Fiscal Year 2014 WH Budget & Ch. Capt. E.J. Kapaun, Medal of Honor Recipient

04/10/2013


Fiscal Year 2014 WH Budget Proposal of the US Government

April 10, 2013

Remarks by the President Announcing the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

Rose Garden

11:00 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  Please, please have a seat.  Well, as President, my top priority is to do everything I can to reignite what I consider to be the true engine of the American economy:  a rising, thriving middle class.  That’s what I think about every day.  That’s the driving force behind every decision that I make.

And over the past three years, our businesses have created nearly 6.5 million new jobs.  But we know we can help them create more.  Corporate profits are at an all-time high.  But we have to get wages and incomes rising, as well.  Our deficits are falling at the fastest pace in years.  But we can do more to bring them down in a balanced and responsible way.

The point is, our economy is poised for progress — as long as Washington doesn’t get in the way.  Frankly, the American people deserve better than what we’ve been seeing:  a shortsighted, crisis-driven decision-making, like the reckless, across-the-board spending cuts that are already hurting a lot of communities out there — cuts that economists predict will cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs during the course of this year.

If we want to keep rebuilding our economy on a stronger, more stable foundation, then we’ve got to get smarter about our priorities as a nation.  And that’s what the budget I’m sending to Congress today represents — a fiscally responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth.

For years, the debate in this town has raged between reducing our deficits at all costs, and making the investments necessary to grow our economy.  And this budget answers that argument, because we can do both.  We can grow our economy and shrink our deficits.  In fact, as we saw in the 1990s, nothing shrinks deficits faster than a growing economy.  That’s been my goal since I took office.  And that should be our goal going forward.

At a time when too many Americans are still looking for work, my budget begins by making targeted investments in areas that will create jobs right now, and prime our economy to keep generating good jobs down the road.  As I said in my State of the Union address, we should ask ourselves three questions every day:  How do we make America a magnet for new jobs?  How do we give our workers the skills they need to do those jobs?  And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?

To make America a magnet for good jobs, this budget invests in new manufacturing hubs to help turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs.  We’ll spark new American innovation and industry with cutting-edge research like the initiative I announced to map the human brain and cure disease.  We’ll continue our march towards energy independence and address the threat of climate change.  And our Rebuild America Partnership will attract private investment to put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our bridges and our schools, in turn attracting even more new business to communities across the country.

To help workers earn the skills they need to fill those jobs, we’ll work with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America.  And we’re going to pay for it by raising taxes on tobacco products that harm our young people.  It’s the right thing to do.  (Applause.)

For the entire speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/10/remarks-president-announcing-fiscal-year-2014-budget

PBO economy quote

Mid-Session Review

The Budget

Analytical Perspectives

Historical Tables

Supplemental Materials

Appendix

Past Budgets

US Budget Deficit By Year 2008-2013

Deficit reduction picks up speed

May 14, 2013 4:05 PM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

This is just astounding.

If the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, the budget deficit will shrink this year to $642 billion, CBO estimates, the smallest shortfall since 2008. Relative to the size of the economy, the deficit this year — at 4.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — will be less than half as large as the shortfall in 2009, which was 10.1 percent of GDP.

Thanks in large part to higher taxes on the wealthy, which Republicans said would not reduce the deficit, deficit reduction is picking up speed at a pace few could have predicted. We’re now looking at over $400 billion in deficit reduction in just one year, and about $800 billion in deficit reduction since President Obama took office.

Let’s say this plainly: for those who saw the federal budget deficit as a “problem,” it’s fair to say this problem has been largely fixed.

And while we’re at it, let’s also not forget that Republican talking points on fiscal policy have effectively been left in tatters, and every conservative political figure who’s declared “Socialist Obama is turning America into Greece!” looks incredibly foolish right now.

The president took some heat for failing to cut the deficit in half in his first term, and the criticisms had merit, at least insofar as he didn’t reach his original goal. That said, Obama’s on track to cut it by well over half — both in real terms and as a percentage of GDP — in five years.

It’s time to stop worrying a shrinking deficit and start worrying about creating a more robust economic recovery.

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White House Press Secretary Annoucement on the CBO’s Deficit Report:

“the CBO report yesterday, the so-called baseline reestimate. And the improvements in the CBO’s report show that the President’s policies of cutting the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion in a balanced way are contributing to the most rapid deficit reduction since World War II. The most rapid deficit reduction since World War II.

While there is still more work to be done to cut the deficit, this is important progress because we strengthen America by growing the economy from the middle out. Working with leaders from both parties, President Obama has cut the deficit by more than half when measured as a share of GDP. This is a balanced deficit reduction that cuts waste, asks millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share in taxes, and preserves investments we need in energy, education, and manufacturing to grow the economy and create jobs.

The administration is committed to continuing to work with Congress to create jobs, reduce the deficit, and replace the sequester in a balanced way.

Later this week, we understand that CBO will be putting out a reestimate of the President’s budget, which includes, as you know, his plan to replace the economically damaging sequester with a balanced approach to deficit reduction that would help drive stronger economic growth in the short.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney at the 5/15/13 White House Press Conference

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The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President in the name of Congress on members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.

Members of all branches of the armed forces are eligible to receive the medal, and there are three versions; one for the Army, one for the Air Force, and one for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The Medal of Honor is bestowed upon an individual by the passing of a Joint Resolution in the Congress; and is then personally presented to the recipient or, in the case of posthumous awards, to next of kin, by the President of the United States, on behalf of the Congress, representing and recognizing the gratitude of the American people as a whole.

Medal of Honor

Chaplain Kapaun will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his extraordinary heroism while serving with the 3d Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy at Unsan, Korea and as a prisoner of war from November 1-2, 1950.

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April 11, 2013
President Barack Obama awards  posthumously, Chaplain (Captain) Emil J. Kapaun
the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry
White House

 

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President Obama’s 2013 – 2017 Cabinet

01/06/2013

President Obama's Cabinet

President Obama’s Cabinet

The tradition of the Cabinet dates back to the beginnings of the Presidency itself. Established in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, the Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office.

The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments — the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Attorney General.

The 15 Secretaries from the executive departments are appointed by the President, and they must be confirmed by a majority vote (51 votes) of the Senate. They cannot be a member of Congress or hold any other elected office. Cabinet appointments are for the duration of the administration, but the President may dismiss any member at any time, without approval of the Senate. In addition, they are expected to resign when a new President takes office.

Over the next few days President Obama will be nominating his choices to fill the vacancies for his 2013-2016 Cabinet.

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In order of succession to the Presidency:

Vice President of the United States
Joseph R. Biden

Department of State
Secretary John Kerry
www.state.gov

Department of the Treasury
Secretary Jack Lew
www.treasury.gov

Department of Defense
Secretary Chuck Hagel
www.defense.gov

Department of Justice
Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.
www.usdoj.gov

Department of the Interior
Secretary Sally Jewell
www.doi.gov

Department of Agriculture
Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack
www.usda.gov

Department of Commerce
Secretary Penny Pritzker
www.commerce.gov

Department of Labor
Secretary Thomas Perez
www.dol.gov

Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell
www.hhs.gov

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Julián Castro
www.hud.gov

Department of Transportation
Secretary  Anthony Foxx
www.dot.gov

Department of Energy
Secretary Ernest Moniz
www.energy.gov

Department of Education
Secretary Arne Duncan
www.ed.gov

Department of Veterans Affairs
Secretary Robert A. McDonald
www.va.gov

Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Jeh Johnson
www.dhs.gov

The following positions have the status of Cabinet-rank:

White House Chief of Staff
Denis McDonough

Director B. Todd Jones (Nominated 2011, Confirmed 2013)
http://www.atf.gov

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
John O. Brennan
https://www.cia.gov/

Environmental Protection Agency
Secretary Gina McCarthy
www.epa.gov

Office of Management & Budget
Director Shaun Donovan
www.whitehouse.gov/omb

United States Trade Representative
Ambassador Michael Froman
www.ustr.gov

United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Ambassador Samantha Power
www.usunnewyork.usmission.gov/

Council of Economic Advisers
Chairman Jason Furman
www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cea/

Small Business Administration
Maria Contreras-Sweet
www.sba.gov/

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* Acting Directors

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For All WH Nominations & Appointments: http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/nominations-and-appointments

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“As Jonathan Cohn pointed out in The New Republic, filibusters of presidential agency nominations were once very rare, happening only two times each to Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton had nine nominations blocked, and George W. Bush had seven. Obama is “already up to 16 blocks,” Cohn noted.”

Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_23678239/e-j-dionne-jr-thawing-senates-deep-freeze

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US National Debt 2012

11/13/2012

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$12.7 Trillion Added to the Debt Over the Last Decade

Graph source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/infographics/us-national-debt

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For the last decade, we have spent more money than we take in. In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in the nex tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nationsl’s credit card…To mkae matters worse, the recession meant that there was less money coming in, and it required us to spend even more – on tax cuts for the middle-class families to spur the economy; on unemployment insurance; on aid to states so we could prevent more teachers and firefighters and police officers from being laid off.

Because neither party is blameless for the decision that led to this problem, both parties have a responsibility to solve it.

President Obama

Think Obama’s a huge spender? Then you need to see these two charts.

January 24, 2013 at 9:01 am Posted by Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

On Tuesday, Kevin Drum posted this chart showing the growth in total government spending — that means federal, state and local — adjusted by population (“per capita”).

fed-spending-per-capita-per-president

The takeaway, Drum says, is that “total government spending didn’t go up much during the Clinton era, and it’s actually declined during under President Obama. In the last two decades, it’s only gone up significantly during the Bush era, the same era in which taxes were cut dramatically.”

But some said Drum’s chart was a trick, as it looked at total government spending rather than just federal spending. So on Wednesday, he posted a second chart. This one only included federal spending and it didn’t adjust for population growth. The only thing is adjusts for is inflation. Here it is:

fed-spending-per-president

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/24/think-obamas-a-huge-spender-then-you-need-to-see-these-two-charts/

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Five Things You Should Know About What Steps President Obama has taken in regards to  the National Debt:

1. The Campaign to Cut Waste is hunting down and eliminating misspent tax dollars in every agency and department across the federal government. Already, the Administration has identified $3 billion in information technology cost reductions, is shutting down hundreds of duplicative data centers, and getting rid of excess federal real estate. Learn more

2. For the first time in 13 years, the federal government decreased contract spending. In 2010, contract spending was $80 billion less than it would have been, had it continued to grow at the same rate as it did under the Bush Administration. Learn more
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3. In the 2012 Budget, the President proposed 211 terminations, reductions and savings measures which will save more than $33 billion in 2012 and $400 billion over the next decade. Learn more (PDF)
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4. President Obama’s directive to the federal government to use common-sense and buy office supplies in bulk should save us up to $200 million over the next four years. Learn more (PDF)
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5. Federal agencies are using the latest technology to combat fraud and slash erroneous payments and have made significant strides, tripling the amount of improper payments to contractors recaptured last year. Learn more
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The President discussed the need to tackle our deficits over the long term through tax reform that asks those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare. Though the issues of debt and deficits have dominated much of the recent conversation in Washington, the most immediate concern of most Americans is job creation and growing our economy. That is why President Obama laid out some common sense steps that can be taken right away to spur economic growth such as extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance:

Specifically, we should extend the payroll tax cut as soon as possible, so that workers have more money in their paychecks next year and businesses have more customers next year.

We should continue to make sure that if you’re one of the millions of Americans who’s out there looking for a job, you can get the unemployment insurance that your tax dollars contributed to.  That will also put money in people’s pockets and more customers in stores.

In fact, if Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut and the unemployment insurance benefits that I’ve called for, it could mean 1 million fewer jobs and half a percent less growth.  This is something we can do immediately, something we can do as soon as Congress gets back.

To learn more about President Obama’s plan for reform and fiscal responsibility: http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy/reform

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U.S. Sees First Debt Reduction Since 2007 as Revenue Rises

Apr 29, 2013 1:41 PM PT By Meera Louis – bloomberg

The U.S. Treasury Department (USGG10YR) projected it will reduce government debt this quarter for the first time in six years as tax receipts exceed forecasts and spending diminishes.

The pay-down in net marketable debt was estimated at $35 billion in the April-June period, compared with a projection three months ago for net borrowing of $103 billion, the department said in a statement today in Washington. Treasury officials also see net borrowing of $223 billion in the quarter starting July 1. The estimates set the stage for the department’s quarterly refunding announcement on May 1, when debt issuance plans will be released.

A sustained economic expansion and across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration may help deliver the first net decline in debt since 2007, when the government lowered borrowing by $139 billion before the global financial crisis spawned the worst recession since the 1930s. While the economy’s strength is helping boost tax revenue, total U.S. public debt outstanding is approaching $17 trillion.

“This is a substantial revision,” said Thomas Simons, a government debt economist at Jefferies LLC in New York. Still, “it is possible that Treasury will take a wait-and-see approach in evaluating the sustainability of the recent surge in tax receipts before making adjustments” to debt auctions, he said.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-29/treasury-says-it-will-pay-down-35-billion-in-debt-this-quarter.html


2012 Your Country – Your Choice in November

10/16/2012

GOP Party on Environmental Issues

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Energy – Pledges US will become independent to energy sources outside of North America by 2020; supports opening Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves, Western Lands, the Artic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska to drilling; wants to reduce obstacles to energy development by weakening the EPA’s rules.

Environment – Says green power has yet to become viable and the causes of climate change are unknown; opposes “ cap and trade” policy that limits emissions; proposes to remove carbon dioxide from lists of pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act.

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War On The EPA: Republican Bills Would Erase Decades Of Protection

10/9/11 Lucia Graves – HuffingtonPost

WASHINGTON — America’s environmental protections are under a sweeping, concerted assault in Congress that could effectively roll back the federal government’s ability to safeguard air and water more than 100 years, Democrats and advocates say.

The headlines have not been dramatic, and the individual attacks on relatively obscure rules seldom generate much attention beyond those who are most intently focused on environmental regulation.

But taken together, the separate moves — led by House Republicans — add up to a stunning campaign against governmental regulatory authority that is now surprisingly close to succeeding.

In just the year since the GOP took control of the House, there have been at least 159 votes held against environmental protections — including 83 targeting the Environmental Protection Agency — on the House floor alone, according to a list compiled by Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“Republicans have made an assault on all environmental issues,” said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee. “This is, without doubt, the most anti-environmental Congress in history.”

For the entire article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/09/epa-republican-war-defund_n_1000664.html

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President Obama came into office with climate change as one of his major issues. At international talks in Copenhagen, he pledged to reduce U.S. emissions by 17 percent over 2005 levels by the year 2020. At that meeting and since, he pressed to get more aggressive action out of China, India and the world’s other biggest carbon dioxide emitters.

But the president’s plans didn’t make it past strong Republican opposition in Congress. So instead, he has settled for actions the president can take without congressional action.

Source: http://www.npr.org/2012/10/18/162951173/climate-politics-its-laugh-lines-vs-not-a-joke 

IF YOU CARE ABOUT OUR ENVIRONMENT VOTE IN DEMOCRATS INTO CONGRESS !!!

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Sierra Club Statement On the Romney-Ryan Energy Plan

August 23, 2012 sierraclub

Washington, DC – Today, in New Mexico, Mitt Romney released details about his energy plan. Romney’s plan rehashes the reckless Big Oil and Big Coal priorities he has pushed for months, ending numerous public health safeguards, shredding the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, throwing open public lands and offshore areas to drilling and mining, and killing tens of thousands of American clean energy jobs.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune Released the Following Statement in Response:

“Mitt Romney has devised an energy insecurity plan that would make us even more dependent upon oil, coal, and gas companies while ignoring climate disruption, economic growth, and the health and well-being of the American people.

Does anyone really think that the winning economy of the 21st century can be built on 19th century fossil fuel technology? Romney’s plan is an anchor to the past. The future America deserves is one in which energy doesn’t cost lives, and no one has to choose between a good job and good health.

America needs a bold, innovative plan for our energy future that acknowledges reality. We need a plan that produces energy domestically, puts people to work, and makes us truly energy independent – but one that also stabilizes our climate, and keeps our air and water clean.

We have solutions that won’t keep us chained to fossil fuels, and they’re already working. Greenhouse gas emissions are down to their lowest level in 20 years. We’re using less oil, new vehicle standards will double efficiency and slash carbon pollution. U.S. wind power has doubled over the last four years, and solar has grown by a factor of five. This is where we need to go as a nation. We can’t afford to turn back.”

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The Kochs’ quest

10/13/2012 09:11:44 PM PDT By Bill Wilson and Roy Wenzl – The Wichita Eagle
WICHITA, Kan. — In January 2009, just days after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Charles and David Koch met in their company headquarters in Wichita with their longtime political strategist, Rich Fink.

The country was headed toward bankruptcy, they agreed. Fink told them bluntly that Obama’s administration represented the worst of what Charles and David fear most: a bloated, regulation-heavy, free-spending government that could plunge the country into another deep recession. That day, Fink advised two of the richest men in the nation that it would be the fight of their lives to stop the government spending spree and to change the course of the country, starting with the 2012 election.

“If we are going to do this, we should do it right or not at all,” Fink, 61, recalled telling the brothers. “But if we don’t do it right or if we don’t do it at all, we will be insignificant and we will just waste a lot of time and I would rather play golf.

“And if we do it right, then it is going to get very, very ugly.”

Three and a half years later, Obama accused the Koch brothers of engineering “a corporate takeover of our democracy.”

The brothers’ political spending and the network of conservative political organizations and think tanks they fund have sparked protests. The condemnations and criticism prompted Charles Koch to break his silence about politics. In his most extensive interview in 15 years, Charles Koch talked about why he wants to defeat Obama and elect members of Congress who will stop what he calls catastrophic overspending.

Government recklessness threatens the country and his business, he said.

The Kochs say the price for their involvement has been high: Death threats, cyberattacks on their business, hundreds of news stories criticizing them, calls for boycotts of the company’s consumer goods, and what the brothers see as ongoing and public attacks from the Obama administration.

The Kochs aren’t finished. Win or lose in November, they plan to start a new fight. They are organizing dozens of business and grass roots groups to build support for eliminating all corporate and agricultural subsidies.

For more; http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21769107/kochs-quest?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com

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Agriculture in the United States

Agriculture is a major industry in the United States and the country is a net exporter of food. As of the last census of agriculture in 2007, there were 2.2 million farms, covering an area of 922 million acres (373 million hectares), an average of 418 acres (170 hectares) per farm.

Major U.S. agricultural products:

1. Corn
2. Cattle meat
3. Cow’s milk
4. Chicken meat
5. Soybeans
6. Pig meat
7. Wheat
8. Cotton lint
9. Hen eggs
10. Turkey meat
11. Tomatoes
12. Potatoes
13. Grapes
14. Oranges
15. Rice
16. Apples
17. Sorghum
18. Lettuce
19. Cottonseed
20. Sugar beets

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

Ending agricultural subsidies would mean that American businesses would have to raise their prices and USA farmers would not be able to compete with cheap and inferior and unsafe imports.

* American diary farms would be impacted
* American vegetable and fruit farms would would be impacted
* American grain farms for human would be impacted
* American pork, beef and chicken farms would be impacted
* American nut farms would be impacted
* American fiber producers (cotton, wool, wood etc) would be impacted
* American gasoline would be impacted

There are many more that industries that would impacted.

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40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act

October 17, 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the nation’s law for protecting our most irreplaceable resource. Every person deserves clean water – it is vital for our health, communities, environment and economy. We have made great progress in reducing pollution during the past 40 years. But many challenges remain and we must work together to protect clean water for our families and future generations. Everyone has an impact on the water and we are all responsible for making a difference.

Our rivers, streams and lakes provide not only drinking water but a place for recreation and critical avenues for economic development and growth in our cities and towns. When our waters become unhealthy and polluted — or we are cut off from local waterways by poorly placed roads, highways and industrial infrastructure — we cannot take full advantage of the economic, environmental and social assets that our waters provide. President Obama believes that all Americans deserve access to clean rivers, streams and lakes, and that a community’s economy and health benefit from such access. He also believes that it is our job as the federal government to support communities as they develop visions for growth, development and use of natural resources, while coordinating federal investments so that we are getting the most out of every dollar.

Learn more about The Clean Water Acthttp://water.epa.gov/action/cleanwater40/cwa101.cfm

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The Obama Administration is committed to protecting the air we breathe, water we drink, and land that supports and sustains us. From restoring ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay and the Everglades, to reducing mercury pollution from power plants, we are bringing together Federal agencies to tackle America’s greatest environmental challenges.

Recovery Act Investments in our Environment

The Recovery Act included unprecedented funding for programs and projects that will protect the environment.  The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior alone oversee nearly $11 billion in Recovery Act funding for projects that vary from green job training to marine habitat restoration to water quality improvements.  These investments are supporting technological advances in science and health and improving environmental protection and infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits for Americans.


Protecting Our Oceans

President Obama has established the first comprehensive National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, our Coasts, and the Great Lakes.  America’s oceans and coastal regions support tens of millions of jobs and contribute trillions of dollars a year to the national economy.  The National Ocean Policy helps us prioritize our efforts and resources to address the most critical issues facing our oceans and establishes a comprehensive, collaborative, regionally based planning process to ensure healthy ocean and coastal resources for the many communities and economies that rely on and enjoy them.

EXPLORE THE NATIONAL OCEANS POLICY


Supporting Land Conservation

When he signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, President Obama marked the most extensive expansion of land and water conservation in more than a generation, designating more than 2 million acres of federal wilderness, thousands of miles of trails, and protecting more than 1,000 miles of rivers.  The President also used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, as a national monument, protecting a site of historic significance for slavery, the Civil War, and the U.S. military.

President Obama established the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to work with the American people to develop a community-based conservation and recreation agenda for the 21st century.  Through this initiative, the Administration is opening up access to millions of acres for recreation, making historic investments in restoring critical landscapes, and supporting an outdoor economy that includes approximately 9 million jobs and $1 trillion in economic activity.


Prioritizing Clean Water

The Administration is taking comprehensive action to ensure the integrity of the waters Americans rely on every day for drinking, swimming, and fishing, and that support farming, recreation, tourism and economic growth.   We have issued draft Federal guidance to clarify which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act nationwide; launched innovative partnerships and programs to improve water quality and water efficiency; and created initiatives to revitalize communities and economies by restoring rivers and critical watersheds. The Administration has also proposed to modernize the guidelines that govern Federal water resource planning, calling for water resources projects based on sound science, improved transparency, and consideration of the variety of community benefits of projects.


Reducing the Environmental Impacts of Mountaintop Coal Mining

Through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by EPA, the Department of the Interior and the Army Corps of Engineers on June 11, 2009, Federal agencies are taking action to minimize adverse environmental and health impacts of mountaintop coal mining.


Reducing Air Pollution

Curbing Vehicle Pollution

The Obama Administration is aggressively working to reduce pollution in the air we breathe. We have proposed historic fuel economy standards that will double the fuel efficiency of cars and light trucks by 2025, saving consumers $1.7 trillion at the pump and eliminating 6 billion metric tons of carbon pollution.  The Administration has also finalized the first-ever national fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for commercial trucks, vans, and buses built in 2014-2018, which are projected to save more than 500 million barrels of oil and an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs.

Cleaning up Toxic Air Pollution

The Administration established the first-ever national limits for mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants, which will prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms each year.  This rule follows a series of EPA actions to reduce emissions from power plants and other large emitters, including a rule to cut soot and smog-forming pollution from power plants that create health problems downwind, and rules to limit mercury and other pollution for the largest sources of industrial air pollution, such as cement plants, industrial boilers, and waste incinerators.


Restoring our Treasured Great Ecosystems

Working Toward Environmental Justice

The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that communities overburdened by pollution – particularly minority, low-income and indigenous communities – have the opportunity to enjoy the health and economic benefits of a clean environment. After more than a decade of inaction, the Administration reconvened the Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group and engaged more than 100 environmental justice leaders at a White House forum.  Federal agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding formally committing to environmental justice, and released strategies for integrating environmental justice into federal decision-making and programs in areas such as transportation, labor, health services, housing and others.


Supporting Sustainable Communities

The Administration created the historic Partnership for Sustainable Communities to break down traditional silos among the Federal agencies for housing, transportation, and environmental protection.  Through 2011, this partnership announced more than $1.7 billion in funding to support resilient economies, healthy environments and quality of life in more than 550 communities and regions across the country.


Modernizing the National Environmental Policy Act

The Administration is modernizing and reinvigorating the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) to help ensure transparency, public engagement and accountability in Federal decisions about actions that may affect the quality of the environment.  This includes an initiative to improve the quality and efficiency of Federal environmental reviews to protect the health of communities, support a strong American economy, and engage Americans in decisions that will impact their environment.


Reducing Global Emissions of Mercury

The United States played a leading role in crafting an agreement among more than 140 nations to negotiate a legally binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions globally, which is scheduled to be finalized in 2013.  The Administration’s actions to reduce toxic mercury pollution in the U.S. – including establishing the first-ever mercury standards for power plants — give the U.S. additional credibility to lead in this global effort to improve public health.

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Environmental Organizations Endorse President Obama’s Re-Election:

Clean Water Action

Environment America

Sierra Club

VOTE SMART

VOTE DEMOCRATS IN NOVEMBER !!!


2012 Presidential Debate – Domestic Policy

10/02/2012

Moderator Jim Lehrer, (L), Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and President Barack Obama, (R), on stage during their first debate at the University of Denver, 10/3/12, in Denver. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

October 3, 2012

9:00 – 10:30 PM ET

Presidential Debate at University of Denver - Domestic Policy

Denver, Colorado

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10/3/12 Presidential Debate Viewed By 67.2 Million 

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President Obama on the Issues

CIVIL RIGHTS
DEFENSE
DISABILITIES 
ECONOMY
EDUCATION
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
ETHICS
FAMILY
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
FOREIGN POLICY
HEALTH CARE
HOMELAND SECURITY
IMMIGRATION
POVERTY 
RURAL
SENIORS & SOCIAL SECURITY
TAXES
TECHNOLOGY
URBAN POLICY
VETERANS
WOMEN
ADDITIONAL ISSUES 

RE-ELECT PRESIDENT OBAMA  2012


US Supreme Court Cases

09/30/2012

US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate (but largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. The Court, which meets in the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., consists of a chief justice and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate.

A term of the Supreme Court commences on the first Monday of each October, and continues until June or early July of the following year. Each term consists of alternating periods of approximately two weeks known as “sittings” and “recesses.” Justices hear cases and deliver rulings during sittings; they discuss cases and write opinions during recesses.

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

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Federal Judiciary Oaths

In the United States, federal judges are required to take two oaths. The first oath is this:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (office) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. [So help me God.]

The second is the same oath that members of Congress take:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]

Federal statute specifically says that the latter oath “does not affect other oaths required by law.”

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The Supreme Court: Justices

The Supreme Court is made up of nine Justices. One of these is the Chief Justice. They are appointed by the President and must be approved by the Senate. Once a person has been approved by the Senate and sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice, s/he remains in the job for life. The only way a Justice may leave the job is to resign, retire, die, or be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate. No Justice has ever been removed by impeachment. There are no official qualifications in order to become a Justice, although all have been trained in the law and most pursued legal and political careers before serving on the Court. Several justices served as members of Congress, governors, or members of the Cabinet. One president, William Howard Taft, was later appointed chief justice.

 

Justices of the Supreme Court:

Hon. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. (age: 57, apptd by GW Bush)
Hon. Antonin Scalia (age: 76, apptd by R Regan)
Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy (age: 76, apptd by R Regan)
Hon. Clarence Thomas (age: 64, apptd by GW Bush)
Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (age: 79, apptd by B Clinton)
Hon. Stephen G. Breyer (age: 74, apptd by B Clinton)
Hon. Samuel A. Alito, Jr. (age: 63, apptd by GW Bush)
Hon. Sonia Sotomayor  (age: 58, apptd by B Obama)
Hon. Elena Kagan (age: 52, apptd by B Obama)

October 1, 2012
10-1491 KIOBEL V. ROYAL DUTCH PETROLEUM CO.
11-626  LOZMAN V. CITY OF RIVIERA BEACH

October 2, 2012
11-184 KLOECKNER V. SOLIS
11-192 UNITED STATES V. BORMES

October 3, 2012
11-465 JOHNSON V. WILLIAMS
11-597 ARKANSAS GAME & FISH COMMISSION V. UNITED STATES

October 9, 2012
11-218 TIBBALS V. CARTER
10-930 RYAN V. GONZALES

October 10, 2012
11-702 MONCRIEFFE V. HOLDER
11-345 FISHER V. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

October 29, 2012
11-1025 CLAPPER V. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA
11-697 KIRTSAENG V. JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC.

October 30, 2012
11-820 CHAIDEZ V. UNITED STATES
11-770 BAILEY V. UNITED STATES

October 31, 2012
11-564 FLORIDA V. JARDINES
11-817 FLORIDA V. HARRIS

November 5, 2012
11-864 COMCAST V. BEHREND
11-1085 AMGEN INC. V. CONNECTICUT RETIREMENT PLANS

November 6, 2012
11-8976 SMITH V. UNITED STATES
11-1327 EVANS V. MICHIGAN

November 7, 2012
11-982 ALREADY, LLC V. NIKE, INC.
11-1175 MARX V. GENERAL REVENUE CORP.

For More US Supreme Court Oral Arguments: http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/oral_arguments.aspx

President Obama put two new Supreme Court justices on the bench — Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who bring rich and diverse experience to the Court

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Conservative Scholars Bullish That A Romney Supreme Court Could Reverse Longstanding Liberal Jurisprudence

OCTOBER 26, 2012, 6:51 AM SAHIL KAPUR – tpm
A potential Mitt Romney presidency carries huge implications for the Supreme Court that have conservatives excited and progressives fearful about the future.

Liberal-leaning Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 79, and Steven Breyer, 74, are likely candidates for retirement during a Romney administration, the GOP nominee has vowed to appoint staunch conservatives, and the influential conservative legal community will make sure he follows through.

Replacing even one of the liberal justices with a conservative, legal scholars and advocates across the ideological spectrum agree, would position conservatives to scale back the social safety net and abortion rights in the near term. Over time, if a robust five-vote conservative bloc prevails on the court for years, the right would have the potential opportunity to reverse nearly a century of progressive jurisprudence.

For all those reasons, conservative legal activists anticipate that a Romney win would be the culmination of their decades-long project to remake the country’s legal architecture.

For more: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/10/mitt-romney-supreme-court.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

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9/22/14 Supreme Court Justice Kaganan, Obama appointee, officiates same-sex wedding

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If you want a US Supreme court that consists of  judges that reflect the rich diversity of America then ELECT DEMOCRAT PRESIDENTS!!!



2012 Presidential Candidates on the Issues

09/23/2012


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Mitt Romney

Birth Control – Opposes abortion rights, though he previously supported them; states state law should guide abortion rights, and Roe vs Wade should be reversed by a future Supreme Court ruling; said he would end federal aid to Planned Parenthood.

China- He said he would formally declare China a currency manipulator and would get tougher with China on human rights, religious freedom and intellectual property rights; wants more military capabilities in the Pacific to counter Beijing’s growing influence in East Asia. His company, Bain Capital shipped American jobs overseas to counties like China.

Debt – Promises to cut $500 billion per year from the federal budget by 2016 and to balance it by 2020, but vital specifics are lacking; at same time would increase military spending , reverse $716 billion in Medicare cuts and cut taxes; favors constitutional balanced budget amendment.

Economy – Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts; proposes repeal of the law toughening financial – industry regulations after the meltdown that sector.

Education – Supported federal accountability standards of “No Child Left Behind Law; has said student testing, charter-school incentives and teacher evaluation standards of Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition “makes sense” though the federal government should have less control of education.

Energy – Pledges US will become independent to energy sources outside of North America by 2020; supports opening Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves, Western Lands, the Artic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska to drilling; wants to reduce obstacles to energy development by weakening the EPA’s rules.

Environment – Says green power has yet to become viable and the causes of climate change are unknown; opposes “ cap and trade” policy that limits emissions; proposes to remove carbon dioxide from lists of pollutants regulated by the  Clean Air Act.

Gay Rights - Opposes legal recognition of same-sex marriage, says it should be banned with a constitutional amendment; opposes civil unions but says states should decide which rights and benefits should be allowed under those unions; would not seek to restore the ban on openly gay military members.

Guns- Opposes stricter gun control law; suggested he favors tougher enforcement of existing gun laws; as MA governor, vowed in 2002 to protect the state’s “tough guns laws” and in 2004 signed a MA ban on assault weapons.

Health Care – Promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act that was modeled after his MA universal health care ; saying that states should drive policy on the uninsured; would expand individual tax-advantaged medical saving accounts and let saving be used for premiums and medical costs. Said that he would make Medicare a voucher system.

Immigration – Favors US – Mexico border fence; opposes education benefits to illegal immigrants; opposes offering legal status to illegal immigrants who attend college, but would do so for those who serve in the military; would establish an immigration – status verification system for employers.

Mideast- Appears to present a clearer US military threat to Iran; has spoken in favor of coveret action by the US in Syria but not military invervention; said “”Palestinians do not want peace and are committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel”

Social Security – Says he would protect the status quo for people 55 and older but , for the next generation of retirees would raise the retirement age for full benefits by one or two years and reduce inflation increase in benefits fot wealthier recipients.

Taxes – Wants to keep Bush – era tax cuts for all and drop all tax rates by 20 percent ; would curtail deductions, credits, exemptions for the wealthiest, end for individual, end capital gains tax for those Alternative Minimum Tax making below $200,000 , cut corporate tax to 25 percent.

Terrorism – Says foreign terrorism suspects should have no constitutional rights; in 2007 refused to rule out use of waterboarding to interrogate terrorist suspects; his campaign has said he doe not consider waterboarding to be torture. Said that Russia is the current biggest threat to the US.

War – Endorse 2014 end to US combat in Afghanistan, subject to conditions at the time; would increase strength of armed forces, including number of troops and warships, addition almost $100 billion to the defense budget in 2016.

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.President Barack Obama

Birth Control – Pro-Choice; believes in women’s right to choose.

China – Opposes citing China as a currency manipulator, which could lead to broad trade sanctions, instead pressing the matter through diplomacy and aggressively burnt unfair-trade cases to the WTO.

Debt – Promises to cut deficits by $4 trillion over 10 years, a goal that will require Congress to raise the capital gains tax, boost a taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year, impose a minimum 30 percent tax on incomes above $1million.

Economy – Term marked by high unemployment, a deep recession that began in the previous administration and gradual recovery; responded to recession with a roughly $800 billion stimulus plan, expanded auto bailout begun under Bush; inherited and carried forward Wall Street bailout.

Education – Has approved waivers freeing states from the most onerous requirements of the Bush – era ‘No Child Left Behind‘ law; “ Race to the Top’ competition has rewarded winning states with billions of dollars for pursing education policies Obama supports.

Energy – Ordered temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling after the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf Mexico but has pushed for more oil and gas drilling overall; achieved historic increases in fuel economy standards expect to save money at the pump while raising the code of new vehicles.

Environment – Achieved regulations on – heat-tapping gases blamed for global warming and on mercury pollution from power plants; spent heavily on green energy and has embraced nuclear power as a clean source; failed to persuade a Democratic congress tin 2009 to pass limits he promised on carbon emissions.

Gay Rights- Supports legal recognition of same- sex marriage; achieved repeal of the military ban on openly gay members; has not achieved repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Guns – Has not pushed for stricter gun laws as president; signed laws letting people carry concealed weapons in national parks and in checked bags on Amtrak trains; voices support for renewed ban on assault-type weapons; previously backed stronger gun controls.

Health Care – Achieved landmark overhaul with the Affordable Care Act
including a Medicaid expansion and a mandate for almost everyone to obtain insurance; under the law, insurers may not deny coverage to people with pre-existing illness, tax credits will subsidize premiums, people can seek insurance in new marks and young adults can stay on their parent’s health care plan until age 26.

Immigration – Issued directive that immigrants brought illegally to the US as children be exempted from deportation and granted work permits if they apply; has failed to deliver on promised immigration overhaul but says he is still committed to it.

Mideast – Opposes near-term military strike on Iran except as last resort to stop it from getting nuclear weapons,; seeks international pressure against Syrian government rather then military aid for oppositions.

Social Security – Has not proposed a comprehensive plan to address Social Security’s long-term financial problems; proposed a new way of measuring inflation that would reduce annual increase in Social Security’s benefits, which would reduce the long-term shortfall be a bout 25 percent.

Taxes – Would raise taxes on the wealthy and ensure they pay at least 30 percent of their income; would extend Bush-era tax cuts for those making under ›200,000 ($250,000 for couples), let top two tax rates go back up on 396 percent and 36 percent, raise rates on capital gains and dividends for the wealthy.

Terrorism – Approved the raid that killed Osama bin Laden ; set policy that the US would no longer use harsh interrogation techniques; expanded use of drone strikes against terrorist targets abroad.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-romney-where-stand-issues-211840370.html

VOTE SMART. RE-ELECT PRESIDENT OBAMA 2012


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