President Obama’s OPEN Policy

Open Government

For too long, the American people have experienced a culture of secrecy in Washington, where information is locked up, taxpayer dollars disappear without a trace, and lobbyists wield undue influence. For Americans, business as usual in Washington has reinforced the belief that the government benefits the special interests and the well connected at the expense of the American people.

On his first day in Office, President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, ushering in a new era of open and accountable government meant to bridge the gap between the American people and their government.

For more:


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188 thoughts on “President Obama’s OPEN Policy

  1. WH

    Friday, January 28 2011

    All Times ET

    9:30 am
    The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:20 am
    The President addresses Families USA’s 16th Annual Health Action Conference
    Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
    Open to pre-credentialed media
    Travel Pool Gather Time 9:45AM – North Doors of the Palm Room

    11:00 am
    The President and the Vice President receive the Economic Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:30 am
    The President meets with senior advisors
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    1:00 pm
    Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
    James S. Brady Briefing Room
    Open Press

    • POTUS podium

      Jan 28, 2011

      10:20 AM EST
      Pres Obama pitches health care reform
      President Obama discusses health care reform and the future of the United States during a speech to Families USA’s annual health action conference in Washington. (Audio Only)


      9:00 AM EST
      The Astronauts Memorial Foundation holds a remembrance service for the victims of the space shuttle Challenger accident on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy.

      10:20 AM EST
      Pres Obama pitches health care reform
      President Obama discusses health care reform and the future of the United States during a speech to Families USA’s annual health action conference in Washington.

      11:50 AM EST
      U.S., Colombia briefing
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon speak with reporters following closed-door talks in Washington.

      1:00 PM
      White House briefing
      The White House holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the protests in Egypt, the battle over health care reform and the naming of Jay Carney as the new White House Press Secretary.

      2:00 PM EST Fmr. Ambassador John Bolton Remarks on National Security

      2:15 PM EST
      ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal briefing
      The Pentagon holds the first in a series of briefings on the Defense Department’s progress in implementing the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.


      8:30AM EST
      U.S. Economy – Government Releases 4th Quarter GDP Figures

      9AM EST
      NASA ceremony

      10:20 AM EST
      Pres Obama pitches health care reform
      President Obama discusses health care reform and the future of the United States during a speech to Families USA’s annual health action conference in Washington.

      12:00 pm EST
      Defense Forum Foundation -,John Bolton on National Security Challenges

      1:00 PM
      White House briefing
      The White House holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the protests in Egypt, the battle over health care reform and the naming of Jay Carney as the new White House Press Secretary.

      1:30 pm EST
      Congressional Black Caucus: Budget Deficit Commission

      2:00 PM EST Fmr. Ambassador John Bolton Remarks on National Security

      2:15 PM EST
      ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal briefing
      The Pentagon holds the first in a series of briefings on the Defense Department’s progress in implementing the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

  2. About Open Government

    For too long, the American people have experienced a culture of secrecy in Washington, where information is locked up, taxpayer dollars disappear without a trace, and lobbyists wield undue influence. For Americans, business as usual in Washington has reinforced the belief that the government benefits the special interests and the well connected at the expense of the American people.

    But President Obama committed to change the way Washington works. And he has begun to do just that.

    On his first day in Office, President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, ushering in a new era of open and accountable government meant to bridge the gap between the American people and their government:

    * The Administration is reducing the influence of special interests by writing new ethics rules that prevent lobbyists from coming to work in government or sitting on its advisory boards.

    * The Administration is tracking how government uses the money with which the people have entrusted it with easy-to-understand websites like,, and

    * The Administration is empowering the public – through greater openness and new technologies – to influence the decisions that affect their lives.

    On December 8, 2009, the White House issued an unprecedented Open Government Directive requiring federal agencies to take immediate, specific steps to achieve key milestones in transparency, participation, and collaboration. You can see all Open Government Directive milestones, track progress across the Executive Branch on the Open Government Dashboard, and read about how the Obama Administration is changing the way Washington works in the Progress Report to the American People .

    To learn more about the Open Government Initiative website: visit

    • President Obama policy on engagement with others:

      “In an interconnected world, the defeat of international terrorism – and most importantly, the prevention of these terrorist organizations from obtaining weapons of mass destruction — will require the cooperation of many nations. We must always reserve the right to strike unilaterally at terrorists wherever they may exist. But we should know that our success in doing so is enhanced by engaging our allies so that we receive the crucial diplomatic, military, intelligence, and financial support that can lighten our load and add legitimacy to our actions. This means talking to our friends and, at times, even our enemies.”

      BARACK OBAMA, speech, Nov. 20, 2006

    • Open Gov Partnership

      September 20, 2011

      Opening Remarks by President Obama on Open Government Partnership

      Waldorf Astoria Hotel
      New York, New York

      2:35 P.M. EDT

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good afternoon, everyone. And welcome to this inaugural event of a partnership that’s already transforming how governments serve their citizens in the 21st century.

      One year ago, at the U.N. General Assembly, I stated a simple truth — that the strongest foundation for human progress lies in open economies, open societies, and in open governments. And I challenged our countries to come back this year with specific commitments to promote transparency, to fight corruption, to energize civic engagement, and to leverage new technologies so we can strengthen the foundations of freedom in our own countries.

      Today, we’re joined by nations and organizations from around the world that are answering this challenge. In this Open Government Partnership, I’m pleased to be joined by leaders from the seven other founding nations of this initiative. I especially want to commend my friend, President Rousseff of Brazil, for her leadership in open government and for joining the United States as the first co-chairs of this effort.

      We’re joined by nearly 40 other nations who’ve also embraced this challenge, with the goal of joining this partnership next year. And we’re joined by civil society organizations from around the world — groups that not only help hold governments accountable, but who partnered with us and who offer new ideas and help us to make better decisions. Put simply, our countries are stronger when we engage citizens beyond the halls of government. So I welcome our civil society representatives — not as spectators, but as equal partners in this initiative.

      This, I believe, is how progress will be achieved in the 21st century — meeting global challenges through global cooperation, across all levels of society. And this is exactly the kind of partnership that we need now, as emerging democracies from Latin America to Africa to Asia are all showing how innovations in open government can help make countries more prosperous and more just; as new generations across the Middle East and North Africa assert the old truth that government exists for the benefit of their people; and as young people everywhere, from teeming cities to remote villages, are logging on, and texting, and tweeting and demanding government that is just as fast, just as smart, just as accountable.

      For the entire article:

    • September 20, 2011

      Closing Remarks by President Obama on Open Government Partnership

      Waldorf Astoria Hotel
      New York, New York

      3:30 P.M. EDT

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, thank you, Rakesh, for that wonderful testimony. Thank you all, to the leaders who shared their action plans and the steps that they’re taking, and your willingness to participate in this initiative. We are extraordinarily grateful.

      As I said earlier today, it’s just the beginning of this partnership. Those who are the founding members have to go back home and work to meet the commitments that we’ve made, and to be held accountable. The 38 nations joining us today will be working on their own action plans. And we look forward to our next meeting in Brazil next year, when our partnership welcomes more countries who share our commitment to open government.

      I want to thank all the participants. I particularly want to thank the civil society organizations that are doing extraordinary work.

      I very much appreciated the statement by the representative from the United Kingdom that this is not always comfortable, if done right, because governments are human institutions, which means that even with the best of intentions we are flawed and we make mistakes, and it’s a natural human impulse to try to cover up mistakes, and to resist the kind of openness that’s been discussed here today.

      But as Rakesh I think said so well, the more open we are, the more willing we are to hear constructive criticism, the more effective we can be. And ultimately, governments are here to serve the people, not to serve those in power.

      And so I’m very grateful for all of you for participating. Thank you for embracing this challenge to make sure our governments are as open and accountable and as effective as they can be, so that we can meet the aspirations of all our citizens.

      Thank you very much.

      3:33 P.M. EDT

    • September 20, 2011

      Fact Sheet: The Open Government Partnership

      “In all parts of the world, we see the promise of innovation to make government more open and accountable. And now, we must build on that progress. And when we gather back here next year, we should bring specific commitments to promote transparency; to fight corruption; to energize civic engagement; to leverage new technologies so that we strengthen the foundations of freedom in our own countries, while living up to the ideals that can light the world.”

      –President Obama, September 23, 2010

      The Challenge
      In his address to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2010, President Obama spoke of open economies, open societies, and open governments as the “strongest foundation for human progress.” He recognized that the work of strengthening democratic government requires sustained commitment, and that countries around the world are taking innovative steps to better serve the people they represent. He issued a challenge to the leaders assembled in New York to gather together again in September of 2011 with specific commitments and plans of action to promote transparency, fight corruption, energize civil society, and to leverage new technologies.

      Answering the Call
      Responding to the President’s challenge, a group of governments and civil society organizations spanning the globe have come together to form the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a new multilateral initiative that supports national efforts to promote transparency, fight corruption, strengthen accountability, and empower citizens. At the core of the Partnership is a commitment from participating countries to undertake meaningful new steps as part of a concrete action plan, developed and implemented in close consultation with their citizens.

      Led in its first year by the United States and Brazil, OGP is a unique partnership with a steering committee composed of governments (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and civil society organizations (Africa Center for Open Governance (Kenya), Instituto de Estudos Socioeconômicos (Brazil), Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (Mexico), International Budget Partnership (international), MKSS (India), National Security Archive (U.S.), Revenue Watch Institute (international), Transparency and Accountability Initiative (international), and Twaweza (Tanzania)).

      The Launch of the Open Government Partnership
      Today in New York, President Obama and President Rousseff hosted the formal launch of OGP at an event with Heads of State and senior officials from 46 countries. The high-level meeting focused attention on the shared challenge of improving governance, and demonstrated a strong political commitment around the world to the kinds of reforms necessary to enhance transparency, fight corruption, and strengthen mechanisms of democratic accountability.

      For the entire article:

    • Open Government, Open Data, Open Source

      Peter Welsch September 17, 2012 10:31 AM EDT

      Thomas Jefferson once wrote that when you share an idea with someone, they receive that idea without taking it away from you, just, “as he who lights his taper (candle) at mine, receives light without darkening me.”

      Almost two hundred years later, that theory of openness is transforming how we think about government services.

      In May, President Obama launched an initiative to build a 21st century platform for government. It requires federal agencies to make key services available to mobile users and to release important government data in ways that will allow citizen developers and entrepreneurs to turn them into new products, services, and jobs. “I want us to ask ourselves every day,” he said, “how are we using technology to make a real difference in people’s lives.”

      Here at the White House, we’ve been working to meet that expectation. Last week we expanded our mobile program and, now, we’re launching a one-stop resource for those who want to take advantage of the tools provided by the White House technology program. It’s called /Developers and includes a breakdown of all of the open data and open source software that we’ve released to date.

      If you’re a software developer, we hope you’ll take a look at the data and applications that we’ve released. Crack them open, see how they work. Spot a problem? We’d love for you to help fix it. Have an idea for a new way to use that piece of data? We’d love to know about that, too. Join us on GitHub or drop a line via our contact form or @WHWeb on Twitter.

    • On the Clock: Open Data Executive Order

      Published on May 9, 2013

      United States Chief Technology Officer, Todd Park, and United States Chief Information Officer, Steven VanRoekel, discuss the importance of President Obama’s executive order that takes groundbreaking new steps to make information generated and stored by the Federal Government more open and accessible to innovators and the public, to fuel entrepreneurship and economic growth while increasing government transparency and efficiency. The move will make troves of previously inaccessible or unmanageable data easily available to entrepreneurs, researchers, and others who can use those files to generate new products and services, build businesses, and create jobs. Learn more at

    • March 27, 2014

      Statement by the President on the Section 215 Bulk Metadata Program

      Earlier this year in a speech at the Department of Justice, I announced a transition that would end the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata program as it previously existed and that we would establish a mechanism to preserve the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata. I did so to give the public greater confidence that their privacy is appropriately protected, while maintaining the tools our intelligence and law enforcement agencies need to keep us safe.

      In that January 17 speech, I ordered that a transition away from the prior program would proceed in two steps. In addition to directing immediate changes to the program, I also directed the Intelligence Community and the Attorney General to use this transition period to develop options for a new approach to match the capabilities and fill gaps that the Section 215 program was designed to address without the government holding this metadata. I instructed them to report back to me with options for alternative approaches before the program comes up for reauthorization on March 28th. As part of this process, we consulted with the Congress, the private sector, and privacy and civil liberties groups, and developed a number of alternative approaches.

      Having carefully considered the available options, I have decided that the best path forward is that the government should not collect or hold this data in bulk. Instead, the data should remain at the telephone companies for the length of time it currently does today. The government would obtain the data pursuant to individual orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) approving the use of specific numbers for such queries, if a judge agrees based on national security concerns. Legislation will be needed to permit the government to obtain this information with the speed and in the manner that will be required to make this approach workable.

      I believe this approach will best ensure that we have the information we need to meet our intelligence needs while enhancing public confidence in the manner in which the information is collected and held. My team has been in touch with key Congressional leadership — including from the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees — and we are committed to working with them to see legislation passed as soon as possible. Given that this legislation will not be in place by March 28 and given the importance of maintaining this capability, I have directed the Department of Justice to seek a 90-day reauthorization of the existing program including the modifications I directed in January. I am confident that this approach can provide our intelligence and law enforcement professionals the information they need to keep us safe while addressing the legitimate privacy concerns that have been raised.

  3. The White House is Open for Questions

    From: whitehouse | March 23, 2009

    The President introduces a new tool on, “Open for Questions,” which will allow you to submit your questions on the economy and vote on those submitted by others. The President pledges to answer some of these questions during an online town hall on Thursday, March 26, 2009.

  4. Open for Questions: Kareem Dale on Disability and Health Care

    From: whitehouse | April 02, 2009

    As a follow-up to the online town hall where President Obama answered questions submitted and voted on through the internet, Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, responds to a video question from Becky Blitch. She asked whether President Obama had plans to address the problem faced by many with disability that if they enter the workforce, they actually lose health care benefits provided by state government or other sources, and whether the President supports the Community Choice Act.

  5. Open for Questions: Security Review

    From: whitehouse | January 08, 2010

    Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Council Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough takes your questions about the security review of the attempted terrorist attack and the corrective steps the President has ordered to improve intelligence sharing and security. January 7, 2010.

  6. Open for Questions: The Year in Clean Energy

    From: whitehouse | January 11, 2010

    Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate, takes questions on progress in clean energy.

  7. Open for Questions: Innovation in the 2011 Budget

    From: whitehouse | February 03, 2010

    Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra, CIO Vivek Kundra, Diana Farrell of the National Economic Council, and Tom Kalil of OSTP take your questions about innovation in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget.

  8. Open for Questions: More Questions from You Tube

    From: whitehouse | February 05, 2010

    Heather Higginbottom, Domestic Policy Council, Brian Deese, National Economic Council , and Ben Rhodes, National Security Council answer additional You Tube questions in response to the State of the Union address.

  9. Open for Questions: Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act

    From: whitehouse | March 02, 2010

    White House Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes and Education Secretary Arne Duncan take your questions about how new legislation can help make college more affordable for all students.

  10. Open for Questions: National Export Initiative

    From: whitehouse | March 11, 2010

    Commerce Secretary Gary Locke takes your questions about the National Export Initiative, a plan to help realize the Presidents vision of doubling American exports over the next five years.

  11. Open for Questions: Higher Education

    From: whitehouse | April 09, 2010

    Secy. Arne Duncan, Dept. of Education, and Melody Barnes, Domestic Policy Council, answer questions submitted by college students across the country.

  12. Open for Questions: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education
    From: whitehouse | September 16, 2010

    Dr. Sally Ride takes your questions on the importance of education in science, technology, engineering and math.

  13. Open for Questions: Small Business
    From: whitehouse | September 29, 2010

    SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns answers questions about The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 as well as opportunities available for small businesses under the Recovery Act and Affordable Care Act.

  14. Open for Questions: Entrepreneurship and Innovation with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke
    From: whitehouse | November 19, 2010

    Commerce Secretary Gary Locke answers your questions about the Administration’s role in promoting innovation-based, high-growth entrepreneurship.

  15. Open for Questions: The DREAM Act with Cecilia Munoz

    From: whitehouse | November 29, 2010

    Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Munoz takes questions about the DREAM Act, legislation that provides a path to legal status for youth who pursue higher education or serve in the Armed Forces.

  16. 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.

  17. Open for Questions: The State of the Union and the Economy

    From: whitehouse | January 27, 2011

    Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, answers questions about the economics issues the President discussed in his State of the Union Address in a roundtable discussion.

  18. Open for Questions: The State of the Union and Foreign Policy

    From: whitehouse | January 27, 2011

    Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough answers questions about the foreign policy issues the President discussed in his State of the Union Address in a roundtable discussion.

  19. Wow! CR – maybe YOU should take the job of communications director for the White House.

    The depth and breadth of what you share can only be described as impressive, and I thank you for such a great deal of effort on your part to keep us in the know.

    In other words: You rock!

  20. West Wing Week: 1/28/11 or “To Build Stuff and Invent Stuff”
    From: whitehouse | January 27, 2011

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, the President delivered his State of the Union address, focused on jobs and the economy, and he took those ideas on the road traveling to Upstate New York and Wisconsin.

  21. Vice President Biden explains State of the Union whispers with Boehner

    1/27/11 By Rachel Rose Hartman-

    What were House Speaker John Boehner and Vice President Joe Biden whispering about during the president’s State of the Union Tuesday night?

    Yahoo!’s Anna Robertson sat down with Biden Thursday to ask him questions submitted by Yahoo! readers. Biden and Boehner were caught on camera whispering and laughing behind President Obama as he addressed the nation Tuesday night, and one reader wanted to know what they were saying.

    “The essence of what I was saying was: ‘John we’ve got a lot of work to do’; ‘Did you hear that? That’s a good idea the president had right there.’ Joking back and forth a little bit about how we had to make things work.”

    It turns out that their conversation says a lot about their relationship. Biden described Boehner (R-Ohio) as a “good guy” and a “friend,” although he joked with Boehner about that, too. “I was kidding John by saying: ‘I hope this doesn’t hurt you with your Republican friends knowing you and I are friends.”

    But it’s not all jokes, Biden insisted. The Vice President emphasized the importance of working across party lines.

    He told Yahoo! that though few believed much could be accomplished in Congress after the Republicans took the House in November, lawmakers have already proved them wrong.

    “We got more done in the lame duck session than we had in the previous two years,” Biden said.

    He credits the American people with giving Congress the push to get things done.

    “The voters sent a message to Democrats and Republicans– ‘We want you guys to start to get together, start to talk to one another.'”

    Of course, Tuesday’s exchange with Boehner wasn’t exactly a serious policy discussion.

    Biden told Yahoo! that he needled Boehner about the large number of kids in his family. According to Biden, the Speaker quipped back: “Look, all the — the difference between six and twelve [kids]? It just takes a little longer to organize.”

    For the video:

    • VP Biden says that he and Boehner are friends and that Boehner is a good guy…well I hope that the “good” in Boehner shows up a lot during this year and next year.

  22. Friday, Jan. 28

    Obama addresses Families USA conference in the morning.

    The Brookings Institution holds a discussion on the challenges of enabling personalized medicine and what policy changes are needed to leverage health information technology. The nation’s first health IT czar, David Brailer, is the keynote speaker. The event begins at 9 a.m. in the Falk Auditorium at Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

  23. Statement by Press Secretary Matt Chandler on Secretary Napolitano’s Upcoming Visit to London

    January 27, 2011

    “Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will travel to London on Friday, Jan. 28. While in London, Secretary Napolitano will meet with International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary General Efthimios Mitropoulos to discuss cooperative initiatives to increase the security and resilience of the global supply chain and bolster cargo security – including efforts to support DHS’ continued collaboration with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Secretary Napolitano will also meet bilaterally with UK Home Secretary Theresa May and Transport Secretary Philip Hammond to discuss collaborative efforts to strengthen cyber, cargo and aviation security and ensure the security and resilience of the global supply chain against terrorism, transnational crime and natural disasters while facilitating the flow of travel and commerce. More details on the trip will be released once they are finalized.

  24. Consumer spending and trade buoy economy

    1/28/11 By Lucia Mutikani- Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy gathered speed in the fourth quarter, though a touch below expectations, with the biggest gain in consumer spending in more than four years and strong exports offering the clearest signals yet that a sustainable recovery is under way.

    Even with growth quickening, however, progress reducing unemployment has been painfully slow, and the report on U.S. gross domestic product on Friday is little comfort for millions of unemployed Americans or the Federal Reserve officials on a jobs-creation vigil.

    The economy grew at a solid 3.2 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2010, the Commerce Department said, after expanding at a 2.6 percent pace in the third quarter. The rise was a touch below economists’ expectations for a 3.5 percent rate.

    For the whole of 2010, the economy grew 2.9 percent, the biggest gain since 2005. The economy contracted 2.6 percent in 2009.

    For the entire article:

  25. Officials: U.S. better at finding cyber attackers

    1/27/11 By Lolita C. Baldor

    WASHINGTON — U.S. military and law enforcement officials say the government has made significant strides in figuring out who is responsible for complex cyberattacks, a fundamental but elusive first step to determine whether the U.S. should strike back, whom to strike, and how hard.

    U.S. authorities are using a mix of high-tech forensics and a greater emphasis on spying within the online world, although officials won’t reveal exactly how they are ferreting out cybercriminals in the vast, often anonymous Internet universe.

    Officials familiar with the issue say the escalating cybersecurity threat has triggered a greater governmentwide emphasis on collecting intelligence related to computer crimes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence gathering.

    The broader approach includes spycraft methods from electronic surveillance and satellites to international cooperation and the everyday tactics and techniques that undercover agents use.

    To date, most cyberattacks aimed at the Pentagon have involved espionage — efforts to steal data rather than attempts to take down the network or manipulate data or communications.

    “Attribution is a difficult thing to do, but we’re working very hard on it,” said Gen. Kevin Chilton, who is retiring after four years at the helm of U.S. Strategic Command. He oversaw the creation of the military’s new Cyber Command, housed with the secretive National Security Agency at Fort eade, Md.

    “We’re getting better,” Chilton asserted, and that helps military leaders decide how to respond to individual incidents or attacks.

    Finding who is responsible has been the key for both the civilian and military probes.

    “As recently as two to three years ago, there was this general perception in the cyberunderground that you could attack the U.S. and get away with it,” said Shawn Henry, the FBI’s executive assistant director. “It was very lucrative, and the chances of getting caught were pretty slim.”

    Now, with a number of high-profile cyberbusts under its belt, the FBI is seeing a deterrent effect.

    For the entire article:

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  27. Happy Friday, everybody!


    Kat's Weekday Obama Administration Report, 1/28/11

    Today's report features:

    • West Wing Week: A look back at the week.

    • YouTube interview with the President: The President answers questions from YouTube users.

    • White House press briefing: Mr. Gibbs takes questions on financial regulation, deficit reduction, Egypt, global competitiveness, etc.

    • Health care: The Affordable Care Act helps young adults and people with pre-existing conditions.

    • Statements from the President: On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, NASA Day of Remembrance and the murder of gay activist David Kato.

    • Open for Questions SOTU: Roundtable discussions on issues raised by the President: health care, education, foreign policy and the economy.

    • The First Lady, Childhood obesity and military readiness: Mrs. Obama is briefed on the Army’s nutrition initiative.

    • The First Lady’s State of the Union guests: Selected SOTU guests speak to the country; link to profiles of all the guests.,-1-28-11-

    • January 28, 2011

      Remarks by the President at Families USA Health Action Conference
      Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

      10:27 A.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Everybody, please have a seat. Thank you. Thank you, Ron, for not only the generous introduction but for the wonderful leadership and for sharing some of your applause with me. (Laughter.) To Phil and Kate Villers, for founding Families USA, we thank them. (Applause.) Thank you. To all of you -– organizers and advocates and activists, all of you who believe that change does not come from the top down, it comes from the bottom up, and you guys activated the country — thank you so much for your great work. (Applause.)

      On Tuesday, I gave this little speech here in town — (laughter) — the State of the Union. I outlined my vision for an America that’s more determined, more competitive, better positioned for the future — an America where we out-innovate, we out-educate, we out-build the rest of the world; where we take responsibility for our deficits; where we reform our government to meet the demands of a new age.

      That’s what will be required for the new jobs and new businesses of the 21st century to set up shop here in the United States. That’s how our people will prosper within our communities. That’s how America will remain a place where each of us is free to choose our own destiny and make of our lives what we will.

      Now, for most families, that freedom requires a job that pays the bills, covers your mortgage, helps you look after your children. It means a chance to send those children to college, save enough for retirement. And it means access to quality, affordable health care. That is part of the American Dream. (Applause.)

      That security is part of the American Dream. And that’s what brought me here, to this conference, four years ago this week. I looked younger then. (Laughter.) I didn’t have as much gray hair. (Laughter.)

      Even before the pangs of this historic recession that we’ve just gone through — so four years ago, that was still on the horizon — our friends and neighbors were already dealing with the anxiety and the cruelty of a health care system that just did not work for too many American citizens.

      We believed we could change that. We believed that we could finally guarantee quality, affordable care for every American. And even though I hadn’t announced my candidacy for this office, I joined you that day in a promise, that we would make health reform a reality by the end of the next President’s first term. That was our commitment. (Applause.)

      For the entire article;

  28. “The President’s bold and compassionate vision combined with his strategic thinking” — POTUS being introduced with praise for Affordable Care Act at Families USA!

  29., Jan. 28, 2011:

    Hopes rise for US economic recovery: The world’s largest economy grew at an annualised rate of 3.2% between October and December

    By Julia Kollewe

    The US economy regained momentum in the fourth quarter of last year, boosted by buoyant exports and the strongest consumer spending in more than four years.

    GDP figures released today raised hopes that a sustainable recovery is under way, which will enable businesses to start hiring again.

    The world’s largest economy grew at an annualised rate of 3.2% between October and December, according to the US Commerce Department, faster than the third quarter’s 2.6% rate. Economists had expected growth of 3.5%.

    This rounded off the US economy’s best year for five years – it expanded by 2.9% in 2010 as a whole, following a 2.6% contraction in 2009. The pick-up in US growth contrasts with the British economy shrinking by 0.5% in the last three months, which is a 2% decline in annualised terms.

    Analysts said America’s growth was closely linked to ongoing efforts to stimulate its economy, rather than to tackle its growing deficit.

    “The US is expected to be one of the fastest growing developed countries in 2011, largely reflecting the contrast of the ongoing stimulus with other countries, such as the UK and other heavily indebted European nations, where austerity measures designed to reduce deficits are stifling domestic demand,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at research firm Markit in London….

  30. Advance Estimate of GDP for the Fourth Quarter of 2010

    Posted by Austan Goolsbee on January 28, 2011

    Today’s report shows that the growth rate of the economy continued to increase in the final quarter of 2010, a further sign that the economy continues to gain momentum as it recovers from the worst recession since the Great Depression. Real GDP, the total amount of goods and services produced in the country, grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of last year, the sixth straight quarter of positive growth. For 2010 as a whole, GDP rose 2.9 percent, the fastest since 2005 and a dramatic reversal compared with the -2.6 percent rate in 2009. Private forecasters have predicted that the tax cut package signed by the President in December will have a significant impact on economic growth this year. We are on the right path, but have a lot more work to do to accelerate growth so that we are creating the jobs we need.

    Some key components of GDP continued to expand in the fourth quarter, including exports (8.5 percent), consumer spending (4.4 percent), equipment and software investment (5.8 percent), and residential spending (3.4 percent). Government spending fell 0.6 percent. Consumption and net exports made the largest positive contributions to growth this quarter, while the decline in inventory investment subtracted substantially from GDP growth.

    The overall trend of economic data over the past several months has been encouraging. The measures we worked with Congress to pass last month that continue tax cuts for the middle class and extend unemployment insurance are important for strengthening the recovery in 2011 and putting more money in the pockets of American families. The incentives for business investment will further boost the economy. The Administration will continue to focus on actions that the President has recommended to increase growth and job creation, such as providing incentives to encourage businesses to invest and hire here at home, investing in education and infrastructure, and promoting exports abroad.

    GDP 2010 4th Qtr

    • Locke welcomes GDP growth

      01/28/11 By MATT NEGRIN – POLITICO

      A report showing that the GDP grew at a 3.2 percent rate in the fourth quarter of 2010 is a “strong indication” that the economy has improved since President Obama took office, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said Friday morning.

      “With more than a million jobs created by the private sector over the last year, there is no doubt that America’s economy is stronger today than it was two years ago when President Obama took office; today’s GDP number is yet another strong indication of that,” Locke said in a statement. “Growth in consumer spending and exports during the fourth quarter has led to increasing optimism about our economy. As the President emphasized in his State of the Union address, winning the future depends on our ability to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our global competition and restructure our economic foundation so that it is competitive, growing, and working for all Americans.”

      Austan Goolsbee, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, released a similar statement:

      “Today’s report shows that the growth rate of the economy continued to increase in the final quarter of 2010, a further sign that the economy continues to gain momentum as it recovers from the worst recession since the Great Depression. … The overall trend of economic data over the past several months has been encouraging. The measures we worked with Congress to pass last month that continue tax cuts for the middle class and extend unemployment insurance are important for strengthening the recovery in 2011 and putting more money in the pockets of American families. The incentives for business investment will further boost the economy. The Administration will continue to focus on actions that the President has recommended to increase growth and job creation, such as providing incentives to encourage businesses to invest and hire here at home, investing in education and infrastructure, and promoting exports abroad.”

  31. Medvedev signs ratification of nuke pact with US\

    1/28/11 AP

    MOSCOW – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday signed the ratification of a nuclear arms cut pact with the United States, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s efforts to reset ties with Moscow.

    The treaty, known as New START, limits each country to 1,550 strategic warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200, and also re-establishes a system for monitoring that ended in December 2009 with the expiration of a previous arms deal.

    In a statement to his security council on Friday, Medvedev said the pact will take effect when the ratification documents are exchanged by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    The pact was approved by the U.S. Senate last month after Obama pressed strongly for its passage, telephoning a handful of hesitant Republicans to lock in their votes.

    Democrats sought to appease some Republican senators by allowing them to raise concerns about the treaty in an accompanying resolution. The resolution didn’t affect the text of the treaty, but Russian legislators felt compelled to offer their own interpretation of the pact’s provisions in their ratification bill and accompanying statements.

    While the Senate resolution said the treaty shouldn’t restrict U.S. plans to develop a missile defense system, the Russian ratification bill states that the treaty can only be fulfilled if emerging missile defense systems don’t erode the Russian nuclear deterrent.

    The Russian bill also mimics the Senate resolution’s concerns that the remaining nuclear arsenal is effective by emphasizing the need to modernize Russia’s nuclear forces.

    For the entire article:

  32. 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.

  33. Hi CR & friends,
    Know how I told you my daughter & son-in-law are touring across Africa, & then onward to Australia, New Zealand, etc, before coming home..?

    Today they are scheduled to fly into Cairo, Egypt – Cairo International
    Airline:Egyptair MS876, Arrival: 20:15

    Have been in touch with them via email, but she said this a.m., that they were still going to go ahead with their scheduled flight.

    At first, was just worried & was scared, but now I’m now getting angry with them for continuing to go into a country, which is in total upheaval.

    Anyone know what time their “Arrival: 20:15” translate into as USA time zone(s)?

  34. Rachel Maddow- YouTube
    Obama claims are Ike Eisenhower’s-Ron Reagan’s-Dick Nixon’s Center ….

  35. January 28, 2011

    Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with the Colombian Vice President

    Vice President Biden and Colombian Vice President Garzón met earlier today, and discussed a range of issues in U.S.-Colombia relations, which both countries are determined to deepen. Vice President Biden expressed his condolences for the devastation and lives lost in Colombia due to recent historic flooding, and also discussed the role of economic ties between the United States and Colombia in supporting Colombia’s recovery from the flooding.

    Vice President Biden expressed the Administration’s commitment to working closely with the Government of Colombia and other key stakeholders on the successful conclusion of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Vice President Biden commended Vice President Garzón for his leadership on issues related to labor and human rights and underscored the Administration’s support for key reforms being pursued by President Santos and his Administration.

  36. Happy Friday, everybody!

    Here’s one for ya.

    Last night, I watched the early evening local news – via a CBS affiliate. I’m new to the area (Central Illinois), so I haven’t warmed up to local news anchors yet – but thought I’d give it a try.

    Midway through the early news program, they aired an otherwise benign piece on Secretary Napolitano’s decision to trash the color-coded terror alert chart (from the Bush “duct-tape” era), in lieu of something more efficient and geared to certain areas or entities.

    The usual soon-to-be-outgoing color-coded graphic was shown in the background with the news story. However, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the following “extra” block on top of the chart:


    Gulp. I knew this must have been inadvertent on the part of the CBS news affiliate (some sloppy work by whoever chose the graphic? no rehearsal?), so I went to their website, found their phone #, and reported it. The woman answering the phone thanked me, and said they’d “look into it.”

    Lo and behold (bear with me), I tuned in for the 10 o’clock p.m. news on this channel, and the same graphic and same wording was used again.

    About 10:30 p.m., I emailed their VP/General Manager and News Director and reported it.

    It’s the noon hour here the day after, and I haven’t heard anything back.

    So, I reported it to Sen. Dick Durbin as a “media/communications” complaint (the only Democrat who represents me in my state) via his website, and we’ll see what happens.

    Later today, I’m also doing an online FCC complaint.

    I’m still cringing.

    • Hi Ms O’Boomer!

      I guess I am glad that I don’t watch anything on the TV and only get my news/entertainment from the web (NPR, BBC and Yahoo News). ((HUG))

    • Good catch Jackie ‘O. Thanks for being on top of it. I’ve been noticing strange things myself on sitcoms and I thought maybe I’m becoming paranoid. Shows like CSI NY once had the police chief with a picture of a R.Reagan on his desk. And during a promo of a show (I can’t remember which now) had a picture of Sec. Clinton on the wall, not any picture but her official SOS picture. Very strange.

      • Sandy – I’ve seen stuff like that, too, mostly harmless – but quizzical. (Usually, I’ve noticed when it’s something pro-Democrat – since I’m sure a great deal of those behind the scenes in TV and movies are pro-Dems!)

        If you and I have noticed a few without even trying, think how many subliminal messages are out there being shown to the masses. We all know this and I’m guessing there’s not much we can do, but the anti-government message I saw was the worst I’ve ever spotted.

  37. Winning the Future, Proterra Style

    Posted by Secretary Ray LaHood on January 28, 2011

    Yesterday, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff and I toured the Greenville, South Carolina, bus manufacturing plant of Proterra, Inc. And I don’t think you could find a better demonstration of the American innovation President Obama invoked in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

    When the President said that America’s small businesses need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build their competition, he must have had Proterra in mind.

    In 2009, Proterra did not have the financial resources or customer orders to commercialize its fast charge battery bus and charging station. Although FTA grants had helped support the company’s fuel-cell research, they were unable to grow from a research and development company into an assembly line manufacturer of high technology vehicles.

    But with help from Department of Transportation grants to transit agencies across the country, Proterra has been able to make that leap.

    Now, this company is researching and developing fresh transit technology to reduce fuel costs, oil dependence, and air pollution. They are investing in a new plant at Clemson University, where they will collaborate with some of the brightest minds on campus and train the next generation of transportation engineers and scientists. And they are building the world’s first all electric fast-charging buses.

    And did I mention that they are also creating quality jobs for hardworking South Carolinians? Thanks to smart government investments and private sector creativity, the buses of the future are being conceived and built by skilled American workers and engineers.

    For the entire article:

  38. Remarks With Colombia Vice President Angelino Garzon After Their Meeting

    Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State
    Treaty Room, Washington, DC
    January 28, 2011

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning. I am very pleased to be here with Vice President Garzon of Colombia on his first visit to Washington as vice president. Before discussing the important matters that were part of our meeting, I would like to say something about the unfolding events in Egypt.

    We continue to monitor the situation very closely. We are deeply concerned about the use of violence by Egyptian police and security forces against protestors, and we call on the Egyptian Government to do everything in its power to restrain the security forces. At the same time, protestors should also refrain from violence and express themselves peacefully.

    As we have repeatedly said, we support the universal human rights of the Egyptian people, including the right to freedom of expression, of association and of assembly. We urge the Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protests and to reverse the unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communications. These protests underscore that there are deep grievances within Egyptian society, and the Egyptian Government needs to understand that violence will not make these grievances go away.

    As President Obama said yesterday, reform is absolutely critical to the well being of Egypt. Egypt has long been an important partner of the United States on a range of regional issues. As a partner, we strongly believe that the Egyptian Government needs to engage immediately with the Egyptian people in implementing needed economic, political, and social reforms. We continue to raise with the Egyptian Government, as we do with other governments in the region, the imperative for reform and greater openness and participation to provide a better future for all. We want to partner with the Egyptian people and their government to realize their aspirations to live in a democratic society that respects basic human rights.

    For the entire article:

  39. Secretary Clinton Travel to Haiti

    Philip J. Crowley – Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs, Washington, DC
    January 28, 2011

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Haiti on January 30 to consult with members of civil society, political actors, Haiti’s president and international partners on the ongoing electoral situation as well as reconstruction efforts.

    In addition to meetings with Haitian President Rene Preval, Secretary Clinton will also meet with leaders of civil society and electoral candidates, the Special Representative of the United Nations and visit a cholera treatment clinic.

    The United States and Haiti share the mutual commitment to building Haiti anew after the devastating earthquake one year ago, and to ensure a strong future for Haiti’s people and its democracy.

    • I am glad that SOS Clinton is going to Haiti. Baby Doc smelled the scent of the money donated to the country and he is coming back to try and swindle the country; it is so on it’s face. I cant believe that Bob Barr is helping this criminal by requesting that the funds be released.

  40. Oil prices surge on Middle East unrest

    1/28/11 SANDY SHORE, AP

    Oil prices surged Friday as thousands continued to riot against the government in Egypt, and unrest threatened to spread across the Middle East.

    Benchmark oil rose $3.70, or 4.3 percent, to settle at $89.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil rose as high as $89.73 a barrel at one point.

    Prices shot up about $2 a barrel in less than half an hour at midday after the White House expressed its concern about the violence in Egypt. The State Department advised Americans to avoid non-essential travel to Egypt, and many airlines canceled flights in and out of the country.

    Anxious traders pulled money from other assets to buy oil, gold and the dollar, which are considered less risky in uncertain times.

    “This is definitely a flight into safety,” said Rich Ilczyszyn, a senior market strategist with futures brokers Lind-Waldock.

    The uprising in Egypt follows protests this month that forced out the president of Tunisia, who fled to Saudi Arabia. Anti-government protests have also rocked Lebanon and Yemen.

    “I think it’s just kind of the feeling that this could continue to spread, or just the whole nervousness about the region, not that there’s any specific cutoff of supplies or anything like that,” said Tom Bentz, an analyst at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures.

    For the entire article:

  41. Good afternoon and Happy Friday O famiy. Thanks for all of the good information here. You may have seen this nice positive article but I will post in case you have not. 🙂

    Just two months ago, President Obama was reeling from his party’s massive defeat in the midterm elections. He faced a number of critical legislative decisions, his approval numbers plummeted to the lowest levels of his presidency, and pundits began speculating whether he could survive a primary challenge in 2012.

    Yet now, it seems like everything is coming up in Obama’s favor. Buoyed by a surging approval rating, an improved economic outlook, and some popular legislative achievements, Obama is suddenly back on top.

  42. ‘Don’t Ask’ Repeal Plan Progressing Quickly, Officials Say

    1/28/11 By Karen Parris – American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2011 – The plan to end the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military is progressing quickly, senior Defense Department officials said here today.

    Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to Pentagon reporters in the first of a series of briefings that will chart the department’s progress in implementing the repeal of the law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

    “My sense is [we have a] really good working relationship with the services as we do this, … not only the service chiefs, but the senior enlisted,” Stanley said. “You get good vibes about where we are in terms of cooperation [and] information coming forth.”

    President Barack Obama signed the repeal into law Dec. 22, with provisions ensuring the repeal will not take place until 60 days after he, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, certify the military services are ready.

    As part of today’s briefing, officials distributed copies of two memos containing the department’s guidance on repeal implementation. The first, signed by Gates, sets a planning deadline of Feb. 4. The second, which Stanley signed, outlines policy changes.

    “Strong, engaged and informed leadership will be required at every level to implement the repeal … properly, effectively, and in a deliberate and careful manner,” Gates’ memo read in part.

    “This is not, however, a change that should be done incrementally. The steps leading to certification and the actual repeal must be accomplished across the entire department at the same time,” the memo continued.

    Gates’ guiding principles for implementation stress respect for individuals and common across-the-services standards, while prohibiting harassment, unlawful discrimination and policies based solely on sexual orientation.

    Gates directed that a repeal implementation team lead the process to develop plans, update policies and train the force.

    “What you’re going to see as we move forward, we have actually three tiers as we get to the training part,” Stanley said.

    The three levels of training begin with policy makers, chaplains, lawyers and counselors; continue with leaders including commanding officers, senior noncommissioned officers and senior civilians; and culminate with troops across the services.

    For the entire article:

  43. Empowering American Clean Energy and Efficiency Businesses
    Posted by Secretary Gary Locke on January 28, 2011 at 03:30 PM EST

    In this week’s State of the Union address, President Obama once again made it clear that one of his top priorities is ensuring U.S. global leadership in the emerging industries of clean energy and energy efficiency.

    Clean energy not only represents one of the greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century, it is also critical to our nation’s ability to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and clean up our environment.

    To support entrepreneurs all across America who are developing clean energy and energy-efficient technologies – installing wind turbines and solar panels, developing improved batteries for hybrid cars and putting the pieces of the next generation electricity grid together – the Department of Commerce is focused on several key areas.

    * Increasing the U.S. Market Share in the Global Clean Energy Sector

    * Advancing the Civil Nuclear Trade Initiative

    * Expanding Business Opportunities and Building America’s Competitiveness

    * Encouraging Green Entrepreneurship

    * Advancing Climate and Weather Services to Support Economic Prosperity and Protect Public Safety

    * Creating a Supportive Market Environment

    For the entire article:

  44. Arizona legislation targets automatic citizenship


    PHOENIX – Lawmakers in Arizona are proposing a bill that challenges automatic U.S. citizenship for children of illegal immigrants, their latest foray into the national debate over illegal immigration.

    Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, who filed the Arizona plan Thursday, said the goal isn’t to get every state in the nation to enact such a law, but rather to bring the dispute to the courts in hopes of reducing the costs associated with granting automatic citizenship.

    “The result of that is they immediately acquire the right to full benefits, everything from welfare to cheese, which increases the costs to the states,” Kavanagh said. “And beyond that, it’s irresponsible and foolish to bestow citizenship based upon one’s GPS location at birth.”

    The proposal comes after Arizona last year enacted one of the nation’s toughest local laws targeting illegal immigration.

    This is the second time this year that lawmakers in a state have targeted the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the U.S.

    A similar proposal was filed last week in the Indiana General Assembly by Republican Rep. Eric Koch. Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who is leading the effort to get the measure considered across the country, said he hopes that lawmakers in 10 to 15 states will file similar proposals this year.

    Supporters of the proposal argue that the wording of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to people born in the U.S. who are “subject to the jurisdiction” of this country, doesn’t apply to the children of illegal immigrants because such families don’t owe sole allegiance to the U.S.

    For the entire article:

  45. US to review aid to Egypt, WH spokesman says


    WASHINGTON – Increasing the pressure on Egypt’s leaders, the Obama administration threatened on Friday to reduce a $1.5 billion program of foreign aid depending on President Hosni Mubarak’s response to swelling street protests in Cairo and other cities.

    “Violence is not the response” to the demands for greater freedoms, said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

    Gibbs said President Barack Obama had been briefed extensively about the fast-moving events but had not tried to speak with Mubarak by phone.

    The White House spokesman’s repeated calls for the government of Egypt to abandon violence was the latest response along those lines by the administration, struggling to keep abreast of a growing crisis inside a nation that has long been an ally in Middle East peace-making efforts, yet also has long denied basic rights to its own people.

    Earlier, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the government in Egypt should restore access to the Internet and social media sites.

    “We are deeply concerned about the use of violence by Egyptian police and security forces against protesters, and we call on the Egyptian government to do everything in its power to restrain the security forces,” Clinton told reporters at the State Department.

    For the entire article:

  46. Green Empowerment Zones Mean Jobs for Communities of Color

    January 28, 2011 By Marc Morial-

    “To ignore the potential contribution of private enterprise is to fight the war on poverty with a single platoon while great armies are left to stand aside.” Robert Kennedy

    It is time for policy makers on both sides of the progressive-conservative divide to stop debating and start enacting policies to create jobs, especially for those suffering the most from the persisting great recession. One way to do that is to create green empowerment zones that would generate urban jobs, promote clean energy, and enhance American competitiveness in the global shift to green technology.

    n empowerment zone generally is an economically distressed urban area that is eligible for government tax breaks as a way to spur business investment, small business growth and jobs. The concept has been embraced by Republicans like Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan as well as Democrats like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

    Last week, as part of the National Urban League’s new 12-point Urban Jobs Rebuild America Plan, we called for the creation of green empowerment zones in urban areas where at least 50% of the population has an unemployment rate that is higher than the state average. Manufacturers of solar panels and wind turbines that open plants in high unemployment areas will, for a period of three years, be eligible for a zero federal income tax rate and a zero capital gains tax rate under the condition that they hire at least half of their workforce from the local high unemployment area, and retain those workers for a minimum of three years. This proposal has been on the table since 2009, when the National Urban League convened a Green Jobs Summit in Washington to develop recommendations to ensure that urban America has a central role in the Green Jobs/Clean Energy revolution. A number of mayors, including Thomas M. Menino of Boston, have adopted the approach. New Congressional Black Caucus Chairman and former mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, Emanuel Cleaver has also used stimulus funds to create a Green Impact Zone in that city. But, we can do more.

    For the entire article:

  47. In bleek times one still has to smile..

    @BorowitzReport: #Mubarak should probably turn the Internet back on so he can book a trip on Expedia. #Egypt #Jan25

  48. White House, Jan. 28, 2011:

    President Obama on the Situation in Egypt

    The President speaks out on the protests in Egypt, urging the Egyptian government to show restraint and address the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people.

    • January 28, 2011

      Remarks by the President on the Situation in Egypt
      State Dining Room

      6:33 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Good evening, everybody. My administration has been closely monitoring the situation in Egypt, and I know that we will be learning more tomorrow when day breaks. As the situation continues to unfold, our first concern is preventing injury or loss of life. So I want to be very clear in calling upon the Egyptian authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protestors.

      The people of Egypt have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere.

      I also call upon the Egyptian government to reverse the actions that they’ve taken to interfere with access to the Internet, to cell phone service and to social networks that do so much to connect people in the 21st century.

      At the same time, those protesting in the streets have a responsibility to express themselves peacefully. Violence and destruction will not lead to the reforms that they seek.

      Now, going forward, this moment of volatility has to be turned into a moment of promise. The United States has a close partnership with Egypt and we’ve cooperated on many issues, including working together to advance a more peaceful region. But we’ve also been clear that there must be reform — political, social, and economic reforms that meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people.

      In the absence of these reforms, grievances have built up over time. When President Mubarak addressed the Egyptian people tonight, he pledged a better democracy and greater economic opportunity. I just spoke to him after his speech and I told him he has a responsibility to give meaning to those words, to take concrete steps and actions that deliver on that promise.

      For the entire article:

    • Hello and thanks Kat. PBO’s statement was right on point. When there is trouble abroad, I think the media and some of the citizens from that particular country who live here, i.e. Iran, Egypt, etc., expect PBO to take over and start telling the leaders there, what to do.

  49. Well I think that Pres Obama and his cabinet has so far come through with flying colors for how they handled everything that has come their way since Jan 2009 and BOY WAS THAT EVERYTHING PLUS THE KITCHEN SINK!!!

    • You got that right CR. I am glad that Brian Williams on NBC nightly news made it clear just now that, this is not a protest against the U.S.; this is a protest against the Egyptian government. Some folks probably needed to hear this.

  50. Pentagon releases guidelines for repealing gay policy

    1/29/11 Wendell Marsh- Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New Pentagon rules allowing gays to serve openly in the military prohibit separate bathroom facilities based on sexual orientation and say that not all benefits will be extended to same sex dependents.

    The Pentagon issued new guidelines on Friday as a first step to ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that forces gays to keep their preferences secret in order to serve in the military.

    Congress repealed the policy last month but gave the military an unspecified amount of time to prepare the sweeping change. President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address this week that the change would be enforced this year.
    [ For complete coverage of politics and policy, go to Yahoo! Politics ]

    The new guidelines ask the military top brass for precise plans within a week to implement the policy.

    It says that while some benefits such as choosing the beneficiaries of life insurance and death gratuities are a matter of individual preference of service personnel, federal laws such as the Defense of Marriage Act mean certain benefits that go to married couples will not apply to same-sex partnerships.

    “Strong, engaged and informed leadership will be required at every level to implement the repeal of (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) properly, effectively, and in a deliberate and careful manner,” Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in the guidelines.

    “This is not, however, a change that should be done incrementally,” he said.

    The memo sets out principles to mold the new policy, focusing on respect and eliminating any discrimination that might be directly based on sexual orientation.

    Despite the Congressional repeal, there has been push back from leadership in the military and Gates himself has stressed that change will take a while.

    • I think this quoted “push back” is a statement that is yet to be proven. Remember all the talk from McCain that even the Marine Corps Commandant didn’t want the repeal of DADT? The Commandant said he had reservations before the fact, but if it became his marching orders, he’d do everything in his power to make it work. So, I’m not falling for statements of “push back” from the media. (Just to let y’all know!)


  51. WH

    Saturday Jan. 29, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    Pres Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM

  52. Watching Charlie Rose interview Treasury Secretary Geithner, and I’m noticing that Timmy has aged just a little bit. A little more grey in his hair; a little older looking. Can you just imagine what he’s had on his plate? I know I couldn’t handle all of that. I admire him so much.

    As an aside: Charlie Rose seems to be wearing red socks. Unless, perchance, I’m seeing things. Trademark?

    • You are too funny jacqueline. Wow red socks. He look like the type who would wear red socks. 🙂

  53. hehe..

    @BorowitzReport: Obama: You must make concrete steps to reform. #Mubarak: Agreed. I must throw reformers down concrete steps. #Egypt

    @BorowitzReport: Palin Urges Mubarak to Quit: “Then You Can Get a TV Show” #Egypt

    Obama told #Mubrarak to reform, but then added, ominously, “Na na na na na na na na hey hey hey goodbye.” #Egypt

  54. Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address

    Manitowoc, Wisconsin

    January 29, 2011

    I’m speaking to you today from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where I’m at an innovative company called Orion Energy Systems.

    Just a few years ago, this was an empty warehouse. A major employer had shut down this factory, moved its operations abroad, and took a lot of jobs away from this town.

    But today, as you can see behind me, this is a thriving enterprise once more. You are looking at a factory where 250 workers are building advanced clean energy systems – state-of-the-art technologies that use solar power and energy efficiency to save farms and businesses thousands of dollars on their utility bills.

    I’m here because this business and others like it are showing us the way forward. And in the coming days, I’ll be shining a spotlight on innovators across America who are relying on new technologies to create new jobs and opportunities in new industries.

    That’s what companies like Orion are doing. And that’s how America will win the future – by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building our competitors. We’ll win the future by being the best place on Earth to do business. That is what we are called to do at this moment. And in my state of the union, I talked about how we get there.

    It starts by making sure that every single child can get a good education and every American can afford college or career training. Because that’s what will help light the spark in the minds of innovators – and ensure that our people have the skills to work for innovative companies.

    We also need to make sure that America can move goods and information as fast as any of our competitors, whether on the road or online. Because good infrastructure helps our businesses sell their products and services faster and cheaper.

    We have to reform our government and cut wasteful spending, so that we eliminate what we don’t need to pay for the investments we need to grow, like education and medical research.

    For the entire article:

  55. Shields and Brooks on Obama ‘Recalibrating’ Stance on Egypt, State of the Union

    January 28, 2011 PBSNewsHour


    Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks speak with Jim Lehrer about the week’s top developments, including the Obama administration “recalibrating” the U.S. stance on the growing political unrest in Egypt and the president’s messages in his latest State of the Union address.


    JIM LEHRER: And to the analysis of Shields and Brooks, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, New York Times columnist David Brooks.

    President Obama has made his statement about Egypt. And we’re going to run an excerpt of it in a moment.

    And, in fact, we’re going to do it right at this moment.

    U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Good evening, everybody.

    My administration has been closely monitoring the situation in Egypt, and I know that we will be learning more tomorrow when day breaks. As the situation continues to unfold, our first concern is preventing injury or loss of life. So I want to be very clear in calling upon the Egyptian authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters.

    The people of Egypt have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere.

    For the entire article:

    • Pres Obama is starting to make the painful cuts and now he has to do what CA Gov Brown is doing and start to do the equally painful duty of raising taxes on the upper income bracket to start to get things in balance.

    • Joe Biden promises ‘significant cuts’

      1/18/11 POLITICO

      Vice President Joe Biden is promising “significant cuts” to the federal budget and a renewed push to end tax cuts for the rich, all while encouraging unemployed Americans to “hang in there” as they struggle to get by and find jobs.

      “The president laid out significant cuts to deal with the long-term debt,” Biden said in an interview with Yahoo News released Friday. “We are going to once again attempt to repeal the unnecessary $700 billion tax cut for people who make the top 2 percent.”

      Obama began pushing the end of the Bush-era tax cuts on Americans making more than $250,000 a year during the 2008 campaign but agreed in December to a compromise with newly empowered congressional Republicans that extended the cuts for two years in exchange for an extension in jobless benefits, as the unemployment rate continues to hover above 9 percent.

      Biden encouraged people who are still struggling in the down economy. “The message is: Hang in there,” he said. “Things are coming back.”

      The interview was part of the administration’s continued push to sell the ideas President Barack Obama put forward in his State of the Union address. The White House contends that smart “investments” will improve the economy and, ultimately, lower the deficit.

      “The only way we are going to get to the point where our budget is balanced and we are growing … is if we in fact invest in education, infrastructure and innovation,” Biden said. “It is actually the stuff that is going to make the economy grow. When the economy grows, the deficit is reduced.”

      Read more:

  56. Good morning, all! God bless our President and Vice President and their families (including everybody in their O’family right here!) …

    Have we heard from azgrammy? Wondering if her family is still in Egypt?

    • Good morning Ms O’Boomer!

      I sent AZGrammy an email yesterday asking her to please post to let us know that her daughter and son-in-law have reached home safely so maybe we will hear from her today.

  57. I am reading James T. Kloppenberg’s book “Reading Obama” and he mentioned that when Pres Obama was a community organizer in Chicago he wrote article for Illinois Issues in 1988 titled “Why organize? Problems and promise in the inner city”.

    Here is that article:

    From the archives

    Editor’s note: Barack Obama wrote this article for Illinois Issues in 1988, while he was a community organizer in Chicago. It later became part of a book, After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois, published by Illinois Issues in 1990. We are republishing it this month to show, in his own words, some of the Democratic presidential candidate’s earliest influences in Illinois.

    We were unable to find a similar work by Republican candidate John McCain relating to Illinois, but McCain’s republished 1973 account of his experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam can be found on the U.S. News & World Report Web site.


    Why organize? Problems and promise in the inner city

    by Barack Obama

    Over the past five years, I’ve often had a difficult time explaining my profession to folks. Typical is a remark a public school administrative aide made to me one bleak January morning, while I waited to deliver some flyers to a group of confused and angry parents who had discovered the presence of asbestos in their school.

    “Listen, Obama,” she began. “You’re a bright young man, Obama. You went to college, didn’t you?”

    I nodded.

    “I just cannot understand why a bright young man like you would go to college, get that degree and become a community organizer.”

    “Why’s that?”

    “’Cause the pay is low, the hours is long, and don’t nobody appreciate you.” She shook her head in puzzlement as she wandered back to attend to her duties.

    I’ve thought back on that conversation more than once during the time I’ve organized with the Developing Communities Project, based in Chicago’s far south side. Unfortunately, the answers that come to mind haven’t been as simple as her question. Probably the shortest one is this: It needs to be done, and not enough folks are doing it.

    For the entire article:

    • *It needs to be done, and not enough folks are doing it.*

      I can’t help but think that his own mother taught him this.

  58. Egypt’s president names deputy for 1st time


    CAIRO – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak named a vice president Saturday for the first time since coming to power nearly 30 years ago. It was a clear step toward setting up a successor in the midst of the biggest challenge ever to his rule from tens of thousands of anti-government protesters.

    Mubarak named his intelligence chief of nearly two decades and close confidant Omar Suleiman, state television reported.

    The president had been seen as grooming his son Gamal to succeed him, possibly even as soon as in presidential elections planned for later this year. However, there was significant public opposition to the hereditary succession.

    The appointment of Suleiman, 74, answers one of the most intriguing and enduring political questions in Egypt: Who will succeed 82-year-old Mubarak?

    Another question is whether his appointment will calm the chaotic streets of Egypt’s cities. In the capital Cairo, looting was rampant on Saturday and lawlessness was spreading fast. Residents of affluent neighborhoods in the capital were even boarding up their houses against gangs of thugs roaming the streets with knives and sticks.

    The tens of thousands who have been out for five days confronting police are unified in one overarching demand — Mubarak and his family must go. The movement is a culmination of years of simmering frustration over a government they see as corrupt, heavy-handed and neglectful of grinding poverty.

    For the entire article:


    1/29/11 POLITICO

    President Obama and his national security adviser, Tom Donilon, met Friday at the White House with Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon to follow up on the president’s summit last November in India with Prime Minister Singh.

    Here’s the administration’s readout, released Saturday:

    “Donilon and Menon discussed ways to advance our bilateral agenda over the coming year, including the implementation of initiatives launched during the summit, as well as building new platforms for collaboration that fulfill the promise of our global strategic partnership. The two also had candid, in-depth discussions on regional and global issues of mutual concern.

    “The president joined the meeting and reaffirmed his commitment to building a true global, strategic partnership with India. The president relayed his priorities for the coming year, including advancing our bilateral economic relationship and making progress on nuclear security efforts.”

  60. Next Up…

    1:00 PM EST
    Egyptian Embassy protest
    Members of Washington’s Egyptian-American community stage a protest in support of demonstrators in Egypt outside the embassy.


    • Hi CR,
      Got your nice email, asking me to let you know when I hear from Daughter-Son-in-law ‘supposedly’ in Egypt…
      I say ‘supposedly’ because I have no idea where they ended up…
      Some reports say tourists have been re-routed…

      They had reservations at Bedouin Hotel, Cairo.
      Have no idea if they ever arrived there….

      Now CNN news is saying Chaos & Anarchy is breaking out, without police, or anyone in charge to restore order.
      This is result of a weak, ineffective central government, that so many in OUR country now seem to want….
      Under heading of “Be careful what you wish for…”

      ….although I wish my family members would let me know where they are, & if they are safe……:(

      • Travel Alert – EGYPT

        January 28, 2011

        The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to ongoing political and social unrest in Egypt. Violent demonstrations on January 28 took place in several areas of Cairo and other parts of the country, disrupting road travel between city centers and airports. Disruptions in communications included the interruption of internet and mobile telephone service. The Government of Egypt has imposed a curfew from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez until further notice. Given this situation, the Department of State urges U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Egypt at this time and advises U.S. citizens currently in Egypt to defer non-essential movement and to exercise caution. This Travel Alert expires on February 28, 2011.

        For the entire article:

  61. Chaplains try a new path to deal with PTSD

    1/29/11 DAN ELLIOTT, AP

    DENVER – A Colorado theology school is teaching Air Force chaplains to consider the religious beliefs of servicemen and women to better help them cope with post-traumatic stress.

    The goal is to build trust so a chaplain can encourage service members to draw on their individual concepts of God and spirituality, said Carrie Doehring, an associate professor of pastoral care at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver.

    Doehring helped develop the one-year program for the Air Force, which wanted another way for its chaplains to respond to the stress of deployments amid two protracted wars.

    Doehring said she believes it’s the only program of its kind in the country.

    One student graduated last year and four are enrolled this year.

    “This is incredibly helpful when dealing with trauma survivors,” the graduate, Air Force Chaplain Dallas Little, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. Little, a captain, is deployed in southwest Asia but said he couldn’t disclose where for security reasons.

    Little said he starts by trying to understand a service member’s religious views. Trust and acceptance come more quickly, he said, and that person is more likely to relate the traumatic experience to Little so he can help.

    Little said he’s used the approach in a veterans hospital, an Air Force hospital, a base chapel and on deployment, and it has worked well in each setting.

    He also said it also discourages him from “premature judgment, hasty moralizing or proselytizing.”

    For the entire article:

  62. An uncertain future after jobless benefits expire

    1/29/11 CRISTINA SILVA, AP

    LAS VEGAS – The portraits of his dead father are among the few mementoes Bud Meyers is certain he will take with him when he is forced from his home of five years next month because he cannot pay the rent.

    His prized collection of mystery novels, the bedroom set he was once proud to purchase new and anything else that can’t fit into the trunk of a car must be left behind.

    More than two years after Meyers lost his job as a Las Vegas Strip bartender and nearly eight months after he exhausted his unemployment benefits, it has come to this: a careful inventory of a life’s possessions and the hopeless embrace of a future as a middle-aged homeless man.

    “I can’t believe this is happening to my life,” Meyers, 55, said on a recent afternoon, as he surveyed the one-bedroom apartment he must soon abandon. “It’s a social holocaust.”

    Meyers, who is single and childless, is among a growing number of men and women who no longer qualify for unemployment benefits because they have been out of work for so long.

    For the entire article:


    1/29/11 POLITICO44

    President Obama met with his national security advisers at the White House this afternoon for more than an hour. The president was updated on the situation in Egypt, and “reiterated our focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights; and supporting concrete steps that advance political reform within Egypt,” the White House said.

    “At 1:00 pm today, the president convened a meeting of his national security team at the White House. Participants included Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan, National Security Adviser to the Vice President Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes, Senior Director for the Central Region Dennis Ross, Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa Dan Shapiro, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, and Senior Adviser David Plouffe.

    “The meeting lasted just over an hour. The president was updated on the situation in Egypt. He reiterated our focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights; and supporting concrete steps that advance political reform within Egypt.”

    • Thanks Jackie 4 Obama,

      If I could get my hands on my daughter right now, I wouldn’t know what to do first;
      Hug her in relief, or else shake her teeth out, for going on with their scheduled flight into Cairo, when they knew about upheaval going on in Egypt.
      Probably didn’t figure on all tourist places being shut down though.

      Thanks for candle link, & for caring.

      Arizona Grandmother is more worthy of your prayers, because her daughter Whitney found their father dead, and is having a terrible time suffering with that memory; along with having Crohn’s disease, then needing hospitalization.

        • Thank you CR…
          Email I sent to Hotel bounced back…nothing getting through.
          Heard Embassy is overwhelmed with requests.
          I’ll just sit tight & wait.
          Thanks for prayers & caring… 🙂

      • Yes, I have been communicating with her over the last week. AZGrammy you and I know what suicide does to a family. It is exceedingly difficult when your daughter has such health complications.

  64. We are so blessed to have President Obama as our President at this trying time. I cannot imagine a better person to deal with the unrest in Egypt. The whole middle east is just holding onto peace by a thread. I shudder to think how John McCain and George Bush would have handled this crisis.

      • I agree that we are blessed. He is definitely the one for the job. I just feel frustrated sometimes though because it seems like as soon as we are making progress here, something breaks out overseas, and it diverts the attention away from the progress being made. Its like two steps forward, and one step back. I hope that this can end without too much blood shed and deaths.

  65. I am conducting a poll on my page.

    Besides Jobs, what are you most concerned about.
    Size of Government
    Civil Rights

    The poll is on the right hand side of the blog. If you click on “See Dashboard” after you vote, it will show you a breakdown of how people have voted by state, and by issue color coded. Only one vote is allowed per IP address, so that I can gather accurate info.

    • Tori,
      Your blog is amazing, with a Twitter-feed about Egypt too…
      How’d you DO that?
      I’m still azgrammy, but changed my ‘handle’ on OFA blog to “Shadow Knows”, just for the heck of it.
      That’s taken from an oldie-radio program, (I think) called “The Shadow Knows”

  66. WH

    Sunday Jan. 30, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    Pres Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM

  67. Obama Discusses Egypt Crisis With National Security Aides

    1/29/11 VOANews

    President Barack Obama met with his top national security aides Saturday to discuss developments in Egypt.

    President Obama met for slightly more than an hour with Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Tom Donilon and other security advisers for an update on the turmoil in Egypt.

    White House officials say the president said once again that he opposes violence and calls for restraint, supports rights the U.S. considers universal, and supports concrete progress toward political reform in Egypt.

    The Obama administration has had no official reaction to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s announcement that he would promote his intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, to vice president.

    Suleiman will be Egypt’s first vice president since Mr. Mubarak came to power almost 30 years ago.

    Shortly before the announcement Saturday, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said on the social network Twitter, President Mubarak’s words pledging reform must be followed by action.

    President Obama said Friday he delivered a similar message to Mr. Mubarak in a 30-minute telephone call. Mr. Obama said he urged the Egyptian leader to refrain from violence. “Violence will not address the grievances of the Egyptian people. And suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away,” he said.

    For the entire article:

  68. David Axelrod Has Left the White House, With An Eye on 2012

    January 28, 2011 Ann Compton – ABC

    ABC News’ Ann Compton reports: Twenty paces from the Oval Office door, senior White House adviser David Axelrod packed up his things inside the cramped office he never expected to occupy after the 2008 presidential campaign. But he said he’s glad he did.

    “This has been the experience of a lifetime,” he told ABC News, “to deal with such consequential things every day.”

    Lessons learned?

    “You know every day in Washington is election day. Every day someone says this is the event that will determine the future of the presidency.” But Axelrod doesn’t buy that.

    “What you’ve got to do is keep your eye on the long term,” he said. “I mean, three months ago we were left by the roadside for dead after the Nov. 2 elections.”

    Axelrod said that despite Democrats’ losses in congressional seats in he now finds satisfaction in a productive lame duck session, which gave his boss a welcome boost in the opinion polls.

    On his office wall has been a front page clipping of Election Night 2008. Now, Axelrod is heading back to his family in Chicago, to a little R&R, then the task of setting up a 2012 campaign which he hopes will match the success of the first.

    “You’ve got to keep your eye on your goals and pursue them,” Axelrod concludes.

  69. Good Morning CR & friends!

    Heard from my Oregon granddaughter this morning via email:

    “I just called Mom at their Hotel in Egypt.
    They are doing okay and in a very safe and protected area.
    The first night they landed they had to stay the night on the floor in the airport but now they are in their hotel.
    The army is protecting the area they are staying in, and only certain areas are bad (not the area they are in though).
    They fly out of Egypt on Tuesday, and haven’t heard of any issues with being able to fly out.”

    Thank you all for your prayers & concern.

  70. Sunday talk show tip sheet

    1/29/11 POLITICO

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is making the rounds on all the major TV network Sunday talk shows to address the escalating turmoil in Egypt.

    In a shuffling of the TV schedules on Saturday, Clinton is now set for brief interviews on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and Fox.

    Meanwhile, Bill Daley and John Boehner make their Sunday show debuts in their new marquis roles in the White House and Congress.

    Daley, a son of the storied Chicago political family, makes his first appearance as White House chief of staff on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” and Boehner, the veteran Republican congressman from Ohio, makes his first Sunday show appearance as speaker of the House on “Fox News Sunday.”

    Both will face a barrage of questions on the pressing issues of the day, from President Barack Obama’s new team in the White House to the nation’s struggling economy to Egypt and the Middle East….

    CNN’s “State of the Union” also has Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.); former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), co-chairman of the president’s deficit commission; John Negroponte, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and Edward Walker, former U.S. ambassador to Egypt.

    And Bloomberg TV’s “Political Capital” hosts David Axelrod, who’s moving on as a senior adviser in the White House back home to Chicago to ramp up the president’s 2012 re-election campaign.

    TV One’s “Washington Week” hosts White House domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat.

    For the rest of the article listing Republican talk show guests:

  71. Jeff Zients Will Lead Reorganization of Federal Government

    Posted by Dan Pfeiffer on January 30, 2011

    As the President said in the State of the Union address, winning the future will take doing what we can do now to prepare America to compete in the global economy for decades to come. That means out-educating, out-innovating, and out-building our competition; restoring fiscal responsibility to remove the burden of deficits and debt; and reforming our government so that it is more effective, efficient, and open to the American people. As the President put it, “We cannot win the future with a government of the past.”

    The fact is that we live and do business in the information age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the middle of the last century. Over the past few decades, there has not been a business or large organization that has not rethought, retooled, and revamped how they did their job to respond to a growing, more competitive global economy and an ever-changing technology landscape. Yet too often, it seems that the federal government is stuck in the age of black-and-white television while we are competing in the age of the iPad.

    For millions of Americans, this can lead to frustrating encounters trying to get the services you need and a waste of taxpayer dollars. For many businesses, it means that they may not have all the assistance they need to compete around the world. For instance, we have more than a dozen different agencies involved in exports. They all work with well with each other, but this is certainly not the optimal organization or allocation of resources if you were designing a system from scratch.

    The President believes that we need to reform our government to make it better organized and better equipped to support American competitiveness. We want to ensure that we’re aligning all of the resources we have into negotiating the best agreements, enforcing our trade rights, supporting our exporters and promoting their products.

    For the entire article:


    1/30/11 POLITICO44

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is appearing on all five major TV talk shows Sunday morning, said “there’s no discussion at this time about cutting off aid” to Egypt.

    “Right now we are trying to convey a message that is very clear,” Clinton said on ABC’s “This Week.” “That we want to ensure that there is no violence and no provocation that results in violence, and we want to see these reforms and process of national dialogue begin.”

    Asked whether she still believed the Egyptian government was “stable,” a comment the secretary of state made earlier this week, Clinton said it was not possible to give a “yes or no answer to what are very complicated issues.”

    “Obviously this is a very volatile situation,” Clinton added. “Egypt has been a partner in … trying to stabilize a region that’s subject to a lot of challenges. [The U.S. has] been consistent, across those 3 decades, in arguing that real stability only comes [from] real democracy.”

    She once again called on the Egyptian government to recognize the importance of democracy, human rights and economic reform for its people. “Any government that does not try to move in that direction cannot meet the legitimate needs of its people.”

  73. Newest feature on the POLITICO website is called ” 2012 Live

    Right now all it has is lame GOP people who want to try to look presidential….they make The Simpson’s Krusty the Clown look like viable presidential material in comparison.

  74. Stimulus funds help wire rural homes for Internet

    1/29/11 JOHN CURRAN -AP

    EAST BURKE, Vt. – Up in rural northern Vermont, it took until the 1960s to run power lines to some towns — decades after the rest of America got turned on.

    These days, it’s the digital revolution that remains but a rumor in much of rural America.

    Dial-up user Val Houde knows this as well as anybody. After moving here four years ago, the 51-year-old mother of four took a correspondence course for medical transcription, hoping to work from home. She plunked down $800, took the course, then found out the software wasn’t compatible with dial-up Internet, the only kind available to her.

    Selling items on eBay, watching videos, playing games online? Forget it. The connection from her home computer is so slow, her online life is one of delays, degraded quality and “buffering” warning messages. So she waits until the day a provider extends broadband to her house.

    “I feel like these companies, they don’t care about these little pockets of places,” she said one night recently, showing a visitor her computer’s slow Internet service. “And I know we’re not the only ones.”

    For Houde and millions of other Americans laboring under slow or no Internet service, help is on the way.

    Bolstered by billions in federal stimulus money, an effort to expand broadband Internet access to rural areas is under way, an ambitious 21st-century infrastructure project with parallels to the New Deal electrification of the nation’s hinterlands in the 1930s and 1940s.

    President Barack Obama emphasized the importance of Internet access in his State of the Union address last week.

    “To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information — from high-speed rail to high-speed Internet,” Obama said.

    In the Depression, it was power to the people — for farm equipment and living-room lamps, cow-milking machines and kitchen appliances. Now, it’s online access — to YouTube and digital downloads, to videoconferencing and Facebook, to eBay and Twitter.

    “Rural areas all across the country are wrestling with this, somewhat desperately,” said Paul Costello, executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. “Young people who grow up with the media will not live where they can’t be connected to digital culture. So most rural communities have been behind the eight ball.”

    For the entire article:

    • We may be late in getting rural parts of our country wired, but at least once they are, the government doesn’t shut everything down when there are political protests (as in Iran and Egypt). We really need to appreciate everything we have in our beautiful country, with all its little imperfections.

      • Eek … this sounded like I have no empathy for the people w/o Internet access in our rural areas. Forgive me for wording that so insensitively. I was more concentrating on the shutdown of communications in Egypt.

      • Hi CR,
        …back again….thanks for your note this a.m….!
        Granddaughter Stephie told me she called Bedouin Hotel using Skype on her computer…(little smarty-pants…:)
        I’d tried regular phone lines & couldn’t get through.

        As for Facebook,
        I’ve had an acct using my regular email, but whatever you do on FB, it gets onto your “wall”…

        So to keep my political life separate from my family stuff, I took another email address…@ Yahoo mail.
        Set up another FB-account under a different name….heh, heh…

        Anyhow, it works well to access stuff like the above pictures…:)

        • Hi AZGrammy! I am so glad that you heard from your family!

          I don’t care for a FaceBook account; the security/identity thing is too porous for me!

      • CR – I just emailed one photo to you, indicative of how the women of Egypt have been hitting the streets without fear.

        • Thanks Ms O’Boomer! Good for those women; they are people too!

          It really ticks me off that in some countries/cultures a woman can not leave the house without a male family member to escort them, are not allowed an education, are not allowed to drive, are not allowed to vote, are not allowed to hold a job, are not allowed in politics, etc.

          Women are not possessions to be managed; Women are people equals that deserve equal rights!

  75. I love this photo:

    Muslim women - V for victory

    Three women gesture for victory as they attend a demonstration in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday Jan.30, 2011. Minutes before the start of a 4 p.m. curfew, at least two jets appeared and made multiple passes over downtown, including a central square where thousands of protesters were calling for the departure of President Hosni Mubarak. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)


    1/30/11 POLITICO44

    President Obama has spoken on the phone with a number of foreign leaders over the weekend to discuss the ongoing turmoil in Egypt, including the prime ministers of Israel and the United Kingdom.

    “The President asked each of the leaders that he spoke to for their assessment of the situation, and agreed to stay in close contact going forward,” the White House said in a statement released Sunday.

    “The President has made a number of calls to foreign leaders to discuss the ongoing situation in Egypt. On Saturday, January 29th, the President spoke to Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Today, he spoke to Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom. During his calls, the President reiterated his focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech; and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people. The President asked each of the leaders that he spoke to for their assessment of the situation, and agreed to stay in close contact going forward.”

  77. *********************

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ Democracy ”

    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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