For more than 20 years, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) has been the lead champion for youth mentoring in the United States. MENTOR helps children by providing a public voice, developing and delivering resources to mentoring programs nationwide and promoting quality for mentoring through standards, cutting-edge research and state of the art tools.

MENTOR works closely with State Mentoring Partnerships and more than 5,000 mentoring programs and volunteer centers throughout the country, serving more than three million children in all 50 states. There are currently 18 million children in the United States who want and need a mentor, but only three million have one. MENTOR’s mission is to close that gap so that every one of those 15 million children has a caring adult in their life.

MENTOR serves young people between the ages of 6 and 18, and its work over the last two decades has helped millions of young people find the support and guidance they need to build productive and meaningful lives.

Obama Biden


166 thoughts on “

  1. WH

    Wednesday Jan. 26, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    9:00 am
    The President departs the White House en route Andrews Air Force Base
    South Lawn
    Pooled Press
    In-Town Travel Pool Accompanies. Pool Gather 8:40AM – North Doors of the Palm Room

    9:30 am
    The President departs Andrews Air Force Base en route Green Bay, Wisconsin
    Andrews Air Force Base
    Travel Pool Coverage
    Call Time 8:15AM – Virginia Gate, Andrews Air Force Base

    11:35 am
    The President arrives in Green Bay, Wisconsin
    Local Event Time:
    10:35 AM CST
    Austin Straubel International Airport
    Open Press

    11:45 am
    VP Biden will discuss American competiveness with workers at Ener1, Inc., in Greenfield, Ind.

    12:30 PM EST
    White House to Main Street Tour
    President Obama speaks on the economy in Manitowoc, WI, as part of his White House to Main Street Tour.

    12:35 pm
    The President tours Orion Energy Systems, Inc.
    Local Event Time:
    11:35 AM CST
    Inc., Manitowoc, Orion Energy Systems, Wisconsin
    Travel Pool Coverage

    1:00 pm
    The President delivers remarks on the economy
    Local Event Time:
    12:00 PM CST
    Inc., Manitowoc, Orion Energy Systems, Wisconsin
    Open Press

    1:30 pm
    The President tours Skana Aluminum Company
    Local Event Time:
    12:30 PM CST
    Manitowoc, Skana Aluminum Company, Wisconsin
    Travel Pool Coverage

    2:50 pm
    The President tours Tower Tech Systems, Inc.
    Local Event Time:
    1:50 PM CST
    Inc, Manitowoc, Tower Tech Systems, Wisconsin
    Travel Pool Coverage

    4:10 pm
    The President departs Green Bay, Wisconsin
    Local Event Time:
    3:10 PM CST
    Austin Straubel International Airport
    Open Press

    6:00 pm
    The President arrives at Andrews Air Force Base
    Andrews Air Force Base
    Travel Pool Coverage

    6:15 pm
    The President arrives at the White House
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    • POTUS podium

      Jan 26, 2011

      11:45 AM EST
      V.P. Biden speaks on the Economy – Greenfield, Indiana
      (Audio Only)

      12:30 PM EST
      White House to Main Street Tour
      President Obama speaks on the economy in Manitowoc, WI, as part of his White House to Main Street Tour.


      9:00 AM EST
      State of the Union replay
      President Obama delivers the State of the Union address, followed by the Republican response.

      9:30 AM EST
      Pres Obama heads to Wisconsin
      President Obama departs Andrews Air Force Base en route to Wisconsin, where he will discuss the economy.

      9:30 AM EST
      TARP oversight hearing
      Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky testify before the House Oversight Committee on the state of the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

      10:00 AM EST
      Fiscal impact of health care reform
      The House Budget Committee holds a hearing on the fiscal impact of last year’s health care reform package.

      10:00 AM EST
      House takes up federal spending
      House lawmakers convene to consider legislation aimed at reducing federal spending and the deficit, as well as other issues.

      11:15 AM EST
      Congress talks school choice
      House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Joseph Lieberman introduce legislation aimed at saving a scholarship problems that helps underprivileged children receive a quality education.

      11:30 AM EST
      World Economic Forum begins
      The World Economic Forum opens its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

      12:00 PM EST
      State of the Union replay
      President Obama delivers the State of the Union address, followed by the Republican response.

      12:30 PM EST
      Russian president addresses World Economic Forum
      Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivers opening remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

      12:30 PM EST
      White House to Main Street Tour
      President Obama speaks on the economy in Manitowoc, WI, as part of his White House to Main Street Tour.

      1:30 PM EST
      Pentagon briefing
      Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell holds a briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include defense spending and the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      1:45 PM EST
      Medal of Honor recipient given additional honor
      Iowa’s Congressional delegation presents Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta with a joint resolution honoring his valor and courage on the battlefield.

      2:00 PM EST
      Gulf oil spill hearing
      The House Oversight Committee holds a hearing on the final report from the President’s National Commission on last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

      2:30 PM EST
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the protests in several north African countries, this week’s bombing of a Russian airport and the referendum in Southern Sudan.

      4:00 PM EST
      Briefing on Rep. Giffords’ condition
      Doctors for Rep. Gabrielle Gifford will discuss her progress and current medical condition following her transfer to TIRR Memorial Hermann in Texas.

      4:00 PM EST
      State of the Union replay
      President Obama delivers the State of the Union address, followed by the Republican response.

      6:00 PM EST
      Pres Obama returns to Washington
      President Obama arrives at Andrews Air Force Base after spending most of his day in Wisconsin.



      10am ET
      US Senate
      Senate Session

      12:00 am EST
      U.S. House of Representatives
      House Session

      12:30 PM EST

      White House to Main Street Tour
      President Obama speaks on the economy in Manitowoc, WI, as part of his White House to Main Street Tour.

      Department of Defense

      House Armed Services Hearing at 10:00 AM EST
      The House Armed Services Committee will receive testimony on Capitol Hill from several senior military leaders regarding proposed budget restrictions and efficiencies initiatives. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn is also scheduled to talk.

      1:30 PM EST
      Pentagon briefing
      Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell holds a briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include defense spending and the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  2. What does MENTOR do?

    MENTOR has established rigorous, research-based guidelines for mentoring service providers across the United States through publications such as the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™.

    MENTOR developed MentorPRO®, an online data tracking and evaluation tool which measures outcomes of mentoring programs’ effectiveness.

    MENTOR was chosen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its $30,000,000 voucher-based demonstration grant to increase mentoring services to children with an incarcerated parent called: “Mentoring Children of Prisoners: Caregiver’s Choice.”

    MENTOR galvanized the support of national leaders and mentoring advocates resulting in the preservation of $248 million in federal funding for mentoring programs since 2008. MENTOR has led the effort for SafetyNET, which, for the first time ever, provides an affordable FBI background check for adults mentoring children. It serves as a model for a major bill before Congress.

    MENTOR’s Research and Policy Council has organized the country’s leading researchers, practitioners and policy experts to focus on state-of-the-art research on mentoring and to make national policy recommendations.

    MENTOR’s National Mentoring Institute (NMI) serves as THE national clearinghouse for key research and national and state policy recommendations to support the needs of children.

    MENTOR leads the national exploration and testing of new forms of mentoring (school-based; online mentoring) to address specialized needs.

    MENTOR and its board members have received some of America’s most prestigious awards, including the Hines Award, for leadership in the field of mentoring.

    Who Leads MENTOR?

    MENTOR’s board of directors includes Chairman Willem Kooyker, chairman and CEO, Blenheim Capital Management LLC. MENTOR’s co-founders are Geoffrey T. Boisi, chairman and CEO, Roundtable Investment Partners LLC, and Raymond G. Chambers, founder and chairman, Amelior Foundation. Additional board members include: NBA legends Bill Bradley and Bill Russell; Grammy award-winner Michael Bolton; as well as many other men and women who donate their time and efforts to enhance the lives of our nation’s youth. MENTOR’s President and CEO is Larry Wright, Ph.D.

    In addition, many luminaries, including politicians, celebrities and sports icons have been involved and honored by MENTOR over the years. Such notable figures include Maya Angelou, Tom Brokaw, David Brooks, Ray Charles, President Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Tom Cruise, Maureen Dowd, Clint Eastwood, Quincy Jones, Colin Powell, Cal Ripken, Jr., Sting and Oprah Winfrey.

    • May 26, 2010

      Remarks by the First Lady at Detroit Mentoring Luncheon
      Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Michigan

      12:54 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: It’s good to see you. You all please sit down. So, how does it feel? Pretty good, huh? Are you hungry, you anxious? Well, don’t be. We’re excited to be here.

      First of all, I want to thank the First Gentleman of Michigan, Dan Mulhern, who is my friend. I want us to give him another round of applause, because he and the governor — (applause) — they’ve been doing such a fantastic job promoting mentoring all around the state.

      But it is a pleasure for me to be here with you all today to bring together some of the most extraordinary men and women in our country with some of the most promising young people in this city so that you all could really get a chance to talk, and learn from each other, and hopefully inspire one other.

      As you see, because everyone was introduced, we’ve got just some amazing people who have flown here just to be with you. Many have had to come from all over the place to be here, not just me. We’ve got a Cabinet Secretary, we’ve got a governor, a mayor. We’ve got CEOs here, we’ve got members of Congress, we have one of the great filmmakers of our time. We’ve got an NBA legend and entrepreneur, and we have the head of the United States Secret Service presidential detail. And just so you know how important this man is to me, he protects my husband. He makes sure that everywhere he goes — (applause) — the Secret Service to us are like family, and we love them dearly, and we’re just honored to have one of them among us today.

      All of these folks have broken barriers in some way or another. They’ve transformed lives, and they’ve changed the way that we look at the world. And they’re all here today for one simple reason — and that’s to share the lessons that they’ve learned from their remarkable lives and experiences with all of you young people, all of whom have your own hopes and dreams and ambitions, all your own. We hope that you do. We hope that you’re dreaming really big.

      For the entire article:

    • Ask Dr. H: “What Role Does Mentoring Play in Preparing New Scientists?”

      Posted by John P. Holdren on May 28, 2010

      [Ed. Note: In this week’s “Ask the President’s Science Advisor,” Dr. Holdren tackles an e-mail question about mentoring from a PhD candidate. To have your question considered for this feature, you can e-mail your short query to or tweet @whitehouseostp using the hashtag #AskDrH. The selected question will be posted in the blog with Dr. Holdren’s answer. Dr. Holdren will be on travel next week, and this feature will return the following week.]

      Dr. Holdren,

      Mentoring is widely recognized as a necessity in developing Ph.D. scientists. Do you think mentoring is important in this context? What role do you believe that mentoring will play in preparing scientists that are able to help America tackle and answer the scientific challenges of our time?

      Monica, Baton Rouge
      Ph.D. Candidate

      I wrote last week about some of the people who helped guide me and inspire me through my years of education and professional development. But you are right to raise the similarly great potential benefits of “formal” mentors who, studies have shown, can be very important in the preparation and training of our Nation’s scientists and engineers.

      In addition to their valuable contributions in terms of preparing and assisting students academically, mentors are often the principal intermediaries through whom future scientists and engineers learn about the culture of science, including the importance of honesty, integrity, and objectivity in scientific research. Strong mentoring relationships are also key for recruiting and retaining diverse students in science and engineering—important to ensuring a diversity of ideas and approaches in these fields. Research indicates that formal faculty mentoring programs are more effective than informal programs for retaining female and minority faculty. Surveys have also found that female and minority assistant professors—who can be great role models for attracting and retaining underrepresented groups in the sciences—report spending more time mentoring students compared to other faculty. That’s one reason why I believe it is important that universities recognize mentoring as one of the many time-consuming demands on faculty time that should be taken into account when tenure and promotion decisions are made.

      For the entire article:

    • June 21, 2010

      Presidente Obama Lanza Nueva Fase del Proyecto de Responsabilidad Paterna con el Programa del Presidente para Mejores Padres y Mentores

      Hoy, el Presidente Obama habló en Washington, D.C. acerca de la importancia de ser padres responsables y de tener mentores para forjar familias y comunidades saludables. En el evento, el Presidente anunció los siguientes pasos del plan para forjar responsabilidad personal y paterna que viene planteando desde hace mucho: el Programa del Presidente para Padres y Mentores. El programa continuará los esfuerzos del Presidente para reducir el ausentismo paterno en Estados Unidos por medio de alianzas con grupos de servicio a familias y asesoría paterna, y dando a conocer a padres ejemplares de todo el país.

      El programa es un llamado nacional a la acción para solucionar el ausentismo paterno en Estados Unidos e incluye los siguientes pasos:

      • La Oficina de la Casa Blanca de Alianzas con Organizaciones Religiosas y Vecinales (White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships) y la Oficina de Participación Pública (Office of Public Engagement) continuarán organizando foros comunitarios para forjar responsabilidad personal y paterna en todo el país, de manera concertada con grupos locales. El siguiente foro se realizará en Nuevo México el 10 de agosto.

      • Las organizaciones que apoyan el programa harán actividades para acercarse a las comunidades y personas de todo el país. Las personas que se inscriben en el Programa para Mejores Padres y Mentores recibirán boletines con artículos, consejos y recursos de líderes prominentes en el campo de paternidad y familia e información sobre programas modelo.

      • Las organizaciones que apoyan el Programa orientarán su trabajo de maneras específicas según cada cultura para promover la responsabilidad paterna, por medio de foros locales con la Asociación Nacional de Padres y Maestros, hasta capacitación comunitaria del Grupo Nacional de Líderes en Responsabilidad Paterna (National Fatherhood Leaders Group o NFLG). Socios desde la Asociación Nacional de Padres y Maestros (National Parent Teacher Association) hasta el jefe del Consejo de Universidades e Instituciones Cristianas de Educación Superior (Council of Christian Colleges and Universities) se han inscrito para promover el Programa del Presidente para Mejores Padres y Mentores en comunidades de todo el país.

      Por Mas:

    • Mentoring the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

      Posted by Karen Mills on June 17, 2010

      Over the years, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has played an important role in helping the two kinds of small businesses: Main Street small businesses as well as small firms that are poised to become the next great American companies. In regards to the second kind, the SBA has played a role in the early stages of companies like Intel, FedEx, and Staples.

      What we’ve learned, though, is that the entrepreneurs who are building these high-growth small firms sometimes need specialized help. That’s why,earlier this week, we published what’s called a Request for Information to find out more about the mentoring and education programs that are working at colleges, universities, nonprofits, and businesses around the country.

      Perhaps the most important thing about these high-growth small companies is that they create the lion’s share of net new jobs each year in America. Often, the reason is because their customers aren’t just in the local area, but they could be anywhere – across the country or around the world.

      With that huge potential in mind, we want to make sure that they have access to the right tools to succeed. For example, they might need more specialized entrepreneurial education programs that cover topics like research and development, long-term financing, or exporting. In addition, they might need to tap into specific networks and mentoring relationships with seasoned entrepreneurs who have been successful.

      By responding to our Entrepreneurial Mentoring and Education Request for Information, you’ll help us find out why certain models succeed and why others fail. We’ll also start to explore the strategies for possibly scaling the most successful models. Importantly, your input will also help shape the SBA’s and the Administration’s policy discussions on how to empower this community of entrepreneurs.

      We already know that small businesses – as a whole – create two out of every three new jobs in America each year. A key reason that happens is because our country continues to foster the development of entrepreneurs who create small businesses that are poised for growth and economic impact. Let’s make sure they have the right knowledge, training, and tools to continue building great American companies and creating well-paying American jobs.

      Karen Mills is Administrator of the Small Business Administration

    • First Lady Michelle Obama and Patrick Corvington to Announce a Major Mentoring Initiative, “The Corporate Mentoring Challenge”.

      Nation’s leaders come together to showcase mentoring as a solution to the dropout crisis

      January 21, 2011

      (Washington, DC) First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama will provide the keynote address at the first-ever National Mentoring Summit on Tuesday, January 25, at The Library of Congress. The Summit, titled “Achieving Academic and Social Success: Supporting Youth through Mentoring,” brings together leading mentoring organizations, as well as federal and state government and civic leaders to develop strategies that leverage mentoring to increase graduation rates among America’s youth and position them for success. The Summit marks the 10th anniversary of National Mentoring Month and will consist of a day-long event – from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

      The First Lady will discuss the The Corporate Mentoring Challenge, an initiative led by the Corporation for National and Community Service to encourage U.S. companies to launch a mentoring program, expand existing employee mentoring programs or provide resources to support local mentoring programs that help youth gain leadership skills, achieve their educational goals and increase their confidence. The Challenge underscores the Administration’s commitment to work across agencies and with corporate America and the social sector to drive results on the school dropout crisis and juvenile delinquency.

      Cabinet Officials U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Patrick Corvington will participate in a panel discussion following the First Lady’s remarks about the administration’s work to use mentoring as a tool to improve educational outcome and reduce juvenile delinquency. The panel will be moderated by Director of the White House’s Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Joshua DuBois.

      For the entire article:

    • 2011 National Mentoring Summit

      MENTOR, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Corporation for National and Community Service and Harvard School of Public Health proudly announce the 2011 National Mentoring Summit to be held on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

      January 2011 will bring the National Mentoring Summit to the historic Library of Congress in Washington D.C. This momentous occasion, hosted by MENTOR, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Corporation for National and Community Service and Harvard School of Public Health, will bring together influential stakeholders from the public and private sectors to:

      * Chart the future of the mentoring field;
      * Expand the circle of influence around mentoring; and
      * Focus the power of mentoring

      Key mentoring organizations will convene to help identify challenges to bringing mentoring to scale and chart solutions to overcome those challenges.

      The summit theme — Achieving Academic and Social Success: Supporting Youth through Mentoring — was chosen to build off of the Obama Administration’s priority on increasing the graduation rate of high-school students and keeping youth out of trouble. The event will provide the culminating moment for the 10th anniversary of National Mentoring Month, a media campaign which raises awareness around mentoring led by the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR and Corporation for National and Community Service.

      Three program tracks will focus on mentoring research, mentoring in the juvenile justice arena and the tools of innovation that are emerging for the mentoring field. Keynote speakers and leaders will highlight current research, trends and best practices. Click here for the Summary At a Glance and the Session Descriptions.

      Thank you for your interest in the 2011 National Mentoring Summit. We are grateful for your work in mentoring and applaud your commitment. Unfortunately, we are at capacity and will no longer be accepting registrations for this year’s event. There will be no on-site registration for this event. We hope you’ll join us for next year’s National Mentoring Summit.

    • January 25, 2011

      Remarks by the First Lady at the National Mentoring Summit
      The Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.

      1:58 P.M. EST

      MRS. OBAMA: Well, there you go. (Laughter.) And that’s what the South Side of Chicago produces. (Laughter and applause.) Well done. Thank you, Deneen, for that outstanding introduction.

      Look, it is a pleasure to be here with all of you today to celebrate National Mentoring Month. I know all you agree we could do this for a year, right? (Laughter.)

      But I want to start by thanking Dr. Billington from the Library of Congress, as well as Wim Kooyer from MENTOR for being such gracious hosts and making this day possible. Has it been good? (Applause.) All right. (Applause.) I’ve heard good things.

      So we’re also joined by the President’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who is here — (applause) — as well as Patrick Corvington from the Corporation for National and Community Service. Patrick. (Applause.) These are two people who — and I’ve known these guys — I’ve known Arne for a good chunk of my life. He has always mentored. And Patrick is making sure that more Americans are mentoring. So thank you both for your hard work and your commitment. Yes. (Applause.)

      As many of you know, it is rare to have all the major mentoring organizations in the country together under one roof — that’s what’s going on here today — along with leaders from every level of government and across the private sector. And I just want to say how proud and honored I am to be here with so many people making such a big difference in the lives of so many young people.

      For the entire article:

    • Faith-based Office Helps Lead National Mentoring Summit at the Library of Congress Today

      Posted by Joshua Dubois on January 25, 2011

      Today, I am joining First Lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Patrick Corvington CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service and Michael Strautmanis, Chief of Staff in the White House Office of Public Engagement, to address the National Mentoring Summit at the Library of Congress.

      The Summit, titled “Achieving Academic and Social Success: Supporting Youth through Mentoring,” brings together leading mentoring organizations, as well as federal and state government and civic leaders to develop strategies that leverage mentoring to increase graduation rates among America’s youth and position them for success.

      The First Lady will announce The Corporate Mentoring Challenge, calling on U.S. corporations to identify ways to engage their workforce in mentoring activities that help young people in the communities where they operate gain leadership skills, achieve their educational goals and increase their confidence.

      We’ll do a follow up blog post after the event to share stories and let you know it went. And, please let us know what you are doing for National Mentoring Month! Email us at whpartnerships (at) and we will highlight some of the activities and events being held across the country celebrating National Mentoring Month.

      Joshua DuBois serves as Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

    • March 27, 2015

      President Obama Honors Outstanding Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentors

      WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama today named fourteen individuals and one organization as the newest recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). These mentors will receive their awards at a White House ceremony later this year.

      The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring is awarded by the White House to individuals and organizations to recognize the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering—particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields. By offering their expertise and encouragement, mentors help prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers while ensuring that tomorrow’s innovators represent a diverse pool of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics talent throughout the United States.

      Candidates for the award are nominated by colleagues, administrators, and students in their home institutions or through professional affiliations. Candidates may also self-nominate. Their mentoring can involve students at any grade level from elementary through graduate school and professional development mentoring of early career scientists. In addition to being honored at the White House, recipients receive awards of $10,000 from the National Science Foundation. The mentors and organizations announced today represent the winners for 2012 and 2013.

      “These educators are helping to cultivate America’s future scientists, engineers and mathematicians,” President Obama said. “They open new worlds to their students, and give them the encouragement they need to learn, discover and innovate. That’s transforming those students’ futures, and our nation’s future, too.”

      For more:


    Office of the Press Secretary

    Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery

    State of the Union Address

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Washington, DC

    As Prepared for Delivery—

    Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

    Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend – Gabby Giffords.

    It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.

    But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater – something more consequential than party or political preference.

    We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.

    For the entire article:

    • Yes for awhile if you clicked on almost anything on the website you received a 404 error message! Thank goodness it looks like everything is back to normal thank now.

  4. Joe Biden dismissed quickly from jury duty

    Vice President Joe Biden reports for jury duty in Delaware but is dismissed, along with the rest of the jury pool, without being called to serve on a trial.

    January 24, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau

    WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden breezed in and out of a Delaware courthouse Monday after being called for jury duty.

    The vice president’s office announced Monday morning that Biden would “participate in the standard jury selection process” in the Superior Court of Delaware “in his capacity as a private citizen.” A White House aide said he was dismissed, along with the rest of his jury pool, at about noon without being called to serve on a trial.

  5. Biden visit highlights potential of Indiana battery plant


    An American company seeking to make headway in the foreign-dominated electric car battery industry will be in the spotlight Wednesday when Vice President Joe Biden visits its plant in central Indiana.

    Biden will be in Greenfield, about 25 miles east of Indianapolis, to visit an EnerDel plant that received a $118.5 million Recovery Act grant in 2009 to expand its battery production. The visit is planned a day after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

    EnerDel is a division of Ener1, a New York-based publicly traded company that has 350 people working at three plants in the Indianapolis area, with more than 80 working in the Greenfield plant that opened last February. The company hopes to have more than 1,500 people working at the plant by 2015.

    The White House said Biden will be talking to workers at the plant where lithium-ion batteries are assembled about how the administration is promoting investment in innovation and helping to lay the foundation for American competiveness.

    “It’s a great opportunity because it’s a confirmation of what we’ve been doing,” said Brian Sinderson, Ener1’s director of corporate communications. “He’s coming out to highlight what the Recovery Act is all about.”

    For the entire article:

    • Ener1 Inc. is a company which manufactures lithium-ion batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles, pure electric vehicles, and the military and grid storage markets.


      ENERDEL EnerDel is a lithium-ion battery system manufacturer with production facilities in the U.S. for automotive, military and grid storage applications. EnerDel was formed in 2004 through a joint venture between Ener1 and Delphi Corporation, in which Ener1 acquired the lithium-ion unit of Delphi. Ener1 attained exclusive ownership of the joint venture, EnerDel, including essential manufacturing and intellectual property assets from former partner Delphi Automotive Systems LLC in August 2008.

      ENERFUEL Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, EnerFuel is a subsidiary of Ener1. EnerFuel develops high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems in hybrid arrangement with lithium-ion batteries.

      ENER1KOREA Ener1KOREA is based in South Korea and manufactures both large and small format battery cells. Products include electrodes for other battery manufacturers, commercial battery packs, prismatic cells, lithium polymer batteries used in security systems and GPS systems.

      Source: Wikipedia

  6. January 26, 2011

    President Obama, Vice President Biden, Members of the Cabinet Fan Out Across the Country, Highlight Vision for Winning the Future

    President Obama, Vice President Biden, Members of the Cabinet Fan Out Across the Country, Highlight Vision for Winning the Future

    WASHINGTON – This week, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and members of the President’s Cabinet will travel across the country to highlight the President’s plan for winning the future and creating jobs by out-innovating, out-educating and out-building the rest of the world.

    In tonight’s State of the Union Address, the President will speak directly to the American people about the contest we face today – not a contest between Democrats and Republicans, but one between America and our competitors across the globe for the jobs and industries of our time.

    In travel on Wednesday, the President and Vice President will hold “White House to Main Street Tours” in Wisconsin and Indiana to visit companies that have shown that we can win that contest, hiring workers and investing in industries of the future. Details about their travel, along with information on cabinet members traveling this week, are below.

    President Obama – White House to Main Street Tour, Manitowoc, Wisconsin on Wednesday

    Incentives to Support Investments in Renewable Energy

    Tax Cuts to Encourage Businesses to Make New Investment

    Efforts to Help Small Businesses Get Access to the Credit They Need to Expand and Hire

    Tax Cuts to Support Middle Class Families

    Vice President Biden – White House to Main Street Tour, Greenfield, Indiana on Wednesday

    Members of the Cabinet will travel throughout the country to highlight the pillars of the President’s remarks, visiting companies and schools that are already engaged in cutting-edge ways to innovate and accelerate economic growth. This week and throughout February, the Cabinet will discuss ways to win the future through investments in innovative technologies and research, strengthened educational opportunities, and cutting-edge approaches to manufacturing and modern infrastructure.

    For example, SBA Administrator Karen Mills will travel to St. Louis on Wednesday, where she will focus on ways to accelerate economic growth through innovation during a visit to Innoventor, Inc. The firm is a go-to company for businesses which have an idea and want it invented and built. To date, Innoventor has been part of building: a non-invasive, magnetically controlled heart catheter machine; a chiller for use in human laser surgery; TheraStride, a technology developed through funding from the Christopher Reeve Foundation, that helps people with spinal cord injuries to restore their ability to walk; and green technology that converts swine manure into biofuels and asphalt.

    On Thursday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will visit Proterra, Inc., in Greenville, S.C., where targeted investments are sparking innovation and job creation. Proterra, which began in 2004 as a small start up in Golden, Colorado, is on the cutting-edge of advanced transportation fuel technology development. The Greenville facility is building the world’s first fast-charge electric transit buses, and is on track to grow from more than 120 employees today to more than 350 employees by the end of the year. Proterra is building a new plant on the campus of Clemson University, where they will collaborate with the faculty to research new technologies and train the next generation of transportation scientists and engineers.’

    For the entire article:



    As Washington debates last night’s State of the Union speech, President Obama will take an early flight to Wisconsin, where he’ll tour three manufacturers in Manitowoc and talk to workers about the economy.

    The White House said in guidance to reporters: “The President will tour Orion Energy Systems, a power technology company that designs, manufactures and deploys energy efficiency and renewable energy technology for commercial and industrial business. … The President will then tour Skana Aluminum Company, an aluminum manufacturer and rolling mill. … Later, the President will tour Tower Tech Systems, a wind turbine tower manufacturer.”

  8. Good Wednesday morning everyone! I’m a year older today. I HOPE that you have a good day! 🙂

  9. The President’s State of the Union Address: What They’re Saying

    Posted by Jesse Lee on January 26, 2011

    The reactions have been pouring in since the President gave his State of the Union Address last night. If you missed it, you should by all means read the speech or watch the video of our first-ever “enhanced” presentation of the Address, but we thought you might also be interested in some of the early responses from observers across the country:

    Newspapers and Magazines

    Wall Street Journal: “President Barack Obama Used His State of the Union Address to Challenge Lawmakers in Both Parties to Rise Above Partisan Divisions to Tackle Problems that Will Allow the U.S. to Compete in the Global Economy.” “President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address to challenge lawmakers in both parties to rise above partisan divisions to tackle problems that will allow the U.S. to compete in the global economy.” [WSJ, 1/25/11]

    New York Times: Obama Called “For Americans to Unleash Their Creative Spirits, Set Aside Their Partisan Differences and Come Together Around a Common Goal of Out-Competing Other Nations in a Rapidly Shifting Global Economy.” “President Obama called Tuesday night for Americans to unleash their creative spirits, set aside their partisan differences and come together around a common goal of out-competing other nations in a rapidly shifting global economy.” [NY Times, 1/25/11]

    MarketWatch: “President Barack Obama Urged Lawmakers to Set Aside Partisan Differences and Bolster the Economic Recovery and America’s Competitiveness…” “…President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to set aside partisan differences and bolster the economic recovery and America’s competitiveness in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. In an address before a joint session of Congress, Obama laid out a blueprint for job creation and ‘investments’ in the United States, saying the U.S. must “out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” [Marketwatch, 1/25/11]

    Forbes Blog: “President Obama Appealed to Democrats and Republicans to Put Aside Partisan Differences and Work Together to Restore American Competitiveness.” “In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama appealed to Democrats and Republicans to put aside partisan differences and work together to restore American competitiveness.” [Forbes Blog, 1/25/11]

    For the entire article:

    • Open for Questions: State of the Union 2011
      From: whitehouse | January 25, 2011

      Senior Administrations take questions from a live audience and from Facebook and Twitter about the President’s State of the Union Address. January 25, 2010.

    • Chairman Tim Kaine Praises President Obama for Laying Out Vision for “Winning the Future”

      January 25, 2011 Posted by Josh Cohen –

      This evening, President Obama delivered the annual State of the Union address. Following that address, Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement:

      For more than two hundred years, in times of prosperity and times of hardship, American Presidents have presented their plan to win the future for the American people in the State of the Union address. In his first State of the Union address, President Obama spoke to a nation in crisis. He reviewed the steps already taken to address that crisis and laid out his plan for reviving our economy and renewing the American spirit of opportunity. In the year since, he has followed through on that plan. As a result, President Obama tonight spoke to a nation that is beginning to heal. For an increasing number of Americans, the pain of the economic crisis is receding as more businesses add jobs and more Americans return to the workplace. Yet, as the President acknowledged, there is still much more work to be done to cement our economic progress and secure a new century of prosperity.

      To that end, the President charted a bold plan to win the future today by guaranteeing that the American people are able to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build competitors around the globe. President Obama will make America stronger by empowering more students to get the quality education they need to succeed in 21st century jobs; by focusing on investments that support American talent and innovation; by building up American infrastructure; and by reforming government so that it’s more responsible and responsive. He will give Americans the tools they need to reach for the American Dream. And he will ensure that our children inherit a country as resplendent with opportunity as the one our parents passed down to us.

      I hope that in the coming year Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle will join President Obama on the course he set tonight, working together to secure a new century of American greatness and a brighter future for all Americans.

    • DemocraticVideo | January 25, 2011 |

      President Obama’s State of the Union Address: “Spot On”

    • Miss Manners hails civility at State of Union

      1/26/11 BEN NUCKOLS -AP

      TOWSON, Md. – Democrats and Republicans sat together. Applause breaks were shorter and more subdued. Booing and heckling were nonexistent. And the president took pains to appeal to both sides.

      Tuesday night’s State of the Union address marked a return to civility for an event that had in recent years been overwhelmed by partisan rancor. Lawmakers from both sides pledged to tone down their rhetoric following a mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that gravely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others.

      Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., suggested that the parties abandon their tradition of sitting on opposite sides of the House chamber. The idea took hold, with dozens of lawmakers announcing they would pair up with a colleague from across the aisle. Some even had to choose between multiple suitors.

      The difference was striking, according to two nationally recognized experts on manners and decorum.

      “Date night worked,” said Judith Martin, author of the syndicated Miss Manners column. “Instead of looking like a hockey game … it looked like a dignified legislature.”

      For the entire article:

  10. Obama to visit three Wisconsin companies


    WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (UPI) — U.S. President Obama travels to Wisconsin Wednesday as part of his “White House to Main Street” tour to discuss the economy, the White House said.

    Obama will visit Orion Energy Systems in Manitowoc, Wis., a power technology company that designs, manufactures and deploys energy efficiency and renewable energy technology for commercial and industrial business, the daily agenda indicated. While there, he will speak on the economy.

    He also will tour Skana Aluminum Co., an aluminum manufacturer and rolling mill in Manitowoc, and then visit Tower Tech Systems, a wind turbine tower manufacturer in the Wisconsin community.

    Obama’s visits to Skana and Tower Tech were added after the president’s visit to Manitowoc businesses originally were announced, the Manitowoc Herald-Times reported.

    • Orion Energy Systems Inc. is an American power technology enterprise, founded in Plymouth, Wisconsin, and currently headquartered in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

      Company description

      Orion Energy Systems Inc. designs, manufactures, markets, and implements energy management systems, primarily energy efficient lighting systems, controls, and related services.

      The company also provides energy management services, including site assessment, site field verification, utility incentive and government subsidy management, engineering design, project management, installation services, and recycling in connection with its retrofit installations.

      It primarily sells its products directly to commercial and industrial customers, and indirectly through their electrical contractors or distributors.

      Source: Wikipedia

    • Skana Aluminum Company is named after the tribal name for killer whales. Skana means “killer demon; supernatural power.” Killer whales are known for their intelligence, strength in numbers and swift powerful movements.

      Like a killer whale, the investors of Skana Aluminum Company look to move swiftly in numbers to revive a business that can be a great asset to the Midwest and to Wisconsin. With large capital commitments for year one and two, the leadership team projects an extensive customer base with the potential for global exports.

      Generations of Experience

      Skana Aluminum continues a long history of aluminum manufacturing in North America and the Wisconsin Lakeshore area. This history extends back to the 1900s with the formation of Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company in 1909 and the establishment of MIRRO cookware product line in 1918. In 1983 the company was purchased by Newell/Rubbermaid and today, lives on as Skana Aluminum.

      The revitalized company places an emphasis on aluminum coil, blanks and extrusion slugs for the open market. The art of aluminum is born and bred in the talented employees of this community and Skana Aluminum will continue the legacy of aluminum manufacturing on the Lakeshore.

      Skana Aluminum is in existence to serve.

    • Tower Tech Systems is a heavy manufacturer with plants in Manitowoc, Wisconsin,
      Abilene, Texas and Brandon, South Dakota. We fabricate wind towers and monopiles
      for on- and off-shore wind energy development, and we have expertise with the larger, heavier next generation wind energy structures.

      Top to bottom, Tower Tech has optimized our organization for mass production with a combination of the most advanced equipment, high-tech automation and streamlined manufacturing processes. With our Manitowoc, Wis. plant and new, streamlined plants in Abilene, Texas, and Brandon, South Dakota, we have nearly 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space and an annual production that will support 1,800-2000 MW installed. And each of our facilities provides easy access to multiple cost-effective shipping options.

      We’re prepared for the future of wind, too. As a Broadwind Energy company, Tower Tech is part of a comprehensive and efficient response to the supply-chain needs of
      renewable and other energy industries across North America. It also means we have the financial resources to expand, upgrade and respond to your needs, whatever they might be.

  11. Fed likely to hold easing course, note improvement

    1/26/11 Mark Felsenthal – Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve is expected to nod to an improving U.S. economic outlook on Wednesday even as it reaffirms a plan to buy $600 billion in government debt to help speed recovery.

    Fed policy makers, wrapping up a two-day meeting, will outline their views of the economy and monetary policy in a statement expected at about 2:15 p.m. Policy-makers resumed their meeting at 9 a.m. as expected.

    They will likely take note of growing reasons for economic optimism. Consumer spirits are rising, factory activity is strengthening and claims for jobless aid are sliding.

    Officials also could take some comfort that inflation may have bottomed out, removing some anxiety about the risks of an outright deflationary spiral.

    But with the unemployment rate still at a lofty 9.4 percent, and with gains in corporate profits and stock prices not translating into a stronger job market pulse, the Fed is widely expected to signal its bond-buying plan is on track.

    “We ultimately expect any tinkering to be relatively minor,” Deutsche Bank Chief U.S. economist Joseph LaVorgna wrote in a note to clients. “A stronger labor market will be an essential catalyst for monetary policymakers’ attitudes to shift.”

    For the entire article:

  12. Happy Wednesday, everybody!


    Kat's Weekday Obama Administration Report, 1/26/11

    Today's report features:

    • The State of the Union: The Address: "We do big things. The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it is because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong."

    Enhanced video with charts, graphs and other visual aids that accompany the President's speech.

    Fact sheet on the President's plan to win the future.,-1-26-11

    • Remarks With Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh After Their Meeting

      Hillary Rodham Clinton -Secretary of State
      Treaty Room Washington, DC

      January 26, 2011

      SECRETARY CLINTON: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the State Department. And welcome especially to my friend and my colleague the foreign minister, with whom I have had the privilege of meeting many times over the last two years to discuss a range of very serious and significant issues.

      Before I talk about our meeting today, I want to say a word about the protests taking place in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. As we monitor this situation carefully, we call on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from violence. We support the universal rights of the Egyptian people, including the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. And we urge the Egyptian authorities not to prevent peaceful protests or block communications, including on social media sites.

      We believe strongly that the Egyptian Government has an important opportunity at this moment in time to implement political, economic, and social reforms to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people. The United States is committed to working with Egypt and with the Egyptian people to advance such goals. As I said recently in Doha, people across the Middle East, like people everywhere, are seeking a chance to contribute and have a role in the decisions that affect their lives. And as the President said in his State of the Union yesterday night, the United States supports the democratic aspirations of all people.

      For the entire article and video:

    • Office of the Vice President

      January 26, 2011

      Vice President Biden Announces Plan to Put One Million Advanced Technology Vehicles on the Road by 2015

      Visiting Ener1, Inc. Factory, Biden brings “White House to Main Street Tour” to Greenfield, Indiana

      Washington, D.C. – Today, Vice President Biden, Chair of the Middle Class Task Force, took the “White House to Main Street Tour” to Greenfield, Indiana, where he visited leading manufacturer Ener1, Inc., which produces advanced lithium-ion battery systems for electric vehicles, grid energy storage and industrial electronics.

      In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama highlighted his goal of making the United States the first country in the world to put one million advanced technology vehicles on the road by 2015. Following a tour of the Ener1, Inc. factory today, the Vice President met with workers to discuss the Administration’s new plan for reaching that ambitious goal.

      “As you heard President Obama say last night, this Administration is forging a new path forward by making sure America doesn’t just lead in the 21st Century, but dominates in the 21st Century,” said Vice President Biden. “We’re not just creating new jobs—but sparking whole new industries that will ensure our competitiveness for decades to come—industries like electric vehicle manufacturing.”

      Ener1, Inc. was awarded a $118.5 million grant from the Department of Energy – part of a $2.4 billion Recovery Act investment nationwide – to expand its production of advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. That grant is making it possible for Ener1 to expand its current manufacturing and assembly operation from 336 workers at its Indianapolis manufacturing and assembly facilities to over a thousand by the start of 2013. In 2010 alone, Ener1 added 120 jobs at its Indianapolis plants.

      The Administration’s new three-part advanced technology vehicle plan will include supporting electric vehicle manufacturing and adoption in the U.S. through generous new consumer rebates, investments in R&D, and a new competitive program to encourage communities to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure.

      For the entire article:

  13., Jan. 26, 2011:

    The Note: Obama’s Speech Puts GOP In A Corner


    President Obama put Republicans in something of a box last night. He oozed optimism, telling Americans in the last moments of his speech that, “From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream. That’s how we win the future.”

    On the other hand, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who gave the Republican response and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who delivered what was billed as the Tea Party rebuttal, both focused on the negative ….

      • Yes, get in the time-out chair, Republicans!

        Today’s snark from me: I’d hate to be John Boehner today.

        To paraphrase: Sad to be sitting in the presence of greatness, last night, and be thought a fool.

    • Remarks of President Barack Obama at Orion Energy Systems

      Orion Energy Systems
      Manitowoc, Wisconsin

      January 26, 2011

      Let me begin by clearing something up. I have not come to Packer Country because I lost a bet. Sunday was a tough day to be a Bears fan. But even if it didn’t go the way I wanted, I’m glad we got to see one of the greatest rivalries in sports go another round. And so, in the spirit of sportsmanship, let me just say this: congratulations, and good luck in the Super Bowl.

      Last night, I gave a speech some of you may have seen. And what I said was, in this new and challenging time, when America is facing tougher competition from countries around the world than ever before, we’re going to need to up our game. We’re going to need to go all in. We’re going to need to get serious about winning the future.

      In the words of the man the Super Bowl trophy is named after: “There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that’s first place.”

      That’s the kind of determination to win that America needs to show right now. That means making sure that all of our children are getting the best education possible – not only because we need to give every child a chance to fulfill her God-given potential, but because we need to make sure American workers can go head-to-head with every other country on Earth.

      It means making sure our infrastructure can meet the demands of the 21st Century by rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, and connecting America and the American people with high-speed rail and high-speed Internet.

      It means doing what we try to do in our own lives and taking responsibility for our deficits by cutting wasteful, excessive spending wherever we find it. And it means reforming the way our government does business so it’s efficient and responsive to the needs of Americans rather than a cobbled-together relic of an earlier era.

      But as important as these urgent priorities are, we also need to make sure that the breakthroughs that come to define the 21st Century take root here in America; that we continue to lead the world in innovation. Because that’s how we’ll create the jobs of the future. That’s how we’ll build the industries of the future. That’s how we’ll win the future in the 21st Century.

      For the entire article:

  14. Doctors: Giffords’s condition now ‘good’

    1/26/11 By Daniel Strauss

    Doctors for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) upgraded her status from serious to good and plan to move her to a rehabilitation center as early as Wednesday, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center announced late Tuesday night.

    Doctors plan to move her to the TIRR Memorial Hermann rehabilitation center after a final review of her condition early Wednesday morning.

    Since arriving at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center on Friday, January 21, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has made strong progress in the Neuro ICU,” a statement from the hospital said.

    For the entire article:

  15. Medvedev urges international push to fight terror

    1/26/11 Dan Perry and Matt Moore -AP

    DAVOS, Switzerland – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says attackers behind the deadly Moscow airport blast wanted to bring Russia “to its knees.”

    Medvedev told government and corporate leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the attack “only strengthens our resolve to find an effective international protection against terror.”

    He said Wednesday that the attackers wanted to “bring Russia to its knees” and thwart his plans to come to Davos to give the keynote speech and seek international investment. He said they “miscalculated” and he listed reasons that Russia is still a good place to do business.

    The bombing Monday killed 35 people and injured more than 100, and threatens to unsettle investors by underlining Russia’s persistent security problems.

    For the entire article:

    • Gates to Meet with Canadian Defense Minister

      Jan. 26, 2011 By Cheryl Pellerin -American Forces Press Service

      WASHINGTON– Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates travels to Ottawa, Canada, today to meet with Defense Minister Peter MacKay, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said.

      The meeting, which was supposed to be the first trilateral meeting of the North American Defense Ministers, becomes a U.S.-Canada bilateral meeting because Mexico’s defense minister has fallen ill, Morrell said.

      “This session was originally planned for last July, but had to be postponed due to an outbreak of violence in Mexico,” he added. “Now, unfortunately, we’ve received word that due to illness the Mexican secretary of national defense, Gen. Guillermo Galván Galván, will not be able to attend tomorrow’s session as he had hoped, and the trilateral meeting will have to be postponed once again.”

      Gates and MacKay will discuss U.S.-Canada defense issues and areas of cooperation, including mutual efforts in Afghanistan, Morrell said, adding that Gates will look for future opportunities to engage with defense leaders in Mexico.

      From Ottawa, Gates will fly to Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Neb., to participate in a Jan. 28 change-of-command ceremony for U.S. Strategic Command.

      “This event will give the secretary a chance to thank [Air Force] Gen. Kevin ‘Chili’ Chilton for his decades of service in the military,” Morrell said, “and welcome his successor at Stratcom, Gen. Bob Kehler, who has most recently been commander of Air Force Space Command.”

      Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also will participate in the change of command, Morrell added.

      Mullen will fly to Nebraska from Brussels, where he arrived today to attend the NATO Military Committee’s chiefs of defense meeting. The chairman also met with his Russian counterpart, Gen. Nikolay Makarov, as part of the NATO-Russia Council session that took place today.

  16. Good morning/afternoon O family. I saw PBO’s remarks from this morning but I missed his speech. Can someone post the video when it is available? Thanks.

  17. Next up…

    2:30 PM EST
    State Department briefing
    The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the protests in several north African countries, this week’s bombing of a Russian airport and the referendum in Southern Sudan.


    • Remarks With Sudanese Foreign Minister Ahmen Ali Karti Before Their Meeting

      Hillary Rodham Clinton – Secretary of State
      Treaty Room Washington, DC

      January 26, 2011

      SECRETARY CLINTON: I am pleased to welcome to the State Department today the foreign minister of Sudan. Minister Karti is here consulting with our government on a number of the issues that Sudan is dealing with in the very important period of what is occurring with the South and their vote and the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

      We very much appreciate the Government of Sudan’s cooperation and assistance in ensuring a peaceful referendum, and we look forward to continuing to work with the minister and the government as we move forward.

      FOREIGN MINISTER KARTI: Well, I thank you. I’ve been here for the first visit – first official visit to State and I very much commend the way and thank the way I was received and welcomed. And all doors were open for me to discuss the issues of bilateral relations and issues both of standing issues, also brand new issues in Sudan. We have been able to go on with the process with the South and for sure with the assistance and help of U.S.

      We came here also to thank U.S. Administration for all they had done for the people of Sudan and for making it possible for us, two partners, to sit down together, go on until concludes that agreement and throughout the implementation till it is peacefully a point, a very important point of time. And we are here also to look toward the future and are also ready to cooperate and work together with (inaudible) the Secretary and everybody who is here.

      SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Minister.


      SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

  18. Without the sound on, I peeked at the video of Michele Bachmann’s tea party chat, which followed the real Republican rebuttal to the SOTU.

    So funny to see her looking at the in-house tea party camera, not the one that was used to get her drivel out via CNN (where the rest of the galaxy saw it).

    My favorite Andy Borowitz tweet about it from last night:

    “Obviously, Michele Bachmann was looking off-camera at Sarah Palin’s hand. #SOTU”

  19. Good evening everyone….I wanted to share this
    question & answer session Google did with David
    Plouffe..It displays his techno-savvy and how his
    impact is felt now with very active use of
    Pres.Obama’s twitter account and the enhanced White
    House SOTU that blew everybody away…HE REALLY..REALLY..LOVES TECHNOLOGY…ENJOY..!! 🙂


    January 26, 2011 10:56 AM

    Robin Roberts Goes Behind the Scenes with the First Lady at a Military Base in South Carolina for a First Hand Look at the Military’s Efforts to Fight Obesity

    As the first anniversary of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to fight obesity approaches, ABC News “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts accompanies Mrs. Obama in South Carolina for a first-hand look at how the issue impacts the military and its recent efforts to combat the problem. “GMA” goes behind-the-scenes with the First Lady as she tours the base in Fort Jackson, observes basic training initiatives, and meets with a top General spearheading a program to get soldiers to eat healthier food.

  21. January 26, 2011

    President Obama Signs California Disaster Declaration

    The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of California and ordered Federal aid to supplement State, Tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe winter storms, flooding, and debris and mud flows during the period of December 17, 2010, to January 4, 2011.

    Federal funding is available to State, Tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storms, flooding, and debris and mud flows in the counties of Inyo, Kern, Kings, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Tulare.

    Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Sandy Coachman as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

    FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.


    • That liaison will definitely be very interesting to follow from this point on, COS. Wonder who made the first move – the union or the Republican-contributing chamber of horrors?

  22. [From Talking Points Memo]

    House Speaker John Boehner told reporters Wednesday morning that he did not watch Michele Bachmann’s Tuesday night response to the State of the Union.

    “No, I did not,” Boehner said at his weekly press conference. “I had other obligations.”

      • Could be, right? Maybe he’ll rise to the occasion. Fingers crossed!

        • Randi Rhodes has been discussing the speeches from last night and played excerpts from Bachman and the colloquy between Chris Matthews and a tea party guy regarding Bachman, and her lack of knowledge on historical events. It was funny.

  23. January 26, 2011

    President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

    WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

    • Roberta Achtenberg, Commissioner, United States Commission on Civil Rights
    • Marty R. Castro, Commissioner, United States Commission on Civil Rights
    • JudyAnn Bigby, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Valerie Brown, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Jonathan Fielding, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Ned Helms, Jr., Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Charlotte Kerr, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Jeffrey Levi, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Vivek Murthy, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Barbara Otto, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Linda Rosenstock, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • John Seffrin, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Susan Swider, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Sharon Van Horn, Member, Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health
    • Lisa Randall, Member, President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science

    President Obama said, “Our nation will be greatly served by the talent and expertise these individuals bring to their new roles. I am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

    For the entire article:

    • I always love to see the large number of women appointees on these lists! Used to be totally different “back in the day”!

      How’s your birthday going, CR? HOPE you are totally enjoying it.

    • January 26, 2011

      President Obama Names Six to United States District Court

      WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama nominated Michael Green, Judge Ramona Villagomez Manglona, J. Paul Oetken, Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, Natasha Perdew Silas, and Judge Linda T. Walker to seats on the United States District Court.

      “Throughout their careers, these distinguished men and women have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to public service,” said President Obama. “I am confident they will serve the American people with distinction from the District Court bench.”

      Michael Green: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of New York

      Judge Ramona Villagomez Manglona: Nominee for Judge for the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands

      J. Paul Oetken: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

      Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

      Natasha Perdew Silas: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

      Judge Linda T. Walker: Nominee for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

      For the entire article:

    • January 26, 2011
      President Obama Nominates Judge Henry F. Floyd for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

      WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama nominated Judge Henry F. Floyd for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

      “Throughout his career, Henry Floyd has demonstrated unwavering integrity and a firm commitment to public service,” said President Obama. “I am proud to nominate him to serve on the United States Court of Appeals.”

      Judge Henry F. Floyd: Nominee for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

      For the entire article:

  24. January 26, 2011
    Message from the President to the Senate


    I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to their ratification, the Protocol Amending the Convention between the United States of America and the Swiss Confederation for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with Respect to Taxes on Income, signed at Washington on October 2, 1996, signed on September 23, 2009, at Washington, as corrected by an exchange of notes effected November 16, 2010 (the “proposed Protocol”) and a related agreement effected by an exchange of notes on September 23, 2009 (the “related Agreement”). I also transmit for the information of the Senate the report of the Department of State, which includes an Overview of the proposed Protocol and related Agreement.

    The proposed Protocol and related Agreement provide for more robust exchange of information between tax authorities in the two countries to facilitate the administration of each country’s tax laws. They generally follow the current U.S. Model Income Tax Convention and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development standards for exchange of tax information. The proposed Protocol and related Agreement also provide for mandatory arbitration of certain cases that the competent authorities of each country have been unable to resolve after a reasonable period of time.

    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the proposed Protocol and related Agreement and give its advice and consent to their ratification.


    January 26, 2011.

  25. January 26, 2011

    Statement by NSC Spokesman Mike Hammer on the Inauguration of the Afghan Parliament

    The United States welcomes the inauguration today of the Afghan Parliament in Kabul. The seating of parliament is a significant milestone in the progression of Afghanistan’s democracy and an extremely important moment for Afghans who bravely cast their votes last September.

    The constructive debate and co-operation between Afghanistan’s Office of the President and the recently elected members of Parliament demonstrates the Afghan commitment to ensuring that the will of the Afghan people is carried out and democratic principles are prioritized.

    The United States joins the Afghan people in celebrating today’s achievement and we encourage the Afghans to begin an inclusive dialogue on electoral reform.

    The United States looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the new parliament as it carries out its important Constitutional role on behalf of the Afghan people.

  26. January 26, 2011
    Readout of the meeting of the National Security Advisor with the Delegation from the Economic Community of West African States

    National Security Advisor Tom Donilon welcomed a delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to the White House today to discuss the ongoing crisis in Cote d’Ivoire. The ECOWAS Delegation was led by President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, accompanied by Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Odein H. Ajumogobia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, and Abdel-Fatau M. Musah, the Director for External Relations of the ECOWAS Commission, as well as the Ambassadors from Nigeria and Sierra Leone, and two ministers from Sierra Leone.

    Mr. Donilon expressed appreciation for the opportunity to meet with the members of the delegation, and to hear their analysis of the situation and proposed way forward in Cote D’Ivoire. Mr. Donilon expressed strong support for the efforts of ECOWAS to facilitate a peaceful transition of power in Cote D’Ivoire. Mr. Donilon and the ECOWAS delegation reaffirmed their shared commitment to see that the winner of the recent elections, Alassane Ouattara, takes his rightful role as President of Cote D’Ivoire, and their shared resolve to see former President Laurent Gbagbo cede power. They also discussed the importance of maintaining international unity on this point, as previously endorsed by the African Union, ECOWAS, and the UN Security Council. Mr. Donilon and the ECOWAS delegation agreed to continue our close coordination going forward.

  27. January 26, 2011
    Message from the President regarding the annual renewal of the Cote d’Ivoire emergency


    Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency, unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13396 of February 7, 2006, with respect to the situation in or in relation to Côte d’Ivoire is to continue in effect beyond February 7, 2011.

    The situation in or in relation to Côte d’Ivoire, which has been addressed by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 1572 of November 15, 2004, and subsequent resolutions, has resulted in the massacre of large numbers of civilians, widespread human rights abuses, significant political violence and unrest, and fatal attacks against international peacekeeping forces. In March 2007, the Ouagadougou Political Agreement was signed by the two primary protagonists in Côte d’Ivoire’s conflict. As demonstrated by recent events surrounding the presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire, the situation in or in relation to Côte d’Ivoire continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency and related measures blocking the property of certain persons contributing to the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire.


    January 26, 2011.

  28. HHS grants 500 new healthcare waivers

    1/26/11 By Jason Millman –

    A week after Republicans announced plans to investigate waivers granted to organizations for healthcare reform provisions, President Obama’s health department made public new waivers for more than more than 500 groups.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is granting temporary waivers to organizations that would not be able to meet the reform law’s new requirement for annual coverage limits.

    As of last week, HHS had granted waivers to 222 organizations covering 1.5 million individuals. Though the number of groups receiving waivers has now more than tripled, the number of individuals covered by the waivers increased just 600,000 to 2.1 million.

    The law gives HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the flexibility to grant waivers to avoid disruption in the insurance market, but Republicans say the waivers are either gifts to Democratic allies or proof that the reform law isn’t working. However, a large number of businesses, in addition to unions, have received waivers.

    For the entire article:

  29. Thursday January 27, 2011

    Obama’s address watched on TV by 43 million
    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Almost 43 million Americans tuned in to watch President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech live on television, according to TV ratings provider Nielsen.

    In a 61-minute address on Tuesday evening that was carried live on 11 U.S. and Spanish-language television stations, Obama stressed the need to freeze spending and find common ground with Republicans to boost growth and create jobs.

    • The media always have to put that little negative spin on anything, eg. the following paragraph of this article.

      “Nielsen said on Wednesday that 42.8 million viewers watched the speech live — an 11 percent drop from Obama’s TV audience for his 2010 State of the Union address, which drew 48 million people”.

  30. WH

    Thursday Jan. 27, 2011
    All Times Eastern

    First Lady Michelle Obama visits Columbia, S.C. to highlight the intersection of Let’s Move! and military readiness.

    R Gibbs briefs the press.

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:45 AM

    Pres Obama and VP Biden receive the presidential daily briefing.

    10:00 AM
    10:15 AM

    Pres Obama and VP Biden meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    11:00 AM

    Pres Obama meets with his national security team for his monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan; V Biden, Secretary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder will be among the attendees.
    12:00 PM
    12:45 PM

    Pres Obama and VP Biden meet for lunch.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:30 PM

    Pres Obama participates in a YouTube interview with Steve Grove.

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM

    VP Biden attends a reception for the Democratic National Committee.

  31. Thursday Jan. 27, 2011

    Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will visit Proterra, Inc., in Greenville, S.C., where targeted investments are sparking innovation and job creation. Proterra, which began in 2004 as a small start up in Golden, Colorado, is on the cutting-edge of advanced transportation fuel technology development. The Greenville facility is building the world’s first fast-charge electric transit buses, and is on track to grow from more than 120 employees today to more than 350 employees by the end of the year. Proterra is building a new plant on the campus of Clemson University, where they will collaborate with the faculty to research new technologies and train the next generation of transportation scientists and engineers.


    * 11:30 a.m. EST: Economy Roundtable with Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

    Submit your questions through MSNMoney,, and Tune in to to watch the live event.

    * 1:00 p.m. EST: Foreign Policy Roundtable Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor.
    Submit your questions through,, and Tune in to to watch the live event.

    * 2:30 p.m. EST: Live YouTube interview with President Barack Obama.
    Submit your questions or vote for your favorite questions at Tune in to to watch the live event.

    * 3:15 p.m. EST: Education Roundtable with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
    Submit your questions on mtvU, GOOD, BabyCenter, and PBS Teachers. Tune in to to watch the live event.

    * 4:30 p.m. EST: Health Care Roundtable with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
    Submit your questions on WebMD, AOL Health,, and Medscape. Tune in to to watch the live event.
    * Yahoo! Interview with Vice President Joe Biden.
    Yahoo! will be sitting down with Vice President Biden asking him your questions on Thursday afternoon. Go to Yahoo! to submit your question and check back again to see his answers.

  32. Jan. 25, 2011
    Alumnus Carpi to receive presidential mentoring award
    Anthony Carpi

    1/25/11 By Joe Wilensky

    Anthony Carpi, M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’97, a professor of environmental toxicology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York, has been named one of 11 recipients of the 2010 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

    Carpi will receive the award Jan. 27 in Washington, D.C., from President Barack Obama.

    The awards program, which is supported and administered by the National Science Foundation, honors individuals and organizations each year that have, through mentoring, enabled a substantial number of students who are traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering or mathematics fields to pursue and complete relevant degree programs. Candidates are nominated by members of their home institutions.

    In addition to being honored at the White House, recipients receive awards of $10,000 to advance their mentoring efforts.

    Carpi was nominated by John Jay College and selected by the National Science Foundation for his individual mentoring work as well as for creating the Program for Research Initiatives for Science Majors, an undergraduate research initiative that creates opportunities for forensic science students to engage in faculty-mentored research projects.

    For the entire article:

  33. Let’s Move! Stars & Stripes Edition: Michelle Obama Visits Fort Jackson & Oprah Winfrey

    January 21, 2011

    First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Columbia, South Carolina next Thursday, Jan. 27, for a visit to Fort Jackson. Mrs. Obama will join the troops for a series of events that highlight the intersection of Let’s Move! and military readiness, according to the East Wing. She’ll tour the base and visit Ft. Jackson’s “Go Green” dining program, which encourages healthy eating.

    The First Lady will also participate in a briefing about the consequences of childhood obesity, poor childhood nutrition and lack of physical exercise for the military, and learn about the Army’s programs to address these issues. In June of 2010, Mrs. Obama visited Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California, and ObFo took a very unscientific poll of the very fit Marines in the crowd, as we waited for Mrs. Obama to arrive and address the huge crowd. Few of the Marines had heard of Let’s Move!. The base has a Taco Bell, a McDonald’s, a Dominos Pizza, and many other fast food restaurants, but the Marines said that the food served in the mess halls tended to be very healthy. (Above: Mrs. Obama speaking at Camp Pendleton; it was one of her longest speeches of the year)

    Mrs. Obama, Oprah, & supporting military families
    During Mrs. Obama’s Camp Pendleton visit, she issued a national challenge to Americans to support military families. Today, Mrs. Obama is taking a day trip to Chicago, where she’ll join Oprah Winfrey to tape an episode of her TV show that focuses on the same issue; it is one of Mrs. Obama’s signature initiatives. The episode will air next week, on the same day Mrs. Obama makes her visit to Ft. Jackson. In a one-on-one interview with Oprah, Mrs. Obama plans to discuss her plans to “launch a comprehensive national campaign in the coming months to recognize, honor and provide ways for everyone to step up and answer the call” to support military families, the White House said.

    For the entire article:

    • Obama to headline Families USA event next week

      01/20/11 By Julian Pecquet –

      President Obama will address Families USA’s annual conference on Jan. 27, the healthcare advocacy group announced Thursday.

      Obama was the keynote speaker at the group’s 2007 conference when he was a newly announced presidential candidate. He used the opportunity to outline his vision for healthcare reform.

      “His reappearance as keynote speaker,” Families USA said in a statement, “spotlights the importance of this national gathering of health policy activists and the continued high priority of educating the public about the many benefits of the Affordable Care Act.”

      Other confirmed guests scheduled to speak include:

      • Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.);

      • Senate HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa);

      • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.); and

      • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick.

      The trade publication Inside Health Policy first reported on Obama headlining the event earlier this month.

      The 16th annual Health Action Conference runs Jan. 27 through Jan. 29 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

    • Families USA is a national nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Working at the national, state, and community levels, we have earned a national reputation as an effective voice for health care consumers for 25 years. We:

      * Manage a grassroots advocates’ network of organizations and individuals working for the consumer perspective in national and state health policy debates. Membership in the Health Action Network is free. Click here to subscribe to our Health Action Network. The network distributes timely information and mobilizes people for action when appropriate.
      * Act as a watchdog over government actions affecting health care, alerting consumers to changes and helping them have a say in the development of policy.
      * Produce highly respected health policy reports describing the problems facing health care consumers and outlining steps to solve them. (See our Publications List).
      * Conduct public information campaigns about the concerns of health care consumers using sophisticated media techniques that reach many millions of Americans through television, radio, newspaper, and other print outlets.
      * Serve as a consumer clearinghouse for information about the health care system. Subscribe to our Health Action Network and get timely information about health policy issues via e-mail.
      * Work in concert with a wide range of organizations—from business to consumer to health provider organizations—toward the achievement of health care that is high-quality and affordable for all Americans.
      * Provide training and technical assistance to, and work collaboratively with, state and community-based organizations as they address critical health care problems in their communities and state capitals.

  34. Goodnight, CR. And thanks for spending part of your birthday with us.

    Lots of great info here today, which I know all of us appreciate.

    See y’all tomorrow.


    Social Security Invites the Public to Comment on its Regulations

    Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, today announced a new way for members of the public to participate in open and transparent government. In response to President Obama’s executive order on improving regulations and regulatory review, Social Security is inviting people to provide direct feedback on its rules and regulations. Ideas and comments may be emailed to

    “Social Security values the public’s input and wants to provide a meaningful opportunity for people to participate in the regulatory process,” Commissioner Astrue said. “I invite the public to share their thoughts and I am excited to hear their ideas.”

    Social Security’s program rules are available online and may be accessed at There, you will find complete information about Social Security’s laws, regulations, rulings, and employee operating instructions.

    For information about what Social Security is doing to improve its regulations and how the agency will implement the President’s executive order, go to the Open Government website:

    • Social Security fund now seen to be empty by 2037


      WASHINGTON – Sick and getting sicker, Social Security will run at a deficit this year and keep on running in the red until its trust funds are drained by about 2037, congressional budget experts said Wednesday in bleaker-than-previous estimates.

      The massive retirement program has been suffering from the effects of the struggling economy for several years. It first went into deficit last year but had been projected to post surpluses for a few more years before permanently slipping into the red in 2016

      This year alone, Social Security will pay out $45 billion more in retirement, disability and survivors’ benefits than it collects in payroll taxes, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said. That figure nearly triples — to $130 billion — when the new one-year cut in payroll taxes is included.

      Congress has promised to replenish any lost revenue from the tax cut, but that’s hardly good news, either, adding to the federal budget deficit. In another sobering estimate, the congressional office said government red ink this year will increase to $1.5 trillion, the most in U.S. history.

      More than 54 million Americans receive Social Security benefits, averaging $1,076 per month.

      The outlook for the program has grown more sour as the nation has struggled to recover from the worst economic crisis since Social Security was enacted, during the Great Depression. In the short term, Social Security is suffering from the weak economy that has payroll taxes lagging and applications for benefits rising. In the long term, Social Security will be strained by the growing number of baby boomers retiring and applying for benefits.

      The projected deficits add a sense of urgency to efforts to improve Social Security’s finances. For much of the past 30 years, the program has run big surpluses, which the government has borrowed to spend on other programs. Now that Social Security is running deficits, the federal government will have to find money elsewhere to help pay for benefits.

      “So long as Social Security was running surpluses, policymakers could put off the need to fix the program,” said Andrew Biggs, a former deputy commissioner at the Social Security Administration who is now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “Now that the system is running deficits, it simply becomes clear that we need to act on Social Security reform.”

      President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address Tuesday night that he wanted “a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations.”

      For the entire article:

  36. Mercury News editorial: Obama lays out optimistic, pragmatic vision

    1/27/2011 San Jose Mercury News

    President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday presented a stirring but pragmatic vision for the nation, giving Americans something to rally around: The notion that the United States can still do “big things” even while confronting its massive deficit.

    It also helped do something that seemed impossible just months ago. It shifted the political center back in Obama’s direction.

    Proof of that came Wednesday, when cats and dogs declared a truce to support one of Obama’s signature proposals: infrastructure investment. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, whose group spent millions to defeat Democrats last fall, and AFL-CIO Chief Richard Trumka issued a rare joint statement applauding the president.

    “Whether it is building roads, bridges, high-speed broadband, energy systems and schools, these projects not only create jobs and demand for businesses, they are an investment in building the modern infrastructure our country needs to compete in a global economy,” they said. “We hope that Democrats and Republicans in Congress will also join together to build America’s infrastructure.”

    Democrats are in. But how will the Republicans who have mocked this proposal as a spending spree respond to their patrons’ statement? It’s quite a pickle, given that support of anything Obama does undercuts their vilification of him as a freedom-hating socialist.

    Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s budget guru, offered a glimpse of a new, post-Tucson rhetorical strategy — a kind of vitriol lite — in his response to Obama’s address. The vision of America’s future Ryan conjured was dark, almost apocalyptic. And that was without even mentioning the centerpiece of his own budget plan: dismantling Medicare.

    The rebuttal had one great benefit, however. Juxtaposed against the president’s address, it clarified in stark terms the difference in the two parties’ governing philosophies. Republicans believe lower taxes and smaller government are all that’s needed to unleash job growth. The president knows that while budget cuts and streamlining are necessary, competent government must be a player in building prosperity.

    For the entire article:

    • US Fed stands firm on stimulus deal

      1/27/11 Andrew Beatty -AFP

      WASHINGTON (AFP) – Top Federal Reserve policymakers unanimously agreed to keep crisis measures in place when they met, batting away fears their policies risked stoking US inflation.

      A revamped Federal Open Market Committee — the Fed’s interest-rate setting panel — ended a two-day meeting with a pledge to continue a $600-billion stimulus plan designed to jolt the US economy out of its slumber.

      Despite signs of a “continuing” recovery, the Fed kept its foot on the accelerator, continuing emergency bond purchases that prime the economy and keeping interest rates at the ultra-low rate of zero to 0.25 percent.

      “The economic recovery is continuing, though at a rate that has been insufficient to bring about a significant improvement in labor market conditions,” members said in a statement.

      Since the last Fed policy meeting in December, unemployment has dropped to 9.4 percent and most economists see a diminishing risk of a downward spiral of wages and prices.

      The brighter economic picture has given voice to the central bank’s detractors, who argue it must ready itself for a return to more sustainable policies or else risk stoking inflation.

      For the entire article:

    • Tax Redo to Seek ‘Level Playing Field’

      1/27/11 DAVID WESSEL –

      In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called on Congress to embark on a major revamp of corporate taxes: “[S]implify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years—without adding to our deficit.”

      On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner talked to The Wall Street Journal’s David Wessel about the initiative. Mr. Geithner emphasized the administration’s insistence on offsetting the corporate rate, now 35%, by eliminating deductions, credits and incentives.

      Raising more revenue from businesses in light of global competition “isn’t realistic,” he said. But, given the deficit, “We can’t raise taxes on individuals to lower business taxes.”

      He wouldn’t say if the administration wants to move from taxing multinational corporations’ global profits and instead tax only domestic profits, as most other countries do and as U.S. business wants. But he said a “level playing field” is a major goal.

      The White House isn’t planning to include a specific proposal in the president’s February budget.

      Q. How would corporate tax reform help economic growth?

      A. Lowering rates, removing the distortions in the present system, helps growth because it allows business to compete on the basis of performance and return rather than on their ability to get or protect special provisions in the tax code. If you level the playing field, you allow the market rather than the tax system to drive investment.

      Q. How much does the corporate tax rate need to fall to make a difference?

      A. To have a more competitive system, you want to try to bring down the rate closer to the range of our major trading partners. We have a high statutory rate, which is made necessary by all the special provisions. How low you can go depends on how much of the reform you can achieve.

      Q. What’s the point of going through the political minefield if this doesn’t ultimately lower the business tax burden?

      A. All businesses want lower taxes. But business understands that their success as businesses depends in part on what the government does—on education, infrastructure, national security….Most business understand that we have limited resources, that we can’t raise taxes on individuals to lower business taxes and that unsustainable long-term deficits hurt growth too.

      Q. Given the deficit, what’s the point of going through all this if it doesn’t raise revenue to reduce the deficit?

      A. You’ve had a very broad substantial reduction in corporate tax rates outside the U.S. That occurs at a time when it’s much easier—because of technology—for companies to shift investment and income to take advantage of lower tax rates overseas. We can’t expect to raise significant additional revenue from business, as a share of GDP, from the corporate tax without hurting our competitive position, without hurting growth. It isn’t realistic.

      Q. Half of all business profits go to enterprises that don’t pay the corporate tax. They’re taxed as individuals. Are you looking at them too?

      A. A lot of people have suggested that we look at business income generated outside what we call the corporate sector. There is a lot of income there and many of the distortions in the corporate sector affect them too. It’s worth taking a look at.

      For the entire article:

  37. Natural Growth Factor Enhances Memory, Prevents Forgetting in Rats


    ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2011) — A naturally occurring growth factor significantly boosted retention and prevented forgetting of a fear memory when injected into rats’ memory circuitry during time-limited windows when memories become fragile and changeable. In the study funded by the National Institutes of Health, animals treated with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-II) excelled at remembering to avoid a location where they had previously experienced a mild shock.

    “To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of potent memory enhancement via a naturally occurring factor that readily passes through the blood-brain barrier — and thus may hold promise for treatment development,” explained Cristina Alberini, Ph.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, a grantee of the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

    Alberini and colleagues say IGF-II could become a potential drug target for boosting memory. They report on their discovery in the Jan. 27, 2011 issue of Nature.

    “As we learn more about such mechanisms of fear memory formation and extinction, we hope to apply this knowledge to address clinical problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder,” said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D.

    For the entire article:

  38. GM withdrawing government loan application

    1/27/11 KEN THOMAS, AP

    WASHINGTON – General Motors says it is withdrawing its application for $14.4 billion in federal government loans it had sought to help modernize plants to build fuel-efficient cars.

    GM says it doesn’t need the loans now, because the company’s cash position has improved and it can pay for the improvements. GM applied for the loans in 2008 to modernize plants to build fuel-efficient vehicles.

    The $25 billion low-interest loan program is administered by the Energy Department. It was created in a 2007 energy law to help car companies retool older factories to build green cars.

    Ford, Nissan and Tesla have benefited from the program. Chrysler is seeking loans under the program.

  39. Manufacturing profits suggest stronger economy

    1/27/11 Nick Zieminski and James B. Kelleher -Reuters

    NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Slimmed-down workforces and fatter profit margins brought another round of better-than-expected results from U.S. manufacturers, though some investors worried that the nation’s prolonged high unemployment rate threatens continued economic recovery.

    Investors scrutinized results from companies including Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N), Tyco International Ltd (TYC.N) and Eaton Corp (ETN.N), with some wondering when strong industrial demand would begin to affect the wider economy and create jobs.

    Two-thirds of companies were expected to top Wall Street expectations coming into this earnings season, so beating by a few cents a share is not enough to excite investors, said Oliver Pursche, president of Gary Goldberg Financial Services.

    “So far so good,” Pursche said. “What we’re hoping to hear is their outlook for the rest of the year, in particular whether they are looking at hiring.

    “The more they talk about hiring, the more comfortable we’re going to be with that company. If you’re hiring people, your business is growing.”

    For the entire article:

  40. Durable goods orders outside of aircraft post gain

    1/27/11 MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON – Orders to U.S. factories outside of aircraft posted a gain in December although the increase was more modest than in November.

    The Commerce Department said Thursday that orders excluding transportation rose 0.5 percent last month following a much stronger 4.5 percent November increase. A key category that signals business investment plans rose for a second straight month.

    Overall demand for durable goods fell for a second straight month, down 2.5 percent in December after a 0.1 percent decline in November. However, the weakness in both months came from big declines in the volatile aircraft category.

    Orders for commerical aircraft plunged 99.5 percent in December to a slight $24 million after a 59.6 percent November plunge. Orders for commercial aircraft had been $12.4 billion as recently as October. Analysts said they expected a rapid recovery in what is often a volatile category.

    Overall transportation demand fell 12.8 percent in December as the big decline in commerical aircraft and a smaller drop in military aircraft was offset somewhat by a 1.7 percent increase in orders for motor vehicles and parts.

    The 0.5 percent rise in orders outside of transportation was led by a solid 10.6 percent increase in demand for machinery. Orders for communications equipment posted an increse of 3.6 percent.

    Demand for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, considered a good proxy for business investment plans, rose 1.4 percent in December following an even stronger 3.1 percent November increase.

    For the entire article:

    • Good morning CR and friends. Lots of good articles as usual CR. This article is the first which I have seen regarding the press’ invite to preview PBO’s SOTU speech. with seating arrangements and menu.

      Which anchor scored the best seat at lunch with Obama?

      January 25th, 2011
      Posted by:
      CNN White House Producer Shawna Shepherd

      WASHINGTON (CNN) – It was the worst kept secret at the White House Tuesday. When you’re Wolf Blitzer and Brian Williams, it’s hard to hide when you drop by the White House that is already swarming with reporters. President Obama hosted a hush-hush lunch with television anchors to spin them before he delivered his State of the Union speech.

      Who rubbed elbows with the president during the intimate lunch in the Family Dining Room? NBC’s Brian Williams and Univision’s Maria Elena Salinas. Who might have had to strain the most to see Obama from their seat? MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart.

  41. AP survey: Outlook for 2011 economy is brightening

    1/27/11 JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON – Employers will hire more workers this year, and the economy will grow faster than envisioned three months ago, according to an Associated Press survey that found growing optimism among leading economists.

    But unemployment will stay chronically high — nearly 9 percent by year’s end, the latest quarterly AP Economy Survey shows. A majority of economists say it will be 2016 or later before unemployment drops to a historically normal rate of around 5 percent.

    Economists have become more confident 19 months after the worst recession since the Great Depression ended. Lower Social Security taxes and higher stock prices will embolden Americans to spend more and help power the economy, they say.

    “People will finally recognize that an economic recovery is under way,” said Lynn Reaser, a board member of the National Association for Business Economics. “This won’t be a recovery seen only by economists.”

    The gains this year will be enough to withstand the threats still clouding the economy, the AP survey found. A majority of the economists doubt, for example, that falling home prices and higher mortgage rates will pose a major risk to the economy in 2011.

    The AP survey collected the views of 42 private, corporate and academic economists on a range of indicators. Among their forecasts:

    • The economy will grow 3.2 percent this year, compared with the 2.7 percent they forecast in October. That would top last year’s estimated growth of less than 3 percent.

    • Employers will create a net total of 2.2 million jobs. Three months ago, the economists predicted 1.6 million jobs would be added in 2011. Last year, employers added roughly 1.1 million.

    • Consumers will spend 3.2 percent more this year than last year. That’s stronger than the 2.5 percent growth the economists had forecast in October. And it’s nearly double the spending growth that’s estimated for 2010.

    • Inflation will be 1.8 percent this year, barely more than the 1.7 percent the economists forecast in the previous survey and up only slightly from 1.5 percent last year. The 1.8 percent forecast falls within the range of inflation the Federal Reserve thinks a healthy economy needs.

    For the entire article:

  42. Happy Thursday, everybody!


    Kat's Weekday Obama Administration Report, 1/27/11

    Today's report features:

    • Thursday Schedule: State of the Union Q & A: Where to submit questions and watch responses.

    • Winning the future with renewable energy: The President's remarks on job creation with clean energy technology at Orion Energy Systems in Wisconsin.

    • Plan for electric vehicles: The Vice President announces plan for electric vehicle manufacturing and adoption and visits a battery maker in Indiana.

    • Health care: The Affordable Care Act gives tax credits to small businesses that offer employees health insurance; how ACA helps lower health care costs.

    • Open for Questions: SOTU 2011: Administration officials take questions; Kalpen Modi hosts.

    • USDA and green energy: Farmers, ranchers and rural communities can produce renewable energy, especially biofuels. Secretary Vilsack discusses how the USDA is promoting a green energy economy.

    • State news: Ambassador Rice speaks on violence in Sudan; Secretary Clinton delivers remarks with the Spanish Foreign Minister.,-1-27-11

      • Hi Ms O’Boomer!
        I agree! It is amazing that we now have a President and a government that is so open and accessible to the public. Thank you Pres Obama!

    • What other President in recent times can speak to how Wal-mart’s choice of healthy products to sell can impact our overall culture and what’s produced for the masses. A previous President didn’t even know what a grocery store scanner was. I’m just sayin’.

      • President Obama never cease to amaze me. He is so comfortable in answering these questions.

        • Of course, on the Wal-mart issue, he’s been fully briefed over dinner by Mrs. O, I’m sure!

  43. Immigration & Winning the Future

    Posted by Melody Barnes on January 27, 2011

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out his vision for winning our future. Part of accomplishing this important goal means fixing our nation’s broken immigration system. The President again reiterated his deep commitment to addressing this issue because it’s critical to strengthening our global competitiveness and boosting our economy. Last July, the President outlined his vision for commonsense, comprehensive immigration reform grounded in the principles of responsibility and accountability:

    * Continue to make border security the responsibility and priority of the federal government,
    * Hold accountable businesses that break the law by exploiting undocumented workers,
    * Make those living in the United States illegally take responsibility for their actions, and
    * Strengthen our economic competiveness by creating a legal immigration system that meets our diverse needs.

    Over the last two years, the President has taken his responsibility to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders very seriously. This Administration dedicated unprecedented resources to secure our borders, implemented smarter, more strategic interior and worksite enforcement policies, and improved our legal immigration system.

    These efforts have had real results. Our borders are more secure than ever. Apprehensions along the border reflect far fewer attempts to cross illegally while seizures of illegal currency, drugs, and guns are dramatically up – leading to increased criminal arrests and prosecutions. In FY 2010 the Administration increased the number of convicted criminals removed from our country by more than 23,000, which represents a more than 70 percent increase from the previous Administration.

    For the entire article:

  44. Gates: Congress Must Address ‘Crisis on My Doorstep’

    1/27/11 By Jim Garamone – American Forces Press Service

    OTTAWA, Canada– The failure of Congress so far to pass the fiscal 2011 defense appropriations bill — which creates the possibility of funding the department under a year-long continuing resolution instead — is “the crisis on my doorstep,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in an interview yesterday.

    Failure to pass the funding legislation will represent a $23 billion cut in the defense budget in the current fiscal year, the secretary noted.

    “It’s the worst of all possible kinds of reductions, in significant measure because it comes halfway through the fiscal year,” Gates told reporters traveling with him to a meeting with Canadian officials here.

    The budget request was for $549 billion, and the continuing resolution would come in at $526 billion.

    War funding will not be affected, however. The Defense Department will receive $159 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this fiscal year, a figure that will drop to $120 billion in fiscal 2012, which begins Oct. 1.

    The department likely would use operations and maintenance accounts to compensate for the difference between the budget legislation funding and that provided by a continuing resolution, through stretching out programs and making cuts in training and readiness, Gates said.

    “Frankly that’s how you hollow out a military, even in wartime,” the secretary added. “It means fewer flying hours, fewer steaming days, cuts in training for home-stationed ground forces, cuts in maintenance, and so on.”

    The current continuing resolution runs out March 4. Gates said that if lawmakers don’t pass the appropriations bill before that date, “this new Congress would be responsible for a cut that’s nearly twice the size of our fiscal ’12 proposal, and much, much more damaging.”

    For the entire article:

  45. 2011 Opening Statement to the Conference on Disarmament

    Rose Gottemoeller – Asst Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
    Geneva, Switzerland

    January 27, 2011

    Thank you, President Grinius. Excellencies, colleagues, I am pleased to join you today at the start of the 2011 session of the Conference on Disarmament. The CD is the international community’s only standing multilateral negotiating forum for arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation agreements. It remains a vital institution for all of us.

    Mr. President, we are heartened by your activism, enthusiasm and determination to move the Conference forward, including your invitation, along with CD Secretary General Ordzhonikidze, for Ministerial-level attendance at this year’s opening sessions. We believe that the more we focus attention on the CD’s current plight, the more the international community will insist on setting this important body on the path of progress.

    Mr. President, you may count on my government’s full support as you and your colleagues strive to move the CD to action. Ambassador Laura Kennedy and the U.S. Delegation stand ready to assist you in your important work.

    CD’s Historic Role

    The CD and its predecessor bodies have forged historic agreements to eliminate and control the spread of weapons of mass destruction. From the NPT, to the BWC, to the CWC, to the CTBT, this Conference’s record of concrete achievements that contribute to international peace and security is second to none.

    When President Obama spoke in Prague in April 2009 about his vision of a world without nuclear weapons, he recognized the need to create the conditions to bring about such a world. The U.S. administration has been working diligently on this agenda, which includes stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, reducing nuclear arsenals, and securing nuclear materials.

    For the entire article:

  46. Secretary Napolitano Announces New National Terrorism Advisory System to More Effectively Communicate Information about Terrorist Threats to the American Public

    January 27, 2011

    DHS Discontinues Color-Coded Alert System

    Washington, D.C. – Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will discontinue the color-coded alerts of the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) in favor of a new system, the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS), that will more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector.

    The National Terrorism Advisory System will be implemented over the next 90 days in order for DHS and our federal, state, local, tribal, community and private sector partners to transition to the new system.

    “Security is a shared responsibility, and we must work together to keep our nation safe from threats,” said Secretary Napolitano. “This new system is built on a clear and simple premise: when a credible threat develops that could impact the public, we will tell you and provide whatever information we can so that you know how to keep yourselves, your families and your communities safe.”

    HSAS was first introduced on March 11, 2002. In July 2009, Secretary Napolitano formed a bipartisan task force of security experts, state and local elected and law enforcement officials, and other key stakeholders—co-chaired by Fran Townsend, former Assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security, and Judge William Webster, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)—to assess the effectiveness of HSAS. The results of this assessment formed the basis of the National Terrorism Advisory System.

    For the entire article:

    • Unfortunately, that color-coded alert system became a joke under the previous President and a former DHS Secretary (duct-tape era). So glad they are changing it.

      As an aside: I have been following White House and Cabinet-level releases and statements for decades (mostly due to my previous job), and I don’t always recall seeing “tribal” in the phrase, “our federal, state, local, tribal, community and private sector partners.” Of course, I’m not totally sure about this, but only lately has it caught my eye – and I think it goes to the extreme respect our President and his top-level folks have for our Native Americans.

  47. AP source: Obama picks Carney for press secretary

    1/27/11 By BEN FELLER, AP White House Correspondent

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has chosen Jay Carney, the communications chief to Vice President Joe Biden and a former magazine journalist, to be the next White House press secretary.

    Carney, 45, will be the chief spokesman for Obama and one of the most public faces of the White House as Obama’s presidency pivots toward re-election. He replaces Robert Gibbs, who has also held an outsized presence as a counselor to Obama for the last several years.

    A White House official confirmed the decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.

    In choosing Carney, Obama went with someone who is inside his circle yet also seen to understand the needs of the White House press corps as a former member of its ranks. Carney built his career as a reporter, covering the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush for Time and rising to the position of the magazine’s Washington bureau chief.

    For the entire article:

  48. January 27, 2011

    Remarks by the First Lady at Basic Training Graduation Ceremony
    Hilton Field

    Fort Jackson Army Training Center, South Carolina

    1:26 P.M. EST

    MRS OBAMA: Well, thank you so much. First, let me say thank you to Lieutenant Colonel Quincy Norman for that very kind introduction, as well as to Major General Mike Milano, Command Sergeant Major Brian Stall, and Command Sergeant Major Michael McIntosh. I want to thank you for all for setting up this visit and making my stay so nice. It’s exciting.

    I also want to recognize Governor Nikki Haley and her husband, Michael, who’s an officer in the Army National Guard, for joining us today. Let’s give them a round of applause — (applause) — as well as Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn, who’s here today. Let’s give him a round of applause. (Applause.) Thank you all for being here.

    Let me tell you I am thrilled to be with all of you today. Thrilled. (Applause.) And I am especially thrilled to be back in South Carolina. I haven’t been back here in a while. This is what I consider to be my hometown in so many ways. It’s good to be back. (Applause.)

    But I am especially thrilled to be with the extraordinary men and women who are graduating today, the members of the 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment! (Applause.)

    In just ten short weeks, you’ve done so much. You’ve plowed through obstacle courses, you marched endless miles with heavier and heavier loads, you completed both Basic and Advanced Rifle Marksmanship. You conquered Victory Tower, you made it through Omaha Range, and you probably did more sessions of P.T. than any of you care to remember. (Laughter.) And you did all of this during what I understand was one of the coldest months on record here in South Carolina. (Applause.)

    In fact, I understand that sometimes, you had to even break through the ice on the ground before you could start your training during the day.

    So on behalf of myself and my husband and a grateful nation, I want to start off today by saying congratulations on all that you’ve achieved, and of course, “Hoo-ah!” (Laughter and applause.)

    Now, I know that these past ten weeks haven’t been easy. And I call them short but I know that they haven’t felt short. I know it’s probably felt a little more like ten years rather than just ten weeks. I know that you all had plenty of moments when you wondered, what on Earth have I gotten myself into. (Laughter.)

    Maybe it was that first wakeup call right before the sun was up, or maybe it was when you had to check to see what shade of blue your fingers had turned, or maybe it was when you were wondering how big the blisters on your feet had gotten. Maybe that was when.

    For the entire article:

    • Michelle Obama Interview

      From: DODvClips | January 28, 2011 |

      The Pentagon Channel’s SSgt Josh Hauser sits down with First Lady Michelle Obama to discuss the consequences of childhood obesity, poor childhood nutrition and lack of physical exercise in an exclusive one-on-one interview.

    • Military ‘Bravest Families’ Join First Lady on Oprah Show

      1/27/11 By Karen Parrish – American Forces Press Service

      WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2011 – Two military families shared their stories – one of perseverance through deployment, one of recovering from a life-changing war injury – with the nation today.

      The families, and the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, appeared along with First Lady Michelle Obama and journalists Tom Brokaw and Bob Woodward on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The episode, “The Bravest Families In America,” aired today.

      The first family to appear, former Army Sgt. Corey Brest, his wife, Jenny, and their two children, live in the small town of Yankton, South Dakota.

      Brest was serving in Iraq with his National Guard unit when a roadside bomb wounded him in 2005. The injury left him nearly blind and unable to move or speak as he once did.

      Jenny said she has gone from being wife to caregiver, and though she accompanies and encourages the man she calls “the love of my life” to job training sessions and speech and physical therapy appointments, their lives will never be the same.

      “Our biggest sacrifice is time,” Jenny said. “When we picked up the pieces at the hospital, we lost time there because I left home and I missed our son’s first steps, his first words. We both missed it. Even here without [Corey’s] sight, he feels like he’s missing out. Yes, he’s living every moment with us, but he’s not getting to see his kids grow up.”

      Brokaw comes from the same small town as the couple, and helped arrange their appearance on today’s show. Author of the World War II book “The Greatest Generation,” he has in recent years striven through his writing and speeches to bring America’s attention to today’s veterans and how their lives, and their families’ lives, have been changed by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

      For the entire article:


      Michelle Obama On Oprah

      CelebTV 1-27-11

    • First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Fort Jackson

      1/27/11 By Susanne Kappler – Fort Jackson Public Affairs Office

      FORT JACKSON, S.C., Jan. 27, 2011 – First Lady Michelle Obama paid a visit here today to learn from Army leaders about how childhood obesity and physical inactivity affects military readiness and what the Army does to combat these effects.

      The first lady’s first stop was the Drill Sergeant School, where she was briefed by Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, the deputy commanding general for U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s initial military training, and the command’s health and fitness programs. Obama founded the Let’s Move campaign, which focuses on overcoming the challenge of childhood obesity.

      Before the briefing, Obama said she was excited to learn how the military deals with those challenges.

      “The military can model so many wonderful solutions,” Obama said. “And I am excited about making the rest of the country aware of not just the challenges we face, but the work you do to get these young recruits and trainees back on track, because a lot of people around the country could use the same kind of support.”

      Hertling said that 75 percent of America’s youth are ineligible to join the military for a variety of reasons. Out of those ineligible, 17 percent are disqualified because of obesity.
      He outlined the problems obesity creates in recruiting new soldiers and the challenges physically unfit recruits face during basic training.

      “Our challenge is to fix it quickly,” Hertling emphasized.

      For the entire article:

      Short DODVclip video (click on the Michelle Obama interview):

  49. Sharing the Responsibility for Our Collective Security


    From day one, this Administration has operated on the premise that security is a shared responsibility. No matter who you are – a student, a small business owner, a first responder, a member of the military, or a civilian – we all play a part.

    This involves trust and confidence in the American public, as well as the notion that candor and common awareness of the threats we all face, coupled with concrete steps that individuals, families, communities, businesses, and governments can take to prepare for emergencies and disasters, deliver far better security than the federal government can provide acting alone.

    Because of the trust we have in Americans to share in our collective security, today I announced the end of the old system of color-coded alerts. In its place, we will implement a new system that is built on a clear and simple premise: when a threat develops that could impact you, the public – we will tell you. We will provide whatever information we can so you know how to protect yourselves, your families and your communities.

    The new system, called the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS), reflects the reality that we must always be on alert and ready. Under the new, two-tiered system, DHS will coordinate with other federal entities to issue formal, detailed alerts regarding information about a specific or credible terrorist threat. These alerts will include a clear statement that there is an “imminent threat” or “elevated threat.” The alerts also will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals and communities can take.

    For the entire article:

  50. January 27, 2011

    Statement by the President on the Killing of David Kato

    I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato. In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work.

    At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate. In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered. It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.

    LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all.

  51. January 27, 2011
    Statement by the President on NASA Day of Remembrance

    Fifty years ago, a young President facing mounting pressure at home propelled a fledgling space agency on a bold, new course that would push the frontiers of exploration to new heights. Today, on this Day of Remembrance when NASA reflects on the mighty sacrifices made to push those frontiers, America’s space agency is working to achieve even greater goals. NASA’s new 21st Century course will foster new industries that create jobs, pioneer technology innovation, and inspire a new generation of explorers through education – all while continuing its fundamental missions of exploring our home planet and the cosmos.

    Throughout history, however, we have seen that achieving great things sometimes comes at great cost and we mourn the brave astronauts who made the ultimate sacrifice in support of NASA missions throughout the agency’s storied history. We pause to reflect on the tragic loss of the Apollo 1 crew, those who boarded the space shuttle Challenger in search of a brighter future, and the brave souls who perished on the space shuttle Columbia.

    Through triumph and tragedy, each of us has benefited from their courage and devotion, and we honor their memory by dedicating ourselves to a better tomorrow. Despite the challenges before us today, let us commit ourselves and continue their valiant journey toward a more vibrant and secure future.

  52. January 27, 2011
    Statement by the President on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

    I join people here at home, in Israel, and around the world in commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day, as we mark one of the darkest, most destructive periods in human history.

    To remember is a choice, and today we remember the innocent victims of the Nazis’ murderous hate – six million Jews and millions of other people. We are reminded to remain ever-vigilant against the possibility of genocide, and to ensure that ‘Never Again’ is not just a phrase but a principled cause. And we resolve to stand up against prejudice, stereotyping, and violence – including the scourge of anti-Semitism – around the globe.

    At the same time, we remember the ordinary people who courageously and heroically expressed the very best of the human capacity for compassion and justice by risking their lives to save their fellow human beings during the Holocaust. They demonstrated that in the midst of evil, human beings can perform remarkable acts of decency and dignity.

    Finally, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember the survivors and the profound faith and courage they have embodied to build lives of purpose and meaning. In doing so, they are defying those who tried to kill them, and teaching us that love and life can vanquish hate and death. Let us honor them, and those we lost, by building a more peaceful, just and tolerant world.

  53. First Lady’s State of the Union Guests Give Their Message For The Country\
    From: whitehouse | January 27, 2011

    Prior to the President’s State of the Union address, we asked the First lady’s State of the Union guests what their message would be for the country. Hear what they had to say.

  54. Filibuster lives: Senate rejects changes in rules

    1/27/11 JIM ABRAMS -AP

    WASHINGTON – The filibuster lives on. The Senate voted overwhelmingly late Thursday to reject efforts to change its rules to restrict the blockades that have sewn gridlock and discord in recent years on Capitol Hill.

    Instead, senators settled on a more modest measure to prevent single lawmakers from anonymously holding up legislation and nominations, and the parties’ Senate leaders announced a handshake deal to conduct business in a more efficient and civilized way.

    The two leaders, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, also endorsed legislation, to be drawn up later, to break the logjam of confirmations of presidential appointments by reducing by as much as a third the number of appointees subject to Senate approval.

    Senators were emphatic in their votes against limiting the filibuster, a treasured right of minorities trying to prevent majorities from running roughshod over them. Many Democrats, while now in the majority, envisioned a day, perhaps as early as after the 2012 election, when they would return to the minority.

    For the entire article:

  55. Court rules Rahm Emanuel stays on ballot


    The Illinois Supreme Court has decided that former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel can stay on Chicago’s mayoral ballot.

    The seven-judge panel on Thursday unanimously rejected the ruling of a three-judge appellate court, which on Monday found that Emanuel did not qualify for the race because he lived out of state, in Washington, for the past two years. The opinion stressed that legal precedent – and the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners’ earlier investigation of Emanuel’s case – establishes that Emanuel could be included on the ballot.

    Read more:

  56. Jay Carney, the White House’s New Spinmeister

    The new White House spokesman, who is not part of Obama’s Chicago-centric inner circle, takes on one of Washington’s hardest jobs, just as the president pivots toward his reelection campaign.

    The news came, fittingly enough, in the form of a leak. White House officials passed the word to reporters Thursday that President Obama had chosen Jay Carney to lead the administration’s press office. Carney, currently the spokesman for Vice President Joe Biden, is a former reporter himself, who for years led Time magazine’s Washington bureau.

    • Thanks COS!

      No kidding “hardest jobs” I would not want that job of holding daily press briefings for sometimes rude reporters who ask the same questions one after the other…..makes you just want to say “Did you hear the answer to that question that I just gave the other reporter?”

      • I was thinking the same thing CR. It may be a little easier for him since he has been in those same chairs. Gibbs let them act like little kids and get away with a lot more than they should have.

    • I will miss Robert Gibbs in that role, but look forward to seeing him again during the campaign.

      Good luck to Jay Carney! I’m sure he’ll do his best for President Obama. Since President Obama only chooses winners, he should be fine.


      • I will miss Robert also jacqueline and I am also glad that he will be assisting with the re-election. I wonder if Burton will be helping Gibbs. I hope he has been rewarded with something else.

        • I’m behind the times … is Bill Burton leaving, too? I know he was deputy to Robert Gibbs.

          Because they are all so close to the President, I’m guessing whoever departs their actual White House jobs will re-emerge during the campaign! They are all great people, I think.

          • Jacqueline, I haven’t heard anything about Bill Burton. I was just wondering about him because he and Gibbs have been with PBO a long time. I remember him from the primaries. I am just assuming that he will go with Gibbs or get some sort of promotion. I hope I am right.

  57. *********************

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “President Obama’s OPEN Agenda ”

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

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