Energy & Environment

“So we have a choice to make. We can remain one of the world’s leading importers of foreign oil, or we can make the investments that would allow us to become the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy. We can let climate change continue to go unchecked, or we can help stop it. We can let the jobs of tomorrow be created abroad, or we can create those jobs right here in America and lay the foundation for lasting prosperity.”

-President Obama, March 19, 2009


* The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included more than $80 billion in clean energy investments that will jump-start our economy and build the clean energy jobs of tomorrow:

$11 billion for a bigger, better, and smarter grid that will move renewable energy from the rural places it is produced to the cities where it is mostly used, as well as for 40 million smart meters to be deployed in American homes.

$5 billion for low-income home weatherization projects.

$4.5 billion to green federal buildings and cut our energy bill, saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

$6.3 billion for state and local renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts.

$600 million in green job training programs – $100 million to expand line worker training programs and $500 million for green workforce training.

$2 billion in competitive grants to develop the next generation of batteries to store energy.

*Increasing, for the first time in more than a decade, the fuel economy standards for Model Year 2011 for cars and trucks

*The President issued a memorandum to the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances, like dishwashers and refrigerators.

*Supporting the first steps of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide.

*On Earth Day 2009, the President unveiled a program to develop the renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents.

Guiding Principles

To take this country in a new direction, the President is working with Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to protect our nation from the serious economic and strategic risks associated with our reliance on foreign oil and the destabilizing effects of a changing climate. Policies to advance energy and climate security should promote economic recovery efforts, accelerate job creation, and drive clean energy manufacturing by:

* Investing in the Clean Energy Jobs of the Future
* Securing our Energy Future
* Closing the Carbon Loophole and Cracking Down on Polluters

For the entire article:


137 thoughts on “Energy & Environment

  1. WH

    Monday Jun. 21, 2010 (Summer Solstice)

    All Times Eastern
    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:15 AM

    Pres Obama delivers remarks at a Father’s Day event.
    10:30 AM

    VP Biden visits a construction site in Michigan.
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:15 PM

    Pres Obama hosts a Father’s Day Mentoring Barbecue at the White House.
    1:00 PM

    White House staff brief members of the press.
    1:30 PM

    VP Biden attends an event for Dan Seals in Chicago.
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM

    VP Biden attends an event for Alexi Giannoulias.
    3:45 PM

    Pres Obama receives the economic daily briefing.
    4:00 PM
    4:15 PM

    Pres Obama meets with senior advisers.
    5:00 PM

  2. June 21, 2010 – Summer Solstice

    The Summer Solstice occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. Though the Summer Solstice is an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like Midsummer to refer to the day on which it occurs. Except in the polar regions (where daylight is continuous for half of the year), the day on which the Summer Solstice occurs is the day of the year with the longest period of daylight. Thus the seasonal significance of the Summer Solstice is in the reversal of the gradual shortening of nights and lengthening of days. The summer solstice occurs in June in the Northern Hemisphere, in December in the Southern Hemisphere.

  3. Recovery Summer: Solar Energy and Recovery Act-funded Building is Powering Our Economy and Our Pride

    6/17/10 GSA Administrator Martha Johnson

    The future of our economy will be built on green foundations. The evidence of this is clear in the projects funded by the Recovery Act, and the General Services Administration has committed itself to working towards a federal government with a zero environmental footprint.

    Today, I walked the roof of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Regional Office and Information Center to view the solar panels that local contractors have recently installed as a result of funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. I met roofers, electricians, and solar panel manufacturers who were eager to tell me about the boost this project has brought to their businesses. The skills they’ve honed here will give such workers the competitive edge and innovative posture to attract and develop new products, services and markets.

    I also learned about the placement of the panels with respect to the sun, the special finish to the roof allowing for proper reflection, and the weights placed around each panel to secure them without puncturing the roof. The ingenuity and pride of American business were on display, and we at the GSA were delighted to take a moment to applaud.

    But this isn’t an isolated story. Across the country we are realizing the impact of the Recovery Act which was designed to cushion the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. This project, along with many others in Philadelphia and across the country, is literally powering our country and economy towards a brighter – and a greener – future. In July 2010, 218 federal building construction projects will be active compared to 55 such projects at this time last year. That’s nearly four times as many as last year. Many of these jobs are focused on green and sustainable construction, retrofitting, and modernization.

    GSA is using Recovery Act funds to install solar power arrays at dozens of Federal buildings nationwide, increasing the agency’s solar power generation by 550%. By Labor Day, GSA will put people to work building 31 solar energy projects that will generate a total of 12 megawatts of renewable solar power capacity — enough to power 1,600 homes, and equivalent to removing 2,500 cars from the road. This summer will be the most active season of Recovery Act projects yet, moving us all forward.
    From a roof in Philadelphia, we can see the effects of the Recovery Act –innovation, job creation, new infrastructure – and a new sense of energy. You could say it is solar-powered energy.

    Martha Johnson is Administrator of General Services

    • The Facts About President Obama’s Energy Record

      Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on Jan 18, 2012

      President Obama has taken steps to make us energy independent and create an economy that’s built to last. He’s been a strong supporter of domestic energy production, has made historic investments in clean energy technology, and has nearly doubled fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. Because of the progress we’ve made, our dependence on foreign oil is the lowest it’s been in 16 years. Yet, conservative groups funded by big oil are spending millions trying to distort the President’s record.

      Get the facts:

    • Obama’s All-Of-The-Above Energy Strategy

      Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on Mar 6, 2012

      Get the facts:

      What are we doing to address rising gas prices? Only President Obama has laid out a real strategy to take control of our energy future. And we’re already seeing a change: US oil production is the highest in 8 years. And our reliance on oil imports is the lowest in 16 years. Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is a real plan to get control of runaway gas prices and cut our reliance on foreign oil. Get the facts.

    • Facilitating Safe and Responsible Expansion of Natural Gas Production

      Heather Zichal April 13, 2012 11:56 AM EDT

      A key part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is expanding production of American energy resources. Since the President took office, energy from renewable sources like wind and solar has nearly doubled, the administration provided funding for the first nuclear power plant in over 30 years, and production of domestic oil and gas has increased each year, trends the President has made clear he wants to make sure continue.

      The most dramatic expansion has been in natural gas. Since taking office the President has made clear that he believes this important, abundant domestic resource holds unique promise to fuel our energy sector, fuel our vehicles, as well as fuel job growth – all while reducing harmful emissions. U.S. natural gas production grew in 2011 – the largest year-over-year volumetric increase in history – and easily eclipsed the previous all-time production record set in 1973.

      To ensure that we can successfully tap this critical resource for decades to come, we must develop it safely and responsibly, taking full advantage of the opportunity while also giving American families and communities the confidence that our air and water are safe.

      For the entire article:

      • April 13, 2012

        Readout of Meeting on Interagency Working Group to Support Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Natural Gas

        Today, OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein and Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate policy Heather Zichal convened a White House meeting with key stakeholders, including representatives from the American Chemistry Council, the American Gas Association, the American Natural Gas Association, the American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers, to discuss the recently issued Executive Order supporting safe and responsible development of unconventional domestic natural gas resources. The new Executive Order establishes a deputy-level interagency working group to coordinate policy and to promote sensible, cost-effective approaches. Today’s action is a key part of the administration’s ongoing commitment to an “all of the above” energy approach. Coordinated efforts to promote development of unconventional domestic natural gas resources enhance our energy security and create jobs. The participants in the meeting represented all components of the value chain – from the exploration and production companies to the manufacturers and other end users. The conversation focused on promoting cross-agency coordination and cost-effective approaches as well as additional opportunities for working together to take full advantage of our natural gas resources – all while also providing communities the confidence that environmental protection and public health will not be compromised.

    • AP IMPACT: CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low

      8/16/12 By By KEVIN BEGOS | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago

      PITTSBURGH (AP) — In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

      Many of the world’s leading climate scientists didn’t see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.

      Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, said the shift away from coal is reason for “cautious optimism” about potential ways to deal with climate change. He said it demonstrates that “ultimately people follow their wallets” on global warming.

      “There’s a very clear lesson here. What it shows is that if you make a cleaner energy source cheaper, you will displace dirtier sources,” said Roger Pielke Jr., a climate expert at the University of Colorado.

      In a little-noticed technical report, the U.S. Energy Information Agency, a part of the Energy Department, said this month that energy related U.S. CO2 emissions for the first four months of this year fell to about 1992 levels. Energy emissions make up about 98 percent of the total. The Associated Press contacted environmental experts, scientists and utility companies and learned that virtually everyone believes the shift could have major long-term implications for U.S. energy policy.

      For more:–finance.html

  4. The White House
    Office of the Press Secretary

    May 12, 2010

    Statement by President Obama on the American Power Act

    I applaud Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman for their tireless work in drafting this important legislation. This legislation will put America on the path to a clean energy economy that will create American jobs building the solar panels, wind blades and the car batteries of the future. It will strengthen our national security by beginning to break our dependence on foreign oil. And it will protect our environment for our children and grandchildren.

    Americans know what’s at stake by continuing our dependence on fossil fuels. But the challenges we face — underscored by the immense tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico — are reason to redouble our efforts to reform our nation’s energy policies. For too long, Washington has kicked this challenge to the next generation. This time, the status quo is no longer acceptable to Americans. Now is the time for America to take control of our energy future and jumpstart American innovation in clean energy technology that will allow us to create jobs, compete, and win in the global economy.

    The House of Representatives has already taken historic action with passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. I look forward to engaging with Senators from both sides of the aisle and ultimately passing a bill this year.

    • Support Biomass Crops and Renewable Energy

      Posted by Rick Huszagh and Crista Carrell on July 19, 2011

      Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.

      Last week in our meeting with Secretary Vilsack concerning rural development opportunities it became apparent that our country is facing a critical point. Energy and food production are approaching unprecedented challenges with occurrences such as China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia’s recent purchases and leases of over 140 million acres of land in Ethiopia and Sudan. To put things in perspective, this is the equivalent of all of the U.S.’s wheat and corn land currently in production.

      The United States is fortunate enough to have abundant and fertile land and a strong transportation infrastructure. The challenge is to turn our focus to rural America, from which so much of our food and energy come but which has only 16% of our population. Fellow Champions of Change outlined many creative ways of addressing rural America’s needs. Local food movements, energy efficient and consolidated housing development, and energy crops were among some of the many established and on-the-ground examples that are already functioning and put in place by just the few people in the room. All of these examples had something in common, which was the support of the USDA either through outreach or initial funding.

      For the entire article:

  5. Hawaiian mythology of Māui

    In Hawaiian mythology, Māui is a culture hero who appears in several different genealogies. In the Ulu line he is the son of Akalana and his wife Hinakawea (Hina). This couple has four sons, Māui-mua, Māui-hope, Māui-kiʻikiʻi and Māui-a-kalana. Māui-a-kalana’s wife is named Hinakealohaila; and his son is Nanamaoa. Māui is one of the Kupua. His name should not be confused with the island Maui, even though some authors neglect to add the macron when writing his name.

    The great fish-hook of Māui is called Manaiakalani; and it is baited with the wing of Hina’s pet bird, the ʻalae. Māui is said to have created the Hawaiian Islands by tricking his brothers. He convinces them to take him out fishing, but catches his hook upon the ocean floor. He tells his brothers that he has caught a big fish, and tells them to paddle as hard as they can. His brothers paddle with all their might, and being intent with their effort, did not notice the island rising behind them. Māui repeats this trick several times, creating the Hawaiian Islands (Tregear 1891:236). Another tradition states that as Māui plants his hook at Hamakua, to fish up the god of fishes, Pimoe, Māui orders his brethren not to look back, or the expedition will fail. Hina, in the shape of a baling-gourd, appears at the surface of the water, and Māui, unwittingly, grasps the gourd and places it in front of his seat. Suddenly there appears a beautiful woman whose beauty none can resist; and so the brothers look behind them to watch the beautiful water-goddess. The line parts, Hina disappears, and the effort to unite the chain of islands into one solid unit fails.
    [edit] Restrains the sun

    Māui’s next feat is to stop the sun from moving so fast. His mother Hina complains that her kapa (bark cloth) is unable to dry because the days are so short. Māui climbs to the mountain Hale-a-ka-lā (house of the sun) and lassoes the sun’s rays as the sun comes up, using a rope made from his sister’s hair (in some versions, her pubic hair). The sun pleads for life and agrees that the days shall be long in summer and short in winter (Pukui, Elbert, & Mookini 1974:36). In another version, Hina sends him to a big wiliwili tree where he finds his old blind grandmother cooking bananas and steals them one by one until she recognises him and agrees to help him. He sits by the trunk of the tree to rope the sun (Beckwith 1970:230). The Island of Maui and the constellation Māui’s fishhook (known in the West as Scorpius) are named after this legend.

    Source: Wikipedia

  6. Next Up…

    June 21, 2010

    10:15 AM EDT
    President Obama Speaks at Father’s Day Event – Washington, D.C. (Audio Only)


    10:30 AM EDT
    Vice President Biden Speaks on how Recovery Act is Strengthening Communities – Midland, Michigan (Audio Only)


    1:00 PM EDT
    Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs – The White House

  7. Good Morning ladies,

    Candle lit: 36 now burning.

    Have a great day everyone!

  8. Highly Efficient Solar Cells Could Result from Quantum Dot Research

    6/21/10 by Lee Clippard, University of Texas, Austin

    Tesax, United States — Conventional solar cell efficiency could be increased from the current limit of 30 percent to more than 60 percent, suggests new research on semiconductor nanocrystals, or quantum dots, led by chemist Xiaoyang Zhu at The University of Texas at Austin.

    Zhu and his colleagues report their results in this week’s Science.

    The scientists have discovered a method to capture the higher energy sunlight that is lost as heat in conventional solar cells.

    The maximum efficiency of the silicon solar cell in use today is about 31 percent. That’s because much of the energy from sunlight hitting a solar cell is too high to be turned into usable electricity. That energy, in the form of so-called “hot electrons,” is lost as heat.

    If the higher energy sunlight, or more specifically the hot electrons, could be captured, solar-to-electric power conversion efficiency could be increased theoretically to as high as 66 percent.

    “There are a few steps needed to create what I call this ‘ultimate solar cell,'” says Zhu, professor of chemistry and director of the Center for Materials Chemistry. “First, the cooling rate of hot electrons needs to be slowed down. Second, we need to be able to grab those hot electrons and use them quickly before they lose all of their energy.”

    Zhu says that semiconductor nanocrystals, or quantum dots, are promising for these purposes.

    As for the first problem, a number of research groups have suggested that cooling of hot electrons can be slowed down in semiconductor nanocrystals. In a 2008 paper in Science, a research group from the University of Chicago showed this to be true unambiguously for colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals.

    Zhu’s team has now figured out the next critical step: how to take those electrons out.

    They discovered that hot electrons can be transferred from photo-excited lead selenide nanocrystals to an electron conductor made of widely used titanium dioxide.

    “If we take the hot electrons out, we can do work with them,” says Zhu. “The demonstration of this hot electron transfer establishes that a highly efficient hot carrier solar cell is not just a theoretical concept, but an experimental possibility.”

    The researchers used quantum dots made of lead selenide, but Zhu says that their methods will work for quantum dots made of other materials, too.

    He cautions that this is just one scientific step, and that more science and a lot of engineering need to be done before the world sees a 66 percent efficient solar cell.

    In particular, there’s a third piece of the science puzzle that Zhu is working on: connecting to an electrical conducting wire.

    “If we take out electrons from the solar cell that are this fast, or hot, we also lose energy in the wire as heat,” says Zhu. “Our next goal is to adjust the chemistry at the interface to the conducting wire so that we can minimize this additional energy loss. We want to capture most of the energy of sunlight. That’s the ultimate solar cell.

    “Fossil fuels come at a great environmental cost,” says Zhu. “There is no reason that we cannot be using solar energy 100 percent within 50 years.”

    Lee Clippard is communications director with the college of natural sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.


  9. Towards Nanowire Solar Cells With a 65-Percent Efficiency

    6/7/10 ScienceDaily

    Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/) researchers want to develop solar cells with an efficiency of over 65 percent by means of nanotechnology. In Southern Europe and North Africa these new solar cells can generate a substantial portion of the European demand for electricity. The Dutch government reserves EUR 1.2 million for the research.

    The current thin-film solar cells (type III/V) have an efficiency that lies around 40 percent, but they are very expensive and can only be applied as solar panels on satellites. By using mirror systems that focus one thousand times they can now also be deployed on earth in a cost-effective manner. The TU/ researchers expect that in ten years their nano-structured solar cells can attain an efficiency of more than 65 percent. Jos Haverkort: “If the Netherlands wants to timely participate in a commercial exploitation of nanowire solar cells, there is a great urgency to get on board now.” The research is conducted together with Philips MiPlaza.

    They think that nanotechnology, in combination with the use of concentrated sunlight through mirror systems, has the potential to lead to the world’s most efficient solar cell system with a cost price lower than 50 cent per Watt peak. In comparison: for the present generation of solar cells that cost price is 1.50 euro per Watt peak.

    Stacking Nanowires make it possible to stack a number of subcells (junctions). In this process each subcell converts one color of sunlight optimally to electricity. The highest yield reported until now in a nanowire solar cell is 8.4 percent. Haverkort: “We expect that a protective shell around the nanowires is the critical step towards attaining the same efficiency with nanowire solar cells as with thin-film cells.” Haverkort thinks that at 5 to 10 junctions he will arrive at an efficiency of 65 percent.

    Scarcity of raw materials In addition, the researchers expect considerable savings can be made on production costs, because nanowires grow on a cheap silicon substrate and also grow faster, which results in a lower cost of ownership of the growth equipment. What is more, the combination of the mirror systems with nanotechnology will imply an acceptable use of the scarce and hence expensive metals gallium and indium.

    An agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, will grant the EUR 1.2 million to researchers dr. Jos Haverkort, dr. Erik Bakkers en dr. ir. Geert Verbong for their research into nanowire solar cells. It is their expectation that, when combined with mirror systems, these solar cells can generate a sizeable portion of the European electricity demand in Southern Europe and North Africa.

  10. ****MY NEWS****

    O-Team I had to keep a secret from you for security reasons that I can now confess. This morning I had the honor and the privilege to see President Obama speak at ”THEARC”. I was told the location of the speech would not be released until last night so I was not allowed to discuss it.

    First, let me share something about the company that I work for. My company is a property management company that goes into distressed areas of Washington, DC primarily in the notorious “SE” section of DC and finds old, boarded up, crime riddled apartment complexes and does major renovations but it doesn’t end there. They engage the community in revitalization. They reach out to the tenants by getting them involved in re-developing their community so that once the nice doors and walls and fences and apartment units are in place the tenants feel invested and work hard to keep their communities as such.

    In 2005 my company went a step further and right in the heart of what would have been considered a “tough part of town” founded a world class non-profit educational arts & recreation center (THEARC). Ten cultural and social service agencies are based at THEARC, all of which share the goal of helping under-served children and adults reach their full potential.

    So in keeping with the President’s motto that we are all our brothers and sisters keeper this gives you some understanding as to why the President picked this venue to give his Father’s day address on Dad’s finding ways to connect with their kids.

    The Director of THEARC and I have been good friends for over 10 years so I was able to stand in the back of the hall for the speech but to see the look on those kids who were in the audience faces it just made me feel so much pride to have this great man be their role model as they strive to be the best that they can be.

    Now I’m supposed to try and get some work done today. Impossible 🙂

    • Donna, that is an awesome story and your company sounds truly amazing. Glad you got to be in the president’s presence for such a wonderful event. I, too, love the look young children get when they are around President Obama. He’s an inspiration to us all.

    • Congratulations for you and your company to have President Obama speak at your facility.

      Your company sounds truly amazing! Your company has a true commitment to it’s larger community doing brave and needed work! I can understand why POTUS felt compelled to visit your company (twice). I salute you and your company.

      Thank you very, very much for sharing this wonderful news!

      • Cheryl, the very first time I saw him in person was at THEARC in the summer of 2007. He gave a speech on Urban America. There was no security check, no entourage. Edmund took pictures with him and some of the kids from the ARC for 40 minutes (he proudly displays them in his office).

        At that time he was not speaking to standing room only audiences. You could walk right up and talk to him. Silly me had to get back to work that day and didn’t go up and talk to him. The regrets……

    • What a wonderful company to work for!

      Good for you Donna… and take the day off!

    • OMG. I am so envious! I have never been able to see our President in person, even though he has been here three times. The closest I came was his Veteran’s convention speech here which was held across the street from my office, but he slipped in and out through the back and no one ever saw him or his motorcade pass by.

      I only wish all of America could wake up and see what a leader we have. Imagine what we could accomplish is we all work together.

      So tell me, what are the similarities/differences in seeing him in person and seeing him on television?

    • Donna, just the thought makes me go:



      >^00^< cat with excited eyes!

  11. /\ /\ /\ *** DonnaNoShock’s company!!!!!!!*** /\ /\ /\

    Remarks by the President at a Father’s Day Event
    THEARC, Washington, D.C.

    June 21, 2010

    THE PRESIDENT: Hello! Hello, everybody! Thank you so much. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Everybody, please have a seat. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you. Let me just begin by making a few acknowledgements. First of all, I’ve got some outstanding fathers here in the first row who aren’t seeing their kids enough because I’m working them all the time — three members of my Cabinet: Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner — (applause) — Attorney General Eric Holder — (applause) — and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke are here. (Applause.)

    In addition, we’ve got one of my heroes and I’m sure one of yours, somebody whose shoulders I stand on and allowed me to become President of the United States, and that’s Congressman from the great state of Georgia, John Lewis, is here. (Applause.) A fierce advocate on behalf of the District of Columbia, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is here. (Applause.)

    I want to acknowledge the Mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian Fenty in the house. (Applause.) The executive director of ARC, Edmund Fleet, is here. (Applause.) I want to thank all the panel discussion participants who are involved in today’s events, and I want to thank Nurney Mason — a Washington, D.C. icon. Nurney founded Mason’s Barbershop in 1961. That’s the year I was born. It’s still going strong. He is here with his children and his grandchildren. Where is he? There he is right there. (Applause.) I could use a little trim. (Laughter.)

    One year ago this week, we kicked off a national conversation on fatherhood and personal responsibility, and members of our administration fanned out all across the country to hear from fathers and families about the challenges that they face. Secretary Arne Duncan, our Secretary of Education, held a discussion in New Hampshire about the link between fatherhood and educational achievement. Gary Locke talked to fathers in California about balancing the needs of their families with the demands of their jobs. Secretary Shinseki, of Veterans Affairs, held a town hall for military and veteran dads in North Carolina. And Attorney General Holder traveled to Georgia for a forum about fathers in our criminal justice system.

    And in each of these places, each of these leaders posed a simple question: How can we as a nation — not just the government, but businesses and community groups and concerned citizens — how can we all come together to help fathers meet their responsibilities to our families and communities?

    And we did this because we know the vital role fathers play in the lives of our children. Fathers are our first teachers and coaches — or in my house, assistant teachers and assistant coaches — (laughter) — to mom. But they’re our mentors, our role models. They show us by the example they set the kind of people they want us to become.

    For the entire transcript:

    *** DonnaNoShock’s company!!!!!!!***

  12. Republican and Republican-leaning Indies are ginned up to vote:

    So their excitement to vote in the mid-terms is at an “all-time” high? Can we discuss the reason? Maybe if we all acknowledge that fear of a black president and the coordinated hysteria from the right wing media has created this “enthusiasm” which is totally focused on fear.

    How can we combat this? I’m sure a good chunk of those Republican’s (especially the Indies) who are enthusiastic about voting aren’t enthusiastic about voting FOR Republicans, as opposed to their enthusiastic about voting against Democrats. Somehow, we’ve got to get these guys to consider what they are voting FOR rather than allowing them to focus on what they’re voting against, i.e. the party of the big scary black president.

    • Vero, I try to be as optimistic as possible but if we on the left don’t stop assisting the right with their constant criticism of this President and the things he is trying to do to right the ship for this country we are going to be looking at “Speaker Orangeman” next January.

      The media has gone into an all out assault on him so we will get no help there. They thrive off of controversy and want to be able to print the headline about how “Barack Obama couldn’t hold his party together”.

      This man has so many forces fighting against him. It will be hard to get the people who normally vote in the off year elections to come out in big numbers which is why Plouffe is trying to get us to re-engage the youth and the minorities.

      IMO The President is going to have to make this a referendum on his Presidency to get those “sleeping” supporters excited to vote in big numbers in November.

      • Well Rahm did say in his interview on Sunday on “This Week” that the president is going to make the choices very clear for mid-terms, between the two parties. So I think they’re going to start telling folks a little bit about the GOP, so that it’s not all about the Democrats and whether you do or don’t like them.

        • Well, I sure hope so. You and I see a very clear choice, but it sure seems like America doesn’t. For me, if I see someone not doing their job, I want them replaced. The GOP isn’t doing anything but obstruction, so where is the outrage? I just don’t get it.

      • I agree with your assessment. I run into people all the time that only hear talking points. We have to figure this out. The alternative scares me to death.

        • My husband was seated next to a WF who he said described as well dressed professional. She told him that she worked for a university in Florida. He summed her up as far-right conservative (with a bit of looney). The looney part was when she said that there are no poor people in America and that everyone has big screen TVs, homes, cars and enough to eat. She then said the only county that has poor people is Niger. My husband told her politely that some of what she was saying had no truth to it and she adamantly said that it was all true. He was polite to her through out the whole flight.

          I on the other had would have gotten up and asked the steward if I could change my seat away from the looney.


      “Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA), who hopes to unseat Republican David Vitter in the Senate this fall, publicly parted ways with President Obama over the government’s response to the oil spill in the Gulf. In an interview this afternoon, Melancon gave Obama’s response a middling grade.”

      “Probably a ‘C’,” Melancon told TPMDC. “Even though his secretaries engaged, he himself didn’t really get engaged immediately. I see him making up for that or trying to make up for that, but it’s hard to play catchup when you start off slow.”

      This stuff becomes fodder for the cable shows and off they go to an evening of bashing the President while the Repubs just stand on the sidlines (continuing to do nothing) and watch us EAT OUR OWN. Sigh!!!

      • Darn. I just wrote a long reply to you, agreeing with your assessment.

        My basic thing is this: I think OFA and the DNC are smart to focus on the young, AA, and women since we are not going to win trying to “out Republican” a real Republican this cycle. That is the lesson from VA, NJ, and MA – get YOUR voters to the polls and present a CLEAR alternative – give the voters a CLEAR choice.

        Too many in Congress are stuck in the old ways of doing business. They see that the president is having some political difficulties right now, so rather than correct the record re: the president’s level of involvement, Melancon has decided to do what they all do and accept the media narrative and affirm it with his “C” crap. He’ll learn, just like Deeds and Coakley and the rest learned.

  13. The Sierra Club has had 25 positive reports released this year, 2010, about President Obama and his administration.

    6/15/10 – Response to President Obama’s Oval Office Address

    6/1/10 – Obama Calls for Criminal Investigation into BP Disaster

    5/27/10 – President Obama Halts Arctic, Virginia Drilling, Announces New Safety Rules

    5/22/10 — White House Announces Leaders for BP Disaster Investigation

    5/12/10 – White House Unveils Legislative Package to Respond to BP Disaster

    5/6/2010 — U.S. House Passes Home Star Energy Efficiency Program with Bipartisan Support

    4/21/2010 — Vice President Announces $452 Million for Clean Energy Jobs, Efficiency

    4/15/2010 — Home Star Bill Clears Key House Committee

    4/15/2010 — Sierra Club Applauds White House Great Outdoors Effort

    4/1/2010 — EPA Cracks Down on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

    4/1/2010 — Obama Admin Auto Rules a Major Victory for America

    3/26/2010 — White House to Launch Great Outdoors Initiative

    2/18/2010 — New Guidance on Climate Change to Improve NEPA

    2/17/2010 — Sierra Club Celebrates Recovery Act, One Year On

    2/16/2010 — Sierra Club Responds to President Obama’s Nuclear Loan Guarantees

    2/09/2010 — Sierra Club Praises Obama Administration Efforts to Encourage Outdoor Activity, Better Nutrition for America’s Youth

    2/08/2010 — Sierra Club Praises New NOAA Climate Service

    2/03/2010 — Sierra Club Reactions to Obama Remarks, Obama Admin Coal, Biofuels Announcements

    1/29/2010 — Obama Initiative to Slash Federal Government’s Emissions, Energy Costs

    1/28/2010 — Obama High-Speed Rail Plan to Put Americans to Work, Cut Oil Dependence

    1/27/2010 — Sierra Club Statement on the President’s State of the Union Address

    1/13/2010 — Report: Obama Admin Clean Energy Investments Putting America to Work

    1/8/2010 — Obama Admin Investments in Clean Energy to Jumpstart Job Creation

    1/7/2010 — New EPA Air Standard, Breath of Fresh Air

    1/6/2010 — Sierra Club Praises Dept of Interior Leasing Reform Plans

    The Sierra Club has had 72 positive reports released in 2009 about President Obama and his administration.

  14. Report: Liberal Bay Area counties give so rural counties can receive

    By Denis C. Theriault – San Jose Mercury News

    SACRAMENTO — A new report on who supplies — and who spends — California’s public dollars shows an interesting disparity between the givers and the takers:

    Counties that provide most of the state’s revenue streams like income and sales taxes reliably elect Democrats, who traditionally want to take more of your money. And counties whose Republican representatives argue most vociferously for social services cuts draw, per capita, the most state aid.

    The breakdown, prepared by the Legislative Analyst’s Office for the office of Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, puts another spin on what’s emerged as the central issue in this year’s fight over a $19 billion deficit. It also adds new color to the prevailing portrait of poverty for many Californians — it’s not fundamentally an urban problem.

    Instead, experts say, rural residents would be most affected by the drastic cuts being considered to health and human services programs. The report shows the Bay Area’s blue counties are, in many ways, a revenue lifeline for the rural Republican red.

    “Is there a disconnect here between political sentiments in rural areas and the demand or desire or need for public expenditures? I think there is,” said Al Sokolow, a retired professor at UC Davis. “Leaders in these rural areas, while wanting more from the state, are also less reluctant to give in on the tax front.”

    According to the snapshot provided by Evans’ office — which compares per capita income taxes and sales taxes with spending on programs like in-home care for seniors, parole services, welfare, MediCal and others — seven of the top 10 contributors of tax revenue to Sacramento are Bay Area counties — all of which lean heavily Democratic. Marin County is No. 1, measured per capita, and Santa Clara County is fourth.

    In contrast, the counties receiving the most cash from the state are those in California’s impoverished north, like Del Norte and Yuba counties, and especially in the agrarian Central Valley, including Tulare County — the top recipient of state help — but also Kern and Kings counties. Many have more registered Republicans, or only slightly more Democratic voters than Republicans.

    In San Mateo County, for example, Medi-Cal spending in 2007-08 was $257 per resident. In Lake County, the state spent $703. But per capita income tax and sales tax revenue in Lake County was only $879, while in San Mateo it was $4,232.

    State-funded home care spending in Imperial County was $68 per capita but only $26 in Contra Costa County.

    In some ways, that divide is intuitive, budget experts and economists say.

    California’s coastal counties are home to its biggest cities and most prestigious universities. They also are magnets for wealthy residents and industries that define California nationally: entertainment, technology and tourism.

    But in inland counties, which are sprawling and sparsely populated, there are fewer opportunities for high-paying work. Agriculture is a key industry, but it relies heavily on seasonal and migrant workers. Additionally, Central Valley counties like Stockton and Merced — which hosted an influx of middle-class residents amid the housing boom — have been devastated by the housing bust.

    For the entire article:

  15. Solyndra: Illustrating a Recovery Act Supply Chain

    5/26/10 The White House Blog

    Ed. Note: Read the President’s remarks in California as well as the Vice President’s statement on the new CBO analysis showing the Recovery Act being responsible for up to 2.8 million jobs.

    President Obama is in Fremont, California today to visit Solyndra, Inc, an innovative solar panel manufacturer that is building a new facility with funding made possible by the Recovery Act. Here’s a look at what they’re doing:

    The direct benefits of this investment are easy to see. The plant expansion now underway has already enabled the creation of over 3,000 construction-related jobs and Solyndra estimates that the new factory could create as many as 1,000 long-term jobs in operations and supply. Likewise, a formerly empty field will soon be home to a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant that produces clean energy products that can be exported to the world.

    What the television cameras won’t capture are the indirect benefits of supporting Solyndra. The impact of Solyndra’s success is being felt throughout the chain of companies that supply Solyndra with goods and materials.

    The project is creating jobs around the country. Construction materials for the facility itself are being manufactured by workers in Arkansas, Washington, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and 18 other states. The advanced manufacturing equipment is being made by workers in Michigan, Tennessee, Colorado, and 8 other states. The raw materials to run the facility will come from 15 states including Wisconsin, Ohio, and Kentucky. When the first solar panels are shipped in late 2010, they will be delivered by freight companies and installed by even more new workers.

    The map below from Solyndra shows where they have ordered the materials to construct the new facility. Many of the companies in these states have added workers of their own to handle the new orders.

    The Recovery Act’s investment in clean energy is having a ripple effect throughout our economy. A recent survey by Frost and Sullivan of 676 clean energy companies found that while only 3 percent of those companies directly received Recovery Act funds more than 50 percent recognized a positive impact from that legislation.

    We still have a long way to go to get America’s economy back on track and to make the United States the world leader in clean energy technologies, but companies like Solyndra and Recovery Act investments like this one are helping drive progress across the country.

    Matt Rogers is Senior Advisor to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu

  16. Remarks of President Barack Obama at Siemens Wind Turbine Blade Manufacturing Plant in Fort Madison, Iowa


    THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Oh, it’s good to be — good to be back in Iowa; good to be in Fort Madison. (Applause.) Thank you. Everybody, please have a seat.

    I want to just acknowledge some of our special guests — first of all, my Secretary of Agriculture — you may still know him as Governor Vilsack. I know him as Secretary Vilsack. Give Tom Vilsack a big round of applause. (Applause.) Your current governor who is doing an outstanding job — Chet Culver. (Applause.) The mayor of Fort Madison, Steve Ireland. Steve, it’s good to see you again. (Applause.)

    The President and CEO of Siemens, Peter Loescher, is here. (Applause.) And our plant manager, Robert Gjuraj, who just gave me a terrific tour — so, thank you, Robert. Where’s Robert? There he is, right there. (Applause.)

    I have just been on an incredibly impressive tour of this facility and saw how these giant blades are created. And they look even cooler up close — unbelievably impressive technologies. And it was remarkable just to see how these things are made, but it’s even more remarkable when you consider that just a few short years ago, this facility was dark, it was quiet, nothing was going on. And today, it’s alive and humming with more than 600 employees, almost two-thirds of whom found themselves unemployed before they were here. (Applause.) This plant — Robert was telling me, I may get my facts wrong here, but even two years ago you had only 200 employees. Now we’ve got 600 employees two years later. And this plant supports more than 350 other jobs throughout Lee County. (Applause.)

    So you’re manufacturing blades for some of the most advanced wind turbines in the world; each one as tall as Air Force One is long; each is capable of generating enough power for hundreds of homes, just by harnessing the wind. So what’s going on here, what each of the employees of Siemens are involved with, is helping stake America’s claim on a clean-energy future. And you’re staking Fort Madison’s claim on America’s future.

    And that’s why I come to Iowa here today. Some of the — one of the reporters said, “Why Iowa?” I said, well, I love Iowa, first of all. (Applause.) Wouldn’t have been President if it wasn’t for Iowa. (Applause.) It’s close to Illinois. (Laughter.) But also, I wanted to come here because to talk with folks like you about the economic hardship and the pain that this town has gone through and so many people are still feeling is important, but it’s also to talk about the economic potential.

    Lately, we’ve been able to report some welcome news after a hard two years. Our economy is finally growing again. Our markets are climbing. Our businesses are beginning to create jobs again.

    For the entire article:

    • Good Morning COS!

      Did you see Donna’s post (up thread) that POTUS’s event this morning was at her workplace!

      • Yes, I read it. That was super. I would love to have been there. Donna is so lucky. I would love to see President Obama in person. 🙂

  17. The White House Blog

    Open for Questions: Energy and Climate Legislation with Heather Zichal

    6/21/10 Katelyn Sabochik –

    On Wednesday, President Obama will meet with a bipartisan group of Senators to discuss the need for comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year. Following that meeting, Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, will host a live chat on to take your questions on energy and climate change legislation.

    You can watch the chat live starting at 3 PM EDT on Wednesday June 23, right here on and submit your questions via Facebook and Twitter.

  18. The Obama Administration Obama administration now deserves credit for focusing on Gaza and helping to convince the Netanyahu government to make substantial changes to the Gaza blockade. The emerging system seems likely to shift from a system which kept out a vast and bewildering array of goods and products to one with a much more tightly defined black list of items with military applications.

    • Yes, thank goodness that the Obama Admin could do that!

      Every single thing on POTUS’ plate are major problems that all needed to be solved now. Most of the issues where inherited and resulted from snowballing of putting off action for another day or another President…and now EVERYONE is SCREAMING for POTUS to FIX EVERYTHING NOW….poor man!

  19. Learn: Climate Change

    April 28, 2010 –

    A New Foundation
    | Going Green | Get Involved | Share

    Progress So Far

    Monitoring Emissions: For the first time, the U.S. will catalogue greenhouse gas emissions from large emission sources – an important initial step toward measurable and transparent reductions.

    Efficiency Standard for Cars and Trucks
    : President Obama announced the first ever joint fuel economy/greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks in May 2009. The new standards are projected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program with a fuel economy gain averaging more than 5 percent per year and a reduction of approximately 900 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions.

    Climate Change Adaptation
    : In 2009, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) initiated the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, which includes representatives from more than 20 Federal Agencies. When the President signed the Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, on October 5, 2009, he called on the Task Force to develop, within one year, Federal recommendations for adapting to climate change impacts both domestically and internationally.

    International Leadership: For the first time in American history, our country changed course this year and chose to lead in international climate negotiations. Under President Obama’s leadership, the international community has taken significant measures toward a global solution to climate change, including reinvigorating the Major Economies Forum (MEF); eliminating fossil fuel subsidies; fostering bilateral energy and climate partnerships with China, India, Mexico, Canada and others; phasing down HFCs (Hydrofluorcarbons); and reaching an historic accord at the Copenhagen climate summit that maintains progress toward an international agreement that will ensure a prosperous and secure future for our children and grandchildren.

    Making Homes More Energy Efficient: In May 2009, the Vice President asked the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to develop a proposal for Federal action to lay the groundwork for a self-sustaining home energy efficiency retrofit industry. In response, CEQ facilitated a broad interagency process with the Office of the Vice President, eleven Departments and Agencies and six White House Offices to develop recommendations. These recommendations are described in detail in the Recovery Through Retrofit Report, released on October 19, 2009. The Report’s recommendations were carefully crafted to use existing authority and existing funding to stimulate a national home energy retrofit market.

    Recovery Through Retrofit will eliminate key barriers in the home retrofit industry by providing consumers with access to straightforward information about their home’s energy use, promoting innovative financing options to reduce upfront costs, and developing national standards to ensure that workers are qualified and consumers benefit from home retrofits.

    Climate Change Science and Education: The U.S. Global Change Research Program, a collaborative effort involving 13 Federal Agencies, works to understand and respond to climate change as part of a government-wide effort to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and grow a clean energy economy. USGCRP’s guide, Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science, explains in plain English the principles and concepts fundamental to climate literacy, and Climate Change, Wildlife and Wildlands: Toolkit for Formal and Informal Educators provides useful resources for educators.

  20. President Obama announces the Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative, a nationwide effort to support responsible fatherhood and to help reengage absentee fathers in the lives of their children at a Father’s Day event in Washington, DC. June 21, 2010.

    • President Obama is a beacon of light on the subject of fatherhood. He is a stark example of what a father should be. To me, if I wasn’t a supporter, that is one thing that would make me lean toward supporting his agenda.

  21. Finally — Some in the media are asking: Why Doesn’t the Media Interrogate Tea Partiers’ Beliefs?

    The media’s enduring, and understandable, fascination with the Tea Party movement continues unabated, as this weekend’s coverage demonstrates. Unforuntately, what appears to be false notions of objectivity — or perhaps its a lack of interest in policy — is preventing that coverage from illuminating what the movement actually represents and what it would do if empowered.

    Case in point: the Associated Press just published a 2,300 word stemwinder examining how and why a variety of individuals became involved in the Tea Party movement without once asking what precisely their platform consists of. It tells you the back stories of representativel Tea Partiers, dutifully quotes their antipathy towards governmen, taxes and deficit spending, and their horror at the accusation that they are motivated by racial animus. But the reporter seems never to have posed any serious questions about what tradeoffs they would make to achieve their stated goals.

    • This part – BINGO:

      It’s a sign of something wrong in the reporting apparatus of Washington that this British report is taken at face value.

      This is so clearly contrived that I can’t believe it’s getting so much attention. People are just too desperate to bring this administration down and to get into the president’s head and break his concentration. Ain’t gonna happen with dumb and baseless stories like this one, especially after Rahm had a pretty strong showing on “This Week” with Tapper just yesterday. He didn’t seem like a man weary and looking to step down in no time.

  22. Good Afternoon PBO supporters!!!
    Thank you Donna for the recap and congrats on seeing the President.
    Thanks CR and Kathleen for the links, I think I am all caught up.

    The President and I share a similar story – my father left my mom while she was still pregnant with me. My 1st contact with my father I was 10 yrs old and again at 14 which was the last time I saw him. Although I had a great supportive family (grand mother, aunts, and uncles) I craved the love of my father so much.

    • Thanks for sharing Sandy! ((HUG))

      My experience is that a child can live in close quarters with a parent that is controlling, verbally, mentally and physically abusive. Another parent can live in close quarters with a child and totally ignore it completely; sometimes ones own blood relations are like strangers.

      Sometimes those that show love and mentor skills toward a child are not even blood relations.

      One should not let their bad experiences define who they are.

    • I can only imagine. I think it is only natural for children to crave BOTH parents’ attention and love, since it took them both to make us.

      I am sure that the president’s father’s lack of a presence, and his father’s subsequent behavior in his personal life with wives and other children do more to shape this president than we can imagine. His father is quite the model of what NOT to do, and I’m glad he learned the lesson.

      It reminds me of my mother. She didn’t know her biological father, but her mother (my grandmother) remarried to a man who was very abusive. Both he and my grandmother were alcoholics. My mother says that she basically grew up around excessive drinking. You can all imagine all of the nonsense she also grew up with that would accompany alcoholism.

      Anyway, my mom doesn’t drink. She’ll sip a champagne for a special occasion, and if she MUST have a drink, she’ll sip Baileys. I’ve never seen her finish a drink in my 31 years. And her reason is simple: She saw what drinking can do, and she decided she’s not going to be like that or risk being like that. She’s made it a point to not be like many of the people she grew up around, and to not take on some of the more destructive characteristics of my grandmother. And I’m thankful as her daughter, since that has made her a superb mother to me!

      • I am sure this bozo don’t expect any help from OFA and the DNC to get elected. This is ridiculous. He and Landreau deserve each other in La. I am sure he is saying this because he is from the red state and they did not and will not vote for our president anyway.

    • It has been killing me that throughout this BP oil leak, all of the fire has been directed towards the administration. Now, of course, that is the burden of being in power. But up until Joe Barton, the Republicans have been sailing through allowing the media and the left to savage Obama.

      So, here we are, Barton has messed up. Rand Paul is still messing up. Republicans are saying in one breath that the federal government doesn’t know how to handle the oil disaster, and in the other breath saying they don’t want the federal government to halt offshore drilling due to the fact that the government doesn’t feel it’s safe. There’s plenty for us, as Democrats, liberals, progressives – whatever – to attack.

      No, we must attack each other. We must try to collect $50K to “independently” challenge the Democratic party. Meanwhile, the Republicans are solidifying and strategizing on how they will regain power and finish screwing this country.

      • Exactly. Sigh! double Sigh!

        Now how on earth do we fight that? I know how to defeat the Repubs but our so-called own I haven’t a clue.

        • Well, I wrote the Whitehouse another email about this. I said that the Democrats need to go back to school and suggested that they have NUMEROUS strategy meetings. They cannot do what they are doing or they will lose the House and the Senate.

          I cannot believe the stupidity. As the saying goes “They are stuck on stupid.”

        • I don’t think there’s anything we can do, except ignore folks like her. She wants attention. The good news is that the more we ignore her and marginalize her, the crazier and more desperate she gets – and then she marginalize herself further. That diary is basically a rejection of her and her tactics. It happened during HCR when she teamed up the Norquist.

          All of these ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome) sufferers have the same fate. They marginalize themselves with their outlandish and desperate attempts to be critical or contrary to the Obama team.

    • Meeks should know better. That’s to bad. He is a good person. Only repugs can get away with this kind of stuff. Rubio is having his problems also. Someone posted last week that a home which he co-owns is being foreclosed on for lack of payment of the mortgage for several months.

      • Hi COS

        Just to be clear this is Robert Meeks of NY not Kendrick Meek of FL.

  23. So I see Steele is giving the President a list of things of what not to do during the BP disaster. It took them a long time to come up with something to say publicly. WOW, shaking my head in disgust.

    • What did he say? I have been thinking about Steele. Haven’t heard much from him lately.

      • He wants the Pres. stop playing golf, going to ball games and attending concerts

        read @

        And go again the WH decides to answer back, why?

        • Ok about the answering back. This WH is going to get it either way. Too often they have ignored silly criticism to only see the media take it and run with it until it becomes ingrained into the public. So the WH is taking the stance that you let nothing lie without defending or confronting it.

          Sad state of affairs but because of our sensationalist media I don’t think they have a choice.

          The old “D” if they do “D” if they don’t seems to apply to this WH all the tim

        • I actually saw the WH answer back. It was during the press briefing today with Bill Burton. Someone asked if it was a bad look for the president to be going to golf the same time ex-BP CEO Tony Haywood was yachting. Burton simply said ran threw the list of things the president had done the week before, and then said he’s clearing his mind with some golf on Father’s Day weekend.

          Anyway, like Donna said, the president is going to get it no matter what, at least their weighing in with their position on this, another, tempest in a teapot moment.

  24. Swipe Fee Deal: Merchants Beat Wall Street

    6/21/10 Huffington Post – Ryan Grim & Laura Bassett

    Wall Street reform negotiators struck a deal Monday to regulate the swipe fees that major banks and credit card companies can charge to merchants — costs that are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. The cost to merchants of using credit cards has more than doubled since 2003 even as merchants’ profits have declined, a contradiction only explained by the monopolistic system that lets banks continuously raise swipe fees.

    The deal, struck between Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and key House negotiators, leaves out some elements that consumer advocates had been fighting for. It allows fees charged to reloadable, prepaid debit cards — generally used by the poor — to remain unregulated. And it allows an exemption for states that use debit cards to dole out benefits. But, for the first time, banks and credit card companies will face restrictions on the fees they can charge merchants for the privilege of accepting credit and debit cards. (Read a summary of the deal here.)

    Last week, merchants descended on the Capitol to make the case for reform.

    “This agreement is a major victory for small business owners and consumers fed up with big bank and credit card industry rip-offs,” said Rep. Peter Welch, a House Democrat from Vermont who was involved with the negotiations. “It preserves key protections for the grocers, retailers and country store owners most affected by out-of-control swipe fees, while addressing legitimate concerns of the industry. I am confident this agreement will be approved by the full committee because every conferee represents small business owners who are tired of serving as a piggy bank for Visa and MasterCard.”

    Welch was the champion of the measure in the House; his satisfaction with the deal sends a signal to progressives about the value of the compromise.

    Consumer advocates told HuffPost that, at first blush, the deal still leaves in place language that would drive down swipe fees and save consumers and merchants money.

    The merchants are pleased with the compromise. “This is a good compromise. Everyone made real concessions, but this remains a positive step for small businesses and consumers. This compromise should be passed by the conference committee and the Congress as a whole,” Doug Kantor, a lobbyist who represents the merchants, told HuffPost.

    For the entire article:

  25. Climate bill backers enter critical week

    6/21/10 Richard Cowan – Reuters

    With time running out for the U.S. Senate to debate complicated and controversial climate change legislation, key players will huddle this week to try to come up with a plan for passing an energy/environment bill this year. Skip related content

    On Wednesday, President Barack Obama holds a meeting at the White House with Democratic and Republican senators who either have been active on legislation or who could play an instrumental role if a bill is debated in the Senate in July.

    On Thursday, Senate Democrats will hold their second meeting in a week to discuss what kind of legislation might be presented to the full Senate.

    “It’s a time when the herd is looking for which way to run,” said one environmentalist.

    Here are some possible outcomes of the upcoming meetings:


    Obama’s national address last week on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill touched on the need for a major energy and environment bill, but it failed to lay out a clear path.

    At a White House meeting on Wednesday, Obama will have a chance in a private setting to gauge whether senators are willing to work with each other on a bill and to try to rally support for significantly cutting U.S. carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming.

    According to one close observer of the climate change debate in the Senate, Obama “will learn more about where the key senators are coming from and will use that information to persuade them, hopefully, on an individual basis” to support a bill.

    Tony Kreindler of the Environmental Defense Fund, said, “The White House is trying to come up with a package that gets you the most emissions reductions” and still win the backing of 60 senators needed to advance controversial legislation.

    “They’ve got a month to get this done” before the long August recess, he added.

    Significantly, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who was central to the climate bill debate before dropping out of talks in late April, plans to attend the White House meeting.


    The meeting with Obama will be followed a day later by a closed-door session of Senate Democrats. Undecided senators will be able to quiz backers of competing bills and discuss Obama’s posture.

    “We’re entering a few critical days,” said Dave Hamilton, a global warming expert with the Sierra Club. “If they emerge from it with a plan, there is an ability to get something pretty serious done. If fear and apprehension reign, the prognosis is not so good,” he said.

    Democrats are badly split, with some undecided senators in recent days not even wanting to discuss climate change legislation when approached by journalists.

    Most Republicans and some Democrats are vocally opposed to any climate bill in this election year. West Virginia Senator John Rockefeller, a Democrat, last week warned doing such legislation would spark a “bitter fight.”

    For the entire article:

  26. Let’s Move! Campaign Spotlighted During NBC Universal’s “Healthy Week”


    In a major cross-platform pitch that’s on all the networks owned by NBC Universal, healthy eating, exercise and diet tips are being featured on TV shows and online through June 26, for “Healthy Week.” A PSA made by First Lady Michelle Obama, and White House Food Initiative coordinator Sam Kass’ guest-judge appearance on Bravo’s Top Chef: DC are highlights of the week.

    Mrs. Obama’s PSA, which is part of NBC’s The More You Know campaign, of course features her making a pitch for Let’s Move!

    “Our kids are running out of time,” Mrs. Obama says, as notes that for the first time in recent history, the current generation of American kids could die at a younger age than their parents, if childhood obesity is not stopped (above: Mrs. Obama, from the PSA).

    “Be the example they need,” Mrs. Obama urges parents, as she makes a plea for exercise and healthy eating. Watch Mrs. Obama’s PSA here.

    For the entire article:

  27. • Faisal Shahzad, the man who tried to blow up a vehicle in Times Square in May, pleaded guilty to plotting the attack on Monday

    • Interior Secretary Ken Salazar took a page out of the corporate damage-control handbook Monday by renaming the beleaguered federal agency that oversees drilling. Just as Philip Morris became Altria and Blackwater transformed itself into Xe, the Minerals Management Service will be called the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. (“Bureau of Ocean Energy” or “BOE,” according to the department.)

    • Biden travels to Michigan to talk up the economic impact of the stimulus at a new battery manufacturing facility …

    • Joe Biden visits Chicago to campaign for Democratic House candidate Dan Seals and state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias …

    And more . . .

      • Nice gesture but what really counts are the personnel employed in this agency. On the other hands it is probably a good idea to start new with a new name. The name Minerals Management will always be associated with this oil spill. Let’s hope that this new name has a psychological effect. 🙂

  28. Kagan scores win on terror-support law

    6/21/10 Josh Gerstein – POLITICO

    Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan scored a significant win in that court Monday morning as the justices, voting 6 to 3, rejected a challenge to a federal law which makes it a crime to provide “material support” to groups the federal government has labeled as terrorist organizations.

    Kagan, who serves as Solicitor General, personally argued for the government in the case addressing the constitutionality of a law against giving “training,” “expert advice or assistance,” “service,” and “personnel” to designated terrorist groups. The legal challenges were brought by individuals and groups who said they wanted to give political and legal advice to two organizations on the U.S. terrorism list: the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, also known as the PKK, and the Tamil Tigers.

    Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said Congress’s law on the subject did not run afoul the Constitution because banning such non-violent assistance appeared to be critical to undermining the organizations’ terrorist activities.

    “Material support of a terrorist group’s lawful activities facilitates the group’s ability to attract ‘funds,’ ‘financing’ and ‘goods’ that will further its terrorist acts,” Roberts wrote. “If only good can come from training our adversaries in international dispute resolution, presumably it would have been unconstitutional to prevent American citizens from training the Japanese Government on using international organizations and mechanisms to resolve disputes during World War II.”

    For the entire article:

    • Lol! Sounds like Huppenthal was playing “Are you smarter than a high school student?”

      Hey Jackie is the AZ wild fires affecting you or AZGrammy?

      • No, but the longer they burn, the more chance the smoke finds it way down here. The fires are about 150-175 miles north of Phoenix, which is where I am. AZ Grammy is much further away in Tucson (about 120 miles from Phoenix) and Arizona Grandma is in Chandler which is about 30 miles from Phoenix. There are four of them now, so that spreads the resources very thin.

        • I understand.

          When the fires were burning in Santa Cruz (which is on the other side of the mountain btwn) we got a lot of smoky days and flying ash.


    • President Obama does not walk on water, so I think the whole thing is funny.

  29. Judge’s innovation may offer malpractice fix


    WASHINGTON – To settle medical malpractice lawsuits, Judge Douglas McKeon sometimes quietly listens to heartbroken family members vent their anger. He calls it “humanness.”

    Curiosity about medical matters led the longtime New York City judge to become a specialist in resolving wrenching cases that involve life-changing harm to patients. Taking note, the Obama administration is spending $3 million to see if McKeon’s methods and insights resolving medical liability cases can work on a broader scale.

    The New York state court system is one of 20 recent recipients of federal grants to find answers to such problems as getting hospitals and doctors to acknowledge mistakes, rather than cover them up, and protecting clinicians who follow best practices and still have something go wrong.

    The goals are preventing errors that injure patients, reducing lawsuit costs by avoiding lengthy trials and discouraging the wasteful practice of defensive medicine, when doctors order costly but usually unnecessary tests more to protect themselves than to aid the patient.

    McKeon, describing what works for him, says it’s “the willingness to bring humanness to the process.”

    “I don’t discuss settlement offers with families right away,” he says. “I just say, ‘Tell me a little bit about your loved one.'”

    The judge also does his homework. McKeon has sat in on medical school anatomy classes to gain clinical knowledge to help him evaluate cases. He reads medical journal articles and writes notes to himself on new terminology.

    The medical liability system has no shortage of critics. Many patients who suffer harm are never compensated. Incompetent doctors can practice for years; good ones can get dragged into court.

    Defensive medicine is estimated to cost Medicare and Medicaid billions of dollars a year.

    The most commonly advocated fix — limiting jury awards for a victim’s pain and suffering — has mostly been a political nonstarter. Trial lawyers, who give generously to Democrats, are adamantly opposed. Some academic experts say such limits can be unfair because they have the biggest impact on the people hurt most severely.

    For the entire article:

  30. I have a message for you all….

    President Obama told Edmund to tell us that he said Hi.

    Ive been dying to talk to Edmund to get all the details of the behind the scenes with the President today.

    I just got off the phone with him and he said it went like this:

    He told me that he alone greeted the President when he arrived at the ARC and spent a few minutes talking to him about the Mentoring Initiative. He said he was given a couple of pictures and then he gave the President a piece of Art Work as a gift. The President then signed the picture that Edmund took with him back in 2007 “Your doing a great job Edmund” signed Barack Obama.

    Edmund then told him that many of us pray for him daily and the President said he believes prayer works and then it was “show time”.

    After the event Edmund got to see the President and his cabinet members and he passed along my text message to tell the President that Donna and the OFA blog crew said hi.

    Edmund said that it was the thrill of a lifetime and that he felt being President had not changed him and that he is the same engaging person he was 3 years ago when he first met him.

  31. Green Marines: Camp Lejeune Buys Into Solar Power

    6/21/10 by Catherine Welch – WHQR NPR

    On the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina, large, reflective rectangles line the rooftops of some of the homes.

    But they’re not some high-tech military gadget or even a satellite dish to get the latest TV channels: They’re solar panels for heating water.

    So many of these panels have gone up in one neighborhood that the community is quickly becoming the largest in the continental U.S. to heat water with solar energy.

    ‘A Milestone’

    An American flag flies from the porch of Sgt. Kirk Paulsen and his wife’s light brown house. The Paulsens live on the corner of a cul-de-sac where every home on the block has a 10-by-4 solar panel smack in the middle of the roof. The solar panel is a new addition to the Paulsen home. One they’re proud of.

    “It’s kinda like a milestone in our history books for the Marine Corps, for the state of North Carolina and for the continental U.S.,” Paulsen says. “So I feel very proud of that — that we’re conserving it for our children’s children’s children.”

    Eventually solar panels will sit on top of 900 homes in this Camp Lejeune neighborhood.

    For the entire article:

  32. Can I get some input from all of you? has been on the web for three weeks (since 5/31) now and has received 3,383 comments and counting!

    My focus is posting of WH transcripts, news articles and videos that pertain to POTUS, his administration, DNC or the issues that America (and the world) is focused on. I want this to be a place that people can come to for source material by subject of thread for debates, etc.

    How do you like it? Do you have any suggestions?

    • PROS
      We like it…at least I know I do. It works well for discussions as well as seeking information. Congrats to you.

      I notice that you cannot copy and paste anything that you write on the site which can be a bummer when you want to copy info either for referernce or to take the information to another site.

    • I totally agree with what Donna says. The inability to cut and paste is the only “con” that I have.

      Thank you CR for our safe haven. It is greatly appreciated. I love it!

    • COPY / PASTE:

      If you are having problems copying after trying once try to move your cursor outside of the screen area and click then come back in and try to copy again…sometimes it works.

  33. CR,

    I think you have really achieved something so praiseworthy so quickly. is the first place I visit online each day.

    And now I will experiment in entering text that is bolded and italicized.

  34. Open for Questions: Environmental Justice

    From: whitehouse | December 15, 2010

    EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley take your questions about the Obama Administration’s work to create a healthy and sustainable environment for all Americans. December 15, 2010.

  35. White House Forum on Environmental Justice (Part 1 of 4)

    Senior Administration officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, hold a forum to discuss ways to ensure that overburdened and low-income communities have the opportunity to enjoy the health and economic benefits of a clean environment. December 15, 2010.

    • White House Forum on Environmental Justice (Part 2 of 4)

      Senior Administration officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, hold a forum to discuss ways to ensure that overburdened and low-income communities have the opportunity to enjoy the health and economic benefits of a clean environment. December 15, 2010.

    • White House Forum on Environmental Justice (Part 3 of 4)

      Senior Administration officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, hold a forum to discuss ways to ensure that overburdened and low-income communities have the opportunity to enjoy the health and economic benefits of a clean environment. December 15, 2010.

    • White House Forum on Environmental Justice (Part 4 of 4)

      Senior Administration officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, hold a forum to discuss ways to ensure that overburdened and low-income communities have the opportunity to enjoy the health and economic benefits of a clean environment. December 15, 2010.

  36. The White House Blog, Dec. 14, 2010:

    Cool Roofs: An Easy Upgrade

    Posted by Cathy Zoi, Acting Under Secretary of the Department of Energy.

    Check out Google Earth – the ‘view from above’ of your favorite American city. And look at the roofs of the office buildings, warehouses, shopping centers, and even the homes. Most of them are probably pretty dark in color – and this means they heat up a lot when the weather is warm – up to 50 degrees hotter than light roofs. All of those dark roofs mean that as a nation we’re using a lot more air conditioning than we need to. At least a billion dollars a year in extra power bills, in fact. And when you combine hot roofs with dark roads and parking lots, we get the ‘urban heat island’ effect: cities tend to be 2-5 degrees hotter than less urban areas just because of all the dark surfaces.

    But there’s something we can do about it: changing to a ‘cool roof.’ The Department of Energy just did this in our Washington, DC headquarters. It was time to replace our roof anyway, so for no extra cost we went to a ‘cool’ white material. And we’re hoping others follow this lead.

    A cooler roof means lower energy bills –up to 10-15% lower – when it’s warm out because your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. Saving energy means lower greenhouse gas emissions because we don’t need to burn as much fossil fuel. And less heat absorbed by building rooftops means cooler communities in the summer.

    Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab estimate that if just over three quarters of our nation’s commercial buildings were updated with cool roofs, the U.S. would save enough energy on air-conditioning to reduce CO2 emissions by about 6 million metric tons each year. That’s like taking more than a million cars off the road.

    Places like Bermuda and the Aegean island of Santorini got this concept long ago. Nearly every rooftop is white. These folks figured out that it’s more comfortable to use a cool roof in a hot climate than to use a dark roof and blast the AC.

    So if you or someone you know is planning some work on the roof of your building or home, check out whether cool roofing is a good option for your climate zone. Go to to calculate how much money you might save.

    The cleanest source of energy is the energy you don’t use. We’ve realized that in the Federal government and have gotten started on making sensible changes to save the taxpayers money. We’re looking forward to businesses and householders joining us in saving money by saving energy – and then let’s all shout about it from the rooftops. Cool ones, that is.

    • USdepartmentofenergy | December 10, 2010 –

      Why Cool Roofs?

      By installing a cool roof at DOE, the federal government and Secretary Chu are helping to educate families and businesses about the important energy and cost savings that can come with this simple, low-cost technology. Cool roofs have the potential to quickly and dramatically reduce global carbon emissions while saving money every month on consumers’ electrical bills.

  37. Investing in America’s New Energy Frontier

    Posted by Secretary Ken Salazar on June 17, 2011

    With the desert sun warming our backs and our shovels in the ground, California Governor Jerry Brown, BLM Director Bob Abbey and I participated in a groundbreaking ceremony this morning for the Blythe Solar Power Project, the world’s largest solar energy project to be built on public lands.

    Located eight miles west of Blythe, California, members of the small community, local officials, and representatives from Solar Trust of America braved the 100 degree heat to witness a historic moment in America’s new energy frontier. In the near future, the ground where we stood today will hold a solar power plant that will generate up to 1000 megawatts of power—enough energy to power more than 300,000 homes.

    Today’s ceremony not only launched the beginning of construction, but it also marked another important step in making America’s clean energy future a reality. This project shows in a real way how harnessing our own renewable resources can create good jobs here at home and contribute to our nation’s energy security.

    Just the first phase of this project will put about a thousand people to work out here in Blythe during construction and will create more than 200 permanent jobs. The second phase is expected to do the same. These are big numbers for the Blythe community.

    For the entire article:

    • Ground broken in Blythe for massive solar plant

      06/17/2011 The Associated Press

      BLYTHE, Calif.—What will be the world’s largest solar power plant is a major milestone in the nation’s march toward a renewable energy world and a more stable economy, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Friday during a groundbreaking ceremony.

      His department is working on 19 renewable energy projects on public lands, he said. “The goal is to secure the energy future of the United States of America and we will give priority to these projects,” Salazar said. Most of the projects are in the West.

      Government and corporate leaders lifted shovels full of dirt to toast the largest of the projects, the Blythe Solar Power Project in the California desert, 225 miles east of Los Angeles.

      The estimated cost of the plant is $4 billion. The U.S. Department of Energy has pledged a $2.1 billion loan guarantee to support it.

      The first phase of construction will put 1,000 people to work and create hundreds of permanent jobs. The second phase will do the same, Salazar said. When finished, the plant will generate enough electricity to power 300,000 homes, he said.

      For the entire article:

      • Groundbreaking Ceremony Blythe

        Uploaded by SolarMillenniumGroup on Jun 17, 2011


  38. *********************

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “White House Office of Urban Affairs ”

    To get to newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the page and click on the title of the newest post

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