WhiteHouse.gov/WeThePeople Petitions

Throughout our history Americans have used petitions to unite around issues they care about. We the People provides you with a new way to petition the federal government to take action on a range of issues. And if your petition attracts enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it is sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.

The We the People platform on WhiteHouse.gov gives Americans a new way to create, share, and sign petitions that communicate your views about your government’s actions and policies.

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How “We the People” works in 3 easy steps

STEP #1 Create or Sign an Existing Petition

STEP #2 – Build Support and Gather Signatures

STEP #3 – The White House Reviews and Responds

To learn more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/wethepeople

“When I ran for this office, I pledged to make government more open and accountable to its citizens. That’s what the new We the People feature on WhiteHouse.gov is all about – giving Americans a direct line to the White House on the issues and concerns that matter most to them.”

– President Barack Obama

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92 thoughts on “WhiteHouse.gov/WeThePeople Petitions

  1. WH

    Friday, September 30 , 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:00 AM
    The President delivers remarks at the “Change of Office” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ceremony at Fort Myer. the Vice President also attends
    Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia
    Open Press

    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    The White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.
    James S. Brady Briefing Room
    Open Press

    1:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Portland, Maine.

    1.40 PM
    The President will be interviewed live by Michael Smerconish
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Portland, Maine.

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:30 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama travels to Cranston, R.I., where she participates in a roundtable conversation with military spouses.

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Providence, R.I.

    8:00 PM
    8:05 PM
    The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
    Private Residence
    Print Pool

    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • POTUS podium

      September 30, 2011

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

      11:00 AM EDT
      The President delivers remarks at the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ceremony at Fort Myer. the Vice President attends.

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

      8:05 PM EDT
      The President delivers remarks at a campaign event.

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      10:00 AM EDT
      Ctr. for Amer. Progress: Education Sec. Arne Duncan on Time-Expanded Schools

      10:00 AM EDT
      Brookings Institution: AFL-CIO Pres. Richard Trumka Addresses the Jobs Crisis

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

      12:30 PM EDT
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the death of Anwar al-Awlaki.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      10:00 AM EDT
      Ctr. for Amer. Progress: Education Sec. Arne Duncan on Time-Expanded Schools http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/301833-1

      10:00 AM EDT
      Brookings Institution: AFL-CIO Pres. Richard Trumka Addresses the Jobs Crisis http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/301832-1

      11:00 AM EDT
      The President delivers remarks at the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Admiral Mullen’s Retirement Ceremony at Fort Myer. the Vice President attends. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Admiral-Mullens-Retirement-Ceremony/10737424490/

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

      12:30 PM EDT
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds its daily briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the death of Anwar al-Awlaki.

      Department of Defense http://www.defense.gov/live/

      11:00 AM EDT
      The President delivers remarks at the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ceremony at Fort Myer. the Vice President attends.

  2. White House Announces We the People

    September 01, 2011

    New Online Engagement Feature Invites Public To Petition The White House

    Today, the White House announced We the People, a new online engagement feature. On this innovative WhiteHouse.gov platform, individuals will be able to create and sign petitions seeking action from the federal government on a range of issues. If a petition gathers enough signatures, White House staff will review it, ensure it is sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.

    Visitors to WhiteHouse.gov can begin submitting petitions later this month. To sign up for an alert when it launches and preview the feature, visit http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/WeThePeople.

    “When I ran for this office, I pledged to make government more open and accountable to its citizens. That’s what the new We the People feature on WhiteHouse.gov is all about – giving Americans a direct line to the White House on the issues and concerns that matter most to them,” said President Obama.

    To create and build support for a petition, WhiteHouse.gov visitors will simply need to create an account and gather signatures by reaching out to friends, family and coworkers. If a petition reaches a certain threshold – the initial level will be 5,000 signatures within 30 days – it will be sent to the appropriate policy makers throughout the Administration, reviewed, and an official response will be published to WhiteHouse.gov and emailed to all signers of the petition.

    • WeThePeople

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Aug 31, 2011
      We’re changing the way Americans connect online with the White House – by launching a platform on WhiteHouse.gov that creates a new way for you to join your voice with others to petition your government. If a petition gathers enough signatures, White House staff will review it, make sure it gets to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.

    • We the People: Announcing White House Petitions & How They Work

      Posted by Macon Phillips on September 01, 2011
      Something exciting is coming to WhiteHouse.gov. It’s called We the People and it will significantly change how the public — you! — engage with the White House online.

      Our Constitution guarantees your right to petition our government. Now, with We the People, we’re offering a new way to submit an online petition on a range of issues — and get an official response.

      We’re announcing We the People before it’s live to give folks time to think about what petitions they want to create, and how they are going to build the support to get a response.

      When will it be live? Soon. If you want to be the first to know when the system is available, sign up for an email alert. http://www.whitehouse.gov/wethepeople/updates

    • Answering your questions about We the People

      Posted by Katelyn Sabochik on September 02, 2011

      esterday, we announced that we’ll be rolling out a cool new tool on WhiteHouse.gov that will change the way you engage with the Obama Administration. It’s called We the People and it’s a platform for all Americans to create and sign petitions asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range of issues.

      Since we announced that this new tool is coming soon to WhiteHouse.gov, we’ve gotten a lot of great questions and feedback, so we thought we’d take a stab at answering a few of the common questions we’ve gotten so far. In case you missed it, Macon Phillips, Director of Digital Strategy here at the White House, was fielding questions on Twitter yesterday and you can check out some of the questions and answers on Storify.

      How will the White House decide which petitions to respond to?

      Who will be reviewing and responding to petitions?

      Will the signature thresholds ever change?

      When we We the People launch?

      Who can create or sign petitions?

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/09/02/answering-your-questions-about-we-people

    • Petition the White House with We the People

      Posted by Katelyn Sabochik on September 22, 2011

      Today, we launched We the People on WhiteHouse.gov– a new platform that gives all Americans a way to create and sign petitions on a range of issues affecting our nation. And if a petition gathers enough online signatures, it will be reviewed by policy experts and you’ll receive an official response.

      Throughout our history, Americans have used petitions as a way to join together around issues they care about. We the People brings that uniquely American tradition into the 21st century.

      Here’s how it works:

      • Create or Sign a Petition: Anyone 13 or older can create a WhiteHouse.gov account and create or sign a petition on WhiteHouse.gov asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range issues.
      • Build Support and Gather Signatures for your Petition: It’s up to you to build support for a petition. Use email, Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth to tell your friends, family and coworkers about the petitions you care about.
      • The White House Reviews and Responds: If a petition reaches a certain threshold (initially 5,000 signatures within 30 days), it will be reviewed by policy officials in the Administration and an official response will be issued.

      We put together a short video to walk you through We the People. Check it out:

      Got questions? Here are a few blog posts where we’ve been explaining more about how We the People works here and here or check out the FAQ’s for We the People. We’ve also updated our privacy policy with some more information about WhiteHouse.gov accounts.

      Still have questions? Send us your questions and feedback via Twitter using the hashtag #WHWeb or submit your feedback via our tech feedback webform.

    • A good problem to have: Raising the signature threshold for White House petitions

      Posted by Macon Phillips on October 03, 2011

      Wow.

      Planning for the new We the People platform, we were confident the system would ultimately get a lot of use, but we expected it would take a little longer to get out into the ether and pick up speed.

      Let’s just say our estimates were … ahem … a wee bit on the low side! In one week, more than 7,800 petitions have been created, more than 600,000 signatures have been logged and more than 375,000 people have created an account to participate in this platform. It’s by far the biggest online engagement event ever for the White House – and we’re just getting started.

      That’s what you call a good problem to have. Here’s one thing we’re doing to address it:

      The massive participation on We the People means that in the first week over 30 petitions reached 5,000 signatures, the initial threshold to generate an official response from the White House. At our first internal review meeting Friday, two things were clear: (a) everyone is thrilled about this new challenge and excited to process the first batch, but (b) this many petitions challenges our ability to offer timely and meaningful responses to petitions in the long term.

      So starting now, the threshold a petition has to reach in order to generate an official response is 25,000 signatures in 30 days. This change only affects petitions created from this point forward, and will not be applied to petitions of any signature count already in the system.

      This may not be the last time we change the thresholds, both in terms of signatures and amount of time. And we’re also evaluating a number of other ways to improve the system, many based on ideas we’ve received from you. Since we launched We the People we’ve been reading your feedback submitted via the feedback form on the We the People platform and through the Twitter hashtag #WHWeb.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/10/03/good-problem-have-raising-signature-threshold-white-house-petitions

    • We the People Takes the Next Step: Responding to Your Petitions

      Posted by Macon Phillips on October 26, 2011

      Today, one of President Obama’s top education advisors, Roberto Rodriguez, issued the first response to a petition created through We the People. Here are the first few lines:

      Thank you for taking the time to participate in the “We the People” petition process. We launched this online tool as a way of hearing directly from you, and are pleased that you have responded by presenting this idea.

      We agree that reducing the burden of student loans is an effective way to stimulate the economy and save taxpayer dollars. That’s why we’re excited to announce a new policy that speaks to the concerns expressed in this petition.

      In the little more than a month since the White House launched We the People, 755,000 people used the platform to create or sign more than 12,400 petitions that have gathered over 1.2 million total signatures (some people sign multiple petitions).

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/10/26/we-people-takes-next-step-responding-your-petitions

    • 103,785 people signed SOPA Petition

      By the Numbers: 103,785

      January 18, 2012 Megan Slack

      A total of 103,785 people signed We the People petitions asking the Obama Administration to protect an open and innovative internet. A petition asking President Obama to veto the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) got 51,689 signatures, while 52,096 people signed the “Stop the E-PARSITE Act” petition.

      Congress is debating a number of bills, including these two, that deal with the issue of online piracy. Today, several web sites joined together in a virtual strike against SOPA and other piracy legislation by shutting down or going dark.

      Over the weekend, the White House responded to the petitions explaining that while online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, attempts to combat it must not reduce freedom of expression, increase cybersecurity risk, or undermine the dynamic, innovative global Internet:

      Moving forward, we will continue to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis on legislation that provides new tools needed in the global fight against piracy and counterfeiting, while vigorously defending an open Internet based on the values of free expression, privacy, security and innovation.

      Read the full petition response here, or learn more about We the People, a new platform that allows people to create and sign petitions calling for the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our nation.

    • “We The People” Petition Response: The National Guard on the Joint Chiefs of Staff

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Feb 22, 2012

      Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting, responds to a petition that was submitted on the White House’s online petition tool “We The People regarding giving a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the National Guard. http://whitehouse.gov/wethepeople

    • We the People – Your voice in our government

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Mar 22, 2012

      Take a look behind the scenes at the White House petition program, “We The People”, its one way to be sure issues you care about are on the radar of the administration.

  3. A Dynamic Approach to Federal Cybersecurity

    Posted by By Howard Schmidt on September 29, 2011

    At the 2010 RSA Conference, I issued a rallying call for the cybersecurity community to collectively evolve from previous static, compliance-based metrics programs to a more dynamic approach that utilizes continuous monitoring. Since then, we’ve seen the public and private sector respond with innovative approaches to this challenge.

    In line with that call, recently the Office of Management and Budget released its reporting instructions for agencies under FISMA. In that memorandum, the federal government takes a significant step forward in our efforts to use continuous monitoring to more effectively and efficiently ensure the security of federal systems and networks:

    Rather than enforcing a static, three-year reauthorization process, agencies are expected to conduct ongoing authorizations of information systems through the implementation of continuous monitoring programs. Continuous monitoring programs thus fulfill the three year security reauthorization requirement, so a separate re-authorization process is not necessary.

    Agencies can now use continuous monitoring to better ensure that their systems are secure, freeing resources that were previously spent on static compliance efforts and can now be devoted to improving security.

    Along those lines, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday (September 26, 2011) that the American business community is proactively seeking out the Department of State for its security scanning dashboard software – a solution that gives letter grades to senior decision makers and actionable information to security specialists – both of whom are provided updated information with a frequency that more appropriately matches the dynamic cyber landscape. More than 300 businesses and local, state and federal organizations across the country have contacted the State Department for information on starting their own continuous monitoring program.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/09/29/dynamic-approach-federal-cybersecurity

  4. Tackling Waste in Contracting

    Posted by Daniel Gordon on September 29, 2011

    As part of the Administration’s Campaign to Cut Waste, OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) released guidance today to reduce wasteful duplication in federal contracting. Too often in the past, agency spending for many commonly-used items was fragmented across multiple departments, programs, and components, which means that agencies often spent time writing hundreds of separate contracts, with pricing that varies widely. The result is a waste of limited staff time and energy, and prices that are not as good as they should be. At a Cabinet meeting earlier this month, Vice President Biden pointed out that by leveraging their purchasing power agencies can save taxpayer dollars. He directed each agency leader to conduct a waste and efficiency review, targeting unnecessary or inefficient spending in areas like contracting.

    OFPP’s new guidance will aid agencies in eliminating waste and carrying out the reviews ordered by the Vice President by addressing concerns, raised by GAO and others, that agencies may be unnecessarily duplicating each other’s contracting efforts. This guidance requires agencies to prepare ”business cases” – analyses to ensure they aren’t duplicating an existing contract and that they are getting the best value for taxpayers- before they establish or renew certain interagency and agency-specific contracts for commonly-used goods and services, such as office supplies and wireless services. Doing this kind of due diligence and comparison-shopping is something that many families across the country do, and it is especially important that the Federal government weigh all the options before entering into large contracts and agreements whose scope would overlap contracts that already exist. In the business case, agencies are required to balance the value of creating a new contract against the benefit of using an existing one, and whether the expected return from investment in the proposed contract is worth the taxpayer resources. Insisting on that cost/benefit analysis in the business cases should go a long way to avoiding duplicative contracts.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/09/29/tackling-waste-contracting

  5. Jobless claims, GDP data ease economic fears

    9/29/11 By Lucia Mutikani | Reuters – 3 hrs ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chances of the U.S. economy averting a new recession got a boost on Thursday with claims for jobless benefits falling to a five-month low last week and growth a touch stronger in the second quarter than previously estimated.

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 37,000 to 391,000, the Labor Department said, well below economists’ expectations for 420,000. But the department cautioned that the way it adjusts the data for seasonal fluctuations may have overstated the strength.

    Separately, the Commerce Department said U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the second quarter, up from the previously reported 1.0 percent. Consumer spending and export growth both were stronger than earlier estimated.

    “When you connect these data points together, they indicate a very tepid recovery. We are still experiencing positive growth, which is better than we feared a few months ago,” said Paul Ballew, chief economist at Nationwide in Columbus, Ohio.

    The cautious optimism generated by the data was tempered somewhat by a report showing the housing sector remained on the rocks last month.

    Investors on Wall Street welcomed the claims and growth data and increasing confidence in Europe’s response to its debt crisis. U.S. stocks ended mostly higher, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 index gaining 0.81 percent.

    Prices for the 30-year U.S. Treasury bond rose, while the dollar rose marginally against a basket of other major currencies.

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

  6. News Roundup: September 29, 2011

    September 29, 2011 Posted by Ryan Fanning – democrats.org

    Welcome to the first News Roundup. These news briefs will become a regular element of our blog, keeping you up-to-date on stories you might have missed on the 2012 elections, progress the Obama administration is making, and important legislative issues.

    In an online roundtable discussion at the White House, President Obama called on the Latino community to make their voices heard on issues such as immigration, education, and jobs. Currently Latinos vote at a rate about 10 percent lower than other populations, and the President said they can make their issues a higher priority by participating more in elections.

    The chief revenue estimator in Texas said today that the state economy is slowing down, claiming that the growth that Texas saw earlier this year—which is promoted heavily by Gov. Rick Perry—will not continue. He said sales tax receipts in the state would have “a substantially lower growth rate” in the next few years.

    Weekly applications for unemployment insurance dropped by 37,000 to 391,000, the lowest level since April of this year. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 417,000. In another good sign for the economy, there has been recent growth in business investment plans; companies are buying more machinery, computers, and communications equipment.

    President Obama delivered his third annual back-to-school speech on Wednesday afternoon, calling on students to be determined, persevere, and “work as hard as [they] know how to work” in school because they are the next generation of American leaders. The President also praised the hard work of the nation’s educators, telling students how much effort their teachers put in on their behalf. http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/09/28/president-obama-back-school-set-your-sights-high

    The White House has announced its largest tweetup yet for followers of the @whitehouse Twitter feed, which will take place on October 13 during the State Arrival of Republic of Korea President Lee Myung-bak. Registration is open until 5:00 p.m. ET on September 29 at the White House website—apply now.

  7. House GOP Unveils Plan To Cut NPR, Job Training And Education Programs

    09/29/11 By ANDREW TAYLOR – HuffingtonPost

    WASHINGTON — Setting a collision course with Democrats that could drag out for months, House Republicans on Thursday unveiled plans to cut federal money for job training, heating subsidies and grants to better-performing schools.

    The draft measure for labor, health and education programs also seeks to block implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, cut off federal funds for National Public Radio and Planned Parenthood, and reduce eligibility for grants for low-income college students.

    Democrats and tea party Republicans opposed the bill, blocking it from advancing through even the easy initial steps of the appropriations process on Capitol Hill. Instead of moving through the Appropriations Committee and the House as a whole, the $153 billion measure is instead expected to be wrapped into a larger omnibus spending bill this fall or winter that would fund the day-to-day operating budgets of Cabinet agencies.

    Negotiations between Republicans controlling the House, the Democratic Senate and the White House are sure to be arduous. The measure is laced with conservative policy “riders” opposed by Democrats that would affect worker protections under federal labor laws and block the Education Department from enforcing rules on for-profit colleges that are often criticized for pushing students to take on too much debt.

    “It looks like we’re in for a long, difficult process,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.

    House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said excessive and wasteful spending over the years had put many programs and agencies on “an irresponsible and unsustainable fiscal path.”

    “To protect critical programs and services that many Americans rely on – especially in this time of fiscal crisis – the bill takes decisive action to cut duplicative, inefficient and wasteful spending to help get these agency budgets onto sustainable financial footing.”

    The measure represents a $4 billion, or 2.5 percent, cut below current spending levels for the programs it covers. Democrats complained that the measure is bearing the brunt of cuts imposed this summer as part of an agreement between Republicans and Obama on agency spending levels for the upcoming decade as part of legislation permitting an increase in the government’s borrowing limit.

    For the entire article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/29/house-gop-budget-cuts_n_987445.html

  8. Time Well Spent: Examining Expanded-Time Schools

    September 30, 2011, 10:00am – 11:30am

    How can we close the achievement and opportunity gaps that plague our nation’s public schools? How can we improve the thousands of schools in high-poverty communities that are failing to prepare students for long-term success? Expanding learning time and redesigning the school day is one promising solution.

    Join us for a discussion tackling these important questions, as Secretary Duncan, Commissioner King, and experts in the field of time and learning highlight successful models and outline how expanded-time schools across America are improving teacher quality, deepening and broadening instruction, and preparing students for high school, college, and workforce success.

    Additionally, NCTL will release a new report, “Time Well Spent: Eight Powerful Practices of Successful, Expanded-Time Schools” at this event.

    For the entire article: http://www.americanprogress.org/events/2011/09/elt.html

  9. Friday: First Lady To Maine, Rhode Island For Fundraising Luncheon, Receptions

    SEPTEMBER 29, 2011 obamafoodorama.blogspot

    First Lady Obama hits the road on Friday, traveling up the Eastern seaboard for one last fundraising push for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, ahead of the FEC’s midnight deadline for quarterly finance reporting. Mrs. Obama will attend one luncheon and three different receptions sprinkled between Maine and Rhode Island, as well as participate in a roundtable event with military spouses, as part of her Joining Forces initiative.

    Mrs. Obama’s trip follows on President Obama’s three-state western swing at the beginning of the week, and is part of the effort to attract one million donors for this quarter.

    The First Lady will begin her day in Maine, attending an 11:30 luncheon and 1:00 reception at the home of Bobby Monks in Cape Elizabeth. Monks is a millionaire real estate developer and business entrepreneur, who became Chair of the Obama for Maine Steering Committee in 2007, then served on the Administration’s Housing and Urban Development Transition team. He is a member of DNC’s National Finance Committee.

    For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2011/09/friday-first-lady-to-maine-rhode-island.html#more

  10. Hey CR, just dropped by to check out the happenings and say hello. before I went to bed. I see FLOTUS will be extra busy tomorrow.

  11. New military chief seeks balance in US power

    9/30/11 By ROBERT BURNS – AP National Security Writer | AP – 3 hrs ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Even before taking over as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military office in the land, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey made one thing clear. He differs with his predecessor on one of the most important issues of the day: the threat posed to national security by a growing national debt.
    Dempsey was to be sworn in Friday as successor to Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, who is retiring. At his Senate confirmation hearing in July, Dempsey was asked whether he agrees with Mullen’s oft-repeated assertion that the debt crisis is the single biggest threat to American national security.

    “I don’t agree exactly with that,” Dempsey said.

    In his view, developed in the course of a 37-year career that includes two tours of command in Iraq and one in Saudi Arabia, American global power and influence are derived from three strengths: military, diplomatic and economic.

    “You can’t pick or choose,” he said; none of the three is paramount.
    It’s too early to know how much change Dempsey will foster in his role as the top U.S. military officer, but it’s certain that pressures to cut the defense budget — and what that implies for the military and for American foreign policy — will be a dominant issue from Day One of his tenure.

    So while he sees the debt problem as highly important, Dempsey believes the United States cannot be successful in managing its national security and international affairs without asserting influence through a combination of a powerful military, an effective diplomatic corps and a sound economy.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/military-chief-seeks-balance-us-power-073805529.html

  12. American al-Qaida Leader Killed in Yemen

    9/30/11 VOANews

    Yemen’s Defense Ministry says radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed.

    Awlaki, who is linked to al-Qaida forces in the country, was killed along with several other suspected militants, ministry officials said.

    NO additional information on the circumstances of his death was released.

    But tribal sources and security officials say the U.S.-born cleric was killed early Friday in an air strike targeting an al-Qaida convoy in the east.

    It is not clear who carried out the raid.

    Awlaki was wanted by both the U.S. and Yemen for his suspected role in terrorist attacks, including the attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner in 2009. He is also believed to have acted as an advisor to the suspect in a deadly shooting spree at a U.S. military base in Texas and the killing of a Frenchman in Yemen last year.

    U.S. authorities had linked the cleric to the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

    • Good Friday morning and thank you Jackie!

      I think that the happy face instead of the “P” is a cute mistake! 😉

      Safe travels for FLOTUS!

  13. Steve Benen – The Political Animal

    The Limits of Tone and Style

    Rumors about half-term New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) interest in the presidential race intensified this morning, with a credible report from the Newark Star-Ledger that he’s “seriously rethinking” his intentions.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

  14. West Wing Week 9/30/11 or “Set Your Sights High”

    From: whitehouse | Sep 29, 2011

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President announced reforms to No Child Left Behind, traveled to California to hold a town hall on job growth at LinkedIn, spoke on what the American Jobs Act could mean for America’s schools and gave his third annual Back To School address. That’s September 23rd to September 29th or “Set Your Sights High

  15. Michelle Obama shops at Washington-area Target

    9/30/11 AP – 1 hr 18 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Attention Target shoppers: You could have been standing in line with Michelle Obama.

    The first lady, hard to recognize in a baseball cap and sunglasses, shopped Thursday at a Target Corp. store in Alexandria, Va., just outside Washington.

    Casually dressed Secret Service agents arrived about a half-hour before Mrs. Obama, who walked in through the main entrance with an assistant. She spent 30 to 40 minutes shopping, pushing her own cart. She apparently was recognized only by the cashier who rang up her purchases.

    Since coming to the White House, Mrs. Obama has lamented missing out on what she calls “normal stuff,” like Target runs.

    She isn’t the first first lady to try to go out unrecognized. Hillary Rodham Clinton went for walks wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses, too.

    • Bo benefits from first lady’s Target trip

      9/30/11 Posted by Caitlin McDevitt

      What did first lady Michelle Obama pick up on her trip to Target on Thursday? Dog stuff!

      “The Today Show” reported on Friday that Obama “bought dog food and treats for Bo” during her 40 minutes at the store, adding that she was recognized only by a cashier and the AP photographer who took her picture.

      The first lady was wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses and accompanied by Secret Service agents in plain clothes.

    • September 30, 2011

      Remarks by the President at the “Change of Office” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ceremony

      Fort Myer, Virginia

      11:41 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. (Applause.) Secretary Panetta, thank you for your introduction and for your extraordinary leadership. Members of Congress, Vice President Biden, members of the Joint Chiefs, service secretaries, distinguished guests, and men and women of the finest military in the world.

      Most of all, Admiral Mullen, Deborah, Michael, and I also want to also acknowledge your son Jack, who’s deployed today. All of you have performed extraordinary service to our country.

      Before I begin, I want to say a few words about some important news. Earlier this morning, Anwar al-Awlaki — a leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — was killed in Yemen. (Applause.) The death of Awlaki is a major blow to al Qaeda’s most active operational affiliate. Awlaki was the leader of external operations for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. In that role, he took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans. He directed the failed attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009. He directed the failed attempt to blow up U.S. cargo planes in 2010. And he repeatedly called on individuals in the United States and around the globe to kill innocent men, women and children to advance a murderous agenda.

      The death of al-Awlaki marks another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates. Furthermore, this success is a tribute to our intelligence community, and to the efforts of Yemen and its security forces, who have worked closely with the United States over the course of several years.

      Awlaki and his organization have been directly responsible for the deaths of many Yemeni citizens. His hateful ideology — and targeting of innocent civilians — has been rejected by the vast majority of Muslims, and people of all faiths. And he has met his demise because the government and the people of Yemen have joined the international community in a common effort against Al Qaeda.

      Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula remains a dangerous — though weakened — terrorist organization. And going forward, we will remain vigilant against any threats to the United States, or our allies and partners. But make no mistake: This is further proof that al Qaeda and its affiliates will find no safe haven anywhere in the world.

      Working with Yemen and our other allies and partners, we will be determined, we will be deliberate, we will be relentless, we will be resolute in our commitment to destroy terrorist networks that aim to kill Americans, and to build a world in which people everywhere can live in greater peace, prosperity and security.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/30/remarks-president-change-office-chairman-joint-chiefs-staff-ceremony

  16. Chairman’s Corner: A Farewell Message

    Sept. 30, 2011 By Navy Adm. Mike Mullen – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

    WASHINGTON, – To the men, women and families of the armed forces of the United States:

    It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as your Chairman for the last four years. Everywhere Deborah and I went to see you and your families we walked away humbled by the magnitude of the responsibility you have volunteered to carry and strengthened by the willingness and dignity with which you carry it.

    From my first day on the job, I pledged to ensure you had the right strategy, leadership and resources to accomplish your missions. I believe we worked hard to get that right. But you are the ones who turned back the tide of violence in Iraq, made huge strides towards a more secure Afghanistan and defended our Nation’s interests around the globe. Even with all the demands we’ve placed on you, you still look for ways to do even more to help those in need.

    Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the burdens placed on you and your families. Your sacrifices will be forever fixed in my heart, and I am eternally grateful for your service.

    Following the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill said, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Today, I could use those very words to describe our thoughts of you. We are deeply honored to have served for and with you. May God bless you and your families always.

    • Department of Defense

      “I leave humbled now by the performance and the resilience of men and women in uniform and their families, who did not shrink from duty when duty sent them into harm’s way.”
      Navy Adm. Mike Mullen
      Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
      Washington, D.C., Sept. 22, 2011

      Web tribute: Military Bids Farewell to Navy Admiral Mike Mullen
      Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Web tribute: http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2011/0911_mullen-farewell/

  17. Weak income curbs spending but factories roar

    9/30/11 By Lucia Mutikani | Reuters – 2 hrs 5 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Consumers struggled to make ends meet in August as incomes fell for the first time in nearly two years, while a surge in Midwest manufacturing this month provided one bright spot in an otherwise weak economy.

    Income slipped 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department said on Friday, the first decline since October 2009 and contrasted with economists’ expectations for a 0.1 percent advance.

    That held consumer spending to a 0.2 percent rise after increasing 0.7 percent in July. Adjusted for inflation, spending was unchanged after a 0.4 percent gain in July.

    But the sting from the weak income report was softened by the solid factory activity in the Midwest in September and news that consumers grew more optimistic as the month ended.

    The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago said its business barometer rose to 60.4 from 56.5 in August. Economists had expected it to decline to 55.5. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the regional economy.

    “It is good that our economy is maybe not in a tailspin into recession just yet,” said Paul Larson, chief equities strategist at Morningstar in Chicago. Larson and many other analysts, however, noted that Europe’s debt crisis still posed a significant risk to the economy.

    For the entire article; http://news.yahoo.com/weak-income-curbs-consumer-spending-august-123639491.html

  18. Remarks by AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka, “Addressing the Jobs Crisis” – The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC

    September 30, 2011 aflcio.org

    (Excerpts)

    …”Almost 60 years ago, “Engine Charlie” Wilson, who went from CEO of GM to Secretary of Defense, memorably declared: “What is good for General Motors is good for America.”…

    …”In many ways, he was right. Back in the 1950s, General Motors’ profits were shared with its unionized workforce, lifting production workers into the world’s first middle-class majority. Sixty years later, President Obama’s rescue of the American auto industry has saved tens of thousands of jobs, not only in the Detroit Big Three companies, but in all the companies that supply the industry and serve its employees. With the new collective bargaining agreement between GM and the UAW, the workers once again will share in the gains that they worked so hard and sacrificed so much to achieve.”…

    …”President Obama is right to call for more aid to state and local governments to prevent cutbacks in public services. Public-sector layoffs are dragging down the economy and making a double dip recession more likely. Congress should not lay off any more federal employees and should prevent additional state and local layoffs.”…

    …”These past three years have been a winding and rocky road. President Obama, once again, is leading the nation in the right direction. The labor movement is proud to stand with him as he takes on the challenges of jobs, inequality and investment in the future. The American Jobs Act is a great start, and we will work hard to shape it, strengthen it and build support for it. And we’ll build support for sound measures to begin paying for job creation, such as the Buffett tax to make sure that millionaires pay their taxes at rates as high as their employees.”…

    …”America faces historic choices that will shape our economy, our society and our democracy for decades to come. The question is not whether President Obama is appealing to his base. It is whether we will rebuild the manufacturing base, which is the foundation for our economy. The question is not whether the administration is moving away from the middle. It is whether we will restore the middle class, which is the heart and soul of the American Dream.”…

    For the entire article: http://aflcio.org/mediacenter/prsptm/sp09302011.cfm

  19. THAT’S CLASSIFIED

    9/30/11 POLITICO44

    President Obama was asked by Michael Smerconish this afternoon whether he ordered the strike on the anti-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, but he declined to get into it.

    “I can’t talk about the operational details, Michael,” he said. “This is something that we had been working with the Yemeni government on for quite some time. There’s been significant cooperation with the intelligence levels with a lot of countries in the region.”

    He added, “We are very pleased that Mr. Awlaki is no longer going to be in a position to directly threaten the United States homeland as well our allies around the world.”

    ON PAKISTAN: Obama was also asked about comments made by Adm. Mike Mullen, until today the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the Haqqani network being an arm of Pakistan’s intelligence service. Obama said Mullen was expressing “frustration” over havens for terrorists.

    “The intelligence is not as clear as we might like in terms of what exactly that relationship is, but my attitude is, whether there is active engagement with Haqqani on the part of the Pakistanis, or rather just passively allowing them to operate … they’ve got to take care of this problem,” he said.

  20. Solar Power Decathlon in DC

    9/30/11 Eric Niller – TheWorld.org

    Ben Jagersma loads up a dishwasher in a wood-frame home that has traveled more than 9,000 miles from Wellington, New Zealand, to a patch of grass near the National Mall. Jagersma helps one of the judges put a temperature sensor inside the machine – testing how much energy it uses to wash dirty dishes.

    As engineering captain of the Victoria University of Wellington team, Jagersma leaves nothing to chance. Nineteen schools are battling for green power supremacy in the 10-day Solar Decathlon, an Energy Department-sponsored competition that tests students’ engineering and architectural skills in building energy-efficient solar powered homes. This year, four international teams have entered the contest.

    Judges measure everything from energy use and comfort level to market appeal and affordability. The Kiwis have designed a “bach,” or holiday home, that uses natural resources to save energy – in this case, a coat of wool to keep it warm.

    “In New Zealand, we have more sheep than people,” Jagersma said. “Sheep wool insulation is a really good, really high performing product. It insulates the walls and floor and roof really well.”

    Inside, sliding glass doors face north and south, while solar panels soak up the elusive sun on the roof. Jagersma’s next task is to use solar-powered hot water to wash – and dry – a few towels.

    “All week we’ve been battling with cloudy skies in Washington, DC,” he said.

    His team has invented a special drying closet that uses solar-heated water pumped through a set of metal racks.

    “The best that we’ve done in the competition here in the past 10 days is two-and-a-half hours to dry the six bath towels. Today, I predict we’ll be close to two hours.”

    If it works, the solar-powered closet will consume 200 watts of energy, compared to the 1,500 to 5,000 watts used by typical clothes dryer.

    For the entire article and slide show: http://www.theworld.org/2011/09/solar-power-decathlon-in-dc/

  21. Graffiti Artists of Kabul

    SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 BY LAURA LYNCH ⋅TheWorld.org

    It began in the darkness of night. Guerrilla warriors of a different kind, armed with cans of spray paint. They painted slogans such as “cost of war” and stenciled images of helicopters, guns and soldiers onto the high concrete walls of buildings in the city.

    They weren’t Afghan, but they came back in the daytime, and showed locals like Shamsia Hassani how to create street art.

    “It was my first time and it was a very new experience for me because it was different. Usually we use brush but it was spray paint. It was different and a little difficult for me because it was my first time.”

    Hassani was one of a group of Afghans who attended a workshop held by a British artist. She was captivated and soon went to an industrial park to create her first work – a huge mural showing a group of women wearing blue burkas emerging from water. (See the image above.)

    “You can see the water and woman coming from the water,” she says. “Blue is a freedom color is a clean color and I shows that all Afghan women are like water clean and blue.”

    Kabul graffiti

    For the entire article and slide show: http://www.theworld.org/2011/09/graffiti-artists-kabul/

  22. Andrew Sullivan: The Un-Bush

    Last fall, the Dish hosted an impassioned debate about the morality and ethics and prudence of targeting US civilians who have joined the Jihadist enemy in seeking to attack the US. My own position is that we are at war, and that avowed enemies and traitors in active warfare against the US cannot suddenly invoke legal protections from a society they have decided to help destroy.

    And so my response to the death of Anwar al Awlaki is obviously not going to be Glenn Greenwald’s, although I respect his consistency and integrity on this question, even though I think his position minimizes the stakes of the conflict, and misreads the nature of war.

    My response is to note what the Obama administration seems leery of saying out loud – in line with its general response to al Qaeda which is to speak very softly while ruthlessly killing scores of mid-level and high-level operatives. This administration actually is what the Bush administration claimed to be: a relentless executor of the war in terror, armed with real intelligence and lethally accurate execution. Sure, Yemen’s al Qaeda is not the core al Qaeda of Pakistan/Afghanistan – it’s less global in scope and capacities. But to remove one important propaganda source of that movement has made all of us safer. And those Americans who have lived under one of Awlaki’s murderous fatwas can breathe more easily today.

    The same goes for al Qaeda more generally. Obama has done in two years what Bush failed to do in eight. He has skillfully done all he can to reset relations with the broader Muslim world (despite the machinations of the Israeli government) while ruthlessly wiping out swathes of Jihadist planners, operatives and foot-soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has thereby strengthened us immeasurably both in terms of soft and hard power.

    Compare the two presidents. One unleashed a war in Afghanistan he then left to languish, and sparked an unjustified war in Iraq, that became a catastrophe of mass death and chaos. He both maximally antagonized the Arab and Muslim world and didn’t even score a major victory against the enemy. In many ways, Bush gave al Qaeda an opening in Iraq where it never had one before, and allowed its key leadership to escape at Tora Bora. The torture program, meanwhile, fouled up our intelligence while destroying our moral standing in the world.

    Obama has ended torture and pursued a real war, not an ideological spectacle. He has destroyed almost all of al Qaeda of 9/11 (if Zawahiri is taken out, no one is left), obliterated its ranks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, found and killed bin Laden, in a daring raid pushed relentlessly by the president alone, capturing alongside a trove of intelligence, procured as a consequence of courage and tenacity rather than cowardice and torture.

    I know the next election will be about the economy. But what it should also be about is the revelation of the Republicans as fundamentally weak on national security. Caught up in their own ideology, they proved for eight years they’d rather posture and preen than do the intelligent, relentless, ethical intelligence work that is only now leading to victory.

    Obama, in other words, is winning the war Bush kept losing. And since Cairo, we have witnessed the real flowering of democratic forces in the Middle East – unseen during the Bush-Cheney years. For all the tireless efforts of the Israelis to cripple US foreign policy against Jihadism, Obama has done the job. If he fails to make this case in the next election, he will, in my judgment, be blowing an important opportunity to reinforce a structural advantage against the GOP on national security.

    Back in 2001, I wondered if Bush would be the president to win this war, while hoping he would. I wondered if his errors might lead to a successor who learned from them. That hope has now been fulfilled – more swiftly and decisively than I once dared to dream about

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/09/the-un-bush.html

    • Another great article Jackie!

      The comparisions between “W Bush” and President Obama are so very wide. “W Bush” acted like the 13 y/o who got to play president for eight years and now we have President Obama who is mature beyond his years, intelligent, compassionate as well as diplomatic.

  23. Be Afraid and Block the Channel!

    Glenn Beck is launching a children’s show…..

    Brainwash them young.

    Will Dick Cheney be a guest? Waterboarding anyone?

  24. Landra Reid diagnosed with breast cancer

    9/30/11 John Breshnahan & Manu Raju – POLITICO

    Landra Reid, wife of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is undergoing treatment for the disease, the Nevada Democrat’s office announced Friday.

    Landra Reid was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. Her treatment includes chemotherapy at an undisclosed Washington, D.C., area facility.

    “Sen. and Mrs. Reid appreciate the thoughts and concerns expressed during this time. They ask that they be afforded the respect and privacy that any family would want,” Reid’s office said in a statement.

    Sources close to Reid said his wife’s illness would not have any impact on Reid’s ability to carry out his duties as majority leader.

    Harry and Landra Reid have been married since they eloped in 1959. She is his closest confidant and ultimate adviser, and Reid makes no major decisions without her input. She is the one soft spot in the sometimes crusty public persona.

    “She was wearing short shorts, I remember that. And she was washing the family car,” Reid recalls in his book, “The Good Fight,” of the day he met his future wife, then Landra Gould. Reid was just a junior in high school, and she was a sophomore. “And I thought, wow, that’s a pretty nice car washer. ”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/64826.html

    • September 30, 2011
      Remarks by the President at DNC Event–Private Residence, Washington, DC

      Private Residence
      Washington, D.C.

      7:31 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, to Jim and Jeff, thank you so much for the hospitality. To all of you, for being here. I have to say that the good doctor could run for office. (Laughter.) He’s quite an orator. So that was an extraordinarily gracious introduction and thank you for opening up your home. To all of you who are here — some of you who’ve been longtime supporters, some of you who I’m seeing for the first time, it’s wonderful to be here.

      And what I want to do is have more of a conversation than a monologue, so I’m just going to say a few words at the top very briefly, and then we’ll open it up for questions.

      I was just on the West Coast, traveling across the country, talking to people about the jobs act and why we need to put people back to work; talking to them about a wide range of issues like energy and health care. And I made the argument to them that I’ll make to you, which is that this election is in some ways even more consequential than 2008.

      I think in 2008 we understood that for decades there had been a host of problems that had been building up over time; that the dream of middle-class folks, or folks who were aspiring to the middle class, being able to work hard, get a good education, get a good job, act responsibly, buy a home, make sure that their kids are doing even better than they are, retire with some dignity and respect — that dream felt like it was slipping away. And for a whole host of reasons — because we had under-invested in our human capital and our education system, and in our infrastructure; because, frankly, we had seen the rules tilted against ordinary folks in favor of those who were well connected in Washington or powerful on Wall Street.

      And we argued in 2008 — and we captured I think the imaginations of a lot of people — that we could bring about some fundamental change if we got past some of the partisan rancor and the constant politicking that had come to characterize Washington.

      Now, we’ve done a lot over these two and a half years. Obviously in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, we’ve been able to avoid a great depression, stabilize the financial system. We’ve been able to move forward on a lot of the campaign pledges that we had talked about from making sure that health care is affordable and accessible to every American; to reforming our education system at the K- through-12 level so that our kids can compete in this global economy; to ending “don’t ask, don’t tell”; to making sure that we signed into law equal pay for equal work.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/30/remarks-president-dnc-event-private-residence-washington-dc

    • September 30, 2011

      Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama – 2012 Lunch Reception in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

      Private Residence
      Cape Elizabeth, Maine

      1:33 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Yay to me! Yay! (Applause.) Oh, my goodness. Well, you all rest yourselves because you’ve raised a lot of money and you must be tired. (Laughter.) Thank you so much. It is a pleasure and honor, a thrill to be with all of you here in Maine. Look, this must be the weather in Maine, because the last time we were here we had beautiful weather, and today. So I’m assuming this is the typical weather in Maine, correct? You’ll tell me anything. (Laughter.)

      No, it is beautiful. I want to start by thanking Bonnie and Karen for that beautiful introduction, for all the work that they’re doing, as well as their better halves, Bobby, Rob. I know you guys did a little, too, I’m sure. But Bobby and Bonnie, thank you for hosting us in this magnificent home. I would love to take you up on the offer of coming back and being normal, whenever that happens. (Laughter.)

      But thank you for this time as well. So let’s give them a round of applause for all their hard work. (Applause.)

      And I also want to recognize a couple of other people who are here and will be hanging out with me today. Representatives Michaud, who’s here, and Pingree, who’s here. Yay, they’re here. (Applause.) As well as former Governor Baldacci, who is working with us every step of the way doing a great job over at DOD. And of course my dear friend and our DNC finance chair, Jane Stetson, who is here with her beautiful daughter. (Applause.) Thanks for hanging out.

      And finally, I want to thank all of you for taking the time on this beautiful day. You probably would rather be walking around in the park or doing something. But you’re here with me at this event. (Laughter.) Yeah, you would. The lobster is good, I can see.

      But I am thrilled to see so many new faces, but I’m also thrilled to see so many old friends as well, folks who have been with us since the very beginning, through all the ups and downs along the way. And I know that there is a reason other than the great weather and lobster that you’re here today. You’re here because you know that we stand at a fundamental crossroads in our country. You’re here because you know that in 13 months we’re going to make a choice that will impact our lives for decades to come. And you’re here because you love this country. You love your fellow citizens. You’re here because you care about your kids and grandkids and you care about the world that we’re going to be leaving for them.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/30/remarks-first-lady-michelle-obama-2012-lunch-reception-cape-elizabeth-ma

  25. WH

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:20 PM
    The President speaks at the Human Rights Campaign’s 15th annual dinner

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

  26. Human rights keynote
    Obama to speak at gay rights dinner

    09/27/11 By JENNIFER EPSTEIN – POLITICO

    Less than two weeks after the end of the military’s ban on openly gay servicemembers, President Barack Obama is set to keynote a major gay rights group’s annual dinner this weekend in Washington.

    Obama is scheduled to speak at the Human Rights Campaign’s 15th annual dinner on Saturday night at the Washington Convention Center, the group announced. Close to 3,000 people are expected at the event for the nation’s largest organization fighting for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

    “We are honored to share this night with President Obama who has a tremendous record of accomplishment for LGBT people,” HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a statement. “On the heels of the end to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ we look forward to celebrating our victories and redoubling our efforts for the fights that remain ahead.”

    The most immediate fight ahead for gay rights activists is the legalization of same-sex marriage across the country, something Obama has not yet endorsed.

    Obama has repeatedly said that his views on same-sex marriage are “evolving,” most recently in June, when he spoke at an LGBT fundraiser in New York. “I believe that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same legal rights as every other couple in this country,” Obama said at the event, while resisting jeers from the crowd to say whether he supported marriage for those couples. He did, though, say that New York’s legislators were doing the right thing in debating whether to legalize gay marriage in the state, something they did the day after Obama spoke.

    The keynote speaker at last year’s HRC dinner was Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Obama spoke at the dinner in 2009.

    • President Obama’s Remarks at HRC National Dinner to be Webcast Live

      HRC will stream President Barack Obama’s remarks at the 15th Annual National Dinner tomorrow night live on its website at http://www.hrc.org. The President is expected to speak around 7:15pm ET. Viewers can access the stream by going to http://www.hrc.org.

      HRC’s 15th Annual National Dinner, taking place at the Washington Convention Center, is expected to draw more than 3,000 guests from across the country. President Obama last addressed the audience in 2009. More information is available at http://www.hrcnationaldinner.org.

  27. Hispanic students vanish from Alabama schools

    9/30/11 By JAY REEVES – Associated Press | AP – 4 hrs ago

    BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (AP) — Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration.

    Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children from classes or kept them home this week, afraid that sending the kids to school would draw attention from authorities.

    There are no precise statewide numbers. But several districts with large immigrant enrollments — from small towns to large urban districts — reported a sudden exodus of children of Hispanic parents, some of whom told officials they planned to leave the state to avoid trouble with the law, which requires schools to check students’ immigration status.

    The anxiety has become so intense that the superintendent in one of the state’s largest cities, Huntsville, went on a Spanish-language television show Thursday to try to calm widespread worries.

    “In the case of this law, our students do not have anything to fear,” Casey Wardynski said in halting Spanish. He urged families to send students to class and explained that the state is only trying to compile statistics.

    Police, he insisted, were not getting involved in schools.
    Victor Palafox graduated from a high school in suburban Birmingham last year and has lived in the United States without documentation since age 6, when his parents brought him and his brother here from Mexico.

    “Younger students are watching their lives taken from their hands,” said Palafox, whose family is staying put.

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

    • The Man Behind The Illegal-Immigration Crackdown

      9/30/11 by LAURA ZIEGLER – NPR

      Alabama and Arizona have some of the toughest immigration laws in the country. Behind both states’ laws, and many others, is Kris Kobach, a constitutional lawyer and the Kansas secretary of state.

      Kobach has helped several other states shape immigration legislation, and he says there’s more to come in 2012.

      Many national stories have called the 45-year-old conservative a “movie star,” handsome and loaded with charisma. He looked the part greeting some 60 guests during a recent address to the Pachyderm Club in Topeka, Kan.

      A graduate of Harvard, Oxford and Yale, he was a White House fellow and chief immigration adviser to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft after the Sept. 11 attacks. His credentials undoubtedly make him the most famous Kansas secretary of state — and deified by supporters.

      “He’s gonna save America with what he’s done in Arizona,” says Pachyderm member Jim Taylor.

      After opening ceremonies, Kobach told the crowd about the strict voter-fraud law he helped get passed in Kansas. Later, he talked about his interest in illegal immigration, which he traces back to the time with his mentor, Ashcroft. The Sept. 11 attacks energized him around the issue.

      “That’s when things really went into high gear for me, and we discovered that five of the 19 hijackers had been in the country illegally, prior to the attacks. They all entered legally on visas but became illegally present during the time they were here,” Kobach said.

      What put Kobach on the national radar was Arizona law SB 1070, which he helped draft. It allows police to demand citizenship papers if there is “reasonable suspicion” of illegal status during routine arrests.

      For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/09/30/140927115/the-man-behind-the-illegal-immigration-crackdown

  28. Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address
    The White House
    October 1, 2011

    Hello, everyone. It’s been almost three weeks since I sent the American Jobs Act to Congress – three weeks since I sent them a bill that would put people back to work and put money in people’s pockets. This jobs bill is fully paid for. This jobs bill contains the kinds of proposals that Democrats and Republicans have supported in the past. And now I want it back. It is time for Congress to get its act together and pass this jobs bill so I can sign it into law.

    Some Republicans in Congress have said that they agree with certain parts of this jobs bill. If so, it’s time for them to tell me what those proposals are. And if they’re opposed to this jobs bill, I’d like to know what exactly they’re against. Are they against putting teachers and police officers and firefighters back on the job? Are they against hiring construction workers to rebuild our roads and bridges and schools? Are they against giving tax cuts to virtually every worker and small business in America?

    Economists from across the political spectrum have said that this jobs bill would boost the economy and spur hiring. Why would you be against that? Especially at a time when so many Americans are struggling and out of work.

    This isn’t just about what I think is right. It’s not just about what a group of economists think is right. This is about what the American people want. Everywhere I go, they tell me they want action on jobs. Every day, I get letters from Americans who expect Washington to do something about the problems we face.

    Destiny Wheeler is a sixteen year old from Georgia who wants to go to college. She wrote to me saying, “Now-a-days it is hard to see myself pushing forward and putting my family in a better position, especially since the economy is rough and my starting situation is so poor. Yet, the American Jobs act gives me hope that I might start to receive a better education, that one day job opportunities will be open for me to grasp, and that one day my personal American Dream will be reached.” Destiny needs us to pass this jobs bill.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/01/weekly-address-democrats-and-republicans-should-get-together-and-pass-am

  29. NATO: Haqqani Leader Captured In Afghanistan

    by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    NATO says it has captured a senior leader of the al-Qaida- and Taliban-allied Haqqani terror network operating inside Afghanistan.

    NATO announced on Saturday that the coalition forces seized Haji Mali Khan during an operation in eastern Paktia province, which borders Pakistan.

    The alliance called it a significant milestone in the fight against the terror group.
    NATO identified Khan as an uncle of Siraj and Badruddin Haqqani, two of the son’s of the network’s aging leader Jalaludin Haqqani.

    The Pakistan-based network is affiliated to both the Taliban and al-Qaida and has been described as the most serious security threat in Afghanistan.

  30. US: Military Chaplains May Perform Same-Sex Unions

    September 30, 2011 by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has decided that military chaplains may perform same-sex unions, whether on or off a military installation.

    The ruling announced Friday by the Pentagon’s personnel chief follows the Sept. 20 repeal of a law that had prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

    Some members of Congress have objected to military chaplains performing same-sex unions, saying it would violate the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

    The Pentagon says a military chaplain may officiate at any private ceremony, but isn’t required if it would conflict with his or her religious or personal beliefs.

    The Pentagon also says Defense Department property may be used for private functions, including religious and other ceremonies such as same-sex unions, as long as it’s not prohibited by state or local laws.

  31. Former Obama Spokesman Bill Burton Whacks GOP Field For Toeing Tea Party Anti-Education Line

    September 30th, 2011 by Tommy Christopher – mediate

    In a memo to reporters, former Obama Spokesman and current Senior Strategist for Priorities USA Action Bill Burton is calling out the current Republican presidential field for veering sharply from support for federal education programs, in an attempt to appeal to a Tea Party that’s out of step with mainstream public opinion. Citing polls that show overwhelming public support for education funding, Burton blamed the Tea Party for “push(ing) the candidates far beyond the bounds of mainstream America.”

    Burton notes that “During the 2000 Presidential election, Governor George Bush’s campaign launched a television ad that attacked the Clinton/Gore Administration for an ‘education recession.’ The spot claimed that, ‘Bush raised standards and test scores soared’ and was a part of Bush’s signature domestic campaign focus: improving education. That was before the Tea Party.”

    It was also before President Obama took office, a dividing line that has long belied the Tea Party’s alleged non-partisan concern with government spending. Bush’s No Child Left Behind program conspicuously did not lead to protests in the streets, at least not from conservatives.

    Burton notes how the anti-education shift became apparent at the recent GOP presidential debates. “Mitt Romney opposed attempts to decrease class size, Rick Perry attacked the Race to the Top Program, and most candidates proposed abolishing the Department of Education.”

    He cited several polls that show Republicans are out of step with the rest of the country, including a Texas poll that showed 82% of Texans opposed proposed public education cuts to balance the budget. “Republican statements in opposition to small class sizes, the Race to the Top program and the Department of Education are broadly outside mainstream American views.”

    For the entire article: http://www.mediaite.com/online/former-obama-spokesman-bill-burton-whacks-gop-field-for-toeing-tea-party-anti-education-line/

  32. Exclusive: Democrats push tax hikes first in deficit talks

    10/1/11By Richard Cowan and Tim Reid | Reuters – 3 hrs ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats want tax hikes to be the first item negotiated in “super committee” deficit-reduction talks, trying to force Republicans to confront an issue at the heart of this year’s budget fights, sources told Reuters.

    The tough stance by Democratic members of the powerful 12-member congressional panel reflects the party’s wariness that Republicans might try to sideline the issue of revenue increases in the negotiations.

    “They’ve raised the idea of doing taxes first,” a Republican aide involved in the discussions said on Friday on condition of anonymity.

    The panel has the task of finding ways of cutting the U.S. deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years. If it fails to agree on a plan by November 23, automatic spending cuts will be triggered, beginning in 2013.

    If Democrats hold firm to their demand for taxes to be discussed first, that could make it hard for the committee to make the tight November deadline. Congress is due to vote on the panel’s recommendations by December 23.

    Another congressional aide, who also did not want to be identified, confirmed that among Democrats, “there is an effort to try to discuss revenues” now.

    During the super committee’s initial closed-door meetings, “Republicans wanted to just talk about spending cuts and Democrats said, ‘No,'” the aide said.

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

  33. BACHMANN ON BULLYING

    Bullying based on real or perceived sexual orientation remains a dangerous problem.Tell Michele Bachmann to speak out against bullying now.

    Latest Action: Tell Michele Bachmann: It’s Time to Take Bullying Seriously

    Michele Bachmann’s poor track record on issues of equality speaks for itself. Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, hold some of the most extreme and disturbing anti-LGBT views of any presidential candidate and spouse. Bachmann has said of LGBT Americans: “If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.”

    Marcus Bachmann runs a clinic that allegedly practices the dangerous “reparative therapy,” which has been strongly denounced by leading medical organizations. Marcus Bachmann once said gay people were “barbarians” who “needed to be disciplined.”

    HRC is tracking the Bachmann’s fringe and unacceptable behavior. To date, more than 25,000 of you signed a petition calling on leading GOP candidates to disavow the Bachmann’s support of reparative therapy. Here’s how you can get involved:

    Tell Michele Bachmann: It’s time to take bullying seriously
    GOP Candidates: Reject Bachmann’s Support of Reparative Therapy

  34. Democracy Steadily Takes Root In Africa

    10/1/11 by ALAN GREENBLATT – NPR

    The international spotlight has been on North Africa this year, where Arab autocrats have been overthrown by government opponents seeking democracy in three separate countries – Libya, Egypt and Tunisia.

    But farther south on the continent, a less dramatic democratic trend has been playing out for years.

    Seventeen of the 49 nations in sub-Saharan Africa are holding national elections this year. That’s partly an accident of timing. But it’s also a sign that holding power in Africa these days increasingly requires a leader to hold regular elections.

    To cite just one recent example, longtime opposition leader Michael Sata won the presidency in the Sept. 20 election in Zambia.

    “Once you have an opposition winning elections and assuming power, then that’s a quantum leap toward democracy and the rule of law,” says John Campbell, a senior fellow in Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Not All Elections Are Equal

    Many African countries lack independent media and election commissions or competitive opposition parties. Several countries have been ruled by the same autocrat for decades or have a leader who succeeded his own father.

    Even when open elections are held, things don’t always go smoothly. In countries where ethnic, religious or geographical differences have political resonance, elections can exacerbate those tensions.

    That was the case in Ivory Coast last year. The November election was seen as fair, and the opposition candidate, Alassane Ouattara, defeated the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo. But Gbagbo refused to give up power, triggering months of fighting that left some 3,000 people dead before he was ousted.

    Ouattara, who is now president, was in Washington a week ago at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. He said the 2010 crisis could be traced back to 2000, when the country failed to settle political differences with a vote.

    “This led to rebellion and agreements that were never fully implemented until we finally got to a national election” last year, he said.

    For the entire article: http://www.npr.org/2011/09/29/140919689/democracy-steadily-takes-root-in-africa

    • October 01, 2011

      Remarks by the President at the Human Rights Campaign’s Annual National Dinner

      Washington Convention Center

      Washington, D.C.

      7:26 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. It is great to be back. (Applause.) I see a lot of friends in the house. I appreciate the chance to join you tonight. I also took a trip out to California last week, where I held some productive bilateral talks with your leader, Lady Gaga. (Laughter.) She was wearing 16-inch heels. (Laughter.) She was eight feet tall. (Laughter.) It was a little intimidating.

      Now, I don’t want to give a long speech. Cyndi Lauper is in the house. I can’t compete with that. (Applause.) But I wanted to come here tonight, first of all, to personally thank Joe for his outstanding years of leadership at HRC. (Applause.) What he has accomplished at the helm of this organization has been remarkable, and I want to thank all of you for the support that you’ve shown this organization and for your commitment to a simple idea: Every single American — gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender — every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. It’s a pretty simple proposition. (Applause.)

      Now, I don’t have to tell you that we have a ways to go in that struggle. I don’t have to tell you how many are still denied their basic rights — Americans who are still made to feel like second-class citizens, who have to live a lie to keep their jobs, or who are afraid to walk the street, or down the hall at school. Many of you have devoted your lives to the cause of equality. So you know what we have to do; we’ve got more work ahead of us.

      But we can also be proud of the progress we’ve made these past two and a half years. Think about it. (Applause.) Two years ago, I stood at this podium, in this room, before many of you, and I made a pledge. I said I would never counsel patience; that it wasn’t right to tell you to be patient any more than it was right for others to tell African Americans to be patient in the fight for equal rights a half century ago. (Applause.) But what I also said, that while it might take time –- more time than anyone would like -– we are going to make progress; we are going to succeed; we are going to build a more perfect union.

      And so, let’s see what happened. I met with Judy Shepard. I promised her we would pass a hate crimes bill named for her son, Matthew. And with the help of my dear friend Ted Kennedy we got it done. Because it should never be dangerous — (applause) — you should never have to look over your shoulder — to be gay in the United States of America. That’s why we got it done. (Applause.)

      I met with Janice Langbehn, who was barred from the bedside of the woman she loved as she lay dying. And I told her that we were going to put a stop to this discrimination. And you know what? We got it done. I issued an order so that any hospital in America that accepts Medicare or Medicaid -– and that means just about every hospital -– has to treat gay partners just as they do straight partners. Because nobody should have to produce a legal contract to hold the hand of the person that they love. We got that done. (Applause.)

      I said that we would lift that HIV travel ban — we got that done. (Applause.) We put in place the first comprehensive national strategy to fight HIV/AIDS. (Applause.)

      Many questioned whether we’d succeed in repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” And, yes, it took two years to get the repeal through Congress. (Applause.) We had to hold a coalition together. We had to keep up the pressure. We took some flak along the way. (Applause.) But with the help of HRC, we got it done. And “don’t ask, don’t tell” is history. (Applause.) And all over the world, there are men and women serving this country just as they always have — with honor and courage and discipline and valor. We got it done. (Applause.) We got that done. All around the world, you’ve got gays and lesbians who are serving, and the only difference is now they can put up a family photo. (Laughter.) No one has to live a lie to serve the country they love.

      I vowed to keep up the fight against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. There’s a bill to repeal this discriminatory law in Congress, and I want to see that passed. But until we reach that day, my administration is no longer defending DOMA in the courts. I believe the law runs counter to the Constitution, and it’s time for it to end once and for all. It should join “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the history books. (Applause.)

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/10/02/president-obama-human-rights-campaigns-15th-annual-national-dinner

      • First time I caught the introduction of President Obama, although I heard it was wonderful, such as: ” … as a community, we have accomplished more in the last two years than we have in the previous 40.”

  35. WH

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the daily briefing

    7:00 AM
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    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
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  36. Sunday talk show tip sheet

    10/1/11 Zach Hale – POLITICO44

    (Democrat excerpts only)

    On NBC, “Meet the Press” has Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat; Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association; and Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.).

    On CBS, “Face the Nation” hosts Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), along with Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who opted against a bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

    On CNN, “State of the Union” assesses the killing in Yemen of Anwar al-Awlaki, a top Al Qaeda leader, with former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), now director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

    On Bloomberg TV’s “Political Capital,” Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was former President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, also weighs in on the death of al-Awlaki.

    TV One’s “Washington Watch” visits with National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling.

    And on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers,” Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, is interviewed by Steven Dennis of Roll Call and Gregory Korte of USA Today.

    • Hi, CR and O’family! Haven’t watched MTP in months and months, but will record tomorrow’s show – to see Gov. Patrick. Will also record Face the Nation for Gov. O’Malley. Thanks for the heads-up!

      • I fast forwarded McCain, but still caught his evil-eye wink that he pulls out when he wants to look sincere.

  37. CR – Understand Oct. 3 is the 19th wedding anniversary for POTUS and FLOTUS!

    Happy anniversary to our wonderful First Couple!

    • Yes, Monday’s thread is on “Respect For Marriage Act” to honor the First Couple and a nod to one day that marriage will be for all couples, straight or gay.

  38. October 01, 2011

    Statement from NSC Spokesman Tommy Vietor on the National Security Advisor’s visit to Saudi Arabia

    National Security Advisor Tom Donilon concluded a positive and productive one-day visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today. During his visit to Riyadh, Mr. Donilon met with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud to discuss a broad range of regional political, security, and economic issues of mutual interest. Mr. Donilon commended the King and the Gulf Cooperation Council for their recent statements calling for an end to violence against civilians perpetrated by the Assad regime.

    Mr. Donilon and King Abdullah stressed the shared deep and abiding strategic interests that have served as the foundation for the U.S.-Saudi partnership for decades. They expressed satisfaction with the breadth and strength of the bilateral relationship. The United States looks forward to continuing close consultations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the full range of issues of mutual interest.

  39. Federal Budget Uncertainty Weighs On Economy

    10/2/11 by MARILYN GEEWAX – NPR

    Welcome to Fiscal Year 2012…such as it is.

    On each Sept. 30, the nation wraps up its old budget, and on Oct. 1, it starts a fresh spending cycle. Or at least, that’s what is supposed to happen.

    But once again, Oct. 1 has come and gone, and the country still has no formal budget in place. Instead, Congress last week approved a stopgap funding bill to keep the government operating temporarily, just as it has done time and again since the 1970s.

    For the more than two million civilian federal workers, it has become the norm to start work on the first Monday of October, not knowing what will happen to their agencies’ budgets: Will there be spending cuts? Will there be money to purchase new equipment? Will there be raises?

    In fiscal 2011, Congress did not complete the final budget until April 15, 2011 — a full six and a half months into the 12-month cycle.

    This year, Congress had to punt again. On Thursday, the House approved a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open — until Tuesday. That marked the 157th temporary spending bill used to plug a budget hole since 1977, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

    When lawmakers resume their work on Tuesday, they will take up yet another spending extension — this one lasting until Nov. 18.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/10/02/140961812/federal-budget-uncertainty-weighs-on-economy

  40. There is a new Kids’ Science Challenge! It started October 1st.

    Cool science projects for elementary school kids. All they have to do is dream up a problem that they want to solve with science. Kids get a little guidance on the categories. They’ve limited the categories and it’s easy. You don’t want to choose everything. They can choose from bio-inspired design, detective science or sports on Mars. Are you wondering how your kids can get involved? There is still plenty of time for them to enter.

    For more information: http://www.kidsciencechallenge.com/

    • Kids’ Science Challenge

      Uploaded by ThePulseofthePlanet on Jul 3, 2011

      Kids’ Science Challenge Winner 2011 Merrie Benjamin demos her winning project at “The Sounds of Science Audio Salon & Science Cafe” held at KQED in San Francisco.

  41. Happy Sunday CR and friends. PBO never disappoints. He hit the ball out of the park again last night.

  42. *********************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “Respect for Marriage Act to repeal DOMA ”
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