Our Sentiments EXACTLY! PBO Actively Fixing Everything

Obama cleaning up the nation
Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Thank you to Mr. Matson for giving ProPresObama.org permission to feature his work. www.rjmatson.com

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BP Pays Record $18.7 Billion to Settle Claims in Gulf Oil Spill

July 2, 2015  Margaret Cronin, Fisk Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Rakteem Katakey – bloomberg

BP Plc reached a record $18.7 billion agreement to settle all federal and state claims from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill after an abrupt strategy shift in May to re-open talks, according to three people close to the matter.

The company had been committed to fighting the claims in court after negotiations fell apart in 2013. But falling oil prices and a federal judge’s recent rulings putting a potential $13.7 billion price tag on Clean Water Act violations helped motivate BP to change tactics in May, said the people, asking not to be identified because negotiations were private.

“BP was staring down a gun barrel and had to find some way to settle this,” said David Berg, a Houston trial lawyer who tracked the spill litigation but isn’t involved in it. “The total amounts are staggering,” though BP was able to “hammer the government into a payout plan that stretched out over several years.”

The agreement, while preliminary, specifies the payments will be spaced out over as long as 18 years. A record $5.5 billion will cover federal penalties under the Clean Water Act, topping the previous high of $1 billion. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas will also receive payouts for harm from the disaster, which claimed 11 lives and caused the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-02/bp-said-to-settle-2010-gulf-oil-spill-claims-with-u-s-states

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108 thoughts on “Our Sentiments EXACTLY! PBO Actively Fixing Everything

  1. WH

    President Obama’s Schedule

    Saturday Jun. 12, 2010
    All Times Eastern

    Pres Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM

    Pres Obama calls Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom.
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM

  2. Deepwater BP Oil Spill

    “To the people of the Gulf Coast: I know that you’ve weathered your fair share of trials and tragedy. I know there have been times where you’ve wondered if you were being asked to face them alone. I am here to tell you that you’re not alone. You will not be abandoned. You will not be left behind.”

    — President Barack Obama, U.S. Coast Guard Station, Grande Isle, Louisiana, 5/28/10

    * Information on Spill-Related Damages and Claims
    * What you can do
    * Federal Response Resources
    * Daily Updates
    * Information on Air, Food, and Water Safety

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/deepwater-bp-oil-spill/

    • BP to pay $4.5 billion, plead guilty to manslaughter in Gulf of Mexico oil spill

      11/15/12 By Ian Johnston and James Eng, NBC News
      Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET:

      BP will pay approximately $4.5 billion and plead guilty to manslaughter and other criminal charges as part of a settlement with the U.S. government over the deadly Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the London-based oil giant and federal officials said Thursday.

      The settlement total, to be paid out over five years, includes more than $1.25 billion in criminal fines — the largest such penalty ever.

      In addition, two BP employees have been indicted on manslaughter charges and a BP executive has been indicted on charges he lied to authorities about his work estimating the Gulf spill rate.

      At an afternoon news conference in New Orleans, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the wide-ranging settlement “the latest step forward in our ongoing efforts to achieve justice for those whose lives and whose livelihoods were impacted by the largest environmental disaster in the history of the United States.”

      He said the settlement amounts mark “both the largest single criminal fine … and the largest total criminal resolution” in U.S. history.

      For more: http://goo.gl/FHj5O

  3. Dine Out for the Gulf Coast Benefit

    America’s premier chefs and restaurants unite to create Dine Out for the Gulf Coast, benefiting the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.From June 10-12, 2010, participating restaurants throughout the United States will set aside a portion of profits to help those directly affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and to support the long-term restoration of the treasured coast.

    Participating restaurants will customize their own Dine Out for the Gulf Coast benefit program. Some restaurants will contribute a percentage of total sales for the day and others will donate the sales from specific menu items, while others will offer specialty cocktails with a dollar-value from sales donated to the fund.

    List of Participating Restaurants: http://dineoutforthegulfcoast.org/participating-restaurants/

    http://www.gnof.org/gulf-coast-oil-spill-fund/disaster-on-the-gulf-coast//

  4. President Obama entered the White House with more serious national and international challenges than any previous president. His detractors, both conservative and liberal, are typically single-issue drama queens with little or no patience. This political cartoon really captures the all-too-prevalent theme facing one of the most intelligent and hard working presidents the US has ever had.

    Any single issue currently in the news would normally have been considered enough to merit the full attention of any of our past presidents, and Barry is dealing with ALL of them at the same time, and doing a darned good job!

    Ask not what your president can do for you, ask what you can do to help your president.

    Thank you, Mr Matson, for illustrating the situation so clearly.

  5. I found the following on a Brazilian blog by accident while searching for something unrelated. It was posted in late 2008, with a picture of Barrack Obama at the head of the post. It seems that other parts of the world are willing to give Obama “a few years” to address the problems he inherited when he assumed the office of President.

    The translation is:

    INTERRUPTION OF SERVICES

    Dear World,

    We, the United States of America, your principal supplier of democratic ideals, would like to offer our sincere apologies for the interruption of services during the years from 2001 to 2008.

    The technical problem which caused us to be off the air for 8 years has been identified, and the software causing the problem was replaced on November 4. Initial tests of the new program indicate that it is operating correctly, and we expect service to be completely restored on January 20.

    We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this interruption. We are eager to restore full service, and hope to show improvements over the next few years. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

    Sincerely,

    THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    The original:

    Interrupção do serviços

    Prezado Mundo,

    Nós, os Estados Unidos da América, seu maior fornecedor de ideais de democracia, gostaríamos de pedir sinceras desculpas pela nossa interrupção de serviço entre 2001 e 2008.

    A falha técnica que levou aos oito anos fora do ar foi identificada, e o software responsável foi substituído em 4 de novembro. Testes iniciais do novo programa indicam que estamos agora operando corretamente, e esperamos estar completamente funcionais em 20 de janeiro.

    Pedimos desculpas pelos transtornos causados pela interrupção. Estamos ansiosos para retomar totalmente o serviço e esperamos melhorar nos próximos anos. Agradecemos a sua paciência e compreensão.

    Cordialmente,
    OS ESTADOS UNIDOS DA AMÉRICA

      Por DUILHO “WILD” Entulhado

  6. WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

    President Obama and The First Lady attended a performance of the critically acclaimed play “Thurgood” at the Kennedy Center.

    It was finally reported last night that last week environmentalist had taken out a full page ad stating that “President Obama is the best environmental president we’ve had since Teddy Roosevelt,” Sierra Club chairman Carl Pope told the Bangor Daily News last week. (Anybody see this on your cable news??)

    Coastal scientists agree that berms will do nothing good other than satisfy the “do something” crowd. That’s why the decision sets such a terrible precedent. BP’s oil will assault the gulf, and possibly the Atlantic, for years. Many more decisions that turn on science lie ahead. No one is saying we have to launch a multiyear study before each one, but it would be nice to get the smartest coastal scientists and engineers around a table to hammer out what we know, what we don’t know, and what the risks and benefits of proposed actions are, rather than just winging it.

    And

    The US plays England in the World Cup today. Good Luck USA. We’ll Need It 🙂

  7. A Victory for Common Sense

    6/11/10 Carl Pope -Sierra Club

    Washington, D.C. — To paraphrase then Senator Barack Obama’s famous speech to the Democratic National Convention: In blue states, we go to work in the morning, and in red states, we need to breathe clean air.

    That commonsense observation — that clean air simply isn’t a partisan issue — was apparently completely lost on the Senate Republican leadership yesterday. They chose to turn the vote on a simple question — should Congress respect the integrity of the Clean Air Act of 1990, signed into law by President Bush — into an exercise in petty partisanship.

    They failed in their ostensible purpose — to pass a resolution by Senator Lisa Murkowski rejecting the EPA’s simple finding that carbon dioxide endangers human welfare by threatening the stability of the climate. The Murkowski resolution, which would have undone all of the work that the EPA and the Obama administration have done to prepare for cleaning up carbon pollution (including recent path-breaking regulations to clean up carbon pollution from trucks), failed on a 47-53 vote.

    Voting for the resolution were six Democrats — many of whom knew better but represent states with very influential coal or oil interests. (Heroically, the senior senator from the most coal-dependent state of all, West Virginia’s Robert Byrd, voted to uphold clean air. His colleague, Jay Rockefeller, joined Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor, and Blanche Lincoln in voting with Murkowski to deny scientific common sense and to gut the Clean Air Act.)

    Never before has Congress voted on such a resolution. But even though the Republican leadership knew they didn’t have the votes, they wanted to demonstrate to everyone in Washington that they can bully every single Republican senator into upholding the party line. And they did. Not a single Republican senator stood up to Minority Leader McConnell, regardless of the opinion of their constituents back home or of their own past record on public health issues. Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (Maine), Judd Gregg (New Hampshire), George LeMieux (Florida), and Scott Brown (Massachusetts) all represent states where clean air is popular and kowtowing to Big Oil is not. But they went along with their party leadership. They must be hoping that no one back home will notice the absurdity of their votes.

    Incidentally, as evidence that even Republicans from less environmentally-inclined states knew that what they were doing was fundamentally wrong, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn summed up his position by saying, “even if it’s the right thing to do, it’s not the right time.”

    Coburn’s point seemed to be that the economy this year can’t handle new clean-air regulations. But the EPA has already published schedules making it clear that any regulations it issues will not even be proposed this year, and compliance dates for the limited number of major polluters that will be affected are years in the future. So the jobs vs. lungs conflict that the Murkowski forces were trying to resurrect simply won’t fly. As evidence, Murkowski’s resolution was opposed by the one major industry that is already subject to carbon regulations under the Clean Air Act: the auto industry, as well as by its union, the United Auto Workers.

    Murkowski was beaten. But the enemies of the Clean Air Act will be back. Hopefully, if their constituents noticed what happened yesterday, they won’t come as close to succeeding next time.

    • Excellent statement — and the last line says it all. Voters have to be informed

  8. Good Morning Donna, CR, jocarussell!!! Thanks for the all good information. Have a great saturday, can’t wait for the USA v. England. USA! USA! USA! :0)

  9. Thank you President Obama for calling out the hypocrites!

    THE PRESIDENT GAVE AN INTERVIEW TO POLITICO (YULK) AND HERE IS AN EXCERPT:

    President Barack Obama said Friday that some members of Congress are being hypocritical when it comes to blaming the White House for its handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    In an interview with POLITICO, the president said: “I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending.”

    The president also implied that anti-big government types such as tea party activists were being hypocritical on the issue.

    “Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much,” Obama said

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38447.html#ixzz0qdyVtPwR

    • To quote the header title: “Our Sentiments exactly!” Mr. President. (sigh). Thanks Donna for the link.
      Just came from OFA and it is infected by the Donmess Widme troll.

      • I know Sandy. I would hope that bloggers would think their time would be better served doing some volunteer work at a local OFA office than responding to these nuts. I can only hope…

  10. ON THE SUNDAY SHOWS

    Meet the Press: Axelrod

    This Week: Reps. Hoyer, Boehner

    Face the Nation: Govs. Crist, Barbour, Riley

    State of the Union: Riley, Reps. Pence, Clyburn, Greg Ip, Douglas Holtz-Eakin

    Fox News Sunday: Carly Fiorina

    • Well, of course Carly Fiorina is on Fox. I will record David Axelrod on Meet the Press so that I can fast forward anything from David Gregory I don’t like.

  11. First lady to visit Pendleton on Sunday

    6/12/10 Gretel C. Kovach – UNION-TRIBUNE

    CAMP PENDLETON — First lady Michelle Obama will visit Camp Pendleton on Sunday to meet privately with military families and to address troops and community guests.

    Her trip to the Marine Corps base comes after a week in which five Camp Pendleton-based Marines were killed in the Helmand province of southern Afghanistan.

    About half of the 20,000 Marines in that province are from the force headquartered at Camp Pendleton. Another wave will cycle in during late summer and fall.

    The Sunday appearance, scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., is part of Obama’s advocacy on behalf of military families as they cope with the strain on the nation’s all-volunteer armed forces during almost nine years of war in Afghanistan and seven in Iraq. About 64,000 troops and civilians work, and sometimes live, at Camp Pendleton.

    “The first lady, along with Dr. Jill Biden, has issued a national call to action to address the unique challenges facing military families, to recognize and tap their skills, strength and commitment to service, to build stronger civilian-military community ties, and to engage and highlight the service and sacrifice of military families to ensure their voices are heard inside the administration,” the White House said in publicizing Obama’s visit.

    In May, the first lady announced a 90-day National Security staff review of federal projects designed to engage and support military families. The goal is to coordinate efforts by federal agencies, identify key concerns and develop the most promising public and private programs to help military families.

  12. Thank you Mr. Matson. The cartoon says it all. Good morning Donna, CR, Sandy and Jocarussell. Hope everyone has a great Saturday. Our tempatures promise to drop down to the mid-90’s today, which is easier to handle than our 105-110 we’ve been having.

  13. Joe Biden brings tough love to Kenya
    US Veep urges reform on visit to Nairobi. Kenyans still want Obama to come.

    6/12/10 By Tristan McConnell – GlobalPost

    NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya edged a little closer this week to its cherished dream of a personal visit by United States President Barack Obama, idolized by Kenyans who regard him as a native son because his father was born and grew up here and many of his close relatives still call the country home.

    Vice President Joe Biden visited Kenya this week, and many here took Biden’s visit as helping pave the way for a visit by Obama.

    During a two-day visit Biden brought with him a now familiar message of tough love that has been delivered from the White House by a series of officials, including top Africa diplomat Johnnie Carson and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as Washington’s ambassador to Nairobi, Michael Ranneberger.

    In private meetings and public addresses Biden reiterated U.S. support for Kenya, East Africa’s economic powerhouse and a loyal ally against the chaos in neighboring Somalia.

    But he also emphasized the pressing need to fight widespread corruption and to implement political reforms to avoid a rerun of the violence that followed the last elections in 2007.

    More than 1,100 people died in weeks of ethnic violence sparked by a disputed result in late 2007. The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is investigating the violence between
    supporters of Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga — then opponents, now partners in a fractious coalition government — and expects the court to issue indictments later this year for some senior politicians, even cabinet ministers.

    It was an opportunistic stopover for Biden who was flying from Middle East talks in Egypt to the soccer World Cup in South Africa. Kenya is conveniently equidistant but his visit nevertheless allowed him to push the U.S. agendas for Kenya and the region.

    “Hello my name is Joe Biden. I work for Barack Obama,” he said to laughs and applause from the audience crowded into the Kenya International Convention Centre in central Nairobi on Wednesday
    morning.

    “He sends his love to you,” he added, in response to a comment from Kenya’s Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai who had asked Biden to tell Obama, “we love him.”

    For the entire article: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/africa/100610/joe-biden-president-barack-obama-kenya

  14. Good morning CR, Donna, Jocarussell, Sandy and Jackie in Arizona!

    The Matson cartoon is genius. Great way to start the thread!

  15. Michael Tomasky writes in The Guardian:

    Sorry guys, but Obama’s anger isn’t about Britain
    Could it be more fitting that the US and England face off tomorrow on the pitch? Because obviously, we’re just about on the verge of another war over the BP spill ….

    I take it the problem, which I confess my jaded ears hadn’t even registered, is that Obama keeps saying “British Petroleum” instead of BP. The conservative Canadian-American commentator David Frum, surveying the UK’s conservative press, espies “an attempt to mobilise American nationalism against Britain in order to evade political blame for the disaster” ….

    But really. This is mostly a rightwing talking point, just another item in an endless list of grievances …

    Let’s break down the logic of the British right’s anger here. I’ve variously heard it said that BP is a British corporation and should not be attacked for that reason, and that it is in fact a multinational corporation so therefore attempts to call it out as a representative of the UK are pointless.

    In either case, I don’t understand being defensive about it. If it’s the former, then if you ask me it’s Britons, not Americans, who are looking at this the wrong way. I can assure you I maintain no patriotic impulses toward Exxon, and the idea of Britons feeling patriotic about BP strikes me as silly. And if the latter, well, then it’s just a stateless multinational, and not British, so why feel offended at all?

    It makes no sense either way. But it does come at a handy time. Let’s just settle it in South Africa.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/jun/11/bp-lets-settle-in-south-africa

    • I certainly understand Britian’s fear of monetary loss, but I hope they don’t lose sight of the impact this disaster has had on the American people, especially those in the Gulf and those who lost loved ones. We have all watched as a company such as Enron frittered away the retirements of so many, my mother included. This mess just keeps getting worse.

  16. Les Carpenter writes for Yahoo! Sports:

    Tie can’t sour Soweto’s sweet victory

    Here in the township South Africa once tried to forget, they sang as the sun fell on Friday. A cool late breeze blew and if you listened close you could hear the buzz of the vuvuzela from Soccer City just a couple miles away. Hope danced in the leaves.

    Could anyone believe it? The World Cup had come to Soweto. For years they had watched Soccer City rise from the dusty plain just off the township’s edge knowing this day would come and yet with it now here it hardly seemed true. Soweto. Dirty Soweto. Scorned, hated and terrifying Soweto, built by Apartheid to enforce Apartheid, was now the place where the world had come….

    http://g.sports.yahoo.com/soccer/world-cup/news/tie-cant-sour-sowetos-sweet-victory–fbintl_lc-soweto061110.html

  17. Scott Baldauf writes in The Christian Science Monitor:

    Joe Biden at World Cup: ‘We’re going to beat England.’

    He came. He saw the Black Eyed Peas. He urged the US soccer team to conquer England in Saturday’s match.

    “It feels great being here,” Vice President Joe Biden said Friday morning to a small gathering of local dignitaries at the US Consulate. “And in the spirit of the Irish, I want to say that we’re going to beat England.”

    Mr. Biden lost no time in joining in the playful and relatively harmless nationalist feelings in the Johannesburg air today. On this, the first official game day of the South Africa World Cup, nary a car drives by without the flag of one of the 32 countries competing in this soccer tournament, and none are more plentiful than the flags of South Africa.

    From the early hours of the morning, one could hear the sound of those long, plastic trumpets known as vuvuzelas. Those not wearing the jersey of his or her favorite team is either painfully embarrassed about it, or is serving as the grim-faced security detail for Very Important Persons such as, well, Joe Biden….

    Biden told those gathered at the US Consulate it would be his personal honor, and not his boss’s, to represent the United States at the World Cup, adding with a grin, “The president is really angry. He’s dealing with an oil spill, and I’m dealing with you.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/Africa-Monitor/2010/0611/Joe-Biden-at-World-Cup-We-re-going-to-beat-England.

  18. From the Office of the Press Secretary, June 12, 2010:

    Weekly Address: President Obama Calls on Senate Republicans to Allow a Vote to Protect Medicare Reimbursements

    THE PRESIDENT:

    More than a decade ago, Congress set up a formula that governs how doctors get paid by the Medicare program. The intent was to slow the growth of Medicare costs, but the result was a formula that has proposed cutting payments for America’s doctors year after year after year. These are cuts that would not only jeopardize our physicians’ pay, but our seniors’ health care.

    Since 2003, Congress has acted to prevent these pay cuts from going into effect. These votes were largely bipartisan, and they succeeded when Democrats ran Congress and when Republicans ran Congress – which was most of the time.

    This year, a majority of Congress is willing to prevent a pay cut of 21% — a pay cut that would undoubtedly force some doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients altogether. But this time, some Senate Republicans may even block a vote on this issue. After years of voting to defer these cuts, the other party is now willing to walk away from the needs of our doctors and our seniors.

    Now, I realize that simply kicking these cuts down the road another year is not a long-term solution to this problem. For years, I have said that a system where doctors are left to wonder if they’ll get fairly reimbursed makes absolutely no sense. And I am committed to permanently reforming this Medicare formula in a way that balances fiscal responsibility with the responsibility we have to doctors and seniors. In addition, we’re already taking significant steps to slow the growth of Medicare costs through health insurance reform – not by targeting doctors and seniors, but by eliminating 50% of the waste, fraud, and abuse in the system by 2012. This not only strengthens Medicare, it saves taxpayer dollars.

    I’m absolutely willing to take the difficult steps necessary to lower the cost of Medicare and put our budget on a more fiscally sustainable path. But I’m not willing to do that by punishing hard-working physicians or the millions of Americans who count on Medicare. That’s just wrong. And that’s why in the short-term, Congress must act to prevent this pay cut to doctors.

    If they don’t act, doctors will see a 21% cut in their Medicare payments this week. This week, doctors will start receiving these lower reimbursements from the Medicare program. That could lead them to stop participating in the Medicare program. And that could lead seniors to lose their doctors.

    We cannot allow this to happen. We have to fix this problem so that our doctors can get paid for the life-saving services they provide and keep their doors open. We have to fix this problem to keep the promise of Medicare for our seniors so that they get the health care they deserve. So I urge Republicans in the Senate to at least allow a majority of Senators and Congressmen to stop this pay cut. I urge them to stand with America’s seniors and America’s doctors.

    Thanks.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/weekly-address-president-obama-calls-senate-republicans-allow-a-vote-protect-medica

  19. I emailed a copy of this cartoon to all the media outlets.

    This is the quick note that I sent with the email:

    Now don’t you feel silly?

    Probably not because you’ve forgotten how to do your job!

    Signed:
    A Proud Supporter of the Hardest Working President In Modern Times!

  20. An Important Step on Medical Malpractice Reform

    6/11/10 Ezekiel J. Emanuel – The White House Blog

    Many people perceive that the current medical malpractice system is ineffective and unfair to both physicians and patients. On one hand, the Institute of Medicine has estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year because of preventable medical errors. Too many patients experience significant challenges with health care quality and patient safety, and many injured patients are not well served by the current medical liability system. Many doctors believe that the current system encourages frivolous lawsuits that tarnish reputations and contributes to the escalating cost of health care.

    As reviews by both the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) have revealed, we lack a solid evidence base for determining which practices will provide fair and prompt compensation to patients, reduce preventable injuries, improve the quality of care, and reduce liability premiums.

    The 20 grants awarded today by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) are an important step in the right direction. They will fund programs that aim to reduce avoidable injuries. For instance, one program in Massachusetts aims to reduce errors in primary care physician offices, particularly concerning medications and referrals. Another in Minnesota targets patient safety around childbirth by instituting best practices at 16 hospitals statewide and determining if there is a correlation between fewer complications in childbirth and malpractice suits targeted at obstetricians. A third, in Oregon, will develop and work to implement a “safe harbor” system in which physicians who prove they adhered to evidence based guidelines are protected from frivolous lawsuits.

    Many of these grants will rigorously test so-called “disclosure and early offer” interventions, which was the keystone of a 2005 medical malpractice bill proposed by then-Senators Obama and Clinton. These interventions inform injured patients and families promptly and make efforts to provide prompt and fair compensation.

    The grants were praised by J. James Rohack, M.D., the President of the American Medical Association who said “The AMA is pleased that federal medical liability reform demonstration projects are quickly moving forward, with $25 million in grants to state programs announced today.”

    The HHS Patient Safety and Medical Liability initiative program represents the largest investment in malpractice reform by the Federal government in at least 20 years. It will give states and health systems the information they need to improve their malpractice systems, making them more fair and efficient for both patients and doctors.

    Ezekiel J. Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., is Special Advisor for Health Policy with the Office of Management and Budget

  21. FLOTUS: ‘I believe in you’

    Michelle Obama attends the graduation ceremony at The Academies at Anacostia on Friday afternoon.

    Addressing the graduates of the public school, the first lady choked up while recalling her own experiences as a student preparing to go to college. She called the school’s surrounding community has seen “its share of struggles,” and her eyes teared up as she spoke about her own upbringing. “Growing up there were plenty of times that I doubted my capabilities and those doubts were fueled by a lot of people around me,” Obama said. “Kids teasing me when I studied hard. Teachers telling me not to reach too high because my test scores weren’t good enough. Folks making it clear with what they said — or didn’t say — that success wasn’t meant for a little girl like me from the South Side of Chicago.” She asked the graduating students to believe in their futures. “I believe in you,” she said. “The president of the United States believes in you.”

    • Anacostia High School is not some prestigious school in a wealthy area; it is situated in the “Southeast” DC which is noted for its high crime rate (highest in the District). One of the males graduating was a 20 year old who despite having been in prison seven times decided to get back on track with continuing his education.

      FLOTUS is showing us that she wants to encourage everyone (rich or poor) that she believes in them and that they all can achieve great things.

      http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/294025-1

  22. Compassion

    If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. – The Dalai Lama

    Any ordinary favor we do for someone or any compassionate reaching out may seem to be going nowhere at first, but may be planting a seed we can’t see right now. Sometimes we need to just do the best we can and then trust in an unfolding we can’t design or ordain. – Sharon Salzberg

    How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong — because someday you will have been all of these. – George Washington Carver

    Compassion is the basis of all morality. – Arthur Schopenhauer

    The measure of a country’s greatness is its ability to retain compassion in times of crisis. – Thurgood Marshall

    Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace. – Albert Schweitzer

      • No, funny thing – I actually never eat the stuff. Just give it a taste in order to perfect the recipe and then be able to write about it. I used to just throw it all away but my family, who live in SJ, have begged me to freeze it so they can come and pick it up from time to time. Wish you lived closer!

    • Hello CR! Hope you’re having a nice day. I just came from the Farmers Market with some gorgeous apricots and strawberries. Starting to plan what I might do with them.

      After some long, hard thought and some genuine encouragement from a few folks, I’ve made the decision to write a cookbook. It will be about global pastry traditions, reworked and modernized a bit. So I’ve started to work on that and will be quite busy with it for the next several months. It will be a lot of work – developing the recipes, having them tested, taking the photos, writing the narrative, writing the proposal and then shopping the proposal – but it’s a total joy for me. I have some good contacts and am excited about it.

      It’s really, really warm here, so just trying to stay cool!

      How about you?

      • When we were traveling through Poland a Polish native (who now lives in NY) shared a bite of a Polish cheesecake with us that her friend made. It was much more cake-light and moist. I have trying to replicate it all this time!

        • Yes, I think you’re talking about Sernik. It’s made with a lighter cheese and has egg whites folded in to lighten it. I’m probably going to include this if my tests come out well.

          • How will you get the appropriate dairy ingredients that you will need like the unpasteurized stuff?

            • I do know people who can provide that stuff, but since this is a cookbook for the general public, I will need to interpret all ingredients for the modern kitchen.

              Did your Polish cheesecake have raisins? I’ve also seen recipes that put a layer of chocolate ganache on top, but maybe that’s a regional thing.

            • That trip was 10+ yrs ago and I don’t remember if it did or not. I do have a Polish cookbook by Maria De Gorgey that has Sernik Krakow that does not and it has the cottage cheese, heavy cream & mashed potatoes

  23. This is scaring me so much:

    The evidence is growing stronger and stronger that there is substantial damage beneath the sea floor. Indeed, it appears that BP officials themselves have admitted to such damage. This has enormous impacts on both the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf, and the prospects for quickly stopping the leak this summer.

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/06/evidence-points-to-destruction-beneath.html

    If you’ve been following The Oil Drum at all, this has been discussed the last few days. Talk has been growing that somewhere sub-seabed, something has breached the well’s bore-hole, letting oil and gas escape into porous rock at a level that possibly BP and the government or anyone don’t know. Hydrocarbons coming up outside the well casing would explain some of these wild reports and rumors lately attached to the term “doomsday scenario.” If they can’t put the mud and cement below any breach(es), there’ll be no killing this well. And if they know there’s a breach but not where, then this is beyond a disaster. Totally frightening to even imagine this.

  24. Here’s a readout of the call today between PBO and PM Cameron:

    The President and British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke today by telephone in their first substantive conversation since the President’s congratulatory call on May 22, 2010. The President looks forward to seeing Cameron in Canada later this month and in Washington on July 20. The President affirmed his deep commitment to the special and historic relationship between our two countries. The President thanked the Prime Minister for his commitment to lead on the broad range of issues on our shared agenda. The two leaders discussed Afghanistan, including the Prime Minister’s recent visit, and they reaffirmed their firm commitment to NATO’s ISAF mission. They discussed the decision by the United Nations Security Council to impose the strongest sanctions to date on Iran and the importance of follow-on action being taken at the upcoming European Council meeting, and they underscored the need for Iran to live up to its international obligations. They also exchanged views on economic issues, including preparations for the G-8/G-20 meetings later this month. The President and the Prime Minister discussed the impact of tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, reiterating that BP must do all it can to respond effectively to the situation. Finally, the President and the Prime Minister agreed to disagree on the desired outcome of the June 12 U.S.-England World Cup soccer match; the President noted that the historical record of previous World Cup matches between the United States and England favors the United States and the President wagered the best lager against the best beer in America on an American win over England.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/06/12/focusing-gulf

  25. Hello Cheryl and o-family,
    it’s off topic, I know but – I’m watching England – USA (Soccer WC).We are in soccer fever here in Europe.
    I hope to be able to contribute more on topic the next days…
    happy saturday to you all

    • Hello Angelika!!!

      I am so glad that I caught your post as we are on our way to shop at our weekly local Farmer’s Market! Cherries, Apricots, Peaches, Plums & Strawberries!

  26. Sigh, my favorite fruits, but they don’t taste any more as they should over here. BTW half 1:1
    🙂

    • Wonderful selection of articles, great photos.

      This from Booman struck me:

      “The Census Bureau released some preliminary data on the minority population of the country and it’s tough news for real Americans.

      ‘Much of the nation’s demographic change is seen among children. In California, minorities make up 72% of those under age 15. In 2000, they made up 65%. Nationally, 46% of children under 15 are minorities, compared with 40% in 2000.’

      I have news for you. Nearly half of all 15 year-olds will be eligible to vote in 2012. And watch out in 2016.”

      Youth vote – the sequel!

      I know his tongue is in his cheek when he says “real Americans” …

      You’re right, BWD, the rest of the article is worth reading. I have shared his sense of strangeness on moving from a diverse community to one that was majority- or only-Western European descent, “just like me” but looking and feeling incomplete.

  27. Big insurance changes in store for Californians with pre-existing conditions

    6/12/10 Emily Bazar – Center for Health Reporting

    At 15, Miranda Ashland is chatty and outgoing, loves to ride horses, write fantasy fiction about dragons and prophecies, and sing in school musicals.

    The Saratoga teen also may be among the first Californians helped by provisions of the new health care overhaul that will transform the way insurance companies deal with those with pre-existing conditions.

    Shortly after Miranda was born, doctors diagnosed her with biliary atresia, a blockage or absence of ducts that prevents bile from leaving the liver and leads to cirrhosis. She got a new liver when she was 6 months old and is now a thriving freshman at San Jose’s Lynbrook High School.

    But Kaiser Permanente is charging the family $2,000 a month to insure four of its five members, and when Miranda’s mother, Michele, sought a cheaper policy in 2008, she was told Miranda wouldn’t qualify for the coverage because of her history of liver trouble.

    “As a consumer I feel really powerless. They can decide anything they want and that’s it,” Michele said. “Until we go bankrupt, we have to keep paying these premiums in order to keep having insurance.”

    But soon, patients like Miranda Ashland will have other options.

    Sometime after July 1, under the terms of the health care reform, California will establish a new, statewide insurance pool that will offer subsidized health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. Tens of thousands of Californians may participate.

    Then, as of Sept. 23, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to children with such conditions, which can range from Miranda’s liver transplant to more common diseases such as asthma, autism and diabetes.

    And finally, in 2014, insurance companies will be prohibited from denying health insurance to adults with pre-existing conditions as well.

    It’s a multipronged approach that is not without risk. For instance, there are concerns that California will not have the money to subsidize the new insurance pool all the way until 2014, even though it is getting $761 million of the $5 billion in federal funds set aside for the purpose — the largest share in the country.

    Still, advocates and patients say the need is critical.

    The Insure the Uninsured Project places the number of Californians who can’t get or afford coverage because of pre-existing conditions at 165,000 to 396,000.

    The exact numbers aren’t known because there’s no legal definition of a pre-existing condition, or requirement that insurance companies report whom they reject for coverage and why.

    Chris Underwood and his wife, Tiffani, have grappled with that problem.

    The Hayward couple, both 28, have been uninsured since they lost their Medi-Cal coverage in November, when they began making too much money to qualify for the public health program.

    The Underwoods, who are self-employed as a barber and hairdresser, tried to buy insurance on their own, but they were quoted monthly premiums as high as $2,400 because of their medical histories: Tiffani has an enlarged heart and irregular heart beat. Chris said he was stunned to learn that his asthma qualified as a pre-existing condition.

    For the entire article: http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_15278015?nclick_check=1

    • Denying medical care to sick children because their condition was “pre-existing” … truly this was an evil that cried out for correction.

      Thank you, Mr. President.

      • Thank you President Obama for finally bringing universal health care to the last industrialized country, the United States of America!

  28. This is not a fan letter to the President, but the writer makes numerous reality-based points.

    Steve Chapman writes in The Chicago Tribune:

    Not long ago, Barack Obama was pilloried for being too activist, too meddlesome ….
    [But] Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican who once denounced Democrats for scheming to “increase dependence on government,” now demands that Washington do more for his state.

    Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who recently urged Congress to zero out the Environmental Protection Agency, challenges the administration to “save the Louisiana coast, save the fisheries, save the wetlands.”

    Funny how nobody said that at the 2008 Republican National Convention, where the chant was “drill, baby, drill.” Back then, real men didn’t protect sea turtles.…

    What’s next? Griping that he’s not enough of a socialist?….

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-oped-0613-chapman-20100613,0,349441.column

  29. From Prime Minister David Cameron’s office:

    “The Prime Minister and President spoke for over 30 minutes today.

    “They discussed Afghanistan, where the Prime Minister briefed the President on his visit. On Iran, they agreed on the need for the European Council to signal tough measures in support of this week’s clear message to the Iranian regime from New York that it must halt its military nuclear programme.

    “They also discussed preparations for the G20, where the US and UK are also working together closely.

    “The Prime Minister expressed his sadness at the ongoing human and environmental catastrophe in Louisiana. The President and Prime Minister agreed that BP should continue – as they have pledged – to work intensively to ensure that all sensible and reasonable steps are taken as rapidly as practicable to deal with the consequences of this catastrophe.

    “President Obama said to the Prime Minister that his unequivocal view was that BP was a multinational global company and that frustrations about the oil spill had nothing to do with national identity.The Prime Minister stressed the economic importance of BP to the UK, US and other countries. The President made clear that he had no interest in undermining BP’s value.

    “The President and Prime Minister reaffirmed their confidence in the unique strength of the US-UK relationship.”

    http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/latest-news/2010/06/gulf-oil-spill-pms-call-with-president-obama-51713

  30. We received our NetFlix movies and I was looking at the special features of the 1938 dvd “A Slight Case of Murder”.

    “The Declaration of Independence” 1938 was one of the featurettes. So I started watching it and in one scene the characters Richard Henry Lee and Thomas Jefferson are riding together in a carriage and they are talking and their words had such a parallelism to what is happening in Congress now.

    Lee: “It is the conservatives in our own Congress that I am worried about. Without a unanimous vote the resolution can not be passed. ”

    Jefferson: “We’ll have to fight for it Richard but it will be worth it! For years to come our country men will be grateful for the priceless heritage of liberty.”

    • It’s hair-raising to read about the Continental Congress, the Declaration and later the Constitutional Convention — so many times we were almost never a country.

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