US Export Import Bank – 80th Anniversary

09/09/2014

US Export Import Bank - Executive Order 6581US Export Import Bank - 80 yrs US Export Import Bank - Solutions

US Export-Import Bank

President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) established the Export-Import Bank of Washington by Executive Order on February 2, 1934. Executive Order 6581 created the first Export-Import Bank of Washington to “aid in financing and to facilitate exports and imports and the exchange” of goods between the U.S. and the world during a period of economic distress. The Bank celebrates its anniversary on February 12: As stated in the first Annual Report, “the Bank was completely organized on February 12, 1934″ and the first Board of Trustees meeting was held that day. The Bank continues to operate under the goals outlined by President Roosevelt supporting U.S. manufacturers and exporters in times of economic crisis when limitations on commercial credit arise. While created to support exports and imports, the Bank has focused on it’s role as an export credit agency.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Im Bank’s mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets.

Ex-Im Bank enables U.S. companies — large and small — to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy.

Ex-Im Bank does not compete with private sector lenders but provides export financing products that fill gaps in trade financing. We assume credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept. We also help to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the financing that other governments provide to their exporters.

Ex-Im Bank provides working capital guarantees (pre-export financing); export credit insurance; and loan guarantees and direct loans (buyer financing). No transaction is too large or too small. On average, more than 85% of our transactions directly benefit U.S. small businesses.

With 80 years of experience, Ex-Im Bank has supported more than $567 billion of U.S. exports, primarily to developing markets worldwide.

For more: http://www.exim.gov/

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.Weekly Address: The Export-Import Bank

Remarks of President Barack Obama The White House
Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hi, everybody. Nearly six years after the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes, our businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs over the past 53 months. That’s the longest streak of private-sector job creation in our history. And we’re in a six-month streak with our economy creating at least 200,000 new jobs each month — the first time that’s happened since 1997.

Thanks to the decisions we made to rescue and rebuild our economy, and your hard work and resilience, America is leading again. Areas like manufacturing, energy, technology, and autos are all booming. And here’s the thing: we’re selling more goods Made in America to the rest of the world than ever before. American exports are at an all-time high.

Over the past five years, we’ve worked hard to open new markets for our businesses, and to help them compete on a level playing field in those markets. And we’ve broken records for exports four years running. Last year, our exports supported more than 11 million American jobs – about 1.6 million more than when I took office. They’re good jobs that typically pay about 15% more than the national average. And more small businesses are selling their goods abroad than ever before — nearly 300,000 last year alone.

We should be doing everything we can to accelerate this progress, not stall it.

One place to start is by supporting something called the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Its sole mission is to create American jobs. That’s it. It helps many American entrepreneurs take that next step and take their small business global. But next month, its charter will expire — unless Members of Congress do their job and reauthorize it.

Now, past Congresses have done this 16 times, always with support from both parties. Republican and Democratic Presidents have supported the bank, too. This time around shouldn’t be any different. Because the bank works. It’s independent. It pays for itself. But if Congress fails to act, thousands of businesses, large and small, that sell their products abroad will take a completely unnecessary hit.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/23/weekly-address-export-import-bank
http://youtu.be/41iHdxy7Kmg

US Exports 2013 = American Jobs

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Sen. Harry Reid’s Constitutional Amendment Bill to Limit Money in Politics

09/07/2014

Citizens United

Reid schedules vote in September on amending the Constitution

August 01, 2014, 03:12 pm By Ramsey Cox – TheHIll

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has set up a procedural vote for September on a constitutional amendment to limit money in politics.

Before adjourning for a five-week recess on Friday, Reid filed cloture on the motion to proceed to S.J. Res. 19, which is designed to overturn two recent Supreme Court decisions that allowed corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals to spend more money on federal elections.

The procedural vote on the constitutional amendment is set for 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 8.

The amendment is certain to fail in the Senate because Republicans generally support the high court’s decisions in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. FEC, arguing they removed limits on free speech.

“This partisan effort to weaken the First Amendment is the clearest proof yet of how out of touch the Democrat Majority has become from the needs and concerns of ordinary Americans and how ill-equipped they are to lead in these challenging times,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Friday. “Washington Democrats have forgotten that the First Amendment is meant to empower the people, not the government.”

The 2010 Citizens United ruling struck down restrictions that had barred corporations and unions from spending money from their general treasury funds to support or oppose candidates. In McCutcheon, the court struck aggregate limits on individual contributions to candidates.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/214089-reid-sets-up-vote-to-reverse-citizens-united-decision
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Senate moves forward with amendment to the Constitution on elections

9/8/14 By Ramsey Cox – theHill

The Senate on Monday advanced a constitutional amendment meant to reverse two recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign spending.

Republicans are likely to vote against the amendment when it comes up for a final vote, but by allowing it to proceed, ensured that it will tie up the Senate for most of the week.

More than 20 Republicans joined Democrats in the 79-18 vote advancing the amendment, well over the 60 votes that were needed.

The amendment is almost certain to fail, as it would need to win two-thirds support to pass the Senate, and then would still need to move through the House and be ratified by two-thirds of the states.

“We should have debate on this important amendment,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said before voting for cloture. “The majority should be made to answer why they want to silence critics.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would gladly debate the issue for as long as Republicans require because the amendment is necessary to keep “dark money” out of politics.

For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/217025-senate-advances-constitutional-amendment-on-campaign-spending
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Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission558 U.S. 50 (2010)

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. The nonprofit corporation Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or “BCRA”). In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that portions of BCRA §203 violated the First Amendment.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission

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July 16, 2012

Statement by President Obama on the DISCLOSE Act

Two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United that big corporations are allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence American elections. They can buy millions of dollars’ worth of TV ads with no obligation to reveal who’s actually paying for them.

The consequences of this decision are predictable. If we allow this practice to continue, special interests will have unprecedented influence over politicians. It’s wrong. It’s corrosive to our democracy, and it’s a threat to our future.

Today, Republicans in the Senate had the chance to change it. They had the opportunity to support a bill that would prevent the worst effects of the Citizens United decision and require groups or special interests who are trying to influence elections to reveal their donors so the public will know who’s funding their political ads. This bill should have received broad, bipartisan support.

Unfortunately, Republicans chose to block it. Instead of standing up for the American people, Republicans stood with big banks and oil companies – special interests that certainly don’t need more clout in Washington.

I will continue to do everything I can to repair the deficit of trust between Washington and the American people. I’m disappointed Republicans in Congress failed to take action and hold corporations and special interests accountable to the American people.

BILL MOYERS: Here’s a significant revelation of which you may not be aware. The plutocrats know it and love it, and the rest of us should be forewarned. When the Supreme Court made its infamous Citizens United decision, liberating plutocrats to buy our elections fair and square, the justices may have effectively overturned rules that kept bosses from ordering employees to do political work on company time. Election law expert Trevor Potter told us that now “corporations argue that it is a constitutionally protected use of corporate ‘resources’ to order employees to do political work or attend campaign events—even if the employee opposes the candidate, or is threatened with being fired for failure to do what the corporation asks.”

Reporter Mike Elk at In These Times magazine came across a recording of Governor Mitt Romney on a conference call in June with some business executives. The Governor told them there is quote, “nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision and of course doing that with your family and your kids as well.”

And here’s Governor Romney two months later, campaigning at an Ohio coal mine:

MITT ROMNEY: This is a time for truth. I listened to an ad on the way here. I’ll tell you, you got a great boss. He runs a great operation here. And he—Bob? Where are you Bob? There he is.

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Bill Moyers on Citizen’s United Decision

“Look at all those miners around him, steadfastly standing in support, right? They work for a company called Murray Energy and attendance at the rally, without pay, was mandatory. Murray Energy is notorious for violating safety regulations, sometimes resulting in injuries and deaths. And the company has paid millions in fines. The CEO, Bob Murray, a well-known climate change denier and cutthroat businessman, insists that his employees contribute to his favorite anti-regulatory candidates, or else. In one letter uncovered by “The New Republic” magazine, Murray wrote quote, “We have been insulted by every salaried employee who does not support our efforts.” So much for voting rights and the secret ballot at Murray Energy.

Mike Elk discovered that the Koch Brothers, David and Charles – who have pledged to spend $60 million defeating President Obama – have sent a “voter information packet” to the employees of Georgia Pacific, one of their subsidiaries. It includes a list of recommended candidates, pro-Romney and anti-Obama editorials written by the Koch’s and a cover letter from the company president. If we elect the wrong people, Dave Robertson writes, “Many of our more than 50,000 US employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills.” Other ills? Like losing your job?

This is snowballing. Timeshare king David Siegel of Westgate Resorts reportedly has threatened to fire employees if Barack Obama is re-elected and Arthur Allen, who runs ASG Software Solutions, e-mailed his employees, “If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.”

Back in the first Gilded Age, in the 19th century, bosses and company towns lined up their workers and marched them to vote as a block. As we said at the beginning of this broadcast, the Gilded Age is back with a vengeance. Welcome to the plutocracy. The remains of the ol’ USA.”

Source: http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-plutocracy-rising/

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HEADLINES OF GOP Blocking the DISCLOSE ACT

* Senate GOP block campaign spending disclosure bill [AP,7/16/12]

Senate Republicans blocked Democratic-backed legislation requiring organizations pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into campaign ads to disclose their top donors and the amounts they spend. GOP opposition prevented Democrats from getting the 60 votes needed to bring what is known as the Disclose Act to the Senate floor. The vote was 51-44. Democrats revived the act during a presidential election campaign in which political action committees and nonprofit organizations, funded by deep-pocketed and largely anonymous contributors, are dominating the airwaves with largely negative political ads.

* Senate Republicans block campaign disclosure bill [Reuters,7/16/12]

* Senate Republicans Block Campaign Donor Disclosure Bill [Bloomberg, 7/17/12]

* The Power of Anonymity [NY Times, 7/17/12]

* Senate Democrats Plan ‘Midnight Vigil’ on Campaign Finance Bill [WSJ, 7/16/12]

* Expose the fat cats [Washington Post,7/16/12]

* GOP Kills DISCLOSE Act and Leaves Voters in the Dark [Daily Beast,7/17/12]

* DISCLOSE Campaign Spending Act Blocked By Senate Republicans [Huffington Post, 7/17/12]

* Dems hold ‘midnight vigil’ to protest defeat of DISCLOSE bill – [The Hill, 7/16/12]

*  GOP Unanimously Votes to Block DISCLOSE Act [National Journal, 7/16/12]

* Republicans block bill on transparency [Washington Times, 7/17/12]

* Senate Dems Plan ‘Midnight Vigil’ For Campaign Finance Bill [BuzzFeed, 7/16/12]

* GOP blocks political-ad disclosure bill [Boston Globe,7/16/12]

* GOP Senators block Disclose Act political donation transparency [The Examiner, 7/17/12]

* GOP Senators block Disclose Act political donation transparency [Reid.senate.gov, 9/11/14]

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Labor Day 2014

08/29/2014

Rosie Riveter - Labor Day

WE Americans are the only ones who can grow our economy.

Double the value of your dollar and help grow the economy when you buy the Made In The USA label.

Outsourcing Message from AllAmericanClothing.com


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Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

Source: http://www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/laborday.htm

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Betting on America - PBO quote_ medObama_backs_American_workers_med

As we seek to strengthen our economy and our middle class, we must secure a better bargain for all — one where everyone who works hard in America has a chance to get ahead. I am committed to boosting economic mobility by empowering our workers and making sure an honest day’s work is rewarded with an honest day’s pay. My Administration is fighting for a fair minimum wage for every employee because nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. We must also eliminate pay discrimination so women receive equal pay for equal work, combat unfair labor practices, and continue to defend the collective bargaining rights our parents and grandparents fought so hard for.

 

As we celebrate Labor Day, we reflect on the efforts of those who came before us to increase opportunity, expand the middle class, and build security for our families, and we rededicate ourselves to moving forward with this work in our time. We stand united behind our great American workforce as we lay the path for economic growth and prosperity.

President Barack Obama 8/31/14

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Monday, September 1, 2014
President Obama delivers remarks at the Wisconsin’s 55th Laborfest
Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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President Obama’s Fight Against Inequality

08/19/2014

Don’t think Obama has reduced inequality? These numbers prove that he has.

 – washingtonpost

Today, the average after-tax income of a member of the top 1 percent of earners is $1.12 million. The average after-tax income of someone in the bottom 20 percent is $13,300. That means the average person at the top takes home 84 times the income that the average person in the bottom takes home.

Now, consider what it would be like if none of President Obama’s tax policy changes had happened: not the upper-income tax hikes negotiated at the beginning of last year, not the upper-income tax increases imposed by the Affordable Care Act, not the low-income tax credits enacted in the 2009 stimulus and later renewed.

In this alternative universe, the average member of the top 1 percent would take home $1.2 million, or 6.5 percent more in income, according to a new analysis. The average member of the bottom 20 percent would bring home $13,100, or 1.2 percent less in income. As a result, the average member of the 1 percent would take home 91 times what the average person in the bottom would bring home.

If you’ve wondered whether Obama has made any headway at reducing income inequality, here’s evidence that he has. Based on tax policy alone, he has slightly increased the income of the poor and more significantly reduced the income of the rich. That’s according to a new, exclusive analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, conducted at the request of The Washington Post, that compared today’s income distribution with what it would look like if President George W. Bush’s tax policies were still in place.

Ratio of Avgerage Income of US Earners Under Bush Policy vs Obama Policy

Ratio of Avgerage Income of US Earners Under Bush Policy vs Obama Policy

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/07/23/dont-think-obama-has-reduced-inequality-these-numbers-prove-that-he-has/

 

RebuildtheMiddleClass

President Obama’s Agenda

Goodwin College Technician Program

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Vice President Biden attends an event on workforce development and skills initiative
Goodwin College, East Hartford, Connecticut

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Social Security and Marriage Equality (SAME) Act of 2014

08/12/2014

Patty Murray & lgbt-veterans

“Equal protection under the law is a fundamental right in our country. No one should suffer discrimination because of their race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Whether applying for a job, finding a home, eating in a restaurant, serving in our military, or attending school, we must ensure that all citizens are treated fairly and equally.”

To learn more about Senator Patty Murray’s priorities for the LGBT community

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Murray bill would force Social Security to pay same-sex spouses survivor benefits

A year after Supreme Court decision, some couples still denied benefits

5/8/14 By Liz Goodwin and Olivier Knox – Yahoo News

Nearly a year ago, the nation’s highest court told the federal government that it could no longer withhold marriage benefits from tens of thousands of same-sex married couples.

But that landmark Supreme Court decision made little difference in the lives of gay couples who live in the 33 states that ban same-sex marriage.

Midori Fujii and Kristie Kay Brittain got married in California, then returned to Indiana, which bans gay marriage. When Brittain died of ovarian cancer in 2011, Fujii found out that she would not be eligible to receive her wife’s Social Security survivor benefits.

For months, the Social Security Administration has put survivor benefit applications from same-sex spouses who live in states that don’t recognize gay marriage on hold. That’s because a portion of the decades-old law says that for a spouse to be eligible for benefits, his or her marriage must be recognized in the state where the couple currently resides.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., hopes to change that with a bill she’s introducing Wednesday called the Social Security and Marriage Equality (SAME) Act of 2014, Yahoo News has learned. The measure would amend the Social Security Act to grant survivor benefits to any individual legally married anywhere in the United States, regardless of whether he or she lives in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

It would also declare individuals who were legally married in another country eligible for Social Security survivor benefits, according to a summary of the legislation provided by her office.

“Your zip code should not determine whether or not your family will have the means to survive after the death of a spouse,” Murray said in a statement. “While I believe the Social Security Administration can, and should, resolve this inconsistency through administrative action, the SAME Act would provide a road map to ensure equality under our federal laws do not end at state lines.”

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/murray-bill-would-force-social-security-to-pay-same-sex-spouses-survivor-benefits-220923730.html


SS 45th Annv

Social Security Act of 1935

The Social Security Act, Pub.L. 74–271, 49 Stat. 620, enacted August 14, 1935, now codified as 42 U.S.C. ch. 7, was a social welfare legislative act which created the Social Security system in the United States.

Overview
The Social Security Act was drafted during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term by the President’s Committee on Economic Security, under Frances Perkins, and passed by Congress as part of the Second New Deal. The act was an attempt to limit what was seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. By signing this act on August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt became the first president to advocate federal assistance for the elderly.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Act

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Social Security Timeline: http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html

 

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO GIVE THE LGBT COMMUNITY EQUAL BENEFITS!!

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
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 US LGBT Rights Timeline 1903-2014 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

 White House – LGBT

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US – Africa Leaders Summit

08/03/2014

US - Africa Leaders Summit

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit constitutes the largest single engagement by any U.S. President with Africa. The theme of the Summit is “Investing in the Next Generation.” Focusing on the next generation is at the core of a government’s responsibility and work, and this Summit is an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation. Focusing on the next generation is at the core of a government’s responsibility and work, and is an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation. The Summit will focus on trade and investment in Africa and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people. At the same time, it will highlight the depth and breadth of the United States’ commitment to the African continent, advance our shared priorities and enable discussion of concrete ideas to deepen the partnership. At its core, this Summit is about fostering stronger ties between the United States and Africa.

The Summit will include approximately 50 African heads of state and government as well as the Chairperson of the African Union, a range of U.S. and African civil society and business leaders, young African leaders, and Members of Congress. The presence of so many African leaders in the nation’s capital provides an historic opportunity to further strengthen ties with our African partners and highlight America’s longstanding commitment to investing in Africa’s development and its people.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/us-africa-leaders-summit

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AUGUST 1

Signature Events
The Summit will include six U.S. Government-sponsored “Signature Events,” allowing for in-depth conversations on some of the most pressing issues facing the U.S.-Africa partnership. These sessions will set the stage for the high-level discussions that President Obama will chair during the subsequent Summit leader meetings.

  • Faith Works: Honoring the Contributions of the Faith Community to Peace and Prosperity in Africa – Ronald Reagan Building

 

AUGUST 4

    • Civil Society Forum – National Academy of Sciences
    • African Growth And Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum – The World Bank
    • Power Africa Event, Co-Hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa – Grand Hyatt Hotel
    • Investing in Women, Peace, and Prosperity Working Luncheon – National Academy of Sciences
    • Investing in Health: Investing in Africa’s Future – National Academy of Sciences
    • Resilience and Food Security in a Changing Climate – National Academy of Sciences
    • Combating Wildlife Trafficking – National Academy of Sciences
  • Congressional Reception for African Leaders – Capitol Hill

 

AUGUST 5

  • U.S.-Africa Business Forum Hosted by U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies the forum focuses on strengthening trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa  – Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.
    • Expanding Opportunities: The New Era for Business in Africa –  Mandarin Oriental Hotel
    • Remarks by Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini- Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union –  Mandarin Oriental Hotel
    • Open Markets: Financing the Africa of Tomorrow –  Mandarin Oriental Hotel
    • Powering Africa: Leading Developments in Infrastructure –  Mandarin Oriental Hotel
    • Game Plan: Shaping the Future of a Fast-Growing Continent –  Mandarin Oriental Hotel
    • President Barack Obama delivers the closing remarks at the U.S. – Africa Business Forum  – Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.
  • White House Dinner on the Occasion of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit – The White House
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AUGUST 6

Summit Leader Meetings

U.S. Africa Leaders Summit

U.S. Africa Leaders Summit Schedule
FACT SHEET: U.S.–African Cooperation on Global Health
FACT SHEET: U.S.-African Cooperation in Advancing Gender Equality
FACT SHEET: Shared Investment in Youth
FACT SHEET: U.S. Support for Democratic Institutions, Good Governance, and Human Rights in Africa
FACT SHEET: Investing in African Trade for our Common Future
FACT SHEET: The Doing Business in Africa Campaign
Presidential Memorandum — Establishing a Comprehensive Approach to Expanding Sub-Saharan Africa’s Capacity for Trade and Investment
Executive Order –Establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa
FACT SHEET: Powering Africa: Increasing Access to Power in Sub-Saharan Africa
FACT SHEET: U.S. Engagement on Climate Change and Resilience in Africa
FACT SHEET: U.S.-African Cooperation on Food Security
FACT SHEET: U.S. Support for Peacekeeping in Africa
FACT SHEET: Security Governance Initiative
FACT SHEET: Partnering to Counter Terrorism in Africa

Follow the Summit on Twitter using the hashtag#AfricaSummit

U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit
Washington, D.C.
August 4, 2014

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STOP Angery Tantrums. START Passing Laws to Help Middleclass

07/29/2014

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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

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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.”

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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.

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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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