial-nominations

    • CR says:

      The Do-Little Congress heads home

      8/1/14 10:42 PM EDT By SEUNG MIN KIM and JOHN BRESNAHAN | 8/1/14 8:42 PM – POLITICO

      Congress is leaving town for a five-week recess after failing to address one of the most serious issues facing the nation: the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

      Republican leaders in the House were able to recover from an embarrassing setback by passing border legislation late Friday full of political red meat for their conservative base, including revisions to a 2008 anti-trafficking law and more money for the National Guard.

      Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his GOP colleagues also passed — over bitter Democratic objections — a bill to rein in President Barack Obama’s program to shield undocumented immigrants from deportations.

      But the House bills have no chance of becoming law. The Senate has already adjourned for the month and Obama blasted the GOP proposals hours before House lawmakers cast their vote.

      In the final days of the summer session of Congress, lawmakers reached a deal to overhaul the scandal-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs, provide aid to Israel and prevent highway construction projects from halting.

      Yet the failure of members from both parties in the House and Senate to send a border bill to Obama’s desk served as the latest example of the apparent inability of Congress to come together on legislation addressing thorny national issues.

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/house-gop-pass-border-bill-109662.html?hp=l1

  3. CR says:

    U.S. Patents

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. In doing this, the USPTO fulfills the mandate of Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the Constitution that the legislative branch “promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries.” The USPTO registers trademarks based on the commerce clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). Under this system of protection, American industry has flourished. New products have been invented, new uses for old ones discovered, and employment opportunities created for millions of Americans. The strength and vitality of the U.S. economy depends directly on effective mechanisms that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. The continued demand for patents and trademarks underscores the ingenuity of American inventors and entrepreneurs. The USPTO is at the cutting edge of the nation’s technological progress and achievement.

    The USPTO advises the president of the United States, the secretary of commerce, and U.S. government agencies on intellectual property (IP) policy, protection, and enforcement; and promotes the stronger and more effective IP protection around the world. The USPTO furthers effective IP protection for U.S. innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide by working with other agencies to secure strong IP provisions in free trade and other international agreements. It also provides training, education, and capacity building programs designed to foster respect for IP and encourage the development of strong IP enforcement regimes by U.S. trading partners.

    First U.S. Patent Issued

    On July 31, 1790 Samuel Hopkins was issued the first patent for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer. The patent was signed by President George Washington. Hopkins was born in Vermont, but was living in Philadelphia, Pa. when the patent was granted.

    The first patent, as well as the more than 6 million patents issued since then, can be seen on the Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office website at http://www.uspto.gov. The original document is in the collections of the Chicago Historical Society.

    Source: http://www.uspto.gov

    • CR says:

      September 16, 2011

      President Obama Signs America Invents Act, Overhauling the Patent System to Stimulate Economic Growth, and Announces New Steps to Help Entrepreneurs Create Jobs

      WASHINGTON, DC — Today, at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, President Obama signed the America Invents Act, historic patent reform legislation that will help American entrepreneurs and businesses bring their inventions to market sooner, creating new businesses and new jobs. In addition, the President announced additional steps that will help convert the ideas from America’s universities and research labs into new products, expanding our economy and creating 21st century jobs.

      “I am pleased to sign the America Invents Act. This much-needed reform will speed up the patent process so that innovators and entrepreneurs can turn a new invention into a business as quickly as possible,” said President Obama. “I’m also announcing even more steps today that will help bring these inventions to market faster and create jobs. Here in America, our creativity has always set us apart, and in order to continue to grow our economy, we need to encourage that spirit wherever we find it.”

      Passed with the President’s consistent leadership and strong bipartisan support, the America Invents Actrepresents the most significant reform of the Patent Act since 1952. It will give a boost to American companies and inventors who have suffered costly delays and unnecessary litigation, and let them focus instead on innovation and job creation. These reforms were also a key recommendation of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which has been a strong advocate for patent reform as a way to support job creation and strengthen America’s competitiveness in the global economy.

      President Obama was joined at the signing by Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, US Patent and Trademark Office Director David Kappos, Ellen Kullman, CEO of DuPont and a Member of the President’s Jobs Council, John Lechleiter, CEO of Eli Lilly, as well as students from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Members of Congress who have been instrumental in passing the bill, and inventors and small business owners who will benefit from this reform.

      For more: For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/16/president-obama-signs-america-invents-act-overhauling-patent-system-stim

    • CR says:

      February 20, 2014

      FACT SHEET – Executive Actions: Answering the President’s Call to Strengthen Our Patent System and Foster Innovation

      Year of Action: Making Progress Through Executive Action

      In his State of the Union address, President Obama set an ambitious agenda to make 2014 a year of action. As part of that commitment, and recognizing that innovation is the lifeblood of our economy, the Administration today is announcing major progress on a series of initiatives designed to combat patent trolls and further strengthen our patent system and foster innovation; issuing new executive actions to build on these efforts; and renewing its call on Congress to finish the job by passing common-sense patent reform legislation.

      Since last June, when the White House pledged to protect innovators from frivolous litigation, the Administration has been working to implement a series of executive actions to improve the U.S. patent system. Today the White House is announcing delivery on these commitments:

      * Promoting Transparency
      * Making Patents Clear
      * Protecting Main Street from Abuse
      * Expanding Outreach & Focused Study
      * Strengthening Exclusion Order Enforcement
      * Innovation For Global Development

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/20/fact-sheet-executive-actions-answering-president-s-call-strengthen-our-p

      ———–

      Strengthening the Patent System

      Published on Feb 20, 2014

      The White House highlights the Administration’s commitment to strengthening the patent system to ensure it encourages innovation and invention, inspires and rewards creativity, drives investment, and spurs job creation. February 20, 2014.

  4. Jueseppi B. says:

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

    • CR says:

      Hey Jueseppi! I loved Pres Obama’s speech today, he really told it like it is!

      • Jueseppi B. says:

        He usually tells the truth and shames the devil, good to see you, hope you had a wonderful Wednesday.

  5. vitaminlover says:

    What makes me so proud of him is that President Obama keeps on working steadily towards getting things done. God I love this President! He is sooooo courageous.

  6. vitaminlover says:

    Fear not President Obama!

  7. CR says:

    Jobless Claims in U.S. in Past Month Drop to Eight-Year Low

    Jul 31, 2014 5:37 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

    Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment insurance benefits over the past month than at any time in more than eight years, signaling employers are hanging on to workers as demand improves.

    The four-week average of jobless claims (INJCJC), considered a less volatile measure than the weekly figure, dropped to 297,250, the lowest since April 2006, from 300,750 the prior week. Claims in the period ended July 26 climbed to 302,000, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, from a revised 279,000 the prior week that was the lowest since 2000.

    While auto plant shutdowns during this time of year make it more difficult for the government to adjust the data for seasonal variations, the declining trend points to a job market that is heating up. A tightening labor market could lift wages and spur consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

    “Layoffs are low, and business confidence has held up very well over the last couple of months given all of the geopolitical tensions,” Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said before the report. “Claims are consistent with an acceleration in GDP growth in the third quarter.”

    Stock-index futures held earlier losses after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in September dropped 0.7 percent to 1,951 at 8:34 a.m. in New York amid disappointing results from companies such as Whole Foods Market Inc. and Kraft Foods Group Inc.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-31/jobless-claims-in-u-s-over-past-month-drop-to-lowest-since-2006.html

  8. CR says:

    July 31, 2014

    Readout of Consultative Meeting with Congressional Leaders on National Security Issues

    This morning, President Obama invited bicameral congressional leaders and the Chairs and Ranking Members of national security committees to the White House to consult with them about ongoing U.S. efforts to respond to the conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Gaza, Syria, and other pressing issues. The President requested this meeting to update and hear from some of Congress’ leading foreign policy voices before their departure for the August recess.

    Today’s meeting was constructive and the President committed that he and his team would continue to work closely with the Congress on these matters in the weeks and months ahead. The Vice President also attended this meeting in the Cabinet Room.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/31/readout-consultative-meeting-congressional-leaders-national-security-iss

  9. CR says:

    July 31, 2014

    Op-ed by First Lady Michelle Obama on McClatchy: Let’s end veteran homelessness once and for all

    The following op-ed by First Lady Michelle Obama appeared last night across McClatchy platforms.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/07/30/234885/lets-end-veteran-homelessness.html

    Let’s end veteran homelessness once and for all

    At the beginning of June, 85 mayors, governors and county officials from across the country – and across the political spectrum – signed on to the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness. Today, we’re announcing that in the two months since then, 97 more state and local leaders have signed on – meaning that a total of 182 local leaders have pledged to end homelessness among the veterans in their communities by the end of 2015.

    I know that might sound like a pipe dream. After all, veteran homelessness is a problem we’ve faced for decades – in fact, almost 90 percent of all homeless veterans served prior to 9/11. And as a country, we’ve never been able to rally the resources and the public will to get all of our veterans off the streets and into stable housing.

    So why do all these state and local leaders believe that things are any different today? The answer to that question is simple: because today – thanks to federal, state and local leadership and the determined, daily work of advocates on the ground – we’re finally seeing that ending veteran homelessness is not just something we should strive to achieve – it’s something we actually can.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/31/op-ed-first-lady-michelle-obama-mcclatchy-let-s-end-veteran-homelessness

    • CR says:

      July 31, 2014

      Remarks by the First Lady at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference

      The Renaissance Hotel
      Washington, D.C.

      12:56 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Thank you, everyone. (Applause.) Good afternoon. Thank you so much. Well, please, rest yourselves. (Laughter.) Good afternoon.

      Let us start by thanking Leon for sharing his story and for everything he’s done for our country. (Applause.) We are so proud of men and women like Leon who are everywhere in this country.

      I also want to thank everyone from Friendship Place for lifting up so many veterans like Leon here in D.C. I also want to recognize Nan Roman and everyone here at the National Alliance to End Homelessness for hosting us here at your annual conference.

      But most of all, I want to thank all of you -– the leaders who are fighting every day to end homelessness in communities across this country. The work you are doing is so critically important. You are helping folks meet one of their most basic human needs. You’re making sure our communities reflect our shared values of compassion, empathy, and service. And you’re doing the hard work to show that here in America, we take care of our own. (Applause.)

      So given your extraordinary contributions, it is disappointing that you often don’t get the support, respect, and appreciation you need to get the job done. (Applause.) Whether you’re running a shelter, or raising money for a community organization, or managing a citywide anti-homelessness campaign, you all are working long hours to keep it all together. You’re fighting each year for every single penny in your budgets. But inevitably the cuts come and it’s up to you to figure out how to salvage what’s left of your programs.

      And day after day, as you fight for more resources, you encounter too many folks who don’t take you seriously because they don’t believe that we’ll ever truly be able to solve this problem; or even worse, because they feel like our homeless brothers and sisters have brought these problems on themselves.

      Yet, when so many others accept homelessness as a fact of life, you refuse to give up. When they scoff at your idealism, you show them the data and evidence that prove that we can solve this problem. And when they still throw up their hands and walk away from this challenge, you roll up your sleeves and get back to work.

      So today, before I say anything else, I just want to say thank you. Thank you. (Applause.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/31/remarks-first-lady-national-alliance-end-homelessness-annual-conference

  10. CR says:

    July 31, 2014

    Remarks by the President at the Signing of Fair Pay and Safe Workplace Executive Order

    South Court Auditorium

    1:40 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody, hello! (Applause.) Thank you so much. Everybody, please have a seat. Welcome to the White House.

    The executive order I’ll sign in a few minutes is one that’s good for workers, it’s good for responsible employers, and it’s good for the middle class. That explains the folks who are standing up on stage with me, including Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, who’s done a great job on this. (Applause.)

    Yesterday, we learned that the springtime was a strong time for economic growth. Companies are investing. Consumers are spending. Our energy, our technology, our auto industries are all booming, with workers making and selling goods all around the world. Our businesses have created nearly 10 million new jobs over the past 52 months, and the unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 2008. 401(k)s have recovered their value. Home prices are rising. Millions more families have the peace of mind that comes with having affordable, quality health care.

    And because of the incredible hard work and resilience of the American people, we’ve recovered faster, we’ve come farther than any other advanced country since the onset of the Great Recession. (Applause.) Things are getting better. Steadily, things are getting better. But we all know there’s more work to do. And the decisions we make now are going to have an impact on whether or not this economy works for everybody or just folks at the top; whether we’ve got a growing economy that fuels rising incomes and creates a thriving middle class and ladders into the middle class.

    That’s what’s at stake — making sure our economy works for every hardworking American, and if you work hard and you’re responsible, you can get ahead. That’s what we want. We want to make sure the young dad on the factory floor has a shot to make it into the corner suite — or at least see his daughter make it there some day.

    That’s why I ran for office. That’s what has driven every policy that we’ve initiated this year and since the advent of my presidency. Policies that create more jobs rebuilding America. Policies to ease the student loan burden. Policies to raise wages for workers, and make sure that women are being paid fairly on the job, and creating opportunities for paid leave for working families, and support for child care.

    These are all policies that have two things in common. Number one, they’d all help working families. And, frankly, number two, they’re being blocked or ignored by Republicans in Congress. So I’ve said to my team, look, any time Congress wants to do work with me to help working families, I’m right there. The door is always open. More than that, I’ll go to them; I’ll wash their car — (laughter) — walk their dog. (Laughter.) I mean, I’m ready to work with them any time that they want to pursue policies that help working families. But where they’re doing so little or nothing at all to help working families, then we’ve got to find ways, as an administration, to take action that’s going to help.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/31/remarks-president-signing-fair-pay-and-safe-workplace-executive-order

    • CR says:

      July 31, 2014

      FACT SHEET: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

      While the vast majority of federal contractors play by the rules, every year tens of thousands of American workers are denied overtime wages, not hired or paid fairly because of their gender or age, or have their health and safety put at risk by corporations contracting with the federal government that cut corners. Taxpayer dollars should not reward corporations that break the law, so today President Obama is cracking down on federal contractors who put workers’ safety and hard-earned pay at risk.

      As part of this Year of Action, the President will sign an Executive Order that will require prospective federal contractors to disclose labor law violations and will give agencies more guidance on how to consider labor violations when awarding federal contracts. Although many contractors already play by the rules, and federal contracting offers already must assess a contractor’s record of integrity, these officers still may not necessarily know about companies’ workplace violations. The new process is also structured to encourage companies to settle existing disputes, like paying back wages. And finally, the Executive Order also ensures that workers are given the necessary information each pay period to verify the accuracy of their paycheck and workers who may have been sexually assaulted or had their civil rights violated get their day in court by putting an end to mandatory arbitration agreements at corporations with large federal contracts.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/31/fact-sheet-fair-pay-and-safe-workplaces-executive-order

  11. CR says:

    July 31, 2014

    Remarks by the President at HUD

    Department of Housing and Urban Development
    Washington, D.C.3

    3:50 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Now, let me start off by making two points. The first is, clearly, HUD has the rowdiest employees. (Applause.) I now realize that. The second point is that before I came out here, Shaun Donovan made a point of saying that this wasn’t as exciting to people as Michelle coming. (Laughter.) Now, I know that. (Laughter.) I hear that everywhere I go. (Laughter.) There’s no reason to remind me, to rub it in. (Laughter.) That’s why I married her. (Laughter and applause.) To improve the gene pool.

    I am here today because I stole one terrific Secretary of HUD from you, but I’ve delivered another terrific Secretary of HUD to you. (Applause.) And I want to thank all of you for the great job that you’re doing day in and day out. And we appreciate the members of Congress who are here — although I have to say that Joaquin never had a choice. (Laughter.) The other two, obviously they care. (Laughter.) The brother, he’s like, okay, I’ve got to show up. (Laughter.) But I appreciate them being here.

    Let me just say a few words about Shaun. From his first day when he got here, Shaun knew he had his work cut out for him. You will recall that the housing market was the epicenter of the crisis that went through in 2008-2009. There were millions of families whose homes were underwater. Hundreds of thousands of construction workers were out of a job. Too many veterans lived out on the street.

    But we were very fortunate because Shaun is just one of those people where he sees a problem he’s going to work to solve it. And if what he tries the first time doesn’t work he’s going to try something else. And he’s a geek, he’s a wonk. (Laughter.) He studies the spreadsheets. He recruited top talent. He promised that if everyone here at HUD worked just a little bit harder, you could really turn things around for struggling families. And all of you accepted that challenge.

    We’ve still got work to do, but think about the progress that we’ve made. Home prices, home sales, construction all up. Veterans homelessness down by nearly 25 percent. (Applause.) Millions of families are now seeing their home values above water, which obviously is a huge relief for them. When natural disasters strike, like the Colorado floods or Hurricane Sandy, you are right in there helping the families rebuild.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/31/remarks-president-hud

  12. CR says:

    GOP WRONG WAY

    Cruz Blamed as House Republicans Try to Revive Funds Bill

    Jul 31, 2014 2:48 PM PT By Derek Wallbank, Erik Wasson and Michael C. Bender – bloomberg

    House Republicans, poised to head out for their August break, are staying in Washington to try to pass a plan addressing child migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, and some blame Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

    Cruz, a Tea Party-backed lawmaker from Texas, is urging House Republicans to oppose leaders’ $659 million border plan. Enough of them balked to force leaders to cancel today’s scheduled vote on the bill for lack of support.

    “We’ll have the votes tomorrow,” Representative Spencer Bachus of Alabama told reporters.

    House leaders plan to confer with holdouts tonight to work on revisions to the measure, and Republicans will meet privately in the morning. Representative John Fleming of Louisiana said that to get his vote, “they would have to massively change what’s in the bill.”

    Even if the House manages to pass a measure, Congress almost certainly will leave Washington for the August break without enacting a plan to address the border crisis. The Senate yesterday advanced a $2.7 billion plan, still less than the $3.7 billion President Barack Obama requested.

    Republicans and Democrats also disagree about Republicans’ bid to change a law to speed the deportation of children at the border.

    House Republican leaders had repeatedly adjusted the border proposal in an effort to gain support from lawmakers aligned with the small-government Tea Party movement.

    “We’ve got a caucus of widely disparate views, and it never really gelled for 218 on our side,” the number of votes needed to pass a bill in the House, said Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican.

    Cruz this week was urging party members in the House to oppose the bill, H.R. 5230. Late yesterday he met with about a dozen House Republicans over pizza and Dr. Pepper to discuss strategy about the proposal.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-31/house-republicans-cancel-vote-on-u-s-border-fund-plan.html

    • CR says:

      Reid sets up last-minute votes

      July 31, 2014, 05:59 pm By Ramsey Cox – TheHill

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled votes for Thursday evening on border legislation, highway funding and reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs.

      The vote series — coming just before the Senate starts a five-week recess — will start at 6:45 p.m. with a bill that would provide $2.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the influx of child immigrants across the border.

      Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski’s (D-Md.) $3.57 billion border bill, which also includes money for wildfires in the West and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, isn’t likely to get enough GOP support to overcome a filibuster.

      When the border vote is over, the Senate will then move to consider a House-passed conference committee report aimed at revamping the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department healthcare system.

      The VA legislation is expected to pass easily.

      Next up will be the House’s $10.9 billion highway bill. The Senate voted earlier this week to amend that legislation, but the House rejected the changes on Thursday, forcing senators to either support the original version or risk highway projects coming to a screeching halt this summer.

      Reid did not announce whether the Senate would be in session on Friday, but if all the legislative work is completed Thursday night, it seems unlikely.

    • CR says:

      Senate kills spending bill for border crisis

      Spending bill for border crisis falls in Senate on procedural vote

      7/31/14 56 minutes ago – Associated Press

      A bill to address the crisis of unaccompanied migrant youths arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has died in the Senate on a procedural vote.

      The 50-44 vote Thursday night fell short of the 60 votes needed to waive a point of order raised by Republicans against the $3.5 billion bill.

      The action came hours before the Senate adjourns for a five-week recess.

      House Republicans are still working to pass a border bill in the House, but even if they succeed the legislation will not go anywhere.

      That means Congress is heading out for its summer recess without acting to deal with tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who’ve been arriving at the border from Central America.

      The Senate bill also included money for wildfires and Israeli defense.

    • CR says:

      Five things to know as Congress takes a five-week summer recess

      8/03/14 05:01 PM EDT By Alexander Bolton – TheHill

      Congress started a five-week recess on Friday night after the House approved an immigration package that was largely in line with what conservatives in the GOP conference wanted.

      Most senators had left a day earlier after completing work on a highway funding bill and a Veterans Department overhaul.

      Lawmakers have been focused all year on November, and the drive for control of the Senate will tick up a notch over August.
      Here are five things to know about the recess.

      1) Boehner has shelved outreach to Latinos

      House GOP leaders made clear Friday that their efforts to reach out to Latino voters will be postponed until 2015 if not later.

      By passing legislation to crack down on unaccompanied minors crossing the border from Central America and defunding President Obama’s 2012 order to defer deportations of Dream Act-eligible immigrants, House GOP leader picked their conservative base over Latinos, who will have a small impact on the midterm elections.

      Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), the leading opponent to immigration reform in the House, extolled his leadership for letting him shape its response to the Texas border crisis.

      “It’s like I ordered it off the menu,” he said.

      Pro-immigrant advocacy groups say Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has seriously alienated Latino voters as a result.

      “The legislation is entirely about enforcement,” said Brent Wilkes, national executive director for the League of United Latin American Citizens. “It’s something the Latino community is going to rally against Republicans for doing.”

      It’s a dramatic turn from shortly after the 2012 election, when Boehner told ABC’s Diane Sawyer that that a comprehensive approach to immigration reform was “long overdue.”

      Senate strategists say Colorado, where Hispanics make up more than 20 percent of the population, is the only Senate battleground where Latino voters will prove to be a force.

      For more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/214177-five-things-to-know-as-congress-takes-a-five-week-summer-recess

  13. CR says:

    “The Right to be Counted”: A New Generation Leaders of a Unified Generation

    Published on Aug 6, 2014

    President Obama and First Lady Michelle hosts “A Celebration of Special Olympics and A Unified Generation” to mark the anniversary of the Special Olympics.

  14. CR says:

    July 31, 2014

    Remarks by the President at Special Olympics Dinner Celebration

    East Room

    8:02 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Please have a seat. (Applause.) Good evening, everybody, and welcome to the White House. Everybody looks wonderful.

    This is a truly special evening. And we are delighted to celebrate it with so many people from so many different walks of life. It is not often that you get Dikembe Mutombo, Steve Case, Stevie Wonder all in the same room. (Laughter.) In fact, that may be the first time that they were ever in the same sentence. (Applause.)

    We have just one of my favorite people performing tonight — Katy Perry. We are so grateful to her. (Applause.) I love Katy Perry. She is just a wonderful person. I’ve just met her mom and now I know why she is such a wonderful person, but I just want everybody to know she is on tour right now and so for her to take time out to do this is really special and so we really want to say thank you to her for doing this. (Applause.)

    The fact that so many accomplished, wonderful people are here is a testament to the impact that the Special Olympics has had on our nation and has had on our world. This organization has touched so many lives. And tonight, Michelle and I are thrilled that we get a chance to say thank you to everyone who’s been a part of it.

    When Eunice Kennedy Shriver began what would become the Special Olympics in her backyard over 50 years ago, it’s not clear whether she could imagine how far and how fast it would end up going. Of course, knowing her, she probably did have a sense of where it was going to go — that’s the kind of visionary that she was. I want to recognize all the members of the Shriver family who are here tonight and who continue to carry on the family’s incredible tradition of service. Thank you. (Applause.)

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/31/remarks-president-special-olympics-dinner-celebration

  15. CR says:

    NASA to test making rocket fuel ingredient on Mars

    7/31/14 By SETH BORENSTEIN – Associated Press

    NASA plans to make oxygen — a key ingredient of rocket fuel — on Mars early next decade.

    Space agency officials Thursday unveiled seven instruments they plan to put on a Martian rover that would launch in 2020, including two devices aimed at bigger Mars missions in the future.

    The $1.9 billion rover will include an experiment that will turn carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into oxygen. It could then be used to make rocket fuel and for future astronauts to breathe, said NASA associate administrator for exploration Bill Gerstenmaier.

    Taking fuel to Mars for return flights is heavy and expensive.

    The device, named MOXIE, works like an engine but in reverse, said Michael Hecht, the scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is running the test project. It will make about three-quarters of an ounce of oxygen an hour.

    If it works, then a larger scale device — 100 times bigger than MOXIE — would be launched two years before astronauts go, currently slated for some time in the 2030s. NASA first plans to send astronauts to an asteroid.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-test-making-rocket-fuel-ingredient-mars-210726025.html

  16. CR says:

    WH

    Friday, August 1, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:35 PM
    President Obama holds a press conference
    The White House

    3:00 PM
    3:45 PM
    President Obama signs into law S. 517, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act
    Oval Office

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

  17. CR says:

    August 1

    President Obama signs into law S. 517, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

    A Call Answered: Unlocking America’s Cell Phones

    July 25, 2014 R. David Edelman

    Last year, over 114,000 of you made your voice heard and petitioned the Administration to restore a basic consumer freedom: to take your mobile service — and a phone or tablet you already own — to the carrier that best suits your needs.

    It’s common sense, good for competition and innovation, and essential to consumers. That’s why the Administration declared last March that “It’s time to legalize cell phone unlocking,” and today the President commended Congress for doing just that:

    I applaud Members of Congress for passing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. Last year, in response to a “We the People” petition from consumers across our country, my Administration called for allowing Americans to use their phones or mobile devices on any network they choose. We laid out steps the FCC, industry, and Congress should take to ensure copyright law does not undermine wireless competition, and worked with wireless carriers to reach a voluntary agreement that helps restore this basic consumer freedom. The bill Congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cell phone carrier that meets their needs and their budget. I commend Chairmen Leahy and Goodlatte, and Ranking Members Grassley and Conyers for their leadership on this important consumer issue and look forward to signing this bill into law.

    Everyone has done their part to get here — from the FCC convening carriers, to the industry agreeing to voluntary steps to make their unlocking process transparent and reliable. And as he said today, the President looks forward to signing this bill into law. It’s just one more way he is taking the lead in making life a little easier for the middle class, and ensuring our technology remains the envy of the world.

    You called, the President answered, and together we made cell phone unlocking happen.

    • CR says:

      July 25, 2014

      Statement from the President on Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

      I applaud Members of Congress for passing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. Last year, in response to a “We the People” petition from consumers across our country, my Administration called for allowing Americans to use their phones or mobile devices on any network they choose. We laid out steps the FCC, industry, and Congress should take to ensure copyright law does not undermine wireless competition, and worked with wireless carriers to reach a voluntary agreement that helps restore this basic consumer freedom. The bill Congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cell phone carrier that meets their needs and their budget. I commend Chairmen Leahy and Goodlatte, and Ranking Members Grassley and Conyers for their leadership on this important consumer issue and look forward to signing this bill into law.

    • CR says:

      On Friday, August 1, 2014, the President signed into law:

      S. 517, S. 517, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act which extends to purchasers of cell phones after January 26, 2013, the exemption under Library of Congress regulations from the prohibition against circumventing the software that prevents the phone from being used on another carrier’s network when the consumer chooses to change networks.

  18. CR says:

    Job creation tops 200k for sixth straight month

    08/01/14 08:47AM By Steve Benen – maddowblog

    Given where the economy was in the not-too-distant past, it’s hard to be disappointed when the economy adds over 200,000 jobs a month, and yet, given expectations and the last few jobs reports, today’s data is a bit of a letdown.

    The new report from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in July. The overall unemployment rate ticked slightly higher to 6.2% — still hovering around a six-year low. (This is one of those times when an uptick is good news, not bad, since more people are entering the workforce looking for jobs.)

    Once again, public-sector layoffs did not drag down the overall employment figures. Though jobs reports over the last few years have shown monthly government job losses, in July, the private sector added 198,000 while the public sector added 11,000. The latter may not sound like much, but after several years in which that total was negative, it’s at least somewhat heartening.

    Perhaps most strikingly, the U.S. economy has now added over 200,000 jobs per month for six consecutive months. The last time Americans saw results like these? Way back in 1997.

    As for the revisions, May’s totals were revised up from 224,000 to 229,000, while June’s figures were also revised up, from 288,000 to 298,000. Combined, that’s an additional 15,000 jobs.

    Overall, this is a good-but-not-great report, though the jobs landscape is nevertheless steadily improving. All told, over the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has added over 2.57 million jobs overall and 2.48 million in the private sector. What’s more, July was the 53rd consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth – the longest on record.

    At this point, with the year about half over, 2014 is currently on track to be the best year for U.S. job creation since 1999.

    Read more: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/job-creation-tops-200k-sixth-straight-month

  19. CR says:

    July 31, 2014

    Readout of Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Benjamin Rhodes’ Meeting with Iraqi Chaldean and Assyrian Community Leaders

    Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes today met with Iraqi Chaldean and Assyrian community leaders to discuss the security situation in Iraq and its effect on Christian and other minority populations. Mr. Rhodes appreciated hearing the vital perspectives of these important communities regarding the difficulties facing Iraq’s Christians. He condemned the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) ongoing attacks on the Christian and minority communities in northern Iraq and the group’s systematic destruction of religious sites. He emphasized that the United States continues to urge Iraq’s leaders to form an inclusive government that can address the rights and legitimate concerns of all of Iraq’s diverse communities, including Iraq’s Christians – only then can Iraq successfully and sustainably confront the security and humanitarian challenges all of its citizens face in the common fight against ISIL.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/31/readout-deputy-national-security-advisor-strategic-communications-benjam

  20. CR says:

    July 31, 2014

    Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

    The Vice President spoke this afternoon with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Vice President welcomed Japan’s new policy on collective self-defense, which the two leaders agreed will enhance the U.S.-Japan alliance and enable Japan to make even greater contributions to regional and global peace and security. The Vice President welcomed Japan’s recently announced sanctions on Russia. They agreed on the importance of continued G-7 coordination to press Russia to stop its destabilizing actions in Ukraine.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/31/readout-vice-president-s-call-japanese-prime-minister-shinzo-abe

  21. CR says:

    July 31, 2014

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Humanitarian Ceasefire Announcement in Gaza

    The United States strongly supports the humanitarian ceasefire announced in Gaza this evening. We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian ceasefire begins at 8:00 a.m. local time on Friday, August 1, 2014, and to fully abide by their commitments.

    We believe the only sustainable way to address Israel’s security concerns and enable Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives is through a permanent cease-fire agreement. We urge the Israeli and Palestinian delegations to begin negotiations immediately in Cairo, at the invitation of Egypt, aimed at achieving a durable ceasefire. The United States stands ready to support the successful conclusion of these negotiations, working with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, the United Nations, and other partners in the region.

  22. CR says:

    Food-Stamp Decline Shows Low-Income Relief: EcoPulse

    Aug 1, 2014 5:52 AM PT By Anna-Louise Jackson and Anthony Feld – bloomberg

    Participation in the U.S. government food-stamp program is declining modestly as low-income Americans get some economic reprieve.

    About 46.25 million people were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in April, according to the most-recent data available from the Department of Agriculture. That’s down 3.2 percent from a high of almost 47.8 million in December 2012. May figures are scheduled to be released Aug. 8.

    The “gradual decline” shows some low-income households no longer use these benefits as their finances slowly have improved, said Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group, an institutional equity-trading broker in New York, who monitors these data each month. “A portion of this population is seeing some level of economic relief.”

    Participation in this needs-based program, or SNAP, is a “distress indicator,” Colas said. The number of people receiving such assistance climbed about 27 percent during the 18-month recession that ended in June 2009 and continued to rise, so the recent reduction suggests the recovery is benefiting more Americans, he said.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-01/decline-in-food-stamps-shows-low-income-relief-ecopulse.html

  23. CR says:

    Consumer Spending in U.S. Rose in June by Most in Three Months

    Aug 1, 2014 5:30 AM PT By Victoria Stilwell – bloomberg

    Consumer spending in the U.S. rose in June by the most in three months, ending the quarter on a strong note and signaling that continued job growth will bolster the world’s largest economy.

    Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, climbed 0.4 percent after a 0.3 percent gain in May that was larger than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The increased matched the median forecast of 74 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Incomes also advanced 0.4 percent.

    A strengthening job market is supporting consumer confidence and giving households the means to spend as the economic expansion heads into its sixth year. Companies such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. are optimistic sales will keep improving in the coming months.

    “We have perhaps the best consumer that we’ve had this entire cycle,” Jacob Oubina, senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, said before the report. “The fact that wages accelerated decently in the second quarter suggests some good momentum going into the second half of the year.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-01/consumer-spending-in-u-s-rose-in-june-by-most-in-three-months.html

  24. CR says:

    Manufacturing in U.S. Expands at Fastest Pace in Three Years

    Aug 1, 2014 7:00 AM PT By Michelle Jamrisko – bloomberg

    Manufacturing expanded in July at the fastest pace in more than
    three years, showing U.S. factories will help power the economy after a second-quarter rebound.

    The Institute for Supply Management’s index increased to 57.1, the highest since April 2011, from 55.3 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s report showed today. Readings above 50 indicate growth. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists was 56.

    Orders and production expanded last month at the fastest pace of the year as factories responded to increased purchases of automobiles and business equipment. Stronger job and income growth will provide the wherewithal for a pickup in household demand, underpinning manufacturing.

    “Manufacturing’s growing pretty solidly,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York, said before the report. “The backdrop for consumer spending looks positive with the labor market improving. Capital goods orders have strengthened. And the housing recovery, while it’s been choppy, does seem to be getting back on track.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-01/manufacturing-in-u-s-expands-at-fastest-pace-in-three-years.html

  25. CR says:

    Senate sends highway bill to Obama

    July 31, 2014, 09:16 pm By Ramsey Cox – TheHill

    After the House rejected Senate changes, senators held their noses Thursday and voted 81-13 for a $10.9 billion bill to fund highway projects through May 2015.

    Earlier in the week, the Senate voted to amend the House-passed Highway Trust Fund bill, changing the length of the extension to December to pressure lawmakers to come up with a long-term solution after the midterm elections.

    “Congress needs to act immediately to prevent a shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund … Thousands of jobs are at stake here,” ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said ahead of the vote. “The only viable solution is for the Senate to take up the House bill and pass it. … We don’t have any other options if we want to get this done before the recess.”

    The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature. The White House has said it will accept the House legislation but would have preferred a $302 billion four-year extension of highway funding.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/214026-senate-sends-highway-bill-to-obama

  26. CR says:

    West Wing Week 08/01/14: A Walk Down Main Street with President Obama

    Published on Aug 1, 2014

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and beyond. This week, the President hosted the inaugural Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, reaffirmed America’s commitment to Ukraine, and continued responding to Americans’ letters – this time in Kansas City.

    • CR says:

      August 01, 2014

      Press Conference by the President

      James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

      2:45 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Happy Friday. I thought I’d take some questions, but first, let me say a few words about the economy.

      This morning, we learned that our economy created over 200,000 new jobs in July. That’s on top of about 300,000 new jobs in June. So we are now in a six-month streak with at least 200,000 new jobs each month. That’s the first time that has happened since 1997. Over the past year, we’ve added more jobs than any year since 2006. And all told, our businesses have created 9.9 million new jobs over the past 53 months. That’s the longest streak of private sector job creation in our history.

      And as we saw on Wednesday, the economy grew at a strong pace in the spring. Companies are investing. Consumers are spending. American manufacturing, energy, technology, autos — all are booming. And thanks to the decisions that we’ve made, and the grit and resilience of the American people, we’ve recovered faster and come farther from the recession than almost any other advanced country on Earth.

      So the good news is the economy clearly is getting stronger. Things are getting better. Our engines are revving a little bit louder. And the decisions that we make right now can sustain and keep that growth and momentum going.

      Unfortunately, there are a series of steps that we could be taking to maintain momentum, and perhaps even accelerate it; there are steps that we could be taking that would result in more job growth, higher wages, higher incomes, more relief for middle-class families. And so far, at least, in Congress, we have not seen them willing or able to take those steps.

      I’ve been pushing for common-sense ideas like rebuilding our infrastructure in ways that are sustained over many years and support millions of good jobs and help businesses compete. I’ve been advocating on behalf of raising the minimum wage, making it easier for working folks to pay off their student loans; fair pay, paid leave. All these policies have two things in common: All of them would help working families feel more stable and secure, and all of them so far have been blocked or ignored by Republicans in Congress. That’s why my administration keeps taking whatever actions we can take on our own to help working families.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/01/press-conference-president

  27. CR says:

    Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act clears one more hurdle

    07/09/2014 John Maday, Managing Editor, Drovers CattleNetwork

    Veterinary organizations are hailing passage of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act in the U.S. House of Representatives this week with broad bi-partisan support. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed its version of the act, which is virtually identical to the House version, on January 8.

    Passage of the bill will make it legal for veterinarians to transport and use controlled substances beyond their primary places of registration and across state lines to treat their animal patients. Previously, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has indicated that the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) barred veterinarians from taking controlled substances beyond their registered locations, such as their clinics, which limits medical decisions and treatment options for veterinarians who work in the field.

    For more: http://www.dairyherd.com/dairy-news/Veterinary-Medicine-Mobility-Act-clears-one-more-hurdle-266500791.html

    • CR says:

      Friday, August 1, 2014, the President signed into law:

      H.R. 1528, the “Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2014,” which clarifies that veterinarians may transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice at sites other than their principal place of business as long as any such site is in a State where the veterinarian is licensed to practice veterinary medicine

  28. CR says:

    August 01, 2014

    Statement by Deputy NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Benjamin Rhodes and National Security Advisor to the Vice President Jake Sullivan’s Meeting with the Syrian Defector “Caesar”

    Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes and National Security Advisor to the Vice President Jake Sullivan met today with former Syrian military police photographer “Caesar,” who defected from the Assad regime with thousands of photographs of brutalized bodies, suggestive of torture and killing on an industrial scale by the Assad regime.

    Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Sullivan thanked “Caesar” for his personal and moral courage in bearing witness to the Assad regime’s atrocities, which represent an assault on human dignity. The images that “Caesar” has shared with the world paint a picture of unimaginable suffering – gouged eyes, abrasions in the silhouette of metal chains, and the emaciated corpses of men, women, and children – and offer some of the most heart wrenching evidence of the unconscionable tactics Bashar al-Assad employs to cling to power.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/01/statement-deputy-nsc-spokesperson-bernadette-meehan-deputy-national-secu

  29. CR says:

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

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ”World War I – 100th Anniversary ″

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

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