Young Entrepreneurs

The President made clear in his State of the Union address that we as a country must commit to winning the future: out-innovating, out-building, and out-educating the rest of the world. After his address, the President asked senior Administration officials to get on the road and host discussions with business leaders across the country.

In March, he also launched the “100 Youth Roundtables” Initiative, designed to dialogue directly with young people and move the needle substantively on policy and outreach.

In July the White House held a  the White House welcomed 150 young entrepreneurs and business owners from all around the country for Our Time’s “Buy Young” Initiative. This event allowed young business leaders, who are responsible for the creation of over 7,000 jobs, to share their feedback with the administration about a wide variety of issues including job creation, small business, and youth employment. After a conversation with all the young business owners and administration officials, participants spoke (and the Administration listened) in breakout sessions with the Small Business Administration, the White House Business Council, the White House Council of Economic Advisors and the White House Office of Public Engagement to discuss their ideas.

As part of the President & SBA’s commitment to Young Entreprenuers and youth in underserved communities, the agency has committed a portion of the National Small Business Week agenda to devoting time and resources to educating and engaging young entrepreneurs. Job creation is crucial to our economic recovery and is the number one priority of the Obama administration.

.

.

SBA Young Enrepreneurs  Related Success Stories:

Advertisements

110 thoughts on “Young Entrepreneurs

  1. WH

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    The Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden visit Long Island.

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest convenes an off-camera gaggle
    Brady Press Briefing Room

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:20 PM
    The President meets with business leaders to discuss the economy at the W.H.

    2:00 PM
    2:35 PM
    The President welcomes the Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers at the White House to honor the team and their Super Bowl victory.

    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 12, 2011

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

      2:35 PM EDT
      The President welcomes the Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers at the White House to honor the team and their Super Bowl victory.

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      10:00 AM EDT
      U.S. House of Representatives: Pro Forma Session

      10:35 AM EDT
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Norwegian counterpart brief reporters following talks in Washington.

      12:00 PM EDT
      U.S. Senate: Pro Forma Session

      2:35 PM EDT
      The President welcomes the Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers at the White House to honor the team and their Super Bowl victory.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:30 AM EDT
      U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: Civil Right Implications of Domain Abuse

      10:00 AM EDT
      U.S. House of Representatives: Pro Forma Session

      10:02 AM EDT
      Brookings Institution
      Impact of Debt on U.S. National Security and Foreign Policy

      11:00 AM EDT
      Brookings Instit.: Deficit’s Impact on Amer. National Security & Foreign Policy

      12:00 PM EDT
      U.S. Senate: Pro Forma Session

      2:35 PM EDT
      The President welcomes the Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers at the White House to honor the team and their Super Bowl victory.

  2. Young Entrepreneurs

    Young Entrepreneurs are a valuable source of American innovation and long-term growth, and SBA is committed to supporting you! We’re dedicated to educating young people about entrepreneurship; connecting young entrepreneurs to each other and other successful business owners; and supporting young entrepreneurs by providing better access to tools, resources and information on how to start, grow and manage a business.

    To learn more: http://www.sba.gov/content/young-entrepreneurs

    —-

    Small Business Jobs Act Tour Recap

    From: sba | ‪Jun 3, 2011‬ |

    Following the Washington, DC, stop of the Small Business Jobs Act Tour, we sat down with SBA officials and a small business owner to talk about how the Jobs Act is putting tools into the hands of small business owners.

    • President Obama Announces “100 Youth Roundtables”

      Posted by Kalpen Modi on March 09, 2011

      This is exciting, folks. A few weeks ago, when President Obama dropped by a Roundtable with Young Americans in Cleveland, Ohio, he announced that he was tasking his Administration with participating in 100 Roundtables all over the country. And over the last 2 weeks we have put together a great initiative to assure that young Americans of all walks of life can participate in a roundtable if they so choose!

      Presidents and White Houses of the past have encouraged citizens to debate and discuss issues of the day; it’s one of the great strengths of a free and democratic society. Encouraging citizens to take a more active role in the betterment of American society, President Kennedy said, “The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves.” And speaking directly about young people, President Reagan remarked that, “Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.”

      Young Americans today are the most innovative and creative generation we have ever seen. You have inherited incredible challenges and met them with inspiring solutions. You have used mediums, technologies, and ideas to connect to one another that we could have previously only dreamed about. Back in the day, if you wanted to talk to someone at the White House, you likely would have had to ride your horse up to the front door (there used to be stables here). Now all you have to do is fill out a web form.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/03/09/president-obama-announces-100-youth-roundtables

    • Bringing Together Young Advocates and Entrepreneurs

      Posted by Kalpen Modi on May 19, 2011

      This past Tuesday, the White House Office of Public Engagement partnered with the Small Business Administration and two of its partners (the NYC Fund for Public Advocacy and General Assembly Incubator) to host the Young Entrepreneur Summit.

      The Summit featured approximately 300 youth advocates and entrepreneurs who connected on topics ranging from job training and education to creative thinking and best practices for starting a business and creating jobs for young Americans. Speakers and panelists included Marie Johns (Deputy Administrator of SBA), Michael Blake (Deputy Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement), Alexis Maybank (Co-Founder and CEO of Gilt Groupe), Rachel Chong (CEO of Catchafire), Mason Fuller (CEO of Atlas Frontiers Inc & Young Entrepreneur National Business Week Winner) and NT Etuk (CEO of Tabula Digita). Participants included a broad range of creative minds from young entrepreneurs like Matt Mullenweg (founding developer of WordPress) and Josh Weinstein (you are.tv), to youth advocates like Matthew Segal (Our Time), Aaron Smith (Young Invincibles) and Biko Baker (League of Young Voters).

      Prior to the Summit, White House and SBA officials also participated in roundtables with both young business leaders at General Assembly and young urban youth at the NAACP-NY.

      The Young Entrepreneur Summit is part of President Obama’s push around job growth for America’s young people, and therefore had a strong focus on connecting the business community with young people all over the country. More than 7,000 young people joined the conversation via livestream, and engaged in Q&A with panelists via twitter.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/05/19/bringing-together-young-advocates-and-entrepreneurs

    • White House Interactive Session with “Buy Young” Entrepreneurs

      Posted by Kalpen Modi on July 13, 2011

      Job creation is crucial to our economic recovery and the number one priority of the Obama administration. Small business owners remain a major driver of American employment and throughout the country; young entrepreneurs are rebuilding our economy with innovative ideas, environmentally friendly products, and groundbreaking business strategies. Young people continue to prove that that their businesses are not simply the ideas of the future.

      Today you are invited to join 150 dynamic young business owners from Our Time’s “Buy Young” Initiative, along with Obama Administration officials from the White House Office of Public Engagement, the Small Business Administration, the White House Business Council and the White House Office of the Chief of Staff for an interactive session on access to capital, mentorship and barriers to entrepreneurship for young entrepreneurs. Startup America will be interviewing participants who’d like to share their stories of innovation and entrepreneurship with other young people. Among the attendees are the founders of established businesses including WordPress, Gilt Group, Invite Media, and Living Social, as well as promising new startups such as Tutorspree, Refinery29 and Genjuice, plus representatives from leading venture capital firms.

      For the entire article:

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/13/white-house-interactive-session-buy-young-entrepreneurs

    • Young Business Entrepreneurs Visit the White House for the Buy Young Initiative

      Posted by Isaiah Nelson on July 21, 2011

      Last week, the White House welcomed 150 young entrepreneurs and business owners from all around the country for Our Time’s “Buy Young” Initiative. These young leaders, who came from businesses like WordPress, Gilt Group,Invite Media, and Living Social, shared their stories of innovation and entrepreneurship with the administration. The conversation was also broadcast live through Whitehouse.gov/live and facebook/whitehouse.

      Job creation is crucial to our economic recovery and is the number one priority of the Obama administration. This event allowed young business leaders, who are responsible for the creation of over 7,000 jobs, to share their feedback with the administration about a wide variety of issues including job creation, small business, and youth employment. After a conversation with all the young business owners and administration officials, participants spoke (and the Administration listened) in breakout sessions with the Small Business Administration, the White House Business Council, the White House Council of Economic Advisors and the White House Office of Public Engagement to discuss their ideas. In these smaller sessions, they gave the administration feedback about projects they are working on and on how the government can better encourage entrepreneurship.

      There was no shortage of great stories of how these brilliant young CEOs started their businesses: Amelia and her wife Erika from the locally-sourced and sustainable butcher shop “Lindy and Grundy” in California asked how they could connect with the USDA and also shared stories about how they created a locally-sourced business that features an apprenticeship program designed to grow along with their business. Hezekiah Griggs III joined us; Hezekiah mentors young entrepreneurs, and formed a public-private partnership with the Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development. Matt Mullenweg, who started Word Press also joined. Not only does Word Press power more than 50 million websites, but Matt also advises and invests in over 20 young start-ups.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/21/young-business-entrepreneurs-visit-white-house-buy-young-initiative

    • Champions of Change – Young Entrepreneurs Celebrated at the White House

      Posted by Ronnie Cho on August 17, 2011

      Hi everyone. My name is Ronnie Cho and I’m the new White House liaison to young Americans. I’ve got some great news to share with you and I couldn’t wait another day. I want you to be the first to know about the 11 amazing young entrepreneurs that are being honored at the White House on Thursday, at the next event in our on-going “Champions of Change” series. These champions have started creative companies, hail from every corner of the country and work in diverse fields that are bringing services and products to market. They’re winning the future by starting businesses, creating jobs, wealth and opportunities for their communities.

      The “Champions of Change” program is a weekly series where the White House highlights the stories and examples of citizens across the country that represents President Obama’s vision of out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the rest of the world through effective projects and initiatives that move their communities forward. This week, the White House will welcome several young entrepreneurs to Washington to share their success stories and discuss how we can continue to encourage and inspire young people to start their own companies. The Champions will engage in discussion with a diverse audience from aspiring entrepreneurs to established business leaders who are interested in the extraordinary example of these young people winning the future.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/17/champions-change-young-entrepreneurs-celebrated-white-house

    • Stephanie Cutter: President Obama’s Fight for Small Businesses

      Published on Jul 24, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom
      Facebook it: http://OFA.BO/fyhXvk
      Tweet it: http://OFA.BO/eZpWPF
      Tumblr it: http://OFA.BO/Y8r8mw

      Stephanie Cutter shares how Mitt Romney’s new TV ad blatantly twists President Obama’s words on small business owners and entrepreneurs. Mitt Romney is not telling the truth about what the President said, and he is taking the President’s words out of context.

      President Obama has consistently fought for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The President knows that hard working people turning ideas into successful businesses built the American middle class.

      obama-wil-help-small-businesses

      romney-will-hurt-small-businesses

    • DJs for Obama

      Published on Aug 14, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom
      Are you in? http://OFA.BO/sbveJT

      DJ Cassidy shares why he supports Presdident Obama and what you can do to help re-elect the President November 6th.

      • Chris Rock Rates Barack Obama’s Presidency on #SwayInTheMorning

        Published on Aug 14, 2012 by SwaysUniverse

  3. August 03, 2011

    President Obama to Honor Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers at the White House

    WASHINGTON–On Friday, August 12, President Obama will welcome the Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers to the White House to honor the team and their Super Bowl victory. The President will also continue his tradition of honoring sports teams for their efforts both on and off the field by recognizing the efforts by the Packers to give back to their community as part of their visit.

    • Packers Prepare for Trip to the White House

      8/11/11 By Sara Kronenberg – wbay

      Six months and one week after they were crowned Super Bowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers will celebrate their victory with the President of the United States.

      Even though trip was delayed due to the NFL lockout, the players and their entourage say the thrill hasn’t faded one bit.

      They’ve been looking forward to it even before they won the Super Bowl, ever since President Obama rooted against the Packers and for his hometown Bears in the NFC Championship game.

      “I think it’s nice he’s taking the time, as busy as he is, to celebrate with the city of Green Bay and all the world of Packer fans out there, so I’ll thank him for his time,” said Green Bay Mayor Schmitt.

      Mayor Schmitt and state Senator Dave Hansen are joining the White House celebration, as are several Green Bay Police officers who work security for the team.

      The fact that President Obama is a Bears fan will definitely come up, but the travelers think he will be able to take it.

      “I think it’s going to be fun,” said Mayor Schmitt. “I think Woodson’s going to have the best time, him and the president have a little bit banter going back and forth. It’s going to be a very loose, but very respectful visit with the President of the United States and the Green Bay Packers.”

      Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy added, “It’s a chance to spend some time with the president. We have a couple gifts that we want to present to him and I think we’ll have some fun with the president.”

      In addition to some green and gold gifts, President Obama will be receiving a special invitation back to Green Bay.

      “I am bringing the president two free tickets for the Zippin Pippin,” explained Mayor Schmitt with a laugh.

  4. AFGHANISTAN CHECK-IN

    8/11/11 POLITICO44

    President Obama on Thursday spoke with the top American diplomat and military commander in Afghanistan via videoconference. Here’s the short readout of the call provided by the White House:

    “President Obama and his national security team were briefed today by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker and Commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force
    (ISAF) General John Allen about the situation in Afghanistan. The newly arrived team of U.S. leaders in Kabul underscored the continuing momentum of the coalition campaign, development of the Afghan National Security Forces, and support to the Afghan government as they transition to the lead in security. The President again reaffirmed his commitment to a political solution in Afghanistan and expressed support for the regional engagement agenda laid out by Secretary Clinton, to include a productive international meeting at Bonn in December 2011.”

  5. GOP Wrong Way Debbie Wasserman Schultz Slams Mitt Romney For Saying “Corporations Are People”

    Posted by DNC Press on Thursday, August 11, 2011

    DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said during a campaign appearance in Iowa today that “corporations are people, my friend.” Romney’s comment was in response to a suggestion from an audience member that large corporations should start paying their fair share. Watch the video here.

    Mitt Romney’s comment today that ‘corporations are people’ is one more indication that Romney and the Republicans on the campaign trail and in Washington have misplaced priorities. It is a shocking admission from a candidate—and a party—that shamelessly puts forward policies to help large corporations and the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class, seniors, and students. When they should be standing up for seniors, Republicans are instead protecting corporate loopholes and proposing to end Medicare as we know it. When they should be trying to help middle class families prosper, they are instead supporting policies that would slash Social Security.

    Mitt Romney and his fellow Republican candidates should spend a little less time fighting to protect the special interests, millionaires, and billionaires, and a lot more time standing up for the middle class, seniors, and students.

  6. Obama fundraises with celebrities

    08/11/11 By POLITICO STAFF

    “This is a pretty good looking crowd,” Obama said at a New York fundraiser Thursday night.

    When the guest list includes names like Gwyneth Paltrow, her husband Chris Martin, Jimmy Fallon, Vera Wang, Anna Wintour and Alicia Keys, the president could be accused of understatement.

    Hundreds of people packed the streets of the West Village and police marksmen stood on rooftops as Obama arrived at the residence of media mogul Harvey Weinstein, according to pool reports.

    The president addressed about 50 guests who sat in tables of ten. Tickets were $35,800 according to a Democratic official, with the first $5000 of each ticket going to the Obama Victory Fund and the rest to the DNC. The president earlier had addressed a small, separate gathering of 15 at the Ritz Carlton hotel.

    The president spoke on debt, the economy and his reelection campaign, and commented on his own lack of cool factor with the electorate this time around.

    “They have still got the Obama poster, it is all frayed. Obama is gray haired, he doesn’t seem as cool,” he said. “In some ways that is a healthy thing. Because in 2012… we realize it is about us.. It is not about my election. One person.”

    • August 11, 2011

      Remarks by the President at a DNC Event

      Private Residence
      New York, New York

      7:15 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, I must say, first of all, this is a pretty good-looking crowd. (Laughter.) I want to thank Harvey and Georgina and Anna and Shelby for being such extraordinary hosts. To Governor Cuomo, congratulations on the great work that you’ve been doing here in the great state of New York. And to all of you, thanks for being here.

      What I’m going to do is I — I enjoy having a conversation as opposed to giving a long speech — although I’ve been known to — (laughter.) So I’m just going to make a few brief remarks at the top.

      Obviously this country has gone through as tough of a time as we’ve seen in my lifetime over the last two and a half years. But even by those standards, this last month and a half have been extraordinary. And I was just in Michigan, at a advanced battery plant. We actually have jumpstarted an entire industry here in the United States, building advanced batteries that are going to go into electric vehicles. Not only does it create jobs, manufacturing jobs that pay well, but it also is going to make a huge contribution in terms of our environment and reducing carbon emissions.

      And when you couple it with the fact that for the first time in 30 years we’ve not only raised fuel efficiency standards but we actually were able to get the entire industry to agree voluntarily to double fuel efficiency standards by the biggest environmental step we’ve made in the last 30 years on that front.

      What was remarkable was to see outside of Washington the enthusiasm, the energy, the hopefulness, the decency of the American people. And what I said to them is you deserve better. You deserve better than you’ve been getting out of Washington over the last two and a half months — for that matter, for the last two and a half years.

      What’s striking as I travel around the country is people understand that this country is going through a fundamental change because of globalization, because of technology, and they recognize that we’ve got to up our game. We’re going to have to be more competitive. We’re going to have to educate our kids better. We’re going to have to design our businesses more effectively. We’re going to have to revamp how all sorts of systems work in order for us to meet the challenge of the 21st century.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/08/11/remarks-president-dnc-event

  7. Elizabeth Warren making moves in Massachusetts

    August 11, 2011 POLITICO

    Elizabeth Warren, the architect of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a liberal hero, looks like she’s preparing to challenge Republican Scott Brown for Massachusetts’ Senate seat next year.

    Warren, a Harvard law professor and Oklahoma native, has met with top Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, and is working with two prominent political advisers to Gov. Deval Patrick, the state’s first African American governor. Warren also declared on a political blog Thursday that she’ll continue “fighting for the middle class” and hinted she may undertake a “listening tour” of the state.

    “I spent years working against special interests and have the battle scars to show it – and I have no intention of stopping now,” she wrote on the liberal blog Blue Mass Group. “It is time for me to think hard about what role I can play next to help rebuild a middle class that has been hacked at, chipped at, and pulled at for more than a generation — and that that is under greater strain every day.”

    In the coming weeks, Warren wrote, “I want to hear from you about the challenges we face and how we get our economy growing again. I also want to hear your ideas about how we can fix what all of us – regardless of party – know is a badly broken political system. I want to hear your thoughts about how we can make sure that our voices – our families, our friends, and our neighbors — are heard again.”

    For the entire article: http://www.politico.com/blogs/davidcatanese/0811/Elizabeth_Warren_making_moves_in_Massachusetts.html

    • I am glad Elizabeth is running. I will support her 100%. This should also make the PL happy.

  8. Obama: King memorial ‘spectacular’

    08/11/11 By POLITICO STAFF – POLITICO

    President Obama on Thursday night confirmed he would open the new Martin Luther King memorial in Washington D.C. on Aug. 28.

    At a New York fundraiser, the president said he had flown over the memorial and it looked “spectacular,” according to pool reports.

    “Now that King has his own memorial on the Mall, I think that we forget when he was alive there was nobody who was more vilified, nobody who was more controversial, nobody who was more despairing at times, there was a decade following the great successes of Birmingham and Selma which was just struggle,” he said.

    “What he understood, what kept him going was that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. But it doesn’t bend on its own… it takes time, and it is hard work and it has its frustrations.”

    • Have I mentioned lately how much I love and admire President Obama?

      • Jacqueline, I love and admire him more each day. I love his honesty and how he really care for the American people. He doesn’t just pay lip service to those words. I hope he continue to let folks know that congress is the one to vote and send jobs bills to him. It is no excuse for those trade deals to sit in congress all of this time.

  9. ‘Military Line’ Works to Boost Financial Fitness

    Aug. 11, 2011 By Elaine Sanchez -American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, – A young service member saddled with debt and in need of some quick cash doesn’t have to go far. Lenders offering same-day loans sit outside the gate of nearly every military installation in the nation.

    But the lure of fast and easy cash can lead strapped troops down a path of steep interest rates and fees that far surpass their initial loan.

    In other words, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, said Brenda Linnington, director of the Better Business Bureau Military Line.

    Protecting service members and their families from financial pitfalls such as payday lenders is Linnington’s primary goal at Military Line. The program’s mission, she explained, is to increase military members’ financial literacy through information, education and outreach — both online and on the ground.

    “I’d like Military Line to serve as a bridge between the civilian and military communities,” said Linnington, an Army veteran and the wife of an active-duty Army officer. She took on the job in January after the former director, Holly Petraeus, left to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Servicemember Affairs.

    The program, created in 2004, also is a partner in the Defense Department’s Financial Readiness Campaign, she said, which gives local bureau representatives access to teach financial literacy classes on military installations. The bureau, she added, has 164 local offices scattered across the country.

    The importance of a military family’s financial stability can’t be overestimated, Linnington said.

    “If we’re deploying a young soldier and expecting him to do great things on our behalf, but he’s greatly in debt and collectors are calling his family,” she said, “that soldier is never going to be completely mission-ready.”

    For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65007

  10. New Task Force to Promote Energy Initiatives

    Aug. 11, 2011 By Donna Miles – American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, – A new task force to stand up by mid-September will take the Army’s energy initiatives to the next level with a goal of getting 25 percent of the Army’s power from renewable sources by 2025, Army Secretary John M. McHugh announced yesterday.

    The Energy Initiatives Task Force for Large-scale Renewable Energy Projects will build on efforts already under way at Army installations worldwide, McHugh said at theGovEnergy Conference in Cincinnati.

    The Army already has 126 renewable projects, he noted, including a major solar project at Fort Irwin, Calif., that, once completed, will stretch across an area the size of Manhattan in New York.

    “We think we’ve made a great start,” he said, citing initiatives that include microgrids, solar and natural gas. “But to meet our longer-term objectives,” he added, “we have to do better.”

    The new task force will seek new ways to partner with the private sector on a variety of large-scale renewable energy and alternative energy programs within the continental United States. McHugh estimated that meeting the 2025 objective will require about $7.1 billion in private investment.

    Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, said the task force will help advance energy concepts that make financial sense for everyone: the private sector, the Army and the American taxpayer.

    For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65002

  11. Wounded Warrior Complex Symbolizes Covenant, Stanley Says

    Aug. 11, 2011 By Terri Moon Cronk – American Forces Press Service

    BETHESDA, – The Wounded Warrior Barracks and Wounded Warrior Complex at the National Naval Medical Center here are symbols of the military covenant of caring for troops whether they are at home or deployed, and after hospital discharges, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness said today.
    “Our covenant is for life, and [this center] is symbolic of that,” Clifford L. Stanley said.

    The new barracks and complex for wounded warrior care are provisions of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission, which consolidates NNMC and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the two military flagship hospitals.

    “It will offer world-class care under one roof,” on the grounds of NNMC, said Navy Vice Adm. John M. Mateczun, Joint Task Force commander of the National Capital Region Medical.

    The wounded warrior care offered at the center is another chapter in military medical achievements since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began nearly 10 years ago, Mateczun said. Critical “care in the air” and getting the wounded back to the United States in 72 hours are among the many accomplishments, he said.

    “The word ‘barracks’ doesn’t do the facility justice,” he said.

    “Every part of the Wounded Warrior Barracks and complex has wounded warriors in mind — the furniture, accessibility, Internet, computers and flat-screen TVs,” Mateczun said. 


    Families will have accommodations “just steps away,” he said, with child care on the premises so wounded warriors won’t have to worry about how their families are faring while they receive care.

    The barracks and adjoining complex, which is the renovated historic Naval Medical Research Institute, offer nearly 300,000 square feet of 153 two-person suites, a dining hall that will prepare 1,500 meals a day, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, gym and the latest in medical technology to care for the wounded.

    Patients are scheduled to move into the new barracks and complex at the end of August, just prior to Walter Reed and NNMC joining forces at Bethesda under the new name, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

  12. VA Outlines October Changes in Post-9/11 GI Bill

    Aug. 11, 2011 By Karen Parrish – American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON,– The third round of 2011 changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill will take effect Oct. 1, a Department of Veterans Affairs official said today.

    October’s changes allow eligible students to pay for more education and training programs with the GI Bill, Keith Wilson, director of VA’s education service, told reporters today during a telephone conference.

    Programs not leading to college degrees, including programs offered at schools that don’t grant degrees, will now be eligible for GI Bill funding, Wilson said. Flight programs, correspondence training, on-the-job and apprenticeship training also are covered by the GI Bill, he added.

    “That’s a significant expansion,” Wilson said.

    Beginning in October, the GI Bill will offer a housing allowance to students not on active duty who are enrolled solely in distance learning, and will allow students on active duty to receive a stipend for books and supplies.

    Wilson said another change in the housing allowance means students enrolled more than half time but less than full time will receive a pro-rated housing allowance, rather than the full allowance they used to get.

    “Now the housing allowance is tied to the training time,” he said. “So if an individual wants a full housing allowance, they need to be a full-time student.”

    The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010, which President Barack Obama signed into law Jan. 4 of this year, set forth three sets of GI Bill changes. Some of the act’s provisions already took effect in March and August.

    For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65008

  13. Minority Business Development Agency: Helping Rural Business Owners Create Jobs

    Submitted on August 11, 2011 commerce.gov

    Since the start of this administration, the Minority Business Development Agency has helped minority-owned firms gain access to $7 billion in contracts. Those firms are located in cities and rural communities throughout the country. However, what these firms have in common is their tenacity, innovation and creativity.

    MBDA has made a point of ensuring that minority-owned firms are given access through our 50 center touch points located throughout the country. Among our MBDA business centers is the Native American Business Enterprise Center (NABEC) program.

    Each NABEC leverages project staff and professional consultants to provide a wide range of direct business assistance services to eligible Native American, tribal entity and minority-owned firms.

    MBDA’s NABEC services include initial consultation and assessments, business technical assistance, and access to federal and non-federal procurement and finance opportunities.

    Two firms, Sister Sky and Marion Trucking & Construction are examples of companies located in rural areas and using the services of MBDA through its NABEC locations.

    For the entire article: http://www.commerce.gov/blog/2011/08/11/minority-business-development-agency-helping-rural-business-owners-create-jobs

  14. President Obama: There’s Something Wrong with our Politics that We Need to Fix

    Posted by Colleen Curtis on August 11, 2011

    President Obama today urged Americans to use the current Congressional break as an opportunity to talk to their Representatives and tell them to take the necessary steps to grow our economy.

    He was visiting an advanced battery manufacturing plant in Holland, MI to highlight the key role that innovative technologies will play in the future of the U.S. auto industry. He sympathized with the frustration Americans are feeling over the inaction in Washington, and acknowledged that partisan politics are getting in the way of our nation’s ability to create jobs and erase the legacy of debt that is hanging over the economy. “There is nothing wrong with our country,” he told the audience of auto workers. “There’s something wrong with our politics that we need to fix.”

    The President outlined a series of things that can be done right now to put more money in the pockets of American workers, and said that the best way to make sure they happen is to let Congress know “you’ve had enough of theatrics.” Among the steps Congress can take as soon as they return to Washington:

    * Extend the payroll tax cut so that middle class families have more money in their paychecks next year. If you’ve got more money in your paycheck, you’re more likely to spend it, and that means businesses of all sizes will have more customers. They’ll be in a better position to hire.

    * Extend unemployment benefits so that millions of workers who are still pounding the pavement looking for jobs can support their families.

    * Pass a bipartisan road construction bill. There are over a million construction workers out of work after the housing boom went bust, just as a lot of America needs rebuilding. We can put these workers back to work by rebuilding our roads and bridges and railways.

    * Pass the patent reform bill to help our innovators and entrepreneurs get their job-creating ideas to market faster.
    Pass the trade agreements that will help businesses sell more American-made goods and services to Asia and South America, supporting tens of thousands of jobs here at home.

    * We’ve got hundreds of thousands of bright, talented, skilled Americans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and the President recently proposed several initiatives to make sure our veterans are able to navigate this difficult labor market and succeed in the civilian workforce. He proposed the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, challenged the private sector to train or hire 100,000 Unemployed Veterans, and proposed programs to ensure the men and women in uniform are career ready and transition back to the private sector.

  15. WhiteBoard

    8/11/11 POLITICO44

    Speaking at a high-dollar fundraiser in New York Thursday night, President Obama stuck to themes he has stressed over and over lately – how his administration is focused on putting Americans back to work by investing in new technologies, new energy sources, reforming education etc.

    But on a night when Republican presidential hopefuls were sparring in a lively (and at times raucus) televised debate, Obama was realistic about the reelection fight to come.

    A portion of his remarks (as distributed by the White House):

    “[D]emocracy is messy and it’s tough, and our system is broken to a large degree. And that makes this election more important than 2008. 2008 put us in a position to do some extraordinary things and I can’t be prouder of what we did. But in 2008, I also think everybody figured, we get through this one election and then it’s all done. And then, after two and a half years, and it’s been tough and there have been setbacks, there are a lot of folks who suddenly feel deflated, this is hard, I’m not sure I believe in change. (Laughter.) They’ve still got the Obama poster but it’s all kind of frayed. (Laughter.) And Obama is grayer — (laughter) — he doesn’t seem as cool. (Laughter.)

    “But in some ways, that’s a healthy thing, because what that means is in 2012 … we realize this is about us. This is not about my election; it’s not about one person. It’s about competing visions about where we’re going to take the country. Are we going to have a country that’s inclusive? Are we going to have a country that gives opportunity to everybody? Are we going to have a country where everybody is sharing sacrifices but also sharing opportunities? Are we going to have a country in which what we project to the world is not just our military might, but it’s also our capacity to champion human rights and women’s rights and feed folks and help them become self-sufficient?

    “And those competing visions are going to be determined in this next election as much as they ever have before. And so I hope you guys aren’t tired because we’ve got a lot more work to do

  16. Well, that was surreal. Watched a few minutes of the R debate replay, when Ron Paul was answering some questions.

    Even though I disagree with all of his philosophies, think he’s a terrible bigot and downright nasty, compared to what was said tonight by Santorum and Bachmann and Gingrich and others, some of what he said – about the fact we should stop the wars and bring all of our troops home, and try terrorists in our courts – made sense.

    Now I think I’m the crazy one. Thanks a lot, Republicans!

    • I think that the sane Republicans have abandoned the party; they are the ones that volunteered and voted for POTUS; like our two South County 4 Obama co-captains!

  17. West Wing Week: 8/12/11 or “Made In America”

    From: whitehouse | Aug 11, 2011

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President announced new initiatives to put unemployed veterans back to work as well as new fuel economy standards for work trucks, buses and other heavy duty vehicles that will reduce oil consumption and pollution, traveled to Holland, Michigan to visit an advanced battery facility highlighting innovative technologies that help America achieve these historic new fuel standards and addressed the nation on the budget deficit and creating jobs. That’s August 5th to August 11th or “Made In America.” .

  18. Voters prefer Dems to GOP on generic congressional ballot

    By Michael O’Brien – 08/12/11

    A majority of registered voters said they would prefer a generic Democratic candidate for Congress over a nameless Republican candidate in the 2012 elections, according to a new Gallup poll released Friday.

    In the wake of a bruising congressional fight over raising the debt-ceiling, 51 percent of registered voters said they lean toward electing a Democrat to Congress next fall. Forty-four percent of voters prefer a generic Republican, while six percent said they would prefer another party’s candidate, or were undecided.

    Congress’s overall popularity has hit an all-time low in the wake of the debt ceiling deal, which led Standard & Poor’s last week to downgrade the U.S. AAA credit rating for the first time in history. While the fight hurt both parties, the Gallup poll suggests Republicans are suffering disproportionately.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/176599-majority-of-voters-prefer-dems-on-generic-congressional-ballot

  19. Retail sales post biggest gain since March

    8/12/11 By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa | Reuters – 17 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Retail sales in July posted their biggest gain since March, tempering fears that the world’s largest economy might be slipping back into recession.

    Sales climbed 0.5 percent, in line with analyst forecasts and following an upwardly revised 0.3 percent gain in June. Consumer spending accounts for two thirds of U.S. economic activity, and the Commerce Department data indicates the third quarter was off to a decent start.

    Excluding autos, sales increased 0.5 percent, well above forecasts for a 0.2 percent gain. The figures were bolstered by a 1.6 percent jump in gasoline station sales, in part reflecting the higher cost of fuel.

    Economic growth was anemic in the first half of the year and unemployment remained elevated, raising worries that the recovery might again falter and triggering speculation that the Federal Reserve might need to resort to additional monetary easing.

  20. After debate, Axe takes on Mitt

    The morning after the Iowa debate, President Obama’s campaign adviser David Axelrod was fired up and ready to challenge the claims that Mitt Romney made on stage the night before – point by point.

    Here’s some of what Axelrod said Friday morning on MSNBC about Romney’s performance last night:

    – “I thought it was odd that he invoked the 10th amendment in explaining why it was okay that he supported a health care plan that was in many ways was identical to ours, and then call for a federal marriage amendment to determine how we deal with marriage.”

    – “Romney said , ‘Well, I have real world experience in the economy and that will inform my ability to move this economy forward’ … but he had that real world experience when he was governor and Massachusetts and Massachusetts underperformed the nation – 47th in job creation.”

    – “He said he cut his budget every year he was governor — the fact is he raised spending every year but one.”

    – “He said he didn’t raise taxes – he went to S&P and boasted about taxes.”

    But Axelrod added that the “most interesting” thing Romney said on Thursday happened well before the debate even started — when the former Massachusetts governor told a crowd: “Corporations are people, too, my friend.”

    When host of “Morning Joe” Joe Scarborough joked, “I actually have a bumper sticker, David, on the back of my Bentley that says ‘Corporations are people, too,’” Axelrod responded sarcastically, “Take a corporation to lunch today, Joe.”

    http://www.politico.com/politico44/perm/0811/fired_up_6b1fa7ca-a3b7-48fa-85db-426b0730ff99.html

  21. Business inventories rise 0.3 percent in June

    8/12/11 By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa | Reuters – 14 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Business inventories rose slightly less than expected in June, suggesting firms remained cautious about future demand at the end of the second quarter.

    Inventories climbed 0.3 percent, following a downwardly revised 0.9 percent rise in May, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Economists had expected a rise of 0.5 percent in June.

    Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product and the smaller-than-forecast rise in June, coupled with a wider trade deficit that month, suggest the second-quarter growth pace was even slower than the Commerce Department’s initial estimate of a 1.3 percent annualized rate.

    The ratio between business inventories and sales was unchanged at 1.28, the highest since October.

    Business sales increased 0.4 percent after a 0.1 percent dip the previous month.

  22. What can Congress do to create jobs? Five Democratic proposals.
    Amid worries that the economy may be headed into a second recession, both Republicans and Democrats say creating jobs is their top priority. But the two parties are far apart on their approaches.

    Democrats favor targeted stimulus – investments in infrastructure, clean energy, and education – while hiking taxes on corporations and the rich to fund this jobs spending. Republicans aim to curb government regulation and cut taxes to give businesses and individuals more incentive to invest.
    Here are the Democrats’ top five priorities.

    8/11/11 Gail Russell Chaddock – csmonitor

    1. Take back the political initiative on job

    2. Extend stimulus spending, lite

    3. Tax credits to hire targeted groups

    4. Infrastructure bank

    5. Revamped tax code

    For the entie article: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/0811/What-can-Congress-do-to-create-jobs-Five-Democratic-proposals/Extend-stimulus-spending-lite

  23. US Department of Labor’s OSHA releases mobile app to help protect workers from heat-related illnesses

    8/11/11 dol.gov

    SANDY, Utah — As part of continuing educational efforts by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration about the dangers of extreme heat, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced the release of a free application for mobile devices that will enable workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites in order to prevent heat-related illnesses.

    “Summer heat presents a serious issue that affects some of the most vulnerable workers in our country, and education is crucial to keeping them safe,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “Heat-related illnesses are preventable. This new app is just one way the Labor Department is getting that message out.”

    The app, available in English and Spanish, combines heat index data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with the user’s location to determine necessary protective measures. Based on the risk level of the heat index, the app provides users with information about precautions they may take, such as drinking fluids, taking rest breaks and adjusting work operations. Users also can review the signs and symptoms of heat stroke, heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses, and learn about first aid steps to take in an emergency. Information for supervisors is also available through the app on how to gradually build up the workload for new workers as well as how to train employees on heat illness signs and symptoms. Additionally, users can contact OSHA directly through the app.

    The app is designed for devices using an Android platform, and versions for BlackBerry and iPhone users will be released shortly. To download it, visit http://go.usa.gov/KFE.

    For the entire article; http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/osha/OSHA20111204.htm

  24. No expectation of double-dip recession: Fed’s Dudley

    8/12/11 By Edith Honan, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama | Reuters – 32 mins ago

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – One of the central bank’s most influential policymakers said on Friday he does not expect the economy to suffer a double-dip recession.

    William Dudley, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and vice chair of the Fed’s policy-setting committee, also told a media briefing that Standard & Poor’s decision this month to cut the nation’s top-notch rating will help “reinforce commitment to long-term fiscal consolidation.”

    As for the New York City economy, Dudley said it is “too soon to say” how employment levels on Wall Street will be impacted by market turmoil and other factors, such as new regulations.

  25. August 12, 2011

    Statement from National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor on U.S.-Brazil Strategic Energy Dialogue Launch

    Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy Daniel Poneman will lead an interagency delegation to Brasília, Brazil on August 17, 2011 to launch the U.S.-Brazil Strategic Energy Dialogue, a presidential-level partnership announced by President Obama and Brazilian President Rousseff on March 19, 2011 during the President’s trip to Brazil. Mr. Poneman will co-chair the launch with his counterpart from the Brazilian Ministry of Mining and Energy, Dr. Márcio Zimmermann. The U.S. delegation will include officials from the National Security Staff, the Departments of State and Commerce, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Prior to stopping in Brasilia and in view of the important role that the private sector will play in this partnership, Mr. Poneman will lead the delegation to São Paulo and to Rio de Janeiro to meet with public and private enterprise. Based on the Presidents’ joint commitment in March to take concrete steps to enhance cooperation between their two countries’ energy sectors, the Strategic Energy Dialogue will address our mutual interest in the development of safe, secure and affordable energy in an environmentally sound way, including oil, natural gas, biofuels, clean energy, and civilian nuclear energy.

  26. Signs of Recovery -Silicon Valley construction workers find jobs again

    8/11/11 By Pete Carey – mercurynews

    For nearly three years, the steel frame of an uncompleted five-story office tower has loomed over a corner lot in Santa Clara while the developer waited for the economy to revive.

    Last week, in one more sign that Silicon Valley’s economy is emerging from the downturn, construction crews were at work again on the building.

    Valley developers are restarting dormant projects and some long-idled construction workers are back on the job. Santa Clara County added 1,800 construction jobs in June, double the 20-year average.

    Thousands of new apartment units in more than half a dozen complexes are in various stages of development in San Jose. South Bay office developers are planning new campuses and finishing projects they put on hold after the 2008 crash.
    The Sobrato Organization, which mothballed the Santa Clara office building in 2008, is even planning a second five-story office building on the site.

    “We feel strongly about the tech sector and the Bay Area,” said Mike Field, Sobrato’s director for commercial real estate. High end office space is in short supply and there’s lots of demand for it from big tech companies, he said

    Still unknown is whether the national economic turmoil may slow things down again. “I’m optimistic but very cautious,” said Neil Struthers, chief executive officer of the Santa Clara and San Benito Counties Building & Construction Trades Council.
    For construction workers, it’s nothing close to a return to the employment numbers before the 2008 crash, but it’s probably a signal of more hiring to come.

    For the entire article: http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_18663370

  27. THE WHITEBOARD

    8/12/11 POLITICO

    LUCKY EIGHT: From a White House official, here is the list of eight CEOs President Obama will meet with Friday afternoon to “discuss the economy and the administration’s ongoing efforts to create jobs”:

    • Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox
    • Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express
    • Richard Davis, President and CEO, U.S. Bank
    • Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock
    • Glenn Hutchins, Co-CEO, Silver Lake Partners
    • John Stumpf, Chairman, President, and CEO, Wells Fargo
    • John Surma, Chairman and CEO, U.S. Steel
    • Bill Weldon, Chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson

    The White House says it will release a readout of the closed press meeting, scheduled to start at 1:20 p.m.

    • Well, in this case, Mitt Romney was right that “corporations are people, my friend.” Arrgghhh.

      So glad these CEOs are working with President Obama.

  28. Next Up…

    2:35 PM EDT
    The President welcomes the Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers at the White House to honor the team and their Super Bowl victory.

    • August 12, 2011

      Remarks by the President at Welcome of the Green Bay Packers

      South Portico

      2:57 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. (Applause.) Everybody have a seat here. Everybody have a seat. On this spectacular day, I want to welcome everybody to the White House. Thank you all for being here.

      I’m just going to come out and say it: This hurts a little bit. (Laughter.) This is a hard thing for a Bears fan to do. It doesn’t hurt as much as the NFC Championship game hurt — (laughter) — but it still hurts — you guys coming to my house to rub it in. (Laughter.) What are you going to do — go to Ditka’s house next? (Laughter.)

      But in the interest of good sportsmanship, congratulations to the Green Bay Packers on your fourth Super Bowl championship and record 13th NFL championship. (Applause.)

      You know, the problem you have, though, and your franchise — your fans are not that enthusiastic. (Laughter.) You guys have got to work on that. I’m surprised they’re not wearing cheeseheads. (Applause.) Oh, there they are. (Laughter.) My mistake. (Laughter.)

      Look, obviously it’s good to have football right around the corner. Like every football fan, I was thrilled to have the lockout ended. Nobody likes long, frustrating negotiations — (laughter) — with a rigid opposition, taking it to the brink. (Laughter.)

      I want to recognize Packers President Mark Murphy, — (applause) — GM Ted Thompson — (applause) — for the outstanding job they’ve done, as well as Coach Mike McCarthy for guiding them to the next championship. (Applause.)

      And I would like to welcome all the players to the White House — some of them I’ve had a chance to meet before, wonderful guys. I guess I especially have to welcome Charles Woodson. Where’s Woodson? (Applause.) Hold on a second. I wasn’t asking for some certificate you’re about to give me, aren’t you? (Laughter.) He’s really rubbing it in. Look at that.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/08/12/remarks-president-welcome-green-bay-packers

    • Behind the Scenes: The Green Bay Packers at The White House

      From: whitehouse | Aug 16, 2011

      Join the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers as they tour the White House, meet the President and talk about their lengthy experience of giving back to their community through acts of service.

  29. The Latest Health Care Court Case

    Posted by Stephanie Cutter on August 12, 2011

    There has been no shortage of court cases regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Before today, four courts, including the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, examined the health reform law and found it constitutional.

    Today, a different court ruled against the Affordable Care Act’s individual responsibility provision. We strongly disagree with this decision and we are confident it will not stand.

    The individual responsibility provision – the main part of the law at issue in these cases – is constitutional. Those who claim this provision exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce are incorrect. Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are making an economic decision that affects all of us – when people without insurance obtain health care they cannot pay for, those with insurance and taxpayers are often left to pick up the tab.

    Judge Sutton, a Judge in the Sixth Circuit who upheld the law, declared that the individual responsibility provision is constitutional and wrote: “In choosing how to regulate [people who choose to self-insure], Congress also did not exceed its power.”

    Judge Martin, another Judge who upheld the law in the Sixth Circuit, said the Affordable Care Act is constitutional under the Commerce Clause because “(1) virtually everyone requires health care services at some unpredictable point; and (2) individuals receive health care services regardless of ability to pay. Virtually everyone will need health care services at some point, including….those without health insurance.”

    That’s why the Affordable Care Act requires everyone who can afford it to take responsibility for their own health care and carry some form of health insurance.

    For the 83% of Americans who have coverage and who are already taking responsibility for their health care, the Affordable Care Act will help insurance premiums to decrease over time. And only those who are able to pay for health insurance will be responsible for obtaining it. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that only 1 percent of all Americans would pay a penalty for not having health insurance in 2016.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/12/latest-health-care-court-case

  30. The Sensible, Affordable Option of Solar Hot Water Heating

    Posted by Dell Jones on August 12, 2011

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

    Since I was a young boy, I was always interested in how things worked, right down the tiniest detail. I would disassemble and reassemble everything from watches, to televisions, to motors. While doing so, I was always thinking about why something was constructed or done in one way, versus another. It was with this same analytical curiosity that compelled me to question why solar water heating, so popular in buildings around the world, lost its popular, widely adopted use, and instead became seldom-used and not worth pursuing as a product in business.

    When I first started my career in the renewable energy industry, I was taken by the simplicity and cost effectiveness of solar water heating. A single solar panel on the roof of a home provides reliable hot water for a home at a cost that is very competitive with electric and gas. Even today the rest of the world uses solar energy to heat water. Realizing this, I have always held the idea that traditional utilities that deliver electricity, water, gas, or other services on a monthly basis could provide yet another service – solar water heating.

    In the utility business a solar system installed in a home is called “distributed generation.” But wait doesn’t “generation” beget electricity? Unfortunately, that is where solar water heating is disadvantaged; it is neither electricity, nor conservation, nor generation supply. Hence, solar water heating tends to be ignored by utilities and businesses despite that fact that it is four to seven times more cost effective than PV (photovoltaic), and takes up equally as less roof space. In most States that have renewable goals (RPS) solar water heating is not an eligible technology, for no good reason at all. When you talk to regulators or policy people that claim it is an oversight. As a taxpayer and ratepayer I want my dollars spent wisely, and so should you!

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/12/sensible-affordable-option-solar-hot-water-heating

  31. Let’s Move Faith and Communities Inspires Fresh Produce for 100 Food Pantries

    Posted by Marissa Duswalt on August 12, 2011

    Since First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent announcement of a private sector commitment to build or expand 1,500 food stores, Americans across the country have been inspired to increase their communities’ access to healthy, affordable food. Ample Harvest has risen to the First Lady’s challenge to faith and community leaders to make fresh produce available for at least 10,000 locations in America through Let’s Move!, her initiative to reverse childhood obesity. Since it began partnering with Let’s Move Faith and Communities, Ample Harvest has brought fresh produce to more than 4,000 food pantries across the country. In July, 100 new food pantries joined the movement.

    Ample Harvest is an innovative, non-profit organization that uses its website to connect gardeners who have excess produce to food pantries in need of fruits and vegetables. Ample Harvest not only helps diminish hunger, but also helps to improve nutrition of families without enough access to fresh produce, one of the First Lady’s primary concerns for America’s children.

    That deep concern matches the need. Across the country, 6.5 million children live in food deserts without easy access to nutritious, affordable foods. Ample Harvest is addressing that problem, and in just two years, communities have responded overwhelmingly. When Gary Oppenheimer started Ample Harvest in May of 2009, he did not imagine the incredible response from gardeners and participating food pantries: “According to lots of feedback we’re seeing, AmpleHarvest.org is making a difference . . . more and more gardeners are donating food now that they know they can . . . and now that they know where they can.”

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/12/let-s-move-faith-and-communities-inspires-fresh-produce-100-food-pantries

  32. Dow finishes wild week on an up note

    8/12/11 By DANIEL WAGNER ,DAVID K. RANDALL – AP Business Writers – 5 mins ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The wildest week in Wall Street’s history is ending on an up note.

    A rebound in retail sales in July helped the stock market push higher Friday. The week has been marked by seesaw trading. The Dow Jones industrial average rose or fell by more than 400 points each of the first four days of the week as investors reacted to concerns about the global economy and Europe’s debt problems.
    The Dow is finishing with a gain of 125 points, or 1.1 percent, to 11,269. The S&P 500 is up 6, or 0.5 percent, to 1,279. The Nasdaq is up 15, or 0.6 percent, to 2,508.

    Two shares rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was an above average 4.9 billion shares.

  33. Poll: Raise taxes on wealthy, leave Medicare, Medicaid alone

    04/19/11 By Bernie Becker – TheHill

    When it comes to confronting budget deficits, Americans are much more in favor of raising taxes on the wealthiest than cutting Medicare or Medicaid, a new poll found.

    The McClatchy-Marist poll, conducted as Democrats and Republicans were touting their own long-term budget visions, also found the country largely pessimistic about America’s direction.

    On taxes, the poll reported that roughly two out of three registered voters — 64 percent — would be in favor of increasing taxes on annual income over $250,000. President Obama reiterated in his deficit-reduction speech last week that he favored allowing taxes to rise on families in that income level.

    Independents favored that plan of action at roughly the same percentage as the country at large, with more than eight in 10 Democrats also behind the idea. A majority of Republicans, 54 percent, opposed it.

    The poll was conducted both before and after Obama’s Wednesday speech, with support for higher taxes on wealthier Americans picking up afterward.

    Meanwhile, fully four in five registered voters oppose cutting Medicare and Medicaid. The House GOP’s fiscal 2012 budget, largely crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), makes fundamental long-term changes to both health entitlement programs, converting Medicaid into a block grant and turning Medicare into a type of voucher system.

    Democrats (92 percent), Republicans (73 percent) and independents (75 percent) all opposed cuts to the two programs, the McClatchy-Marist poll found.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/156737-poll-raise-taxes-on-wealthy-leave-medicare-medicaid-alone

    • Wow – just wow – looks as though more and more voters are coming around. The message is getting out, and common sense is prevailing.

      Well, for now, but I like to celebrate all victories!

  34. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Tonight’s Debate Shows the GOP Field’s Unanimous Allegiance to Extreme Tea Party Doctrine

    August 12, 2011 Posted by Josh Cohen -democrats.org

    Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement after tonight’s Fox News Republican Presidential Debate in Ames, Iowa, where the Republican candidates all showed their unbridled allegiance to the Tea Party and their extreme ideas:

    Tonight we learned without a doubt that these Republican candidates represent the single most extreme GOP Presidential field in the history of Presidential politics. It wasn’t enough for those Republicans who aspire to be President to simply pander to the Tea Party, tonight they raised their hands and pledged allegiance to the Tea Party and swore an oath to stand by their extreme agenda without yielding.

    Every candidate raised their hand tonight and pledged to not require millionaires, billionaires or the special interests to pay an additional dime to address our nation’s problems – this in a debate where they didn’t mention the middle class one time and continued to stand by plans like Cut, Cap and Balance, which would end Medicare as we know it.

    If Americans were looking for a debate where the Republican Presidential candidates’ true colors shone through – they got it tonight. Slashing Medicare, privatizing Social Security, placing additional burdens on the middle class, all while protecting corporate CEO’s and Big Oil, might be the agenda of the Tea Party, but it’s not the direction that the vast majority of Americans want to see the country go.

  35. Obama to name Pimco VP, Harvard economist to Fed: report

    8/12/11 Pedro da Costa and Glenn Somerville | Reuters – 1 hr 14 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House has identified two economists to fill vacant seats on the Federal Reserve’s powerful seven-member board, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources.

    However, the White House said in a statement that Obama had not yet decided whom to nominate.

    “The President is considering a range of highly qualified nominees for the Federal Reserve but has not made any decisions about whom he would appoint to fill these critically important openings,” said White House spokesman Matt Lehrich.

    The newspaper said Jeremy Stein, a Harvard University specialist in finance, and Richard Clarida, an executive vice president at money manager Pimco and professor of economics and international affairs at Columbia University, were President Barack Obama’s picks for the posts.

    The nominations would come at a key juncture for the U.S. central bank, which is struggling to support a frail economic recovery plagued by high unemployment despite aggressive use of unconventional monetary policy.

    U.S. interest rates have been at effectively zero since the end of 2008, and the Fed has expanded its balance sheet to a record $2.9 trillion in an effort to stimulate lending.

    This week, the Fed announced that it currently intends to keep interest rates at such rock-bottom lows until at least the middle of 2013, underscoring just how glum officials have become about the medium-term outlook for U.S. growth.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/two-economists-identified-fed-spots-report-201730014.html

  36. U.S. calls for boycott of Syrian oil and gas

    8/12/11 By Arshad Mohammed – Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Friday for the first time called on countries to stop buying Syrian oil and gas as it sought to build pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end a brutal crackdown against protesters.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hinted the government might be making some headway in persuading European nations, China or India to curtail their energy ties with Syria, saying “stay tuned” when asked what progress Washington had made.

    Clinton has said the best way pressure Syria to stop crushing protests against the 41-year Assad regime was by sanctioning its oil and gas sector but that this was largely up to other nations because there is little U.S. involvement.

    Syrian forces shot dead 13 protesters on Friday, activists said, as tens of thousands demanded Assad’s overthrow chanting “we will kneel only to God.”

    Defiant protest marches unfolded across the country including in the cities of Hama and Deir al-Zor, both of which have been stormed in tank offensives launched by Assad during the holy month of Ramadan.

    Speaking at a news conference with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, Clinton stopped short of explicitly calling for Assad’s departure. On Thursday, she suggested the United States wanted other nations to join in such a call.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/hillary-clinton-urges-nations-cut-syria-energy-arms-160433331.html

    • DIPLOMATIC DIALING

      8/13/11 POLITICO44

      President Obama spoke by phone Saturday with Saudi Arabia’s monarch. Here’s the short readout of the call distributed by the White House:

      “President Obama spoke to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia today about regional issues and the situation in Syria. The two leaders expressed their shared, deep concerns about the Syrian Government’s use of violence against its citizens. They agreed that the Syrian regime’s brutal campaign of violence against the Syrian people must end immediately, and to continue close consultations about the situation in the days ahead. The President also reaffirmed the long-term commitment of the United States to the region’s peace and security.”

    • August 13, 2011

      Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Yingluck of Thailand

      President Obama spoke to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today to congratulate her on her election and the Thai people on the success of the democratic process. The two leaders underscored the enduring nature of the U.S.-Thailand friendship and alliance, and pledged to strengthen the bilateral relationship and work together to ensure peace and stability in the Asia Pacific.

  37. Latest developments in Arab world’s unrest

    8/12/11 By The Associated Press | AP – 3 hrs ago

    SYRIA
    Syrian soldiers fire on tens of thousands of protesters who flood the streets shouting for the ouster — and even the execution — of President Bashar Assad as his embattled regime tries to crush a 5-month-old uprising despite broad international condemnation.
    At least 14 protesters are killed across the country: Five outside the capital, Damascus; one in Homs and two in Hama; Four in the major northern city Aleppo; one in Deir el-Zour; and one in eastern Idlib province, according to multiple activist groups. Military raids earlier in the day kill at least two people.
    ___

    EGYPT
    Hundreds of protesters rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, briefly scuffling with riot police and defying Egypt’s military rulers who are eager to prevent any demonstrations in the iconic square since forcefully clearing a weekslong sit-in by youth activists last week.
    Protesters throw bottles and stones at the columns of police in riot gear before other demonstrators form a human chain in front of the police to stop the violence.
    The rally by youth activists and Sufis, a mystical order of Islam that has generally stayed out of politics, is a counterpoint to a mass demonstration by hard-line Salafi Muslims last month who called for the imposition of Islamic law.
    ___

    LIBYA
    Rebels battling Moammar Gadhafi’s troops along the country’s Mediterranean coast claim they have captured part of the strategic oil terminal town of Brega, which has repeatedly changed hands in the 6-month-old civil war.
    ___
    YEMEN
    Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis pour into the streets of major cities and towns across the country, keeping the pressure on the nation’s embattled president to step down.
    The mass demonstrations in the capital, Sanaa, and at least 17 other cities and towns, including Taiz and Ibb, are the largest since President Ali Abdullah Saleh left a hospital in Saudi Arabia, where he was recovering from wounds suffered in a June attack on his palace compound. He says he wants to return home soon.
    Protest organizer Abdel Handi al-Azazi says the high turnout sends a clear message to Saleh that “you will not return to the country whatever you do.”
    ___

    BAHRAIN
    Bahrain’s main Shiite opposition party says it will boycott next month’s special parliamentary elections.
    The Sept. 24 ballot was called after mass resignations by Al Wefaq lawmakers in March to protest a crackdown on anti-government demonstrators. An election snub by Al Wefaq would be a serious blow to efforts by Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy to portray stability in the island kingdom, which is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.
    ___

    TUNISIA
    A court hands down prison terms for members and collaborators of the former first lady of Tunisia for trying to illegally flee with jewels and cash as the regime collapsed. But it throws out charges against the once powerful head of presidential security.
    Sisters and nephews of much hated former first lady Leila Trabelsi are convicted. Sentences range from four months to six years in prison. The court dismisses charges against Ali Seriati, who ran Ben Ali’s presidential security. Seriati awaits a military trial for allegedly plotting against the state.

  38. AIDS clinic volunteer from Hoffman Estates meets Michelle Obama

    8/11/2011 By Zuzanna Skwiot – dailyherald

    Wanderlust led Hoffman Estates native Peter Butzen to the Peace Corps, a journey which has changed his life and which led this summer to a meeting with first lady Michelle Obama.

    Butzen’s involvement with the Peace Corps started after he graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations.

    “I found that PR wasn’t exactly the right calling for me,” he said. “I’ve always loved traveling so I decided to sign up.”

    He began his assignment in Uganda in August 2008. When he completed his two years of service, he signed on for a third year of work in another African country, Botswana, with the Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence’s teen club and tutoring program.

    “I wasn’t ready to go home yet,” said Butzen, a Hoffman Estates native. “I thought I could help more people.”

    This gave Butzen the opportunity to not only counsel and work with about 600 HIV positive teens, but he also had the chance to meet Michelle Obama in Gaborone, Botswana, on June 24.

    Butzen and the Peace Corps organization are working to build a new clinic in the African nation that would benefit HIV-positive residents.

    “(Obama) was very interested in knowing what the clinic was about and said she’d be more than interested in coming back once the clinic opened,” said Butzen.

    “Meeting her, it was very amazing,” he added. “We even joked about the Cubs.”

    Read more: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110811/news/708119877

  39. WH

    Saturday, August 13 , 2011

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    The Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden visit Long Island.

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  40. Obama to Latinos: Press GOP on immigration

    8/12/11 Josh Gerstein – POLITICO

    President Barack Obama is urging Latino voters to spend less time pressing him to ease the enforcement of immigration laws and more time pressing Republican lawmakers to get behind immigration reform legislation.

    “The problem right now is not on the Democratic side….Everybody for some reason is letting the Republican Party off the hook on this issue, either by hoping that I can take a unilateral action or that somehow Democrats can change the way Congress works,” Obama said during a roundtable Monday with journalists for American Spanish-language newspapers. “The fact is, is if Latinos all across the country said, ‘Until the Republican Party is willing to cooperate on bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform, we can’t support the Republican Party,” I promise you that’s something that would get the attention of the Republican Party.”

    “But that’s not where the energy is. So much time has been spent trying to see if we can do something administrative,” Obama complained, according to an account by Antonieta Cadiz in La Opinion. “It’s as if people just give up on the idea of ever changing Republicans’ minds and, as a consequence, they don’t feel any pressure to try to do the right thing when it comes to immigration reform. That’s where the pressure needs to be applied.”

    For the entire article: http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/0811/Obama_to_Latinos_Press_GOP_on_immigration.html

    • I really, really like the fact the President is reminding Latino voters that he is not the problem regarding immigration reform legislation. Put the pressure where it belongs – not just on this issue.

  41. Remarks of President Barack Obama
    As Prepared for Delivery
    Saturday, August 13, 2011
    Washington, DC

    On Thursday, I visited a new, high-tech factory in Michigan where workers are helping America lead the way in a growing clean energy industry.

    They were proud of their work, and they should be. They’re not just showing us a path out of the worst recession in generations – they’re proving that this is still a country where we make things; where new ideas take root and grow; where the best universities, most creative entrepreneurs, and most dynamic businesses in the world call home. They’re proving that even in difficult times, there’s not a country on Earth that wouldn’t trade places with us.

    That doesn’t mean we don’t face some very tough economic challenges. Many Americans are hurting badly right now. Many have been unemployed for too long. Putting these men and women back to work, and growing wages for everyone, has got to be our top priority.

    But lately, the response from Washington has been partisanship and gridlock that’s only undermined public confidence and hindered our efforts to grow the economy.

    So while there’s nothing wrong with our country, there is something wrong with our politics, and that’s what we’ve got to fix. Because we know there are things Congress can do, right now, to get more money back in your pockets, get this economy growing faster, and get our friends and neighbors back to work.

    The payroll tax cut that put $1,000 back in the average family’s pocket this year? Let’s extend it. Construction workers who’ve been jobless since the housing boom went bust? Let’s put them back to work rebuilding America. Let’s cut red tape in the patent process so entrepreneurs can get good ideas to market more quickly. Let’s finish trade deals so we can sell more American-made goods around the world. Let’s connect the hundreds of thousands of brave Americans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan to businesses that need their incredible skills and talents.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/08/13/weekly-address-putting-american-people-first

  42. Berlin Wall’s 50th year marked

    8/13/11 POLITICO

    BERLIN — The Berlin Wall’s construction 50 years ago must be a constant reminder to citizens today to stand up for freedom and democracy, the city’s mayor said Saturday as a united Germany commemorated the bitter anniversary.

    Seeing Berlin divided by the wall tore apart the country as well as separating the city’s streets, neighbors and families, mayor Klaus Wowereit said at a televised ceremony.

    “It is our shared responsibility to keep the memory alive and to pass it on to the coming generations as a reminder to stand up for freedom and democracy to ensure that such injustice may never happen again,” Wowereit said.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel — who grew up behind the wall in Germany’s communist eastern part — also attended the commemoration in Berlin, where parts of the wall and an attached surveillance tower now form a museum.

    The road where the museum is located was divided in two on August 13, 1961, and some 2,000 east German residents were expelled from their houses to allow the communist authorities to secure the new border.

    The country was then divided for 28 years. Hundreds of east Germans were arrested while trying to flee to democratic Western Germany and at least 136 were killed trying to cross the wall.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61265.html

    • Remarkable that the current German chancellor grew up in East Germany, before the wall came down.

      I remember when it finally happened in the late ’80s. My Mother and I (her ancestors were German, both sides) heard it being announced, and stood in front of the TV to watch , holding hands and saying a prayer of thanks.

  43. Health Reform in Action: A Look at Investments in Community Health Centers

    Friday, August 12, 2011 | Posted by Deaniac83 – ThePeoplesView

    Amidst the zigzag of the stock market and the picking of the members of the Congressional supercommittee to reduce the deficit, I did not want us to miss something that is equally critical: this week is National Health Center Week. On Tuesday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a $28.8 million grant under health reform to establish new community health center access points that will serve an additional 286,000 patients in 67 communities. These grants are not to build new CHC’s but to build new access points of existing community centers that already serve underprivileged communities. A full list of awardees is available here.

    The grants will eventually be expanded to 350 new centers and $250 million. The National Association of Community Health Centers pointed out in their press release about these grants that CHCs do not simply provide access to quality health care, but also to jobs for hard-hit communities:

    “We deeply appreciate today’s announcement by HHS, which comes as we celebrate National Health Center Week,” said Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)… [T]his announcement does mean that we can continue to bring quality, cost-saving primary care services to more communities that are ready and waiting to serve patients… Additionally, health centers bring valuable jobs to hard-hit communities across the country. Investing in health centers is a good prescription for both our nation’s health and the economy.”

    For the entire article: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2011/08/health-reform-in-action-look-at.html

  44. WH

    Sunday, August 14 , 2011

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    The Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden visit Long Island.

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  45. Obama talks with British P.M.

    08/13/11 By POLITICO STAFF

    President Obama on Saturday spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

    Here’s the short readout of the call distributed by the White House:

    “The President and Prime Minister Cameron spoke today, continuing their frequent and close consultations on global matters of mutual interest. The two leaders discussed the situation in Syria, reiterating their deep concern about the Syrian government’s use of violence against civilians and their belief that the Syrian people’s legitimate demands for a transition to democracy should be met. They agreed on the need for an immediate halt of all bloodshed and violence against the Syrian people. They also agreed to closely monitor the actions that the Syrian government is taking and to consult on further steps in the days ahead. In addition, the two leaders discussed recent developments in the global financial system, Libya, and Afghanistan. The Prime Minister expressed his condolences for the loss of life resulting from the August 6 downing of the U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan. The President joined the Prime Minister in welcoming the return of public order following several days of looting and violence in a number of British cities.”

  46. S&P Confirms that GOP Intransigence Led to Downgrade

    Posted by Josh Cohen on Friday, August 12, 2011 democrats.org

    In the most explicit attribution to date, a S&P director
    yesterday said that the United States’ credit rating downgrade was a direct result of Republican brinksmanship that threatened our country with the first-ever government default. It’s a damning indictment of Republicans’ ideological policies, as well as the disruption they have caused to the political process.

    As Politico reports, senior director of S&P Joydeep Mukherji said that the “stability and effectiveness of American political institutions were undermined by the fact that ‘people in the political arena were even talking about a potential default.’”

    Mukherji continued by saying that the extreme dissenting opinions are uncommon in the political system of advanced countries, such as the United States. “This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns.”

    While the S&P downgrade was a flawed financial decision, the political consideration is clear—politics, not policy, drove the decision.

    Last night during the Republican presidential debate, we didn’t see the candidates back away from the policies singled out by S&P—we watched a full embrace.

    Michele Bachmann, Tea Party darling and fact-free enthusiast, had this to say about raising the debt ceiling and defaulting on our credit:

    When they dropped our credit rating what they said is, we don’t have an ability to repay our debt. That’s what the final word was from them. I was proved right in my position. We should not have raised the debt ceiling.

    Except, that’s not at all what S&P said. S&P could not have been more definitive:

    The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.
    That brinkmanship championed by Bachmann, as well as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and other Tea Party-supported officials, has remained a steadfast and mainstream GOP position despite being refuted time and again.

    They represent a party out of touch with American voters and neglectful of the impact their policies have on our country.

    • Michelle Bachmann appeals to supporters who do not read, think or research anything. They hang on her every word as truth. I feel sorry for people like this. She is taking advantage of these people by lying to them to enhance her goals. That seems exactly opposite to what a Christian would do. Mike Huckabee fits in this category also.

    • I don’t think that “attribution” was what the Republicans were expecting.

      *smiling to myself*

    • 36 now!

      Happy Sunday CR and all friends! Our guests have hit the road for their journey home, and I am now going to spend time catching up with the news here at ProPresObama.org!

      >^..^<

        • Happy Sunday CR, Kat and friends. Beautiful day here in SoCal.
          My guests came and went a few weeks ago and the young ones are making plans for 2012 already. 🙂 Like I always say, I come here everyday to get the news in a nutshell. I have really scaled back on watching the tv talking heads; even CNN. That whole debt ceiling ordeal and stock market drained me. Now, I am sure MSM will move on to their new media darlings, Perry and Bachmann. Have a wonderful day friends. Can’t wait to watch PBO on the road next week.

  47. *********************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “White House Rural Economic Forum at Northeast Iowa Community College ”
    **********************

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

Comments are closed.