Veterans Administration – Homeless Vet Assistance

Homeless Vet Call Center - med

We Can All Do Something to End Veteran Homelessness

VA is committed to ending Veteran homelessness by the end of 2015. No one who has served our country should ever go without a safe, stable place to call home.

The entire department has put its energy and resources into ending Veteran homelessness. VA’s programs provide individualized, comprehensive care to Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Still, VA cannot do it alone. Organizations and individuals in communities across the country are integral to providing services to Veterans and spreading the word about the resources VA provides to end and prevent homelessness among Veterans.

Explore va.gov/homeless to learn about VA’s programs for Veterans and to find out what you, your neighbors, and your community can do to help Veterans who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless.

Know that one phone call can be the difference in the life of a Veteran who is homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Make the Call to 877-4AID-VET (424-3838) to be connected 24/7 with VA’s services to overcome or prevent homelessness for yourself or a Veteran you know.

For the entire article: http://www.va.gov/homeless/#
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Homeless Vets 2010 - 2014
Veterans Crisis Line

.Ending Veteran Homelessness

Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness

June 4, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama announced the “Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness” with the goal of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015. Housing and Urban Development Department Secretary Shaun Donovan and Acting Veterans’ Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson also spoke.
The Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness is a way to solidify partnerships and secure commitments to end Veteran homelessness from mayors across the country.Specifically, the call to action – made by HUD Secretary Donovan, and amplified by leaders across HUD, VA,USICH, and by the National League of Cities – is for mayors tomake a commitment to ending Veteran homelessness in their cities in 2015.

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Steps to Get Started for Participating Leaders

For mayors, county leaders, and governors who have decided to accept the challenge:
Thanks for voicing your commitment for ending Veteran homelessness in your community by 2015! Here are a few steps you can take to get started:

  1. Let HUD, USICH, and the VA know that you’re committed by emailing mayorschallenge@hud.gov
  2. Tell the public! Send out a press release; or hold a press conference or your own twitter town hall; or any other way you communicate with your constituencies.
Resources for Interested Communities
  • printable list of places you can go to find support
  • Have questions about the challenge? This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) documentshould help
  • webinar on housing placement and retention strategies for programs that serve Veterans who experience homelessness
  • webinar that shares advice from successful efforts on how to develop a comprehensive approach, beyond HUD-VASH, that effectively brings the resources available to Veterans in need to improve housing and life outcomes
  • webinar that lays out how providers serving Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness can build strong local connections between VA and Continuum of Care (CoC) resources and rapidly connect homeless Veterans to permanent housing
  • Details about HUD and VA’s HUD-VASH program, particularly these HUD-VASH Qs & As
  • Support from the Homeless Veterans Leadership Network at the National League of Cities
  • Support from Community Solutions

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* * * HOMELESS DOES NOT MEAN VOTELESS * * *

Homeless People’s Voting Rights – http://www.nationalhomeless.org/projects/vote/court.html

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106 thoughts on “Veterans Administration – Homeless Vet Assistance

  1. WH

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    The President receives the presidential daily briefing.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:30 PM
    President Obama will make a statement on the U.S. economy and the loss of U.S. lives in Afghanistan in remarks at the White House.

    2:00 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.
    James S. Brady Briefing Room
    Open Press

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    6:40 PM
    The President delivers remarks at a DNC event.
    DC, Private Residence, Washington
    Print Pool

    7:00 PM
    7:40 PM
    The President delivers remarks at a DNC event.
    DC, St. Regis Hotel, Washington
    Print Pool

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

  2. Helping Homeless Veterans

    Posted by Tammy Duckworth on June 25, 2009

    As a Veteran, a former State Director of Veterans Affairs and now as Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs I understand the urgent need to address homelessness. Last week’s meeting of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness with Secretary Shinseki, and his counterparts at HUD, Labor and HHS, took an important step in coordinating our efforts to eliminate homelessness in our country. The VA estimates that one-third of homeless Americans served in the military, so this partnership is central to our efforts to help these brave soldiers.

    One important outcome of the meeting was the announcement of an additional $75 million in housing vouchers. This new money will provide shelter for an additional 10,000 homeless Veterans and their families. These resources offer vital support to a community in need.

    For state and local Veterans’ agencies, these funds come at a time when many local budgets are being squeezed by the current economic situation. While the VA works hard to offer support services and case management to eligible homeless veterans, local agencies play a crucial role in the care of these individuals.

    Our nation’s Veterans placed the good of the nation before their own and we are all dishonored when even a single Veteran sleeps on the street. I am proud of this administration’s commitment to fulfilling our nation’s promise to these brave soldiers. I look forward to working with my colleagues throughout government and the private sector to continue to fight this problem and make sure that no Veteran or American has to face the harsh reality of being homeless.

    For more information on VA Homeless Vet Assistance http://www.va.gov/homeless/

    • VA Continues Working to Eliminate Veterans Homeless

      Posted by Tammy Duckworth on June 25, 2009

      Posted by Stephen B. Dillard on February 04, 2011

      Two Saturdays ago, on one of the coldest days of the year, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki joined over 450 volunteers, more than 70 community agencies, businesses and Veterans Service Organizations at the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to provide services to about 500 homeless Veterans in order to put them on the path to self-sufficiency. The event, the Winterhaven Homeless Veterans Stand Down, brings VA services and community agencies together to provide a full day of support for homeless Veterans including:

      * Meals served throughout the day
      * On-site VA Homeless Coordinators
      * Clothing and shoes distribution
      * On-site health screenings conducted by members of the VA health care team
      * VA and Social Security benefits counselors
      * Veterans’ referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment

      The Stand Down was an opportunity for my fellow Veterans of all eras facing homelessness to have easy access to the Department of Veterans Affairs programs and services for a full day. VA’s intense campaign to end Veteran homelessness in five years has broad support at the Federal, state and local levels in both the public and private sectors. Since 2008, the number of homeless Veterans on a typical night dropped 18 percent every year, from 131,000 in 2008 to 107,000 in 2009 with another large drop expected in January 2011.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/02/04/va-continues-working-eliminate-veterans-homelessness

    • Ending Veteran Homelessness

      Posted by Secretary Shaun Donovan on June 06, 2011

      Cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development’s blog The HUDdle.

      When I spoke with the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans this morning, I had a chance to talk about one of the top priorities for President Obama and myself: Ending homelessness among veterans. One out of every six men and women in our shelters has worn our country’s uniform, and that is a national disgrace. It is also the reason HUD put together a strategic plan to end homelessness among veterans by 2015. Not reduce it, not redefine it, but end it.

      New York Times columnist David Brooks recently visited HUD and sat in on one of our regular meetings designed to monitor the progress we’re making toward that goal. Even though Brooks is a conservative columnist covering a Democratic administration, he came away impressed. That’s because ending veterans’ homelessness is one of those issues that has nothing to do with ideology, or whether you have a “D” or an “R” after you name. Making sure the heroes who answered the call to service are treated with the dignity they deserve when they return is absolutely central to upholding our nation’s values.

      With that mission in mind, HUD has dedicated itself to collaboration across governmental agencies, focusing on finding out what works. The first step was knowing the scope of our problem: How many veterans are homeless and where are they? President Obama and I both know the importance of good data. That’s why, in the effort to end homelessness among veterans, the department is using a program called HUDStat to monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of our services to veterans.

      This effort isn’t about spin or scoring political points. It’s about knowing where the need for support is greatest and the best ways to deliver that help. So far, we have seen that HUD’s efforts to eliminate homelessness among servicemen and women have been incredibly successful, with the collaboration between HUD and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing helping more than 21,000 veterans.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/06/06/ending-veteran-homelessness

    • VA Secretary Shinseki Discusses Homeless Veterans

      From: DeptVetAffairs | ‪May 20, 2010

      In this short video, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki discusses America’s issue with homeless Veterans.

    • Eliminating Homelessness

      From: DeptVetAffairs | ‪Apr 1, 2011

      Eliminating homelessness among Veterans is a top priority at VA as it reaches out to like-minded organizations, creating a large network of homeless programs throughout the country.

    • Veterans battle homelessness as they return from war

      3 July 2011 By Peter Bowes – BBC News

      Los Angeles, CA – As families around the United States celebrate the nation’s Independence Day, many will be counting the days to the return of their loved ones from military service in Afghanistan.

      Some 33,000 troops are expected to head home by September 2012.

      For those who leave the military world, there will be challenges ahead as they adjust to civilian life. The least fortunate may end up becoming homeless and many will battle the mental scars of war.

      Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are finding themselves living on the streets faster than those who served in previous conflicts, including Vietnam.

      Approximately one in five homeless adults around the US is a veteran.

      Nationwide, about 130,000 ex-servicemen and women do not have anywhere to live. Los Angeles is regarded as the country’s homeless capital, where the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates there are up to 8,000 veterans without a home.

      Other organisations, including non-profit groups assisting the homeless, believe the figure is much higher.

      For the entire article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13983279

    • Homeless veteran numbers drop by 55,000: VA

      Jul 15, 2011 By Molly O’Toole | Reuters

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of homeless veterans on any given night has dropped by over 55,000, the Department of Veterans Affairs said on Friday, due in part to programs like the $46.2 million announced Thursday to provide permanent housing for 6,790 homeless veterans.

      Despite a still-stagnant economy and increased troop drawdowns leading to potentially higher numbers of homeless veterans, VA Deputy Press Secretary Drew Brookie said the number of veterans that are homeless each night has dropped from an estimated 131,000 in 2009 to 75,700 as of June this year.

      But continued pressure on this targeted group makes Thursday’s funding fundamental to the Obama Administration’s goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015, according to Anne Oliva, director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s homeless office.

      “It’s a critical time,” Oliva told Reuters Friday. “We have veterans that are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan that are potentially becoming homeless in higher numbers than they have in the past. This new influx of people … we want to try and get in front of it.”

      For the entire article: http://goo.gl/qDDxV

      • Housing for Homeless Vets

        From: DODvClips | Jun 16, 2011

        The Department of Veterans Affairs is adding 34 new locations around the country to serve as housing for homeless and at-risk veterans.

    • First Lady Joins Navy Veteran on ‘Extreme Makeover’

      July 22, 2011 By Elaine Sanchez
- American Forces Press Service

      FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.,– With First Lady Michelle Obama at her side and hundreds of volunteers and well-wishers cheering behind her, Navy veteran Barbara Marshall and her family faced a giant bus emblazoned with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” parked right in front of their home here yesterday.

      “Move that bus! Move that bus!” the crowd chanted with increasing fervor, momentarily forgetting the scorching heat.

      The bus pulled off, and Marshall’s jaw dropped as she caught her first glimpse of the new Jubilee House, built courtesy of the ABC reality show. Tears flowed as she took in the two-story, 5,000-square-foot house that would serve as a home not only for her family, but also for the countless homeless female veterans she’s dedicated her life to helping.

      The first lady and the show’s star designer, Ty Pennington, leaned in close to catch Marshall’s first impression of the new house, but her words were lost among the crowd’s cheers.

      A highlight of the experience, the first lady said later, was “watching the faces of the families as they saw their beautiful new home for the first time.”

      For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=64768

      —————-

      Joining Forces With Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

      From: whitehouse | Sep 23, 2011

      First Lady Michelle Obama travels to Fayetteville, North Carolina to join Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as they build a dream home for Barbara Marshall, a veteran, and her military family. This is what Joining Forces is all about, and because of everyone’s hard work and her new home, Barbara Marshall is able to better serve her community but most of all inspire others to do the same.

      • What a wonderful story about Mrs. Obama’s involvement. She is such a special First Lady!

    • GOP WRONG WAY

      Romney plan calls for Medicaid block grants, repeal of Obama health law

      09/06/11 By Sam Baker – TheHill

      Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney said Tuesday he would issue an executive order to slow implementation of the healthcare law on his first day in office if he were elected president. Romney also proposed major changes to Medicaid and said his plan for Medicare will be similar to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) controversial proposal.

      The economic plan that Romney released Tuesday is highly critical of President Obama’s healthcare reform law, which was modeled largely after the reforms Romney implemented as governor of Massachusetts. Romney’s plan says the federal law is a burden to businesses and is contributing to economic uncertainty.

      If elected president, Romney said, he would issue an executive order on his first day in office that “directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health care solutions that work best for them.”

      Romney, like all of the GOP contenders thus far, has said he wants to “repeal and replace” the healthcare law. That would require action from Congress.

      Romeny’s plan also proposes converting federal Medicaid spending into block grants for states. The federal government currently pays a certain percentage of total Medicaid costs, meaning it spends more when more people need the program. Romney said the switch to a fixed grant amount could save the federal government $200 billion per year.

      House Republicans’ budget proposal also calls for Medicaid block grants.

      For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/politics-elections/179725-romney-plan-calls-for-medicaid-block-grants-repeal-of-obama-health-law

      • GOP backs tax hike — for the poor

        10/24/11 By ROBERT L. BOROSAGE – POLITICO44

        Texas Gov. Rick Perry this week will try to revive his flagging presidential campaign by embracing an old conservative fancy — the flat tax, while calling for “scrapping the 3 million words of the current Tax Code.” Embracing the flat tax trumps the “9-9-9” tax proposal that levitated Herman Cain’s candidacy. And it puts Perry at the head of what has become a bizarre GOP fixation — the need to tax the poor.

        Taxing the poor has become a badge of honor among conservatives. When Occupy Wall Street protesters launched their cry of “We are the 99 percent,” the right-wing blogosphere responded, “We are the 53 percent,” meaning the 53 percent of American households that they say pay federal income taxes.

        Conservatives have become fixated on the notion that largely because of the Earned Income Tax Credit — passed under Ronald Reagan and expanded under Bill Clinton — almost half of all Americans pay no income taxes.

        Perry launched his presidential campaign expressing dismay at the “injustice that nearly half of all Americans don’t even pay any income tax.” And he was not alone. Every (GOP) major candidate — Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Mitt Romney and Cain — has suggested that too many of the working poor aren’t paying income taxes, a position The Wall Street Journal describes as “GOP doctrine.”

        “We don’t have enough people paying taxes in this country,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a GOP vice presidential hopeful, who trumpets conservative gospel. “We need to broaden the base so that everybody pays something,” said Bachmann. Only Ron Paul dissents — saying he doesn’t want to raise taxes on anyone.

        The argument is disingenuous. Working poor people do pay taxes. They pay a larger portion of their incomes in payroll taxes and sales taxes than the wealthy. And they pay property taxes indirectly in their rental costs. Poor workers pay about one-eighth of their incomes in taxes, on average.

        For the entire article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/66717.html

      • MITT ROMNEY’S HOUSING PLAN

        “Don’t try to stop the foreclosure process.Let it run its course and hit the bottom.”

        BASED ON MITT ROMNEY’S APPROACH TO THE FORECLOSURE CRISIS, WE’RE CONTRIBUTING IDEAS FOR ROMNEY PLANS.

        Don’t worry about fuel emissions—investors will pitch in to buy a new planet when the time comes. #romneyplan

        If we’re talking about creating jobs, I guess I could double up on staff at the vacation home. #romneyplan

        Our schools already have plenty of funding—I know a luxury jet, on the other hand, that could really use a facelift… #romneyplan

        Tweet Your #romneyplan

      • What Romney would cut

        11/04/2011 Posted by Suzy Khimm – TheHill

        Mitt Romney is making a big push today to cast himself as a budget-slashing fiscal conservative who isn’t afraid to wield a hatchet when it comes to government spending. But what specific cuts would he actually push for? The same ones that House Republicans were demanding earlier this year. And it’s worth remembering exactly what those were.

        According to Romney’s budget proposal, he’d “send a bill to Congress on Day One” with a 5 percent, across-the-board cut to non-security discretionary spending. On top of that, he’d also pass the House Republican version of the 2011 budget, which capped spending at below 2008 levels, before Obama took office. Compared to the 2010 budget, it would have cut spending by about $86 billion. But in the process, it went after some programs far more aggressively than others.

        The GOP budget plan that Romney wants to adopt would make steeper cuts to Head Start, Pell Grants and workforce training than to other programs. Romney would completely eliminate funding for a program backing remedial literacy in low-income schools, as well as federal assistance that helps low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills. Ultimately, as a result of such cuts — combined with the budget reductions passed on Obama’s watch — “157,000 at-risk children up to age 5 could lose education, health, nutrition, and other services under Head Start, while funds for Pell Grants that help students go to college would fall by nearly 25 percent,” according to a CBPP analysis of the House GOP proposal.

        And that’s just the beginning. Romney’s first two steps to cut the budget would reduce spending by about 8 to 9.4 percent compared to 2012, though that’s setting aside whatever happens with the debt “supercommittee.” However, that’s outside of the entitlement reforms that he wants to pass, which would block-grant Medicaid and offer a private alternative to Medicare. Romney is also pushing additional budget-cutting measures that would reduce the size of the federal workforce and its salaries. All this would build toward $500 billion in spending cuts per year, which Romney promises to reach in 2016.

        Romney, however, is selective when it comes to the specific discretionary spending cuts that he’s campaigning on. Though he’s endorsed the House GOP budget for 2011 upfront, he’s singled out just a few programs for item-line reductions: slashing money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and Title X family planning funding, for instance. Those kinds of cuts wouldn’t save much money, relatively speaking, but they are more appealing to ideological social conservatives who are a key voting block in the primary. But it will be interesting to see whether and when Romney defends the rest of the budget-slashing demands that House Republicans have made this year.

      • Opinion: The radical dangers of Mitt Romney’s America

        As president, the shape-shifting Republican would bow to the far Right — and sacrifice many of the programs and ideals that make this nation great

        Dec 2, 2011 By Robert Shrum | The Week

        One of the nation’s most prominent columnists told me in the past few days that he had almost written that Mitt Romney was the inevitable Republican nominee, but at the last minute, pulled back and hedged his prediction with a formulaic qualifier. Not me. For months, I’ve been boldly stating that it’s Romney. After all, I asked, who the hell else have they got?

        Well, right now, Newt Gingrich — ahead in Iowa, closing in New Hampshire, pulling away in South Carolina, beating Romney by the astounding margin of 47 percent to 17 percent in the probable rubber-match state of Florida. Can it last? Is the year so weird that the traditional metrics — money, organization, a long-term strategic plan — don’t matter, or won’t make enough of a difference? I still believe, logically, perhaps stubbornly, that in the end, the unpalatable Romney is likely to prevail over the improbable Gingrich or some last hour, unthinkable incarnation of yet another non-Mitt.

        The resistance to the obvious nominee reflects the nagging instinct of the GOP’s dominant right wing that, whatever his peccadilloes and his pyrotechnic deviations from orthodoxy, Newt is at heart a conservative, and that Mitt is at heart a con man.

        Both propositions are amply justified on the public record, but for conservatives, the judgment about Romney should be irrelevant. The Right shouldn’t be afraid of him; it’s the rest of us who should. If elected, Romney would be imprisoned in his presidency by wary Republicans who would watch his every move and threaten his renomination if he ever dared to be pragmatic. Whether he means what he says, doing it would be his only politically viable choice in the White House.

        Romney often invokes Ronald Reagan, the man he blithely disclaimed during his 1994 Senate race in Massachusetts. But Romney is no Reagan, who so embodied the conservative principles to which he did genuinely subscribe that he was free to transcend them — to compromise and event to commit moderation — when he decided that was the sensible course, or even essential to the national interest.

        Thus, Reagan raised taxes after cutting them. He worked with Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill to save Social Security despite his earlier view that it “should be made voluntary.” Then he worked with Ted Kennedy to pass sweeping immigration reform that provided for amnesty. He denounced “the evil empire” and then made peace with Mikhail Gorbachev. This was, to certain conservative elites, the most unthinkable transgression of all. William F. Buckley Jr. called Reagan’s nuclear arms control treaty a “suicide pact.” Rep. Dick Cheney rebuked the president, who in turn said of his critics: They “have accepted that war is inevitable.”

        And long before his second-term treaty-making with the Soviets, Reagan’s pragmatism had riled the self-appointed keepers of the right-wing flame. For permitting grain sales to the Soviet Union, columnist George Will attacked the administration “for lov[ing] commerce more than it loathes communism.” William Safire delivered his harsh verdict on the president’s move toward the middle on Social Security and taxes, including his move away from the flat tax. All this, he wrote, was “Reagan’s white flag” — which “invited… grinning contempt.”

        Yet none of this noise mattered, and no one inside his own party seriously thought to challenge the president in 1984. He was simply, unassailably “Mr. Conservative” — and he could bend or change the rules, holding his base in the country while inside-the-Beltway critics spoke mostly to themselves. As the Moral Majority’s Ron Godwin conceded in a 1982 Washington Post piece (subscription required) reporting on complaints about Reagan’s “liberal” and “moderate” advisers, the president had a bond of trust with GOP voters: “They like him and are pleased with them.”

        In contrast, Romney is seeking — and at best, will have to settle for — grudging acceptance from skeptical Republicans. As president, he would be on permanent probation because he lacks fundamental strength with a GOP base that is decidedly more hard-line than it was during the Reagan era. Romney more closely resembles the first George Bush, who, after courageously recognizing the fiscal folly of his famous pledge of “no new taxes,” was harried and wounded by Pat Buchanan in the 1992 Republican primaries. Bush had been Reagan’s vice president, his natural successor, but like Romney now, Bush senior faced a wall of conservative skepticism, both when he lost the nomination in 1980 and when he finally won it in 1988. Then he violated his parole by agreeing to a tax increase. Romney knows this history, and would not choose to repeat it. As president, he would not be that Bush. He would have to be the anti-Reagan — because he would not be less right wing, but more reliably and inflexibly just that, incapable of dispensing with his party’s dogma where and when it was wrong.

        For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/opinion–the-radical-dangers-of-mitt-romney-s-america-.html

      • Catholic group criticizes Paul Ryan

        4/13/12 1:43 PM EDT By TIM MAK – POLITICO

        Nearly 60 progressive Catholic leaders released a statement Friday, condemning Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s assertion that his budget proposal was shaped by his Catholic faith.

        “When a high-profile Catholic congressman is mangling church teachings, that should be challenged,” John Gehring, Catholic Outreach Coordinator for Faith in Public Life, the organization that put together the statement, told POLITICO.

        In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network released Tuesday, Ryan said that his religious convictions influenced his budget plan, claiming that the proposal reflects Catholic teachings of local control and concern for the poor.

        “[T]he preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenets of Catholic social teaching, means don’t keep people poor, don’t make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life, help people get out of poverty out onto life of independence,” said Ryan.

        But some Catholic leaders disagree strenuously that Ryan’s policies represent their faith.

        “If Rep. Ryan thinks a budget that takes food and health care away from millions of vulnerable people upholds Catholic values, then he also probably believes Jesus was a tea partier who lectured the poor to stop being so lazy and work harder,” said Gehring. “This budget turns centuries of Catholic social teaching on its head. These Catholic leaders and many Catholics in the pews are tired of faith being misused to bless an immoral agenda.”

        Indeed, 59 Catholic leaders and theologians took issue with Ryan’s claims, signing a scathing letter that slammed the Ryan budget plan.

        “Simply put, this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good. A budget that turns its back on the hungry, the elderly and the sick while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest few can’t be justified in Christian terms,” argue the signatories.

        The signatories include the leadership team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a women’s Catholic organization, a retired Priest in Ryan’s district, and the former Associate General Secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

        For the entire article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75109.html

        • James 5:14
          Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;

          Matthew 10:8
          “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give

      • Republicans to slash food stamps

        By DAVID ROGERS | 4/16/12 12:04 PM EDT

        Food stamps moved front-and-center in the budget wars Monday morning, as House Republicans began rolling out a first wave of $33.2 billion in 10-year savings that will have an immediate impact in the farm bill debate and come November, the 2012 elections.

        An average family of four faces an 11 percent cut in monthly benefits after Sept. 1, and even more important is the tighter enforcement of rules demanding that households exhaust most of their savings before qualifying for help. This hits hardest among the long-term unemployed, many of whom never before used the aid –now titled SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)—but have found it valuable in trying to stay afloat in the current recession.

        Indeed food stamp enrollment and costs have exploded since the financial collapse four years ago, making SNAP a target for the right— but also far bigger political issue in swing states like Florida, Nevada and Ohio.

        National food stamp enrollment reached 46.4 million people in January 2012, a nearly two-thirds increase from the average participation in fiscal 2008. The annual costs—now running in excess of $80 billion—have more than doubled in the same period. And even the most ardent food stamp proponents will sometimes say SNAP is a program “asked to do too much.”

        The White House deliberately increased monthly benefits in 2009 by about $20 per person as a way to pump stimulus dollars into the economy. And in this post welfare-reform crisis, hard-strapped governors have sought to maximize food stamp dollars as a cheap way to help families without tapping state funds.

        Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75190.html

      • Romney on spending: Guns triumph over butter

        4/23/12 By Andrew Taylor – Associated Press

        WASHINGTON — Reducing government deficits Mitt Romney’s way would mean less money for health care for the poor and disabled and big cuts to nuts-and-bolts functions such as food inspection, border security and education.

        Romney also promises budget increases for the Pentagon, above those sought by some GOP defense hawks, meaning that the rest of the government would have to shrink even more. Nonmilitary programs would incur still larger cuts than those called for in the tightfisted GOP budget that the House passed last month.

        Differences over the government’s budget and spiraling deficits are among the starkest that separate Republican Romney and Democratic President Barack Obama. Obama’s budget generally avoids risk, with minimal cuts to rapidly growing health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid while socking wealthier people with tax increases. It’s all part of an effort to close trillion-dollar-plus deficits.

        Romney, by contrast, proposes broad cuts in government spending, possibly overpromising on reductions that even a Congress stuffed with conservatives might find hard to deliver.

        Estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office put current government spending at $3.6 trillion, or about 23.5 percent of the gross domestic product this year, slipping to 21.8 percent by 2016.

        The math can get fuzzy. But the Romney campaign says it needs to come up with $500 billion in cuts in 2016, the target year. The GOP front-runner suggests raising the Social Security retirement age and reducing cost-of-living increases for better-off retirees.

        He generally endorses a plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to gradually transform Medicare from a program that directly pays hospital and doctor bills into vouchers for subsidizing future beneficiaries in buying health insurance.

        Because Romney promises to protect current Social Security and Medicare recipients from cuts, he cannot get much savings from those programs by 2016.

        Combined, they are projected to make up about 44 percent of the budget that year. Interest costs, which cannot be touched, would make up an additional 9 percent of the budget, while Romney promises to add almost $100 billion to the Pentagon budget that year, based on his pledge that military spending reach 4 percent of GDP.

        So what’s left to cut?

        Medicaid: The program now provides health care for about 50 million mostly poor and disabled people, including nursing home care for 7 of 10 patients nationwide. Obama’s health care law sharply would sharply boost Medicaid enrollment to cover more people above the poverty line, a move that Romney promises to repeal.

        Like House Republicans, Romney promises to transform Medicaid into block grants for states and shed federal supervision of it. He would cap the program’s annual growth to inflation plus a percentage point. His campaign says the approach would unshackle states to innovate and, by the end of a decade, cut costs by more than $200 billion a year.

        Domestic agency budgets: If Social Security is mostly off the table and current Medicare beneficiaries are protected, domestic Cabinet agency budgets would take a major hit in ways that could fundamentally alter government. The future growth of those discretionary programs funded through annual appropriations bills was already cut greatly in last year’s deal to raise the government’s borrowing limit.

        At issue are these programs, just to name a few: health research; NASA; transportation; homeland security; education; food inspection; housing and heating subsidies for the poor; food aid for pregnant women; the FBI; grants to local governments; national parks; and veterans’ health care.

        Other benefit programs: Like Ryan’s budget, the Romney plan would also cut benefit programs other than Social Security and Medicare. They include food stamps, school lunches, crop subsidies, Supplemental Security Income for very poor seniors and disabled people, unemployment insurance, veterans’ pensions and refundable tax credits to the working poor.

    • Court Decisions on Homeless People’s Voting Rights

      Prior to the 1980’s when homelessness grew into the national problem we know today, state election laws did not adequately address the issue of voter registration by people without a home. Listed below are selected court cases in which courts have addressed the ambiguities in state election laws and found that homeless people cannot be denied the right to vote. Courts in some of the cases below found the following principles.

      * A requirement that people live in a traditional dwelling in order to vote placed an unconstitutional constraint on the voting rights of homeless persons. Coalition for the Homeless v. Jensen, 187 A.D.2d 582 (N.Y. App. Div. 1992).
      * States should use a broad interpretation of the term “residence” to include any place, including a non-traditional dwelling, that an individual inhabits with the intent to remain for an indefinite period. Pitts v. Black, 608 F.Supp. 696 (S.D.N.Y. 1984); In re-Application for Voter Registration of Willie R. Jenkins, D.C. Bd. of Elections and Ethics (June 7, 1984).
      * When registering to vote, homeless people may designate a shelter, park, or street corner as their residence. Fischer v. Stout, 741 P.2d 217 (Alaska 1987).

      Remember, each case is unique. This information is intended to describe principles from key cases in specific jurisdictions, not to act as legal advice. If you or your clients need help with a specific problem, contact a local lawyer.

      For the entire article: http://www.nationalhomeless.org/projects/vote/court.html

      • NATIONAL CENTER for PTSD Home

        Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like war, assault, or disaster.

        To learn more: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/

    • Using Technology to Help Homeless Veterans

      Posted by W. Scott Gould on March 19, 2012 at 03:30 PM EDT

      More than 67,000 veterans spent one night homeless, living in emergency shelters, transitional housing units or on the streets in 2011, according to last year’s “point in time” count conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in coordination with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

      It’s not always easy for volunteers and outreach workers to know where to send them to get help. That’s why the VA is excited to launch a competition to provide easy access to resources that the homeless need, when they need them, and where they can get them.

      Project REACH (Real-Time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless) challenges applicants to make a free, easy-to-use, and broadly accessible web- and Smartphone app to provide current and up-to-date information about housing and shelter, health clinics, food banks, and other services available to the homeless. It is designed to tap the enormous talent and deep compassion of the nation’s developer community to help us deliver vital information to the people who care for the homeless.

      People caring for homeless veterans will be able to use this app to look up the location and availability of shelters, free clinics, and other social services – and instantaneously be able to share this critical information with those in need.

      This contest is sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Joining Forces in support of the Administration’s goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015.

      For more information and to participate in the challenge, go to http://www.reachthehomeless.challenge.gov.

    • Reaching Out to Fight Veteran Homelessness

      Rosye Cloud June 05, 2012 02:01 PM EDT

      The White House would like to congratulate the finalists dedicated to providing resources to our homeless veterans. On March 19, 2012, the VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) launched Project REACH (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless), which involved public and nonprofit collaboration between the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, and the Jon Bon Jovi (JBJ) Soul Foundation.

      VA Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould, Mr. Bon Jovi, and HUD Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones announced the finalists today at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Data Initiative Forum in Washington D.C., and each finalist received a $10,000 prize.

      Project REACH challenges the nation’s developers to create a convenient mobile application so that local resources are available to those who need them most – our homeless veterans. The ultimate goal is to create a national platform that allows for identifying available services such as health clinics, food kitchens, housing services, and shelters at any location around the country.

      These finalists were chosen because they were the first five contestants to meet the selection criteria as outlined on http://www.reachthehomeless.challenge.gov. Simply put, they provided a free, broadly accessible application that produces real or near real-time information on where someone can find a bed, a place to eat, or seek medical services. A pilot program between Veterans Affairs and Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation will select a program among this list of finalists that can be scaled nationwide.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/05/reaching-out-fight-veteran-homelessness

    • 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

    • Panetta: Program Will Help Transitioning Troops Get Jobs

      July 24, 2012 By Lisa Daniel – American Forces Press Service

      WASHINGTON – A redesigned program for service members separating from the military will help veterans better apply the experience they’ve gained in uniform, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said.

      President Barack Obama announced the revamped program, called “Transition GPS,” in a speech yesterday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Reno, Nev.

      “I applaud the leadership of President Obama to bring together government agencies around the goal of enhancing career opportunities for service members,” Panetta said in a statement. “Our personnel have developed extraordinary technical expertise and world-class leadership skills that are in high demand. Transition GPS will help military members apply their experience to additional training, formal education, and develop successful civilian careers.”

      Transition GPS is the first major overhaul of the military’s Transition Assistance Program in nearly 20 years, White House officials said. TAP was developed by an interagency team from the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor, Education and Homeland Security, as along with the Office of Personnel and Management and the Small Business Administration.

      Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said the redesign will better ensure that veterans today and in the future will receive the care and benefits they have earned.

      “One of our fundamental responsibilities as a government is to properly prepare and support those serving in our military so they are career ready as they transition back into civilian life,” he said. “This collaborative effort will have an impact well beyond this current generation of individuals returning from combat.”

      The redesign is being developed by the Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force created in August to help separating service members successfully transition to the civilian workforce, start a business, or pursue higher education.

      TAP consisted of pre-separation counseling and a voluntary, three-day workshop from the departments of Labor, Defense and Veterans Affairs that was presented at selected military installations and attended by nearly half of the service members who separated from the services each year, White House officials said. Transition GPS is designed to strengthen, standardize and expand counseling and guidance for service members before leaving the military, and transform the military’s approach to education, training, and credentialing, they added.

      Transition GPS is to be implemented throughout the military by the end of 2013. It will:
      — Extend the current three-day transition program to five to seven days;
      — Offer individual assessment and counseling, including an individual transition plan;
      — Include a five-day curriculum of financial planning, available veterans’ benefits and services
      and a redesigned employment workshop;
      — Include a “Military Occupational Code Crosswalk” to translate military skills, training and experiences into civilian occupations and credentialing;
      — Include optional training specific to pursuing higher education, technical skills and training, or starting a business;
      — Include a “capstone” event to verify that the participant is career-ready;
      — Give a “warm handover” to appropriate government agencies and organizations for continued benefits, services and support of veterans; and
      — Create a “Military Life Cycle Transition Model” to incorporate career readiness and transition preparation early into a service member’s career.

      • Panetta: Program Will Help Transitioning Troops Get Jobs

        July 24, 2012 By Lisa Daniel – American Forces Press Service

        WASHINGTON – A redesigned program for service members separating from the military will help veterans better apply the experience they’ve gained in uniform, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said.

        President Barack Obama announced the revamped program, called “Transition GPS,” in a speech yesterday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Reno, Nev.

        “I applaud the leadership of President Obama to bring together government agencies around the goal of enhancing career opportunities for service members,” Panetta said in a statement. “Our personnel have developed extraordinary technical expertise and world-class leadership skills that are in high demand. Transition GPS will help military members apply their experience to additional training, formal education, and develop successful civilian careers.”

        Transition GPS is the first major overhaul of the military’s Transition Assistance Program in nearly 20 years, White House officials said. TAP was developed by an interagency team from the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor, Education and Homeland Security, as along with the Office of Personnel and Management and the Small Business Administration.

        Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said the redesign will better ensure that veterans today and in the future will receive the care and benefits they have earned.

        “One of our fundamental responsibilities as a government is to properly prepare and support those serving in our military so they are career ready as they transition back into civilian life,” he said. “This collaborative effort will have an impact well beyond this current generation of individuals returning from combat.”

        The redesign is being developed by the Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force created in August to help separating service members successfully transition to the civilian workforce, start a business, or pursue higher education.

        TAP consisted of pre-separation counseling and a voluntary, three-day workshop from the departments of Labor, Defense and Veterans Affairs that was presented at selected military installations and attended by nearly half of the service members who separated from the services each year, White House officials said. Transition GPS is designed to strengthen, standardize and expand counseling and guidance for service members before leaving the military, and transform the military’s approach to education, training, and credentialing, they added.

        Transition GPS is to be implemented throughout the military by the end of 2013. It will:
        — Extend the current three-day transition program to five to seven days;
        — Offer individual assessment and counseling, including an individual transition plan;
        — Include a five-day curriculum of financial planning, available veterans’ benefits and services
        and a redesigned employment workshop;
        — Include a “Military Occupational Code Crosswalk” to translate military skills, training and experiences into civilian occupations and credentialing;
        — Include optional training specific to pursuing higher education, technical skills and training, or starting a business;
        — Include a “capstone” event to verify that the participant is career-ready;
        — Give a “warm handover” to appropriate government agencies and organizations for continued benefits, services and support of veterans; and
        — Create a “Military Life Cycle Transition Model” to incorporate career readiness and transition preparation early into a service member’s career.

    • 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/

    • August 06, 2012

      Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 1627

      On Monday, August 6, 2012, the President signed into law:

      H.R. 1627, the “Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012,” which amends Department of Veterans Affairs authorities related to: health care; housing assistance; homeless veterans; education; benefits; memorial, burial, and cemetery matters; and miscellaneous provisions.

      ———————

      August 06, 2012

      Remarks by the President at Signing of the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012

      Oval Office

      2:25 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, I want to thank everybody who is here because they all did outstanding work to help us get this legislation completed.

      As you know, I think all Americans feel we have a moral, sacred duty towards our men and women in uniform. They protect our freedom, and it’s our obligation to do right by them. This bill takes another important step in fulfilling that commitment.

      I want to thank the members of Congress who helped to make this happen. It is going to have immediate impact. It is going to improve access to health care, streamline services in the VA. It expands support for veterans who are homeless.

      There are two parts to the bill, though, that I especially want to highlight. First of all, this bill ends a decade-long struggle for those who serve at Camp Lejeune. Some of the veterans and their families who were based in Camp Lejeune in the years when the water was contaminated will now have access to extended medical care. And, sadly, this act alone will not bring back those we’ve lost, including Jane Ensminger, but it will honor their memory by making a real difference for those who are still suffering.

      The second part of this bill that I want to highlight — prohibit protesting within 300 feet of military funerals during the two hours before and two hours after a service. I supported this step as a senator. I am very pleased to be signing this bill into law. The graves of our veterans are hallowed ground. And obviously we all defend our Constitution and the First Amendment and free speech, but we also believe that when men and women die in the service of their country and are laid to rest, it should be done with the utmost honor and respect.

      So I’m glad that Congress passed this bill and I hope that we can continue to do some more good bipartisan work in protecting our veterans. I’ve been advocating, for example, for a veterans job corps that could help provide additional opportunities for the men and women who are coming home as we’re winding down our operations in Afghanistan and having ended the war in Iraq. And so this is a good sign of a bipartisan spirit that I’m sure is going to carry through all the way to Election Day and beyond.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/06/remarks-president-signing-honoring-americas-veterans-and-caring-camp-lej

    • AARP fighting House food stamp bill

      9/17/13 09:55 AM ET By Erik Wasson – TheHill

      The powerful seniors group, AARP, on Tuesday came out against a House Republican bill that it says would “punish” people on food stamps.

      The bill, which is headed to the House floor on Thursday, cuts $39 billion from the program over 10 years, and according to the Congressional Budget Office would remove up to 3.8 million people from food stamp eligibility next year.

      A letter to all members of the House from AARP urged a “no” vote.
      “AARP opposes H.R. 3102, ‘The Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013,’ especially the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and we urge you to vote against it.

      “The new House nutrition bill retains the provisions opposed by AARP and other anti-hunger advocates in earlier House Farm Bill efforts while adding more stringent conditions to discourage participation in SNAP and generate cost savings that will harm millions of documented hungry and food insecure Americans,” the letter states.

      Democrats are hoping that enough Republicans from poor districts will defect to defeat the bill, handing House leaders another embarrassing defeat just ahead of major fiscal fights over government funding and the debt ceiling.

      They also hope that despite a defeat, House leaders will allow a House-Senate conference on a 2013 farm bill. The Senate farm bill contains $4 billion in food stamp cuts.

      The AARP’s voice significantly ups the opposition to the House bill, which has already drawn opposition from groups focused on hunger and from Catholic bishops.

      “The slow economy, higher prices for food and energy, and the impending November 1, 2013 elimination of the SNAP benefit boost from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) have made the situation acute for all concerned,” AARP said.

      Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/agriculture/322661-aarp-comes-out-against-house-food-stamp-bill

      • Obama threatens veto on farm bill

        7/11/13 6:48 AM EDT By TAL KOPAN – POLITICO44

        The White House late Wednesday night responded to a new farm bill posted by House Republicans, threatening to veto it in part over it not including food stamps.

        The House Rules Committee held a hearing on the new version of the so-called farm bill, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, beginning at 9 p.m. on Wednesday night and posted the more-than 600 page bill not long thereafter, with a vote expected Thursday.

        The White House statement decried the last-minute move in its veto threat late Wednesday, saying “because the 608 page bill was made available only this evening, the administration has had inadequate time to fully review the text of the bill. It is apparent, though, that the bill does not contain sufficient commodity and crop insurance reforms and does not invest in renewable energy, an important source of jobs and economic growth in rural communities across the country.”

        The veto threat was widely expected because of the bill’s lack of renewal of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, an amendment on which was a major sticking point in the failure of the House’s last attempt to pass the bill.

      • GOP WRONG WAY

        House votes to cut food stamps by $39 billion

        9/19/13 06:09 PM ET By Pete Kasperowicz and Erik Wasson – TheHill

        The House approved legislation Thursday that would cut $39 billion in funds over the next decade for food stamp programs.

        Members approved H.R. 3102, the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, in a close 217-210 vote. No Democrats voted for the bill, and 15 Republicans voted against GOP leaders.

        The bill would authorize food stamp programs for three years.

        The legislation, part of which was developed by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), passed in the face of fierce opposition from House Democrats, a White House veto threat, and warnings that it is already dead on arrival in the Democratic Senate.

        Several Democrats warned today that cutting $39 billion from the program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a cruel step that would only hurt people in need.

        The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that up to 3.8 million people will lose food stamp benefits next year.

        The vote was expected to be close, as a few Republicans had said they were undecided on how to vote. Just a day earlier, House Appropriations Committee Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said he was “looking at it,” and two others said they were similarly undecided.

        Rogers waited until the nearly last minute before voting for the measure.

        Most of the Republicans defections came from the Northeast, including most of the New York GOP delegation.

        “I have a lot of families that are struggling. This is a tough economy and I didn’t think it was the right time to be going that deep,” said Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) of his “no” vote.

        Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) cited victims of Hurricane Sandy in his district who needed food stamps.

        “I just felt the cuts were a little too steep, especially because right now I have a lot of Sandy victims who have never been on assistance ever in their life,” Grimm said. “And a lot of these hard-working families have lost everything, and for the first time, they’re needing food stamps. So I didn’t want to affect those Sandy victims.”

        Other Republicans voting against the bill were Reps. Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va.), Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Jeff Fortenberry (Neb.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Peter King (N.Y.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Gary Miller (Calif.), Chris Smith (N.J.), David Valadao (Calif.), Frank Wolf (Va.) and Don Young (Alaska).

        Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who frequently opposes leadership, waited until near the end before voting yes.

        “That was a tough vote, yes,” Amash said. “It’s got some reforms that are important. I think these issues should be handled by the states, not by the federal government. But it’s good to have a method for phasing these in while we transition over to the states.”

        Republicans stressed that the bill is needed to stop runaway spending in the food stamp program, which has roughly doubled under the Obama administration. They also said the bill is focused on reducing payments to able-bodied adults and focusing payments on more needy populations.

        “There’s no denying that SNAP provides important support for many Americans who are struggling,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). “It serves a noble purpose to help you when you hit bottom. But it’s not meant to keep you at the bottom.”

        Democrats criticized the measure.

        “Cutting the investment is a full assault on the health and economic security of millions of families,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “I know one thing for sure: Every person who votes for this Republican measure is voting to hurt his or her own constituents.”

        Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/323511-house-votes-to-cut-39-billion-from-food-stamp-program

    • June 04, 2014

      Remarks by the First Lady Announcing Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness

      East Room

      1:49 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much, everyone. Thank you all. Well, welcome. Rest yourselves. Thank you so much. This is a good-news day, and I am honored to welcome everyone here to the White House.

      I want to start by thanking Chris. Let’s give Chris a round of applause for her courage. (Applause.) I look at Chris and I go she’s a baby. I mean, she served our country and she’s a baby. And Chris is also the face of veterans and the face of homelessness, which is why today is so important. And we are grateful that she could be here to share her story. We are proud of you, Chris, and proud of everything you’re going to do because we know you’re going to keep contributing.

      I also want to thank Secretary Donovan for his tremendous leadership at HUD, as well as Mayor Julian Castro, who we are confident will continue to build on the progress that we’ve been making. I also want to thank acting Secretary Sloan Gibson. Sloan and I have done some really good work together, and I am so happy he’s joining us and is going to keep doing great work. And we’re just grateful for his distinguished service to our country for so many years — as well as Mayor Becker for doing such phenomenal work in Salt Lake City.

      I also want to recognize someone who doesn’t get a lot of attention, and that is Laura Zeilinger, who — yes. (Applause.) Laura. Today is the first day I got to meet Laura, but her reputation precedes her. She is the Executive Director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness. So for many of the advancements we’ve made have, it’s been because of the Council’s work to streamline and coordinate our efforts across agencies. So I want to thank Laura and everyone from the Council for their outstanding leadership and service.

      And most of all, I want to thank all of you here today -– our guests, our mayors, our community leaders; the county and city, federal employees who work day in and day out to repay our debt to our veterans.

      Now, unfortunately, homelessness among our veterans is an issue that we’re all too familiar with. Sometimes we see these folks on our way to work or when we’re walking our kids home from school. We might pass them — someone as we’re strolling through the park sitting on a bench and not even realize that he or she is a veteran. Maybe we say hello, offer to buy a sandwich, but often we just keep on going, rushing off to the next meeting, burying our heads into our smart phones. It’s not that we don’t care, it’s just that we think, well, there’s no way we’ll ever solve this problem, that’s just the way things go.

      But that kind of thinking starts to melt away when we better understand the stories of these veterans. The man who lost his arm in Vietnam, and when he and his wife’s medical bills kept piling up they lost their home. The Gulf War vet who injured her back and lost her job, and then her house, and spent months on the streets. The Army veteran from the Iraq War who survived cancer, but when she and her two kids were evicted from their home they had nowhere to go.

      These are just three stories. Altogether, roughly 58,000 veterans are experiencing homelessness in America today -– a number that, fortunately, has fallen sharply in the past few years. But whatever the number, these brave men and women have served this country with courage and grace.

      Some volunteered to serve; many others were drafted. They went off to faraway jungles and deserts and mountain regions; they saw their best friends fall in ambush, or because of a suicide bomb. Some of them were left wondering why they were the ones who survived. And after all that, too many of them have come home only to fight a new battle -– a battle to keep a roof over their head, a battle just to have somewhere to go when it rains.

      Now, I want to be very clear: The vast majority of our veterans return home in good health and good spirits. They go on to build good families, find good jobs. They keep serving this nation in their communities through their congregations and schools and neighborhoods. In fact, the percentage of veterans who are homeless today is actually just 0.3 percent of the total veteran population.

      But even one homeless veteran is a shame. (Applause.) And the fact that we have 58,000 is a moral outrage. We should all be horrified. (Applause.) Tens of thousands of veterans who risked their lives for our country are sleeping in their cars, or in a shelter, or next to a subway vent. We should be horrified because that’s not who we are as Americans.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/04/remarks-first-lady-announcing-mayors-challenge-end-veterans-homelessness

    • Tester Aims to Fight Homelessness Among Native Veterans

      6/11/14 Jon Tester’s Office – indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/

      Senator Jon Tester is helping to launch a new initiative to fight homelessness among Native American veterans.

      Native Americans volunteer for America’s military at some of the highest rates in the nation, but Indian veterans often struggle to get the support services they earn – including safe, affordable housing.

      Tester, Montana’s only member of both the Senate Veterans’ Affairs and Indian Affairs Committees, is working to change that by helping to add a provision to a funding bill that calls for new initiative to reduce homelessness on tribal lands.

      Tester’s initiative would make HUD-VASH funds – which help veterans find housing arrangements where they also are able to receive additional resources to address the root causes of homelessness – available to Native Americans living on tribal lands. It is estimated that at least 2,000 veterans served by VA homeless programs live on tribal lands.

      “Native Americans are some of this nation’s most dedicated military men and women, and they shouldn’t have to struggle with homelessness when their service is over,” Tester said. “This initiative will help more veterans get a roof over their heads and the support they need to get back on their feet and contribute to our communities.”

      Read more : http://2014/06/11/tester-aims-fight-homelessness-among-native-veterans-155242

    • San Jose Considers Converting City-Owned Land Into $400K Lots For Homeless To Safely Camp In Cars

      October 3, 2014 7:44 AM Kiet Do – cbslocal

      SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Nearly 500 homeless people in Santa Clara County live in their cars. Now the city of San Jose is considering designated parking lots to give those folks a place to stay.

      Butcher Park in West San Jose is part urban oasis, part RV park and a de facto safety of those living on the edge.

      Companion Alida and Ronald’s social security and pensions add up to $2,800 a month, hardly enough to pay the sky high rent in area. So they bought an old RV and rough it on the streets of San Jose.

      Butcher Park is perfect because it sits along a main road and borders a long stretch of apartments.

      Ronald says the apartment renters don’t complain as much as homeowners. But they say the key is to not overstay your welcome.

      They often up end in the parking lots of big box stores.
      Every night in Santa Clara County, 500 people sleep in their cars. To some, it’s an eyesore. But to the city, it’s an opportunity.
      “This is a great population to work with because it’s a population that we can help get stable faster,” said San Jose project manager Ray Bramson.

      San Jose is now looking into converting city-owned land into temporary parking lots for up to 30 car campers, essentially a homeless drive-in with bathrooms, security and case managers. It’s part of a pilot program to build two parking lots that could hold up 15 cars each, but they need to get the funding first. It’s likely to cost around $400,000.

      For more: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/10/03/san-jose-considers-converting-city-owned-land-into-400k-lots-for-homeless-to-safely-camp-in-cars-poverty-housing-affordable-cost-of-living/

    • Chart of the Week: The Progress We’ve Made on Ending Veteran Homelessness

      Tanya Somanader November 11, 2014 11:33 AM EST

      Too many of those who have served our nation in uniform now sleep in our nation’s streets. As Americans, we must uphold our sacred trust with our veterans – and eliminating veteran homelessness is a start to honoring that obligation.

      In 2009, President Obama committed his entire Administration to an ambitious plan of ending veteran homelessness. Much work remains to ensure every veteran has a home, but we have made significant progress in fulfilling this goal. Since 2010, the total number of homeless veterans has dropped to 33 percent since 2010. The number of the most vulnerable veterans, with no shelter whatsoever, has declined even more, by 43 percent. This means that on any given night, there are 25,000 fewer veterans on the streets or in shelters.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/11/chart-week-progress-we-ve-made-ending-veteran-homelessness

    • April 20, 2015

      FACT SHEET: Preventing and Ending Veteran Homelessness

      The President has pledged not just to address veteran homelessness, but to end it. The Administration has made historic investments, using proven strategies in partnership between HUD and VA, to achieve this goal. We’ve helped veterans and their families access rapid rehousing when falling into homelessness, and have aided chronically homeless veterans in stabilizing their lives through permanent supportive housing, which – in addition to serving those veterans – generates public sector savings exceeding the cost of the intervention.

      As a result, we’ve made strong progress. Since 2010, nearly 230,000 veterans and their family members have been supported by HUD’s targeted housing vouchers and VA homelessness programs designed to permanently house, rapidly rehouse, or prevent families from falling into homelessness. According to the most recent nationwide data, from 2010 to January 2014 the total number of homeless veterans nationwide declined 33 percent, and the number of unsheltered veterans – those sleeping on the street or outside at night – declined 44 percent. While more work remains, this overall progress shows that veteran homelessness is not an intractable problem, it is a challenge that can be solved over time if we act decisively and have a shared commitment from the Federal government, state and local governments, private businesses, philanthropies, and communities.

      Ending veteran homelessness does not mean that we can prevent every veteran from facing a housing crisis in the future. But it does mean that when and if a housing crisis does occur, we can have systems in place to identify and quickly house all of our veterans.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/20/fact-sheet-preventing-and-ending-veteran-homelessness

    • April 20, 2015

      Remarks by the First Lady at Joining Forces Event for the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness — New Orleans, Louisiana

      Gallier Hall
      New Orleans, Louisiana

      11:28 A.M. CDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you so much. You all rest yourselves. You’ve been working hard. You deserve a seat. (Laughter.)

      Of course, I want to start by thanking Dylan for his service, for his sacrifice, for his wonderful introduction. I am so proud of him. I’m proud of his family. And I know he’s got a lot of good work to do ahead.

      I also want to thank my dear friend, Mayor Landrieu, and Cheryl, my girl — (laughter) — for all the great work. I’m so proud of this city. I’m so proud of the work that you’ve done. I’m proud to call you both friends, and I’m honored to be here to be able to lift up the great work that you all are doing.

      I also want to recognize our Executive Director at the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, Matthew Doherty, who is here — absolutely. Great work. (Applause.) As well as all of the mayors and local leaders from across the country who have joined us here today and are working hard to achieve this goal in their communities, as well.

      And finally, I want to pass along some warm wishes from my friend and partner in Joining Forces, Jill Biden. Jill is feeling a little bit under the weather and couldn’t make it today, but she wanted me to be here to say thank you. Thank you to you all for everything you’re doing to give back to those who have done so much for this country. She’s been a phenomenal partner. She is my girl. And I know that if she could be here she would.

      That message of thanks is a message that Jill and I are delivering all month long as we celebrate the fourth anniversary of Joining Forces. And over the past four years, because of folks like all of you, we have come so far on so many issues — issues like employment, education, health care, particularly mental health.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/20/remarks-first-lady-joining-forces-event-mayors-challenge-end-veteran-hom

    • Michelle Obama And Dr. Jill Biden To Receive 2015 Jerald Washington Memorial Founders’ Award For Efforts To End Veteran Homelessness

      5/19/15 wave3

      First and Second Ladies of the United States to be recognized at National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Annual Conference

      WASHINGTON, May 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Bidenhave provided unwavering support in the fight to end veteran homelessness. As we approach the deadline to house every homeless veteran by the end of this year, the First and Second Lady continue to support initiatives targeted at meeting that goal. For their tireless work, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) is honoring Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at the 2015 NCHV Annual Conference with the Jerald Washington Memorial Founders’ Award, Thursday, May 28, 2015, at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

      The Jerald Washington Memorial Founders’ Award is the highest award bestowed in the homeless veteran assistance community and is named in honor of a Vietnam Veteran and NCHV co-founder. Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden lead Joining Forces, a White House campaign to support service members, veterans and their families. Over the past four years, the two women have leveraged their positions of power to inspire Joining Forces partners to hire, care for, and educate our veterans and their families on a scale previously unknown. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have also been proponents of the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, encouraging mayors all across the nation to ramp up local initiatives to end veteran homelessness.

      “No one can deny that the First and Second Lady’s support through Joining Forces and the Mayors Challenge has given us the energy needed to effectively end homelessness by the end of the year,” said Baylee Crone, Executive Director of NCHV. “We refuse to slow down, and we have the First Family to thank for the surge of energy and momentum that will help us achieve our goal.”

      For more: http://www.wave3.com/story/29103736/michelle-obama-and-dr-jill-biden-to-receive-2015-jerald-washington-memorial-founders-award-for-efforts-to-end-veteran-homelessness

  3. Chairmans introduction of President Obama at The White House Initiative to Employ American Veterans

    As Delivered by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. Friday, August 05, 2011

    Transcript: http://www.jcs.mil/speech.aspx?ID=1640

    —————

    August 05, 2011

    Remarks by the President on the Administration’s Work to Prepare our Nation’s Veterans for the Workforce (Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011)

    Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

    11:20 A.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, everybody. Good morning. I’m glad somebody told me that was the last one because I had lost count. (Laughter.)

    It is great to be here at the Navy Yard. And first of all, I want to thank Admiral Mullen for being here and for his four decades of extraordinary service to this country. And I want to thank him for saying that for an old guy I look okay. (Laughter.) I appreciate that.

    This may be one of the oldest shipyards in the United States, but today it’s used to develop some of the most advanced technology in the military. Although I hear your engineers are still working on a solution to the traffic when the Nationals are playing. (Laughter.) That’s not ready yet.

    Let me start by saying a few words about our economy. There is no doubt this has been a tumultuous year. We’ve weathered the Arab Spring’s effect on oil and gas prices, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami’s effect on supply chains, the extraordinary economic uncertainty in Europe. And recently, markets around the globe have taken a bumpy ride.

    My concern right now — my singular focus — is the American people. Getting the unemployed back on the job, lifting their wages. Rebuilding that sense of security the middle class has felt slipping away for years. And helping them recover fully, as families and as communities, from the worst recession that any of us have ever seen.

    Today, we know that our economy created 154,000 new private sector jobs in July. And that’s the strongest pace since April. The unemployment rate went down, not up. But while this marks the 17th month in a row of job growth in the private sector –nearly 2.5 million new private sector jobs in all — we have to create more jobs than that each month to make up for the more than 8 million jobs that the recession claimed. We need to create a self-sustaining cycle where people are spending, and companies are hiring, and our economy is growing. And we’ve known that will take some time.

    But what I want the American people and our partners around the world to know is this: We are going to get through this. Things will get better. And we’re going to get there together.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/08/05/remarks-president-administrations-work-prepare-our-nations-veterans-work

    • Thanks for this thread topic, CR, and for posting the transcript and video about the veterans initiative. I’m heartbroken that we still have unemployed and/or homeless veterans, although I am also thankful THIS administration is doing some great things about that!

      • Yes, the Obama Administration realizes that our military is there for us and democracy every single day and that we should be hold up our end and be there for them in there hour of need!

  4. No double-dip recession but Europe a worry: Greenspan

    8/7/11 Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Sunday downplayed the risk of a double-dip recession in the United States, saying its domestic economy was in better shape compared to its European peers.

    A double-dip recession “depends on Europe, not the United States,” Greenspan told NBC television’s “Meet the Press.” “The United States was actually doing relatively well — sluggish, but going forward — until Italy ran into trouble.”

    The U.S. economy stumbled badly in the first half of 2011 and came dangerously close to contracting in the January-March period, raising fears that the economy was sliding back into recession.

    Those fears were calmed somewhat last week when a debt deal was agreed before the August 2 deadline as well as data showing that employers added 117,000 jobs in July. But Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the country’s top-notch “AAA” credit rating late on Friday to “AA+” could hurt the recovery.
    “With all of this bickering going on, the economy is slowing down,” Greenspan said. “You can see it in all the data. I don’t see a double-dip, but I do see it slowing down.”

    Europe, which buys a quarter of U.S. exports and houses the operations of many American companies, would determine the course of the U.S. economy’s recovery, Greenspan said.
    European leaders are struggling to contain a sovereign debt crisis, which has spread to Italy, the euro zone’s third-largest economy, and is causing turmoil in global financial markets.
    Greenspan said Italy’s troubles could contribute to destabilizing the European and U.S. economies.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/no-double-dip-recession-europe-worry-greenspan-175023568.html

    • A Q&A on S&P’s downgrade of U.S. debt

      8/6/11 By By Pallavi Gogoi and Peter Svensson
      Associated Press

      Standard & Poor’s has taken the unprecedented step of lowering the top credit rating that the U.S. has held for nearly a century. A look at this downgrade, and downgrades in general — and what they mean:

      Q What did Standard & Poor’s do?
      A The ratings agency downgraded its rating on the federal government’s long-term debt one level from the top AAA grade to AA+. Long-term debt includes notes and bonds that come due in more than one year. They have terms ranging from two to 30 years. Short-term debt includes Treasury bills that have terms ranging from a few days to 52 weeks. The rating on the government’s short-term debt was not downgraded. Of the $9.4 billion in publicly traded U.S. government debt, 72 percent is long-term.

      Q What does a downgrade mean?
      A A downgrade is a warning to buyers of bonds and other debt that the chance that they won’t get their money back has increased, however slightly. In theory, downgrades should lead to higher borrowing costs for the issuer (in this case, the government), since investors demand a higher interest rate if they’re taking a bigger risk.

      Q Does it mean U.S. interest rates will go up?
      A The 10-year Treasury note is considered the basis for all other interest rates, so higher rates on that and other long-term U.S. debt could lead to borrowing costs on everything from mortgages to car loans. That would also make it more expensive or state and local governments, companies and consumers to borrow money.

      But it’s not clear that S&P’s downgrade will have an effect on rates. Treasury securities are a foundation of the U.S. financial system and are still considered one of the safest investments in the world. As stocks plunged the last two weeks, the price of Treasurys soared because demand was high, even though investors knew there might be a downgrade. Since yields on debt securities fall as prices rise, the yield on the 10-year note dropped from 2.96 percent on July 22 to 2.39 percent on Friday.

      A downgrade could spur a “quick jolt of nervous, knee-jerk selling” of bonds, raising rates in the short term, said Guy LeBas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. But investors are so worried about the economy and need the safety of Treasurys that they could quickly become buyers again.

      Q Wasn’t this what the debt limit agreement in Congress was supposed to prevent?
      A Yes, but S&P sees the agreement as falling short of what’s necessary to fix the nation’s finances. The spending cuts Democrats and Republicans agreed on were relatively modest. More difficult, comprehensive cuts were pushed to the future. S&P also notes that the possibility of new revenue, for instance from tax increases, appears more remote than before.

  5. Just the Facts: S&P’s $2 Trillion Mistake

    8/6/2011 By: John Bellows – treasury.gov

    In a document provided to Treasury on Friday afternoon, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) presented a judgment about the credit rating of the U.S. that was based on a $2 trillion mistake. After Treasury pointed out this error – a basic math error of significant consequence – S&P still chose to proceed with their flawed judgment by simply changing their principal rationale for their credit rating decision from an economic one to a political one.

    S&P has said their decision to downgrade the U.S. was based in part on the fact that the Budget Control Act, which will reduce projected deficits by more than $2 trillion over the next 10 years, fell short of their $4 trillion expectation for deficit reduction. Clearly, in that context, S&P considers a $2 trillion change to projected deficits to be very significant. Yet, although S&P’s math error understated the deficit reduction in the Budget Control Act by $2 trillion, they found this same sum insignificant in this instance.

    In fact, S&P’s $2 trillion mistake led to a very misleading picture of debt sustainability – the foundation for their initial judgment. This mistake undermined the economic justification for S&P’s credit rating decision. Yet after acknowledging their mistake, S&P simply removed a prominent discussion of the economic justification from their document.

    Net Fed State Local Gove Debt Chart (Share of GDP) 2011-2021

    For the entire article: http://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/Just-the-Facts-SPs-2-Trillion-Mistake.aspx

    • CR – What a valuable resource! I would never have seen it, if you hadn’t posted it. Just sent it to a friend who was really, really worried about the financial situation during the debt ceiling negotiations, before the compromise.

      Timmy and the Treasury fight back!

    • Credit Downgrade Should Serve As A Wake-Up Call

      August 8, 2011 – Steven Inskeep – NPR

      Just before Standard and Poor’s downgraded U.S. debt, economist Tyler Cowen warned it would be a distraction to slam the ratings agency. Many analysts and economists doubt S&P, but Cowen argues in his blog “Marginal Revolution” that there are some real lessons to learn. He discusses them with Steve Inskeep.

      For the audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/08/08/139079198/asian-markets-slide-on-u-s-credit-downgrade?ft=1&f=1004

      • In the audio interview Steven Inskeep asked economist Tyler Cowen “What have the Republicans done wrong?” Mr Cowen replied “The Repulicans need to accept that we need revenue increases, there is no other way to get the budget to add up. The notion that we can do it all through spending cuts simply is not going to work.”

    • Economists Cast Opinions On S&P During Fishing Trip

      8/8/11by CHRIS ARNOLD – NPR

      Turmoil in the financial markets has coincided with an annual fishing trip for economists and top executives deep in the woods of Maine near the Canadian border. While the economists were together, Standard and Poor’s took the unprecedented step of downgrading the U.S. government’s credit rating.

      Every year at this retreat by Grand Lake Stream some of the top minds in finance gather to go fishing in canoes with guides, catch up with each other and put their heads together about the state of the nation’s economy. Some work for firms where they’re not supposed to make public statements or forecasts.

      “Here there’s no such limitation,” says Barry Ritholtz, director of research at the money management firm Fusion IQ. “People speak more honestly. I get to go out with guys and see what they really think.”

      “What’s interesting this year, there’s a pretty broad distribution of opinions,” says Ritholtz, who also writes about investing. “It’s not clear that everyone is bullish or bearish. I think there are expectations of a slowing economy increasing expectations of recession from the crowd.”

      Opinions vary widely on how bad this current slow patch in the economic recovery will be. As they do with regard to the downgrade of U.S. Treasuries by the ratings firm S&P.

      Since Friday night, the economists, hedge fund managers and analysts have been talking about it constantly.

      “The downgrade was a mistake,” says Nouriel Roubini, a NYU professor who famously predicted the housing market crash and recession before the vast majority of other economists. “S&P could have waited a few months to see whether Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement on deficit reduction.”

      For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/08/08/139080051/economists-share-thoughts-on-credit-downgrade

    • Goolsbee to S&P: Check your work

      8/7/11 by Seung Min Kim -POLITICO

      Outgoing White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee went on the attack against Standard & Poor’s on Sunday, charging the agency’s credit downgrade was based on “questionable mathematics.”

      The rating agency lowered the U.S. credit rating on Friday from a top AAA to AA+, but not before the Treasury Department discovered an accounting error by Standard & Poor’s and urged the agency not to downgrade.

      “They made a $2 trillion math error, and they didn’t check their work,” Goolsbee said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

      Goolsbee also called for policymakers to focus not just on the deficit but also on longer-term proposals aimed at boosting job creation and lowering the nation’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

      He pointed to several economic initiatives that could gain bipartisan support, such as extending the payroll tax cut and acting on pending free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

      “There is a danger that if we just keep saying it’s all about the short-run deficit, we are losing sight of the fact that we’ve got to reignite the engine of job growth,” he said.

      Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan acknowledged that S&P’s downgrade “hit the self esteem of the United States” but said U.S. Treasury bonds are still a safe investment.

      “This is not an issue of credit ratings,” Greenspan said. “The U.S. can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So, there is zero probability of default.”

  6. Mission: Impact Africa
    The film documents the first lady’s trip to South Africa and Botswana.

    8/05/2011 By Joyce Jones – bet

    Throughout her travels to South Africa and Botswana in June, First Lady Michelle Obama captured the hearts of two nations as she sought to inspire young adults, and young women in particular, to become the continent’s next generation of leaders. Her mother, Marian Robinson, her two daughters Malia and Sasha, and her brother Craig’s two children accompanied Obama.

    BET News correspondent Lola Ogunnaike traveled with the first family, documenting their experiences. Although some of their activities, such as a visit with former South African President and hero of the anti-apartheid movement Nelson Mandela, were private, Ogunnaike says that Obama was very generous with her time and provided more access than anticipated.

    In the subsequent documentary, “Michelle Obama On a Mission: Impact Africa,” which was previewed during the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Philadelphia on Aug. 5, viewers were given a rare, up-close-and-personal view of the first lady as she urged young adults to believe in their abilities and pursue their dreams, no matter their circumstances. The film highlights her willingness to share with the young women she met personal stories about her own upbringing, the self-doubt she felt when applying to colleges and any other experience that she believed would deepen her connection to them and lead them to realize that they can be whatever they want to.

    At one point during the trip, Ogunnaike asked Obama, what it was like to be the nation’s first African-American lady and watch herself becoming part of history.

    For the entire article: http://www.bet.com/news/national/2011/08/05/bet-networks-debuts-michelle-obama-on-a-mission-impact-africa.html

  7. Dr. Jill Biden Arrives in Kenya

    Posted by Courtney O’Donnell on August 08, 2011

    Today, Dr. Biden traveled to Kenya where relief operations are underway to help the thousands of refugees affected by the devastating famine in Somalia. Visiting with women and children at the Dadaab Refugee Complex, Dr. Biden – joined by former U.S. Senator Bill Frist, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz, and Special Assistant to the President Gayle Smith– witnessed firsthand the effects of one of worst droughts in 60 years and the resulting famine in Somalia. 29,000 children under the age of five have died in the past three months and more than 12 million people across the Horn of Africa are in urgent need of care. Emergency assistance and investments in long-term development are saving lives and making a difference. Visit http://www.USAID.gov to learn more and find organizations that are doing life-saving work in the region.

    For photos: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/08/dr-jill-biden-arrives-kenya

    • August 08, 2011

      Dr. Jill Biden Arrives in Kenya to Visit Dadaab Refugee Camps, Highlight the Need for Aid in the Horn of Africa

      Dr. Jill Biden has arrived in Kenya with Senator Bill Frist, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Schwartz, and Special Assistant to the President Gayle Smith. Dr. Biden’s trip will underscore the United States’ commitment to working with the governments and people of the region, and the international community, to assist the people of the Horn of Africa during this urgent time of need, and to investing in long-term solutions to hunger and food insecurity in the region. Amid the worst drought in East Africa in 60 years, the United Nations has declared that famine now affects five regions in Somalia and predicts that famine could soon expand throughout southern Somalia. Thousands of Somalis are fleeing the famine and seeking refuge in Kenya and Ethiopia, which are also affected by the drought. According to the United Nations, more than 12.4 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Dr. Biden will visit the Dadaab Refugee Complex, which is receiving thousands of Somali refugees, to draw the world’s attention to the crisis and pledge U.S. support for relief operations.

      Dr. Biden will also highlight the support of the United States for development efforts across the region, and will visit the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) in Nairobi. During this visit, Dr. Biden will meet with government of Kenya officials, including Minister of Agriculture Hon. Dr. Sally J. Kosgei, and highlight the Obama-Biden Administration’s Feed the Future program, which is investing in country-led strategies designed to address the root causes of hunger and food insecurity around the world. Because emergency assistance alone cannot solve the underlying food insecurity in the region, institutions like KARI and Feed the Future are also critical at this time.

      Dr. Biden will meet with President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to highlight the ongoing partnership between our countries and to discuss how the United States can work with international partners on the best response to this crisis.

      • On Board: Travels with Dr. Biden in Kenya

        From: whitehouse | Aug 10, 2011

        Dr. Jill Biden leads a delegation from the United States ,including former Senator Bill Frist, to a refugee camp in Kenya to see first hand the humanitarian crisis on the border of Somalia and pledge America’s help. Go to http://usaid.gov to learn how you can help.

    • August 07, 2011

      Statement by the President on the 13th Anniversary of the Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania

      Today marks the thirteenth Anniversary of al-Qa`ida’s terrorist attacks against the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The United States joins with the people and government of Kenya, where 218 people lost their lives and over 5,000 were injured; and Tanzania, where the attack killed 11 people and wounded at least 85 others to remember and reflect on those who were injured and the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives.

      These attacks in East Africa stand as testament to al-Qa`ida’s commitment to use unspeakable violence to kill innocent men, women and children regardless of their religion, race, or nationality. The death of Harun Fazul, the architect of these terrible acts, on June 11, 2011, was an important blow to al-Qa’ida and its ability to threaten so many innocents around the region. Today, the remembrance of these tragic attacks spurs us to continue to work closely with our allies in East Africa and around the world to bring terrorists to justice and to redouble our efforts to prevent these attacks in the future. We join with our friends and allies in advancing peace and security for Americans, Kenyans, Tanzanians, and all people in building a world that is worthy of the legacy of the victims of these bombings. And as we extend our hearts and prayers to the families of those killed, we pledge that they will not be forgotten.

  8. Good Monday morning everyone!

    The number 8 is a very lucky number in Asian culture and today being 8/8 is very special so if you feel lucky then buy a lottery ticket and good luck to you! I HOPE that you have a good day! 🙂

    • Eight is my “money” number as well. I was born on the 8th of October. I pick 8 as one of my lottery numbers. All I need is to pick five more “money” numbers.

  9. Obama to speak on economy in wake of downgrade

    8/8/11 AP – 19 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to deliver a statement about the economy as the nation grapples with the first downgrade of U.S. debt in the country’s history.

    Obama will speak at 1 p.m. EDT from the White House.

    Standard and Poor’s on Friday said it was downgrading U.S. debt because the rating agency lacks confidence that political leaders will make the choices needed to avert a long-term fiscal crisis. Congress and Obama recently struck a deal to avoid a government default and to cut the deficit, although the deal was not as broad as the president wanted.

  10. August 07, 2011

    Readout of President Obama’s calls on Afghanistan today

    President Obama received a call today from President Karzai of Afghanistan, who reiterated his condolences for the tragic loss of 30 American service-members yesterday in Afghanistan. President Obama noted the extraordinary service of the Americans who gave their lives, and expressed his condolences for the Afghans who died serving by their side. The two Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to the mission in Afghanistan, which is critical to the security of both our countries, and agreed to stay in close contact.

    Earlier today, President Obama placed calls to General Allen and General Votel in Afghanistan, and to General Mattis and Admiral Olson in Tampa, to express his condolences for those who were lost, and to reaffirm the American peoples’ support for our men and women in uniform and their families.

  11. The U.S. Debt Downgrade Special Two-Hour Coverage by NPR

    8/8/11
    1:30 PM EDT
    Listen as President Obama speaks about the economic situation

    Following the President’s announcement NPR will have financial experts talk to NPR about the debt, the nation’s credit rating and long-term outlook.

    http://www.npr.org/

    • August 08, 2011

      Remarks by the President

      State Dining Room

      1:52 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. On Friday, we learned that the United States received a downgrade by one of the credit rating agencies — not so much because they doubt our ability to pay our debt if we make good decisions, but because after witnessing a month of wrangling over raising the debt ceiling, they doubted our political system’s ability to act. The markets, on the other hand, continue to believe our credit status is AAA. In fact, Warren Buffett, who knows a thing or two about good investments, said, “If there were a quadruple-A rating, I’d give the United States that.” I, and most of the world’s investors, agree.

      That doesn’t mean we don’t have a problem. The fact is, we didn’t need a rating agency to tell us that we need a balanced, long-term approach to deficit reduction. That was true last week. That was true last year. That was true the day I took office. And we didn’t need a rating agency to tell us that the gridlock in Washington over the last several months has not been constructive, to say the least. We knew from the outset that a prolonged debate over the debt ceiling — a debate where the threat of default was used as a bargaining chip — could do enormous damage to our economy and the world’s. That threat, coming after a string of economic disruptions in Europe, Japan and the Middle East, has now roiled the markets and dampened consumer confidence and slowed the pace of recovery.

      So all of this is a legitimate source of concern. But here’s the good news: Our problems are eminently solvable.* And we know what we have to do to solve them. With respect to debt, our problem is not confidence in our credit — the markets continue to reaffirm our credit as among the world’s safest. Our challenge is the need to tackle our deficits over the long term.

      Last week, we reached an agreement that will make historic cuts to defense and domestic spending. But there’s not much further we can cut in either of those categories. What we need to do now is combine those spending cuts with two additional steps: tax reform that will ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/08/08/remarks-president

    • Thank you President Obama for continuing to work hard by doing everything in your power to help the average Americans get back on their feet!

  12. Good Monday CR and all friends. We are busy with a family visit but I wanted to come by and thank CR again for all her hard work and for this great thread, to say hi to all PBO friends and to give a big thank you to our President!

    >^..^<

  13. Providing Our Schools Relief from No Child Left Behind

    Posted by Secretary Arne Duncan on August 08, 2011

    When I was superintendent in Chicago, I never looked forward to a call from Washington telling me what I have to do. Now that I’m in Washington, I try not to make those calls.

    Our job is to support reform that is good for students at the state and local level. We need to get out of the way wherever we can. We need to be tight on the goals but loose on the means of achieving them — providing as much flexibility as possible, while maintaining meaningful accountability for improving student outcomes and closing achievement gaps.

    The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) got it backwards — it was loose on the goals but tight on the means — and today it’s forcing states into one-size-fits-all solutions that just don’t work.

    The President understands this and he has directed the Department of Education to move ahead in providing relief in return for reform.

    With the new school year fast approaching and still no bill to reform NCLB, it’s time to create a process for states to gain flexibility from key provisions of the law, provided that they are willing to embrace education reform.

    We will not be giving states a pass on accountability. There will be a high bar for states seeking flexibility within the law, working off a framework that the states themselves have put together with the Council of Chief State School Officers.

    Over the past few days, I have talked with more than half of the nation’s governors, and they are pushing us to provide the relief they desperately need and want.

    There is no magic bullet for fixing education, and the best ideas will always come from the local level, where hardworking men and women in our schools are doing the hard work every day to educate our children.

    We’re still hopeful that Congress can continue its work this fall because a strong bipartisan reauthorization continues to be essential. In the meantime, states and districts have an opportunity to move forward and receive relief from NCLB’s mandates.

  14. A Fresh Start for America’s Auto Communities

    Posted by Jay Williams on August 08, 2011

    Ed note: This article is being cross-posted from the Department of Labor’s Work in Progress blog

    I know communities that have faced hard times. I grew up in one. I’ve lived in one, and until last week I was the mayor of one. Helping my community get back on its feet has been my passion for as long as I can remember. But I also know that Youngstown is just one city that needed help. Now as the new director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, I have the chance to give back to not just my own community, but many throughout the nation that continue to face challenges as the auto industry and American manufacturing emerges from the deepest recession in decades.

    When President Obama took office two and a half years ago, the future of the American automotive industry was uncertain. Two of the Big 3 American automakers were on the verge of bankruptcy. Plants across the country were being closed or idled.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/08/fresh-start-america-s-auto-communities

  15. August 08, 2011

    Readout of President Obama’s Phone Calls with President Zapatero and Prime Minister Berlusconi

    The President spoke today with Spanish President Jose Luis Zapatero and, separately, with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi about the latest developments in the eurozone crisis. The President welcomed the measures pursued by Spain and Italy to address their immediate economic challenges and improve their competitiveness. The President also consulted with President Zapatero and Prime Minister Berlusconi on the situation in Syria. The leaders condemned the Assad regime’s continued use of indiscriminate violence against the Syrian people, and agreed to consult further on additional steps to pressure the Assad regime and support the Syrian people’s democratic aspirations. President Zapatero and Prime Minister Berlusconi also expressed their condolences for the deaths of 30 American servicemen in Afghanistan on August 6th. The President noted that all ISAF members have made sacrifices in Afghanistan but our continued solidarity demonstrates the strength of our coalition.

  16. Obama main attraction at fundraisers Monday night

    8/8/11 CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

    Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama turns his attention to campaign politics Monday night, as he headlines two events for the Democratic National Committee and his re-election campaign.

    According to the White House schedule, the president first attends a gathering of approximately 140 guests at a private residence in the nation’s capital. A DNC official says proceeds from the $15,000 per family gathering will go to the Obama Victory Fund, with the money raised shared by the president’s re-election campaign and DNC.

    A source with knowledge of the event says it’s being held at the home of Don and Katrina Peebles. Don Peebles is a real estate entrepreneur and sits on the Obama campaign’s national finance committee.

    The president then heads to the St. Regis Hotel to meet with approximately 60 guests. While not a fundraiser, a source says the gathering is a donor outreach event.

    For the entire article: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/08/obama-main-attraction-at-fundraisers-monday-night/

    • August 08, 2011

      Remarks by the President at a DNC Event in Washington, DC

      Private Residence
      Washington, D.C.

      6:40 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Well, first of all, let me just thank Don and Katrina, the entire clan for welcoming us all here today.

      For those of you who helped to organize this, I couldn’t be more grateful. I know it’s a little warm, by the way, so any gentlemen who want to take off their jackets, I’m going to lead the way. (Laughter.) That’s right, you can at least take the tie off, too. There you go. (Laughter.)

      I have to tell you that the last time I saw Don and Katrina — or the first time I saw them, rather, was down in Florida, and we had an extraordinary time there, and it was a scary time. It was a moment when we were going — we were just getting a glimmer of the worst recession in our lifetimes, how bad it might be. And we had gotten a sense of how dysfunctional politics in Washington could be.

      And there was a sense that for ordinary families, the American Dream, the idea that each successive generation can do a little better than the previous one, and that if people work hard and play by the rules, that they can succeed, that that had been diminished and people had begun to doubt it.

      And thanks to the support of folks like you, we were able to win in 2008 and begin a process of transformation. Now, what I think has been clear certainly this week is that this process is not complete. With respect to the economy, we’ve had a couple of very difficult days in the stock market, but the truth of the matter is, is that the challenges go beyond the stock market. As Don said, we have been able to reverse what it turns out was an 8 percent contraction in the economy a quarter before I took office.

      We’ve had 17 months now of consecutive private sector job growth. Corporate profits have been up. The credit markets have stabilized.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/08/08/remarks-president-dnc-event-washington-dc

    • August 08, 2011

      Remarks by the President at a DNC Event in Washington, DC

      St. Regis Hotel
      Washington, D.C.

      7:29 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you. All right, everybody have a seat here. Thank you so much. It is wonderful to be here. And I was doing a quick taping outside, and it sounded like — I don’t know if it was Matthew or Barzun who were warming you up pretty good. (Laughter.) But I appreciate it.

      I want to spend most of my time answering questions and then going from table to table, so I’m not going to make a lot of remarks at the top.

      Obviously we’ve had a tough couple of weeks in the economy. Too much of it was self-inflicted. It had to do with political paralysis here in Washington. And that’s not a surprise to a lot of folks, but I think for the American people they recognize that we don’t have time for some of the squabbling that’s been taking place because there are too many folks who are still out of work, too many businesses who are still trying to grow. And for us to have seen the kind of brinksmanship that we saw on the debt ceiling made absolutely no sense in terms of where we need to take the country.

      Having said that, despite the tough couple of weeks that we’ve had, I think the bigger challenge that we face is to keep our eye focused on the underlying challenges that we’re going to have to solve here in the United States of America over the next four or five years so that we can be competitive and we can pass on the kind of America we want to future generations.

      Markets will go up and down, but the underlying challenges have held steady for too long. We have an education system that is failing too many of our kids. And if we don’t fix that, then we’re not going to be able to compete with China or India or Brazil, who are very hungry and know that whichever country has the best workforce, the most highly skilled workforce, is going to be the country that succeeds economically.

      We’ve had a health care system that, for too long, costs way too much and doesn’t produce good enough results. And so we started with health care reform to move that in the right direction, but we’ve still got more work to do, particularly in Medicare and Medicaid, which is the main driver of our federal debt.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/08/08/remarks-president-dnc-event-washington-dc-0

    • Michelle Obama pays surprise visit to Oregon

      August 08, 2011 Harry Esteve- oregonlive

      First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise visit to Oregon today, touching down in Eugene to see family.

      “It’s a private family trip to visit her brother” and other extended family members, a White House official confirmed this morning. No other details of the trip were available.

      Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson, is the head coach of the Oregon State University basketball team and lives in Corvallis. Robinson has become increasingly popular in Oregon, not only because of his ties to the President Barack Obama but also because he has boosted the Beavers to a much better win-loss record.

      Oregon State officials confirm that she is visiting today.

  17. WH

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    This schedule will be updated when the WH releases the official schedule

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    The President receives the presidential daily briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:35 AM
    The President meets with industry officials to discuss their fuel efficiency standards.
    Roosevelt Room
    Closed Press

    11:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    The President privately honors the remains of the fallen returning home from war killed in a helicopter attack that claimed more American lives than any other incident of the Afghanistan war and meets with their family members.- Dover Air Force Base

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:50 pm
    The President meets with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    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

      August 9, 2011

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

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      8:00 AM EDT
      U.S. Education Department: Creating and Maintaining Conditions for Learning 1

      12:30 PM EDT
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing wtih reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the riots in Britain and the unrest in Syria.

      1:30 PM EDT
      U.S. Education Department: Creating and Maintaining Conditions for Learning 2

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      8:00 AM EDT
      U.S. Education Department: Creating and Maintaining Conditions for Learning 1 -Arne Duncan http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Maintena

      12:30 PM EDT
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing wtih reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the riots in Britain and the unrest in Syria.

      1:30 PM EDT
      U.S. Education Department: Creating and Maintaining Conditions for Learning 2 http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/300964-2

  18. ARCHIVE:

    Watergate scandal

    The Watergate scandal was a political scandal during the 1970s in the United States resulting from the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C.(by Republicans).

    Effects of the scandal eventually led to the resignation of the President of the United States, Richard Nixon, on August 9, 1974, the only resignation of any U.S. President. It also resulted in the indictment, trial, conviction and incarceration of several Nixon administration officials.

    The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) connected the payments to the burglars to a slush fund used by the 1972 Committee to Re-elect the President. As evidence mounted against the president’s staff, which included former staff members testifying against them in an investigation conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee, it was revealed that President Nixon had a tape recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations. Recordings from these tapes implicated the president, revealing that he had attempted to cover up the break-in. After a series of court battles, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the president had to hand over the tapes; he ultimately complied.

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

    • ‪The Final Report: ‪Watergate‬

      Uploaded by NationalGeographic on Jun 12, 2009

      National Geographic gives the definitive examination on what really happened during the Watergate scandal.

    • Hi COS! Thanks for the article!

      In the article it says:
      “We will not stand silent as Smiley and West criticize the man who brought us health care reform, one of the greatest accomplishments for the poor in our nation’s history,” says David Stephen

      I know that the GOP/TeaBaggers are going to say that POTUS’s “WH Rural Jobs Tour” is purely a political election stunt but I have all the documented events, articles to prove that POTUS had been engaged with rural American with official “WH Rural Communities” events in coordination with the USDA throughout his presidency in 2009, 2010 and this year.

  19. U.S. Education Secretary to Speak at Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools 2011 National Conference

    Changing times require new approaches to keeping our schools safe and drug-free

    Event Date 1: August 09, 2011 1:25 pm – 2:00 pm

    U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will give remarks at the Department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools 2011 National Conference on Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. He will discuss the need for states to find creative ways to do more with less to address school safety and to provide support services at a time when schools are facing difficult budget decisions.

    “Schools should be places where students feel safe and can learn,” Duncan said. “We are committed to creating safe and healthy learning environments where young people can succeed and prepare themselves for success in college and in their careers.”

    The national three-day conference, “Making the Connection: Creating and Maintaining Conditions for Learning,” will take place Aug. 8-10. More than 1,900 participants, ranging from education leaders, mental health representatives and parents to experts in the field of substance abuse, violence prevention and emergency preparedness, are expected to attend. Important information about the conference and a description of all of the sessions and workshops are at http://osdfs.dgimeetings.com/Home.aspx.

    The National Conference also will be a large-scale training and technical assistance event that will feature OSDFS grantees, education and prevention leaders, representatives of federal agencies and national associations, public and private school administrators, school personnel, and researchers and experts, as well as others in the field.

    The goals of the three-day conference include:

    Showcasing prevention programs that demonstrate effectiveness in reducing student alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, and prevention of school violence;
    Providing opportunities for leaders and decision- and policy-makers to expand their knowledge about substance abuse, violence prevention and other emerging issues facing schools today, including terrorism, crisis management, gangs and drug testing;
    Gaining knowledge and new perspectives from nationally known prevention experts, representatives from federal agencies, leaders from local and state agencies, and school site leaders; and
    Maximizing efforts to keep young people safe, healthy, and drug free by strengthening existing partnerships and collaborating on key priority issues.

    Event 1
    Who : U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
    What : Remarks at the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools 2011 National Conference
    When : 1:25-2 p.m. ET Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011
    Where : Gaylord National Resort and Convention
    201 Waterford St.
    Potomac Ballroom
    National Harbor, Md.

  20. Reclaiming the Future Through American Manufacturing

    Posted by Ari Matusiak on August 08, 2011

    “I can remember when the term ‘Made in America’ was synonymous with quality, innovation, high style, and an overall commitment to excellence,” said Giovanni Feroce, CEO of Alex and Ani. Remaining dedicated to these high standards, Giovanni is reinvigorating American manufacturing through his leadership of the Rhode Island-based jewelry business.

    Giovanni, a retired Army officer, first met Designer Carolyn Rafaelian at an impromptu University of Rhode Island reunion in 2009. After a succession of meetings, Giovanni decided to leave his optical industry career in order to run Alex and Ani. “At that time I saw a small business with product lines as alluring as any I’d ever encountered,” explained Giovanni. “It didn’t take me long to realize that, in Alex and Ani, and more importantly, Carolyn Rafaelian, I had found the challenge and opportunity of a lifetime.”

    Alex and Ani offers an alluring line of positive energy infused products to include patented signature expandable bangles, earrings, and necklaces, all designed by Carolyn and her talented team. What truly sets the company apart, however, is its products qualities – they must be infused with positive energy, eco-friendly and must be Made in America. For example, each piece of jewelry is created using recycled materials – Alex and Ani purchases all of its metals from local mills, who receive recycled scraps from refineries. The company then transforms the scrap metal into an environmentally-friendly final product that encourages social consciousness among consumers, while supporting local manufacturers.

    Additional efforts by Giovanni to promote financial growth and efficiency include the expansion to international markets through overseas retail, and the adoption of vertically integrated supply chains. Under his innovative leadership, Alex and Ani has made a significant impact on the local economy, bringing renewed optimism to Rhode Island manufacturers. “In the last year alone we made 72 new hires,” recalls Giovanni, “and the numbers for the next year promise to shatter that record.”

    These achievements are the hallmarks of entrepreneurial leadership, the kind bringing jobs back to an industry that Rhode Island was once renowned for. Reflecting on Alex and Ani’s success, Giovanni remarks, “Once again Americans can take pride in what they manufacture. Once again people around the world can take pride in buying and owning American-made products.”

  21. U.S. Stock Futures Rise, Treasuries Drop Before Fed Meeting

    Aug. 9. 2011 (Bloomberg)

    U.S. stock index futures rose, European shares erased losses and Treasuries fell before a meeting of Federal Reserve policy makers. Gold rallied, oil pared declines and the Swiss franc strengthened.

    Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 2.3 percent at 7:23 a.m. in New York, after losing as much as 3.2 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.4 percent, reversing declines of as much as 5.1 percent. Treasuries, the benchmarks for the $34 trillion U.S. debt market that is more than twice the value of American equities, fell with the 10-year note yield up eight basis points to 2.40 percent. The Italian 10-year yields slid 17 basis points. The franc appreciated against its 16 major peers. Oil sank 0.7 percent, while gold increased 2.4 percent.

    Fed policy makers will meet today after the unprecedented downgrade of the U.S.’s top credit rating shook investor confidence in America’s economic recovery. Speculation is growing that Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may announce new steps to pump up growth, after the S&P 500 tumbled 6.7 percent yesterday, the most since December 2008. Harvard University economist Kenneth Rogoff said the central bank will embark on a third round of asset purchases.

    For the entire article: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-08-09/u-s-stock-futures-rise-treasuries-drop-before-fed-meeting.html

  22. August 09, 2011

    White House Announces First Ever Oil Savings Standards for Heavy Duty Trucks, Buses

    Saving $50 billion in fuel costs and over 500 million barrels of oil

    WASHINGTON – Today, President Obama will meet with industry officials to discuss the first of their kind fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas pollution standards for work trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles and to thank them for their leadership in finalizing a successful national program for these vehicles. This meeting marks the Administration’s announcement of the standards, which will save American businesses who operate and own these commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards in close coordination with the companies that met with the President today as well as other stakeholders, following requests from companies to develop this program. The cost savings for American businesses are on top of the $1.7 trillion that American families will save at the pump from the historic fuel-efficiency standards announced by the Obama Administrations for cars and light duty trucks, including the model year 2017-2025 agreement announced by the President last month.

    “While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened,” said President Obama. “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks. They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. And today, I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium-and heavy-duty trucks.”

    “Thanks to the Obama Administration, for the first time in our history we have a common goal for increasing the fuel efficiency of the trucks that deliver our products, the vehicles we use at work, and the buses our children ride to school,” said Secretary LaHood. “These new standards will reduce fuel costs for businesses, encourage innovation in the manufacturing sector, and promote energy independence for America.”
    “This Administration is committed to protecting the air we breathe and cutting carbon pollution – and programs like these ensure that we can serve those priorities while also reducing our dependence on imported oil and saving money for drivers,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “More efficient trucks on our highways and less pollution from the buses in our neighborhoods will allow us to breathe cleaner air and use less oil, providing a wide range of benefits to our health, our environment and our economy.”

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/08/09/white-house-announces-first-ever-oil-savings-standards-heavy-duty-trucks

    • President Obama Announces First Ever Fuel Economy Standards for Commercial Vehicles

      Posted by Colleen Curtis on August 09, 2011

      President Obama today will announce new fuel efficiency standards that will save American businesses that operate and own commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program. These work trucks, buses, and other medium- and heavy duty vehicleswill be required to meet fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for the first time ever beginning in 2014.

      The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards in close coordination with the companies that met with the President today as well as other stakeholders, following requests from companies to develop this program.

      “While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened,” said President Obama. “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks. They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. And today, I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium-and heavy-duty trucks.”

      Under the comprehensive new national program, trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons. Like the Administration’s historic car standards, this program – which relies heavily on off-the-shelf technologies – was developed in coordination with truck and engine manufacturers, fleet owners, the State of California, environmental groups and other stakeholders.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/09/president-obama-announces-first-ever-fuel-economy-standards-commercial-vehicles

    • Secretary LaHood: $50 Billion in Fuel Savings a “Significant Win” for Trucking Industry

      Posted by Secretary Ray LaHood on August 09, 2011

      At the Department of Transportation we have been working to encourage safer, more innovative, and more cost effective ways to move goods across our nation’s highways. Today, President Obama introduced one more step toward that goal.

      “While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened,” said President Obama. “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks. They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. And today, I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium and heavy-duty trucks.”

      The 2014-2018 fuel efficiency standards for trucks are designed to account for the different kind of work done by different kinds of trucks. Long haul trucks will save an average of 4 gallons for fuel for every 100 miles traveled. Heavy-duty pickups and vehicles like buses, delivery trucks, or vans would save one gallon for every 100 miles traveled. Altogether, we’re looking at saving a projected 530 million barrels of oil.

      That is a huge benefit to truck owners and operators. Over the life of a new truck built to fit these standards, a semi-truck driver will see a net savings of $73,000 through reduced fuel costs. Will the technology required to meet these standards add to the cost of a new truck? Yes, but the fuel-savings will more than match that cost within one year of driving.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/09/secretary-lahood-50-billion-fuel-savings-significant-win-trucking-industry

  23. S&P slammed after U.S. downgrade

    8/9/11 By Zachary Roth | The Lookout – new.yahoo

    Days after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the United States’ credit rating, a powerful backlash has set in against the move. Washington leaders of both parties, as well as investors, have seemed to shrug off the ratings agency’s verdict–and some analysts have even raised questions about S&P’s basic competence and credibility.

    On Friday, S&P lowered its rating for long-term debt issued by the U.S. Treasury by one notch, from Triple A–its highest rating–to AA+. Explaining the move, it said Washington hadn’t done enough to reduce the long-term deficit, and expressed doubt about the ability of political leaders to work together to solve the problem.
    After the recent crisis over raising the debt ceiling, those concerns–especially the latter–appear valid. But by lowering the U.S. rating, S&P is saying that it now sees an increased chance that the Treasury won’t repay its debts in the future–even though Congress did ultimately vote to raise the ceiling, avoiding a default.

    And that’s where many observers differ with S&P. Take a look at the financial markets: It’s true that, so far this week, Wall Street and foreign markets have nosedived. But that descent began last week, before the downgrade. More important, far from running away from U.S. Treasury bonds, investors are flocking to them, suggesting that they see the chances of a default as slimmer than ever.

    “The downgrade of U.S. sovereign credit by S&P on Friday reflects facts that have been well known to the market for some time,” said Blackrock, the world’s largest asset management firm, in a statement Monday. “So, it does not imply a fundamental increase in risk, and we don’t believe that investors should change their behavior based solely on the downgrade.”

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/p-slammed-u-downgrade-160436799.html

  24. What do the political science models tell us about 2012?

    11:45 AM ET, 08/09/2011 By Dylan Matthews – washingtonpost

    Conventional wisdom suggests that if unemployment remains high, President Obama’s reelection chances will suffer considerably. As Binyamin Appelbaum wrote in the New York Times, “No American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent.”

    But political scientists say unemployment, per se, isn’t the metric to look at. Disposable income is. “If there were 10 percent unemployment and everyone were fairly compensated for lost income, the consequence of that would be very different than if no one was compensated,” says Doug Hibbs, whose “bread and peace” model predicts election outcomes based on real, per capita growth in disposable income, as well as military casualties.

    In practice, of course, unemployment and disposable income growth tend to be highly correlated, and the core insight is the same: if the economy’s weak, Obama’s weak too. Yale economist Ray Fair’s model, which uses three variables — real per capita GDP growth during the first three quarters of the election year, inflation during the last term, and the number of quarters in the last term where real per capita GDP growth exceeded 3.2 percent — predicts that if last quarter’s meager 1.3 percent GDP growth rate keeps up through next year, with inflation unchanged and no good growth quarters, Obama will get around 48 percent of the vote. That’s still close, and the margin is within the model’s standard error of 2.5 percent. But it’s not good. And if we have a full-on double-dip, with -0.5 percent average growth next year, Obama only gets 46.7 percent — outside the standard error, and only a point more than McCain got last time around. In other words, it’d be a blowout.

    That said, there are a few reasons for the Obama administration to be hopeful.

    For the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/what-do-the-political-science-models-tell-us-about-2012/2011/08/09/gIQADk3e4I_blog.html#pagebreak

  25. Obama, Military Leaders Pay Respects at Dover Air Force Base

    Aug. 9, 2011 – By Cheryl Pellerin – American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON- President Barack Obama and military leaders paid their respects today at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware during the dignified transfer of remains of service members killed in an Aug. 6 helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

    Two Air Force C-17 transport aircraft carrying the remains arrived at Dover this morning.

    An investigation is under way to determine the facts surrounding the deaths of 30 U.S. service members and eight Afghans when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter went down in Afghanistan’s Wardak province. Five of the U.S. casualties were aircrew members, and 25 were members of the U.S. Special Operations Command.
    Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta was in attendance at Dover today, along with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Deborah; and Michael G. Vickers, undersecretary of defense for intelligence.

    Representing the services were Navy Secretary Ray E. Mabus, Navy Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick D. West; Army Secretary John M. McHugh and Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff; and Air Force Undersecretary Erin C. Conaton, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, Air Force vice chief of staff, and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy.

    • Service Members Embody Best of America, Obama Says

      Aug. 8, 2011 By Lisa Daniel -American Forces Press Service

      WASHINGTON– The five aircrew members and 25 special operations personnel killed in a Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Aug. 6 — and their fellow U.S. service members — embody the qualities America needs most for its future, President Barack Obama said today.

      “What sets us apart is that we’ve always not just had the capacity, but also the will to act, the determination to shape our future, the willingness in our democracy to work out our differences in a sensible way and to move forward not just for this generation, but for the next generation,” Obama said during a news conference dedicated mostly to the latest downturn in the U.S. economy and the national political stalemates that have accompanied it.

      Americans “need to summon that spirit today,” Obama said, adding that he is hopeful for the future because of Americans’ perseverance, courage and “willingness to shoulder the burdens we face together, as one nation.”

      “There is no one who embodies the qualities that I mentioned more than the men and women of the United States armed forces,” the president said, evoking those lost on the helicopter.
      “Their loss is a stark reminder of the risks that our men and women in uniform take every single day on behalf of their country,” he said. “Day after day, night after night, they carry out missions like this in the face of enemy fire and grave danger.”

      For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=64964

    • Raw Video: Obama Honors Victims of Afghan Attack

      Published on Aug 9, 2011 by AssociatedPress

      Assuming the grimmest role of his job, President Barack Obama on Tuesday prepared to privately honor the remains of troops killed in a helicopter in Afghanistan. (Aug. 8.)

  26. Born to be a Navy SEAL in San Jose, Team 6 member dies in Afghanistan crash

    8/8/11 By Mike Rosenberg – mercurynews

    Some 25 years ago, a fifth-grade teacher in Massachusetts asked student Joe Kennedy to greet a new transfer student from San Jose. The California kid, Kevin Houston, walked up to Kennedy and said: “Hi, I’m Kevin. I’m going to be a Navy SEAL.”

    Houston was born to be a member of the military’s most elite squad, overcoming a series of hurdles that would have made a lesser man falter, his friends and family recalled Monday. On Saturday morning, the San Jose native was one of 30 American troops who died after a U.S. helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, the single largest loss of American life in the 10-year-old war.

    Now those close to Houston — including several family members who still live in the South Bay — are mourning the loss of the 36-year-old charismatic member of SEAL Team 6, the famed unit that killed Osama bin Laden (Houston was not on that mission).

    Houston’s friends and family thought he was as close to invincible as people come. He broke his back in a motorcycle accident as a senior in high school and though he attended his graduation in a wheelchair, he walked across the stage to accept his diploma. He was the captain of the football team. His parents divorced at an early age and he lost his only sibling to cancer. He survived a brutal SEAL orientation that makes most hopefuls quit within days. He juggled one of the world’s most intense jobs while maintaining a marriage and raising three kids on the East Coast.

    For the entire article: http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_18642254?nclick_check=1

  27. Fed promises to keep rates low for at least 2 years

    8/9/11 By Pedro da Costa and Mark Felsenthal | Reuters – 14 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve said on Tuesday it will keep its hefty monetary policy stimulus for at least another two years, an effort to support a flagging economy and fragile global markets that faced considerable internal dissent.

    It was unclear whether the decision, which involved no new commitment of funds for bond purchases, would be enough to put a floor on a U.S. stock market that has fallen more than 15 percent in the last two weeks.

    The Fed said U.S. economic growth was proving considerably weaker than expected, suggesting inflation, which has already moderated recently, will remain contained for the foreseeable future.

    Three officials, Richard Fisher of the Dallas Fed, Narayana Kocherlakota of Minneapolis and Charles Plosser of Philadelphia, voted against the move.

    “The committee currently anticipates that economic conditions — including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run — are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through mid-2013,” the U.S. central bank said in a statement.

    It also reiterated its policy of reinvesting the proceeds from bonds maturing in its portfolio, though it did not state a specific time frame for such actions.

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/lUzbm

  28. Stocks close up 430 after Fed vows low rates through mid-2013

    8/09/11 By Peter Schroeder -TheHill

    The Federal Reserve on Tuesday gave a bleak assessment of a slowing U.S. economy, and said it would keep interest rates near zero through mid-2013.

    The assessment set off a wild close to the trading day, with stocks plummeting after the Fed statement’s release. After a few gyrations up and down, markets skyrocketed to the closing bell, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing 430 points higher on the day.

    In a highly anticipated statement, the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said information received since it last met in June shows the U.S. economy has been growing “considerably slower” than it expected.

    “Household spending has flattened out, investment in nonresidential structures is still weak, and the housing sector remains depressed,” the FOMC said. It also noted that temporary factors, including the supply chain disruption from the disasters in Japan, only accounted for “some of the recent weakness.”

    The central bank attempted to offer some assurances to the financial sector, announcing for the first time that it would be keeping interest rates “exceptionally low” at least through the middle of 2013. Previously, the Fed had simply said low rates would be merited for “an extended period.” Three members of the Fed’s board dissented from the more explicit language.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/801-economy/176101-fed-lowers-economic-outlook-keeps-rates-unchanged

  29. May 30, 2014

    Statement by the President

    James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

    11:17 A.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. A few minutes ago, Secretary Shinseki and Rob Nabors, who I’ve temporarily assigned to work with the VA, presented me with the department’s initial review of VA facilities nationwide. And what they’ve found is that the misconduct has not been limited to a few VA facilities, but many across the country. That’s totally unacceptable. Our veterans deserve the best. They’ve earned it. Last week, I said that if we found misconduct, it would be punished. And I meant it.

    Secretary Shinseki has now begun the process of firing many of the people responsible, including senior leaders at the Phoenix VA. He’s canceled any possible performance bonuses this year for VHA senior executives. And he has ordered the VA to personally contact every veteran in Phoenix waiting for appointments to get them the care that they need and that they deserve.

    This morning, I think some of you also heard Ric take a truly remarkable action — in public remarks, he took responsibility for the conduct of those facilities, and apologized to his fellow veterans and to the American people. And a few minutes ago, Secretary Shinseki offered me his own resignation. With considerable regret, I accepted.

    Ric Shinseki has served his country with honor for nearly 50 years. He did two tours of combat in Vietnam — he’s a veteran who left a part of himself on the battlefield. He rose to command the First Cavalry Division, served as Army Chief of Staff, and has never been afraid to speak truth to power.

    As Secretary at the VA, he presided over record investments in our veterans — enrolling 2 million new veterans in health care, delivering disability pay to more Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange, making it easier for veterans with post-traumatic stress, mental health issues and traumatic brain injury to get treatment, improving care for our women veterans. At the same time, he helped reduce veteran homelessness, and helped more than 1 million veterans, servicemembers and their families pursue their education under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

    So Ric’s commitment to our veterans is unquestioned. His service to our country is exemplary. I am grateful for his service, as are many veterans across the country. He has worked hard to investigate and identify the problems with access to care, but as he told me this morning, the VA needs new leadership to address them. He does not want to be a distraction, because his priority is to fix the problem and make sure our vets are getting the care that they need. That was Ric’s judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans. And I agree. We don’t have time for distractions. We need to fix the problem.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/30/statement-president

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