SFC Leroy Arthur Petry, Medal of Honor Recipient

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President in the name of Congress on members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.

Members of all branches of the armed forces are eligible to receive the medal, and there are three versions; one for the Army, one for the Air Force, and one for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The Medal of Honor is bestowed upon an individual by the passing of a Joint Resolution in the Congress; and is then personally presented to the recipient or, in the case of posthumous awards, to next of kin, by the President of the United States, on behalf of the Congress, representing and recognizing the gratitude of the American people as a whole.

The Army, Navy/Marine Corps/Coast Guard, and Air Force medals

On 26 May 2008, Staff Sergeant Petry and his unit were on a mission in Paktia Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to D Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, which was on a daylight raid to capture a high-value target from the Taliban. Petry was to locate himself with the platoon headquarters in the target building once it was secured. Once there, he was to serve as the senior noncommissioned officer at the site for the remainder of the operation. The operation involved about 70 Rangers, who encountered about 40 Taliban, 12 of them armed. Almost immediately after getting out of the helicopters that delivered the unit to the attack site, the Rangers came under strong fire. Petry provided additional supervision to an assaulting squad during the clearance of a building, and afterward he took Private First Class Lucas Robinson to clear the outer courtyard that had not yet been cleared.

Three Taliban fighters were in the courtyard, which had a chicken coop within it. The Taliban fired on Petry and Robinson; Petry was wounded by one round which went through both his legs, and Robinson was wounded, being hit on the armor plate protecting his side. Petry led Robinson to the cover of the chicken coop and reported the contact and their wounded condition. Petry threw a thermobaric grenade from cover. There at the chicken coop, they were joined by Sergeant Daniel Higgins, who assessed the wounds of the two soldiers.

A Taliban fighter threw a grenade at their position which landed 10 meters from them; it detonated, and the blast knocked the three soldiers to the ground, wounding Higgins, and further wounding Robinson. Shortly thereafter the three were joined by Staff Sergeant James Roberts and Specialist Christopher Gathercole. Another grenade was thrown by a Taliban fighter which landed a few feet from Higgins and Robinson. Petry, knowing the risk to his life, moved toward the grenade, picked it up, and attempted to throw it in the direction of the Taliban Petry later recalled his immediate reaction was “get it out of here, get it away from the guys and myself. And I reached over, leaned over to the right, grabbed it with my hand, and I threw it as hard as I could, what I thought was at the time. And as soon as I opened my hand to let it go, it just exploded instantly. And I came back, and the hand was completely severed off.” The detonation amputated his right hand, and sprayed his body with shrapnel. In throwing the grenade away, Petry likely saved the two other soldiers from serious injury or death.

Petry placed a tourniquet on his right arm. Roberts began to fire at the Taliban fighters, suppressing them in the courtyard. An additional fighter on the east end of the courtyard fired, fatally wounding Gathercole. Higgins and Robinson returned fire, killing that fighter. They were then joined by Sergeant First Class Jerod Staidle, the platoon sergeant, and Specialist Gary Depriest, a medic. Directing the medic to treat Gathercole, Petry was assisted by Staide and Higgins to the casualty collection point.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leroy_Arthur_Petry


July 12, 2011
President Barack Obama presents  Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry
the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry

White House


118 thoughts on “SFC Leroy Arthur Petry, Medal of Honor Recipient

  1. WH

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    The President arrives at the White House
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    The President and the Vice President meet with Congressional Leadership
    Cabinet Room
    Pool Spray at the Top

    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. The Medal of Honor

    The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President in the name of Congress on members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.” Due to the nature of its criteria, it is often awarded posthumously (more than half have been since 1941).

    Members of all branches of the armed forces are eligible to receive the medal, and there are three versions (one for the Army, one for the Air Force, and one for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard). The Medal of Honor is bestowed upon an individual by the passing of a Joint Resolution in the Congress; and is then personally presented to the recipient or, in the case of posthumous awards, to next of kin, by the President of the United States, on behalf of the Congress, representing and recognizing the gratitude of the American people as a whole. Due to its honored status, the medal is afforded special protection under U.S. law.

    For the entire article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medal_of_honor

    • Medal of Honor

      The President, in the name of Congress, has awarded more than 3,400 Medals of Honor to our nation’s bravest Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration’s creation in 1861. For years, the citations highlighting these acts of bravery and heroism resided in dusty archives and only sporadically were printed. In 1973, the U.S. Senate ordered the citations be compiled and printed as a Committee on Veterans’ Affairs report. This book was later updated and a reprint published in 1979. 

      The citations provided here are taken from the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Report, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1978 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1979). 

      For awards made after 1978, the citations are taken either from the CRS Report for Congress: Medal of Honor Recipients: 1979-2008 dated 4 June 2008, or in some cases, from the citations officially released and published at the time of award by the White House. 

      For the entire article: http://www.history.army.mil/moh.html

    • Wounded Soldier to Receive Medal of Honor

      June 1, 2011 Army News Service

      WASHINGTON– An Army Ranger who lost his right hand and suffered shrapnel wounds after throwing an armed grenade away from his fellow soldiers will be the second living Medal of Honor recipient from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      On July 12, President Barack Obama will present the nation’s highest award for battlefield gallantry to Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry for his actions during May 26, 2008, combat operations against an armed enemy in Afghanistan’s Paktia province.

      Petry now serves as part of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Fort Benning, Ga.

      “It’s very humbling to know that the guys thought that much of me and my actions that day to nominate me for that,” said Petry, on learning he had been nominated for the medal.

      At the time of his actions in Afghanistan, Petry was assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. His actions came as part of a rare daylight raid to capture a high-value target.

      For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=64137

      • Army Ranger Medal of Honor

        From: DODvClips | Jul 8, 2011

        Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, a wounded Army Ranger, will become the second living Medal of Honor recipient next week.

    • Welcoming Home Our Veterans

      Published on Jul 23, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom
      Learn more: http://OFA.BO/ooJZtN

      Since day one, President Obama has made it a priority to keep the sacred trust we hold with those who wear the uniform of the United States and their families.

      In advance of the President’s remarks at the VFW Convention in Reno, Obama for America released this video that discusses the President’s commitment to keeping our nation’s sacred promise to our veterans. This video highlights a St. Louis parade organized to welcome our servicemembers home from Iraq.

      Learn how President Obama continues to better serve those who have served this nation and how you can get involved with Veterans and Military Familes for Obama: http://OFA.BO/ooJZtN

    • McRaven gives ‘fantastic’ Obama credit for bin Laden raid

      By JOSH GERSTEIN | 7/26/12 1:06 AM EDT POLITICO

      ASPEN, Colo.—Republicans trying to play down President Barack Obama’s decision to launch the raid that led to the death of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden are not getting much help from the military brass who oversaw the operation.

      During a rare public interview on Wednesday, Adm. Bill McRaven, head of the U.S. Special Operations command, portrayed as bold and brave Obama’s decision to order the raid despite significant doubts about whether bin Laden was at the Abbottabad, Pakistan compound.

      “At the end of the day, make no mistake about it, it was the president of the United States that shouldered the burden of this operation, that made the hard decision,” McRaven said during an on-stage interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that served as the kickoff session of the Aspen Security Forum.

      Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has suggested that the decision to launch the raid was a no-brainer. “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order,” Romney said in April.

      McRaven refused to respond Wednesday when asked whether he agreed with Romney that any president would have made the same decision Obama did. However, at a couple of junctures, the Special Operations commander offered effusive praise for Obama.

      “The president of the United States is fantastic,” the admiral said. “I’m not a political guy. I’ve worked in both [administrations,] very much enjoyed working with President Bush and I very much enjoy working for President Obama. This isn’t about politics. This is about a Commander in Chief who I have the opportunity to engage with on a routine basis.”

      McRaven also had high praise for Obama’s national security team, including those in place at the time of the raid, such as then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisers Denis McDonough and John Brennan.

      “I’m not a political guy, but I’ll tell you as an interested observer of this, they were magnfiicent how they handled the start-to-finish,” McRaven said. “The president asked all the right questions…The president gave me ample time to prepare once the conversations were through.”

      McRaven, like all military officers, serves at the pleasure of the president. A few weeks before the bin Laden raid, Obama nominated McRaven to take over the Special Operations command and be elevated to four-star admiral. McRaven, who was deeply involved in planning and executing the May 2011 raid, was confirmed by the Senate to his current post the following month.

      • Sharp Decline in Terror Attacks After Bin Laden Death

        8/1/12 By Dana Hughes | ABC OTUS News – 14 hrs ago

        The number of worldwide terror attacks fell to 10,283 last year, down from 11,641 in 2010 and the lowest since 2005, the State Department reported today.

        What’s made the difference? The State Department cites the May 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden and other top al Qaeda members killed last year including Atiyah Abd al-Rahman and Anwar al-Awlaki, who was the head of Yemen’s Al Qaeda affiliate and had ties to the underwear bomber plot in 2010.

        “The loss of bin Laden and these other key operatives puts the network on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse,” the report stated.

        But Ambassador Dan Benjamin, the State Department’s coordinator for counter-terrorism, warned that for all the good news about the core of al Qaeda being weakened, affiliates of the group, particularly in Yemen and in Africa, continue to pose a real risk.

        Nigeria was one of the few countries which actually saw an increase in terror attacks last year because of Boko Haram, and Kenya and Somalia continue to experience attacks by a weakened Al Shabab. Benjamin also noted that the Arab spring and other countries in transition could leave important allies like Egypt and Iraq vulnerable to terror groups.

        “Inspiring as the moment may be, we are not blind to the attendant perils. Terrorists could still cause significant disruptions for states undergoing very challenging democratic transitions. Affiliates of the group, and violent extremist ideology and rhetoric continue to spread in some parts of the world,” said Benjamin.

        For more: http://news.yahoo.com/sharp-decline-terror-attacks-bin-laden-death-213958117–abc-news-politics.html

    • Karl Marlantes on What It’s Like to Go to War

      July 27, 2012 billmoyers

      Summary: Bill talks to Karl Marlantes — a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran, Rhodes Scholar, author, and PTSD survivor — about what we on the insulated outside need to understand about the minds and hearts of our modern warriors. Marlantes shares with Bill intimate stories about how his battlefield experiences both shaped and nearly destroyed him, even after returning to civilian life.

      “’Thou shalt not kill’ is a tenet you just do not violate, and so all your young life, that’s drilled into your head. And then suddenly, you’re 18 or 19 and they’re saying, ‘Go get ‘em and kill for your country.’ And then you come back and it’s like, ‘Well, thou shalt not kill’ again. Believe me, that’s a difficult thing to deal with,” Marlantes tells Bill. “You take a young man and put him in the role of God, where he is asked to take a life — that’s something no 19-year-old is able to handle.”

      For the audio interview: http://billmoyers.com/segment/karl-marlantes-on-what-its-like-to-go-to-war/

  3. July 09, 2011

    Statement from White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer on Budget Negotiations

    “The President believes that solving our fiscal problems is an economic imperative. But in order to do that, we cannot ask the middle-class and seniors to bear all the burden of higher costs and budget cuts. We need a balanced approach that asks the very wealthiest and special interests to pay their fair share as well, and we believe the American people agree.

    “Both parties have made real progress thus far, and to back off now will not only fail to solve our fiscal challenge, it will confirm the cynicism people have about politics in Washington. The President believes that now is the moment to rise above that cynicism and show the American people that we can still do big things. And so tomorrow, he will make the case to congressional leaders that we must reject the politics of least resistance and take on this critical challenge.”

    • Full weekend
First Camp David, then debt talks

      7/08/11 POLITICO44

      Following a little R&R at Camp David on Saturday, President Obama on Sunday is scheduled to meet with the Congressional leadership at the White House for further talks on balancing the budget.

      The list of expected attendees of Sundays Cabinet Room meeting, as provided in a White House release Friday:

      Vice President Joe Biden

      Speaker John Boehner

      Senator Harry Reid, Majority Leader

      Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican Leader 

      Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader

      Representative Eric Cantor, Majority Leader
Senator Dick Durbin, Majority Whip
Senator Jon Kyl, Republican Whip
Representative Steny Hoyer, Democratic Whip

  4. Sunday talk show tip sheet

    7/8/11 By ZACK HALE – POLITICO


    Treasury Secretry Timothy Geithner makes a pair of appearances on this Sunday’s television talk shows – on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and on CBS’s “Face the Nation” – to press the Obama administration’s case for raising the nation’s debt limit as negotiations on a long-term spending plan enter a critical phase….

    And on CBS, the other guests will be Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democratic member of the Budget Committee…

    On CNN, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, square off on “State of the Union.” And former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum stops by to discuss his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, as well as James Garvin, the chief scientist at NASA’s Space Flight Center, to discuss the future of space travel…

    And, finally, on TV One, former Secretary of State retired Gen. Colin Powell sits down on “Washington Watch” to discuss politics and foreign policy.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/58606.html#ixzz1ReUgiN6r

  5. Geithner: No more time for Congress on debt ceiling

    July 10, 2011 POLITICO44

    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Congress needs to get a deal done before Aug. 2, brushing back on conservatives who say that the deadline is artificial.

    “Like every other president and every other secretary of the Treasury, have looked at all options I can say to you with total confidence we have no other option to buy more time for Congress,” Geithner said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And they don’t need more time. They know what it takes to get this done and I’m very confident bob, they’re going to do what’s necessary.”

    • Geithner: Obama’s debt deal very difficult to reach

      Published on Jul 10, 2011 by CBSNewsOnline

      Bob Schieffer spoke with Treasure Secretary Timothy Geithner on the necessary steps to be made in order for the White House and congress to reach an agreement over a budget plan and ultimately raising the debt ceiling.

  6. Lagarde issues stark warning on US debt default

    7/10/11 By Paul J. Richards | AFP – 1 hr 12 mins ago

    New IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned on Sunday that a US debt default would jeopardize global economic stability and urged warring American politicians to forge a compromise budget deal.

    A default “would certainly jeopardize the stability, but not just the stability of the US economy, it would jeopardize the stability at large,” the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund told ABC News.

    “And that’s clearly against the purpose and the mission of the International Monetary Fund. So we are — we are concerned.”

    Without an agreement, she said she could see “interest hikes, stock markets taking a huge hit and real nasty consequences, not just for the United States, but for the entire global economy, because the US is such a big player and matters so much for other countries.”

    Lagarde told ABC’s “This Week” that she did not expect Washington to end up in default, despite tense negotiations between the White House and Republican leaders on measures to increase the US debt ceiling.

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/3Kkqk

  7. I know that things are really serious and depressing now. I don’t like it that people/news organizations are beating up on Obama because the situation is bad; of course things are bad because of what is happening here and also in the rest of the world. POTUS told us over and over that it probably would get bad and that things would take time. Because it sells the news organizations push the slow momentum and because people are used to instant gratification and it is not all fixed by now everyone is screaming.

    This is the rough time right now and people are hurting. What can we do? We who can should be charitable and donate our time and money to essential things like food banks to help others. We can make a difference!

  8. Daley: Aid to Pakistan paused

    7/10/11 POLITICO

    White House chief of staff Bill Daley said Sunday the United States is holding back $800 million in U.S. aid to the Pakistani military.

    Appearing ABC’s “This Week,” the top adviser to President Barack Obama said the relationship needs to be improved, and until then money will stop flowing to the Pakistani armed forces.

    “Our relationship with Pakistan is very complicated,” Daley said. “Obviously, they have been an important ally in the war on terrorism. They’ve been the victim of an enormous amount of terrorism. But right now, they have taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid which we were giving to their military and we’re trying to work through that.”

    Aid to Pakistan has been a politically perilous issue since Osama bin Laden was found in the country. And members of Congress have, on several occasions, indicated that aid should be cut.

  9. FIFA Womens World Cup 2011

    USA beat Brazil on penalties to reach semi-finals

    7/10/11 By Ryland James | AFP – 1 hr 2 mins ago

    Two-time winners the USA beat Brazil 5-3 on penalties in dramatic fashion to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s World Cup on Sunday after the tie had been locked 2-2 in extra time.

    US defender Alex Krieger hit the winning penalty after her goalkeeper Hope Solo had earlier saved from Brazil’s Daiane to give her side the advantage in the shoot-out.

    On the final whistle, American striker Abby Wambach had kept her side in the quarter-final with a dramatic header in the 122nd minute to level the scores after Brazil play-maker Marta had scored in the 92nd minute.

    “This is the perfect example of what the United States is all about,” said Wambach.

    “We never give up. This is incredile, I am so happy. The path is now marked for us and we want to win this tournament.”

    The game went into extra-time with the scores 1-1 as an own-goal by Brazil defender Daiane after just two minutes was cancelled out by Marta’s penalty on 68 minutes which she converted at the second attempt.

    The US had been reduced to 10 players when defender Rachel Buehler was sent off just moments before.

    The USA will now face France in Moenchengladbach in Wednesday’s semi-final for a place in next Sunday’s final in Frankfurt while Brazil go home.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/usa-beat-brazil-penalties-reach-semi-finals-182239617.html


      Uploaded by sk8ter950 on Jul 10, 2011

      7-10-11. USA women soccer vs Brazil. The greatest game ever.

  10. Latest developments in Arab world’s unrest

    7/10/11 By The Associated Press | AP – 35 mins ago

    Syria’s vice president calls for a transition to democracy in a country ruled for four decades by an authoritarian family dynasty, crediting mass protests with forcing the regime to consider reforms while also warning against further demonstrations. Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa was speaking at a national dialogue. Key opposition figures driving the four-month-old uprising boycott the meeting, refusing to talk until a deadly crackdown on protesters ends.

    Army troops firing in the air clash with stone-throwing protesters in the strategic city of Suez after crowds block a key highway to push for faster reform efforts, including probes of alleged abuses during the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. Suez has been hit by days of unrest over calls for swifter action against Mubarak-era officials. In Cairo, protesters block access to the Egyptian capital’s largest government building and threaten to expand sit-ins to other sites.

    Moammar Gadhafi’s regime is seeking to show it remains in control of parts of the country’s western mountains and will defend the territory against further rebel advances there. Journalists based in Gadhafi’s stronghold of Tripoli are taken to the mountain gateway town of al-Gharyan and the nearby town of al-Assabaa, where they are shown armed civilians and government troops who vow to defend their land.

    Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh must “expeditiously” sign a deal that would have him transfer power to his vice president and step down, the White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan tells Saleh in a meeting at a hospital where the Yemeni leader is being treated for serious injuries. It’s the strongest and most public sign yet of U.S. pressure on Saleh, whose rule is being challenged by a five-month-old popular uprising.

  11. GOP unwilling to compromise

    July 9, 2011 San Jose Mercury News Readers’ letters

    Although David Brooks (Opinion, July 6) is not a politician, his position as a rational conservative columnist gives him gravitas to call out the GOP “leadership” on the debt ceiling issue and the deficit.

    He affirms what many voters believe: The Republican Party is infected by uncompromising ideologues and is apparently unfit to govern.

    This is further supported by the declaration of Sen. Mitch McConnell and others who have made it their mission to oppose any and all presidential and Democratic legislation to turn around the economy. Bottom line: The Democrats were willing to compromise but the Republicans prefer their “all-or-nothing” agenda over governance. David Brooks nailed it.

    Liz Moore – San Jose, CA

  12. GOP strategy is a job killer

    July 10, 2011 San Jose Mercury News Readers’ letters

    Republicans have so far successfully fought off any proposed tax increases on millionaires and any plugs of tax loopholes for corporations. They assure us their concern is that any tax increases would be “job-killers.”
    Of course, they point out that the only other way to cut the deficit is to cut government spending. The new jobs report came out Friday, and we learned that government cuts have reduced the job market by 37,000 jobs last month. Unfortunately, Republicans haven’t yet been able to recognize that relationship. Anybody think they might be able to clue them in?

    Private industry jobs were only increased by 18,000, despite the Bush-era tax cut extensions. End result: Unemployment increased to 9.2 percent. The Republican plan is working flawlessly. By November 2012 they will probably have passed legislation that allows only people with jobs to vote.

    Bob Stine -San Mateo, CA

  13. GOP Still Not Realistic on Debt Reduction Talks

    7/10/11 By William Browning | Yahoo! Contributor Network – 2 hrs 54 mins ago

    COMMENTARY | Despite Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, claiming Republicans have backed down in debt talks, they still don’t have a grip on reality. Instead of going for $4 trillion in deficit reductions over the next 10 years, Boehner and the Republicans are aiming for a proposal about half that. Boehner claims the White House won’t go for larger reductions without raising taxes.

    “I believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure, based on the cuts identified in the Biden-led negotiations, that still meets our call for spending reforms and cuts greater than the amount of any debt limit increase,” Boehner said in a released statement.

    Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., reiterated the need for no tax increases. He sided with Boehner when it came to the present negotiations.

    “It does not make sense for Americans to suffer under higher taxes in an economy like this. As the Speaker said, there is no way that the House of Representatives will support a tax increase,” Cantor said, according to his website.

    Despite the assertions the GOP is caving in to the White House’s demands, their statements are still way off base. It doesn’t make sense to focus on who to blame for the current situation, but Republicans need a reality check. Boehner’s further comments need to be examined.

    “Washington’s spending problem has continuously created uncertainty among private-sector job creators. Instead of cutting spending and getting our fiscal house in order, the Democrats who run Washington want to increase taxes to pay for their out-of-control spending,” Boehner said in a released statement.

    There are two problems with Boehner’s and Cantor’s words. Cantor claims taxpayers don’t need to suffer. Well, Americans have been suffering for 10 years of two wars to pay for, a housing bubble that burst and huge bailouts started by the George W. Bush plan during his eight years in office.

    The other thing to take exception with is that Boehner doesn’t seem to remember it was the “job creators” who helped produce this fiscal emergency in the United States. American home lenders went overboard and got drunk on making money quickly on a housing market when they allowed less-than-worthy citizens own homes on bad credit.

    High gas prices at the same time didn’t help consumer prices and Americans had a choice–pay for the gas to get to work or pay for a mortgage. In the end, they tried to just get to work but then ended up losing their jobs anyway. Big oil companies are still reaping the benefits of high gasoline prices.

    The housing market and the jobs in America were dependent upon construction and property prices. The entire economy hasn’t been the same since.

    Boehner and Cantor are complaining to Democrats who run Washington. But it was Obama’s predecessor, with Boehner as the leader of the GOP in the House, who ran the economy into the ground. The very same industry that creates jobs didn’t care about Americans and just wanted to make a quick buck. It’s time for them to pay. Job creators such as large banks and huge oil companies don’t need to make any more money. They owe Americans who are suffering because of them.

    Health care costs are also skyrocketing and high medical bills continue to plague Americans. Perhaps taxing health care, cigarette makers and alcohol distillers will help fill the U.S. Treasury in order to ease the pain of the United States.

    It only makes sense.

    William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics. Born in St. Louis, Browning is active in local politics and served as a campaign volunteer for President Barack Obama

  14. Mullen Lauds Progress in U.S.-China Partnership

    July 10, 2011 By Donna Miles – American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON– The top U.S. military officer called upcoming military engagements between the United States and China an encouraging sign that the two countries are beginning to build a relationship that advances both their interests and their ability to confront common challenges.

    The United States seeks “a sustained and reliable military-to-military relationship with China,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, emphasized during a speech today at Beijing’s Renmin University.

    Such a relationship will build more “strategic trust” between the two countries and promote greater transparency about their operations, the chairman said in his prepared remarks. This, he said, reduces the risk of “miscalculation and miscommunication” particularly in times of crisis, he said.

    “What we have learned, over time, is that one of the best ways to credibly change the problem of judging intentions in through deep, broad and continuous military-to-military engagement,” the chairman told the audience. “This dialogue will also expand cooperation where our interests converge and provide at least some context in those areas where we have differences.”
    Mullen lauded President Barack Obama’s and Chinese President Hu Jintao’s decision during a 2009 presidential summit in Beijing to advance and sustain military-to-military relationships.

    China abruptly cut off military exchanges after the United States announced arms sales to Taiwan in January 2010. However, Mullen said today he is seeing “encouraging signs of progress” that the presidential initiative is getting back on track.

    Mullen cited former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ visit to China in January, and People’s Liberation Army Chief of the General Staff Chen Bingde’s visit to the United States in May as “very productive” steps in the right direction.

    For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=64608

  15. Panetta Arrives in Baghdad for Talks with Leaders

    July 10, 2011 By Jim Garamone – American Forces Press Service

    BAGHDAD – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta arrived here today for meetings with senior Iraqi and American officials.

    It is his first trip to the country since becoming defense secretary nine days ago, and he has a range of issues he will bring up, he said during a short news conference with reporters during his first stop in Afghanistan.

    “There is concern with security there and what is being done to stop the Iranian weapons from coming into Iraq” he said. In June, the United States lost 15 troops, the highest number in two years.
    The secretary will also raise governance questions, he said.

    “We’re now more than a year since the elections and we still don’t have a minister of defense or a minister of the interior,” Panetta said. While the security services are functioning, it is the U.S. opinion that the absence of leadership in those two ministries is not helpful in the current security environment, he said.

    Panetta will also point out that the United States is withdrawing all forces from Iraq by the end of the year. If the Iraqis want some sort of American follow-on force, they have to make a formal request.
    Panetta will be meeting President Jalal Talibani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He will also meet with Kurdish President Massoud Barzani.

    The topics will include reaffirming the U.S. commitment to withdraw all forces by the end of the year as part of the U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement signed in 2008. He will also reaffirm that the United States is serious about a long-term relationship with Iraq over a wide swath of issues, including economic, cultural, educational and security, said a senior defense official speaking on background.

    For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=64605

  16. Debt talks to resume Monday after testy 75-minute session


    President Barack Obama called congressional leaders back to the White House for another round of budget talks Monday, telling them during a testy meeting Sunday that they will gather daily until a deal is reached, Democratic and Republican officials said.

    In a bid to take his case to voters, the president also will hold a press conference Monday morning, the White House announced at the conclusion of the meeting.

    During a 75-minute session Sunday at the White House, Obama told the congressional leaders that America is not a “banana republic,” so he won’t agree to several months-long debt increases that raise fears of a default, according to two Democratic officials familiar with the meeting.

    The president argued several times that negotiators should work toward a $4 trillion package for reducing the deficit rather than the smaller one favored by Republicans, calling on them to stand up to their base to get it done. He said both parties would suffer politically, but they need to do something substantial, said a third Democratic official familiar with the meeting.

    “If not now, when?” the president said to the group, according to the official.

    For the entire article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/58643.html

  17. WH

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    The President and the Vice President meet with Congressional Leadership.

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    The President holds a news conference on the status of efforts to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction
    Brady Press Briefing Room
    Open Press

    12:00 PM
    The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    The President and the Vice President meet with Congressional Leadership
    Cabinet Room
    Pool Spray at the Top

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • POTUS podium

      July 11, 2011

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

      8:15 AM EDT
      Hispanic Policy Conference Opening Plenary Session
      The White House

      9:00 AM EDT
      Hispanic Policy Conference Breakout Session
      The White House

      11:00 AM EDT
      President Obama Speaks on the Status of Efforts to Find a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction
      The White House

      2:15 PM EDT
      Hispanic Policy Conference Breakout Session
      The White House

      4:30 PM EDT
      Hispanic Policy Conference Closing Plenary Session
      The White House


      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      11:00 AM EDT
      President Obama Speaks on the Status of Efforts to Find a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction

      12:00 PM EDT
      House back in session
      House lawmakers return from their weekend break to discuss and debate the issues of the day, including the debt ceiling.

      12:30 PM EDT
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Syria.

      2:00 PM EDT
      Senate resumes debt ceiling debate
      Senators return from their weekend to discuss and debate whether to raise the debt ceiling.

      3:30 PM EDT
      State of Social Security hearing
      Two House committees hold a hearing on the role of administrative law judges in the Social Security process.

      3:35 PM EDT
      Clinton-EU briefing
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton brief reporters in Washington.


      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      10:00 AM EDT
      National Press Club | Newsmaker
      Representative Barney Frank on Financial Reform
      Barney Frank http://www.cspan.org/Events/Rep-Barney-Frank-on-Financial-Regulations-Law/10737422782/

      11:00 AM EDT
      President Obama Speaks on the Status of Efforts to Find a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction http://www.cspan.org/Events/President-to-Hold-Press-Conference-Before-Next-Round-of-Debt-Reduction-Talks/10737422780/

      12:00 PM EDT
      House back in session
      House lawmakers return from their weekend break to discuss and debate the issues of the day, including the debt ceiling.

      12:30 PM EDT
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Syria.

      1:00 PM EDT
      U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Jobs for America Summit http://www.cspan.org/Events/Chamber-of-Commerce-Hold-Jobs-Summit/10737422781/

      2:00 PM EDT
      Senate resumes debt ceiling debate
      Senators return from their weekend to discuss and debate whether to raise the debt ceiling.

      3:30 PM EDT
      State of Social Security hearing
      Two House committees hold a hearing on the role of administrative law judges in the Social Security process.

      3:35 PM EDT
      Clinton-EU briefing
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton brief reporters in Washington.

      Middle East Protest

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

  18. First-Ever White House Hispanic Policy Conference: Why Hispanics are Critical to Winning the Future

    Posted by Stephanie Valencia and Juan Sepulveda on July 14,

    The success of our nation and the success of the Hispanic community are one and the same and our ability to win the future—to out innovate, out educate and out build our competitors—will depend greatly on the success of the Hispanic community.

    It’s undeniable. At more than 54 million strong, the most recent census numbers show that the Hispanic community is no longer found in a handful of states, but in every state across the country. As the largest and fastest growing minority group in the U.S. it is critical to the future of our nation—our economy, our education system—that the Hispanic community thrives.

    Over the last two days the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics partnered to host the first ever White House Hispanic Policy Conference. 160 Hispanic leaders from 25 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico joined over 100 Administration officials to discuss the President’s agenda and its impact on the Hispanic community and more importantly, to strategize together on how we best move forward together to improve outcomes and access for the Hispanic community.

    The purposes of the policy conference were three-fold:

    * Relationship Building—Connecting national leaders to key Administration decision makers.
    * Obama Administration 101—Ensuring folks gained a deeper understanding of the multifaceted ways this Administration’s agenda connects to the Hispanic community.
    * Working Together—Allowing participants to connect with each other and Administration officials to address how we improve access and outcomes for our community.

    To make sure both days were valuable to the national Hispanic leaders present, we organized the conference differently than the formats used in the past.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/14/first-ever-white-house-hispanic-policy-conference-why-hispanics-are-critical-winning

    • Hispanic Policy Conference – Opening Session

      From: whitehouse | Jul 11, 2011

      Administration officials meet with community leaders and other stakeholders during the Hispanic Policy Conference at the White House. July 11, 2011.

    • Hispanic Policy Conference Breakout Session Part 1

      From: whitehouse | Jul 11, 2011

      Administration officials meet with community leaders and other stakeholders during the Hispanic Policy Conference at the White House. July 11, 2011.

    • Hispanic Policy Conference Breakout Session Part 2

      From: whitehouse | Jul 11, 2011

      Administration officials meet with community leaders and other stakeholders during the Hispanic Policy Conference at the White House.

    • Hispanic Policy Conference Breakout Session Part 3

      From: whitehouse | Jul 11, 2011

      Administration officials meet with community leaders and other stakeholders during the Hispanic Policy Conference at the White House.

    • Hispanic Policy Conference Breakout Session Part 4

      From: whitehouse | Jul 11, 2011

      Administration officials meet with community leaders and other stakeholders during the Hispanic Policy Conference at the White House. July 11, 2011.

  19. “The Jobs Crisis — Moving to Action: A Dialogue Between Workers and Policymakers.”

    The AFL-CIO will also host a jobs forum Monday, July 11: “The Jobs Crisis — Moving to Action: A Dialogue Between Workers and Policymakers.” Participants include Center for American Progress’ Heather Boushey, Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

    • Jobs Crisis Forum: The Time for Excuses Is Over. Create Jobs Now

      Jul 11, 2011 by James Parks, blog.aflcio.org

      Shonda Sheen of Yellow Springs, Ohio, was laid off in December 2009 and is about to run out of unemployment benefits. Because of state budget cuts, she also could soon lose the health care nurse who helps care for her mother who has dementia. At the last job she applied for, she was told 450 others had also applied for the same position.

      Sheen and Bob Stein, a 60-year-old former salesman who has been out of work since May 2010, are two of the 14 million Americans who are unemployed—and their story is not being told in the midst of the debate over the deficit. Sheen and Stein, who are both members of Working America, spoke to a forum on “The Jobs Crisis—Moving to Action: A Dialogue Between Workers and Policymakers” at the AFL-CIO this morning.

      As Sheen said:

      All I want is a decent job. I want to work. I love to work. I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going to happen to my mother. I have a home to pay off.

      The forum, moderated by Bob Herbert, distinguished fellow at Dēmos and an award-winning journalist, drew a sharp contrast between the policies that got our country in this economic crisis and are currently being advocated to get it out, and what is needed in order to spark a real economic recovery.

      For the entire article: http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/07/11/jobs-crisis-forum-the-time-for-excuses-is-over-create-jobs-now/

  20. Next Up…

    10:00 AM EDT
    White House Spotlights ‘Let’s Move in Indian Country’ With South Lawn Lacrosse with Danny Glading,Matt Danowski, Brett Bucktooth, and Jenny Collinswill, Lacrosse Stick Maker Alf Jaques, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy Oren Lyons and Iroquois Confederacy Tadodaho Sid Hill.



      First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed American Indian leaders and children to the White House in June for a special Kitchen Garden planting and harvest in honor of the launch of Let’s Move in Indian Country (LMIC), the newest sub-initiative for her childhood obesity campaign. On Monday, July 11, LMIC gets another White House nod. Balls will be flying and sticks will be twirling on the South Lawn when American Indian and DC kids join tribal lacrosse experts and professional lacrosse stars for games and drills.

      At Monday’s 10:00 AM event, lacrosse stars Danny Glading,Matt Danowski, Brett Bucktooth, and Jenny Collinswill teach the kids both the modern and traditional forms of the game, joined by renowned Haudenosaunee traditional Lacrosse Stick Maker Alf Jaques, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy Oren Lyons and Iroquois Confederacy Tadodaho Sid Hill. Let’s Move in Indian Country is designed to encourage Native American and Alaska Native communities to use “culturally proficient” strategies that incorporate their heritage and traditional practices into healthy eating and fitness initiatives.

      For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2011/07/white-house-spotlights-lets-move-in.html


      Lacrosse Gets Kids Moving On the South Lawn

      July 11, 2011 Posted by LetsMove.gov

      DC area and Native American youth spent the morning playing lacrosse at the White House, learning both traditional and modern forms of the game as part of the South Lawn Series and Let’s Move! in Indian Country. The kids explored the sport and its origins with tribal leaders, as well as professional lacrosse athletes. Visit here for more info about Let’s Move! in Indian Country.

  21. ARCHIVE:

    POTUS in Ghana

    July 11, 2009

Accra International Conference Center 
Accra, Ghana

    12:40 P.M. GMT

    THE PRESIDENT: (Trumpet plays.) I like this. Thank you. Thank you. I think Congress needs one of those horns. (Laughter.) That sounds pretty good. Sounds like Louis Armstrong back there. (Laughter.)

    Good afternoon, everybody. It is a great honor for me to be in Accra and to speak to the representatives of the people of Ghana. (Applause.) I am deeply grateful for the welcome that I’ve received, as are Michelle and Malia and Sasha Obama. Ghana’s history is rich, the ties between our two countries are strong, and I am proud that this is my first visit to sub-Saharan Africa as President of the United States of America. (Applause.)

    I want to thank Madam Speaker and all the members of the House of Representatives for hosting us today. I want to thank President Mills for his outstanding leadership. To the former Presidents — Jerry Rawlings, former President Kufuor — Vice President, Chief Justice — thanks to all of you for your extraordinary hospitality and the wonderful institutions that you’ve built here in Ghana.

    I’m speaking to you at the end of a long trip. I began in Russia for a summit between two great powers. I traveled to Italy for a meeting of the world’s leading economies. And I’ve come here to Ghana for a simple reason: The 21st century will be shaped by what happens not just in Rome or Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Accra, as well. (Applause.)

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

    • July 11, 2011

      Press Conference by the President

      James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

      11:15 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. I want to give a quick update on what’s happening with the debt negotiations, provide my perspective, and then I’m going to take a few questions.

      As all of you know, I met with congressional leaders yesterday. We’re going to be meeting again today, and we’re going to meet every single day until we get this thing resolved.
      The good news is that all the leaders continue to believe, rightly, that it is not acceptable for us not to raise the debt ceiling and to allow the U.S. government to default. We cannot threaten the United States’ full faith and credit for the first time in our history. We still have a lot of work to do, though, to get this problem solved. And so let me just make a couple of points.

      First of all, all of us agree that we should use this opportunity to do something meaningful on debt and deficits. And the reports that have been out there have been largely accurate that Speaker Boehner and myself had been in a series of conversations about doing the biggest deal possible so that we could actually resolve our debt and our deficit challenge for a long stretch of time. And I want to say I appreciate Speaker Boehner’s good-faith efforts on that front.

      What I emphasized to the broader group of congressional leaders yesterday is now is the time to deal with these issues. If not now, when? I’ve been hearing from my Republican friends for quite some time that it is a moral imperative for us to tackle our debt and our deficits in a serious way. I’ve been hearing from them that this is one of the things that’s creating uncertainty and holding back investment on the part of the business community. And so what I’ve said to them is, let’s go. And it is possible for us to construct a package that would be balanced, would share sacrifice, would involve both parties taking on their sacred cows, would involved some meaningful changes to Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid that would preserve the integrity of the programs and keep our sacred trust with our seniors, but make sure those programs were there for not just this generation but for the next generation; that it is possible for us to bring in revenues in a way that does not impede our current recovery, but is fair and balanced.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/07/11/press-conference-president

    • The risk of a U.S. default: By the numbers

      Jul 15, 2011 The Week – news.yahoo

      If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will have to make some very tough choices

      It’s all coming down to the wire. If Congress and President Obama don’t reach a deal to raise the U.S. debt limit by early August, the government won’t be able to honor all of its financial obligations. The nation’s savings account would be essentially empty, and without the authority to borrow, Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would have to choose which bills to pay from incoming tax revenue — and which bills and obligations to ignore. “You can move the chess pieces around all you want,” says Jay Powell of the Bipartisan Policy Center, but “you’re going to lose.” How much? Here, a look at some numbers underpinning the debate:

      $14.294 trillion – Current debt ceiling, reached May 16. Geithner has moved money around so the feds can continue paying the bills through Aug. 2, even though the nation’s legal borrowing limit has already been reached.

      80 million – Number of payments U.S. makes every month

      $306.7 billion – Amount the U.S. is obligated to pay from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $172.4 billion – Amount of revenue the U.S will bring in from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      44 – Percentage of those August payments that would have to be immediately scrapped if no deal is reached

      $29 billion – Interest payments on Treasury securities due to investors on Aug. 15

      $49.2 billion – Social Security benefits to be paid from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $50 billion – Medicare and Medicaid benefits to be paid from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $31.7 billion – Payments to defense contractors due from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $12.8 billion – Unemployment benefits to be paid from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $2.9 billion – Active-duty military pay due from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $2.9 billion – Veterans Affairs program payments due from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $14.2 billion – Federal salaries and benefits due from Aug. 3 to Aug. 31

      $12 billion – U.S. tax income expected to be received on Aug. 3

      $32 billion – U.S. spending planned for Aug. 3 (including $23 billion in Social Security checks)

      50 – U.S. credit rating within 90 days

      7,000 – Number of top-rated municipal bonds Moody’s will automatically downgrade without a debt-ceiling deal

      $130 billion – Amount of municipal debt affected by the Moody’s ultimatum

      74 – Number of times the debt ceiling has been raised since 1962

      10 – Number of times the debt ceiling has been raised since 2001

      Sources: Bipartisan Policy Center (2, PDF), Bloomberg, CNNMoney (2), Washington Post (2)

  22. Marcus Bachmann’s Gay ‘Cure’

    7/11/11 By Michelle Goldberg | The Daily Beast – 10 hrs ago

    A hidden-camera exposé proved that Michele Bachmann’s husband practices a controversial therapy aimed at turning gays straight. Michelle Goldberg on the fallout for 2012.

    In 2006, a story about Michele Bachmann in the Minneapolis City Pages delved into husband Marcus’s involvement in the ex-gay movement. The piece quoted Curt Prins, an attendee at a conservative conference where Marcus, a therapist who runs a Christian counseling practice, gave a presentation, “The Truth About the Homosexual Agenda,” arguing that homosexuality is both a choice and a threat. As a finale, he brought up three people, including a prominent ex-gay activist named Janet Boynes, who testified about leaving homosexuality behind. “One of them said, ‘If I was born gay, then I’ll have to be born again,'” Prins recalled. “The crowd went crazy.”

    Yet when the City Pages reporter asked Marcus if his clinic performs so-called reparative therapy—a widely discredited technique meant to turn gay people straight—Marcus denied it. And over the years he has kept denying it, despite plenty of evidence that both he and Michele are deeply committed to the idea that homosexuality can be cured.

    If there was any doubt that he was lying, it disappeared on Friday, when The Nation broke news of an investigation by Truth Wins Out, a group devoted to combating the ex-gay movement. “Undeniably, 100 percent, the Bachmann clinic practices reparative therapy, which tries to cure gay people of their homosexuality,” says Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out’s founder.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/marcus-bachmann-gay-cure-033100212.html

  23. Free Slurpees For Everyone!

    An ultimate slurpee drinking contest is also planned

    Jul 11, 2011 By Joseph M.D. Young – nbcbayarea

    Doesn’t everything taste better when it’s free?

    On Monday, 7-Eleven is having a birthday party and the present is all yours. The company is thanking its customers with a tasty treat for 84 years in business.

    All around the Bay Area people will be able to snag a free 7.11 oz. Slurpree at any particapating 7-Eleven stores. There are 400 participating stores here so it should not be hard to find a location for this giveaway.

    “We’ve been doing this for years,” said Marisa Vallbona, PR consultant for 7-Eleven. “This year is different in that we’ve never had a grand prize this big.”

    What’s the grand prize? The person who downs the Slurpee the fastest will win their very own Slurpee party. The ultimate slurpeee drinking contest is being held a two locations. One is in Sunnyvale and the other is in San Francisco.

    “People might want to start practicing now to avoid brain-freeze,” Valbona said.


    Find a participating 7-Eleven store: http://www.7-eleven.com/locator.aspx

  24. July 11, 2011

    Obama Administration Launches Strong Cities, Strong Communities to Support Local Development

    Washington, D.C. – Today, the Obama Administration launched Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2), a new and customized pilot initiative to strengthen local capacity and spark economic growth in local communities while ensuring taxpayer dollars are used wisely and efficiently. To accomplish this, federal agencies will provide experienced staff to work directly with six cities: Chester, PA; Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Fresno, CA; Memphis, TN; and New Orleans, LA. These teams will work with local governments, the private sector, and other institutions to leverage federal dollars and support the work being done at the local level to encourage economic growth and community development.

    Additionally, communities nationwide will be eligible to compete for comprehensive economic planning assistance through a grant competition designed to spark local innovation. By integrating government investments and partnering with local communities, SC2 channels the resources of the federal government to help empower cities as they develop and implement their vision for economic growth.

    “Over the past two and a half years, the Obama Administration received feedback from leaders all across the country who described the kind of partnership that would be most useful to them for economic growth,” said Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes. “The result is Strong Cities, Strong Communities, an innovative new pilot that will help strengthen local communities while also delivering federal resources and assistance more effectively.”

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/07/11/obama-administration-launches-strong-cities-strong-communities-support-l

    • Online reservations start Monday for Sept 11 Memorial in NYC

      7/11/11 By Jonathan Allen | Reuters

      NEW YORK (Reuters) – The online reservation system for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York went live on Monday, allowing visitors to book their free pass to the site which opens on the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

      The reservation system at http://www.911memorial.org has been designed to help avoid crowding at the site, where the number of visitors will initially be limited to 1,300 to 1,500 at any one time as construction work on the new World Trade Center skyscrapers continues.

      “Within the first hour there were 5,000 reservations made,” said Michael Frazier, a memorial spokesman.

      The memorial’s focal point is two large reflecting pools fed by cascading waterfalls in the footprints of the fallen twin towers.
      Bronze panels will list the names of the 2,982 killed at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in 2001, including first responders, the passengers and crew of the four hijacked planes, and the victims of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

      The memorial will be formally opened to victims’ families on September 11 this year, and will then welcome the general public the following day.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/online-reservations-start-monday-sept-11-memorial-nyc-192442099.html

  25. Police Reports Show Different Side of Bachmann

    The Miami Herald uncovers a trail of police reports involving Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

    “She and her staff over the years have requested police protection or investigations when her house was egged; when protesters threw glitter on her or held up critical signs; when her campaign yard signs were stolen; when a man wrote an email perceived as a threat; and when she screamed that two women were holding her hostage ‘against my will’ in a city hall restroom.”

    The series of police reports “show a side of a candidate rarely seen on the campaign trail, where Bachmann has described herself as having a ‘titanium spine.'”


  26. Talking with America’s Youth

    Posted by Rajiv Shah on July 11, 2011

    Editor’s Note: This has been cross-posted from USAID’s IMPACT blog.

    On Thursday, I had the opportunity to speak with American youth from the White House about the importance of getting involved in international development. Kalpen Modi, the Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement, invited me to answer questions from a room full of young innovators and the Twitter and Facebook online communities.

    I found this experience especially meaningful because I believe that young people today have a deeper and more thoughtful understanding of global development and its ties to our nation’s prosperity, security and values than at any time in our history. Through the power of social media and political advocacy, as well their ground efforts, they have gained a profound appreciation of the difficulties developing countries face and the interests our nation has in alleviating them.

    A few weeks ago in Southern Sudan, I met a group of kids who are learning English and math in a USAID-supported primary education program. The students ranged in ages from four to fourteen years old. Many of the older students have lived through a period of violence and suffering and have not yet had the opportunity for even a basic education. When you see American taxpayer money being effectively used to provide education in a way that improves the lives of these children and contributes to the peaceful founding of a new nation—the 196th country in the world—you get a genuine sense for the significance of this work.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/11/talking-americas-youth

  27. The President’s Executive Order on Improving and Streamlining Regulation by Independent Regulatory Agencies

    Posted by Cass Sunstein on July 11, 2011

    Today, President Obama took the next step in his ambitious and unprecedentedly open process for streamlining, improving, and eliminating regulations – by issuing a new Executive Order asking the independent regulatory agencies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, to take new steps to ensure smart, cost-effective regulations, designed to promote economic growth and job creation.

    In a historic initiative, the President has requested the independent agencies to produce plans to reassess and to streamline their existing regulations, and to disclose those plans for public scrutiny. In addition, the President has asked the independent agencies to follow the cost-saving, burden-reducing principles in his January Executive Order on improving regulation.

    With today’s action, the President has taken strong steps to improve and reduce rules on the books, and also to improve new rules going forward. With full respect for the independence of the independent agencies and for their impressive efforts in the recent past, the President has asked for their collaboration in the creation of a twenty-first century regulatory system, using state-of-the-art tools and smart approaches to protect public welfare while promoting economic growth and job creation.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/11/president-s-executive-order-improving-and-streamlining-regulation-independent-regula

  28. July 11, 2011

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Phone Call with Russian President Medvedev

    President Obama spoke with Russian President Medvedev today to discuss a range of bilateral and international issues and to express his condolences on the tragic sinking of the MS Bulgaria. President Obama thanked President Medvedev for Russia’s efforts at mediation in Libya, emphasizing that the United States is prepared to support negotiations that lead to a democratic transition in Libya as long as Qadhafi steps aside. President Obama also expressed his support for President Medvedev’s mediation efforts regarding Nagorno-Karabakh, and pledged American support for the effort to reach a framework agreement for negotiating a final peace agreement that will put an end to this conflict. The two presidents also discussed Sudan and Afghanistan and our common objectives in both countries. Both presidents also reviewed the outstanding issues related to Russia’s World Trade Organization accession, and agreed to press to finish all aspects of these negotiations as soon as possible. Finally, the President noted that he looks forward to meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday at the White House.

  29. Latest developments in Arab world’s unrest

    7/11/11 By The Associated Press | AP – 3 hrs ago

    Syrian government supporters smash windows at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, raise a Syrian flag and scrawl graffiti calling the American ambassador a “dog” in anger over the envoy’s visit to an opposition stronghold. Also, French Embassy guards in the Syrian capital fire in the air to hold back loyalists of President Bashar Assad’s regime who attack that compound to protest the French ambassador’s visit last week to the same rebellious city, Hama.

    Egypt’s benchmark stock index drops almost 3 percent, dragged down by concerns of mounting unrest in the Arab world’s most populous nation. The decline reflects the continuing fears in the country five months after the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak. Two days after a Friday protest in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square that drew tens of thousands, demonstrators are still camped out there, demanding accountability of former officials and justice for nearly 900 people killed in the popular uprising.

    France says it is passing messages to Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in liaison with the rebel movement and allies. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero says, “There are not direct negotiations between France and Gadhafi’s regime but we are passing him messages.” He says in an online briefing that the messages “are simple and without ambiguity” — a political solution must including Gadhafi leaving power and quitting politics.

    The White House counterterrorism chief briefs Yemen’s vice president on Washington’s push for a swift transfer of power. John Brennan met with Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in a bid to revive a power transfer deal proposed by Yemen’s neighbors. Hadi has headed the government since embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh left for neighboring Saudi Arabia to be treated for wounds he suffered in a June 3 attack on his compound in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital.

    • Hey CR and O friends. TJackie this a very good read. Bachmann is a real fraud. The tea party fascination with here stems from the way she criticizes PBO. she is good at that like SP. Like Axe said about Romney, there’s lots of criticism but no policy suggestions.

        • That’s a good one Jackie. I had not heard it before. I just read upthread about her and the police. For someone who rails against government, she sure seem to depend on the government for a lot for her personal use. Like PBO said, the folks who are saying the debt ceiling should not be lifted, would answer different if they were asked about higher interest, no social security checks and all of the things they take for granted. the GOPTP are average citizens like us. The only difference is that they would rather vote against their own interest because we have a brilliant black president. We have a real grown up and a gem in the White House, and I don’t take him for granted.

          If SS and medicare are going to be reformed, I would rather it be done under a Democratic administration.

  30. Senator Rubio’s Family Involved in Drug Trafficking

    Today Univision reported about Senator Marco Rubio’s family ties to narcotics trafficking. This has been known by some and kept very secretive by others and is something that the Senator refuses to discuss. He also avoided all mention of this during his campaign for Senate.

    In 1987, federal prosecutors in Miami seized the home of Rubio’s older sister, Barbara, and her husband, Orlando Cicilia. Cicilia was later convicted and sentenced to 25 years in jail for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana and was also charged with bribing Miami police officers. This was part of the famous “Operation Cobra”, one of the largest investigations against a drug cartel.

    Rubio’s brother in law was released in November 2000 because of good behavior. He currently lives in Rubio’s mother’s house in Miami, and is even listed as a co-owner of that house.

    This causes quite a dilemma for Rubio. As many remember, during the last presidential election, the so called “pure conservative” claimed that Obama was a marxist and a muslim because his father and stepfather were both muslims and marxists. Well, I guess if we are going to apply the same “pure conservative” standard, we can make the case, and it would be fair to say, that Marco Rubio is a drug dealer because his family were drug dealers. Sounds moronic, right? So, which is it, Senator?

    At the end of the day, the facts remain. Somehow, Rubio’s political and private life has been, one way or another, associated with unlawful and unethical individuals, thugs and delinquents. Even Rubio’s political friend and ally, the very corrupt David Rivera, does not seem to have drug dealers in his family (that we know of).

    Which Republican presidential candidate is now going to be enthusiastic about bringing Rubio in as vice president? Would you?


  31. WH

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    8:30 AM
    The Vice President hosts a breakfast meeting with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:30 AM
    The President meets with senior advisors
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    12:30 PM
    White House briefing by Jay Carney

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:15 PM
    The President awards Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor; The Vice President also attends
    East Room
    Open Press

    2:20 PM
    First Lady Michell Obama attends the private funeral services for former First Lady Betty Ford at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, Califronia

    3:00 PM
    3:15 PM
    The President and the Vice President meet with Congressional Leadership
    Cabinet Room
    Closed Press

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • POTUS podium

      July 12, 2011

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

      12:30 PM EDT
      White House briefing by Jay Carney

      2:15 PM EDT
      The President awards Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor

      4:00 PM EDT

      Live Chat on Excess Federal Websites
      A live chat to discuss the need to eliminate unnecessary and duplicate federal websites.


      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      9:00 AM EDT
      The Chamber holds a conference on controlling healthcare costs
      House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will keynote, and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle and Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf are scheduled to speak.

      10:00 AM EDT
      U.S. Senate: Debt Ceiling Talks

      10:00 AM EDT
      Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before the House Budget Committee on “Medicare’s Future: An Examination of the Independent Payment Advisory Board.” Representatives from the American Action Forum, the Galen Institute and the Georgetown Public Policy Institute will also testify.

      10:00 AM EDT
      A House Foreign Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Promoting Peace? Re-examining U.S. Aid to the Palestinian Authority.

      10:00 AM EDT
      NASA Administrator Discusses Future of Space Travel
      12:30 PM EDT
      White House briefing by Jay Carney

      2:00 PM EDT
      House Homeland Security Subcmte: Industry Perspectives on TSA Programs

      2:00 PM EDT
      The President awards Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor

      5:00 PM EDT
      National tribute to Betty Ford
      A national tribute service for former first lady Betty Ford takes place in Palm Desert, California.


      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:00 AM EDT
      The Chamber holds a conference on controlling healthcare costs
      House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will keynote, and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle and Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf are scheduled to speak.

      10:00 AM EDT
      U.S. Senate: Debt Ceiling Talks

      10:00 AM EDT
      Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before the House Budget Committee on “Medicare’s Future: An Examination of the Independent Payment Advisory Board.” Representatives from the American Action Forum, the Galen Institute and the Georgetown Public Policy Institute will also testify. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/300433-1

      10:00 AM EDT
      A House Foreign Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Promoting Peace? Re-examining U.S. Aid to the Palestinian Authority.

      10:00 AM EDT
      NASA Administrator Discusses Future of Space Travel http://www.cspan.org/Events/NASA-Administrator-Discusses-Future-of-Space-Travel/10737422799/

      12:30 PM EDT
      White House briefing by Jay Carney http://www.cspan.org/Events/Debt-Reduction-Negotiators-Meet-Again-Today/10737422798/

      2:00 PM EDT
      House Homeland Security Subcmte: Industry Perspectives on TSA Programs http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/300434-1

      2:00 PM EDT
      The President awards Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor http://www.cspan.org/Events/President-Obama-Awards-the-Medal-of-Honor/10737422825-1/

      5:00 PM EDT
      National tribute to Betty Ford
      A national tribute service for former first lady Betty Ford takes place in Palm Desert, California. http://www.cspan.org/Events/Betty-Ford-Remembered/10737422795/

      Department of State http://www.state.gov/

      8:20 AM EDT
      Open Government Partnership (OGP)
      Secretary Clinton hosts a meeting to launch the Open Government Partnership.

      9:15 AM EDT
      Secretary Clinton will deliver remarks to the 2011 U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) Conference.

      Department of Defense http://www.pentagonchannel.mil

      2:00 PM EDT
      The President awards Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor

      Middle East Protest

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

  32. The Week Ahead: Deficit talks redux

    7/11/11 By Cristina Marcos – TheHill

    Tuesday, July 12

    Voters in California’s 36th district will head to the polls to vote for Democrat Janice Hahn or Republican Craig Huey to fill former Rep. Jane Harman’s (D) seat.

    Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry, U.S. Army, for his actions during combat operations in Afghanistan in May 2008.

    The Chamber holds a conference on controlling healthcare costs at 9 a.m. Tuesday. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will keynote, and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle and Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf are scheduled to speak.

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before the House Budget Committee on “Medicare’s Future: An Examination of the Independent Payment Advisory Board.” Representatives from the American Action Forum, the Galen Institute and the Georgetown Public Policy Institute will also testify. The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in 210 Cannon.

    A House Foreign Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Promoting Peace? Re-examining U.S. Aid to the Palestinian Authority.” The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in 2172 Rayburn.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/homenews/news/170599-the-week-ahead-deficit-redux

  33. Betty Ford Wanted Talk Of Politics At Funeral


    Former first lady Betty Ford, always known for her take charge attitude, chose the people who will eulogize her and the subjects they would discuss, focusing on the power of friendship to mend political differences even in these hyper-partisan times.

    Ford, who died on Friday at 93, chose former first lady Rosalynn Carter and journalist Cokie Roberts from the political realm and a former director of her Betty Ford Center to address her passion for helping others overcome substance and alcohol abuse.

    First lady Michelle Obama will also be attending along with former first ladies, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Roberts, a commentator on National Public Radio and member of a noted political family, said Ford asked her five years ago to talk about a time in Washington when Democrats and Republicans were friends and partisan politics did not paralyze government.

    Ford’s instructions for her eulogy pointed to the strong friendship that developed when her husband, Republican Gerald R. Ford, was House minority leader and Roberts’ father, Democratic Congressman Hale Boggs, was majority leader.

    “Mrs. Ford was very clear about what she wanted me to say,” Roberts said. “She wanted me to talk about Washington the way it used to be. She knew there were people back then who were wildly partisan, but not as many as today.

    “They were friends and that was what made government possible,” said Roberts, adding that the topic seems particularly appropriate this week when the two parties are divided over dealing with the debt ceiling.

    Another speaker at Tuesday’s funeral in Palm Desert who is symbolic of the bipartisan past will be Mrs. Carter. She and President Jimmy Carter became close friends with the Fords after Carter defeated Gerald Ford for the presidency in 1976.

    For the entire article: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=137776007

    • Michelle Obama to attend Ford service in California

      7/11/11 By Mary Slosson | Reuters

      LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – First lady Michelle Obama will attend a memorial service for former first lady Betty Ford in California on Tuesday, the White House said.

      Also in attendance at the service in Palm Desert, east of Los Angeles, will be U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with her husband, former president Bill Clinton, and former first lady Nancy Reagan.

      Former first lady Rosalynn Carter and National Public Radio journalist Cokie Roberts will deliver eulogies, the Elizabeth B. Ford National Tribute Committee said.

      Ford, wife of late President Gerald Ford who helped found a rehabilitation clinic that bears her name, died on Friday at the age of 93.

      The Palm Desert service will begin with a private visitation at Saint Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, followed by a private service attended by the dignitaries, the committee said.

      The public will have an opportunity to view her body in repose from 5 p.m. local time until midnight at the church.

      Ford’s body will depart the following morning for Grand Rapids, Michigan, where it will again lie in repose.

      A final private ceremony will occur at the Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids at 2 p.m. local time on Thursday. Betty Ford’s remains will be interred next to her husband’s at the Gerald R. Ford Museum.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/michelle-obama-attend-ford-california-232150638.html

  34. Hi CR…just stopped by to say Hi, & read your articles….good info here tonight!
    Jackie 4 Obama, liked interesting story of Rubio’s family; & Closer Look at Bachmann’s Past… good info.
    Off to bed. now…..:)

  35. Secretary Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister to Launch Open Government Partnership on July 12

    Office of the Spokesperson – Department of State
    Washington, DC

    July 7, 2011

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota will announce the Open Government Partnership (OGP) at a high-level meeting of governments and civil society at the Department of State on July 12, 2011. The Open Government Partnership is a new, multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

    In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, OGP will be overseen by a steering committee that includes a diverse coalition of governments and civil society organizations and will be co-chaired by Brazil and the United States in its inaugural year.

    Last September at the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama challenged countries to embrace open government saying, “When we gather back here next year, we should bring specific commitments to promote transparency; to fight corruption; to energize civic engagement; and to leverage new technologies so that we strengthen the foundation of freedom in our own countries, while living up to ideals that can light the world.” OGP aims to do that by engaging a large and diverse group of countries in a fresh conversation about governance challenges.

    For the entire article: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/07/167745.htm

  36. Secretary Clinton to Address the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition on July 12

    Office of the Spokesperson – Department of State
    Washington, DC

    July 8, 2011

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks on “The Impact of Development and Diplomacy on Economic Prosperity” to the 2011 U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) Conference on July 12, 2011 at approximately 11:30 a.m. in Washington, DC. Secretary Clinton’s remarks will be webcast live on state.gov.

    Secretary Clinton’s remarks will be open to credentialed members of the media at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

    Pre set for video cameras: 10:00 a.m. in the Independence Ballroom, Independence Level at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Final access time for journalists and still photographers: 10:45 a.m. in the Independence Ballroom, Independence Level at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

    For the entire article: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/07/167863.htm

    • Clinton: Diplomacy key to job creation in US

      7/12/11 By MATTHEW LEE – Associated Press

      WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is urging Congress not to slash the Obama administration’s foreign policy budget, saying that American diplomacy abroad is critical to creating jobs and improving economic conditions at home.

      In a speech to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition on Tuesday, Clinton said the administration’s foreign affairs spending represents just 1 percent of the federal budget and is not what is driving massive deficits. She said cuts to foreign assistance and State Department operations will undermine efforts to develop markets for American businesses overseas and hurt diplomats’ promotion of U.S. companies.

      Clinton warned that retreating from the international arena would jeopardize America’s standing as a global leader, a position she said had to be earned with commitments of time, energy and resources.

    • Panetta Calls for Iraqi Decision on Future U.S. Presence

      July 11, 2011 By Jim Garamone – American Forces Press Service

      CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta neither pressured nor pleaded with Iraqi leaders to allow U.S. troops remain in Iraq after the scheduled Dec. 31 withdrawal date, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs said here today.

      The secretary simply wants a decision, Douglas B. Wilson said.
      Panetta met separately with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani. Wilson described the talks to reporters traveling with Panetta, and said the talks went over all aspects of the U.S.-Iraqi relationship.

      Panetta emphasized three points with each leader, Wilson said, the first of which was the urgent need for the Iraqi government to appoint defense and interior ministers.

      “The second area of focus had to do with the rising number of attacks by extremist elements here backed by Iran and provided with Iranian weapons,” Wilson said. “The secretary made it very clear that he took his responsibility for protection of U.S. troops seriously. He was very strong in his encouragement of both Prime Minister Maliki and President Talabani to move aggressively and continue to do everything they could to address these elements and fight back.”

      Both Iraqi leaders agreed the attacks are a threat not only to U.S. troops, but also to Iraqis, Wilson said.

      Finally, Panetta addressed the next steps in the security partnership. A 2008 agreement between the United States and Iraq calls for all U.S. troops to be out of Iraq by the end of this year.

      For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=64631

  37. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Cover Feature For “Better Homes And Gardens” Magazine


    Mrs. Obama is first public figure on cover in four decades; talks Let’s Move!, healthy eating and gardening…

    First Lady Michelle Obama graces the cover of the August, 2011 print edition of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, which will hit news stands on July 19. Mrs. Obama is the first public figure to appear on the cover of the magazine in 48 years, and the feature story includes an interview about the Let’s Move! campaign and the First Lady’s efforts to promote healthy eating and vegetable growing, with the White House Kitchen Garden. It includes a photo spread of Mrs. Obama and BHG co-hosting a picnic for local fifth graders at the White House, shot in May. Publisher Meredith says the print edition of the magazine reaches “close to” 40 million readers monthly.

    “The First Lady is honored to be the first person in decades to appear on the cover of such a beloved magazine,” said Kristina Schake, the First Lady’s Communications Director. “She is thrilled to share the story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Let’s Move! with the millions of Americans who read Better Homes and Gardens.”

    For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2011/07/first-lady-michelle-obamas-cover.html

  38. Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services in May 2011

    July 12, 2011 commerce.gov

    U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement today on the release of the May 2011 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports of goods and services in May 2011 decreased 0.5 percent from April 2011 to $174.9 billion, with record monthly exports of services ($49.7 billion). The monthly export value for U.S. capital goods ($41.4 billion) was also the highest on record. U.S. imports of goods and services increased 2.6 percent over this period to $225.1 billion, causing the U.S. trade deficit to increase 15.1 percent since April 2011 to reach $50.2 billion in May 2011.

    “While exports dipped slightly in May, exports have been growing at a strong pace overall in the first five months of 2011, up 16.4percent compared to the same period last year. We’re making progress but we still have a way to go. Accelerating job growth remains a priority for this administration and we will continue to provide our businesses with the necessary tools to compete and win globally and create more American jobs. As we move closer to reaching the president’s goal of doubling exports by 2015, the Obama administration will continue to help businesses reach the 95 percent of consumers who live outside our borders,” Locke said.

  39. Protecting Innovation to Ensure New Opportunities for American Businesses, Higher Wages, and Greater Economic Security for American Families

    July 12, 2011 commerce.gov

    Innovation is a principal driver behind our nation’s economic growth and job creation. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) serves America’s innovators by granting the intellectual property rights they need to secure investment capital, build companies, and bring their products and services to the global marketplace. USPTO is an integral partner in President Obama’s drive to create the foundation for our economic future where we out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. USPTO is proud to play a role in accelerating socially conscious technologies in emerging fields like alternative fuels, clean energy, and green technology.

    Last fall the USPTO extended the deadline for filing petitions under its Green Technology Pilot Program. Under the pilot, patent applications involving reduced greenhouse gas emissions, energy conservation and environmental quality are accelerated in their review at no cost to the inventor.

    For the entire article: http://www.commerce.gov/blog/2011/07/12/protecting-innovation-ensure-new-opportunities-american-businesses-higher-wages-and-

  40. U.S. and Russia: Expanding the “Reset” to Cyberspace

    Posted by Howard Schmidt on July 12, 2011

    Many are familiar with our work on behalf of the President to reduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities, such as hardening government systems and building public awareness about cybersecurity for end-users. But what you don’t always hear about are our efforts to reduce the overall risk to our national networks through active diplomacy and international technical collaboration. Both are key efforts for realizing the President’s International Strategy for Cyberspace (pdf) released in May.

    Risk reduction is crucially important to our relationship with Russia, where we continue regular policy coordination at the highest levels, including on issues related to cybersecurity. Just last month we hosted a Russian delegation, led by my counterpart, Russian National Security Council Deputy Secretary Nikolay Klimashin, for another round of in-depth discussions here in Washington. Joined by senior officials from across the U.S. and Russian governments, our goal was to continue building mutual confidence in our two governments’ activities in cyberspace to reduce the risk of misperception and inadvertent crisis. It’s a prime example of the “Reset” in U.S.-Russia relations taking on a new and important dimension.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/12/us-and-russia-expanding-reset-cyberspace

  41. Coordinating Safe and Responsible Energy Development in Alaska

    Posted by David J. Hayes on July 12, 2011

    Today President Obama, formalizing one of several steps he announced this spring to continue to increase safe and responsible domestic oil and gas production, announced the formation of a new, high-level interagency working group to coordinate on energy development in Alaska. Officially created through an Executive Order, President Obama established the Interagency Working Group on Coordination of Domestic Energy Development and Permitting in Alaska. As Deputy Secretary of the Interior, I am honored to lead this cross-agency team.

    The formation of this group is only the most recent step the President has taken to support the increased development our nation’s important resources, while ensuring that we do so safely and responsibly, including being guided by the important lessons learned by the largest oil spill in our nation’s history. The foundation for this effort is laid out in the President’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future , which charts a path to build a 21st century clean energy economy over the long term and dramatically cut our oil imports by 2025, through the responsible development of oil and gas at home, while at the same time facilitating the development of cleaner, alternative fuels and increasing efficiency.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/12/coordinating-safe-and-responsible-energy-development-alaska

  42. Help Consumers Save Money by Saving Energy

    Posted by Steven Chu on July 12, 2011

    At a time when families are struggling to pay their energy bills, leaders in the House are pushing to roll back common sense standards for residential lighting that save families money by saving energy.

    It’s important to remember that these standards were passed just a few years ago with overwhelming bipartisan support from 86 Senators and 314 members of the House. They were championed and co-sponsored by the former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, and signed into law by President Bush.

    I also want to take this opportunity to dispel a myth. The standards do NOT ban incandescent bulbs. You’ll still be able to buy energy-saving halogen incandescent bulbs that look exactly the same as the ones you’re used to, and more than pay for themselves over the life of the 100 watt replacement bulb.

    The only difference is that your electric bills will be lower.

    To save even more money, there are a wide range of new options like CFLs and LEDs. These options are 75 or 80 percent more efficient than traditional lighting, and they’ll last 10 or 25 times longer. In some cases, you might never have to replace them.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/12/help-consumers-save-money-saving-energy

  43. Axelrod hits Romney on debt


    Former White House senior adviser and current Obama 2012 message man David Axelrod is taking aim at the GOP candidates on their debt-talk positions – but saving his sharpest barb for presumptive GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney.

    “Tim Pawlenty called on Congress to ‘draw a line in the sand,’ even if it means that the United States fails to meet its legal obligations for the first time in our history,” Axelrod wrote on the campaign’s 2012 Facebook page.

    “Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann vowed to oppose any vote to address the debt ceiling that could help avoid an unthinkable default on the national debt. And as the Wall Street Journal reported this morning, one candidate, Governor Romney, has refused to even address the issue.”

    Obama has embraced the $4 trillion “grand bargain” initially proposed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who backed out of big-deal talks over the weekend in the face of opposition from the tea party flank of the House GOP conference. He’s now pressing for savings in the range of $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion in exchange for extending the nation’s expiring debt ceiling through the end of 2012.

    Axelrod hit Boehner – who invoked tea party darling Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) yesterday – for surrendering to the right.

    “Last week, Speaker Boehner said he agreed with the President that a deal protecting these investments would be in the country’s best interest. But apparently he couldn’t get the partisan ideologues in his party to accept … what’s even more troubling — and telling — is that all the Republican presidential candidates have fallen in line with the most strident voices in their party, rejecting any solution that would include closing gold-plated tax loopholes,” he wrote.

    Axelrod also hinted at Obama’s red lines in the upcoming debates – arguing against significant cuts to entitlements in the absence of GOP acceptance of some tax hikes on the rich.

    “The cuts we make should preserve critical investments like education and research and development,” he blogged. “We should deal honestly with the mounting pressures on Medicare and Social Security.”

    • July 12, 2011

      Remarks by the President in Presenting the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry

      East Room

      2:23 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Chaplain Rutherford. Please be seated. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the White House as we present our nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, to an extraordinary American soldier —- Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry.

      This is a historic occasion. Last fall, I was privileged to present the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta for his heroism in Afghanistan, and Sal joins us this afternoon. Where’s Sal? Good to see you.

      So today is only the second time during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq —- indeed, only the second time since Vietnam —- that a recipient of the Medal of Honor from an ongoing conflict has been able to accept this medal in person. And having just spent some time with Leroy, his lovely wife Ashley, their wonderful children, in the Oval Office, then had a chance to see the entire Petry family here — I have to say this could not be happening to a nicer guy or a more inspiring family.

      Leroy, the Medal of Honor reflects the deepest gratitude of our entire nation. So we’re joined by members of Congress; Vice President Biden; leaders from across my administration, including Deputy Secretary of Defense Bill Lynn; and leaders from across our Armed Forces, including the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Jim “Hoss” Cartwright, Army Secretary John McHugh, and Army Chief of Staff General Marty Dempsey.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/07/12/remarks-president-presenting-medal-honor-sergeant-first-class-leroy-arth

      • The handshake.

        Too moving for words.

        Bless our troops, bless our President who honors them as they deserve.

  44. NY Times – Ideology Trumps Economics

    There is a huge gap in logic at the heart of the Republican intransigence on a debt-ceiling deal, and President Obama helped to illuminate it on Monday.

    The party claims, as an article of faith, if not evidence, that the government’s growing debt is the reason for persistent unemployment and economic stagnation. And yet Republicans are spurning the president’s compromise offers to reduce that debt by trillions over the next decade because he is sensibly insisting that any deal include some increase in tax revenue.

    “Where are they?” Mr. Obama asked at his news conference. “I mean, this is what they claim would be the single biggest boost to business certainty and confidence. So what’s the holdup?”

    The holdup, of course, is that Republicans are far more committed to the ideological goals of cutting government and taxes than they are committed to cutting the deficit. They rejected several compromise offers by the White House, even though any revenue increases would be far outweighed by spending cuts.

    Republican rejectionism was on clear display Saturday night when John Boehner, the House speaker, was forced to abandon a plan he and the president had discussed to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years.

    The plan would have gone much too far in cutting discretionary spending and entitlements, taking too much money from the economy at a time when it desperately needs government investment. But it would have been better than the slashing and burning the Republicans have been demanding because it would have raised from $700 billion to $1 trillion in additional revenue beginning in 2013 by ending tax breaks and deductions for corporations and the rich, or by ending the Bush tax cuts for families making $250,000 or more.

    The House Republican leader, Eric Cantor, insisted to Mr. Boehner that his members, shackled to antitax pledges, could not accept it, or anything similar. Now negotiators are trying to reach agreement on a deal to lower the deficit by $2 trillion or so over a decade. But the consequences for the economy and Americans’ lives would be just as disastrous if all of those “savings” come out of essential government programs, with no additional revenue.

    Mr. Boehner’s refusal to push back against his party’s ideologues is only feeding their worst impulses. Many House Republicans have gone even further than Mr. Cantor and have rejected any deal that raises the debt ceiling, whether it contains revenue increases or not.

    Representative Michele Bachmann and Reince Priebus, the Republican national chairman, airily and irresponsibly insist that the government will find some other way to pay its bills. That’s dangerous nonsense. And as the president forcefully noted, a default could propel interest rates skyward, throw millions more Americans out of work, and create another recession.

    It was good to see Mr. Obama challenging the Republicans’ illogic and pushing them to make a deal before it’s too late. But we fear the sort of deal he is willing to consider, based overwhelmingly on spending cuts, could still consign the country to more years of economic stagnation.

    The president spoke about the need to create an infrastructure bank, to maintain unemployment benefits, and to protect the elderly and the poor. But keeping those goals will be nearly impossible with a debt deal that cuts three times as much spending as it raises revenue. A balanced plan, like the one Senator Kent Conrad is circulating among Senate Democrats, would cut spending and raise revenue equally, and would make it possible to pay for programs that kick-start the economy.

    Americans need to hear the hard economic truth that there is no way to both cut the deficit and revive the economy without finding additional sources of revenue. As the president himself said on Monday, “If not now, when?”


  45. Steve Benen

    Boehner: avoidable economic crash isn’t my problem

    The correlation is probably not a coincidence: the more House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) loses control of his caucus, the more he loses his cool.

    Burned by the fact that their prescription for reducing the deficit and increasing the national borrowing limit either can’t pass in Congress or doesn’t cut spending enough to warrant, in their minds, a significant debt ceiling hike, House Republicans returned to the Capitol Tuesday to ratchet up their demands, and shirk responsibility for avoiding default.

    “Where’s the President’s plan?” asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) at a press stakeout after a GOP caucus meeting. “When’s he going to lay his cards on the table? This debt limit increase is his problem.”

    Just so we’re clear, in three weeks, the United States will exhaust its ability to pay its bills. The economy will deteriorate and millions of Americans will suffer. John Boehner knows all of this — he’s never even tried to deny the severity of the consequences — and has the ability to prevent it. Indeed, by most measures, he has a legal obligation to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.

    But as of today, with the crisis quickly approaching, the Speaker of the House, one of the most powerful officeholders in our system of government, has decided this isn’t his “problem.”

    Read more:

  46. VA’s National Veteran Small Business Conference: Building Partnerships

    Posted by Jessica Slider on July 08, 2011

    Before starting my job at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), I had no idea about the link that exists between Veterans and small business. Now, after having been immersed in the world of small business for the past couple of months, I can see that VA’s success in caring for “those who have borne the battle” is very much reliant on our ability to work with and support the Veteran-owned small business community.

    Nearly 2.5 million businesses in the United States are now Veteran-owned, representing nine percent of all U.S. firms. This statistic confirms what VA and the Obama Administration already know – small businesses (particularly Veteran-owned small businesses) are the backbone of America.

    VA is committed to supporting and building partnerships between Veterans, small businesses, and the government. One of the ways we’re working to do that is through the development of a new approach: enabling Veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) and service disabled Veteran-owned businesses (SDVOSBs) to increase their value by offering opportunities to connect on contracts with the federal government. These opportunities will be available to all who register for the upcoming National Veteran Small Business Conference in New Orleans, LA on August 15-18, 2011.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/08/va-s-national-veteran-small-business-conference-building-partnerships

  47. Honoring and Empowering Wounded Warriors

    Posted by Jeremy Feldbusch on July 07, 2011 at 04:06 PM EDT

    Ed. Note: Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.

    This past Monday, June 27 2011, I was honored with the Champion of Change Award, allowing me to join with other Veterans and White House Officals to discuss changes we can make to help injured veterans and their families in jobs, education, and health care.

    As an injured service member I know first hand the challenges injured veterans and their families face everyday. I am one of the 26 Founders of the Wounded Warrior Project. Our mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. We are a non-profit organation helping not only the injured veteran but their families as well. The greatest casualty is being forgotten!’

    I am also the Vice President of NEIE Medical Waste. We are a service disabled veterans owned business. We strive to help injured veterans by employing them so they can move on and be productive in life. We handle disposal of medical waste in a safe way so to keep our enviroment clean and safe.

    For the etnire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/07/honoring-and-empowering-wounded-warriorshttp://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/07/honoring-and-empowering-wounded-warriors

    • Open for Questions: Improving Federal Websites

      From: whitehouse | Jul 12, 2011

      White House Director of Digital Strategy Macon Phillips, Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra and Director of the GSA’s Center for Excellence in Digital Government Sheila Campbell discuss ways to improve the online experience with Federal websites and the campaign to reduce the number of excess and duplicative government websites. July 12, 2011.

    • First ladies pay tribute to Betty Ford

      7/13/11 Caitlin McDevit – POLITICO

      In Palm Desert, Calif., on Tuesday, four first ladies paid tribute to another. Michelle Obama, Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Reagan attended the funeral of Betty Ford, the wife of former President Gerald R. Ford, who died last week.

      Obama sat in between Carter and Clinton. The secretary of state appeared without her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who missed the service due to flight delays. Reagan, wearing a white suit and using a cane, was escorted in by former President George W. Bush who sat to her right.

      In a eulogy, Carter said that Ford “showed me that there is life after the White House.”

    • Raw Video: Memorial Service for Betty Ford

      Published on Jul 12, 2011 by AssociatedPress

      First lady Michelle Obama, and former first ladies Rosalynn Carter and Hillary Rodham Clinton, joined former Pres. George W. Bush at Betty Ford’s memorial service in Palm Desert, Calif. Rosalynn Carter delivered one of the eulogies. (July 12)

  48. President Obama Lunches With Business Leaders

    JULY 12, 2011 obamafoodorama.blogspot

    The White House has announced an addition to President
    Obama’s Tuesday schedule: He is hosting a working lunch with four business leaders to discuss jobs and the economy. Luncheon guests include Scott Davis, Chair and CEO of UPS; Sam Palmisano, Chair and CEO of IBM; Matt Rose, Chair and CEO of BNSF Railway Company; and Clarence Otis, CEO of Darden Restaurants.

    The White House said the President and his lunch mates will “specifically discuss the importance of working with the private sector to promote job training efforts, including ways that companies have been partnering with higher educational institutions to develop curriculum and programs that ensure graduates will have the appropriate background and skills to succeed and get hired within the companies.”

    The President on June 24 said he’ll designate more than $500 million for an effort with companies and universities to speed technology development that will reinvigorate U.S. manufacturing to meet global competition and create jobs. The U.S. unemployment rate in June rose to 9.2 percent, the highest this year, the Labor Department reported on July 8. Employers added 18,000 jobs, the weakest growth since September 2010.

    Following lunch, at 2:15 PM, President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry, U.S. Army, and at 3:15 PM he will host another debt reduction meeting with Congressional leadership.

  49. Latest developments in Arab world’s unrest

    7/12/11 By The Associated Press | AP – 1 hr 34 mins ago

    Syria accuses Washington of provocation after the U.S. says President Bashar Assad has lost legitimacy and the American administration has nothing invested in his remaining in power. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued her strongest condemnation yet of Assad after mobs of hundreds of regime supporters attacked the American and French embassies in Damascus, smashing windows and spray-painting obscenities on the walls. Three French Embassy employees were injured. The attacks also prompt withering criticism from France.

    Egypt’s military rulers sternly warn protesters against “harming public interests” as demonstrators continue to lay siege to Cairo’s largest government building and threaten to expand their sit-in to other sites in the capital. Thirty men armed with knives and sticks storm the protesters’ tent camp in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square, wounding six.

    French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe says Paris has had contact with emissaries from Moammar Gadhafi who say the embattled Libyan strongman is “prepared to leave” power. Up to now Gadhafi has refused to leave or relinquish control of Libya. “We receive emissaries who are saying, ‘Gadhafi is prepared to leave. Let’s discuss it,'” Juppe says, without identifying the envoys. French officials insist that Gadhafi’s giving up power is key to ending the hostilities, which began in mid-March.

    A government airstrike in a section of southern Yemen overrun by radical Islamists kills five militants, as the country’s security deteriorates. The airstrike hits a militant checkpoint between the towns of Jaar and Zinjibar. Eight more airstrikes hit the town of Jaar and other areas nearby. Security across Yemen has nearly collapsed during the five-month uprising seeking to oust longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    Two senior members of Bahrain’s biggest Shiite party say its delegates have walked out of talks with the island kingdom’s Sunni rulers, saying they are not serious about addressing Shiite demands for greater rights and political freedoms. Khalil al-Marzooq says he’s advised the party’s top leaders to withdraw from the U.S.-backed talks entirely, and a final decision will be made by Thursday. Al-Marzooq tells the AP the government is not interested in political reform, making the dialogue meaningless.

    Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri says Lebanon “will pay the price” for Hezbollah’s refusal to turn over four of its members indicted in the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father. The public comments in a televised interview are the first by Hariri since a U.N.-backed tribunal investigating the murder of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, indicted the Hezbollah members at the end of last month. The Iran-backed Hezbollah has taken control of Lebanon’s government.

  50. Forgive me guys but I love this take on the latest offer of letting the President increase the debt ceiling.

    Obama Uses Social Security To Tighten Noose Around The GOP’s Neck
    July 12, 2011
    By Jason Easley

    The fractured and fragmented GOP is watching the debt ceiling fight blow up in their faces, then like clockwork Obama dropped the Social Security bomb on them.


  51. Hi Jackie 4 Obama,
    Thanks for a good article link….Perhaps our President is playing his best triple-decker chess game ever…!

  52. Betty Ford to Michelle Obama: How six first ladies have changed the office

    7/12/11 Christian Science Monitor

    Former presidents, politicians, and the family of former first lady Betty Ford gathered today in Palm Springs, Calif., to celebrate her life. Mrs. Ford, who died Friday, is remembered for her honest demeanor and dedication to equal rights. Since her husband’s presidency, Betty Ford has passed the mantle of first lady to six other women.

    Here are the contributions each made:
    – David Karas, Contributor, Chloe Stepney, Contributor

    1. Betty Ford

    Betty Ford’s honesty defined her, as first lady and beyond.

    After her breast cancer diagnosis in 1974, Mrs. Ford first used her influence as first lady to speak about breast examinations, treatment options, and emotional side effects of the cancer. Her openness about cancer and female health inspired change for women who had been ashamed of their own struggles with the disease.

    Unlike many politicians, Ford participated in interviews without receiving the questions beforehand, and her answers sometimes shocked listeners. She spoke of sleeping with the president – countering assumptions that they slept in separate beds – and her respect for unmarried couples who chose to live together. Ford also commented on widespread marijuana use by youth and compared it to having a “first beer.”

    Ford endlessly lobbied for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment that would guarantee equal rights to all on the federal, state, and local levels. Her campaign for women’s rights garnered her Time magazine’s “Women of the Year.” She urged the president to designate 1975 as International Women’s Year, and she continued to fight for rights and larger roles in society for women after President Ford lost his reelection bid.

    Ford fulfilled the traditional charitable efforts of first ladies by working with several organizations, including the Hospital for Sick Children and No Greater Love, both of which benefitted minority patients.

    Ford’s public honesty continued after she moved out of the White House, most notably regarding her relationship with alcohol. She fully disclosed her dependence on it and her experience undergoing a family intervention and rehabilitation. Her experiences led her to establish the Betty Ford Center, a part of the Eisenhower Medical Center in California created to help women cope with issues that can lead to alcohol and drug abuse.

    Against Republican norms, Ford spoke out in support of people fighting AIDS after she realized many of those individuals also suffered from alcohol or drug dependencies. She also advocated for gay rights in the workplace and for same-sex marriage. She wrote, “God put us all here for His own purposes; it’s not my business to try and second-guess Him.”

    For the entire article: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0712/Betty-Ford-to-Michelle-Obama-How-six-first-ladies-have-changed-the-office/Betty-Ford

  53. *********************

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “The President Has Friends And It’s US! ”

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

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