StudentAid

Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, plays a central and essential role in America’s postsecondary education community. Our core mission is to ensure that all eligible individuals benefit from federal financial assistance—grants, loans and work-study programs—for education beyond high school. The Federal Student Aid team is passionately committed to making education beyond high school more attainable for all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic status. By championing access to postsecondary education, we uphold its value as a force for greater inclusion in American society and for the continued vitality of America as a nation.

The programs we administer comprise the nation’s largest source of student aid. Every year we provide more than $100 billion in new aid to nearly 14 million postsecondary students and their families. Among our most visible and essential services are the development, distribution, and processing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM), the form used to apply for all federal ,as well as for many state, regional and private student aid programs. Each year approximately 14 million FAFSAs are processed.

The aid from our programs allows students and their families to cover school expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. To receive federal student aid, a student must be enrolled in an eligible program at participating postsecondary institution, whether it be a two- or four-year public or private college or university, career school, or trade school.

There are three basic types of federal student aid: grants, loans, and work-study.

Whether you apply online or use the paper FAFSA, you can get free help by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at the telephone number(s) listed below or by contacting the financial aid administrator at your college.

Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC):
1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
(TTY 1-800-730-8913)
US Dept of Education Federal Student Aid app StudentAid

Various Web sites do offer help filing the FAFSA for a fee. These sites are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the U.S. Department of Education. StudentAid.ed.gov urges you not to pay these sites for assistance that they provide for free.

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139 thoughts on “StudentAid

  1. WH

    Friday Aug. 20, 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

    VP Biden speaks at DNC meeting in St. Louis.
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM

    Press Briefing by Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton.
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM

  2. Simplifying Student Aid: The Case for an Easier, Faster, and More Accurate FAFSA

    Download the full report as a printable PDF

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Each year, more than 16 million college students and their families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). They spend hours answering needlessly complicated and intrusive questions that undermine the fundamental goal of student aid: to help more students attend and graduate from college. In this report the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the National Economic Council (NEC) discuss the need to simplify the process of applying for federal student aid, describe President Obama’s plan for simplification, and analyze the potential impact of such improvements on Pell grant recipients.

    The current aid application process is needlessly complicated, burdensome and difficult to verify.

    * The current FAFSA includes 153 questions and requires families to report detailed information about income and assets, much of which has little or no impact on student aid eligibility but is difficult to understand and pull together.
    * With more than one million students who likely qualify for aid failing to complete an application, it is clear that a central goal of student aid programs – ensuring that college is within the financial reach of all qualified students – is not being met.
    * The questions on assets and savings are complex and largely unverifiable, providing opportunities for gamesmanship. Moreover, their inclusion in the financial aid formula for some students can penalize families who have saved for postsecondary education expenses.

    The Obama Administration is taking three steps to make it easier for students to apply for aid and to make college more accessible:

    * The online application is being streamlined, with millions of students already using a shorter, simplified form; more improvements are on the way.
    * In January, some students and parents will be able to electronically retrieve their tax information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and transfer it into the online FAFSA.
    * Congress is considering the Administration’s proposal to simplify the eligibility formula. This would make it possible to remove 29 of the most difficult FAFSA questions regarding savings and income adjustments that are not available on tax returns.

    Together, these reforms will create an application that is simple to complete, requiring only easily obtainable personal information, and results in verifiable eligibility determinations.

    President Obama is also seeking historic investments in student aid, including over $115 billion in Pell grants over the next 10 years. 1 Virtually all students eligible for Pell grants – 99 percent – would receive larger Pell grants under his proposals. The President’s plan to reform the federal financial aid application will help millions more students benefit from these investments.
    1. Executive Office of the President. Office of Management and Budget (2009).

    To continue reading, download the full report as a printable PDF

  3. April 24, 2009

    REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
    ON HIGHER EDUCATION

    Diplomatic Reception Room

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. That was excellent — we might have to run her for something some day. (Laughter.) That was terrific. Thank you, Stephanie. I want to also introduce Yvonne Thomas, who is Stephanie’s proud mother. And we appreciate everything that you’ve done. And Stephanie’s father, Albert, is around here as well.
    There are few things as fundamental to the American Dream or as essential for America’s success as a good education. This has never been more true than it is today. At a time when our children are competing with kids in China and India, the best job qualification you can have is a college degree or advanced training. If you do have that kind of education, then you’re well prepared for the future — because half of the fastest growing jobs in America require a Bachelor’s degree or more. And if you don’t have a college degree, you’re more than twice as likely to be unemployed as somebody who does. So the stakes could not be higher for young people like Stephanie.
    And yet, in a paradox of American life, at the very moment it’s never been more important to have a quality higher education, the cost of that kind of that kind of education has never been higher. Over the past few decades, the cost of tuition at private colleges has more than doubled, while costs at public institutions have nearly tripled. Compounding the problem, tuition has grown ten times faster than a typical family’s income, putting new pressure on families that are already strained and pricing far too many students out of college altogether. Yet, we have a student loan system where we’re giving lenders billions of dollars in wasteful subsidies that could be used to make college more affordable for all Americans.
    This trend — a trend where a quality higher education slips out of reach for ordinary Americans — threatens the dream of opportunity that is America’s promise to all its citizens. It threatens to widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots. And it threatens to undercut America’s competitiveness — because America cannot lead in the 21st century unless we have the best educated, most competitive workforce in the world. And that’s the kind of workforce — and the kind of citizenry — to which we should be committed.
    And that’s why we have taken and proposed a number of sweeping steps over our first few months in office — steps that amount to the most significant efforts to open the doors of college to middle-class Americans since the GI Bill. Millions of working families are now eligible for a $2,500 annual tax credit that will help them pay the cost of tuition; a tax credit that will cover the full cost of tuition at most of the two-year community colleges that are some of the great and undervalued assets of our education system.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-higher-education

    • Making College More Affordable

      “We will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”
      -PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, FEB. 24, 2009
      The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act represents a historic investment in higher education – expanding educational opportunity for America’s students and families. The legislation strengthens the Pell Grant program, invests in community colleges, extends support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions, and helps student borrowers manage their student loan debt. It pays for these investments while reducing the federal deficit by ending government subsidies currently given to financial institutions that make guaranteed federal student loans.

      Specific elements of the overall plan: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education

  4. September 9, 2009

    Vice President Biden Holds Middle Class Task Force Meeting on College Access and Affordability
    http://www.AStrongMiddleClass.gov

    SYRACUSE, NY – The White House Task Force on Middle Class Families, chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, held a meeting at Syracuse University in New York to discuss ways to help families save and pay for college. The meeting, “Making College More Accessible and Affordable for Middle Class Families,” also highlighted specific improvements the Administration is making to the overall process of paying for college. The Vice President was joined today by Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor, State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and other higher education experts.
    “I know how challenging it is for parents and students who are trying to save or pay for college,” said Vice President Biden. “We should be making this process easier, not more difficult, and we’re starting by tearing down barriers so that middle class families have the means to send their kids to college.”
    Earlier this year, the Task Force held its first college affordability discussion in St. Louis, Missouri. At this meeting, the Vice President asked the Treasury Department to look into 529 plans and find ways to make them more effective and reliable for middle class families. A 529 plan, offered by states, provides a convenient, tax-preferred way for families to save for college, and works much like ROTH IRAs, wherein contributions are made with after-tax income, returns accumulate tax free and distributions can be for qualified educational expenses without taxes. Based on a study of best plan management practices, the Treasury Department today provided recommendations that can be implemented now to make 529 plans more accessible, effective and reliable for the middle class. To view the full study and recommendations, please go to: http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/docs/529.pdf.
    “Today, we have identified several ways to make these plans more effective and reliable for middle class families,” said Secretary of Treasury Geithner. “By encouraging all states to offer low-fee, age-based index funds and by encouraging greater competition among state plans, we can help make the dream of a college education a reality for millions of middle class families.”
    “We have to educate our way to a better economy. That’s why we have an agenda to make college affordable and accessible to everyone – recent high school graduates, adults wanting to improve their careers, laid-off workers needing new job skills,” said Secretary of Education Duncan. “As the President told high school students yesterday, if you drop out of school, you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country. We also want to send the message that we’re not quitting on you. We’re providing the resources you need to go to college and succeed there.”

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/vice-president-biden-holds-middle-class-task-force-meeting-college-access-and-affor

  5. March 01, 2010

    President Obama Announces Steps to Reduce Dropout Rate and Prepare Students for College and Careers

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Barack Obama highlighted steps his Administration will take to combat the dropout crisis and invest in strategies to ensure students graduate prepared for college and careers.

    President Obama challenged states to identify high schools with graduation rates below 60% and discussed the Administration’s investments to help them turn those schools around. The Obama Administration has committed $3.5 billion to fund transformational changes in America’s persistently low-performing schools. Additionally, the President’s FY 2011 budget includes $900 million to support School Turnaround Grants. President Obama also emphasized the importance of investing in dropout prevention and recovery strategies to help make learning more engaging and relevant for students, and announced new efforts to invest $100 million in a College Pathways program to promote a college readiness culture in high schools, through programs that allow students to earn a high school diploma and college credit at the same time.

    “This is a problem we can’t afford to accept or ignore,” President Obama said. “The stakes are too high – for our children, for our economy, for our country. It’s time for all of us to come together – parents and students, principals and teachers, business leaders and elected officials – to end America’s dropout crisis.”

    President Obama spoke at the America’s Promise Alliance GradNation event hosted by Alliance Founding Chairman General Colin Powell and his wife and Alliance Chair Alma Powell. America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth.

    FACT SHEET BELOW:

    Reducing the Dropout Rate and Helping All Students Graduate College and Career Ready

    “It is time for all of us, no matter what our backgrounds, to come together and solve this epidemic. Stemming the tide of dropouts will require turning around our low-performing schools. Just 2,000 high schools in cities like Detroit, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia produce over 50% of America’s dropouts… Let us all make turning around our schools our collective responsibility as Americans.&rdquo

    President Barack Obama

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-announces-steps-reduce-dropout-rate-and-prepare-students-college-an

  6. Investing in Pell Grants to Make College Affordable

    download as pdf

    “We will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.” – President Barack Obama February 24, 2009

    Pell Grants are the foundation of our national efforts to make college affordable. Unfortunately, their purchasing power has diminished over time. Since coming into office, President Obama has worked aggressively to increase the maximum Pell award because he recognizes that for millions of Americans, Pell Grants are the primary form of financial aid they use to pay tuition. The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act strengthens the Pell Grant program for students and families by:

    * Raising the Maximum Pell Grant and Assuring that It Continues to Grow: Pell Grant scholarships help more than 8 million Americans a year afford college, but the purchasing power of these grants has rapidly diminished over time. The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act invests more than $40 billion in Pell Grants to ensure that all eligible students receive an award and that these awards are increased in future years to help keep pace with both inflation and the rising costs of college. These investments, coupled with the funding provided in the Recovery Act and the President’s first two budgets, will more than double the total amount of funding available for Pell Grants since the President took office. The bill will increase the Federal Pell Grant maximum award by the Consumer Price Index from 2013 through 2017, which is estimated to raise the maximum grant for students from $5,550 to $5,975 according to non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates. By the 2020-2021 academic school year, more than 820,000 additional Pell Grant awards are expected to result from this new law.
    * Stabilizing Pell Grant Funding: The budgeting process for Pell Grants often leads to funding shortfalls. The current shortfall is particularly severe because of the large number of students and workers qualifying for the award that have recently returned to school. The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act covers the expected funding shortfall and much of the recent growth in Pell costs, putting the program on more secure footing for years to come.
    * Investing in Students Rather Than Subsidizing Banks: The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act pays for increased investments in Pell Grants by reforming the current student loan programs. Delivering all student loans through the direct student loan program—instead of subsidizing banks through the more costly Federal Family Educational Loan program— will save taxpayers nearly $68 billion by 2020 according to the Congressional Budget Office. The bill reinvests these savings in students.

    These commitments complement President Obama’s broader agenda for higher education that includes:

    * Expanding income based repayment options for borrowers with unmanageable debt.
    * Increased investments in America’s community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions.
    * Simplifying the federal student aid application (FAFSA) to make it easier to apply for financial aid for college.
    * Tripling the largest college tax credit, now known as the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

    • usedgov | June 24, 2010 –

      The Transition to Direct Lending

      Bill Taggart, chief operating officer for Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education (ED), discusses the transition from the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program to Direct Lending. He explains how this will allow ED to fund more Pell Grants at higher amounts — making higher education more accessible to more students, at a lower cost.

    • usedgov | June 24, 2010 –

      Obama Administration’s Agenda for Higher Education

      U.S. Department of Education Under Secretary Martha Kanter discusses how the Department can help America reach President Obama’s goal of having the “best educated, most competitive workforce in the world” by 2020?

  7. Making Higher Education More Affordable

    Posted by Kalpen Modi on March 30, 2010

    The President believes that for America to compete in the 21st century, we’ll need a highly educated workforce that is second to none. But one of the things holding us back from this achievement is soaring tuition costs at colleges and universities around the country. Too many students and families struggle to make ends meet just to fulfill the dream of a college education. And when students are unable to afford access to higher education or graduate with a degree, our economy suffers.

    That’s why President Obama signed today a historic piece of legislation that delivers real reforms and critical investments to our higher education system. By strengthening the Pell Grant program, investing in community colleges, extending support for Historically Black Colleges and other Minority Serving Institutions, and helping student borrowers manage their student loan debt, we will make college more affordable and enable more Americans to earn a college degree.

    Lifelong educators like Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, know how important these reforms will be to our higher education system.

    This legislation means $40 billion more dollars in the Pell Grant program to ensure that eligible students receive an award, and that awards increase to keep pace with rising tuition. And a $2 billion investment over four years for community colleges to develop, improve, and provide education and career training programs. Students will be able to choose to limit their student loan payments to 10% of their income, with any remaining balance forgiven after 20 years. And public service workers can have their loans forgiven after 10 years.

    Because special interests have been benefiting from taxpayer subsidies for too long, we’re cutting out the middlemen by ending government subsidies currently given to banks and other financial institutions that make guaranteed federal student loans. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, ending these wasteful subsidies will free up nearly $68 billion for college affordability and deficit reduction over the next 11 years. So these investments are not only paid for, but they’ll reduce the deficit in the long run.

    Because of the legislation enacted today, we’re finally undertaking meaningful reform to our education system and making college more affordable and accessible.

    For more information on these federal student aid programs, please go to http://www.studentaid.ed.gov, or call 1-800-4FED-AID.

    Kalpen Modi is an Associate Director for the Office of Public Engagement

    Dr. Jill Biden on Good News for Higher Education

    • 10 eco-tips for college students

      Going off to college this year? Here are some ways to go green when you get there.

      8/6/10 Jenn Savedge -mnn.com

      1. Be thrifty: Hit your local thrift stores and yard sales to pick up gently used items to furnish your dorm room or college apartment. Not only will you save a ton of cash, but you’ll also avoid waste from production and keep those old items out of the landfill.

      2. Green your texts: Do research to find used textbooks from stores, classmates or websites. Another option is to rent your textbooks or save paper and money by sharing textbooks with a friend.

      3. BYOB: No, not beer — bottle. Get in the habit of carrying your own reusable bottle for water (or mug if you prefer coffee) to avoid buying drinks in disposable bottles or cups each day.

      4. Green your dorm: When selecting furniture for your dorm, look for decor that you can recycle when you’ve outgrown it or when you move out in a few years. Avoid chemicals by investing in organic cotton linens. And pick up compact fluorescent light bulbs to save energy while you study.

      5. Park your car: Most campuses are pedestrian friendly, offering decent walking and biking trails as well as public transportation. Make it a plan to walk, bike, and ride the bus whenever possible instead of hopping in the car.

      6. Take notes on your computer. Bring your laptop to class and take notes on it instead of in a notebook. You’ll save paper and have a better chance of keeping your notes organized.

      7. Save water: College campuses tend to use enormous amounts of water. Do your part to conserve by taking shorter showers, turning off the water while brushing your teeth, and using less water when washing dishes.

      8. Buy beer on tap: When you’re out at the bar, buy beer on tap (that’s served in a washable beer mug) rather than bottled beer.

      9. Stay connected online: Save paper by reading the news and catching up with friends online. You can get newspapers, magazines, entertainment, and even books online these days. And between Facebook and Skype, there’s hardly any reason to write a letter anymore!

      10. Ask your professor about e-mail. Most college campuses are tech-savvy these days, so it’s more than likely that your professor will not only accept assignments via e-mail, he or she may prefer to receive them that way. Don’t print out anything you don’t need to (class syllabus, assignments and review sheets included).

  8. GOP WRONG WAY

    The GOP’S New War on Schools

    The rise of Michele Bachmann reflects a shift in the party’s education agenda.

    Aug. 17, 2011, By Dana Goldstein – Slate

    Michele Bachmann’s victory in the Iowa straw poll Saturday represents many obvious things: the mainstreaming of the Tea Party, the overnight ordinariness of female presidential candidates, the increasing irrelevance of also-ran moderates like Jon Huntsman. But her growing popularity among the Republican base also signals something that’s been less widely acknowledged: a sea change in the party’s education agenda. It’s safe to say that the political era of George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind is now officially over, even as the law’s testing mandates continue to reverberate in classrooms across the country.

    As recently as a decade ago, Republicans like George W. Bush, John McCain, and John Boehner embraced bipartisan, standards-and-accountability education reform as a pro-business venture, a way to make American workers and firms more competitive in the global marketplace. Now we are seeing the GOP acquiesce to the anti-government, Christian-right view of education epitomized by Bachmann, in which public schools are regarded not as engines for economic growth or academic achievement, but as potential moral corrupters of the nation’s youth.

    Against a backdrop of Tea Party calls to abolish the Department of Education and drastically cut the federal government’s role in local public schools, Rep. John Kline, the moderate chairman of the House education and workforce committee, has refused to engage in productive negotiations with the Obama administration on how to update and reauthorize the troubled No Child Left Behind law. If it is not rewritten to emphasize academic growth instead of raw test score goals, up to 80 percent of American schools could be labeled “failing” this school year, because less than 100 percent of their native-born American students have reached “proficiency” on reading and math tests. But with no Republican partners emerging from the partisan morass to work on the legislation, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced last week that his department would sidestep Congress, allowing states to ignore NCLB’s test-score targets if they pursue school reform in other ways, such as tying teacher evaluation and pay to student achievement data.

    For the entire article: http://www.slate.com/id/2301852/

    • Romney’s plan to move backwards on education

      Jul 10, 2012 10:43 AM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      The New York Times ran a report last week on President Obama, who enjoyed the enthusiastic backing of most young voters four years ago, having more trouble rallying support this year. The combination of a weak recovery and dysfunctional mess in Washington has tempered the youthful passion that helped propel Obama into office in the last election.

      But the next question is whether the president’s challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, is in a position to win over many of the young people who may be open to outreach. If education policy makes any difference at all, the former governor is hardly trying.

      The quote didn’t generate much in the way of attention, but consider this line Romney delivered in a recent speech in Virginia.

      The key phrase: Romney wants young people to “get as much education as they can afford.” That’s not really the way American society is supposed to work — if you’re a young person who’s bright, works hard, and wants to further you’re education, your public leaders and public institutions aren’t supposed to say, “Sorry, you’re not wealthy enough to pursue educational opportunities.”

      But that’s Romney’s message in a nutshell. Indeed, in March, the GOP candidate explained his intention to cut Pell Grants and encourage students who struggle with tuition costs to “shop around” until they can find a college they can afford.

      And then, of course, there’s Romney’s plan for the student-loan system, which he intends to make worse, on purpose, in order to boost bank profits for no reason. It’s arguably the most scandalous element of Romney education agenda, and most voters probably aren’t aware of how absurd it is.

      Continue reading this entry …http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/10/12662127-romneys-plan-to-move-backwards-on-education

      ———

      As much education as you can afford

      Published on Jun 29, 2012 by Romney oned

  9. Repost:

    Most of those who think Obama is Muslim learned it from media

    Everyone is obsessing over that new Pew poll finding that the number who think Obama is a Muslim has risen to nearly one-fifth of Americans.

    But here’s an amazing nugget buried in the poll’s internals: A solid majority of those who believe that say they “learned” it from the media. The poll asked this question of those who maintain he’s a Muslim:

    And how did you learn about Barack Obama’s religion?

    60 Media

    11 Obama’s behaviors or his own words

    7 Things heard or read (non-specific)

    7 Internet

    6 Things heard or read during presidential campaign

    4 Views of family or friends

    4 Obama’s ancestry — family background, name, appearance

    1 My own opinion

    1 Obama’s policies towards Muslim countries or religion in the U.S.

    Until now the common explanation for this phenomenon has been to blame it on viral Internet campaigns and word of mouth. But as you can see from the above, only seven percent of those who believe Obama is a Muslim say they learned it from the Internet, and a substantial majority cites the media as their primary source.

    http://bit.ly/c3EGDn

    • MediaMatters.org, August 19, 2010:

      Behind Obama Muslim myth stands the right wing

      Two recently released polls show that an increasing number of Americans believe the falsehood that President Obama is a Muslim. According to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of people who believe this false claim cite the media as the source of that information — and, indeed, the right-wing media have incessantly promoted this lie….

      Right-wing media have relentlessly pushed the myth that Obama is a Muslim. In the past two years, the conservative media has continued to lie about Obama’s personal history, dishonestly distorting his faith to claim that he is in fact a Muslim and not a Christian. Those untruths have run the gamut — from outright claiming that Obama is a Muslim to alleging that he “is a Christian that Christians don’t recognize”; from using his family and upbringing in Indonesia to portray him as an “Islamist” to claiming he has an agenda that shows he has a “preference of Islam over Christianity”; and from distorting comments Obama or his administration has made to picking out symbols associated with his administration to perpetuate the lie about his faith. Conservatives have even used the Pew and Time polls today to further rehash these falsehoods….

      ….Fox News and the conservative media seized on the official logo of the Nuclear Security Summit to claim its image “looks like” an Islamic crescent. However, as Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart noted, “the inspiration for the logo is actually the Rutherford-Bohr Model of the atom that we all learned about in high school.”….

      http://bit.ly/9UOPwJ

  10. BGraham

    President Barack Obama meets with Rev. Billy Graham at his house in Montreat, N.C., April 25, 2010.

    • Obama keeping public expressions of religion to a minimum

      8/20/10 Michael Shear – Washington Post

      As he flew aboard Air Force One to Chicago on his 49th birthday earlier this month, President Obama dialed three Christian pastors to pray with him On an airborne conference call, he kidded with the religious leaders about being abandoned by his wife and daughters, who were away on vacation and at camp. As he celebrated his birthday, he was in a reflective mood. He told them he wanted to pray about the year that had passed, what’s really important in life and the challenges ahead.

      “That was simply something that he wanted to do at his initiative because it was important to him,” said Joel Hunter, an evangelical pastor who was on the call and who is part of a small circle of spiritual advisers who frequently talk to Obama by phone.

      The prayer session, which was not publicized and which neither the White House nor the ministers sought to bring to light, reflects Obama’s decision to keep his public expressions of religious faith to a minimum. Hunter said the president often reaches out to pastors for private spiritual conversation.

      For the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/19/AR2010081906659.html

  11. Chicago Tribune editorial, August 19, 2010:

    Tolerance and a mosque

    …. We’ve already said why we favor allowing the mosque to be built. We support the developer’s right to build on private property as law permits. Local officials green-lighted the project by a 29-1 vote. That should be that.

    But the issue keeps simmering because some politicians see a “wedge” issue — a way to galvanize voters in the November elections….

    Wedge issues by definition are disruptive, but not always predictably. They can attract some voters but alienate others. And they can mark those who drive the wedge as dangerous agents of harm. The peril in this case: stoking religious intolerance against Muslims….

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg a Republican, deserves credit for his unequivocal stance: This is about religious tolerance, period.

    We’re encouraged that many Americans understand this. A recent Siena College poll showed 63 percent of New Yorkers oppose the construction of the mosque at the site, but roughly the same number believe the project’s developers have the constitutional right to build there….

    In this country, we don’t poll-test our constitutional liberties to determine when they do and don’t apply.

    The politicians and talking heads now fueling the anti-mosque firestorm have put their own prospects before this nation’s principles. They should use this moment to teach, not to exploit.

    http://bit.ly/9AcazT

  12. whitehouse | August 19, 2010 –

    West Wing Week: 8/20/10 or “Turkey Turkey and a Jammer”

    This week, travel with the First Family to Panama City Beach, Florida for a weekend of swimming, mini-golf, and meeting with local business owners. Next up, the President hits the road traveling to Milwaukee, Seattle and Columbus to talk to business owners and families about the economy.

  13. The Washington Post, August 20, 2010:

    President Obama’s winning streak

    By Eugene Robinson

    This is a radical break from journalistic convention, I realize, but today I’d like to give credit where it’s due — specifically, to President Obama. Quiet as it’s kept, he’s on a genuine winning streak.

    It’s hard to remember that the inauguration was just 19 months ago. Expectations of the new president were absurdly high. If Obama had done back flips across the Potomac River, when he reached the other side he’d have faced probing questions about why it was taking him so long to cure cancer, solve the Arab-Israeli conflict and usher in an age of universal peace and prosperity.

    But look at what he’s accomplished in just the past few weeks. Let me highlight four recent headlines.

    “Last U.S. combat troops leave Iraq” …. Even his scorched-earth Republican critics, by their silence, are acknowledging that the president has fulfilled his campaign promise to be “just as careful getting out of Iraq as we were reckless getting in.”

    “General Motors to launch stock offering”…. after making more than $2 billion in profits so far this year, the restructured company is confident enough to sell stock on Wall Street — and begin repaying the government’s investment.

    The company was saved, workers kept their jobs, and taxpayers are going to get their money back. That’s nice work.

    “Gulf oil spill contained”…. Obama persuaded BP to put up $20 billion as a guarantee that the Gulf Coast residents whose livelihoods were damaged or destroyed by the spill would be compensated.

    Republican critics who called this a “shakedown” were quickly shushed — by other Republicans. Meanwhile, the administration ramped up its response operation and found effective ways of keeping oil from reaching the shore….

    And finally, “President wades into mosque controversy”: Yes, I’m serious. Supporting the mosque in Lower Manhattan didn’t score any political points. But Obama saw his duty to uphold the values of our Constitution and make clear that our fight is against the terrorists, not against Islam itself. Instead of doing what was popular, he did what was right.

    He still hasn’t walked on water, though. What’s wrong with the man?

    http://bit.ly/bVSSMo

  14. Once in a few months, there’s a glimpse of sanity in the media. I guess this is one of these times. Thanks for posting.

  15. Talks to resume
    Wire: Obama to host Sept. 2 summit

    8/20/10 By POLITICO STAFF

    Israelis and Palestinians are being invited to begin direct peace talks on Sept. 2, Reuters reports tonight, citing a diplomatic source out of Martha’s Vineyard, where President Barack Obama is vacationing.

    “Envoys from the so-called Quartet of powers — the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations — agreed to the details on Thursday,” Reuters cited its diplomatic source.

    Statements from the parties agreeing to go into the talks soon are expected to be issued near simultaneously as early as Friday. President Obama is expected to attend the talks, which reports say could take place in the United States or Egypt.

    POLITICO reported Monday that Israeli-Palestinian direct talks were expected to be announced this week, despite the reported rejection by the Israeli Cabinet Sunday of a statement from the Quartet as the basis for direct talks.

    “We think we are very, very close to a decision by the parties to enter into direct negotiations,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said earlier Thursday. “There are details that are still being worked out. You could quote Yogi Berra I suppose, ‘It’s not over till it’s over.’ But we’re happy where we are.”

  16. President Obama’s Winning Streak

    By Eugene Robinson
    Friday, August 20, 2010

    This is a radical break from journalistic convention, I realize, but today I’d like to give credit where it’s due — specifically, to President Obama. Quiet as it’s kept, he’s on a genuine winning streak.

    It’s hard to remember that the inauguration was just 19 months ago. Expectations of the new president were absurdly high. If Obama had done back flips across the Potomac River, when he reached the other side he’d have faced probing questions about why it was taking him so long to cure cancer, solve the Arab-Israeli conflict and usher in an age of universal peace and prosperity.

    But look at what he’s accomplished in just the past few weeks. Let me highlight four recent headlines

    Read those highlights here:
    http://bit.ly/bSqysY

  17. Good morning, good friends. Here is today’s livestream schedule:

    Friday, August 20, 2010
    All times Eastern

    10:00 AM (CNN is listing this at 10:00 AM but I think the actual time is closer to 10:50 AM)
    Vice president speaks at DNC meeting: Vice President Joe Biden is the headline speaker for today’s session of the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting in St. Louis.
    Livestreamed at CNN: http://live.cnn.com/
    I believe it’s also being livestreamed at the DNC website: http://www.democrats.org/

    11:00 AM
    Thad Allen briefing on Gulf oil disaster: Retired Coast Guard admiral and National Incident Commander Thad Allen discusses the Gulf oil disaster at Washington’s National Press Club.
    Livestreamed at CNN: http://live.cnn.com/

    12:30 PM
    Interfaith briefing on NYC mosque dispute
    A group of prominent Southern California interfaith leaders brief reporters in Los Angeles on their support for the creation of a mosque and Islamic center near the World Trade Center site in New York.
    Livestreamed at CNN: http://live.cnn.com/

    1:00 PM
    Briefing by Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton
    Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
    Livestreamed (Audio Only) at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live/ and CNN: http://live.cnn.com/

  18. Messaging? The White House has a messaging problem? I know this is rather simplistic Mr Scarborough, but listen up for a sec. Media is supposed to work like this- News is made, journalists and reporters talk about said news, describe it and disseminate it. You are supposed to make us smarter. If the public doesn’t even know that the Health Care Reform Bill passed, how the hell is that the White House’s fault Joe? How is their messaging off?

    Every day since this administration took over there have been whispers and shouts from the media. equal pay for women, BARE ARMS INAUGURAL DRESS, ended media blackout on covering the return of fallen soldiers, OPPORTUNISTIC PHOTO OP AT DOVER AFB?, end stop-loss, WEAK ON TERROR/WAR and ad infinitum. You perpetuate bullshit memes while you feed your personal grudges (note to Mort [Obama wouldn’t kiss my money, so now I HATE him] Zuckerman- there is no “almost unanimous”. It is either unanimous or not asswipe) over who did or didn’t get invited to the Press Corps cocktail soiree.

    Every damn day I see you guys shrugging your shoulders as if you are powerless, just POWERLESS we tell you, to do anything about the narrative you spew. It’s a broken record out of me by now, but if one half of the energy “journalists” had spent maw mawing over bare arms, vacations, golf and Muslims had been spent on health care, well, I’d still be in bed and much happier than I am right now.

    Just now, “The message they (White House) are sending is not getting through.” Yeah, and we have you to thank.

    **MSNBC has conveniently not posted the video of the first asinine 15 minutes of today’s Morning Joe that got me into this snit.
    http://dlvr.it/42QSD

  19. I feel ya, Sandy. The White House does need to tighten up their messaging, but the media sure doesn’t help clear the air. This mosque issue is now 100% driven by the media. Most of the elected officials are on break, yet they’re still talking about it.

  20. Good morning folks!

    A few random thoughts:

    1) The polls re: people thinking the president is a Muslim. I think one answer to why people hold this erroneous belief can be found in the polls themselves. Follow me here…the very existence of a poll that is asking people whether they believe the president is a Muslim only serves to breed suspicion. A reasonable person may ask him or herself…why would they ask me this question? Is there something to this Obama is a Muslim thing? Bottom line, by asking the question in constant polling, I don’t think it is unreasonable or unforeseeable that eventually people will start to wonder if there’s any validity to the claim and then eventually as time goes on, they may actually believe it since the claim is constantly made, or at least the issue is constant brought up – even though it may be brought up in order to debunk the rumor.

    I mean, where were the poll questions asking us if we thought Bush was still drinking? Or if Bill Clinton was womanizing? Or if Hillary is a Republican? Is John Edwards an atheist? If those questions are constantly being asked, as if they are never FULLY answered, soon enough people will start believe that the premise of the question is true, or at least holds a grain of truth.

    My second thought: Blago. I listened to him on the Today Show this a.m. and he is something else. His talking point is that all he was doing was horsetrading, the same type that “led a US Congressperson to vote for the health care bill, and then his brother ended up appointed to a federal judge position.” (wink wink). Then he says that he wants the Feds to release the tapes that were from Dec. 8th or 9th which show that the decision was lawfully made, involving Rahm. He wouldn’t elaborate, he just wants the tapes released which show he came to a decision and Rahm is involved. This is fodder for the Republicans should they take the House. I hope we can figure out a way to muzzle him because it’s also juicy political gossip for Republicans to use for the midterms.

    • We can absolutely read attitudes into not only how the question is phrased but the fact that it is even asked in the first place. This President will go down in history as the most scrutinized and micro-managed in history. He will also be hailed as one of the greatest, despite the efforts of those who are invested in bitterness and small-minded bigotry.

  21. With the 9/11 anniversary coming up the new MSM sensationalism will be focused on the GOP/TeaBagger/Haters campaign of “US VS THEM” meaning suspicions of the Muslim faith and questioning POTUS’s Christianity.

    —-

    It seems like the GOP/TeaBaggers/Haters want to question anyone who advocates for the TRUE AMERICAN IDEAL OF FREEDOM of religion for others like our Muslim friends.

    President Obama understands the Freedom of Religion on two levels as he was a Constitutional Lawyer and he understands the necessity of tolerance as his Christian faith dictates.

    .

    In the Charters of freedom it states that their is Freedom of Religion.

    The US Constitution states in:

    Article Six also states “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
    .

    The Bill of Rights (Amendments 1 to 10) states:

    It is commonly understood that originally the Bill of Rights was not intended to apply to the states; however, there is no such limit in the text itself, except where an amendment refers specifically to the federal government. One example is the First Amendment, which says only that “Congress shall make no law…”, and under which some states in the early years of the nation officially established a religion. A rule of inapplicability to the states remained until 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, which stated, in part, that:
    “ No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. ”

    First Amendment: addresses the rights of freedom of religion (prohibiting Congress from establishing a religion and protecting the right to free exercise of religion), freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of petition.

    Source: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/charters.html

    • Opinion: Has the U.S. closed the door on American Muslims?

      8/19/20 By Haris Tarin – For the LA Times

      When my parents decided to leave their war-ravaged homeland of Afghanistan in the 1980s, they had the option of migrating to a number of different countries, but sought one that they could make their “home.” You see, my father was a government official in the Afghan Education Ministry, before the Russian invasion and the subsequent takeover by the Taliban. He was tasked with modernizing the Afghan educational system while also ensuring that core, centuries-old Afghan values were preserved.

      The assignment took him all over the world. Yet no nation left a lasting impact on him until his visit to the United States in 1972.

      During his extensive travels from coast to coast and many places in between, he established friendships he never imagined were possible with people of a different faith, culture and skin color. He marveled at the openness and welcoming nature of the American people and government. Little did he know then that in a matter of three decades, he and my mother would choose the U.S. as their adopted homeland, and that he would be buried in its soil.

      As young children, we would ask him why he chose this country. He would calmly respond: “The acceptance of my faith that I received in my travels through this country, I would not be able to find anywhere else.”

      Yet today, I am afraid for my children. I am afraid that when they turn the TV on, or listen to the radio (which I now turn off when we are in the car), they will receive a very different message from the one my father shared with us. The message they hear today is of intolerance. Whether it be about an Islamic center in New York blocks from Ground Zero or a mosque in Temecula, Calif., their faith is being openly and viciously maligned, and they themselves are made to feel responsible for the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

      My children were born here, and they consider themselves as wholly American, but I fear that the current discourse about their faith and their houses of worship will have a devastating effect on them.

      My father knew something greater about America than what is spouted by Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and the host of professional bigots who have built a cottage industry out of Muslim-baiting. He knew that the power of America is in its acceptance and openness.

      For the entire article: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_15828352?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com

  22. Next Up on CNN….Three events to choose from (all EST):

    1) 11:00 AM
    Thad Allen briefing on Gulf oil disaster

    Retired Coast Guard admiral and National Incident Commander Thad Allen discusses the Gulf oil disaster at Washington’s National Press Club.

    2) 11:00 AM
    Hillary Clinton statement on Middle East peace talks

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to announce that Israel and the Palestinian Authority have agreed to return to the negotiating table.

    3) 11:00 AM

    Vice president speaks at DNC meeting

    Vice President Joe Biden is the headline speaker for today’s session of the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting in St. Louis.

    http://live.cnn.com/

    ——-
    11:00 AM

    VP Joe Biden speaks at DNC meeting in St. Louis.
    Live streamed at the DNC website: http://www.democrats.org/

    ——-

    CSPAN will have a rebroadcast of VP Joe Biden speaks at DNC meeting in St. Louis.

    http://www.cspan.org/

  23. Good morning and Happy Friday O family.

    As Biden said :This is the Republican Tea Party”. I am loving his speech.

    • I agree Jackie. If we had a Democratic instead of a republican media, that would help. Democrats also need to become more united, and start assisting in getting the message out instead of the constant whining.

      • Me to Meta. He did not mince any words. I will bet you anything Meta, that the media will take his statement about the republican tea party and make it their meme for the day. I may be wrong. 🙂

  24. Someone over at DK think that PBO should announce that he won’t seek re-election, because this would be the only way to save Democrats from getting killed in November.

    Yep.

      • I actually agree he should do it. Just take his wonderful family and go home. This country does not deserve him.

        • However protective we certainly feel about PBO and his precious family, I don’t think PBO thinks in those terms. I think he has a great ambition to serve this country and to see the change he began to continue to flourish in the future. We can’t predict the future but I do believe he will be running for a second term. There is no one in either party who can fill his shoes. That is indisputable.

          • Just to clarify, I meant that he certainly does everything in his power to protect his family but I don’t think he thinks in terms of being mistreated by the right-wing and the press as a gauge for whether he’ll run again.

  25. These people are driving me nuts. I can’t even stand to read the full article. Here’s more than enough of a snippet from TPM:

    Franklin Graham, the Christian evangelist and son of Billy Graham, offered an explanation for the suspicions that some people have about President Obama’s religion, during an appearance Thursday night on CNN.

    “I think the president’s problem is that he was born a Muslim, his father was a Muslim. The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother. He was born a Muslim, his father gave him an Islamic name,” Graham told John King. “Now it’s obvious that the president has renounced the prophet Mohammed and he has renounced Islam and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That’s what he says he has done, I cannot say that he hasn’t. So I just have to believe that the president is what he has said.”

    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/franklin-graham-i-think-the-presidents-problem-is-that-he-was-born-a-muslim-video.php?ref=fpblg

  26. All of this bashing and rudeness toward PBO began on Jan.20/09. Dick (the devil) Cheney, in my opinion, sat in a wheelchair to show his disrespect for PBO, not because he hurt his back. It was a signal to disgruntled, sore loser republicans, it was ok to show disrespect toward him. Take a look at who is behind the negative push against the “Mosque” in NYC.

    Who would have thought the “clenched fist” reference in his inaugural speech would mean his own countrymen!

    I pray with all my heart, the American people will realize the great fortune they have in your wonderful leader. Certainly, it is not just Citizens of the World who recognize his intellect, compassion, his Christian spirit & his genuine desire to make this world a better place.

    Please continue to work hard for the next 6 years to keep him in his rightful place. Please never, never give up!

    Thanks for reading.

  27. noan3t | March 12, 2010 –

    U.S. Commerce Secretary Locke, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee announced a Recovery Act investment to help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, create jobs, and improve education and healthcare in Washington state.

    • The young 4-H reporter is a little hard to udnerstand, but it’s a current video so I though I’d post.

      4HNetworkNews | August 20, 2010 –

      Secretary Locke and Washington officials announce Recovery Act Investment to improve Broadband Internet access in Washington

      WASHINGTON — U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined U.S. Reps. Jay Inslee and Brian Baird, and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to announce a Recovery Act investment that will help improve economic opportunity and support job creation in Washington State. The event followed an announcement by Vice President Joe Biden outlining new projects across America that will bring reliable broadband Internet service to communities that currently have little or no access.

      Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009 at the urging of President Obama, who signed it into law on February 17, 2009. A direct response to the economic crisis, the Recovery Act had three immediate goals: create new jobs as well as save existing ones, spur economic activity and invest in long-term economic growth, and foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently said that the Recovery Act is responsible for saving or creating as many as 2.8 million jobs.

      Featured are: Gary Locke, U.S. Secretary of Commerce; U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee of the 1st District in Washington State; Greg Markey, CEO of NoaNet; Mike Henson of NoaNet; Katherine Baril, Director of WSU Jefferson County Extension, Rogers Weed, Director of the Washington State Dept. of Commerce; and our own 4-H Network News reporter, Stephanie Weir.

  28. Yesterday evening I told you all I was going out with girl friends to have a drink. Well it was actually a meeting of the minds because we are so furious with what we see happening to the perception being fostered by the media about this Presidency.

    It was my cousin (she’s like a sister to me) a close friend of the family and two other girl friends. Each of them worked on the “Obama Campaign” and have stayed engaged and working on issues since the President was inaugurated.

    We talked about the calls we’ve been making and what we see as the biggest hurdle. We all concluded it’s getting the youth excited and engaged about voting this year. They say they will vote but unlike 2008 we find that we have to convince them to vote this year.

    People generally do things for one of two reasons. They do things out of need or out of fear. Folks really wanted Barack Obama to win so they were excited to volunteer and vote for him and they made sure that all of their friends and family voted out of fear that he would lose if they didn’t. Both emotions were at play in Nov 2008.

    Denise pointed out that the problem she sees is that in 2008 we sold the public on the “Man” and we failed to sell them on our Democratic values. Even though the President was saying all along that this was just the beginning they didn’t hear that message. So now two years later without President Obama on the ballot we have to find a way to convince these young people and minorities that their vote is just as important to the success of President Obama today as the one they took in November 2008.

    I know that the administration does not want this year’s election to be a referendum on President Obama but we the volunteers might have to resort to selling this as just that in order to convince those who wouldn’t normally vote in a mid-term election that the success of his Presidency is riding on their votes this year.

    One things for sure. We are up to the task and are hoping and praying for a successful outcome.

    • Thank you for the post Donna!

      You would think that after all the blocking that the COP congress people are doing that the Democrats would get angry enough to go to the voting booth and vote to get Democrats into office.

      One thing that the Republican voters are is they are reliable in voters.

      Some Democrats are so so in voting; I met one lady at an Obama gathering who said that she thought that Kerry would win so she did not bother to vote…..I held my tongue but I wanted to say “It is people like YOU who made us lose that election!!!!”

    • When I wrote to Michael Bennet yesterday, I said as much. I told him that he would not see the kind of crowds that President Obama brings, and that no one else would. I said I was disappointed in all Democrats that they have not stood behind this President and that loyalty was key for my vote for any candidate. I said that they needed to get behind the President and present a unifed message or they would not stay in power.

  29. here’s a little thing that will make your smile so wide, you will forget the crap for a couple of minutes.

  30. Clinton: Israel, Palestinians to resume peace talks

    8/20/10 MATTHEW LEE and ROBERT BURNS- AP

    WASHINGTON – Israel and the Palestinians will resume long-stalled direct peace talks in Washington early next month with the aim of reaching a settlement in a year’s time, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday.

    The breakthrough after a nearly two-year hiatus in face-to-face negotiations marks a small but important step forward in the Obama administration’s efforts to ease tensions in the Middle East. It brings the two sides back to the point where they were when the last direct talks began in November 2007 during the Bush administration.

    Making the announcement at the State Department with special Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell at her side, Clinton acknowledged that, as in previous negotiations to create an independent Palestinian state, the process would be rocky. But she urged the two sides to be patient.

    “There have been difficulties in the past, there will be difficulties ahead,” she said. “Without a doubt, we will hit more obstacles. The enemies of peace will keep trying to defeat us and to derail these talks. But I ask the parties to persevere, to keep moving forward even through difficult times, and to continue working to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region.”

    Indeed, soon after Clinton’s announcement the militant Hamas movement that controls the Gaza Strip, which along with the West Bank is supposed to be part of an eventual Palestinian state, rejected the talks, saying they were based on empty promises.

    Under the agreement reached after months of painstaking shuttle diplomacy by Mitchell, President Barack Obama will hold separate discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sept. 1 and then host a dinner for the pair.

    For the entire article: http://yhoo.it/d6ne5S

    • This is great news. When Netanyahu visited the Whitehouse recently, it was clear, to me at least, by their body language that they got along very well.

      • I was thinking that since America is known to be pro-Jewish and pro-Christian that the Arab countries did not know if they would get a fair deal with America in the past. But since POTUS has shown that he has respect for the Arab countries and respect to the Islamic religion that maybe now Palestine feels that they can trust POTUS to negotiate for a fair deal for both sides.

  31. Bookworm -Advanced copy given to Obama

    8/20/10 CAROL E. LEE – POLITICO

    President Obama made his first public stop in Martha’s Vineyard on Friday, stepping into the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven.

    Two of the books Obama bought were “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “The Red Pony” by John Steinbeck. White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton later said that Obama also got Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom.”

    Obama didn’t buy “Freedom,” which isn’t due out until September. The manager of Bunch of Grapes Bookstore gave him an advanced copy.

    “We gifted him the advanced readers’ copy that we had,” said Clarissa Murphy, a cashier at the bookstore.

    The store is close to the hotel where the press corps is staying. A couple of hundred people crowded the street as Obama visited.

    Obama left the bookstore wearing a White Sox baseball cap and trailing his daughters, Sasha and Malia. The hundreds of people who had gathered erupted into cheers.

    Afterward, Obama went golfing at the Vineyard Golf Club, where he golfed last summer, the pool reports.
    ———–

    Photos: http://www.daylife.com/search?q=obama%20martha%27s

  32. Was watching CNN just now with Don Lemon sitting in for Rick Sanchez, again he and someone reporter fr. Politicdaily blog said the president is not getting his message out. This administration has the best web based information of any previous administration, POTUS’ weekly web address, c-span, daily pressers. I don’t know what else he can do besides get a cable channel and/or have people driving in vans with bullhorns. I truly don’t know what else he can do. I’m sorry if I’m going back to this I’m not usually like this I just need a place to vent.

    • It’s okay Sandy.

      We are all feel that POTUS is is the victim of the GOP/TeaBagger/Haters campaign to wrongly brand POTUS as something other than a good Christian and the ever revenue hungry MSM has take the bait and ran with it.

    • Sandy this is why I can’t watch this stuff any longer. I turned on MSNBC the other night because someone posted on OFA that they were televising the troops leaving Iraq. It was personal for me so I watch a little of that event. I generally cannot watch anything on cable news anymore. Stuff is skewed to benefit the Repubs. They do interviews like the John King one with Rev. Graham and King just lets him go on with that mess leaving it up to the ignorant public to decide if what that man was saying was true or not.

      I just cannot subject myself to it anymore. I wouldn’t be able to get out and volunteer if I listened to what they spew on those channels because I would feel entirely hopeless.

      As far as the WH messaging. It has its flaws in that it is not a planned, unified message from the Democratic side of things. When you have Dems go on talk shows and talk about HCR but qualify their comments by reminding folks about what it didn’t do then you lose something in your message. IMO can the WH control some of this I think they can if they wanted to.

      On the other hand we have a media hell bent on seeing the Repubs regain Congress this year so even when we are on message all the Repubs have to do is come up with some distraction and voila the cable chatter will forget all about our message and hone in on the Republicans negative message.

      It’s a no-win situation for our side. Until Progressive rise up and demand that the the media changes they will continue to do what we allow them to do.

      Go read this article.

      http://huff.to/cuyf88

      It’s HuffNPuff but there is a lot of truth in it.

      Here is a snippet of it:

      Cable has traditionally been talent-driven,” explained MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan, a chief purveyor of the new news structure. “F*** the talent, pardon my language. But if you have the audience you win. I’m not talking about economics even. I’m talking about the soul of the show.”

      “It is absolutely a totally different environment and agenda,” said Tad Devine, a veteran Democratic communications hand. “In the old days, the print reporters were the print reporters. They would go around, write stories … the TV people would read those stories and decided what went on air that night. It was an orderly process. Now there is no order.”

      What’s resulted from this orderless environment is the type of news coverage that has drawn the White House’s ire, whether it consists of horse-race chatter or rumor-mongering. On Thursday, Pew Research produced a poll showing that of the 20 percent of the public who think the president is a Muslim, 60 percent said they learned as much from the media.

      “If you are the White House, how do you deal with that?” asked Dee Dee Myers, Bill Clinton’s former press secretary.

      Even at MSNBC — a network ostensibly more aligned with the administration on philosophical matters than its two competitors — the story lines have been difficult for the administration to take. Over the past few weeks, there has been a consistent drumbeat of progressive displeasure over the job the president is doing. The topics and tone tend to reflect the type of copy published on the web and, not surprisingly, it has been an online story that often leads the news.

      For the past few weeks, Cenk Uygur has played a pinch-hitter role for MSNBC, guest hosting for anchors and doing panels for daytime programs. Both he and others have described his style as “rants” — the type of opinionated news reporting and analysis that is meant to entertain or infuriate viewers depending on their disposition. It’s an approach that has pushed the envelope editorially. But it’s also one that the brass seems comfortable with.

      “We are getting great ratings,” Uygur explained to the Huffington Post.

      Indeed, if nothing else, Uygur has proven he can draw an audience.

      They have all sold their collective souls to the devil (the almighty dollar)!

    • Q: Why were you crying

      A: Because I adore him and it was such an honor to have him in my store.

      82% of the public that was polled in the AP poll said that like this President.

      A story the media is completely missing and I am determined to give them an In-Your-Face moment on November 2, 2010 🙂

    • BWD I love the picture with the woman in the wheelchair with the American Flag. That one just tugged at my heart.

      • Donna, that was the first thing I noticed in the picture. She had her little flag over her head. so he bought “To kill a mockingbird” and “Red Pony”, two old classics.

    • SHALLOW ALERT!!!

      He looks awfully handsome in those jeans and sandals. Sorry 🙂

    • That is so great to see — our President being the good Dad we know he is, and real people loving him as we know they do. I have just gotten home after being gone since this morning and wondering what is happening in the world. When I see a video with cheering crowds for PBO, I find myself clapping too like I’m there!

    • Did she say she’s never going to wash the hand PBO shook? Yes, I’d be like, The PRESIDENT touched this hand. I cannot wash DISHES with this hand.

      • Yes she said she was not going to wash her hand and they said that he look so young. Don’t tell me our president isn’t popular. 🙂

      • Obviously it was extra special for this lady. She was incredibly emotional. It was beautiful to watch.

    • BWD this one is even more amazing!!! I sure wish that we could get these on a daily basis. 🙂

      • Yep. If i can collect enough of these from this vacation, i’ll try to put up a diary. I still think that there’s a serious disconnect between the beltway conventional wisdom/polls and the reality on the ground.

  33. At the Indiana State Fair: Farmers, The First Entrepreneurs

    9/20/10 Deputy Administrator Marie Johns

    Ed. Note: Building on the President’s commitment to address issues important to rural Americans, Administration officials are visiting state fairs all summer. See a map of where we’ve been so far, and hear from SBA Deputy Administrator Johns about her recent visit to the Indian State Fair:

    Having grown up in Indiana, I know firsthand that there is much debate over what a “Hoosier” is, but I can tell you for certain that there were many at the Indiana State Fair. From the young 4-H and FFA participants that I met at a pancake breakfast, to the small businesses selling their products, and the family farmers displaying their livestock, Hoosiers represent the diversity and growth of the small business community.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/08/20/indiana-state-fair-farmers-first-entrepreneurs

  34. Reducing Energy Costs while Creating Green Jobs for Americans

    8/20/10 Secretary Shaun Donovan

    The Recovery Act is making a long-term impact on American families and communities by reducing energy costs, creating green jobs and improving the quality of life for people across the country. That’s why on Thursday, I was proud to announce a major Recovery Act milestone for HUD and the Administration. Through HUD’s Green Retrofit Program for Multifamily Housing, which the Recovery Act created for the first time, we’ve been able to award more than $100 million to 100 affordable housing developments around the country to complete energy efficient renovations, and HUD will continue to issue the awards from now through September 30, 2010.

    The 100 affordable housing developments receiving HUD funding include over 8,000 homes, and HUD anticipates that the awards will allow tenants will save over $250 each on utility bills annually.

    Just a few weeks ago, I joined Congresswoman Holmes-Norton and Mayor Adrian Fenty at the groundbreaking of one of these developments right here in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC. Over $2 million in Recovery Act Green Retrofit Program funding will help residents of the Gibson Plaza Apartments cut their utility costs more than 20 percent — at the same time creating 75 good-paying green jobs that can never be sent offshore.

    Overall, the Green Retrofit Program provides $250 million nationally to reduce energy costs, cut water consumption, and improve indoor air quality. Under the Obama Administration, HUD understands that in these difficult economic times families look for ways to save money on everyday costs, and the Green Retrofit Program is just one example of the many ways in which the Recovery Act is helping Americans save money on energy.

    The Green Retrofit Program is also an example of HUD’s ongoing commitment to creating jobs while simultaneously building sustainable homes and communities. As our nation continues to recover from the economic crisis, the program is designed to create thousands of quality green jobs as workers retrofit older federally assisted multi-family apartment developments with the next generation of energy efficient technologies.

    Initiatives like the Green Retrofit Program illustrate how the Recovery Act continues to work to benefit the families and communities hardest hit by the economic crisis by generating jobs for Americans, improving housing and neighborhoods and building a path toward sustainability, energy efficiency, and long-term economic prosperity.

    Shaun Donovan is Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

  35. Flooding in Pakistan: Join the Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction Effort

    8/20/10 Nikki Sutton

    “This flooding has already affected more people than the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, and the 2005 Pakistan earthquake combined,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday during an address to the United Nations. Over 20 million Pakistanis have been affected during this humanitarian crisis and as the rains relentlessly fall the risk of expanded flooding continues. Shortages in food, shelter, clean drinking water, and medical supplies face families across the region and as the water continues to rise, it may get worse before it gets better.

    That is why the United States Government through the Department of State created the Pakistan Relief Fund for people like you to contribute money to the ongoing relief efforts in Pakistan. Though Secretary Clinton acknowledged that these are tough economic times and everyone has tight budgets, every dollar makes a difference in providing immediate relief and assistance to support a sustained recovery. Five dollars can buy 50 high energy bars providing desperately needed nutrition, $10 can provide a blanket for a mother or a child, and about $40 can buy material to shelter a family of four who has lost their home in the floods.

    Americans can help the Pakistani people confront this challenge by donating $10 through their mobile phone by texting the word FLOOD to 27722. Your contribution will provide life sustaining items to help people in the flood-affected area.

    President Obama is committed to continuing to assist the Government of Pakistan in their immediate response and being a partner in the long term recovery. After the Government of Pakistan requested help, the United States responded swiftly. Secretary Clinton described the response:

    Under the direction of the Government of Pakistan and the National Disaster Management Authority, the United States has been working since the earliest days of the flooding to provide assistance to those it can reach and who need it most. Our civilian helicopters began assisting in relief efforts almost immediately. American military helicopters were redirected to rescue Pakistanis within hours of the Pakistani Government’s request for help. Less than a day later, American military aircraft began delivering 400,000 halal meals from storehouses in Dubai. These efforts continue. And to date, U.S. aircraft have carried more than 6,000 Pakistanis to safety and distributed more than a million pounds of relief supplies.

    We’ve also provided enough heavy-duty waterproof sheeting to construct temporary shelters for more than 100,000 people. And we have supplied the Pakistani Government with rescue boats, concrete cutting saws, water filtration units, and a dozen prefabricated bridges.

    The initial response by the Pakistani Government and people, the United States, and the international community has helped to alleviate suffering and save lives. But the combined efforts so far pale against the magnitude of the challenge.

    Secretary Clinton then urged the international community and the American people to come to the aid of Pakistan. You can donate online now or learn about additional opportunities to help assist those being affected by this monumental crisis.

  36. USAToday, August 20, 2010:

    Obama starts with Vineyard’s toughest golf course

    …. Unlike last year, when he played easier courses in Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven first, Obama headed straight to the 7,012-yard Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown this year — by most accounts the island’s toughest….

    Today’s golfing partners: Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.; Eric Whitaker, one of the president’s closest pals; and White House trip director Marvin Nicholson, his most frequent golf buddy. Whitaker once caddied at Augusta National, site of the Masters, so he’s got serious cred.

    The golf pros on the Vineyard had moderate praise for the president last year. They estimated his length off the tee at about 235 yards, said his irons were the best part of his game — and recommended putting practice in the Oval Office.

    “He’s just a very natural athlete — his swing, his coordination, his length,” Farm Neck Golf Club head pro Mike Zoll said. “He makes good, solid contact.”

    “You can tell he’s athletic. That helps a lot,” Mink Meadows Golf Club head pro Chet Nowak said. “He puts a pretty good rhythm on it. He’s got pretty good tempo.”

    That Obama chose neither of those courses today might have something to do with another of his passions: the environment. Vineyard Golf Club is one of the most environmentally sensitive courses in the country, using bio-stimulants and composted fertilizers rather than pesticides.

    http://bit.ly/aZQqR1

  37. USATODAY.com, August 20, 2010:

    Evangelist leads ‘disinformation campaign’ on Obama: Religion professor

    Franklin Graham is leading a “disinformation campaign” against President Obama by attacking Obama’s Christian faith and distorting Islam’s theology, says a leading religion professor.

    After CNN’s John King gave Graham a full news cycle to raise a lifted eyebrow at President Obama’s Christian profession of faith, Stephen Prothero, religion professor at Boston University, came on King’s show Friday night to undercut Graham and question why CNN would ask an evangelist known to slur Islam, to speculate on its theology.

    According to a transcript released by CNN, Prothero, author of God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World, told King, the finding in a recent survey that 18% of Americans believe Obama is Muslim …

    “… is because we have people who are supposed to be responsible public leaders, like Franklin Graham, who are spreading what seems to me like a sort of disinformation campaign… What Franklin Graham should say: ‘Barack Obama says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian, end of story.’”

    Prothero also pointed out that Obama prayed with Franklin and his father, America’s most famous living evangelist, Rev. Billy Graham, in May but Franklin still repeatedly used the “if” word to answer King’s questions Thursday on whether Obama has accepted Christ.

    Prothero said:

    “Franklin Graham doesn’t seem to be interested in focusing on preaching the gospel of — of Jesus. He wants to be spreading misinformation about the religion of Islam.

    … Why are we listening to Franklin Graham?”

    Prothero, who also wrote a book on Americans’ ignorance about their own faith traditions as well as those of others (Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know — And Doesn’t) told King,

    “… it doesn’t help the conversation we need to have as a public about Islam to be having people who are just basically spreading falsehoods about the tradition.

    We should be listening to Muslims about their tradition. We should be listening to scholars about their tradition. But we shouldn’t be listening to Evangelical preachers who are out to trash the Muslim religion in order to gain some political and perhaps religious advantage.”

    Prothero also pounced on Graham for cherry-picking quotes from the Quran that highlight violence. (In U.S. Protestant culture, picking quotes out of context from the Bible to prove a point is called “proof-texting.”). Prothero highlighted

    “… shared beliefs and practices across Christianity and Islam. And we shouldn’t be talking about the worst of the tradition of Islam and comparing it with the best of the tradition of Christianity.

    When Jesus says, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword,” is it fair to say, oh, Jesus is out to kill people?

    No, because you read that in the context of the whole Bible. You read that in the context of the Christian tradition. That’s how you need to understand passages in the Quran, is in the context of the whole Quran and in the context of the whole Islamic tradition.”

    http://bit.ly/ceq2yC

  38. The private security company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide, long plagued by accusations of impropriety, has reached an agreement with the State Department for the company to pay $42 million in fines for hundreds of violations of United States export control regulations.

    http://nyti.ms/9sv9oD

  39. US bailouts prevented 1930s-style Great Depression say economists

    New study by economists Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder says US economic stimulus averted a worse downturn

    7/28/10 Andrew Clark – guardian.co.uk

    To Washington conservatives they were egregious examples of “big government” overreach, but the White House’s economic stimulus and bailout policies have saved 8.5m jobs and averted a further slump of 6.5% in US economic output, according to a study by two influential economists.

    An in-depth modelling exercise by Moody’s chief economist, Mark Zandi, and a Princeton University expert, Alan Blinder, paints a bleak scenario of a 1930s-style Great Depression if the US government had enacted none of its $1.7tn (£1.3tn) programmes to avert a financial meltdown.

    Using historical statistical relationships and a focus on the government’s impact on narrowing credit spreads, the pair found that the downturn would have continued into 2011, with unemployment peaking at 16.5% rather than last year’s actual high of 10.1%.

    They believe US gross domestic product would have slumped by 7.4% in 2009 and by 3.7% in 2010, producing a “peak to trough” decline of 12%, rather than the anticipated 4%. Starved of demand, shops and employers would be cutting prices and wages.

    “With outright deflation in prices and wages in 2009 to 2011, this dark scenario constitutes a 1930s-like depression,” says the study, entitled How the great recession was brought to an end”.

    Thwarting stiff opposition from Republicans in Congress, the Obama administration introduced an economic stimulus package of more than $780bn last year, adding to giveaways of $170bn by the Bush administration in 2008 that included tax refunds to tens of millions of Americans. Adding in banking-bailout measures of $600bn and smaller programmes such as the “cash for clunkers” scheme and a rescue of insurer AIG, total commitments by the US government reach $1.7tn.

    Zandi and Blinder say that although economic activity and job creation remain extremely sluggish, the US economy has made “enormous progress” since its nadir last year: “Maybe the country and the world were just lucky. But we take another view: the great recession gave way to recovery as quickly as it did largely because of the unprecedented responses by monetary and fiscal policymakers.”

    The study’s authors are likely to have their findings hotly disputed by Republicans, who maintain that an unemployment rate stubbornly close to 10% means the government’s interventions were a failure, fuelling an out-of-control budget deficit.

    Speaking earlier in the week, the Republicans’ senate leader, Mitch McConnell, insisted stimulus efforts had “little or no results”, and that such intervention “simply didn’t work”.

    “Simply borrowing money from our grandchildren to send down to state governments is not going to jump start the economy,” McConnell told a newspaper in his home state of Kentucky. “The biggest way for the economy to recover is for the private sector to grow.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jul/28/us-bailouts-prevented-1930s-style-great-depression

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