Senior Corps

Tapping the Rich Experience, Skills, and Talents of the 55+ Population

Through grants and other resources—including the energy and efforts of citizens age 55 and over—Senior Corps helps meet the needs and challenges of America’s communities. Grants administered through Senior Corps provide funding for three special programs:

  • Foster Grandparents connects volunteers age 55 and over with children and young people with exceptional needs.
  • The Senior Companion Program brings together volunteers age 55 and over with adults in their community who have difficulty with the simple tasks of day-to-day living.
  • RSVP offers “one stop shopping” for all volunteers 55 and over who want to find challenging, rewarding, and significant service opportunities in their local communities.

Learn more about Senior Corps:


U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS) Eldercare Locator App


168 thoughts on “Senior Corps

  1. WH

    Wednesday, September 29 2010

    All Times ET

    9:30 AM
    The Vice President meets with Sen. Carl Levin.

    11:05 am
    The President meets with Des Moines family
    Local Event Time:
    10:05 AM CDT
    Des Moines, Iowa, Private Residence
    Travel Pool Coverage

    11:15 am
    The President holds a discussion on the economy
    Local Event Time:
    10:15 AM CDT
    Des Moines, Iowa, Private Residence
    Open to pre-credentialed media

    12:45 pm
    The President departs Des Moines, Iowa en route Richmond, Virginia
    Local Event Time:
    11:45 AM CDT
    Des Moines International Airport
    Open Press

    2:45 pm
    The President arrives Richmond, Virginia
    Richmond International Airport
    Open Press

    3:20 pm
    The President meets with Richmond family
    Richmond, Southampton Recreation Association, Virginia
    Travel Pool Coverage

    3:35 pm
    The President holds a discussion on the economy
    Richmond, Southampton Recreation Association, Virginia
    Open to pre-credentialed media

    5:05 pm
    The President departs Richmond, Virginia en route Andrews Air Force Base
    Richmond International Airport
    Open Press

    5:40 pm
    The President arrives at Andrews Air Force Base
    Andrews Air Force Base
    Travel Pool Coverage

    5:55 pm
    The President arrives at the White House
    South Lawn
    Open Press

  2. What Is Senior Corps?

    “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    What is Senior Corps?

    Americans over 55 have a lifetime of experience to share, and the desire to make a real difference in their world. They’ve managed households, been business owners and nurses, farmers and salespeople, artists and executives. Now they are ready to put their unique talents and expertise to work in their communities, and enrich their own lives in the process.

    Senior Corps connects today’s over 55s with the people and organizations that need them most. We help them become mentors, coaches or companions to people in need, or contribute their job skills and expertise to community projects and organizations. Conceived during John F. Kennedy’s presidency, Senior Corps currently links more than 500,000 Americans to service opportunities. Their contributions of skills, knowledge, and experience make a real difference to individuals, nonprofits, and faith-based and other community organizations throughout the United States.

    Senior Corps offers several ways to get involved. Volunteers receive guidance and training so they can make a contribution that suits their talents, interests, and availability.

    * The Foster Grandparent Program connects volunteers age 55 and over with children and young people with exceptional needs. Volunteers mentor, support, and help some of the most vulnerable children in the United States.

    * The Senior Companion Program brings together volunteers age 55 and over with adults in their community who have difficulty with the simple tasks of day-to-day living. Companions help out on a personal level by assisting with shopping and light chores, interacting with doctors, or just making a friendly visit.

    * RSVP connects volunteers age 55 and over with service opportunities in their communities that match their skills and availability. From building houses to immunizing children, from enhancing the capacity of non-profit organizations to improving and protecting the environment, RSVP volunteers put their unique talents to work to make a difference.

    Senior Corps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, an independent federal agency created to connect Americans of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to give back to their communities and their nation.

    * Principles that Guide Senior Corps Service
    * Senior Corps Fact Sheets
    * History of Senior Corps
    * Stories of Service

  3. Foster Grandparents

    you share your love, time, and experience, you have the power to help a child who needs you. If you’re 55 and want to share your experience and compassion, you have what it takes to be a Foster Grandparent.

    As a Foster Grandparent, you’re a role model, a mentor, and a friend. Serving at one of thousands of local organizations—including faith-based groups, Head Start Centers, schools, and other youth facilities—you help children learn to read, provide one-on-one tutoring, and guide children at a critical time in their lives. Put simply, you give the kind of comfort and love that sets a child on the path toward a successful future.

    Foster Grandparents serve up to 40 hours per week. Some volunteers may qualify to earn a tax-free, hourly stipend. With Foster Grandparents, you’ll receive pre-service orientation, training from the organization where you serve, and supplemental accident and liability insurance while on duty.

    And remember: When you volunteer, you’re not just helping others—you’re helping yourself. Volunteering leads to new discoveries and new friends. Plus, studies show that volunteering helps you live longer and promotes a positive outlook on life.

    So get involved, and join Foster Grandparents today!

  4. Senior Companions

    You know how much you value independence in your life. Now you can help others stay independent too.

    If you’re 55 and want to share your experience and compassion, you have what it takes to be a Senior Companion. By becoming a companion to a frail person, you help that person stay in their own home. Whether you’re giving families or professional caregivers much-needed time off, running errands, or simply being a friend, you’ll make a difference that strengthens and helps preserve an individual’s independence. And you’ll join with thousands of others to help control the rising costs of health care.

    Senior Companions serve up to 40 hours per week. Some volunteers may qualify to earn a tax-free, hourly stipend. With Senior Companions, you’ll receive pre-service orientation, training from the organization where you serve, and supplemental accident and liability insurance while on duty.

    And remember: When you volunteer, you’re not just helping others—you’re helping yourself. Volunteering leads to new discoveries and new friends. Plus, studies show that volunteering helps you live longer and promotes a positive outlook on life.

    So get involved, and join Senior Companions today!

  5. Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    CONTACT: Ashley Etienne
    Phone: 202-606-6944

    National Service Agency Highlights Impact of 55+ Volunteers

    First-Ever Senior Corps Week Celebrates Volunteers “Making a Difference for Generations”

    Washington, DC – For more than four decades, Americans age 55 and up have used their lifetime of skills and experience to solve problems and strengthen their communities. The Corporation for National and Community Service is joining with organizations across the country to celebrate the extraordinary impact of 55+ volunteers through the first-ever Senior Corps Week, taking place September 20-24.

    “Today, more than ever, communities need the talents and skills of all Americans to help move this nation forward,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation, the federal agency that administers Senior Corps. “This week we celebrate the work of Americans age 55+ who are helping move the needle on problems ranging from poverty and illiteracy to high school drop-outs and independent living. They are one of our nation’s greatest untapped resources and are critical to our prosperity and growth.”

    At time of serious economic and social challenges, nearly 500,000 volunteers age 55+ are serving through Senior Corps’ three programs – Foster Grandparents, RSVP, and Senior Companions. These individuals contributed more than 98 million hours of volunteer service worth an estimated $2 billion in 2009, and their impacts are proven and measurable:

    · Last year 28,400 Foster Grandparents served more than 247,000 children and youth with special needs – providing one-on-one tutoring and mentoring and serving as role models.

    · Each year, RSVP programs expand the capacity of more than 61,000 local organizations to deliver essential services including assisting victims of natural disasters, improving the environment, conducting safety patrols, and more. Last year, 414,000 RSVP volunteers provided 62 million hours of service valued at $1.2 billion, representing a 20-1 return on federal investment.

    · Last year 15,200 Senior Companions enabled more than 68,000 frail and elderly adults to live independently in their own homes by transporting them to medical appointments, shopping for groceries, helping with bills and paperwork, and offering respite care.

    With the theme “Making a Difference for Generations,” Senior Corps Week highlights the powerful impact of 55+ volunteers and inspires others to get involved. The initiative recognizes that service by older Americans benefits everyone – it helps volunteers by keeping them active, healthy, and engaged; it helps our communities to have millions more skilled volunteers; and it helps our nation by saving taxpayer dollars, reducing healthcare costs, and strengthening civic participation.

    “Older Americans bring a lifetime of skills and experience as parents, workers, and citizens that can be tapped to meet challenges in our communities,” said Dr. Erwin Tan, a board certified geriatrician and recently appointed Director of Senior Corps. “Given the many social needs facing our communities – and the growing interest in service by 55+ Americans – this is a moment of unprecedented need and opportunity for our programs.”

    As part of the initiative, Dr. Tan will join RSVP volunteer R.C. Turner from Washington DC in a nationwide radio media tour on Wednesday morning. The Corporation has also launched a billboard and transit advertising campaign that highlights the work of real 55+ volunteers and drives viewers to, where Americans 55+ can search for volunteer opportunities in their area. The advertising is currently being featured in nine cities – Portland, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Biloxi, Dallas, Raleigh, Providence and Denver.

    The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit

  6. White House Blog, Sept. 27, 2010:

    Open for Questions: Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative

    Posted by Kori Schulman

    [On Sept. 28], the White House Office of Urban Affairs [hosted] a live chat on the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative to support the transformation of distressed neighborhoods into neighborhoods of opportunity.

    Last week, the Department of Education announced a total of $10 million in awards to Promise Neighborhoods, a cornerstone of the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. [The live chat included] representatives from across agencies for a dialogue on the Promise Neighborhoods Program and the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.

    whitehouse | September 28, 2010 –

    Open for Questions: Promise Neighborhoods

    Derek Douglas, Special Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, and representatives of the US Departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services answer your questions the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy.

  7. StartLoving3 | September 28, 2010 –

    The President’s rally in Madison, Wisconsin, Part 1

  8. White House Blog, Sept. 28, 3010:

    A Living-Room Discussion with Middle Class Families

    Posted by Jared Bernstein, Chief Economic Advisor to the Vice President

    Yesterday, Vice President Biden visited the home of Bob and Lorie Cochran in Manchester, New Hampshire for a discussion on the economy and other issues that are important to middle class families. The Cochrans were kind enough to host a small group of their neighbors and other families from Manchester. You might have seen the President leading similar discussions over the last few weeks – it’s all about hearing directly from the American people about how things are going on Main Street and the concerns they’re facing as they sit around their kitchen tables. We’ve been calling these events “backyard discussions,” but the weather didn’t cooperate yesterday. It started raining as soon as we arrived in New Hampshire, so we all had to move inside to the Cochrans’ living room.

    Fortunately, the grim weather didn’t put a damper on our conversation. After some brief opening remarks by the Vice President, we launched right into a great discussion, with the audience asking about the steps we’re taking to create jobs and get our economy moving again. The Vice President took the opportunity to discuss our agenda for creating jobs, including more tax cuts for small businesses that want to expand and hire, infrastructure investment to build on the momentum of the Recovery Act, preserving tax cuts for the middle class, making college more affordable, and reducing health care costs while protecting health care consumers.

    As you’d expect in a political season in a highly politically engaged state, other questioners asked about the upcoming midterm elections. And on that subject, Vice President Biden stressed the stark choice voters will face on November 2: will we continue moving forward, building on our economic progress, making sure that insurance companies and banks are playing by the new rules of the road, and pursuing a policy agenda focused on the prosperity of the middle class? Or will we hit reverse and go back to the failed, discredited economic policies set that got us into this mess? Will we rescind and repeal the progress we’ve made to end abuses by insurance companies and big banks, stop rebuilding America’s vital infrastructure, and go back to slashing taxes for millionaires and billionaires with no regard for the fiscal consequences?

    From where we stand, the choice is clear. Vice President Biden ended the conversation by stressing just how high the stakes are, and how important it is that every American citizen stays engaged in this debate in the weeks ahead. From what I could tell as I looked on from the kitchen, no one disagreed.

    PresidentObama3 | September 28, 2010 –

    Excerpt of the Vice President’s remarks in New Hampshire

  9. I am not a fan of Matt Taibi but this is a pretty good article about the tea party and it will make you chuckle.

    Tea & CrackersHow corporate interests and Republican insiders built the Tea Party monster5

    By Matt Taibbi
    Sep 28, 2010 7:01 AM EDT
    This is an article from the October 15, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone.

    It’s taken three trips to Kentucky, but I’m finally getting my Tea Party epiphany exactly where you’d expect: at a Sarah Palin rally. The red-hot mama of American exceptionalism has flown in to speak at something called the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, a gospel-music hoedown in a giant convention center filled with thousands of elderly white Southerners. Palin — who earlier this morning held a closed-door fundraiser for Rand Paul, the Tea Party champion running for the U.S. Senate — is railing against a GOP establishment that has just seen Tea Partiers oust entrenched Republican hacks in Delaware and New York. The dingbat revolution, it seems, is nigh.

    “We’re shaking up the good ol’ boys,” Palin chortles, to the best applause her aging crowd can muster. She then issues an oft-repeated warning (her speeches are usually a tired succession of half-coherent one-liners dumped on ravenous audiences like chum to sharks) to Republican insiders who underestimated the power of the Tea Party Death Star. “Buck up,” she says, “or stay in the truck.”

    Stay in what truck? I wonder. What the hell does that even mean?

    Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn’t a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression — “Government’s not the solution! Government’s the problem!” — the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.

    Related Obama in Command: The Rolling Stone Interview — In an Oval Office interview, the president discusses the Tea Party, the war, the economy and what’s at stake this November.

    “The scooters are because of Medicare,” he whispers helpfully. “They have these commercials down here: ‘You won’t even have to pay for your scooter! Medicare will pay!’ Practically everyone in Kentucky has one.”

    A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it.

    After Palin wraps up, I race to the parking lot in search of departing Medicare-motor-scooter conservatives. I come upon an elderly couple, Janice and David Wheelock, who are fairly itching to share their views.

    Related Get your dose of political muckraking from Matt Taibbi on the Taibblog.

    “I’m anti-spending and anti-government,” crows David, as scooter-bound Janice looks on. “The welfare state is out of control.”

    “OK,” I say. “And what do you do for a living?”

    “Me?” he says proudly. “Oh, I’m a property appraiser. Have been my whole life.”

    I frown. “Are either of you on Medicare?”

    Silence: Then Janice, a nice enough woman, it seems, slowly raises her hand, offering a faint smile, as if to say, You got me!

  10. ProPresObama Blog Stats Summary Tables

    Total views since 5/31/10: 65,778

    Busiest day since 5/31/10: 1,088 — Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Views today 9/28/10: 1,088


    Comments since 5/31/10: 18,658*

    *Just a note: doesn’t count my own visits to your blog.

    9 subscribers, 64 subscriptions

    Generated 2010-09-28 23:059:00 UTC-7


    Thank you to all of my O-family that come here to make this website a success that it is! Thanks especially to Kathleen my partner in crime! 🙂

  11., Sept. 28, 2010:

    Obama urges Iowa activists to keep up the momentum

    Blog post by Jennifer Jacobs

    President Barack Obama told a small, hand-picked crowd at Baby Boomers in Des Moines tonight that the eatery is an example of a small business that has grown and is thriving, even in this economy.

    Baby Boomers has gone from three employees to 25, and its cookie sales have jumped from 100 a week to 40,000 a week, co-owner Rodney Maxfield said after Obama’s half-hour appearance there.

    The crowd of 60 comprised several Iowa politicians and a core group of volunteers who helped Obama in 2007 before the Iowa caucuses, guests said afterward.

    White House staff directed Obama to a small X on the floor, where he posed for a photograph with each person.

    U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Des Moines, said: “He said we’ve done a lot of the right things and to stay on course and take care of our country.”

    Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie was focused on chatting up White House senior adviser David Axelrod throughout the half-hour event. But, Cownie said as he munched on a chocolate chip cookie on the street outside later that Obama’s message was “essentially that we’ve done so much, but we can’t stop.”

    Audience members said Obama ticked off accomplishments: health care reform, Wall Street reform , stimulus efforts that prevented the economy from worsening, transportation and infrastructure improvements, new jobs.

    “He said he always feels at home here in Des Moines,” said Obama volunteer Jessie Hill, a Drake University student who now is with Organizing for America, a successor organization to Obama for America.

    Sophia Douglas, one of Obama’s former precinct captains, said the president stressed that “change isn’t going to be quick.”

    Douglas said his message was meant to inspire the activists to keep up the momentum.

    “He still is as amazing and down to earth as the first day I met him three years ago,” said Megan Evans of Des Moines, who volunteered for Obama during the caucuses.

    • Barack Obama seeks to tap into 2008 energy

      9/28/10 9 By KENDRA MARR – POLITICO

      MADISON, Wis. – When President Barack Obama stepped onto the stage of this college town – a song from the rock group U2 blaring, signs waving and supporters straining to touch him as he swept by – the scene mimicked the heady days of his unprecedented, energized, 2008 presidential campaign.

      But when the music and the cheers died down, and the nostalgia passed, the president acknowledged the harsh reality: change had come, and not the kind he and his supporters had been banking on. The groundbreaking candidate is now the leader of a nation mired in the economic doldrums, with unemployment much higher – and his popularity much lower – than it had been two years ago.

      “I understand people are frustrated,” Obama said, standing on Library Mall at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. “I understand people are impatient with the pace of change. Of course they are. I’m impatient.”

      Still Obama was able to whip the crowd of young people into frenzy. The old-fashioned get-out-the-vote rally roared, tapping into the energy of first-time and college-age voters that flooded the polls for Obama 18 months ago. They breathed new life into the White House’s attempt to frame the November elections as a choice between Democratic and Republican policies. And it was proof that the president could still work his magic.

      “If everyone who fought for change in 2008 shows up to vote in 2010, we will win!” he exclaimed.

      The crowd exploded in applause.

      Hours earlier, it was a different story. At times, Obama couldn’t generate that same enthusiasm from a town-hall style audience in Albuquerque, N. M. Maybe it was the heat, but throughout the “backyard discussion,” the horses peering through the fence behind the back yard of a suburban home seemed more curious than the 30 people the White House had invited to hear the president in an intimate setting.

      And that enthusiasm gap, within their own party, worries Democrats.

      Read more:

    • First lady promotes health care law

      9/29/10 By AMIE PARNES – POLITICO

      First lady Michelle Obama helped promote her husband’s health care reform policy Tuesday, participating in a conference call to highlight the benefits available to patients under the new law.

      During the 30-minute call, part of a massive White House plan to educate Americans about the Affordable Care Act, the first lady asked nurses to “help spread the word” about specific benefits for their patients.
      “You all play such a critical role in helping patients understand what’s going on with their health care, giving them the information they need not just to get better but to stay healthy,” Obama said. “And right now, there’s some very important new information that we really need help to pass along.”

      More than 1,000 nurses joined the first lady on the call, in which she briefly outlined some of the law’s protections and benefits: Insurance companies can no longer drop coverage for children or their parents because they are sick, she said, and college students and young adults can still get coverage under their parents’ insurance.

      “All this means that individuals and families have more control over their health care,” the first lady said. “But here’s the important point: These reforms aren’t abstract theories that just make for good talking points. These are real changes that will benefit Americans all across the country.”

      The White House education offensive has a lot of ground to cover: A new CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows that one-fifth of people surveyed believe the Affordable Care Act signed into law in March will personally help them.

      Obama told the nurses that the new law will also help patients prevent “disease trains from heading down the track” by emphasizing preventive care and staying healthy.

      “Keep doing what you’re doing,” she said. “The best thing we can do is make sure they understand the prevention services that are out there.”

  12. This November will mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s election to the Presidency.

    USAToday, Sept. 27, 2010:

    Obama: JFK’s life was ‘source of inspiration’

    By President Obama, Special for USA TODAY

    …. It’s a testament to President Kennedy that, although his presidency lasted only one thousand days, his legacy has endured, not only though his inspiring words, but through his inspiring life.

    In a campaign where a vocal minority voiced its opposition to electing a Catholic president, he saw an America where people of all faiths could pursue their aspirations.

    In an era when some critics doubted it could be done, he vowed to put a man on the moon — and to do it before the decade was out.

    In the aftermath of the world’s first and only nuclear confrontation, at the height of the Cold War, he envisioned a world free from nuclear weapons — even when that seemed beyond our reach.

    And at a time when Jim Crow divided this country, he knew that our nation would not be free until all its citizens were free — advancing a movement that would one day make it possible for me to occupy this office.

    Together, these moments reflect JFK’s belief that there was no challenge that a determined America couldn’t meet; no frontier that the American people could not cross. It is a lesson that continues to inspire each of us to ask what we can do for our country, and one that will endure for generations to come.

  13. Wednesday, Sept. 29

    Obama meets with a Des Moines family at their home and then hosts a discussion on the economy with families from the area. He then heads to Richmond, Va., for another meeting with a local family before hosting a discussion on the economy with residents.

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) holds a 10 a.m. hearing on “The al-Megrahi Release: One Year Later.” 419 Dirksen.

    The Senate Rules Committee meets at 10 a.m. on filibuster reform. 301 Russell.

    The House Armed Services Committee holds a 10 a.m. hearing on the Pentagon’s cost-cutting efforts. 2118 Rayburn.

    The Center for American Progress holds a discussion on “American Power After 9/11: Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations.” The event runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. 1333 H St. NW, 10th floor.

    Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, discusses Wall Street reform at an event sponsored by the Economic Club of Washington. Reception begins at 6 p.m.; dinner is at 7 p.m. Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd St. NW.

  14. Yesterday we were all inspired by our President’s message and we have a real opportunity to give him the help he needs to maintain his majority.

    Can you imagine election night if we make the pundits eat crow. Nothing would be finer.

    So Jeremy Bird is right,”Watching Is Not Enough”. We all must get involved by calling voters, making donations to the candidates of our choice, supporting the major campaign associations (DNC, OFA, DCCC, DSCC), knocking on doors, sharing GOTV information on Facebook and other social networks and emailing ALL of your friends and family.

    Make it your personal responsibility to get someone other than yourself to the polls and most importantly VOTE.

    Have a great productive day.

  15. I pray we shock the world on election night. I am so tired of these pundits pontificating about what we will or will not do.

    If the President inspires these young people to vote we win.

    Yesterday we witnessed a shoulder to shoulder sea of hopeful humanity at that University and these negative pundits cannot resist continuing our gloom and doom.

    You have Chip Reid standing there yesterday making a fool of himself refusing to believe his own eyes and HuffNPost doesn’t post a single story or picture about that rally. Look around at the internet this morning. The only thing you read is that the WH is attacking its base.

    What a Crock!!!

    End of rant…Everyone have a great day.

    • Good Morning Donna. I hear you. I see that Joan Walsh was so upset about the whining comment that she had to write 2 opinion pieces. As for HuffPuff the entire front page is against POTUS.

    • That is exactly what my prayer has been Donna. I pray we shock the country by electing a 65 seat majority in the Senate and House. I am so very tired of this. May President Obama’s next two years show the country what it is like to to run a prosperous, strong country.

  16. WOW! CNN finally posted an article on the rally, the title is: President Obama tries to fire up young voters, but faces a more subdued crowd. ??? were they watching the same rally?

  17. Wisconsin newspaper has a nice article on the rally. Thank you.

    MADISON — If there’s an enthusiasm gap for Democrats this election, it hasn’t reached Madison.

    Students and residents in the traditionally liberal city turned out by the thousands on Tuesday to see President Barack Obama at a rally on the University of Wisconsin campus meant to energize the base of the Democratic Party.

    About 12,500 people packed onto a mall in the heart of the campus awaiting arrival of the president. Thousands more were in a line that stretched more than a mile beyond the entrance

  18. Here is my email to CNN:

    Did it ever occur to you that if you want increased viewership, which is where the money is, that being a credible news source is the answer? I watched President Obama’s rally in Madison, Wisconsin yesterday, and that crowd was anything but “subdued.” We expect this kind of lie from Fox News because they are the Republican talkng point venue that helped the Bush Administration lie us into a war in Iraq, but we expect more of you. You might want to do a poll of how you and other cable news are doing on credibility. I would bet money your credibility is from zero to 10. Until then, you can just keep lying because the majority of us will not hear you.

  19. Good morning ladies!

    Well I am still fired up from yesterday’s rally. They were playing it on XM POTUS radio again this morning, so I got to listen to part of it on my way into the office.

    My 23 year old brother – the one that’s excited for the Stewart/Colbert rally – just text me this:

    “I gotta say, I’m still a bit disillusioned, but I’m loving Obama’s campaign message right now. Challenege us voters!”

    Not sure what he means by “challenege us voters” but at least it’s getting through to the young voters like my brother who are “disillusioned.” I can tell you that a big chunk of his disillusionment is because he reads HuffPuff from time to time and watches John Stewart and Olberman, so he gets a good, steady dose of professional left cynical-styled criticism.

    Anyway, I basically responded that he’s still young and just now really paying attention to politics, so unfortunately his ability to become disillusioned is relatively easy. In time he’ll understand the way the world works and will toughen up and not lose hope so quickly. We’ve been texting back and forth and I ended by saying I’m glad he’s tuning back in and gearing to vote.

    • So essentially we have the Professional Left to thank for the cynicism of our youth.

      Well now its all making sense to me. I wondered why I was hearing the same talking point from all those youth calling into c-span yesterday. They are just parroting Jon Stewart and Keith Olberman.

      • Now I see that Arianna Huffington is promoting a “HuffPo Sanity Bus” to the event. GAG. I’m not sure how this thing is going to work out. It will definitely get lots of publicity. Meanwhile I’m still searching for the possibility of a livestream for this Saturday’s One Nation march and rally.

      • Think about it though. His is a total computer generation. He’s got his IPhone and his laptop and both are downloaded with facebook and whatever other apps he wants to keep him plugged in. He doesn’t watch the nightly news. He doesn’t pick up the NY Times. He reads a quick blog article on HuffPuff and catches the 30 minute episode of Stewart at 11:00 pm, which is right around the time he’s finished hanging out, leaving his night class, or what have you.

        I think the power of blogs is debatable in terms of how much power they have. But there is no doubt in my mind that they have played a role in depressing our youth, in particular.

        Here’s Booman’s take from today:

  20. Can someone post the link or the story from CNN. For some reason I cannot get into that website today from work.

  21. Someone on OFA just posted that 47 Dems are prepared to renew the Bush tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest 2%. I suggest we flood the phones today. It won’t do any good if it is just a few of us. I can start in an hour when I get to work.

  22. Preparing the Nation to Better Address the Challenge of Alzheimer’s

    Posted by Melody C. Barnes on September 29, 2010

    Last week, we brought together leading Alzheimer’s disease advocates, researchers, health and long-term care experts, and others to commemorate World Alzheimer’s Day. Alzheimer’s disease is not only a fatal disease that robs individuals of their memories and leads to progressive mental and physical impairments, it is also a serious and growing threat to the health of the nation. While estimates vary, upwards of 5 million people in the United States are believed to be living with Alzheimer’s disease and it’s the seventh leading cause of death in this country.

    The Obama Administration is committed to strengthening our nation’s response to the disease and this meeting was a serious effort to better understand the challenges and opportunities available to us. The meeting brought together some of the Administration’s key leaders in responding to the disease, including Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging at HHS, Dr. Richard Hodes, Director of the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health, and Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform.

    The meeting also included distinguished outside experts as well. Admiral David Satcher, former United States Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health and member of the bipartisan Alzheimer’s Study Group presented key recommendations from the Study Group’s report. We were also joined by people living with Alzheimer’s disease, nationally recognized researchers, and persons with expertise in health care delivery and family caregiving issues.

    By coming together and recommitting ourselves, we can and must do more to tackle this serious challenge.

  23. Open for Questions: Small Business Discussion with SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns

    Posted by Sarah Bernard on September 29, 2010

    Today at 2 PM EDT, the White House is hosting a special live chat with Marie Johns, SBA Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, moderated by OPEN Forum’s Scott Roen. Deputy Administrator Johns will answer small business owners’ questions about The Small Business Jobs Act and opportunities for small businesses as part of the Recover Act and Affordable Care Act.

    Tune in at 2 PM EDT to submit questions and participate at or on facebook. You can also watch live on

  24. Happy Wednesday CR, Jackie, Tigerfists, COS, Barb, Sandy, Donna, Meta and Vero and all friends!


    • POLITICO 44

      FROM THE TOP — President Obama says it is “wonderful to be back” in Iowa as he begins his backyard chat with families in Des Moines. He says he’s going to try to stay away from giving a “straight political speech” before taking questions. (11:09 a.m.)

      As he did in New Mexico on Tuesday, Obama described how middle-class wages fell from 2001 to 2009. He calls the middle class “the beating heart of our economy,” and he laments how people were finding it “harder and harder” to get ahead.

      Manufacturing production has dropped, as have education statistics, Obama says. “We were losing that competitive position,” he says. (11:13 a.m.)

      The United States needed to be “serious” about training students and stressing science and math, while “investing more in research and development,” he says, also calling for “infrasture to lay the groundwork on a 21st century economy.” He mentions the need to “fix our health care system, which was a huge drag on businesses and families and the federal government.”

      Now, small businesses are “still struggling” while bigger businesses are “sitting” on cash because they’re “still uncertain” about the economy, Obama says. (11:17 a.m.)

      BACK WHERE IT ALL STARTED: President Obama tells families in Iowa that “the challenges the economy faces are still great.” He adds, “But we’re on the right path.”

      Ten minutes into his remarks, he mentions the midterm elections for the first time. “The other side, what it’s really offering, is the same policies that from 2001 to 2009 put off hard problems, and didn’t really speak honestly to the American people about how we’re going to get this country on track over the long term,” Obama says.

      He charges, as he did yesterday, that the GOP wants to give tax breaks to the rich while cutting education programs. “You’ve got a choice to make,” he says. (11:22 a.m.)

      Obama continues, “You can’t say you want to balance the budget, deal with our deficit, invest in our kids, and have a $700 billion tax cut that only affects the top 2 percent of our population.”

      “I hope that as we go forward … over the next two years, or 6 years or 10 years … that you just keep in mind that we’re not going to be able to solve our big problems unless we honestly address them.” (11:24 a.m.)

      BACK WHERE IT ALL STARTED: President Obama takes his first question in Iowa from a woman who says her son campaigned “fiercely” for him, graduated in 2009 and now can’t find a full-time job.

      Obama says his speech on Tuesday at the University of Wisconsin at Madison was a “terrific reminder” that students have “energy and enthusiasm for the future.” He adds, “But they’re going through a tough time.”

      He then reminds his audience that he worked to make college more affordable, and he notes again that help for small businesses will help teh economy.

      “We’re trying to make some tough decisions now so that by the time he has his own son or daughter, we are back to no. 1 in research and development … college graduates … and entrepreneurship,” he says. (11:29 a.m.)

      BACK WHERE IT ALL STARTED: President Obama tells an Iowa man who asks about the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that he was opposed to the war in Iraq from the beginning. He then reminds his questioner that he brought home thousands of troops from Iraq, to which the families in the backyard applaud.

      Obama says that he promised during his campaign that “we need to make sure that we’re getting Afghanistan right.” He adds: “We’re not going to get it perfect there. It is messy. It is hard.” (11:34 a.m.)

      On the budget impact, Obama says there will be “hangover costs” from the wars, particularly caring for veterans. “I’ve had to ramp up veteran spending,” he says. “They’ve served as well. We should serve them well.” He also calls for “reform in the Pentagon.”

      “Getting those programs shut down is very difficult,” he says. “There’s not a single weapons program out there that’s not being built in 40 different congressional districts and 10 different states.” He praises Defense Secretary Robert Gates, saying he “has been very good at pushing hard for that.” (11:38 a.m.)

      BACK WHERE IT ALL STARTED: Taking a question from an Iowa woman who says she’s concerned about the new health care law, President Obama seeks to assure his intimate audience that the reform measures he championed won’t change their policies.

      “There’s nothing in our health reform bill that is going to impact whether your mom can get heart surgery if she needed it,” Obama says. “We didn’t change the core Medicare program. So unless there’s something specific that you’re worried about …”

      The woman then says she wants to talk about people who aren’t on Medicare. Obama asks if she has health insurance, and she says she does. “There’s nothing in the bill that says you have to change the health insurance you’ve got right now,” Obama says. “I just want to identify what your worry is. … What is it that you think might happen to your health insurance as a consdquence of health care reform?”

      The woman says that if her husband lost his job and they lost their health insurance, they would get the “government” insurance under the new law. Obama seeks to explain, saying he’ll “map it out for you.”

      “If you were already getting health insurance on your job, then that doesn’t change,” he says. “Health insurance reform was passed six months ago. I don’t know if anybody here has gotten a letter from your employer saying you’ve got to go into government-run health care. … You’re keeping the health insurance that you had.” (11:45 a.m.)

      BACK WHERE IT ALL STARTED: President Obama goes through a list of measures in the new health care law, and he tells an Iowa woman that she’s not going to be forced to buy a “government-run health care plan.” The woman then speaks up again, saying that “illegal immigrants” are getting “free health care” and are forcing clinics to be shut down. Obama says he’ll address her concern and then take another question because he wants to “make sure everybody gets a chance, too.”

      Obama says there’s “no doubt” that some hospitals are giving “uncompensated care” to undocumented immigrants. “Their whole reason for being in the profession is to help people,” he says. “If they see someone come into the ER … injured or sick … they’re not going to check on their immigrant status but say, ‘This is someone who needs help,’ and I think that’s the right thing we do for our community.” Obama says that shows a “compassion as part of our national character,” to which the families in the backyard applaud.

      He adds that “there’s nothing in my health care plan” that covers such immigrants. “Illegal immigrants probably underutilize health care,” he says. “They are scared of getting caught. … There are a lot more Americans who don’t have health insurance and don’t get regular checkups, no preventive care … more likely to end up in emergency care. … So if we can provide them with basic checkups … so they’ve got some peace of mind, that will actually over time make the system more efficient as a whole.”

      Taking a breath, Obama continues. “There was a lot of misinformation during the health care debate,” he says. “If you’re happy with what you’ve got, nobody’s changing it.”

      Finally, Obama thanks the woman for asking him about it. “It’s helpful,” he says. (11:54 a.m.)

      BACK WHERE IT ALL STARTED: An Iowa social worker asks President Obama what he can do about the poverty rate; Obama calls it a “profound question.”

      “It’s unacceptably high,” he says. “The single-most important thing I can do to drive the proverty rate down is to grow the economy. What has really increased poverty is folks losing their jobs and being much more vulnerable. So, everything we can do to provide tax breaks for small businesses that are starting up.”

      He adds that a better education system can help, too. “This week we spent a lot of time talking about education reform,” he says, calling his Race to the Top program a “simple idea.”

      “Education and growing the economy generally, those are the most important things I can do for poverty,” he says, also plugging “health reform” and citing a need to address domestic violence and post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans. “Those are all things that are important,” he says. (12:09 p.m.)

      BACK WHERE IT ALL STARTED: Last question: An Iowa pastor asks President Obama about a member of his congregation, a 55-year-old father with two children who has been unemployed for more than a year.

      Obama reflects on the letters he says he reads every day from Americans. “Half the letters call me an idiot,” he says. “So they’re not screening them out. But a bunch of those letters talk about, ‘I’m 50 years old, I’ve worked hard all my life.’ ”

      Getting to the pastor’s question, Obama says some “immediate” effects of his economic policies include business investments and the “clean energy sector.”

      “Some of the manufacturing jobs that have been lost just won’t come back,” he says, because those jobs have become “more efficient.” China has “taken” many jobs, and other Asian countries will because their wages are lower, he says. (12:15 p.m.)

      BACK WHERE IT ALL STARTED: Clean energy will be a “huge growth sector,” President Obama predicts in Iowa.”I don’t know how many people here have a hybrid car,” he says. “Got a couple of folks. It turns out that we weren’t making the batteries that go into these hybrid and electric cars. They were all being made elsewhere.” The stimulus has spurred manufacturing of more batteries in the United States, he says.

      Community college training can train people for new jobs, Obama says. “Those are the types of programs that I think we need to set up,” he says.

      Wrapping up, Obama says the questions are “a good reminder.” He adds, “We’ve got a long way to go,” and he asks them to “feel encouraged about our future.”

      “We’ve been through tougher times before, and we’re going to get through these times,” he says, adding that small businesses and congregations will help.

      And that’s it. (12:21 p.m.)

  25. September 29, 2010

    Background on the President’s Events Today

    Today, the President will meet with the Clubb family in Des Moines, Iowa, where he will host a backyard discussion on the challenges currently facing the middle class with approximately 70 neighbors from the area.

    Jeff and Sandy Clubb are parents to Tristan (11 years old) and Skyelar (9 years old) and have lived in Des Moines for four years. Jeff was born and raised in Sigourney, Iowa and is a social studies and religion teacher at Holy Trinity Catholic School. Sandy was born and raised in Bethesda, Maryland and is the athletic director at Drake University. Jeff and Sandy have been married for 15 years and met at Arizona State University where she served as the senior associate director of athletics and he completed college while also working fulltime as a firefighter.

    Governor Chet Culver
    Mayor Frank Cownie, Des Moines


    Later today, the President will meet with the Perry family in Richmond, Virginia, where he will host a discussion at the Southampton Recreation Association highlighting tax cuts and the deficit with approximately 35 neighbors from the area.

    Throughout the summer, President Obama has met with families to listen to their concerns and to discuss specific ways to jumpstart job creation and strengthen the middle class. He met with residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Fairfax, Virginia, earlier this month and families in Columbus, Ohio, in August.

    Matt and Stephanie Perry are parents to Matthew (13 years old) and Lucy (11 years old) and have lived in Richmond for 18 years. Matt, a New Jersey native, is the co-owner of Riverside Outfitters and president of the Southampton Recreation Association. Stephanie, a Blacksburg, Virginia native, is a career educator and currently works as a math and science teacher at Albert Hill Middle School. The couple has been married for almost 15 years.

    Mayor Dwight Jones, Richmond

  26. The President: “If we think our kids are important and the next generation’s important, then we’ve got to act like it.” Can’t have unlimited tax cuts and balance the budget.

  27. House set to pass bill aimed at Chinese yuan

    9/29/10 By Doug Palmer and Paul Eckert – Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives was set to pass a bill on Wednesday to put pressure on China to let its currency rise faster, fanning the flames of a long-running dispute over trade and jobs.

    In a vote likely around 2 p.m., the House is expected to approve, with bipartisan support, a bill to treat China’s exchange rate as a subsidy, opening the door to extra duties on Chinese goods entering the United States, some of which are already subject to special levies.

    But the measure must gain Senate approval and be signed into law by President Barack Obama — by no means a sure bet.

    U.S. lawmakers have long brandished the sword of trade retaliation for what they see as China’s deliberate policy of undervaluing the yuan to give its exports an unfair advantage in global markets. But they have never sent the president any legislation to be signed into law.

    “I think the main statement was made by the president — that they either act or we have other means — and this is one of the other means,” said Sander Levin, the Democratic chairman of House Ways and Means Committee.

    Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao talked about China’s currency and huge trade surplus with the United States on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly last week, aides said, but they declined to discuss the sensitive issues with reporters after the meeting.

    Ahead of the House vote, China’s central bank reaffirmed its pledge to increase the flexibility of the yuan and improve the way it manages the exchange rate.


    Slow growth in most advanced economies leaves them more reliant on exports, raising concerns that countries will intentionally weaken their currencies to gain an edge.

    Japan intervened this month to weaken the yen for the first time in six years and a couple of emerging economies followed.

    Brazil’s finance minister warned this week of a global “currency war.” The Brazilian currency, the real, hit its highest mark since December on Wednesday, threatening exports.

    For the entire article:

  28. U.S. Vice President Biden calls on Iraq to expedite efforts to form a democratic government


    WASHINGTON D.C. : U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday called on Iraq to expedite efforts to form an inclusive and legitimate government responsive to the needs of the Iraqi people.

    Biden spoke with Dr. Ayad Allawi, former Iraqi Prime Minister and leader of the Iraqiyya coalition, during a phone call on Tuesday. During the call, Biden reaffirmed the support of the U.S. government towards the formation of a democratic government in the Arab country.

    The U.S. government expects that Iraq will form an inclusive government that reflects the results of the election and Biden emphasized that the Obama administration is not backing any candidate.

    Last March, the narrow victory in the parliamentary polls resulted in no clear winner and caused tensions over who should have the right to form the next government.

    Biden, however, said that all four winning coalitions should have the opportunity to play a role in the new government and expressed support for Iraqi consideration of power-sharing arrangements in accordance with the constitution.

    Differences have deepened among the four winning coalitions as the Iraqiyya coalition said that it would not join any government headed by incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

  29. The President: “I think it’s very important that we have compassion as part of our national character.”

    Applause from the audience.

  30. That lady’s question was embarrassingly pointless. I guess it was just based in fear and confusion. I’m curious to know if his response allayed her fears.

    • They are standing up there delivering a lecture to the President of the United States. Unbelievable.

    • Both of these questioners are so unfocused, just spilling unconnected talking points. I think they’ve committed to their alternate views of reality, but at least they give PBO the chance to address the lies, which may be helpful to independents.

  31. Touching moment… the kids who write to PBO are not ashamed of their unemployed parents, but know they’re suffering.

  32. Give me the freakin’ microphone and I will ask this question:

    Where is the anger at the Republicans who slowed or stopped this recovery? Were is the outrage at the banks and corporations who are sitting on trillions of dollars that could be used to give loan modifications to homeowners and jobs to the jobless?

  33. The President:

    “All of us are going to have to be focusing on the future and not just the present. If we can do that, we’re going to be just fine.”

  34. Hawaiian words for our elders

    Hawaiian word for grandparent is:
    Kupuna; hulu kupuna (poetic). To be or become a grandparent, kani moʻopuna, hiʻi moʻopuna.

    Hawaiian word for Grandfather is:
    kū.kū (tūtū) kāne*

    Hawaiian word for Grandmother is:
    kū.kū (tūtū) wahine*

    * In some parts of Polynesia there are words that use the “T” sound and others that use the “K” sound at the start of the word but the words share the same root. That is why the word for tree bark cloth is referred to as “kapa” or “tapa”.

    Kane is the word for “man” in Hawaiian
    Wahine is the word for “woman” in Hawaiian

  35. Obama’s Tutu: A Lesson in ‘Ohana

    10/24/08 Jeanne Cooper –

    Sen. Barack Obama is scheduled to return to the Mainland today from the bedside of his gravely ill grandmother in Honolulu. Madelyn Dunham, who turns 86 on Sunday, helped raise Obama, along with her late husband, Stanley. Through her job as one of the first female vice presidents of the Bank of Hawaii, the Dunhams were able to send Obama to Punahou, a prestigious private school on Oahu.

    “Toot” and Obama at his Punahou graduation.

    Those are pretty well-known facts these days, but what may be less well-known by Mainlanders — even those who are frequent Hawaii visitors — is how common Obama’s experience of being raised by a grandparent, or tūtū (the source of “Toot,” Obama’s nickname for his grandmother), actually is. Turns out that the definition of ‘ohana in “Lilo & Stitch” — “‘Ohana means family; family means no one gets left behind” — is pretty close to the mark.

    According to a joint study by the AARP Foundation, the Children’s Defense Fund and other organizations, in 2007 Hawaii had 38,051 children living in grandparent-headed households — 12.9 percent of all the children in the state. And since only 14,029 grandparents reported grandchildren living with them, many are obviously responsible for more than one mo‘opuna (just as the Dunhams also cared for Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng).

    These tutus (the Anglicized plural term is commonly used in the islands) are as diverse as Hawaii residents themselves: 40 percent are Asian, 17 percent are Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander; 14 percent are white and 8 percent are Hispanic/Latino, according to the study. Like Madelyn Dunham in the ’70s, many tutus with grandkids at home are still of working age: 60 percent are under the age of 60. But not all share her economic success: 11 percent of the grandchild-rearing tutus live in poverty.

    Those numbers don’t include the many more grandparents who many not have their children’s children living with them, but who are raising the youngest generation while the parents are working one, two or three jobs to make ends meet. Other family members and close friends may also be called on to help, sometimes formally or informally adopting children in Hawaii’s hānai tradition. While Obama’s roots are not ethnically Hawaiian, clearly his relationship with Toot reflects the Hawaiian influence on the community in which they lived.

    As always, the Hawaiian language reveals insights into its cultural practices. Hānai comes from a verb meaning “to feed” or “to nourish.” ‘Ohana may mean “family,” but it comes from ‘ohā, “the offshoot of the taro root” — taro being Hawaiians’ essential food stuff and the firstborn of creation. There’s a sense that family is a place to feed each other and to be fed, as well. One of the Hawaiian proverbs recorded by the venerated Mary Kawena Pukui is ‘Ike aku, ‘ike mai, kōkua aku, kōkua mai; pela iho la ka nohana ‘ohana — “Recognize others, be recognized, help others, be helped; such is a family relationship.”

    • Family precedent: Obama’s grandmother blazed trails

      7/4/08 By Dan Nakaso, USA TODAY
      HONOLULU — Barack Obama’s trailblazing effort to become the nation’s first black president has a family precedent.

      Madelyn Dunham
      , Obama’s grandmother, blazed a feminist trail in Hawaii banking circles in the late 1960s and early 1970s and rose to become one of the Bank of Hawaii’s first female vice presidents.

      Durham, now 85 and living in Honolulu along with her granddaughter and Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, had two obstacles to overcome in Hawaii at the time — being a woman and being part of the state’s white minority.

      “Was she ambitious? She had to be to become a vice president,” said Clifford Y.J. Kong, 82, who was a senior credit officer at the bank at the time. “She was a top-notch executive to get appointed. It was a tough world.”

      For the entire article:

    • Stanley Armour Dunham

      Stanley Dunham was the maternal grandfather of Barack Obama. He died at the age of 74 in 1992. His widow, Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham died on November 3, 2008, one day before the 2008 presidential election.Washington Post: Obama’s Grandmother Dies (November 3, 2008)

      Obama wrote about his grandfather, whom he called “Gramps,” in his book Dreams from My Father.Chicago Sun-times: Stanley Armour Dunham: Obama Family Tree (September 9, 2007)

      Obama on “Gramps” Quote
      “His was an American character, one typical of men of his generation, men who embraced the notion of freedom and individualism and the open road without always knowing its price, and whose enthusiasms could as easily lead to the cowardice of McCarthyism as to the heroics of World War II. Men who were both dangerous and promising precisely because of their fundamental innocence; men prone, in the end, to disappointment.”The Swamp: Is Obama’s Problem Really…—Barack Obama, Dreams of My Father

    • Charles T. Payne

      Charles Thomas Payne (born 1925) is an American who served in the U.S. military during World War II as a member of the division that liberated Ohrdruf, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp. He was 20 years old at the time. He is Barack Obama’s great uncle (the younger brother of his late maternal grandmother Madelyn Lee Payne Dunham) and has been mentioned in Obama’s speeches including the one given in 2009 commemorating the anniversary of D-Day.

      • Obama’s great-uncle recalls liberating Nazi camp

        7/22/08 By Carla K. Johnson- AP

        CHICAGO—Charles T. Payne was 20 years old and, like any good Midwesterner, he knew how to listen.

        He was making conversation, in pieced-together English and German, with a freed prisoner of Ohrdruf, the Nazi work camp Payne’s infantry division had just liberated at the end of World War II.

        “With great difficulty we conversed and, if I got what it was he was telling me about, it was that the Germans had killed a million Jews and that the world didn’t really know this yet,” Payne, 83, told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday as, on the other side of the world, his great-nephew, Barack Obama, prepared to visit the Yad Vashem national Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

        Helping liberate Ohrdruf, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, in April 1945 was Payne’s first close brush with history.

        He is enjoying, for the most part, a second brush as the great-uncle of the Democratic presidential candidate.

        In May, Obama mentioned “Uncle Charlie” at a meeting with veterans but mistakenly said Payne had helped liberate Auschwitz, when he should have said Buchenwald. Bloggers seized on the error and the Republican Party demanded an explanation.

        Obama’s campaign corrected the mistake the next day. Soviet forces liberated Auschwitz as they marched across Poland in January 1945.

        For the entire article:

  36. The times of these backyard chats does not work for me. I am on the freeway until 9 PST so I missed two. Perhaps it’s best since from reports, people don’t get it anyway.

  37. StartLoving3 | September 29, 2010 –

    We won’t give them back the keys!

  38. The President:

    “We cannot sit this one out. We can’t let this country fall backwards because the rest of us didn’t care enough to fight. The stakes are too high for our country and for your future. And I am gonna get out there and fight as hard as I can, and I know you are too, to make sure we keep moving forward.”

    StartLoving3 | September 29, 2010 –


  39. I was getting caught up on the news and I ran across a poll saying that Palin is more popular than Pelosi 30-22. Unbelievable!!!! Why in the world are they comparing Pelosi to this person? I don’t get it. It is totally irrelevant. To compare anyone in office making hard decisions to anyone out of office is ludicrous. This applies to any public official as opposed to a private citizen.

    • Hello…they need to poll to make their newstory. The MSM lacks any creativity. They poll endlessly and they poll everything in order to create a story. It’s meaningless at this point.

  40. I have tipped and rec’d this new DKos diary:

    The President and Vice President are right. Stop the kvetching.

    By Daddeeo

    …. No matter what he proposed, the Republicans were automatically against it for purely personal reasons. The public welfare mattered not at all. The only thing that mattered was that President Obama should fail.

    Yet, in the face of such brutal and unreasoning hostility, President Obama has gotten a lot of legislation passed. Why isn’t there more? Well, that question brings us back to the original question: who are you mad at? Who are you blaming? Connect the dots!

    If everyone agrees to deliberately frustrate your every act, to slow down or to completely stop any progress you’re trying to make, how is this not a significant factor in the slowness of the legislative process? You who complain and criticize are directing your anger at the wrong target….

    • Thanks COS. Listening now.

      PBO: Now the private sector is growing. There has been job growth for the past 8 months. There are about 3 million Americans who would not be working if we hadn’t put these economic plans in place.

    • POLITICO 44

      FROM THE TOP — President Obama begins his chat with families by making his way around the room of a home in Richmond, Va., introducing himself. He hugs a 105-year-old woman and says she looks great.

      Obama says he “wants to hear from you at least as much as you’re hearing from me.” In Washington, he says, “you’re in what’s called the bubble. And I’m trying to do what I can to break out of it.” (4:12 p.m.)

      As usual, Obama begins his economic spiel by recounting the bad economy when he took over at the White House. “The financial crisis we experienced is the worst since the Great Depression,” he reminds the families. He also notes again that middle-class wages fell between 2001 and 2009, and that countries like China are competing in stronger ways.

      “We had to stop a health care system that was broken from bankrupting families and businesses and the federal government,” he says, adding that health care reform will save $1 trillion “over time.”

      The Race to the Top education program, he says, will help low-performing schools in which kids are dropping out and not graduating at good levels. “That’s just not acceptable,” he says of graduation rates. “That’s going to affect how we compete long term.” (4:16 p.m.)

      The drop from the Clinton-era surplus to the Bush-era deficit was “a direct result of some policies that thought only of the present and didn’t think of the future,” President Obama says, mentioning tax cuts for the rich.

      Obama notes that he saw signs on his way to the Richmond home that said “cut spending.” He offers a critique of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, saying that a cut in spending “sounds plausible, and I know your congressman here, you know, I think has strong ideas about what he says he wants to do. Last week, the Republicans put forward what they called a ‘Pledge to America,’ which purported to say, ‘We’re going to cut your taxes … control spending … and balance the budget.’ ”

      He continues: “Now, when you looked at the numbers, it’s hard to figure out how they all added up. Now I’m not a math teacher, but I know a little bit about math.” The tax cuts for the rich, Obama says, aren’t possible if the budget is to be balanced as well. (4:21 p.m.)

      Obama says the GOP “Pledge” would “drastically expand the deficit rather than shrinking it.”

      “I’ve got some very smart people working for me in my budget office, but they will tell me that one thing they can’t do is cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans by $700 billion, protect Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ funding, and balance the budget,” he says. “They just can’t do it. The math just doesn’t add up.” (4:21 p.m.)

      President Obama takes his first question on employees, businesses and retirement and says he is “absolutely interested” in expanding a law on employee stock ownership plans. Obama calls ESOPs “something that can help grow the companies,” while “workers feel like they are working for themselves.”

      “I just signed a bill that further cuts taxes for small businesses,” Obama says, recalling the jobs bill that passed with two GOP senators’ support. “Making sure small businesses can invest in inventory or in a plant and equipment now and be able to take these deductions now and gives them an incentive to start early on. … Typically, small businesses are the hardest folks to provide health insurance. … Give them a tax break.” (4:32 p.m.)

      Obama pivots to his tax argument, saying: “There is a myth out there that somehow we have raised our taxes on small businesses. … We’ve lowered taxes on small businesses over the last two years. In fact, we’ve lowered taxes on just about everybody.”

      “We’re in danger of seeing a lapse in tax breaks,” he says. “A lot of people didn’t notice that they were getting a tax break. … That’s going to lapse if we don’t renew it, and Republicans are proposing to eliminate it.” (4:34 p.m.)

      A librarian at a Virginia community college reads a question from his son, who is out of town, asking about the economic crisis and Democrats “populist attitude.”

      Obama gives a broad answer. “Part of what makes America the greatest country on Earth and what made our economy the envy of the world … is that we combine this incredible sense of individual freedom and entrepreneurship,” he says. The Internet, he notes is a “direct result of an investment in research and science through the government.”

      “Now, there are all kinds of Internet companies … but those individual initiatives couldn’t have happened if we hadn’t made that initial investment through our government.” (4:37 p.m.)

      Obama shifts to clean energy as another example. “All of us would benefit if we had a cleaner, more efficient energy policy in this country,” he says. “But nobody individually has that much incentive to do it.”

      The govenrment’s “role” is to do what people can’t do for themselves, he says, using Abraham Lincoln’s quote.

      Citing the midterm elections, Obama says people should ask themselves, “Are we still able to make those decisions together about how to move the country together, or are we each going to be looking out for ourselves?” (4:39 p.m.)

      Taking a question from a teacher, President Obama promises to send her kids some autographed pictures — and he then says it might be a good idea for the school year to be extended.

      “I haven’t passed a law that says everyone has to go to school fo ran extra month,” he notes. “On the ‘Today’ show I made an observation. … Most of our competitors make their kids go to school for a month longer. … But there’s nothing written in school that we have to have schools organized the way we have it.”

      He adds: “Studies show that students lose something during that three-month period, poorer kids lose more. They may not have books at home, supplemental activities … they tend to lose more of what they’ve learned. … I think it’s important for states to look at what they’re doing.” He notes, though, that “it’s going to cost money if we decide to make the school year longer.”

      “So we’d have to make some choices budgetarily,” he says. (4:41 p.m.)

      President Obama mentions the midterm elections again, saying the decisions each party wants to make on education is why the vote is “so important.” He imitates Republicans, saying that when he wanted to fund teachers’ jobs, the GOP argued their “usual rhetoric” — that Obama would “kill business and raise taxes.”

      “All the policies that we’ve put in place have been designed to help” the middle class, he says. (4:45 p.m.)

      President Obama takes advantage of an environmental moment, telling a man who talks about the EPA and the James River that clean air and clean water can “create new jobs.”

      “That’s part of the argument I’ve been making about clean energy,” he says.

      Using the example of coal, Obama calls it a “dirty, burning fuel,” and he says mining it can be “environmentally, really destructive” But: “On the other hand, we’ve got tons of coal. We’re the Saudi Arabia of coal.”

      Other countries are seeking clean energy jobs, Obama says. “If we’re not the ones who get there first in terms of figuring this stuff out, then they’re the ones who are going to get the jobs of the future,” he says. “And I don’t want them to get those jobs.” (4:51 p.m.)

      SOUTHERN STYLE: Asked about interest rates, President Obama clarifies that he’s not allowed to ask Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke how to make adjustments.

      The man who asked the question presses Obama on a measure allowing people to “dip into” their retirements accounts without being penalized. He tells Obama that he’s still doing it, even after the temporary measure was passed.

      “Things don’t always get through Congress the way you want them,” Obama says. (4:55 p.m.)

      Asked about the political discourse in Washington, President Obama uses the opportunity to recall his 2004 speech in which he said there aren’t “red states” and “blue states.” “I believe that so profoundly,” he says.

      Disapproving of Republicans’ strategy to oppose his agenda no matter what, Obama notes that “from just a raw, political point of view, it’s been a pretty successful strategy.”

      Obama then dons his media-criticism hat: “The media’s gotten very splintered. So what happens is these cable shows and these talk show hosts, they figure out — a lot of them figure out, ‘The more controversial I can be, if I’m going out there and calling Obama this name or that name and saying Obama was born in this country, that will get me attention.”

      Commentators on the left do the same, Obama says, by ridiculing the right. “They get rewarded in the way our media’s set up right now,” he says. “So part of the challenge is figuring out how to create a space for people saying, you know, ‘We’re all Americans, and we’re going to try and solve our problems.’ ”

      He then offers an endorsement of Jon Stewart’s rally. “I was amused — Jon Stewart, you know, the host of The Daily Show, he’s going to host a rally,” Obama says. Not quite getting the name right — he calls it “Americans in favor of a return to sanity, or something like that” — Obama says, “70 percent of the folks are just like you. … They don’t go around calling people names. They don’t make stuff up. They may not be following every single issue. … They are just expecting some common sense. … Having those voices lifted up is really important.” (5:02 p.m.)

      SOUTHERN STYLE: President Obama takes his final question on the economy broadly, saying there is “no doubt in my mind that the country is stronger now than it was a year ago.”

      “Businesses are very profitable,” he says, adding that people might think differently because people are “yelling at each other.”

      “So that’s kind of disquieting,” he says, adding that it “makes people feel like people are pulling apart.”

      Seeking to empathize with people in tough times, Obama says even those who are “doing OK right now are anxious.”

      “If you have a positive attitude that doesn’t ignore problems,” he says, “then eventually, you climb out of the hole.”

      He adds: “I’m stubborn. I stay with it. I’m not going to lose heart about this country. … We’re just going to have to keep pushing.”

      And that’s it. (5:13 p.m.)

    • Yep. I missed the beginning, but his responses to the last few questions I caught were phenomenal He just makes so much sense and has such a good spirit.

    • Jackie, I am still pumped from yesterday. I am not going to let these naysayers get me down. I expected all of the negativity after the successful rally yesterday. PBO alluded to the media’s negativity today at his Richmond townhall.

  41. whitehouse | September 29, 2010 –

    Open for Questions: Small Business

    SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns answers questions about The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 as well as opportunities available for small businesses under the Recovery Act and Affordable Care Act. She is joined by OPEN Forum’s Scott Roen.

  42. StartLoving3 | September 29, 2010 –

    The President’s backyard event in Des Moines, Part 1

    • Repost of Kat 4 Obama says:

      And here’s a transcript of the whole event:

      Office of the Press Secretary, September 29, 2010:

      Remarks by the President at a Backyard Discussion in Des Moines, Iowa

      …. And everything we think about in terms of economic policy is how do we make sure that if people are out here working hard and taking responsibility for themselves and their families, that they are rewarded. That’s the essence of the American Dream.

      And the second thing that we’ve got to keep in mind is that we’ve got to make tough choices if we’re going to solve some of these long-term problems that we’ve been putting off. And that means putting aside some of the politics as usual. And it also means sometimes telling folks things they don’t want to hear.

      Now, we’re in election season, so that second part of the formula is very hard to apply. And I just want to say — and then I’m just going to open it up for comments and questions — when you look at the choice we face in this election coming up, the other side, what it’s really offering is the same policies that from 2001 to 2009 put off hard problems and didn’t really speak honestly to the American people about how we’re going to get this country on track over the long term….

  43. Thanks to ArizonaGrandma for this:, Sept. 28, 2010:

    Manufacturing is at heart of American economy and character

    By House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)

    …. President Obama has already signed four “Make It In America” bills into law: they include a bill to make it cheaper for American companies to obtain the materials they need to manufacture goods, a bill to speed innovation by breaking the backlog of patents waiting for approval, and a bill to reduce tax loopholes that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas. The most recent “Make It In America” bill, which establishes a Small Business Lending Fund, provides an additional $12 billion in small business tax cuts, and promotes the export of U.S.-made goods, was signed into law yesterday. It is projected to save or create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

    Seven more “Make It In America” bills have passed the House and are waiting for Senate action. These bills help clean energy firms compete at home and abroad; combat the trade imbalance that harms American job creation; help rural families upgrade their energy efficiency; build training partnerships between unions, businesses, and educators; ensure that Congress and the Department of Homeland Security buy American-made goods whenever possible; and direct the president to work with business and state leaders to develop a national manufacturing strategy, just like our toughest international competitors have in place.

    In addition, this week the House will vote on three additional bills. One will make sure that the government buys American-made American flags. Another helps ensure that American workers are given every opportunity to earn certifications, degrees, and qualifications for the jobs American industry needs to fill. And the third addresses China’s unfair currency policy and its harms to American workers. By deliberately keeping the value of its currency low, China is able to sell its goods in the United States at an artificially low price — which helps put American manufacturers out of business. The bill we vote on this week will help level the playing field for American businesses and workers.

    We passed these “Make It In America” bills because we refuse to write off the notion of America as a country that makes things, and because bills like these create the kind of jobs we want: the steady, secure, well-paying kind. I don’t think it will come as a surprise that, while average total compensation, including wages and benefits, is about $58,000 across all jobs, manufacturing workers receive an average of nearly $71,000. That’s a reason why strengthening manufacturing is a policy that both labor and business can support—because when we “Make It In America”, more of us will be able to make it in America. In fact, I’m proud that input on this agenda has come from all over the country: from the National Association of Manufacturers, from the Chamber of Commerce, and from labor unions. At a time when America cries out for unity of purpose, this agenda offers it.

    The jobs that will come out of these bills won’t just mean opportunity for middle-class families — they will mean opportunity for our entire economy to innovate and grow. Though some would urge otherwise, we can’t afford to write off manufacturing — because our ability to remain the world’s innovation leader and create tomorrow’s jobs depends directly on our ability to make things here today….

  44. SenateDemocrats | September 29, 2010 –

    Dodd on GOP Attempts to Repeal Health Care Reform

    Today Senate Republicans took their first step in an attempt to repeal the new health care reform law. The Senate defeated a resolution of disapproval that would have repealed the “grandfather” regulation, which defines which insurance plans and businesses have to comply with certain consumer protection provisions in the health care reform law.

  45. Spread The Word – Last Night’s Debate

    Jerry Brown scored a clear victory in last night’s debate:

    Newsweek’s Mickey Kaus gives the win to Jerry, as does San Francisco Chronicle writer

    Conservative Debra Saunders, writing that Meg Whitman was “canned” and that her promises “don’t add up”

    Politico said “Brown scored most of the memorable lines of the night,”

    Contra Costa Times headline is “Local observers feel Brown won first round.”

    A Survey USA instant poll confirms the pundits take, giving the debate edge to Jerry.

    • Whitman sets personal campaign spending record


      CULVER CITY, Calif. (KABC) — Republican candidate for California governor Meg Whitman has set a record, spending more of her own money on her campaign than any political candidate in U.S. history.

      With less than two months to go until the November elections, Whitman’s latest bit of self-funding has pushed her past the previous record holder, fellow billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spent $109 million in his bid for a third term last year.

      Whitman talked to voters in Culver City Tuesday, the same day she wrote her campaign a $15 million check. It was that money that pushed the former EBay chief executive officer to a new record for campaign spending, bringing her personal donation to $119 million.

      Whitman has spent much of her campaign money on TV ads attacking her opponent, California attorney general and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown — including an advertisement featuring former President Bill Clinton.

      Whitman’s team has refused to pull the ad despite Clinton’s endorsement of Brown for governor, and the findings by a nonpartisan fact-checking group and the state department of finance, which say taxes actually went down when Brown was governor from 1975 to 1983.

      “Voters always say that they hate those ads,” said political analyst Darry Sragow. “The truth is they make up their minds based on those ads, and that’s why campaigns keep running them, even though they get criticized.”

      With less than two months to go until election day, Brown’s campaign has also taken to the airwaves with its own round of attack ads on Whitman. This week, Brown launched two 15-second spots painting his GOP opponent as a “Pinocchio.”

      As for the cost of the campaign, Whitman has defended her exuberant spending.

      “When I go to Sacramento, I will go with the independents because I do not owe anyone anything except for the voters of California, so I think it’s an advantage, actually,” said Whitman.

      “She started from scratch. She’s never run for office before, and when this is all over everybody is going to know about her. Whether they like her or don’t like her or are going to vote for her is a different question,” said Sragow.

      According to Forbes magazine, Whitman’s financial net worth is about $1.3 billion as of March 2010.

    • Wow — I watched that video and am now ready to vote for Jerry Brown!

      Except I don’t live in California.

      But he is looking and sounding great.

  46. Oh goodness…now Bill Clinton is “the man” because in NBC’s new poll he ranks higher in terms of favorability than the president. Well if Pres Obama was running around being a goodwill ambassador and not weighing in on any contentious issues, I bet he’d be super favorable too.

    This is apples to oranges stuff right there.

    • Vero, I agree. The stupid poll taken with Pelosi v. SP and SP ranking higher is the same type of bogus poll. Don’t forget Hillary’s being higher also. Hillary also is not in the spotlight as much as PBO. The buck stops with PBO and anyone who is not in office is always going to rank higher. They have ran out with the polls. They don’t know what poll to take next. Why is every poll related to our dear president in some manner?

  47. POLITICO 44

    NOMINEES: President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals:

    • Paula Barker Duffy, member, National Council on the Humanities

    • Isabel Framer, member, Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute

    • Mark Green, Member, Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation

    • Susan H. Hildreth, director, Institute of Museum and Library Services

    • Thomas R. Nides, deputy secretary of state for management and resources, Department of State

    • Alan Patricof, member, Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation

    • Jo Ann Rooney, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, Department of Defense

    • Michael Vickers, undersecretary for intelligence, Department of Defense

    • Martha Wagner Weinberg, member, National Council on the Humanities

  48. U.S. Voters Abroad Test Efforts To Expedite Balloting

    9/29/10 by Pam – NPR

    It’s not easy to vote if you’re an American living overseas or serving in the military.

    Hundreds of thousands of ballots requested by military and overseas voters in the 2008 elections were never returned or counted. Many of those voters simply did not get their ballots in time.

    But a new law this year appears to be turning things around.

    Take the case of retired Texan Lanny Marcus, who has lived in Cali, Colombia, for the past 15 years, but still feels strongly about voting back home. Every election, Marcus keeps his fingers crossed when he requests an absentee ballot.

    Will he get the ballot on time? Too often, as in his state’s primary this past March — the answer is no.

    “I never got it,” Marcus says. “Usually they come a few days before or after the election, but that one never came.”

    So imagine his surprise when he got a message the other day from his county election office in Texas.

    “When I went to my e-mail, I couldn’t believe it,” he says. “The first time in my life — absentee ballot by e-mail.”

    And he got it a month and a half before the November election, allowing plenty of time to fill it out and send it back by mail.

    When I went to my e-mail, I couldn’t believe it. The first time in my life, absentee ballot by e-mail.

    – Lanny Marcus, overseas U.S. voter in Cali, Columbia

    Hundreds of thousands of Americans in the military or living abroad are getting similar surprises. Congress last year passed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, which requires states to send these voters their ballots at least 45 days before the election.

    “There’s also a process that allows them to track … their request to receive the ballot electronically, and … to track the process of the ballot being returned and received by the county election official in their home county,” says Randall Dillard, a spokesperson for the Texas secretary of state’s office.

    That means voters like Lanny Marcus will not have to guess whether their vote has been counted.

    It’s a huge change for millions of Americans living abroad or serving in the military, who for years were often precluded from voting by excessive mail delays and confusing rules. By comparison, in one Texas county this year, election officials got completed ballots back from American soldiers in Korea only four days after the county sent the ballots out.

    Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat runs the Overseas Vote Foundation, a group dedicated to easing the process. “Really, the entire landscape of U.S. overseas and military voting has transformed,” she says.

    Dzieduszycka-Suinat lives in Germany and got her ballot from California in early September. She says she has already sent it back, taking advantage of a special service available to many U.S. overseas voters.”This program allowed me to go online, pay $25 U.S. to get a FedEx guy to my door in 45 minutes who took my ballot, and it arrived in California the next day,” she says. “So that was a pretty amazing experience, I have to admit.”

    But the process has had some hiccups. Several states, especially those with late primaries, have struggled to meet the 45-day deadline. Four states received waivers from the Defense Department, which oversees the program.

    For the entire article and audio interview:

  49. StartLoving3 | September 29, 2010 –

    The President’s discussion on the economy in Richmond, Virginia, Part 1

  50. They just reported and showed on my local news the undocumented lady who worked for Whitman. The lady said that Whitman fired her in 2009 when she start running for governor. She also said that Whitman told her to keep quiet and not to say anything. The lady was in tears and is being represented by Gloria Alred. I feel bad for the lady.

    Whitman lied and said that she only found out in 2009 that the lady was undocumented.

    • I hope that more people come out to “testify” about Whitman so that she is revealed for what she really is.

    • You know, this is very much a typical story about the wealthy class and the undocumented worker in California. Whitman is just another privileged person who has been caught feeding the illegal labor machine full of willing workers who are exploited each and every moment they work for these people. That she has the audacity to stand in front of all Californians and pretend to be offended by undocumented workers and promise to fight against them all, well – this plainly means she is a hypocrite. I am not surprised. I wish that Allred could have waited a couple of days because she’s stepping ALL OVER the debate story and the fact that Brown won the debate. ARGH.

      • I know Meta. Timing of this drowns out the debate story. I am sure upon close examination there are others. As you said Meta, there are others. This brave lady just happen to step forward. Whitman sure slammed union workers last night. Big mistake!!

  51. NancyPelosi | September 29, 2010 –

    We Are Here to Do Right by These Workers

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor this afternoon in support of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides long-term, comprehensive health care and compensation for thousands of first responders and others exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The bill passed the House by a vote of 268 to 160.

    •, Sept. 29, 2010:

      Pelosi: ‘We Are Here to Do Right by These Workers and Vote for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act’

      Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor this afternoon in support of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides long-term, comprehensive health care and compensation for thousands of first responders and others exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The bill passed the House by a vote of 268 to 160. Below are the Speaker’s remarks.

      “…. Today, we remember all the heroes of 9/11. We praise the strength of thousands of firefighters, rescue workers, first responders and medical personnel who turned tragedy into inspiration and gave of themselves to help the city and our nation rebuild. We promised to help those who spent days, weeks, and months doing the hard work our government and the American people expected them to do in the recovery effort. They went above and beyond in the recovery effort. They went above and beyond the call of duty. We all know that. We all looked in frustration to think, ‘if only we could help.’ But they were there. It was emotional, but it was professional. And we pledged to do everything in our power to ensure that their health and well-being would be taken care of. We did not want them to be unsung heroes. We want them to be recognized heroes.

      “Today, we are here to honor that pledge. It is long overdue. But nonetheless, we are here to do right by these workers and vote for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act….

      “Named for Officer James Zadroga – a hero of the New York Police Department who died from respiratory disease contracted during the Ground Zero recovery effort – this legislation will: help those who jeopardized their health to rescue others secure necessary medical treatment, especially for the unique exposures suffered at Ground Zero, which are real; ensure survivors and victims’ families can obtain compensation for their losses through a reopened 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

      “It is fully paid-for. The legislation does not increase the deficit. It is the least we can do for those who answered the call of duty and continue to suffer the ill health effects of their service.

      “On September 11, all Americans were shocked by horrifying images of terror and destruction. Yet, in the aftermath of that dark day, we responded in the best possible way, the best way Americans can: with resolve; with courage; with unity; and with hope for a better future….”

    • Honestly, I just can’t bear to turn this country back to the right-wing after just 22 months. It’s pains to think that it’s even a possibility. Why are people so eager to enable Republicans again? Don’t they see how utterly destructive it is? What possible good can actually come of it? I really don’t understand it. At all.

  52. Whoa! Let’s try this again.

    I just saw this ad on TV and looked it up on YouTube:

    Yeson1098 | September 22, 2010 –

    What 1098 is really about

    Yes on 1098 campaign TV spot, in which Bill Gates Sr. describes why he helped create Initiative 1098: Washington’s middle-class families are struggling and the wealthiest need to start paying their share.

    •, Sept. 29, 2010:

      Bill Gates Sr.: The case for I-1098

      By Bill Gates Sr.

      As a regent for the University of Washington, I’m proud of the university’s role in attracting research minds and dollars and making Puget Sound a center for innovation. But I’ve watched state funding for higher education steadily decline, programs close, and tuition rise. Our state colleges are in trouble.

      Washington ranks 37th among the states in awarding bachelor degrees and 39th in graduate degrees as a percentage of our young adult population. Businesses are forced to import technically-trained employees, while our own people are shut out of highly paid careers.

      In K-12 it’s even worse – Washington ranks 47th in funding relative to state personal income. We have highly effective teaching, helping Washington’s kids take top place in SAT scores. But with fewer than half of children entering kindergarten fully prepared and one in five kids failing to graduate, we must do more to ensure every child has a shot at a good education.

      Our current tax structure is incapable of producing the funding needed for world-class education and health systems. The Tax Structure Commission that I chaired in 2002 identified major problems. Our taxes are regressive, charging low- and middle-income people far higher percentages of their income than the wealthy.

      The B&O tax on gross receipts is especially difficult for small and start-up businesses. We also have a structural deficit. Sales tax revenues account for over half the general fund, but are generated from a shrinking piece of the economy, so do not keep up as our state grows.

      I-1098 addresses these problems.

      It gives tax breaks to middle class families and small businesses, cutting the state portion of the property tax by 20 percent and increasing the small business B&O tax credit tenfold. The average homeowner in King County will save about $180 per year.

      Eighty percent of businesses will be exempt from the B&O tax (up from 43 percent today), and twelve percent will have taxes reduced. According to Office of Financial Management estimates, under I-1098 homeowners and small businesses will save $650 million in state taxes in 2013 – most of which will be plowed back into the local economy.

      I-1098 adds a modest income tax on those of us who have benefited the most from all our state offers. Only couples with incomes over $400,000 and individuals with incomes above $200,000 will pay – 1.2 percent of state taxpayers. Marginal rates start at 5 percent and move to 9 percent on income over $1 million ($500,000 for singles). With those generous exemptions, the average effective rate will be only 4%. That is less than the well-to-do pay in our neighboring states and most of our competitor states.

      I-1098 will raise $2 billion annually. Seventy percent will be invested in education – the key to future innovation and high-tech growth. The other 30 percent will support basic health, public health, and long-term care, contributing to healthy communities and business prosperity.

      Theoretically, the legislature could extend the income tax after two years, but no action by politicians stands if Washington’s voters disapprove. November’s initiative to repeal taxes on soda and candy is proof of that.

      Opponents claim a tax on high income households will reduce business investment. But they haven’t offered one iota of evidence that business investment is lower in the 43 states that already have an income tax – including on business owners’ profits. Moreover, I-1098 allows investments to be deducted from the personal income of business owners, lowering tax liability and actually encouraging investment.

      I-1098 invests in the most important ingredient in the private economy – our children and the intellectual ability of our people. I-1098 is good for Washington. I hope you’ll support it.

      Bill Gates Sr. is a prominent lawyer, philanthropist and the former Chair of the Washington State Tax Structure Study Committee.

  53. White House Blog, Sept. 29, 2010:

    Investing in the Health of the Great Lakes

    Posted by Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality

    I spent Monday morning in Milwaukee touring the impressive restoration work underway to integrate the natural environment back into water infrastructure. Throughout the tour, I saw ways in which the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is using or planning to use green infrastructure to manage, capture, store and reuse stormwater in a more natural way. I was proud to announce that we are awarding the Sewerage District a $4 million grant through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to continue this type of innovative and effective restoration work.

    President Obama created the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative as an unprecedented program to target the most significant problems facing the Great Lakes, and track progress in addressing them. Through this initiative, we have proposed the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades. The grant awarded to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District will fund projects to help meet these restoration goals.

    The Great Lakes support a multi-billion dollar economy, provide drinking water for 30 million people, and help shape the culture and environment of the region. But just like many of our nation’s ecosystems, the Great Lakes face challenges like pollution, invasive species, habitat loss and environmental degradation that threaten to erode them. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative calls for aggressive action to address priority areas such as cleaning up toxics and toxic hot spots, combating invasive species, protecting watersheds from polluted run-off, and restoring wetlands and other habitats.

    Restoring the Great Lakes is a national priority. Working together, we can protect this magnificent resource for the benefit of Great Lakes communities and all Americans.

    wluk | February 21, 2010 –

    Great Lakes Restoration Plan

    The Great Lakes hold one-fifth of the world’s fresh water. After decades of damage from things like pollution and invasive species, the federal government is planning to spend more than two-billion dollars to repair the lakes.

  54., Sept. 29, 2010:

    Biden speech rallies voters at Penn State

    By James O’Toole, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    UNIVERSITY PARK — “The reports of the death of the Democratic Party are premature,” Vice President Joe Biden assured a Penn State University campus crowd Tuesday. “We’re going to do just fine.”….

    “Your generation swept us into the White House,” he told the mostly young crowd. He had been introduced by local speakers, including assistant football coach Jay Paterno, who reminded them, “I was there in 2008; I saw the long lines stretching in this building and downtown.”….

    While acknowledging “a long way to go” to restore a robust economy, Mr. Biden said job numbers had begun to head in a positive direction. He courted the crowd with a litany of successful administration initiatives on issues including student loan reform and the freshly implemented health care legislation provision that will allow many young people to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until age 26.

    If the GOP does manage to capture Congress, he said, that agenda, “will come to a screeching halt.”

    He compared the administration policies with House Republicans’ promises to cut spending and resist any reversal of the Bush administration’s tax cuts for higher-income taxpayers.

    If implemented, he said, the GOP program would add a trillion dollars to the national debt and result in what he characterized as ruinous cuts in areas including the environment, law enforcement and transportation.

    “This is not your father’s Republican Party,” he said. “This is the Republican Tea Party.

    “If we allow this to be a referendum on whether people are happy with where they are now, we will lose, and we will deserve to lose,” he continued. “We have to do everything we can to make this a choice, an honest choice. The only thing that can allow them to win is our apathy and our anger.”

    dailycollegian | September 29, 2010 –

    Vice President Joe Biden visits Penn State’s HUB-Robeson Center

  55. *********************

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “”

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

Comments are closed.