Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.

Founded by civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. in 1971, the SPLC is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups. Our innovative Teaching Tolerance program produces and distributes – free of charge – documentary films, books, lesson plans and other materials that promote tolerance and respect in our nation’s schools.

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Thread dedicated to the late Linda Burnett, our “South County 4 Obama” data manager.

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2/24/11 Report: U.S. Extremist Groups on the Rise

New figures show membership in anti-government extremist groups is at record levels in the United States. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, anti-government “patriot” groups and militias grew by 61 percent in 2010 after tripling the year before. The number of active hate groups topped 1,000—an increase of 7.5 percent—for the first time since the Center began keeping count in the early 1980s.

Reporter: Amy Goodman - DemocracyNow.org
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SPLC- White Hate Groups in America

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162 thoughts on “Southern Poverty Law Center

  1. WH

    Sunday Feb. 27, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    Pres Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    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
    7:00 PM
    7:10 PM

    Pres Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host the 2011 Governors’ Dinner; VP Biden and Dr Jill Biden also attend.
    8:00 PM

  2. The Southern Poverty Law Center is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.

    Founded by civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. in 1971, the SPLC is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups. Our innovative Teaching Tolerance program produces and distributes – free of charge – documentary films, books, lesson plans and other materials that promote tolerance and respect in our nation’s schools.

    They are based in Montgomery, Ala., the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement, and have offices in Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami, Fla., and Jackson, Miss.

    The SPLC was founded to ensure that the promises of the civil rights movement became a reality for all. Since our founding in 1971, we’ve won numerous landmark legal victories on behalf of the exploited, the powerless and the forgotten.

    Our lawsuits have toppled institutional racism in the South, bankrupted some of the nation’s most violent white supremacist groups and won justice for exploited workers, abused prison inmates, disabled children and other victims of discrimination.

    Learn more: http://splcenter.org/who-we-are

    • The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education and other forms of advocacy, we work toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.

      We employ a three-pronged strategy to battle racial and social injustice:

      * We track the activities of hate groups and domestic terrorists across America, and we launch innovative lawsuits that seek to destroy networks of radical extremists.

      * We use the courts and other forms of advocacy to win systemic reforms on behalf of victims of bigotry and discrimination.

      * We provide educators with free resources that teach school children to reject hate, embrace diversity and respect differences.

      Priorities

      Hate and Extremism
      Immigrant Justice
      Children at Risk
      Teaching Tolerance

    • 03/09/2008

      Intelligence Report: Hate Group Numbers Up by 48% Since 2000

      Led by three states on the southern border, the number of hate groups operating in America has swelled by 48 percent since 2000, a staggering increase mainly attributable to the anti-immigrant fervor sweeping the country, according to the “Year in Hate” issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report released today.

      The latest annual count by the SPLC found the number of hate groups operating in America rose to 888 last year, up 5 percent from the 844 groups in 2006 and far above the 602 groups documented in 2000.

      At the same time, new FBI statistics suggest a 35 percent rise in hate crimes against Latinos between 2003 and 2006. Experts believe that such crimes are typically carried out by people who think they are attacking immigrants.

      “Hate groups continue to successfully exploit the immigration debate to their advantage, even though the immigration issue has largely disappeared from the presidential debate,” said Mark Potok, editor of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report, an investigative journal that monitors the radical right. “The fact is that they’ve been aided and abetted by mainstream pundits and politicians who give these haters a platform for their propaganda.”

      The greatest growth in hate groups came in California, Arizona and Texas, which had jumps of 27 percent, 70 percent, and 22 percent, respectively.

      For the entire article: http://splcenter.org/get-informed/news/intelligence-report-hate-group-numbers-up-by-48-since-2000

    • 07/18/2008

      SPLC Debunks American Legion Report on Impact of Undocumented Immigrants

      A recent American Legion report on the impact of undocumented immigrants relies heavily on discredited information and represents one more example of false anti-immigrant propaganda that is seeping into the mainstream.

      A Southern Poverty Law Center analysis has found that the booklet, A Strategy to Address Illegal Immigration in the United States, repeatedly cites dubious sources and makes baseless claims depicting undocumented immigrants as disease-carrying, job-stealing criminals who are invading and wrecking our country.

    • 11/14/2008

      SPLC Wins $2.5 Million Verdict Against Imperial Klans of America

      The Southern Poverty Law Center today won a crushing jury verdict against one of the nation’s largest Klan groups for its role in the brutal beating of a teenager at a county fair in rural Kentucky.

      The $2.5 million verdict will likely cripple the Imperial Klans of America, which has 16 chapters in eight states.

      “The people of Meade County, Kentucky, have spoken loudly and clearly. And what they’ve said is that ethnic violence has no place in our society, that those who promote hate and violence will be held accountable and made to pay a steep price,” said SPLC founder and chief trial attorney Morris Dees, who tried the case. “We look forward to collecting every dime that we can for our client and to putting the Imperial Klans of America out of business.”

      The SPLC brought the lawsuit on behalf of Jordan Gruver, who was 16 when he was attacked in July 2006.

      For the entire article: http://splcenter.org/get-informed/news/splc-wins-25-million-verdict-against-imperial-klans-of-america

    • 12/04/2008

      Teaching Tolerance Offers Educators Strategy to Respond to Racial Incidents Following Obama Election

      Responding to reports of racially charged incidents following Barack Obama’s election as the first black president, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program is offering teachers a set of strategies to deal with election-related bigotry in the classroom.

      The new web resource, “Responding to Obama: America at the Extremes,” will help teachers respond to what is happening inside and outside of the classroom by turning it into a teaching moment about race. Read the package here.

      “Despite talk of a post-racial America following the election, students have been seeing reports of racially charged incidents in the news and, in some cases, seeing and hearing overtly racist behavior among their peers,” said Jennifer Holladay, director of Teaching Tolerance. “We wanted teachers to have the tools to promote understanding and civil discourse, especially with the inauguration on the horizon.”

      For the entire article: http://splcenter.org/get-informed/news/teaching-tolerance-offers-educators-strategy-to-respond-to-racial-incidents-follow

    • 01/21/2009
      Hatemongers Poised to Exploit Obama Election, Tough Economic Times

      President Obama may have smashed the ultimate political barrier to African Americans, but his presidency and the deepening economic crisis are creating the perfect storm for white supremacists intent on swelling their ranks.

      Racist extremists have been energized by Obama’s election, hoping to exploit an Obama backlash among whites who resent having a black man in the White House.

      Neo-Nazi David Duke says Obama will be a “visual aid” for angry white Americans and will provoke a backlash among relatively mainstream whites that will “result in a dramatic increase in [the] ranks” of extremists. Many other hate group leaders agree.

      That backlash was evident in the aftermath of the election as scores of racially charged incidents — beatings, effigy burnings, racist graffiti, threats and intimidation — were reported across the country.

      “There’s a real fury out there in certain quarters,” said Mark Potok, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.

      For the entire article: http://splcenter.org/get-informed/news/hatemongers-poised-to-exploit-obama-election-tough-economic-times

    • 02/03/2009

      New SPLC Report: Three Leading Anti-Immigration Groups Share Extremist Roots

      Three Washington, D.C., organizations most responsible for blocking comprehensive immigration reform in 2007 are part of a network of groups created by a man who has been at the heart of the white nationalist movement for decades, according to a report issued today by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

      The Nativist Lobby: Three Faces of Intolerance describes how the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA were founded and funded by John Tanton, a retired Michigan ophthalmologist who operates a racist publishing company and has written that to maintain American culture, “a European-American majority” is required.

      “These groups have infiltrated the mainstream by presenting themselves as legitimate commentators, when, in reality, they were all conceived by a man who is convinced that non-white immigrants threaten America,” said Mark Potok, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project. “They have never strayed far from their roots.”

      The report examines how Tanton, who still sits on FAIR’s board of directors, founded the racist Social Contract Press and has corresponded with Holocaust deniers, white nationalist intellectuals and Klan lawyers for decades — correspondence documented by his own writings stored at a University of Michigan library.

      For the entire article: http://splcenter.org/get-informed/news/new-splc-report-three-leading-anti-immigration-groups-share-extremist-roots

    • 02/26/2009

      Hate Group Numbers Up By 54% Since 2000

      The number of hate groups operating in the United States continued to rise in 2008 and has grown by 54 percent since 2000 — an increase fueled last year by immigration fears, a failing economy and the successful campaign of Barack Obama, according to the “Year in Hate” issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report released today.

      The SPLC identified 926 hate groups active in 2008, up more than 4 percent from the 888 groups in 2007 and far above the 602 groups documented in 2000. A list and interactive, state-by-state map of these groups can be viewed here.

      As in recent years, hate groups were animated by fears of Latino immigration. This rise in hate groups has coincided with a 40 percent growth in hate crimes against Latinos between 2003 and 2007, according to FBI statistics.

      Two new factors were introduced to the volatile hate movement in 2008: the faltering economy and the Obama campaign.

      For the entire article: http://splcenter.org/get-informed/news/hate-group-numbers-up

    • 07/24/2009

      SPLC President Calls on CNN to Remove Lou Dobbs from Air, Cites Newsman’s Support for Extremist-Inspired ‘Birther’ Claims

      The following is a letter from SPLC President Richard Cohen to CNN President Jonathan Klein.

      July 24, 2009

      Jonathan Klein- President
      CNN/U.S.
      1 Time Warner Center, New York, N.Y. 10019-6038

      Dear Mr. Klein,

      As an important and respected news organization, CNN has a special responsibility to ensure the accuracy of its reporting. We have written to you before about our concern that Lou Dobbs repeatedly fails to live up to this standard in his reporting on immigration. Now, Mr. Dobbs is again trading in falsehoods and racist conspiracy theories, questioning President Obama’s American citizenship.

      On the July 15 edition of “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Mr. Dobbs questioned the official certificate provided by the president and the State of Hawaii and complained that President Obama has not made public the “original document.” On his radio program, Mr. Dobbs has repeatedly questioned the president’s fitness for office, demanding he “show the documents” and, at one point, jokingly suggesting President Obama may be “undocumented.”

      The truth about the president’s birth is not in dispute. It has been verified by Factcheck.org, among many other serious news organizations, and his official birth documents have been made public. CNN itself has repeatedly reported on the falsity of the claims of the “birthers,” and the network’s esteemed legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, recently called those claims “a joke.” As you know, even Mr. Dobbs’ frequent fill-in anchor, Kitty Pilgrim, debunked the birthers on the July 17 edition of Mr. Dobbs’ own CNN show. The fact that Mr. Dobbs suggests otherwise on CNN — while real CNN reporters tell the truth — is both deplorable and an embarrassment to all serious journalists.

      For the entire article: http://splcenter.org/get-informed/news/splc-president-calls-on-cnn-to-remove-lou-dobbs-from-air-cites-newsmans-support-fo

    • 03/25/2010

      Listen to SPLC’s Mark Potok Discuss Rise in Extremism on NPR’s Fresh Air

      Mark Potok discusses the recent explosion of right-wing extremism in an interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air this week. The interview came amid a wave of vandalism and threats of violence aimed at members of Congress who voted for health care reform legislation.

      The SPLC recently released “Rage on the Right,” its annual count of active hate and extremist groups in the U.S. The report documented a surge in extremism as militias and other groups steeped in wild, antigovernment conspiracy theories exploited populist anger across the country and infiltrated the mainstream.

      The report found a 244 percent increase in the number of antigovernment “Patriot” groups, which include armed militias. Potok told Fresh Air listeners that the ideas of these groups and others on the radical right are being spread and validated by mainstream media figures and politicians. Listen to the full interview or read the transcript.

    • 11/22/2010

      SPLC’s Intelligence Report: Gays Targeted for Hate Crimes Far More Than Any Other Minority in America

      Homosexuals are far more likely to be victims of a violent hate crime than any other minority group in the United States, according to a new analysis of federal hate crime statistics in the latest issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, released today.

      The SPLC’s analysis of 14 years of hate crime data found that homosexuals, or those perceived to be gay, are more than twice as likely to be attacked in a violent hate crime as Jews or blacks; more than four times as likely as Muslims; and 14 times as likely as Latinos. The findings are based on FBI hate crime statistics from 1995 to 2008, the period for which there is complete data. The basic pattern also holds true in individual years.

      The analysis is being released to coincide with the scheduled release of the FBI’s hate crime statistics for 2009.

      These findings come as a wave of anti-gay attacks have washed across the country. In New York, for example, 10 suspects were arrested for brutally torturing three gay victims. And in Covington, Ky., a neighborhood was hit by a series of violent anti-gay attacks. Most dramatically, four teenagers committed suicide in September after being bullied, taunted or outed as homosexuals.

      This analysis of hate crime data can be found in the Winter 2010 issue of the Intelligence Report, which also explores how the hard-core anti-gay movement in America is becoming more extreme in the face of gay rights advances.

      For the entire article: http://splcenter.org/get-informed/news/splcs-intelligence-report-gays-targeted-for-hate-crimes

    • 02/23/2011

      U.S. Hate Groups Top 1,000

      The number of active hate groups in the United States topped 1,000 for the first time and the antigovernment “Patriot” movement expanded dramatically for the second straight year as the radical right showed continued explosive growth in 2010.

      Several factors fueled the growth: resentment over the changing racial demographics of the country, frustration over the lagging economy, and the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and other demonizing propaganda aimed at minorities and the government.

      The report is in the Spring 2011 issue of the SPLC’s quarterly investigative journal Intelligence Report. The Hate Map also contains a comprehensive, state-by-state listing of hate groups and their locations.

      “Far-right extremists remain highly energized, even as politicians across the country co-opt many of the radical ideas and issues that are important to them,” said Mark Potok, editor of the Intelligence Report. “This success in having their voices heard in the political arena, where they have long occupied the fringe of conservative thought, might eventually take the wind out of their sails, but so far we’re not seeing any sign of that.”

      For the entire article: http://splcenter.org/get-informed/news/us-hate-groups-top-1000

    • Question to GOP congressman: ‘Who is going to shoot Obama?’

      In statement after reports surface, Rep. Broun says such comments ‘will not be tolerated’

      2/25/11 msnbc.com

      A Republican lawmaker in Athens, Ga., fielded a startling question by an audience member at a town hall meeting Tuesday, prompting national headlines as well as a Secret Service inquiry.

      According to the Athens Banner-Herald, which first reported the incident, a person in the audience at a town hall hosted by GOP Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia asked “Who is going to shoot Obama?” The question — which was difficult for some to hear — was greeted with laughter.

      Broun did not respond directly to the question, instead changing the subject to the issue of the Obama-backed health care bill that passed last year.

      “The thing is, I know there’s a lot of frustration with this president,” Broun said, per the Banner-Herald. “We’re going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we’ll elect somebody that’s going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

      After the reports of the exchange, Broun confirmed the exchange with an elderly man and issued a statement Friday calling the question “abhorrent.”

      “I deeply regret that this incident happened,” Broun said. “I condemn all statements — made in sincerity or jest — that threaten or suggest the use of violence against the president of the United States or any other public official. Such rhetoric cannot and will not be tolerated.”

      For the entire article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41780873/ns/politics-more_politics/

    • Broun: When Criticism Becomes Something More Sinister

      February 25, 2011 Brian Levin, J.D. – HuffingtonPost

      As a Saudi national was about to be arrested for an alleged plot in Texas to assassinate former President Bush, and weeks after the horrible shooting spree that left 6 dead and a congresswoman seriously wounded, Georgia Congressman Paul Broun reportedly chuckled after a constituent asked, “Who’s going to shoot Obama.” He then stated:

      The thing is, I know there’s a lot of frustration with this president. We’re going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we’ll elect somebody that’s going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

      For the entire article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-levin-jd/broun-when-criticism-beco_b_828422.html

    • GOP WRONG WAY

      10 right-wing conspiracy theories that have slowly invaded American politics
      Paranoia is in our bloodstream. And with the emergence of social media, we’re more misinformed than ever before

      THURSDAY, NOV 12, 2015 12:30 AM PST MARK POTOK AND DON TERRY, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER

      “There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little.” FRANCIS BACON, Of Suspicion, 1625

      America, as the historian Richard Hofstadter famously noted in 1964, is a place peculiarly given to “the paranoid style” of politics — the idea that history is no accident, but rather the outcome of a series of conspiracies. The surface of events is never what it appears, but instead hides deep, dark and destructive forces.

      What Hofstadter called “movements of suspicious discontent” have targeted imaginary threats ranging from the Illuminati, Freemasons and Jesuits of long ago all the way to the Communist infiltration alleged by Joseph McCarthy and the John Birch Society in the mid-20th century. And since Hofstadter’s seminal essay, the list of alleged evildoers has kept on growing, especially on the far right, where global elites are today seen as secretly laboring to build a totalitarian “New World Order.”

      Although it is difficult to make valid historical comparisons, it is hard to avoid feeling that our country is drowning in an even larger ocean of conspiracy theories now than in decades or centuries past: President Obama is a Kenyan and a Marxist bent on seizing the weapons of all Americans; Common Core educational standards are part of a plot to impose communism on the U.S.; military exercises in Texas this summer are actually a first step toward martial law; and on and on and on……

      1. Common Core – The Plot Against Our Children

      2. Military Exercises – Prelude To Martial Law

      3. Agenda 21 – Conspiracy Of The Greens

      4. North American Union – U.S Sovereignty On The Bank

      5. Shariah Law – Coming To A Courtroom Near You

      6. Gun Grab – The Coming Seizure Of Americans’ Firearms

      7. FEMA – America’s Secret Concentration Camps

      8. Money Manipulators – How The Bankers Keep Us Down

      9. Secret Muslim Training Camps – The Enemy Within

      10. The Homosexual Agenda – The End Of Civilization

      For the entire article: http://www.salon.com/2015/11/12/10_right_wing_conspiracy_theories_that_have_slowly_invaded_american_politics_partner/

  3. It distresses me that I even had to create a thread with the topic, that hate groups have grown, but in light of what a member of GA Congressman Broun’s town hall said I thought that this type of hateful rhetoric needs to have a spot light shined on it.

    I always have mixed feelings about saying that I “like” an article that is about hateful things but if you press the “like button” then you are saying that you stand for the good work that the SPLC is doing for our society by tracking, uncovering and speaking out against hate groups.

  4. Sunday shows: Labor standoff drags on

    02/26/11 By Michael O’Brien – TheHill.com

    (excerpts of Democrat speaker information only)

    The labor protests in Wisconsin will share the stage with the recent uprisings in the Middle East during Sunday morning’s talk show circuit…

    Labor groups and left-leaning bloggers complained mid-week that no labor voices had been scheduled to appear on the Sunday show circuit. But “Meet the Press” ultimately included AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on its roundtable.

    For the entire article with Republican speakers: http://thehill.com/homenews/news/146247-sunday-shows-labor-standoff-drags-on

  5. Of the demonstrations in all 50 state capitals, may I present a little bit about New Jersey’s (from my hometown) …

    This one drew the President of the AFL-CIO (I love the last part of this quote):

    “What happens in Wisconsin affects every man, woman and child in America. Nothing less than the fate of our middle class is at stake,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told the demonstrators, many of them huddled beneath umbrellas against the downpour. “Here is the key, something that every governor and state legislator from New Jersey to Arizona, from Florida to Alaska, needs to understand. They were not elected to dictate,” the national union chief said. “They were elected to solve problems, not create conflicts.”

    • Excellent statement by Mr. Trumpka.

      Just an FYI: The Tea Party is having a convention here in Phoenix and Ron Paul and Tim Pawlenty are here. I think Pawlenty has made a big mistake hitching his wagon to the TP.

      On another note: We have a News Channel here, KPHO Channel 5. They title their news “Telling it like it is”. They are soliciting opinions on what our state legislature should be focusing on. They intend to hand deliver our comments to Russell Pearce, the slimball that brought us SB1070, and to our worthless Governor Jan Brewer. They showed a sampling on the show tonight and they were very critical of the Republicans. They also broadcast some of the Wisconsin protest and were very favorable toward the protesters. For Arizona, this is huge.

    • They believe in transpareny EXCEPT when the daily
      show is the subject…It’s all fun & games when
      they draw a false equivalance and mock Wisconsin
      Laborers with real struggles..
      Now there’s “nothing to see here”…right jon stewart..?? ..It’s also all too funny to mock Pres. Obama for trying to do the best he can with what he’s got, because human error could never happen with human beings working in this White
      House….Maybe it was Knee slapping funny several
      months back when a female employee of the daiy
      show raised talk of misogyny and Jon’s show
      conveniently went on a 2 week hiatus until it
      quietly went away..Truth & transparency..??

      • I agree Tigerfists. I am sick & tired of Jon Stewart unjustly criticising PBO. Just watched 2 weeks worth of programs & he had nothing good to say about him. I’d stopped his program; then decided to take a look – YUCK!!!! Give me Stephen Colbert anyday.

        • Happy Sunday to all my O friends. I agree with all you have said about Jon Stewart. I don’t find him comical anymore, especially when he mocks struggling people. I have placed him in file #13 with Bill Maher. I no longer watch him. I think he has gotten “to big for his britches” as my sweet mother use to say. 🙂

  6. Labor protests beyond Wisconsin draw thousands

    2/27/11 By Michelle Nichols – Reuters

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Thousands of people rallied in cities across the United States on Saturday to express solidarity with Wisconsin public sector unions fighting a proposal to curb their power.

    “We all support the people in Wisconsin and all over the country where labor is being threatened, and we know that the real agenda of the (Wisconsin) governor and many others is just to destroy unions,” said New Yorker Judith Barbanel.

    Barbanel, an English language teacher at the City University of New York, joined several thousand people at a “Save the American Dream” rally at City Hall to show solidarity with protesters in Wisconsin.

    People waved signs reading “Cut bonuses, not teachers,” “Unions make us strong,” and “Wall St is destroying America,” and wore stickers that read “We are all Wisconsin.”

    Anne O’Byrne, 44, a philosophy professor at Stony Brook University who brought her daughter Sophia, 2, to the New York rally, said she was disturbed by events in Wisconsin.

    “If we don’t have collective bargaining rights I don’t know what’s left for workers in America,” she said. “It seems important to me to resist any attempt to take away those union rights that have in fact brought us so much over the years.”

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

  7. Two-week budget measure expected to avert government shutdown

    2/27/1/1 DAVID ROGERS -POLITICO

    Threats of a government shutdown next week had all but disappeared by late Friday as Democrats reacted favorably to a Republican plan that would keep agencies operating past Mar. 4 while making a first down payment toward a larger budget deal.

    The two-week peace is only temporary but gives House and Senate leaders through Mar 18 to try to resolve conservative demands for more than $60 billion in spending cuts, all concentrated in the second half of this fiscal year.

    A first installment of $4 billion in savings would be part of the deal now and Republicans have said they will insist on $2 billion more in cuts for each additional week the talks continue past the new deadline. The novel approach is one devised by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), trying to keep pace with his large freshman class while avoiding the same sort of shutdown that so hurt Republicans in the 1990’s when they confronted then President Bill Clinton.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/50197.html

  8. Good morning everyone. HOPE you have a great Sunday.

    CR Arizona got your storm last night. My part of town got hit first. No snow but lots of rain and boy is it cold. Should leave us by noon today and should save the NASCAR event.

    • Good morning Jackie! We had snow flurries yesterday that melted by the time they hit the ground! Snow on the mountain tops.

  9. Eric Holder’s Story: Standing Up for American Justice

    February 27, 2011 Posted by Attorney General Eric Holder

    Ed. Note: This post is part of the Celebrating Black History Month series, which highlights African Americans from across the Administration whose work contributes to the President’s goals for winning the future.

    Nearly 35 years ago, as a newly minted law school graduate, I moved from New York City to Washington, D.C., to begin my dream job as a prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section. Very quickly, I learned that the Justice Department was – and still is – an exciting and fascinating place to be. As a young lawyer, I was fortunate to work alongside some of the nation’s most talented and committed public servants: colleagues who cared deeply about advancing the Department’s critical mission, as well as mentors and supervisors who were committed to my professional growth and success.

    My early experiences at the Department enabled me to begin looking beyond my next assignment and next case, in order to reflect on the larger responsibilities that guide every Justice Department employee. I came to realize that these obligations are much larger than any one attorney – and certainly any one Attorney General. Put simply, our chief responsibility is the pursuit of justice – and not justice for some, but justice for all. Living up to this responsibility begins by focusing on our number-one mission: protecting the safety of the American people. It also guides our efforts to prevent and reduce violence, crime, fraud, and abuse; to combat the causes and consequences of hate; to safeguard civil rights; to protect the environment; to strengthen the rule of law; to ensure access to legal services; and to maintain the integrity of a system founded on a simple but powerful idea that all people are created equal and deserve the same treatment in the courtroom and in all corners of our society.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/02/27/eric-holders-story-standing-american-justice

  10. Tunisian prime minister announces resignation

    2/27/11 BOUAZZA BEN BOUAZZA -AP

    TUNIS, Tunisia – Tunisia’s embattled prime minister said Sunday that he will resign, bowing to a key demand of protesters after at least five people died in a groundswell of new unrest in this North African country.

    Mohamed Ghannouchi, 69, has been a major irritant to Tunisians behind the so-called “Jasmine Revolution” that toppled autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali last month and sparked a wave of upheaval in the Arab world.

    “This (resignation) is not a flight from my responsibilities, but to open the way for another prime minister who — I hope — will have more margin for action than I have had, to give hope to the Tunisian people,” Ghannouchi said. He didn’t say when the resignation would take effect.

    Even though Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 14, Ghannouchi — who served for 11 years as his prime minister — had promised to stay on to guide the country until elections expected no later than mid-July.

    For the entire article: http://yhoo.it/f8WFpq

  11. Guardian.co.uk, Feb. 27, 2011:

    Gabrielle Giffords’s astronaut husband prepares for space mission

    By Ed Vulliamy

    “As you may expect,” wrote the congresswoman’s mother, “Little Miss Over-Achiever is healing very fast.” Gloria Giffords’s humour oozed tough affection for a very tough daughter: Gabrielle Giffords, representative for the eighth congressional district of the desert state of Arizona….

    Congresswoman Giffords progresses in the care of her doctors, to their quiet astonishment. “There is no one like her,” said Dr Imoigele Aisiku, director of neurocritical care at the TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston, announcing last week’s advances.

    But in a little over a month, the dramatis personae in the vigil around the survivor’s bed will change. For as January came to a close, the congresswoman’s husband, Mark Kelly, had a choice to make: either to stay at his wife’s bedside every evening – or to leave not only her ward but the planet, and head off into space. His twin brother, Scott, meanwhile – also an astronaut – is due back in a fortnight.

    Kelly will be leaving to command the Endeavour space shuttle on mission STS-134, his goal to fit an alpha magnetic spectrometer to the international space station, designed to search for varieties of unusual matter by measuring cosmic rays. The aim is to study no less than the origins of the universe, and find evidence of dark matter and anti-matter. It is the penultimate expedition in the shuttle’s history, and Endeavour’s last….

    http://bit.ly/hC03JI

  12. Clinton: US ready to aid to Libyan opposition

    2/27/11 BRADLEY KLAPPER – AP

    WASHINGTON – The Obama administration stands ready to offer “any type of assistance” to Libyans seeking to oust Moammar Gadhafi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday, adding a warning to other African nations not to let mercenaries go to the aid of the longtime dictator.

    Clinton made no mention of any U.S. military assistance in her remarks to reporters before flying to Geneva for talks with diplomats from Russia, the European Union and other powers eager to present a united anti-Gadhafi front.

    Shortly before she left, two senators urged the administration to help arm a provisional government in Libya, where Gadhafi is in the midst of the desperate and increasingly violent bid to retain power.

    Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, also called for the United States and its allies to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent the military from again firing on civilian protesters from the air.

    The White House had no immediate comment on their recommendations.

    Clinton spoke to reporters one day after President Barack Obama branded Gadhafi an illegitimate ruler who must leave power immediately. “We want him to leave and we want him to end his regime and call off the mercenaries and those troops that remain loyal to him,” she said. “How he manages that is obviously up to him and to his family.”

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

  13. Pelosi Statement on Short-Term Continuing Resolution

    February 26, 2011 democraticleader.gov

    Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after Republican leaders unveiled their proposed short-term Continuing Resolution:

    “Democrats and Republicans must work together to avoid a government shutdown. Americans should not be denied the critical services they have already paid for.

    “In order to reduce the deficit, Congress passed and the President signed into law $41 billion in cuts included in the current CR that is funding the government. Republicans want to cut an additional $4 billion, which includes stripping support for some pressing educational challenges without redirecting these critical resources to meet the educational needs of our children. This is not a good place to start.

    “Any cuts proposed by Democrats or Republicans must be measured by whether they create or lose jobs and whether they strengthen or weaken the economy and the middle class.

    “As we work together to avoid a government shutdown today, we must also work to build a better future for tomorrow.”

  14. February 27, 2011
    Statement by the President on Bahrain

    I welcome the announcement by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa about making important changes to the cabinet and restating his commitment to reform. The United States supports the national dialogue initiative led by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, and encourages a process that is meaningful, inclusive, non sectarian, and responsive to the people of Bahrain. The dialogue offers an opportunity for meaningful reform and for all Bahrainis to forge a more just future together. As a long standing partner of Bahrain, the United States continues to believe that Bahrain’s stability will be enhanced by respecting the universal rights of the people of Bahrain and reforms that meet the aspirations of all Bahrainis.

    • February 27, 2011

      Statement by National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor on Iran

      The United States strongly condemns the Iranian government’s organized intimidation campaign and arrests of political figures, human rights defenders, political activists, student leaders, journalists and bloggers. The Iranian government also continues to deny its citizens access to information by jamming satellite transmissions and blocking internet sites.

      The United States and the world will continue to bear witness to the Iranian government’s blatant violation of the universal rights of its citizens and its ongoing hypocrisy. The Iranian government should allow active dialogue among its citizens, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly without fear. Iranians deserve the same justice and rights that their government extols the virtue of abroad.

  15. I was flipping through my channels and I ran across the old movie called “falling down” with Michael Douglas. Some portions remind me so much of what is happening today.

  16. BTW, CR thanks for all of your informative posts today and this great thread. I don’t watch the Sunday pundit shows, but the information on here is golden.

  17. Hawaii board OKs plan for giant telescope

    Feb 26, 2011 AP

    HONOLULU – Hawaii has moved a step closer to the construction of the world’s largest telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea.

    The state Board of Land and Natural Resources unanimously approved the plan Friday. A consortium of California and Canadian universities had applied for a permit to build the Thirty Meter Telescope on conservation land.

    The board, however, also granted a request by opponents for a case hearing on the telescope.

    Some Native Hawaiians say the construction would defile Mauna Kea’s summit, which they consider sacred. Environmentalists also oppose the telescope, claiming that it would harm the rare wekiu bug.

    The telescope would be able to observe planets that orbit stars other than the sun and enable astronomers to watch new planets and stars being formed.

  18. Tonight: DC School Kids Are Guest Chefs As President & First Lady Host Governors’ Dinner

    February 27, 2011 obamafoodorama.blogspot.com

    There’s another first to add to the long list of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s historic food initiatives. In keeping with Mrs. Obama’s new tradition of inviting guest chefs to help prepare important dinners at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House Chefs are being joined today by some very special guest chefs as they ready the meal for this evening’s glam black tie 2011 Governors’ Dinner, an East Wing spokesman tells ObFo. The President and First Lady will welcome almost fifty of the leaders of America’s states, commonwealths and territories–and their spouses/dinner companions–for tonight’s affair, which will feature a performance by legendary songstress Gladys Knight as well as the Marine Corps Band.

    For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2011/02/dc-school-kids-are-guest-chefs-for.html

    • February 27, 2011

      Remarks by the President and Governor Gregoire of Washington in an Exchange of Toasts at the 2011 Governors’ Dinner
      State Dining Room

      7:14 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, good evening, everybody. Welcome to the White House. I want to start by acknowledging your outstanding chair, Christine Gregoire, for her wonderful work — (applause) — and your vice chair, Dave Heineman, for his wonderful work. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

      I want to welcome some of you back, and I want to welcome those who are here for the first time. I know some of you may be confused and think this is the Oscars. (Laughter.) There are some similarities. First of all, everybody looks spectacular. And the second thing is, if I speak too long the music will start playing. (Laughter.) So I’m going to be very brief.

      I know that the last couple of years have not been easy in a lot of your states. People have been struggling. Folks have lost jobs. Businesses have shuttered. We went through the toughest recession since the Great Depression. And nobody has felt it more than folks back home, and you see it each and every day. You have to respond in ways that go beyond just ideology or rhetoric.

      The thing about governors is you’re in charge and people know where to find you, and they expect you to help them during tough times. And many of you over the last two years have done extraordinary work. Many of you are expected for the next two years, next four years, or however long it may be, to do extraordinary work.

      The main message I want to deliver tonight, in addition to asking you to have some fun this evening, is to know that you’ve got a partner here in the White House. If you look around the room, we come from a lot of different parts of the country and people may have different perspectives, but one thing that we all absolutely share is the belief in the American Dream and the confidence that when our people get opportunities, they’ve got the ingenuity and the stick-to-it-ness and the drive to succeed.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/02/27/remarks-president-and-governor-gregoire-washington-exchange-toasts-2011-

  19. Just read this piece of info. I wonder if this is true?

    Dale Schultz, Senator from Wisconsin’s 17th Senatorial District will not vote for Gov. Walker’s Union busting Koch Bros. abomination. Not sure how many we need to stop this, but I heard a young lady say “we need two more” on the Qik feed.
    Cheers were audible as the announcement was made. The people are still in the statehouse.
    It’s official, we need 2 more. 17th District stretches from SW Wisconsin up to Juneau.
    Schultz must be a decent guy.

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102×4751063

  20. WH

    Monday Feb. 28, 2011

    All Times Eastern

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

    Dr Jill Biden give remarks to the spouses of state National Guard Adjutants General.
    9:45 AM

    Pres Obama and VP Biden receive the presidential daily briefing.
    10:00 AM

    Press Secretary Jay Carney convenes an off-camera gaggle.
    10:40 AM

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr Jill Biden make remarks at the National Governors Association meeting.
    11:00 AM

    Pres Obama and Biden meet with a bipartisan group of governors. President Obama and V.P. Biden speak at the National Governors Association Meeting
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:10 PM
    Pres Obama meets with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

    3:00 PM

    Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM

    • Remarks at the Human Rights Council

      2/28/11 state.gov

      Remarks at the Human Rights Council

      Hillary Rodham Clinton – Secretary of State
      Geneva, Switzerland

      February 28, 2011

      SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. Thank you, Mr. President, and I want to thank the High Commissioner and all my colleagues for their strong words here today, as well as during the special session on Friday.

      Today the world’s eyes are fixed on Libya. We have seen Colonel Qadhafi’s security forces open fire on peaceful protestors again and again. They have used heavy weapons on unarmed civilians. Mercenaries and thugs have been turned loose to attack demonstrators. There are reports of soldiers executed for refusing to turn their guns on their fellow citizens, of indiscriminate killings, arbitrary arrests, and torture.

      Colonel Qadhafi and those around him must be held accountable for these acts, which violate international legal obligations and common decency. Through their actions, they have lost the legitimacy to govern. And the people of Libya have made themselves clear: It is time for Qadhafi to go – now, without further violence or delay.

      The international community is speaking with one voice and our message is unmistakable. These violations of universal rights are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. This Council took an important first step toward accountability on Friday by establishing an independent commission of inquiry.

      On Saturday in New York, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution imposing an arms embargo on Libya, freezing the assets of key human rights violators and other members of the Qadhafi family, and referring the Libyan case to the International Criminal Court.

      For the entire article: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2011/02/157412.htm

  21. The Week Ahead: Fund the government

    2/28/11 By Alicia M. Cohn – TheHill.com

    The House and Senate reconvene after last week’s recess, and at the top of their agenda is keeping the government funded.

    Republican leaders unveiled a short-term spending bill Friday that cuts $4 billion in current spending levels while funding the government through March 18. They call it a good-faith effort to find common ground with Democrats and avoid a shutdown that would begin after March 4 if spending legislation is not approved.

    The bill cuts $1.24 billion by terminating programs President Obama has proposed eliminating in his 2012 budget request. The bill would find the other $2.7 billion in savings by defunding earmarks.

    House Republicans and Senate Democrats have been arguing over how to keep the government running with the GOP wanting a short-term solution that includes spending cuts and Democrats wanting a one that keeps current spending levels.

    But Senate Democrats said Friday they were encouraged by the GOP’s latest plan.

    As lawmakers debate the continuing resolution to fund the government, they’ll also be moving on to the next big money issue – President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal. Several top administration officials are scheduled to testify about various components of $3.7 trillion proposal.

    Monday, Feb. 28

    Obama and Vice President Biden will host a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors at the White House. First lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will also speak at the meeting.

    Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will attend the National Governors Association’s Spouses’ luncheon at the State Department. The event is closed press.

    Obama meets with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the White House to discuss providing humanitarian assistance to Libya’s people.

    The Senate and House convene at 2 p.m.

    The House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee holds a hearing on “Jobs Now: Protecting the Taxpayer & Securing Our Energy Future.” Expected attendees include: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). The hearing takes place at 2 p.m. at 340 Cannon.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finishes up a trip to Geneva, where she met with her counterparts on the situation in Libya. She will also address the United Nations Human Rights Council.

    The National Press Club’s International Correspondents Committee will co-host a panel of journalists speaking on the role of digital media in the Egyptian Uprising. Speakers include Riz Khan of Al Jazeera English. The event will take place beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the National Press Building (529 14th St. NW, 13th floor) in the First Amendment Lounge.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/homenews/news/146349-the-week-ahead-fund-the-government

  22. January consumer spending edges up, incomes surge

    2/27/11 Lucia Mutikani – Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Consumer spending rose less than expected in January as households took advantage of the largest increase in incomes in more than 1-1/2 years to rebuild their savings, government data showed on Monday.

    While the modest increase in spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, likely reflected some weather effects it also suggested spending would slow down after growing briskly in the final three months of 2010.

    The Commerce Department said spending edged up 0.2 percent, the smallest increase in seven straight months of gains, after an upwardly revised 0.5 percent rise in December.

    Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.4 percent rise in January. Real spending fell 0.1 percent, the first decline in a year, after rising 0.3 percent in December.

    For the entire article: http://yhoo.it/hKn1ai

    • February 28, 2011

      Remarks by the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden to the National Governors Association
      State Dining Room

      10:54 A.M. EST

      DR. BIDEN: Good morning, and thanks to all of you for inviting us here today. It was a great time last night, wasn’t it? We had a great day —

      MRS. OBAMA: Whooo! (Laughter and applause.)

      DR. BIDEN: So Michelle and I will be joining your spouses shortly for lunch.

      But we wanted to speak to you today about something that’s very important to all of us: military families.

      Over the past two years, we have had the privilege of traveling around the country and around the world, visiting with service members and their families, and hearing their stories firsthand. Many of the stories are about the pride these families have in serving our country. But there are also challenges.

      We bring the concerns back to the White House, and the President and the Vice President and the Cabinet have responded by committing attention and resources to support our military families.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/02/28/remarks-first-lady-and-dr-jill-biden-national-governors-association

    • February 28, 2011

      Remarks by the President and the Vice President to the National Governors Association
      State Dining Room

      11:16 A.M. EST

      THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. I’m Joe Biden — I’ll Jill Biden’s husband — (laughter) — which is how I’m getting to be known around here. You’re about to — we decided to bring in the second team now to talk to you all. (Laughter.) Folks, welcome back to the White House. And for those of you who — this is your first visit as governor, welcome and congratulations on your elections.

      You know, over the last two years the new governors — the older governors will tell you, or at least the ones who’ve been around for two years, will tell you they probably got tired of hearing from me. I was on the phone with you all so often during the Recovery Act. I know none of you liked the Recovery Act much. (Laughter.)

      But I just want to start off by thanking the governors who’ve been here for the last two years for the way in which you implemented it. I just wanted to give you a little fact. There were over 75,000 individual projects that went on in your states and a total of 250,000 awards, meaning a check had to be cut to 250,000 different entities. And a group of IGs and outside examiners pointed out there’s less than 1/100th of 1 percent of fraud in the entire operation. And that’s because of you. That’s because of all of you. (Applause.) And it’s because of the mayors.

      The new governors, although there’s no Recovery Act, there will a be continued relationship between the federal and state and local government, and we plan on trying to use that as a template as to how to move forward so we save taxpayers money.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/02/28/remarks-president-and-vice-president-national-governors-association

  23. Happy Monday, CR and everybody!

    >^..^<

    Kat's Obama Administration Report, 2/28/11

    Today's report features:

    Community College Summit Livestream: Watch it live this morning at 9 a.m. EST; the summit focus is “Transitioning Adult Learners to Community Colleges and the Workforce.”

    Weekly Address: The President discusses examples he's seen of how America can win the future. He urges Congress to heed these examples in the coming budget debate and not eliminate investments in innovation, education and infrastructure.

    Standing Up for Justice: As part of the Celebrating Black History Month series, Attorney General Holder discusses his work and "the pursuit of justice for all."

    "Winning It" for Colorado Conservation: Interior Secretary Salazar's shout-out to Aron Ralston, who donated his "Minute to Win it" winnings to a Colorado environmental group.

    Energy Backs Oregon Geothermal Project: DOE finalizes Recovery Act loan guarantee; project uses improved technology.

    Veterans: HUD and Veterans Affairs work to help homeless veterans; an overview of African-American military service.

    HUD Help for Victims of Domestic Violence: Fair Housing Act allows investigation whether evictions in domestic violence cases consitute housing discrimination.

    In Performance at the White House: Watch the recent tribute to Motown on PBS, March 1.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/28/950768/-Kats-Obama-Administration-Report,-2-28-11

  24. February 28, 2011

    FACT SHEET: The Affordable Care Act: Supporting Innovation, Empowering States

    On February 28, President Obama reiterated his belief that States should have the power and flexibility to innovate and find the health care solutions that work best for them and announced his support for accelerating State Innovation Waivers and allowing states to apply for them starting in 2014.

    Beginning in 2017, the law allows States the flexibility to receive a State Innovation Waiver so they may pursue their own innovative strategies to ensure their residents have access to high quality, affordable health insurance. These strategies – which must provide affordable insurance coverage to at least as many residents as the Affordable Care Act and must not increase the federal deficit – could include allowing large employers to purchase coverage through State Exchanges or increasing the number of benefit levels to provide more choices for individuals and small businesses.

    Under the bipartisan “Empowering States to Innovate Act” introduced by Senators Ron Wyden, Scott Brown, and Mary Landrieu, State Innovation Waivers would be available three years earlier than under current law, so long as States meet certain criteria, including certifying that their proposals would cover at least as many of their residents as the policies in the Affordable Care Act would have covered.

    The proposal offers States more flexibility while ensuring that all Americans, no matter where they live have access to affordable, accessible health insurance. Additionally, the proposal includes built-in protections to ensure that these waivers do not increase the Federal budget deficit.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/02/28/fact-sheet-affordable-care-act-supporting-innovation-empowering-states

    • Empowering States to Innovate

      February 28, 2011 Posted by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

      As a former Governor, state legislator, and insurance commissioner, I know the ingenuity of state leaders to shape policies that fit the individual characteristics of their people, their industries, and their economies. The Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama almost a year ago, provides states with the flexibility, resources and tools they need to improve the health of their residents, reduce the growth of health care costs, and invest in the prevention strategies that will make our nation healthier and more productive. Many of the ideas contained in the Act were modeled on reforms initiated by states like my home state of Kansas. And you can read a report on the resources and flexibility available to states here.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/02/28/empowering-states-innovate

    • Philip J. Crowley- Assistant Secretary
      Daily Press Briefing Washington, DC

      February 28, 2011

      1:48 p.m. EST

      MR. CROWLEY: Okay, let’s begin. Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. Just a couple of things to mention. First, in the back of the room, we have some guests from the Scripps Howard Foundation Semester in Washington program, bringing talented college journalists to Washington, D.C. for a fast-paced, practical internship in the Nation’s Capital. Welcome to the State Department Briefing Room.

      The Secretary is wheels-up and on her way back to Washington from Geneva. She held, earlier today, a series of bilateral meetings with a wide range of leaders, including EU High Representative Catherine Ashton. She also delivered remarks to the Human Rights Council and to the Conference on Disarmament, and met with the staff and families of Mission Geneva before departing.

      Just kind of a procedural thing for the rest of the week: The Secretary will have testimony for the next three days. She’ll appear tomorrow before the House Foreign Affairs Committee at 10 o’clock in the morning. On Wednesday, she will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at 9:30 and before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Foreign Operations at 2:00 p.m. And on Thursday, she will appear before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs at 3:00 p.m. So at this point, we probably will be gaggling for these three days and not doing televised briefings.

      Ambassador Marc Grossman departs today for travel to London, Jeddah, Kabul, Islamabad, and Brussels making his first trip as the new special representative. He will attend the International Contact Group meeting in Jeddah and meet with key partners and allies to continue ongoing consultations.

      And Assistant Secretary for Europe – European and Eurasian Affairs Phil Gordon leaves today for travel to Bulgaria, Greece, and Slovakia.

      For the entire article: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2011/02/157424.htm#anchor1

  25. February 28, 2011

    OP-ED by Dr. Jill Biden in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Harnessing Community Colleges”

    The following op-ed, penned by Dr. Jill Biden, was published today in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

    Harnessing community colleges
    By Jill Biden

    I have been a teacher for more than 30 years and a community college instructor for the last 18 of them. Every day in my classroom, I see the power of community colleges to change lives and put students on the path to opportunity and success.

    Community colleges are uniquely American institutions, in which anyone who walks through the door is one step closer to realizing the American dream. And they will play a vital role in the nation’s economic recovery.

    President Obama understands the critical role community colleges will play in getting the economy back on track. They are the key to meeting his goal of making America’s workforce the best educated and most competitive in the world by 2020.

    Last October, the president asked me to convene a summit of community college leaders at the White House, where students, faculty, administrators, and business leaders shared their promising practices and models for helping students succeed. Now we are launching four regional community college summits, starting Monday in Philadelphia.

    Like other American cities, Philadelphia is facing a challenging economy and declining public revenues. That makes it even more important to support and revitalize its community colleges, which can help high school graduates and older adults get the education and new skills they need to compete for high-quality jobs.

    Monday’s summit at the Community College of Philadelphia will bring together leaders in education, business, labor, government, and philanthropy from Philadelphia and the rest of the Northeast. It’s designed to support community colleges’ efforts to spur local economic growth through training programs, partnerships, and technology-driven learning. The summit will also deal with strategies for encouraging college completion and helping adult learners make the transition to the workforce.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/02/28/op-ed-dr-jill-biden-philadelphia-inquirer-harnessing-community-colleges

  26. February 28, 2011
    Statement by the President on the Passing of Frank W. Buckles

    Michelle and I were inspired by the service and life story of former Army Corporal Frank W. Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I and the oldest known World War I era veteran in the world, who passed away yesterday at the age of 110. A decorated soldier in the Great War, he also survived more than three years in Japanese prisoner of war camps during the Second World War.

    Frank Buckles lived the American Century. Like so many veterans, he returned home, continued his education, began a career, and along with his late wife Audrey, raised their daughter Susannah. And just as Frank continued to serve America until his passing, as the Honorary Chairman of the World War I Memorial Foundation, our nation has a sacred obligation to always serve our veterans and their families as well as they’ve served us. We join Susannah and all those who knew and loved her father in celebrating a remarkable life that reminds us of the true meaning of patriotism and our obligations to each other as Americans.

  27. Kicking Off the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit: Where Innovations in Energy Technology Are “Winning the Future”

    February 28, 2011 Posted by Dr. Arun Majumdar

    Cross-posted from the Department of Energy blog.

    President Obama has recently been talking about his plan to “Win the Future.” Whether it’s taking steps to reform our education system, rebuilding our infrastructure, or encouraging breakthroughs in technology, the phrase is about marshaling the country’s best and brightest to solve today’s problems. As the President put it, “To win the future, we have to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world, tapping the creativity and imagination of our people.”

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/02/28/kicking-arpa-e-energy-innovation-summit-where-innovations-energy-technology-are-winn

  28. Join Us in Continuing the Conversation on America’s Great Outdoors

    February 28, 2011 Posted by Nancy Sutley

    Last week, President Barack Obama announced the Administration’s action plan, under the America’s Great Outdoors initiative, to achieve lasting conservation of the outdoor spaces that power our nation’s economy, shape our culture, and build our outdoor traditions. This initiative seeks to reinvigorate our approach to conservation and reconnect Americans, especially young people, with the lands and waters that are used for farming and ranching, hunting and fishing, and for families to spend quality time together. Recognizing that many of these places and resources are under intense pressure, the President established the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative last April to work with the American people in developing a conservation and recreation agenda that makes sense for the 21st century.

    This report is the product of 51 listening sessions across the nation—21 specifically with young people—consisting of more than 10,000 participants spanning all ages and backgrounds, plus more than 100,000 comments from citizens across the nation sharing with us your priorities for the lands and waters that you know best. We built this plan with your input and your involvement doesn’t stop there.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/02/28/join-us-continuing-conversation-america-s-great-outdoors

  29. Congress takes up major change in patent law

    2/27/11 JIM ABRAMS, AP

    WASHINGTON – The patent system hasn’t changed much since 1952 when Sony was coming out with its first pocket-size transistor radio, and bar codes and Mr. Potato Head were among the inventions patented. Now, after years of trying, Congress may be about to do something about that.

    The Senate is taking up the Patent Reform Act, which would significantly overhaul a 1952 law and, supporters say, bring the patent system in line with 21st century technology of biogenetics and artificial intelligence. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, hails it as “an important step toward maintaining our global competitive edge.”

    Congress has been trying for well over a decade to rewrite patent law, only to be thwarted by the many interested parties — multinational corporations and small-scale inventors, pharmaceuticals and Silicon Valley companies — pulling in different directions. Prospects for passing a bill now, however, are promising.

    The Senate bill is sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Hatch and another top Republican on the panel, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The committee voted 15-0 in early February to send the legislation to the full Senate.

    The overhaul is long overdue. It now takes the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office about three years to process a patent application. There are about 1.2 million applications pending — 700,000 waiting consideration and another 500,000 somewhere in the process. The patent office says it received about 483,000 applications in 2009 and granted about 192,000 patents.

    For the entire article: http://yhoo.it/e2y9Uw

  30. Jocelyn Frye’s Story: Inspiring Young People To Be All They Can Be

    Posted by Jocelyn Frye on February 28, 2011

    Editor’s note: This post is part of the Celebrating Black History Month series, which highlights the work of African Americans from across the Administration who are contributing to the President’s goals for winning the future.

    As Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy and Special Projects for the First Lady, I help oversee the broad issue portfolio of the First Lady, including her work on childhood obesity, military families, mentoring, and work-family challenges. This role provides a unique vantage point from which to advance the President’s vision, particularly the goal of improving and strengthening the lives of young people. In our Let’s Move! initiative, we focus on educating youth about living healthy lives and making healthy choices. In our military families work, we focus in part on ways to improve the educational opportunities and experiences of military children, and ensure they have the supports they need with one or both parents serving in the military. In our mentoring initiative, we focus on exposing young people to new educational, career, and skills-building opportunities. In all of this work our goal is to inspire young people to be all they can be, to take advantage of every educational opportunity, and to remind them that they are not defined solely by their circumstances but have unlimited potential.

    As a native of Washington, DC, working in the White House today is a special privilege — something I dreamed about doing as a young person but was never quite sure truly would be possible. My greatest influences growing up were my parents, both of whom worked for the federal government like so many in DC, and family members. All believed in a strong work ethic and the power of education. My parents made huge sacrifices to give me a wonderful education, from the National Cathedral School here in Washington, to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Harvard Law School. Along the way I met teachers and professors and colleagues who encouraged and challenged me and helped open my eyes to new opportunities.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/02/28/jocelyn-frye-s-story-inspiring-young-people-be-all-they-can-be

  31. Riding high — on hot air

    February 27, 2011 blog.nj.com

    It came as joyous news to learn from Gov. Chris Christie last week that New Jersey is now a “national model” that other states are rushing to copy.

    Who would have guessed? Wall Street just downgraded the state’s credit rating. Property taxes, already the nation’s highest, are still rising. And cops and teachers are being laid off by the bushel.

    The national economy is sputtering, so you have to cut him slack. But it’s hardly the stuff that is going to inspire Montana to follow his lead.

    Maybe Christie meant that, with him in charge, New Jersey is taking bold strides on reform that no one else would dare take.

    “Democratic governors and Republican governors now look to New Jersey as a beacon of hope for what can happen when leaders lead and a people sacrifice as one for the future of their children,” the governor said.

    For the entire article: http://blog.nj.com/njv_tom_moran/2011/02/riding_high_–_on_hot_air.html

    • Chris Christie exemplifies everything I hate in a person. He is a bully and I detest bullies. I don’t hate him as a human, because my parents taught me not to hate anyone, but I hate his ways. I could swear that I saw him shaking his head when PBO was speaking about teachers and not denograting public exmplyees.

  32. Reuters: Fidel Castro Expected to Resign As Party Leader

    2/28/11 Eli Rosenberg – AtlanticWire.com

    WASHINGTON, DC – Cuba may not be experiencing the same type of revolution that has shaken many countries in the Middle East recently, but that doesn’t mean it’s not undergoing some fundamental shifts in its decades-old political system. Reuters reports from Holguin, Cuba that Fidel Castro is expected to resign as party chief of country’s Communist party–the only legal political party in Cuba–in April. If he does, he will step down from his last official leadership position, though he does remain a symbolic and influential presence on the island.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/atlantic/20110228/cm_atlantic/reutersfidelcastroexpectedtoresignaspartyleader7170

    • One can hope that this will actually mean something on the island. Fingers crossed.

  33. Aaron Williams’ Story: The Power of Unity and Teamwork

    Posted by Aaron S. Williams on February 28, 2011

    Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy challenged Americans to serve people in need around the world. The eager response to Peace Corps ignited one of the signature service movements of our times. Since 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have volunteered through the Peace Corps to fight poverty, disease, illiteracy and a host of other challenges in 139 countries around the world. Although times have changed, the Peace Corps remains true to its mission or promoting world peace and friendship through 3 goals: 1. Helping the people of interested countries meet their needs for trained men and women; 2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of people served; 3. Helping promote a better understanding of other people on the part of Americans.

    Every day, I am asked what it is like to volunteer. Like most returned Peace Corps volunteer I know, we serve as recruiters to the next generation of volunteers through our actions, anecdotes and cross-cultural understanding. For me, when I was coming out of college a few years ago, I was motivated by the legacy of public service as promoted by President Kennedy and Sargent Shriver. I was eager to try something new. The Peace Corps was the beginning of everything. It was the door to the rest of my life. I grew up on the south side of Chicago, and I was the first person in my family to finish college. My family expected me to do something practical with my degree, to start my teaching career. But I found myself drawn to the kind of public service that I had heard President Kennedy speak about.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/02/28/aaron-williams-story-power-unity-and-teamwork

  34. Did you all see this? I am so proud that PBO is my very smart President. 🙂

    By ANDY BARR | 2/28/11 6:34 PM EST
    Republicans just can’t say enough about Barack Obama’s political skills.

    After Haley Barbour anointed the president “one of the greatest politicians in the history of the United States,” Rick Perry and Bob McDonnell praised Obama’s communication abilities in a roundtable with reporters on Monday organized by the RGA.

    Continue Reading

    “He’s a good communicator,” said McDonnell when asked about the meeting the governors in town for the NGA had with Obama earlier in the day.

    “The dialogue was very pleasant,” the Virginia governor added. “It was a unique and I think very good opportunity for the CEOs of the 50 states to look the commander-in-chief in the eye.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/50370.html#ixzz1FJ4JYpkR

  35. Troops Re-Positioned to Provide Options on Libya

    2/28/11 By Jim Garamone – American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2011 – The United States military “is in the planning and preparing mode” on Libya, and will be able to provide the full range of options for national leaders, Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan said here today.

    The U.S. military is moving naval and air forces to the region, he said.

    President Barack Obama asked the military to prepare these options as the situation in Libya gets worse. News reports indicate while Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi is attacking rebels in and around the capital of Tripoli, anti-regime forces hold the east.

    In a Feb. 26 call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama said: “When a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now,” according to the White House.

    The Defense Department has not been directly tasked for any mission, Lapan said.

    “We have planners working various contingency plans,” he said. “It’s safe to say as a part of that, we’re re-positioning forces to provide for that flexibility. We are re-positioning forces in the region to provide options and flexibility.”

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also urged Gadhafi to stop killing his own people and leave. She also said the United States government has been reaching out to Libyan rebels.

    “We’ve been reaching out to many different Libyans who are attempting to organize in the east and as the revolution moves westward, there as well,” Clinton said at Andrews Air Force Base yesterday. “I think it’s way too soon to tell how this is going to play out, but we’re going to be ready and prepared to offer any kind of assistance that anyone wishes to have from the United States.”

    Lapan ruled nothing out. “Again, it goes back to having a full range of options available,” he said. “So those forces could be used in any number of ways. Re-positioning them provides that flexibility so they can be used if needed.”

    • If we get involved, it wouldn’t be the first time another country sent its military to take out a dictator, although I’m hoping somebody inside Libya can go after him. I’m sure he won’t leave of his own accord. I’d like to see him on trial for crimes against humanity, if they can capture him (which appears unlikely).

  36. Microsoft Corp. Helps Veterans’ Job Search

    2/28/11 By Terri Moon Cronk – American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2011 – Communities, nonprofit organizations and companies are reaching out to support unemployed American veterans in their search for work, and one of the companies joining in the effort is information technology giant, Microsoft Corp.

    It was last Veterans Day when Microsoft kicked off its grant campaign, “Elevate America Veterans Initiative,” by awarding $2 million in cash and up to $6 million in software and information technology training to six nonprofit agencies that support veterans in varying fashions. And now, these six nonprofits are beginning to open their classroom doors after looking at the needs to better help their local veterans.

    Selected from a pool of 100 applicants, each of the six has something different to offer its veterans, across different regions of the country.

    The six awardees are:

    — Able-Disabled Advocacy Inc., San Diego – San Diego VetWORKS;

    — Bellevue College, Bellevue, Wash., – Project SUCCEED;

    — Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont Inc., Charlotte, N.C., – Elevate America’s Veterans Initiative;

    — Gulf Coast Workforce Board, Panama City, Fla., – Mission: 21st Century;

    — Per Scholas, New York City and Miami, – Microsoft Veterans Employment Project; and,

    — Veterans Inc., Worcester, Mass., – Veterans Inc. Employment and Training Program.

    For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=62964

  37. A video of the first part of Rachel’s show is definitly worth posting. She continued to slam the republicans about jobs and what they are trying to accomplish in Wisconsin.

  38. WH

    Tuesday Mar. 1, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:45 AM

    Pres Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
    11:00 AM
    11:15 AM

    Pres Obama meets with senior advisers.
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM

    Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:30 PM

    Pres Obama and VP Biden meet with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
    5:00 PM

    • POTUS podium

      Mar 1, 2011

      WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

      12:30 PM
      Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press
      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com/

      9:00 AM EST
      Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before the House Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on the 2012 budget request for the Justice Department

      9:30 AM EST
      Secretary of State Clinton testifies on foreign policy priorities before the House Foreign Affairs Committee

      9:30 AM EST
      Navy Special Operations Commander Adm. Eric Olson and Marine Corps Central Commander Gen. James Mattis will testify the Senate Armed Services Committee on the 2012 Defense Authorization Request

      10:00 AM EST
      Senate Committee Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
      Monetary Policy Report Ben Bernanke; Tim Johnson

      10:00 AM EST
      Internal Revenue Services Commissioner Douglas Shulman testifies before the House Appropriations Committee

      10:00 AM EST
      Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testifies before the House Appropriations Committee’s Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on the budget of the Agriculture Department

      10:00 AM EST
      Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on mortgage finance reform

      10:00 AM EST
      Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testifies before the Senate Budget Committee on the president’s proposed 2012 budget for Education

      10:00 AM EST
      Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testifies before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the president’s proposed Federal Highway Administration budget for 2012

      12:00 PM EST
      U.S. House: Temporary Extension of Federal Government Funding

      12:30 PM
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

      2:00 PM EST
      Secretary of State Clinton testifies before the House Appropriations Committee’s State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee on the budget for the State Department.

      2:00 PM EST
      Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan testifies on oversight of the HUD department before the full House Financial Services Committee

      2:30 PM EST
      Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will also testify on the Transportation Department budget before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee

      2:30 PM EST
      Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen brief reporters at the Pentagon. The two are expected to discuss the situation in Libya and other issues.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:00 AM EST
      Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before the House Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on the 2012 budget request for the Justice Department

      9:30 AM EST Secretary of State Clinton testifies on foreign policy priorities before the House Foreign Affairs Committee http://www.cspan.org/Events/Clinton-Discusses-Foreign-Policy-Priorities-with-Congress/10737419883/

      9:30 AM EST
      Navy Special Operations Commander Adm. Eric Olson and Marine Corps Central Commander Gen. James Mattis will testify the Senate Armed Services Committee on the 2012 Defense Authorization Request

      10:00 AM EST
      Senate Committee Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
      Monetary Policy Report Ben Bernanke; Tim Johnson http://www.cspan.org/Events/Bernanke-Unveils-State-of-the-Economy-Report/10737419880/

      10:00 AM EST
      Internal Revenue Services Commissioner Douglas Shulman testifies before the House Appropriations Committee

      10:00 AM EST
      Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testifies before the House Appropriations Committee’s Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on the budget of the Agriculture Department

      10:00 AM EST
      Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on mortgage finance reform http://www.cspan.org/Events/Congress-White-House-Question-the-Future-of-Fannie-Mae-and-Freddie-Mac/10737419893/

      10:00 AM EST
      Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testifies before the Senate Budget Committee on the president’s proposed 2012 budget for Education

      10:00 AM EST
      Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testifies before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the president’s proposed Federal Highway Administration budget for 2012

      12:00 PM EST
      U.S. House: Temporary Extension of Federal Government Funding http://www.cspan.org/Events/Congress-Tackles-Feds-Spending-Deadline/10737419881/

      12:30 PM
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

      2:00 PM EST
      Secretary of State Clinton testifies before the House Appropriations Committee’s State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee on the budget for the State Department.

      2:00 PM EST
      Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan testifies on oversight of the HUD department before the full House Financial Services Committee

      2:30 PM EST
      Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will also testify on the Transportation Department budget before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee

      2:30 PM EST
      Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen brief reporters at the Pentagon. The two are expected to discuss the situation in Libya and other issues.
      ——-

      US Department of Defense

      2:30 PM EST
      Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen brief reporters at the Pentagon. The two are expected to discuss the situation in Libya and other issues. http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/

      ——-

      Middle East Protest

      Al Jazeera – English http://english.aljazeera.net/

      Middle East and North Africa unrest- BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12307698

    • Looks as though the President will have some time to think tomorrow! And we all know the great stuff he comes up with in his brilliant mind!

  39. Retail sales seen up in February

    3/1/11 Phil Wahba – Reuters

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – February sales numbers that top U.S. chains report later this week will be the first sign of shoppers’ ability and willingness to pay more for clothing and household items now that gas prices are rising.

    More than two dozen U.S. store chains, from high end department stores Nordstrom Inc and Saks Inc to discounters Target Corp and Costco Wholesale Corp will report February sales on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Wall Street analysts expect that same-store sales, at outlets open at least year, rose 3.8 percent last month, according to Thomson Reuters’ Same-Store Sales Index.

    Stores should get a boost from the severe winter storms that plagued much of the country in late January, postponing some shoppers’ purchases into February.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110301/bs_nm/us_usa_retail

  40. Plastic foam cups returning to Capitol cafeteria

    In the first move toward phasing out part of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s “Green the Capitol” program, plastic foam cups have been reintroduced as an option for coffee drinkers in the Capitol’s minicafeteria.

    3/1/11 By Felicia Sonmez- The Washington Post

    WASHINGTON — When the House returns Monday from a weeklong recess, members and staffers will see something that hasn’t been in the Capitol for four years: polystyrene.

    In the first move toward phasing out part of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s “Green the Capitol” program, plastic foam cups have been reintroduced as an option for coffee drinkers in the Capitol Carry-Out, the building’s minicafeteria.

    The basement eatery had been part of the California Democrat’s “Greening” program since 2007, when Democrats took control of the House. The program brought climate-friendly vending machines and compact fluorescent light bulbs to the Capitol; caused the Capitol Power Plant to switch from burning coal to natural gas; and reduced energy and water consumption in Capitol buildings by 23 percent and 32 percent, respectively, according to an April 2010 report.

    But it was the $475,000 composting program in the House-side cafeterias that stirred the most controversy. Designed to cut down on waste, it instituted the use of biodegradable utensils and trays made of cornstarch — an idea that may have worked better in theory than in practice, as it led to take-away boxes that leaked, spoons that melted and forks that broke when stuck into so much as a chicken tender.

    Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., chairman of the Committee on House Administration, announced last month that the composting program would be suspended indefinitely, contending “it is neither cost-effective nor energy-efficient.”

    • That article shows the stark differences between a Democratic VS GOP majority US House of Representatives.

      I just sent that article to The Sierra Club and to Rachel Maddow

    • GOP WRONG WAY

      House rejects effort to ban Styrofoam containers in House cafeterias

      06/08/12 11:30 AM ET By Pete Kasperowicz – TheHill

      The House rejected a Democratic proposal on Friday that would have prevented the House from spending appropriated money on Styrofoam food and beverage containers in its cafeterias.

      Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) offered this proposal as an amendment to the 2013 Legislative Branch appropriations bill, but Republican opposition led to its defeat in a 178-229 vote. Only 10 Republicans joined Democrats in supporting it.

      Moran’s amendment is the latest of several Democratic attempts to bring cardboard or other more environmentally friendly containers back to House dining areas. Several times last year, House Democrats complained that Republican control of the House also brought back Styrofoam containers, a point Moran reiterated during Friday morning’s debate.

      “We should be using recyclable and biodegradable products and avoiding polystyrene foam packaging,” Moran said. “The House of Representatives is the only place within the Capitol complex to revert back to Styrofoam products.”

      Moran also repeated the Democratic charge that Styrofoam — Dow Chemical’s trademarked name for polystyrene — is unhealthy for consumers.

      “Toxic chemicals leak out of these Styrofoam containers into the food and drinks they contain, and thus endanger human health and reproductive system,” he said.

      But Republicans rejected all of these charges, and argued against the idea that polystyrene is more environmentally sound, since alternative packaging costs more and is more resource-intensive to produce.

      For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/231743-house-rejects-effort-to-ban-styrofoam-containers-in-house-cafeterias

  41. Happy Tuesday CR and everybody!

    >^..^<

    Kat's Obama Administration Report, 3/1/11

    Today's report features:

    POTUS & VPOTUS Address Governors: The President and Vice President speak to the Nation's governors about their plans to work with the states to help advance the President's goal of winning the future.

    FLOTUS & SLOTUS Address Governors: First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden welcome the Nation's governors to the White House and talk about their campaign to support America's military families.

    A Toast to the Governors: President Obama toasts the nation's governors, saying that they have a partner in the White House as they deal with difficult economic times. Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire offers a toast to the President.

    Health Care Update: Secretary Sebelius discusses the President's proposal to allow states greater flexibility in implementing health care plans.

    White House Press Briefing: Mr. Carney is joined by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice.

    America's Great Outdoors Live Chat: Submit video questions on the initiative for Thursday's live chat.

    Energy Update: The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy encourages the most advanced clean energy innovations.

    Winning the Future Forum on Small Business: Behind the scenes at the Cleveland forum.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/03/01/951165/-Kats-Obama-Administration-Report,-3-1-11

  42. DHS Celebrates 8th Anniversary

    3/1/11 dhs.gov

    Today marks the 8th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security. As I said in my “State of America’s Homeland Security” address in January, our nation is more secure than it was two years ago, and more secure than when DHS was founded. Nonetheless, our work never stops.

    I am joining my predecessors, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, today at a public commemoration of the Department’s 8th anniversary. We’ll speak to the history and progress of the last eight years, and to the dedication and service of the more than 230,000 men and women of DHS. A live video stream of the event will be available here.

    Since it was formed in 2003, DHS has achieved remarkable progress across our key missions: preventing terrorism; securing our borders; enforcing our immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring resilience to disasters.

    But we know that we have more work to do to counter the evolving threats we face. We must remind ourselves that our mission – a secure homeland – requires our constant vigilance, hard work, and determination to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other threats.

    For the entire article: http://blog.dhs.gov/2011/03/dhs-celebrates-8th-anniversary.html

  43. GM U.S. sales up 46 percent as incentives catch

    3/1/11 Kevin Krolick – Reuters

    DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co said on Tuesday that its U.S. sales for February rose 46 percent from a year earlier, as sales incentives including cheap lease deals and discounts for existing GM owners drove drew shoppers.

    The sales increase was higher than analysts had projected. Excluding the now-scrapped Hummer, Pontiac, Saturn and Saab brands, GM’s sales were up 49 percent.

  44. February manufacturing strongest since May 2004: ISM

    3/1/11 Leah Schnurr – Reuters

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. manufacturing sector grew at its fastest rate since May 2004 in February, while prices paid also rose, according to an industry report released on Tuesday.

    The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity rose to 61.4 in February from 60.8 in January, topping forecasts for 61.0. It was the highest level since May 2004.

    A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector, while a number above 50 means expansion.

    The prices paid component rose to 82 from 81.5 the month before. Economists had expected a reading of 83.0

  45. Retail sales seen up in February

    3/1/11 Phil Wahba -Reuters

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – February sales numbers that top chains report later this week will be the first sign of shoppers’ ability and willingness to pay more for clothing and household items now that gas prices are rising.

    More than two dozen store chains, from high end department stores Nordstrom Inc and Saks Inc to discounters Target Corp and Costco Wholesale Corp will report February sales on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Wall Street analysts expect that same-store sales, at outlets open at least year, rose 3.8 percent last month, according to Thomson Reuters’ Same-Store Sales Index.

    Stores should get a boost from the severe winter storms that plagued much of the country in late January, postponing some shoppers’ purchases into February.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110301/bs_nm/us_usa_retail

  46. March 01, 2011

    White House Releases First Comprehensive Federal Report on the Status of American Women in Almost 50 Years

    Report Released on First Day of Women’s History Month

    WASHINGTON – Today, the White House released a new report entitled Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being, a statistical portrait showing how women are faring in the United States today and how their lives have changed over time. This is the first comprehensive federal report on women since 1963, when the Commission on the Status of Women, established by President Kennedy and chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, produced a report on the conditions of women. View Women in America HERE.

    Women in America focuses on five critical areas: people, families and income; education; employment; health; and crime and violence. The Administration will be honoring Women’s History Month throughout March, and will highlight a different section of the report every week.

    “The Obama Administration has been focused on addressing the challenges faced by women and girls from day one because we know that the success of women and girls is vital to winning the future,” said Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls Valerie Jarrett. “Today’s report not only serves as a look back on American women’s lives, but serves as a guidepost to help us move forward.”

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/03/01/white-house-releases-first-comprehensive-federal-report-status-american-

  47. February 28, 2011

    Readout of President Obama’s Call with Canadian Prime Minister Harper

    The President spoke with Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada today and underscored their common purpose in responding to the situation in Libya. They agreed on the need to deter additional acts of violence by the Qadhafi regime, protect those who might be the targets of such violence, establish accountability for human rights violations, and provide humanitarian assistance to those in need. The President expressed appreciation for Canada’s joining the United States in imposing tough unilateral sanctions against the Libyan government. The leaders agreed to coordinate closely in expanding the humanitarian effort in cooperation with the United Nations and other partners, and in consideration of other options should they become necessary. The Leaders also expressed a commitment to work together to help Egypt and Tunisia achieve successful, peaceful democratic transitions, and to work with other countries in the region to achieve meaningful reform.

  48. February 28, 2011

    NOMINATION SENT TO THE SENATE:

    Carl Shapiro, of California, to be a Member of the Council of Economic Advisers, vice Cecilia Elena Rouse.

  49. Providing Healthcare for Children and Adults with Pre-Existing Conditions

    Posted by Mara Vanderslice on March 1, 2011

    Cancer, traumatic brain injury and congestive heart failure are among the medical conditions that private insurance companies have cited as pre-existing conditions to deny millions of Americans healthcare coverage. Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), those who were classified as having a pre-existing condition were simply shut out of the healthcare market. With the passage of health reform, the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) was created, making health coverage available if you are uninsured and have been denied health insurance by private insurance companies because of a pre-existing condition.

    Last week, we hosted a nation-wide conference call to discuss PCIP and provide faith and community leaders with valuable information and resources about the program to share with their communities and congregations.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/03/01/providing-healthcare-children-and-adults-pre-existing-conditions

  50. Shift in Middle East Requires U.S. Engagement

    3/1/11 By Karen Parrish – American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, March 1, 2011 – The United States must remain engaged in the broader Middle East, where recent events have altered the strategic landscape, a senior military commander told the Senate Armed Services Committee today.

    Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, testified before the committee today on conditions within Centcom’s area of responsibility, which encompasses not only Afghanistan and Pakistan but 18 other nations including Bahrain, Egypt, Iran and Yemen.

    Popular uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and elsewhere, Mattis said, demonstrate “the aspirations of people seeking improved economic and social conditions.”

    “While the long-term impact of this unrest is unknown, it presents as many opportunities as it does challenges,” the general said. “The changes that we are seeing will manifest differently in each country. People are seeking their rights, and for the most part doing so peacefully and bravely.”

    Sustained military-to-military engagement is essential to the United States building common cause with its friends in the region, Mattis said.

    “It is important that we work today with the people and the governments throughout the region,” he said. “We don’t want to see this change slide into a new form of authoritarianism.”

    For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=62975

    • Middle East Revolutions Undermine al-Qaida, Iran

      3/1/11 By Jim Garamone- American Forces Press Service

      WASHINGTON, March 1, 2011 – Al-Qaida and Iran are the biggest losers in the wave of reform sweeping North Africa and the Middle East, top Defense Department leaders said here today.

      Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a Pentagon press briefing that they are optimistic about the changes taking place in the region.

      “I think, first of all, the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and the protests elsewhere that are leading to reforms for a number of governments are an extraordinary set back for al-Qaida,” the secretary said. “It, basically, gives the lie to al-Qaida’s claim that the only way to get rid of authoritarian governments is through extremist violence.”

      The people of the region are proving this is not the case, he said.

      Gates went on to say he believes the wave of reform is a set-back for Iran. “The contrast of the behaviors of the militaries in Tunisia and Egypt and, except for a brief flurry of violence, in Bahrain, contrast vividly with the savage repression that the Iranians have taken against anyone who dares to demonstrate in their country,” he said.

      It will take months or years before the full consequences of the revolutions are known, Gates said.

      Still, a “process of change has begun,” he said. “And the prospect for that change, particularly if it is carried out without violence, as has been the case in several of these countries, and gives rise to democratic governments, I think it is a gain, first of all, for the peoples of the region, but ultimately a gain for everybody.”

      For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=62982

  51. Highlights: Bernanke’s testimony to Senate Banking Committee

    3/1/11 Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The following are highlights from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday on the central bank’s semi-annual report on U.S. monetary policy.

    FROM QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION:

    BERNANKE ON DEBASING THE DOLLAR:

    “The Federal Reserve is not debasing the currency. The dollar’s value is roughly the same as it was before the crisis in foreign exchange markets. Inflation is low, that’s the buying value of the dollar. So I think those concerns are somewhat overstated, in fact way overstated.”

    BERNANKE ON THE GOLD STANDARD:

    “It did deliver price stability over very long periods of time but over shorter periods of time it caused wide swings in prices related to changes in demand or supply of gold. So, I don’t think it’s a panacea, and there also are other practical problems like the fact that we don’t have enough gold to support our money supply…. I don’t think that a full-fledged gold standard would be practical at this point.”

    BERNANKE ON THE DANGERS OF A DEBT DEFAULT BY FAILING TO RAISE LIMIT:

    “It would be extremely dangerous and very likely a recovery-ending event.

    “First, it would almost certainly create a new financial crisis as firms that rely on receiving their interest and principal do not receive it and they’re unable to make payments. So that probably would cascade through the financial markets.

    “Then, there would be a massive loss of confidence in U.S. Treasury securities, which are the deepest most liquid market in the world. Interest rates would spike and that would in turn affect many other assets as well as Treasuries. So the near-term effect would almost be a very sharp resumption of the kind of instabilities we saw in 2008…Broadly speaking it would be I think a very, very bad outcome for the U.S. economy.”

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110301/bs_nm/us_usa_fed_bernanke_highlights

  52. Fannie, Freddie wind-up to take 5-7 years: Geithner

    3/1/11 AFP

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday it could take seven years to wind down government-backed mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, warning a rushed job could cause untold damage.

    “It will probably take… five to seven years” to wind down the two firms, which with two other smaller agencies currently insure or guarantee 90 percent of all new home loans.

    However, Geithner stressed, the companies, which required giant rescues as the US housing finance industry unraveled in 2008-2009, should not be shut down too quickly.

    “Closing the doors at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac without consideration for the pace of economic recovery could shock an already-fragile housing market,” he said in testimony to the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

    “It is ultimately in the best interest of the economy and the country to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a responsible and prudent manner.”

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110301/pl_afp/usgovernmentfinancehousingcongress_20110301183729

    • Key House Republican praises Obama housing plan

      3/1/11 ALAN FRAM, AP

      WASHINGTON – The Obama administration’s plan to gradually dissolve ailing housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and to shrink the government’s role in the mortgage market drew praise from House Republicans on Tuesday. The GOP chairman of the House Financial Services Committee called the proposal a good starting point for bipartisan negotiations over a housing overhaul.

      The positive reaction came as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the committee that the Obama administration wants Congress to approve legislation within two years that would slowly dismantle Fannie and Freddie. Failing to do so would worry the financial markets by leaving serious problems unresolved, he said.

      “Our hope is Congress will work with us to find a consensus for a long-term solution,” Geithner told the lawmakers.

      The hearing was held three weeks after the Obama administration released a report calling for a stark reduction of the federal role in housing. The nation’s housing market has been battered in recent years by low home prices and vast numbers of foreclosures, and politicians from both parties want to find a way to have private lenders — not the government — bear more of the burden.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110301/ap_on_re_us/us_geithner_housing

  53. Vilsack endorses Obama’s budget proposal

    3/1/11 UPI.com

    WASHINGTON, March 1 (UPI) — U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday endorsed President Barack Obama’s budget proposal that would cut farm program payments.

    Vilsack told members of the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on agriculture that a $2.5 billion reduction in farm program payments over 10 years would affect “only … 2 percent of participants.”

    “The savings would come in addition to savings we have achieved through administrative improvements that reduced the error rate in farm program payments from 2 percent to under 0.1 percent,” he said. In addition, the department has worked with the IRS “to eliminate improper payments to wealthy individuals who exceed income eligibility criteria.”

    For the entire article: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2011/03/01/Vilsack-endorses-Obamas-budget-proposal/UPI-21391299012230/

  54. At conference, education, labor secretaries warn about declining college graduation rate

    3/1/11 By Alfred Lubrano – Inquirer Staff Writer

    Saying other countries are out-educating the United States, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan warned Monday that jobs will leave the country unless graduation rates for community and four-year colleges increase.

    Some form of higher education must be the goal for every person in the education pipeline, Duncan said at a town-hall meeting of community-college educators from around the nation at Community College of Philadelphia. Some local student business professionals were also on hand.

    Duncan said that in a generation, the United States had fallen from first to ninth in the percentage of college graduates. The country’s college-completion rate is 40 percent, and “we need to wake up,” he said.

    At the meeting, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis echoed Duncan’s remarks, saying that other countries paid more attention to funding educational systems.

    For the entire article: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20110301_At_conference__education__labor_secretaries_warn_about_declining_college_graduation_rate.html

  55. LaHood Says Transportation Bill Will Create Jobs

    3/1/11 By Anna Yee -centralillinoisnewscenter.com

    U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood says road work is one of the country’s biggest creator of jobs.

    LaHood says Congress is likely to pass a new six-year transportation bill that will double as a jobs bill.

    “America in the past has done big things,” said LaHood. “We’ve built an interstate system. We’ve built the strongest freight rail system in the world…that’s what the transportation bill should reflect–being able to do big things in the next six years.”

    Secretary LaHood says the U.S. transportation budget is much larger than it has been in the past.

    If Congress passes the plan, it will ring in at 550 billion dollars for the next six years.

  56. Lynn: Continuing Budget Resolution Puts Security at Risk

    3/1/11 By Lisa Daniel – American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, March 1, 2011 – The Defense Department is losing billions of dollars by Congress’ failure to pass the department’s fiscal 2011 budget, putting readiness, modernization and efficiency initiatives at risk, the deputy defense secretary said today.

    The department has gone five months into the fiscal year under a continuing budget resolution that holds appropriations at their previous levels, William J. Lynn III told members of a Senate appropriations subcommittee.

    “In a time of war, with soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines on the front lines, this is no time to do a continuing resolution,” Lynn said. He quoted Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in saying that failure to pass the current year’s budget is “a crisis at our doorstep” that “will damage national security.”

    To continue to work under the continuing budget resolution would result in “the worst of all possible reductions” to the defense budget that would “hollow out” the military during wartime, Gates said at a congressional hearing in January.

    The department requested $549 billion for the fiscal 2011 budget, Lynn said, and requiring it to support operations under a continuing resolution until Sept. 30, when the budget year ends, will cause it to lose about $23 billion.

    “It’s detrimental to readiness, to modernization, and to efficient business practices,” he said.

    For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=62978

  57. Opening Remarks Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee

    3/1/11 state.gov

    Hillary Rodham Clinton- Secretary of State
    Washington, DC

    March 1, 2011

    Thank you very much, Madame Chairman, and congratulations on your assuming this post. And I want to thank you publicly for traveling to Haiti with our team on behalf of the efforts that the United States is pursuing there. And I also want to thank the Ranking Member for his leadership and support over these last years.

    Late last night, I came back from round-the-clock meetings in Geneva to discuss the unfolding events in Libya. And I’d like to begin by offering a quick update.

    We have joined the Libyan people in demanding that Qaddafi must go – now, without further violence or delay – and we are working to translate the world’s outrage into action and results.

    Marathon diplomacy at the United Nations and with our allies has yielded quick, aggressive steps to pressure and isolate Libya’s leaders. USAID is focused on Libya’s food and medical supplies and is dispatching two expert humanitarian teams to help those fleeing the violence and who are moving into Tunisia and Egypt, which is posing tremendous burdens on those two countries. Our combatant commands are positioning assets to prepare to support these critical civilian humanitarian missions. And we are taking no options off the table so long as the Libyan Government continues to turn its guns on its own people.

    For the entire article: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2011/03/157483.htm

    • I saw a video where Hillary shot down Rep. Dan Burton today. It was grrreat.

  58. Chemicals Used in “Spice” and “K2” Type Products Now Under Federal Control and Regulation
    DEA Will Study Whether To Permanently Control Five Substances

    3/1/11 justice.gov

    MAR 01 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today exercised its emergency scheduling authority to control five chemicals (JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol) used to make so-called “fake pot” products. Except as authorized by law, this action makes possessing and selling these chemicals or the products that contain them illegal in the United States. This emergency action was necessary to prevent an imminent threat to public health and safety. The temporary scheduling action will remain in effect for at least one year while the DEA and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) further study whether these chemicals should be permanently controlled.

    For the entire article: http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/pressrel/pr030111.html

  59. Facebook will soon share users’ phone numbers and addresses with 3rd parties

    3/1/11 By Brett Michael Dykes – news.yahoo.com

    It’s been a while since we’ve had an uproar over Facebook’s handling of its users personal information, so we suppose the time is ripe.

    So cue the online outrage: Facebook announced today in a letter to Congress that the social-media platform is moving forward with plans to give third parties access to user information, such as phone numbers and home addresses.

    In a letter to Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Tex.), who both expressed concerns over Facebook’s plan to make such data available, company officials reiterated their now-familiar pledge to leave it up to users to decide whether they want their personal contact information to go out to app developers and outside websites. Markey has previously said that “Facebook needs to protect the personal information of its users to ensure that Facebook doesn’t become Phonebook.”

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

    • Thanks for this – I just put myself in the witness protection program on Facebook (ha ha!). Of course, I’m kidding myself. If anybody wants to find us, they can.

  60. Hello CR and O friends.

    I was just reading the article up thread about the House bringing back plastic utensils and suspending funds for maintenance of the biodegradeable program. I can see PBO on the campaign trail citing his ditch story. You are right about the stark difference in repugs and Dems. PBO warned all of us to put the car in “D” if we wanted to go forward and “R” if you wanted to go backward. We are experiencing that right now. We have been in reverse since January and this is just the beginning. God help us.

    • Hi COS.

      We will have to live with the GOP House majority until 2012. Hopefully voters will vote for a majority Democratic House and keep a Democratic Senate in 2012.

      • COS and CR – That is the hope of all of us. Well, except those dumb enough to have put the Republicans in control of the House. Whoever said democracy isn’t pretty was speaking of just these times! But, as mentioned, we have another chance in 2012. God help us.

  61. Happy Women’s History Month!

    I’m going to watch the Motown White House performance now, which is dutifully recording as I type this! Saw bits of it the other night, but will try to just sit and take it all in tonight!

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