Respect for Marriage Act to repeal DOMA

The Respect for Marriage Act , or RFMA (H.R. 1116 ), is a proposed bill in the United States Congress that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and allow the U.S. federal government to provide benefits to couples in a same-sex marriage; the bill would not compel individual states to recognize same-sex marriages.

The 2009 bill was introduced by U.S. Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
York on September 15, 2009, and garnered 120 cosponsors. It is supported by former U.S. Representative Bob Barr, original sponsor of the Defense of Marriage Act, and former President Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

The 2011 bill was introduced by U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York on March 16, 2011, and a U.S. Senate version was introduced by Dianne Feinstein of California on the same day. President Obama announced his support for the bill on July 19, 2011.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Respect_for_Marriage_Act
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Obama administration urges U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA

‘Gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country’

February 22, 2013 lgbtqnation Staff Reports

The Obama administration on Friday filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing why it considers the federal Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional.

Filed in United States v. Windsor, a case challenging Section 3 of DOMA, the administration said “gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country,” and argued that laws targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation should face additional scrutiny by courts reviewing them.

In the brief, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli asked the court to uphold a federal appeals court ruling that found DOMA to be unconstitutional:

Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional.

This case deals with Edith Windsor, who was forced to pay $363,000 in estate taxes in 2009 upon the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer. The two had lived as a couple for 44 years and married in Canada in 2007. Because her decades-long partner was a woman, the federal government did not recognize the same-sex marriage in legal terms, even though their home state of New York did.

Section 3 of DOMA, which bars legally married same-sex couples from any federal benefits or programs based on marriage, has been found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits, estate taxes, and immigration.

The brief also mentions Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, and similar measures in other states as evidence of continued discrimination against gays and lesbians.

For more: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/02/obama-administration-urges-u-s-surpeme-court-to-strike-down-doma/

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High court strikes down federal marriage provision

6/26/13 By MARK SHERMAN | Associated Press – 3 mins 4 secs ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

Same-sex marriage has been adopted by 12 states and the District of Columbia. Another 18,000 couples were married in California during a brief period when same-sex unions were legal there.

The court has yet to release its decision on California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways,” Kennedy said.

“DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal,” he said.

He was joined by the court’s four liberal justices.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/high-court-strikes-down-federal-marriage-provision-140557846.html

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June 28, 2013

Statement by the President on the Extension of Federal Employee Benefits

Today my Administration announcedthat, for the first time in history, we will be making important federal employee benefits, including healthcare and retirement benefits, available to eligible married gay and lesbian couples and their families.

This is a critical first step toward implementing this week’s landmark Supreme Court decisiondeclaring that all married couples –gay and straight — should be treated equally under federal law. Thousands of gays and lesbians serve our country every day in the federal government. They, and their spouses and children, deserve the same respect and protection as every other family.

Under the leadership of Attorney General Holder, we will continue to move as quickly as possible to fully implement the Court’s decision.

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“My general view is that transgender persons, just like gays and lesbians, are deserving of equal treatment under the law. And that’s a basic principle,” the president said. “My sense is that the Supreme Court is about to make a shift, one that I welcome, which is to recognize that — having hit a critical mass of states that have recognized same-sex marriage — it doesn’t make sense for us to now have this patchwork system and that it’s time to recognize that, under the equal protection clause of the United States, same-sex couples should have the same rights as anybody else.”

2/17/15 President Obama interview with BuzzFeed

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US LGBT Rights Timeline 1903-2016 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

6/9/16 FACT SHEET: Obama Administration’s Record and the LGBT Community

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119 thoughts on “Respect for Marriage Act to repeal DOMA


  1. Monday, October 3 , 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    8:55 AM
    The President meets with the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Fay Hartog Levin
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    9:00 AM
    9:45 AM
    The President receives the presidential daily briefing.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:00 AM
    10:30 AM
    The President meets with senior advisors.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:00 AM
    The President holds a Cabinet meeting.
    Cabinet Room
    Pool Spray

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

    1:00 PM
    The Vice President meets with Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov in the Roosevelt Room.
    Roosevelt Room
    Closed Press

    2:00 PM
    2:30 PM
    Dr. Jill Biden, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and actress Jennifer Aniston tour the Inova Breast Care Center in Alexandria, Va.

    2:35 PM
    The President is interviewed by George Stephanopoulos. The entire interview will stream live on Yahoo.com and ABCNews.com
    Blue Room
    Closed Press

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    The President meets with the three student winners of the Google Science Fair.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

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

  2. Respect for Marriage Act

    The Respect for Marriage Act, or RFMA (H.R. 1116,S. 598), is a proposed bill in the United States Congress that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and allow the U.S. federal government to provide benefits to couples in a same-sex marriage; the bill would not compel individual states to recognize same-sex marriages.

    The 2009 bill was introduced by U.S. Representatives Jerrold Nadler of New York on September 15, 2009, and garnered 120 cosponsors. It is supported by former U.S. Representative Bob Barr, original sponsor of the Defense of Marriage Act, and former President Bill Clinton, who signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

    The 2011 bill was introduced by U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York on March 16, 2011, and a U.S. Senate version was introduced by Dianne Feinstein of California on the same day. President Obama announced his support for the bill on July 19, 2011.[3] In September 2011, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida became the 125th cosponsor of the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Republican member of the U.S. Congress to announce support for the bill.

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

    • Nadler Hails President Obama’s Historic Endorsement of the Respect for Marriage Act

      19 JULY 2011 /nadler.house.gov

      WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the author and lead sponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), lauded President Barack Obama’s direct endorsement of his legislation. Nadler is the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and vice-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus.

      
“I am thrilled by President Obama’s endorsement today of the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation which I introduced in order to repeal the discriminatory and cruel Defense of Marriage Act once and for all,” said Nadler. “The President’s unprecedented decision to support this timely legislation sends a powerful message to Members of Congress and to the American people that now is the moment to dispense with DOMA and remove this ugly blight from our legal code. The President has consistently supported repeal of DOMA and, with today’s announcement, in advance of tomorrow’s landmark Senate hearing, he has taken yet another step to make this a reality. On the heels of New York’s advancement of marriage equality last month, the Respect for Marriage Act is more necessary than ever to ensure that all legally married couples are treated the same – and granted the same recognition – by the federal government.”

      For the entire article: http://nadler.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1688&Itemid=132

    • President Obama Supports the Respect for Marriage Act

      Posted by Colleen Curtis on July 19, 2011

      President Obama is proud to support the Respect for Marriage Act, which is being introduced by Senator Feinstein and Congressman Nadler in the Senate on July 20. This legislation would uphold the principle that the federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections as straight couples.

      The President has long called for a legislative repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which continues to have a real impact on the lives of real people — our families, friends and neighbors.

      Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/19/president-obama-supports-respect-marriage-act

      • Happy Sunday evening, CR and friends!

        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Respect for Marriage Act were passed? Yet another civil rights accomplishment for President Obama.

        “Defense” of Marriage Act? Defense from whom?

        Anyway, hope this gets to the President’s desk for signature.

        • Happy Sunday Ms O’Boomer!

          Yes, I would love it if the Respect for Marriage Act were a national law! Equality in love!

          Once in America’s history inter-racial marriage was against the law and now it is legal. My marriage to my husband, who is of another race is now legal. It would be great if people were able to marry the one they love also!

    • Marriage law hearing to feature same-sex couples

      7/20/11By KEVIN FREKING – Associated Press

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Tuesday threw its backing behind a bill that would repeal a 15-year-old law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

      The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on the legislation Wednesday. The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a measure that makes same-sex couples ineligible for the many federal benefits that accrue to married, heterosexual couples.

      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated President Barack Obama’s support for repealing the Defense of Marriage Act.

      “This legislation would uphold the principle that the federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections as straight couples.” Carney said.
      Feinstein said she is under no illusion that Congress will act this year to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Still, she views the committee hearing as an important first step. She said more people are open to gay marriage than in 1996.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/marriage-law-hearing-feature-same-sex-couples-170604006.html

    • GOP Wrong Way

      Boehner threatens to withhold funds from Justice to force DOMA enforcement

      10/07/11 By Josh Lederman – TheHill

      House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) threatened Friday to withhold funding from the Justice Department unless it agrees to defend a ban on the federal government recognizing same-sex marriages.

      “We’re going to take the money away from the Justice Department, who’s supposed to enforce it, and we’ll use it to enforce the law,” Boehner told the conservative Value Voters Summit.

      Boehner is engaged in an ongoing dispute with Attorney General Eric Holder over his refusal to defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act. President Obama has taken the stance that the law is unconstitutional. While the Justice Department usually defends laws passed by Congress against legal challenges, the Obama administration has stopped defending DOMA while Democrats work to repeal the law.

      In March, Boehner announced that if Obama wouldn’t defend DOMA, he would, hiring a private law firm to defend it on behalf of the House.

      “As the Speaker of the House, I have a constitutional responsibility. I’ve raised my hand to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the laws of our country,” Boehner said Friday.

      Boehner’s remarks came before the socially conservative Value Voters Summit, where members of Congress, presidential candidates and other politicians worked to highlight their stances on same-sex marriage, abortion and the role of religion.

      “We will continue and stand up for the Defense of Marriage Act as we fight for victory in the Supreme Court this term,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said.

      • BREAKING: Boehner appeals DOMA cases to Supreme Court

        June 29, 2012 washingtonblade

        House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) attorneys on Friday formally appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court an appeals court decision determining the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.

        Drew Hammill, spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), told the Washington Blade on Friday afternoon Republicans had notified Democratic leadership that House counsel filed an appeal to the Supreme Court.

        The court ruling that was appealed was the First Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the cases of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management, which was filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Department of Health & Human Services. On May 31, the appellate court issued a decision that Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional as a result of both cases.

        In a statement, Pelosi slammed Boehner for continuing to assert the constitutionality of DOMA, saying the appeal is a decision that will “waste more taxpayer funds to advance a position rejected by four different courts and to defend discrimination and inequality before the highest court in the land.”

        “Democrats have rejected the Republican assault on equal rights, in the courts and in Congress,” Pelosi said. “We believe there is no federal interest in denying LGBT couples the same rights and responsibilities afforded to all couples married under state law. And we are confident that the Supreme Court, if it considers the case, will declare DOMA unconstitutional and relegate it to the dustbin of history once and for all.”

        Boehner’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment on the appeal.

        In the filing, Boehner’s attorneys present two questions to the Supreme Court: (1) Whether Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment; and (2) Whether the court below erred by inventing and applying to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act a previously unknown standard of equal protection review.

        “As the First Circuit recognized, this case calls out for this Court’s review,” the filing states. “The court of appeals has invalidated a duly-enacted Act of Congress and done so even though it acknowledged both that DOMA satisfies ordinary rational basis review and does not implicate heightened scrutiny. In the established world of equal protection law that result should have been impossible.”

        The filing also cites a separation of powers issue as the result of the Obama administration no longer defending DOMA in court as it continues to enforce it and leaves the House to defend the law.

        “Only this Court can settle this matter definitively,” the filing states. “Unless and until this Court decides the question, the executive branch will continue to attack DOMA in the courts, while continuing to enforce it, thus creating more potential litigation for the House to defend. This Court and this Court alone has the power to settle this question and redirect controversy over this important national question to the democratic process.”

        For more: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/06/29/breaking-boehner-appeals-doma-cases-to-supreme-court/

    • Karen Golinski: Marriage equality’s inadvertent champion

      12/15/11 Dana Rudolph- pridesource

      Karen Golinski never meant to become one of the headline names in the fight to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. All she wanted to do was to secure health care coverage for her legal spouse.

      That was three years ago. Today, Golinski is preparing for a Dec. 16 hearing before the federal district court for Northern California in one of the key cases challenging the constitutionality of DOMA.

      “I had honestly no idea [the case] would become what it became over the last three years,” Golinski said.

      Golinski v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management is considered important enough to draw participation from the U.S. House’s Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group and could well end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, even if other important DOMA challenges fail.

      DOMA, enacted in 1996, prohibits any federal entity from recognizing a marriage license granted to a same-sex couple.

      An attorney herself, Golinski, 49, has worked for the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for 19 years.

      She grew up in New York State and went to college and law school there, before moving to California in 1988. In 1989, she met Amy Cunninghis, another east coast transplant, who had grown up in New Jersey and gone to college in Connecticut before heading west.

      The two began a committed relationship shortly after they met, and established a home in San Francisco. They married in August 2008, during the brief window when same-sex couples could legally obtain marriage licenses in California. At the time, the two had been together for 18 years and had a five-year-old son. Their son was put on Golinski’s health plan.

      Cunninghis is a contract employee with a non-profit group and does not get health benefits through her employer. The family has had to pay out of pocket for Cunninghis’ coverage — coverage “inferior” to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield group plan that Golinski and their son have, Golinski said.

      But Golinski assumed that, once she and Cunninghis were married, Cunninghis could obtain health coverage through Golinski’s employer — a benefit routinely provided to the spouses of heterosexual married employees of the court.

      But the court’s administrative office rejected Golinski’s application to get health coverage for her spouse, saying that DOMA prevented the court from recognizing them as married.

      “Everybody wants to be able to protect their family members. That’s what this is about,” Golinski explained. “It’s about equal treatment. I’m not different than any other person who’s married.”

      For the entire article: http://www.pridesource.com/article.html?article=50787

    • GOProud, a gay-rights group, condemns Santorum’s debate comments

      9/23/11 By Michael Muskal – latimes

      A conservative gay rights group on Friday condemned Rick Santorum for his comments during a GOP presidential debate, which they said showed disrespect to U.S. servicemen.

      In a statement, GOProud, which represents conservative gays, lesbians and transgender individuals, condemned Santorum’s comments and called on him to apologize to the Stephen Hill, the gay soldier who asked the candidates whether they would seek to circumvent the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Gays are now allowed to serve openly in the military because of the repeal.

      Hill’s question came during Thursday night’s debate sponsored by Fox News and Google. Some in the audience booed the soldier, a striking moment that the candidates ignored.

      [Updated 11:20 a.m: Speaking on Fox News on Friday, Santorum said he was unable to hear the boos from the podium.

      “I did not hear those boos,” Santorum said. “If I had, I would have said, ‘don’t do that, this man is serving our country.'”]

      Hill’s original question was addressed to Santorum, who has clashed with the gay community over rights issues before. A gay activist responded to Santorum’s rhetoric by linking “Santorum” to a sex term and making that usage the top Google search result for his name — a problem for anyone, but especially a politician.

      “I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military,” Santorum said Thursday night. “And the fact that they’re making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to — and removing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military’s job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country.”

      “What we’re doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now,” he said later. “And that’s tragic.”

      GOProud on Friday attacked Santorum and noted that the former Pennsylvania senator had never served in the military.

      For the entire article: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-rick-santorum-dadt-debate20110923,0,4722182.story?track=rss

    • Romney, Bachmann, And Santorum Sign Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge

      8/4/2011 rttnews

      Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum have all signed a pledge to oppose same-sex marriage if elected President, the National Organization for Marriage announced on Thursday.

      NOM’s marriage pledge includes promises to support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman, appoint federal judges that reject a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, and defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

      The pledge also calls for the establishment of a presidential commission to investigate the harassment of traditional marriage supporters.

      Brian Brown, president of NOM said, “Many candidates say they support traditional marriage (like President Obama!) but three GOP presidential candidates today stand head and shoulders above the crowd as marriage champions, for their willingness to go beyond words to commit to concrete actions.”

      “We are grateful to Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum for their courage and their leadership in standing up for marriage, and so are millions of Americans who care about protecting marriage,” he added.

      The NOM pledge is seen as narrower than a pledge from conservative group Family Leader, which generated controversy for its suggestion that African-American children had a better family life under slavery and included statements about pornography and divorce.

      For the entire article: http://www.rttnews.com/Content/PoliticalNews.aspx?Id=1684095

    • Gingrich signs anti-gay marriage pledge, says homosexuality a choice

      12/15/11 By Justin Sink – TheHill

      Newt Gingrich signed on to an anti-gay marriage pledge while campaigning Thursday in Iowa and said that people choose to be gay in the same way that others choose to be celibate.

      The topic of homosexuality was first broached during an interview with The Des Moines Register editorial board in the morning. Asked if he thought that people chose to be gay, Gingrich said that he thought it was “a combination of genetics and environment.”

      “I think people have a significant range of choice within a genetic pattern. I don’t believe in genetic determinism, and I don’t think there is any great evidence of genetic determinism,” Gingrich added. “There are propensities. Are you more likely to do this or more likely to do that? But that doesn’t mean it’s definitional.”

      Gingrich was then again asked if an individual could choose to be straight.

      “Look, people choose to be celibate,” Gingrich said. “People choose many things in life. You know, there is a bias in favor of non-celibacy. It’s part of how the species recreates. And yet there is a substantial amount of people who choose celibacy as a religious vocation or for other reasons.”

      Later in the interview, Gingrich said that he would reinstate the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” program if he became president.

      For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-presidential-primary/199785-gingrich-signs-anti-gay-marriage-pledge-says-homosexuality-a-choice

    • Obama endorses same-sex marriage

      5/9/12 2:57 PM EDT POLITICO44

      President Obama endorses same-sex marriage in an interview with ABC News:

      “I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,”

      • Obama declaration “icing on the cake” of gay rights legacy – The Rachel Maddow Show (May 9th,

        Published on May 10, 2012 by Panzerfaust04

        Rachel Maddow emphasizes that policy is more important than personal views by politicians on gay rights and lists President Obama’s achievements in helping to secure rights for gay Americans. Past presidents have asserted their personal friendship or sympathy for gay people while hurting them with bad policy and associating themselves with anti-gay hatemongers. From the May 9th, 2012 edition of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

      • A fundraising boost from same-sex marriage

        May 14, 2012 by Nancy Marshall-Genzer – Marketplace

        TRANSCRIPT
        Kai Ryssdal: President Obama was in New York City today. He did the commencement address at Barnard College. He taped an appearance with the ladies of “The View”on ABC, and tonight he’s at a fundraiser hosted by singer Ricky Martin, co-sponsored by the LGBT Leadership Council, that’s a pro-gay rights group. The big donor gathering is another chance for the president to talk about his announcement last week that he personally suports gay marriage and in the process reap the campaign finance rewards.

        Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.

        Nancy Marshall Genzer: Tonight’s event was President Obama’s first fundraiser with gay and lesbian donors since his announcement on same-sex marriage. Turns out some of the president’s biggest fundraisers, or bundlers, are gay. They’re now fired up. And will approach the president’s major donors with new energy, according to Paul Light, a campaign finance expert who teaches public service at NYU.

        Paul Light: That does open some wallets and makes the bundlers happier and it’s going to be easier to hit on the big givers.

        The Obama campaign isn’t releasing official figures on how much it’s raised since the president’s announcement on gay marriage. But there are anecdotal signs of an uptick.

        Robert Zimmerman is an Obama bundler in New York. He says newly enthusiastic gay donors jammed his phone lines after Obama’s announcement until one in the morning.

        Robert Zimmerman: They were out there, not just writing their own checks, they were stepping up to call their friends and were looking to go to a swing state to knock on doors.

        Obama fundraisers hosted by the gay community are becoming sellouts. One scheduled for next month in Beverly Hills might be moved necause now, there isn’t enough space.

        For more: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/elections/real-economy/fundraising-boost-same-sex-marriage

      • Supreme Court indicates it may strike down marriage law

        3/27/13 By Lawrence Hurley and David Ingram | Reuters – 1 hr 4 mins ago

        WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Several Supreme Court justices on Wednesday indicated interest in striking down a law that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, presenting the possibility of a major change in a few months in gay marriage law.

        Justice Anthony Kennedy, a potential swing vote, warned of the “risks” that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) infringes upon the traditional role of the states in defining marriage.

        The 1996 U.S. law denies married same-sex couples access to federal benefits by defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Kennedy referred to DOMA as “inconsistent” because it purports to give authority to the states to define marriage while limiting recognition of those determinations.

        The court is expected to issue a ruling by the end of June.
        On the liberal side of the bench, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan echoed some of Kennedy’s concerns about the states’ rights issue.

        “What gives the federal government the right to be concerned at all about the definition of marriage?” Sotomayor said.

        Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also raised concerns about the law, stressing how important federal recognition is to any person who is legally married.

        “It affects every area of life,” she said.

        Comparing marriage status with types of milk, Ginsburg said that a gay marriage endorsed by a state, but not recognized by the federal government, could be viewed as the equivalent of “skim milk.”

        The law is the focus of a second day of oral arguments before the high court as it tackles the gay marriage issue.

        It is possible the court would not reach the wider issue in the DOMA case because of preliminary legal matters relating to whether the court can hear it.

        For more: http://news.yahoo.com/supreme-court-next-gay-marriage-case-eyes-federal-050121766.html

      • High court strikes down federal marriage provision

        6/26/13 By MARK SHERMAN | Associated Press

        WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

        The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4.

        Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

        Same-sex marriage has been adopted by 12 states and the District of Columbia. Another 18,000 couples were married in California during a brief period when same-sex unions were legal there.
        The court has yet to release its decision on California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

        “Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways,” Kennedy said.

        “DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal,” he said.

        He was joined by the court’s four liberal justices.

        Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

        Scalia read his dissent aloud. Scalia said the court should not have decided the case.

        But, given that it did, he said, “we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation.”

        • August 29, 2013

          HHS Press Office

          HHS announces first guidance implementing Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act

          Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a memo clarifying that all beneficiaries in private Medicare plans have access to equal coverage when it comes to care in a nursing home where their spouse lives. This is the first guidance issued by HHS in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, which held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

          “HHS is working swiftly to implement the Supreme Court’s decision and maximize federal recognition of same-sex spouses in HHS programs,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Today’s announcement is the first of many steps that we will be taking over the coming months to clarify the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision and to ensure that gay and lesbian married couples are treated equally under the law.”

          “Today, Medicare is ensuring that all beneficiaries will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “Prior to this, a beneficiary in a same-sex marriage enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan did not have equal access to such coverage and, as a result, could have faced time away from his or her spouse or higher costs because of the way that marriage was defined for this purpose.”

          For more: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2013pres/08/20130829a.html

      • The Supreme Court struck down DOMA. Here’s what you need to know

        6/26/13 By Dylan Matthews, washingtonpost

        (Excerpts)

        What does this mean for gay couples?

        It depends on what area you’re talking about. “What section 3 of DOMA does is that it performs a find and replace of every instance of ‘spouse’ or ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ appears and changes it so that it’s “opposite sex husband” or ‘opposite sex wife’,” says Rita Lin, a partner at Morrison and Foerster in San Francisco who argued Golinski v. United States Office of Personnel Management, another DOMA case. “The effect is going to vary based on which of the thousand-plus statutes or regulations are affected.”

        There are some clear-cut cases. It seems pretty clear that legally married same-sex couples where one member is employed by the federal government are entitled to spousal benefits, just the same as any other married couple. For other legally married couples who don’t live in states where same-sex marriage is recognized, there’s some question as to whether the “state of celebration” or “state of residence” matters.

        Usually, the former is the standard used, meaning a marriage is valid if it’s valid in the state it was celebrated. That would mean most legally married same-sex couples, regardless of where they got married, are entitled to spousal benefits.

        Other areas, like tax law, may require additional rule-making before same-sex couples are treated equally. “Some operate just based on policy, without getting into a regulation or statute, so those can be modified very quickly,” Tara Borelli, an attorney at Lambda Legal who was also a counsel in Golinski. ”Others require rule-making.” And others require statutory changes. Borelli notes that Social Security will probably have to be changed by Congress for same-sex couples to be treated equally.

        This does open the door for bi-national same-sex couples to be treated equally under the law. That means that comprehensive immigration reform probably need not include a provision specifically tailored to making sure bi-national partners of same-sex couples can get visas automatically, the same as opposite-sex partners. As Paul Smith, a partner at Jenner & Block and arguably the leading gay rights litigator in the country (he won Lawrence v. Texas, overturning state bans on gay sex), told me, “My understanding is that the elimination of DOMA would by itself mean that all bi-national married couples would have the same rights, whether same sex or not.”

        For the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/26/the-supreme-court-struck-down-doma-heres-what-you-need-to-know/

      • June 26, 2013

        Statement by the President on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act

        I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act. This was discrimination enshrined in law. It treated loving, committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it. We are a people who declared that we are all created equal – and the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

        This ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents’ marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.

        So we welcome today’s decision, and I’ve directed the Attorney General to work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.

        On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital. How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision – which applies only to civil marriages – changes that.

        The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts: when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.

      • Department of Justice
        Office of Public Affairs

        Wednesday, June 26, 2013 justice.gov

        Statement of Attorney General Eric Holder on the Supreme Court Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act
        Attorney General Eric Holder today issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act.

        “Today’s historic decision in the case of United States v. Windsor, declaring Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, is an enormous triumph for equal protection under the law for all Americans. The Court’s ruling gives real meaning to the Constitution’s promise of equal protection to all members of our society, regardless of sexual orientation. This decision impacts a broad array of federal laws. At the President’s direction, the Department of Justice will work expeditiously with other Executive Branch agencies to implement the Court’s decision. Despite this momentous victory, our nation’s journey – towards equality, opportunity, and justice for everyone in this country – is far from over. Important, life-changing work remains before us. And, as we move forward in a manner consistent with the Court’s ruling, the Department of Justice is committed to continuing this work, and using every tool and legal authority available to us to combat discrimination and to safeguard the rights of all Americans.”

      • Social Security starts accepting same-sex marriage claims

        7/12/13 03:49 PM ET By Erik Wasson – TheHill

        The Social Security Administration announced Friday that it would begin accepting benefit claims related to same-sex marriage.
        The Supreme Court in June found the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional. It ruled that the federal government couldn’t treat same-sex marriages approved by some states any differently than heterosexual marriages.

        The ruling affects more than 1,000 federal regulations on everything from tax breaks to entitlement benefits.

        Prior to the ruling, an individual in a same-sex marriage was unable to claim survivor benefits from Social Security when a spouse died, and a couple was unable to claim a 50-percent Social Security marriage bonus to their retirement benefits.

        “The President has directed the Attorney General to work with other members of his Cabinet to review the recent Supreme Court decision and determine its impact on Federal benefit programs – including benefits administered by Social Security – to ensure that we implement the decision swiftly and smoothly,” Social Security Administration spokesman Mark Hinkle said.

        He said the agency was working with the Justice Department to revise its regulations.

        “We are taking claims now from individuals who believe they may be eligible for Social Security benefits. We will process these claims as soon as we have finalized our instructions,” Hinkle said.

        Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/310743-social-security-starts-accepting-same-sex-marriage-claims-

      • Gay Marriage Activists Turn Focus On States That Ban It

        July 29, 2013 4:47 PM by TOVIA SMITH – NPR

        Summary: A federal judge ruled last week that Ohio, which bans gay marriage, must recognize the marriage of two men wed this month in Maryland. The ruling is seen as likely to unleash more lawsuits challenging states that don’t allow same-sex unions to recognize marriages legalized in other states.

        For the entire audio interview: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=206728483

      • Announcement on Visa Changes for Same-Sex Couples

        John Kerry
        Secretary of State
        U.S. Embassy London
        London, United Kingdom

        August 2, 2013

        (Excerpt)

        “I’m very pleased to be able to announce that effective immediately, when same-sex spouses apply for a visa, the Department of State will consider that application in the same manner that it will consider the application of opposite-sex spouses. And here is exactly what this rule means: If you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. If you are the spouse of a non-citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. And if you are in a country that doesn’t recognize your same-sex marriage, then your visa application will still be treated equally at every single one of our 222 visa processing centers around the world.

        Now, as long as a marriage has been performed in a jurisdiction that recognizes it so that it is legal, then that marriage is valid under U.S. immigration laws, and every married couple will be treated exactly the same, and that is what we believe is appropriate. Starting next year, that will include same-sex couples from England and Wales, which just this year passed laws permitting same-sex marriage that will take effect in 2014.

        And as you know, more than two years ago, President Obama instructed our Department of Justice to stop enforcing DOMA. Then just a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court of the United States declared DOMA unconstitutional. Today, the State Department, which has always been at the forefront of equality in the federal government, I’m proud to say, is tearing down an unjust and an unfair barrier that for too long stood in the way of same-sex families being able to travel as a family to the United States.”

        For the entire transcript: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2013/08/212643.htm

      • DOD Announces Same-Sex Spouse Benefits

        Aug. 14, 2013 American Forces Press Service

        WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Defense announced its plan to extend benefits to same-sex spouses of uniformed service members and Department of Defense civilian employees, according to a DOD news release issued today.

        After a review of the department’s benefit policies following the Supreme Court’s ruling that Section Three of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and in consultation with the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies, the Defense Department will make spousal and family benefits available no later than Sept. 3, 2013, regardless of sexual orientation, as long as service member-sponsors provide a valid marriage certificate.

        The DOD remains committed to ensuring that all men and women who serve in the U.S. military, and their families, are treated fairly and equally as the law directs.

        Entitlements such as TRICARE enrollment, basic allowance for housing and family separation allowance are retroactive to the date of the Supreme Court’s decision. Any claims to entitlements before that date will not be granted. For those members married after June 26, 2013, entitlements begin at the date of marriage.

        The DOD recognizes that same-sex military couples who are not stationed in a jurisdiction that permits same-sex marriage would have to travel to another jurisdiction to marry. That is why the department will implement policies to allow military personnel in such a relationship non-chargeable leave for the purpose of travelling to a jurisdiction where such a marriage may occur. This will provide accelerated access to the full range of benefits offered to married military couples throughout the department, and help level the playing field between opposite-sex and same-sex couples seeking to be married.

        For civilian benefits administered government-wide to federal employees, the DOD will follow the Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Labor’s guidance to ensure that the same benefits currently available to heterosexual spouses are also available to legally married same-sex spouses.

    • President Obama Celebrates Pride Month

      Published on Jun 1, 2012 by whitehouse

      The President highlights the unsung heroes of the LGBT community.

    • Obama administration urges U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA

      ‘Gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country’

      February 22, 2013 lgbtqnation Staff Reports

      The Obama administration on Friday filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing why it considers the federal Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional.

      Filed in United States v. Windsor, a case challenging Section 3 of DOMA, the administration said “gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country,” and argued that laws targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation should face additional scrutiny by courts reviewing them.

      In the brief, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli asked the court to uphold a federal appeals court ruling that found DOMA to be unconstitutional:

      Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional.

      This case deals with Edith Windsor, who was forced to pay $363,000 in estate taxes in 2009 upon the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer. The two had lived as a couple for 44 years and married in Canada in 2007. Because her decades-long partner was a woman, the federal government did not recognize the same-sex marriage in legal terms, even though their home state of New York did.

      Section 3 of DOMA, which bars legally married same-sex couples from any federal benefits or programs based on marriage, has been found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits, estate taxes, and immigration.

      The brief also mentions Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, and similar measures in other states as evidence of continued discrimination against gays and lesbians.

      For more: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/02/obama-administration-urges-u-s-surpeme-court-to-strike-down-doma/

    • DOGMA

      It isn’t gay marriage that should trouble the Supreme Court, says Kevin Fisher-Paulson. It’s straight marriage.

      3/25/13 By Kevin Fisher-Paulson – KQED

      As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the legality of my marriage, I came to the conclusion that they should be ruling on their own matrimony. The real threat to this sacred institution is opposite sex marriage.

      As religious leaders will tell you, the purpose of a marriage is to stay together forever and to raise children.

      So let’s look at the forever part. Opposite sex couples divorce almost one out of every two marriages: 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce, 67 percent of second marriages end in divorce and a whopping 74 percent of third marriage end in divorce. In other words, the more that a straight person marries, the more likely he or she is to divorce.

      Gays haven’t had much time to get married, let alone divorced, but currently straights are divorcing at twice the rate of gays. It’s that whole people from Venus business really do understand each other better than the people from Mars.

      And we all know that the purpose of marriage is to have children, right? Again, opposite sex couples are ruining this holy precept. In 1976, census data indicated that 10% of opposite sex marriages were childless, and by 2003, that number had almost doubled to 19%. On the other hand, now that gays and lesbians have the ability to parent in many but not all states, the percentage of same sex couples with children has tripled from a mere 8% in 2000 to one out of four gay couples now with children. And perhaps even more important, not one of us gay couples is having a child by accident. Like Chief Justice Roberts, many of us adopt. Our family is truly a family of choice.

      Ironically, while opposite sex couples are casually doing driveby weddings in Vegas, we gays are treating marriage with tradition, and I daresay, reverence. Maybe it’s because we have to fight so hard for it.

      For the entire article and audio in statement: http://www.kqed.org/a/perspectives/R201303250735

    • Delaware To Become 11th State With Gay Marriage

      MAY 7, 2013, 5:35 PM 833 RANDALL CHASE,ASSOCIATED PRESS

      DOVER, Del. (AP) — A divided Delaware state Senate voted Tuesday to make their state the 11th in the nation to allow same-sex marriage, after hearing hours of passionate testimony from supporters and opponents.

      The Senate’s 12-9 vote sends the bill to Democratic Gov. Jack Markell, who supports the measure and planned to sign it later in the day. It would go into effect July 1.

      “I think this is the right thing for Delaware,” the governor said after the vote, while posing for pictures with supporters outside his legislative office. “It took an incredible team effort.”

      Gay rights activists and their supporters in the chamber erupted in cheers and applause following the Senate vote.

      Delaware’s same-sex marriage bill was introduced in the Democrat-controlled legislature last month, barely a year after the state began recognizing same-sex civil unions. The bill won passage two weeks ago in the state House on a 23-18 vote.

      For more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/delaware-to-become-11th-state-with-gay-marriage.php

    • High court strikes down federal marriage provision

      6/26/13 By MARK SHERMAN | Associated Press

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

      The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4.

      Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

      Same-sex marriage has been adopted by 12 states and the District of Columbia. Another 18,000 couples were married in California during a brief period when same-sex unions were legal there.
      The court has yet to release its decision on California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

      “Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways,” Kennedy said.

      “DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal,” he said.

      He was joined by the court’s four liberal justices.

      Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

      Scalia read his dissent aloud. Scalia said the court should not have decided the case.

      But, given that it did, he said, “we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation.”

      • Social Security starts accepting same-sex marriage claims

        7/12/13 03:49 PM ET By Erik Wasson – TheHill

        The Social Security Administration announced Friday that it would begin accepting benefit claims related to same-sex marriage.
        The Supreme Court in June found the heart of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional. It ruled that the federal government couldn’t treat same-sex marriages approved by some states any differently than heterosexual marriages.

        The ruling affects more than 1,000 federal regulations on everything from tax breaks to entitlement benefits.

        Prior to the ruling, an individual in a same-sex marriage was unable to claim survivor benefits from Social Security when a spouse died, and a couple was unable to claim a 50-percent Social Security marriage bonus to their retirement benefits.

        “The President has directed the Attorney General to work with other members of his Cabinet to review the recent Supreme Court decision and determine its impact on Federal benefit programs – including benefits administered by Social Security – to ensure that we implement the decision swiftly and smoothly,” Social Security Administration spokesman Mark Hinkle said.

        He said the agency was working with the Justice Department to revise its regulations.

        “We are taking claims now from individuals who believe they may be eligible for Social Security benefits. We will process these claims as soon as we have finalized our instructions,” Hinkle said.

        Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/310743-social-security-starts-accepting-same-sex-marriage-claims-

      • August 29, 2013

        HHS Press Office

        HHS announces first guidance implementing Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act

        Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a memo clarifying that all beneficiaries in private Medicare plans have access to equal coverage when it comes to care in a nursing home where their spouse lives. This is the first guidance issued by HHS in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, which held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

        “HHS is working swiftly to implement the Supreme Court’s decision and maximize federal recognition of same-sex spouses in HHS programs,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Today’s announcement is the first of many steps that we will be taking over the coming months to clarify the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision and to ensure that gay and lesbian married couples are treated equally under the law.”

        “Today, Medicare is ensuring that all beneficiaries will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “Prior to this, a beneficiary in a same-sex marriage enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan did not have equal access to such coverage and, as a result, could have faced time away from his or her spouse or higher costs because of the way that marriage was defined for this purpose.”

        For more: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2013pres/08/20130829a.html

      • SENATE PASSES GAY MARRIAGE BILL; SENDS IT TO GOVERNOR

        10:02 a.m. HST, Nov 12, 2013 By Star-Advertiser staff

        The state Senate, as expected, overwhelmingly approved a marriage equity bill today, sending the measure to Gov. Neil Abercrombie who has vowed to sign it and make Hawaii the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

        Today’s 19-4 vote, while historic, was a somewhat anti-climatic end to the 16-day legislative special session that included more than 55 hours of public testimony, followed by two day-long sessions in the House where lawmakers approved the bill late Friday night in a 30-19 vote.

        “I look forward to signing this significant piece of legislation, which provides marriage equity and fully recognizes and protects religious freedoms,” Abercrombie said in a statement after the Senate vote.

        For more: http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/20131112_State_Senate_meets_for_final_vote_on_samesex_marriage_bill.html

      • November 12, 2013

        Statement by the President on Marriage Equality in Hawaii

        I want to congratulate the Hawaii State Legislature on passing legislation in support of marriage equality. With today’s vote, Hawaii joins a growing number of states that recognize that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be treated fairly and equally under the law. Whenever freedom and equality are affirmed, our country becomes stronger. By giving loving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry if they choose, Hawaii exemplifies the values we hold dear as a nation. I’ve always been proud to have been born in Hawaii, and today’s vote makes me even prouder. And Michelle and I extend our best wishes to all those in Hawaii whose families will now be given the security and respect they deserve.

    • String of legal wins bolsters same-sex marriage

      5/26/14 By MARK SHERMAN and NICHOLAS RICCARDI – Associated Press

      WASHINGTON (AP) — One after another and in sometimes evocative language, judges appointed by Republican and Democratic presidents are declaring it’s too late to turn back on the topic of same-sex marriage.

      The unbroken string of state and federal court rulings in support of gay and lesbian unions takes in every region of the country, including states of the Confederacy, and brings to 26 states where same-sex couples can get married or a judge has ruled they ought to be allowed.

      It also may have pushed gay marriage to a legal tipping point, where the cause has won such wide-ranging approval that it will be hard for the Supreme Court to rule against it. The court rulings and the measured response of even elected officials who oppose same-sex marriage may be especially important for justices who have worried about acting too quickly to impose same-sex marriage nationwide.

      The latest ruling, in Pennsylvania, was followed quickly by word from Republican Gov. Tom Corbett that he would not appeal and instead let the decision take effect. Corbett, who opposes gay and lesbian marriage, is facing a tough campaign for re-election this year.

      “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history,” U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III wrote last week about the Pennsylvania marriage law.

      Gay marriage opponents say they expect more of a mixed record in the courts by the time the Supreme Court gets involved, and they take issue with the notion that U.S. public opinion has shifted as dramatically as many polls show.

      All the rulings came after the Supreme Court decision last June that struck down part of a federal anti-gay marriage law but did not apply to bans that were then in place in roughly three dozen states. Judges, though, have had no trouble extending the high court’s ruling in U.S. v. Windsor to prohibit states from discriminating against same-sex couples who want to wed.

      “Judges can read the tea leaves,” UCLA law professor Adam Winkler said. “They know where the Supreme Court is going. They know where society is going. Do they want their grandkids knowing they wrote an opinion stopping gay marriage?”

      In some respects, the series of rulings is just the latest manifestation of the extraordinary change in attitudes about same-sex marriage.

      In 1972, it took the Supreme Court one sentence to dispose of an appeal asserting a same-sex couple’s constitutional right to marry. In 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Court declared the state’s marriage ban unconstitutional. When President Barack Obama decided that his administration no longer would enforce the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2011, there were five states that allowed same-sex couples to wed. By late June, the number had jumped to 13, after the high court paved the way for gay and lesbian couples in California to get married.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/string-legal-wins-bolsters-same-sex-marriage-151058964.html

    • Gay marriage: High court sets stage for historic ruling

      1/16/15 Mark Sherman – AP

      WASHINGTON (AP) — Setting the stage for a potentially historic ruling, the Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.

      The justices will take up gay-rights cases that ask them to declare for the entire nation that people can marry the partners of their choice, regardless of gender. The cases will be argued in April, and a decision is expected by late June.

      Proponents of same-sex marriage said they expect the court to settle the matter once and for all with a decision that invalidates state provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman. On the other side, advocates for traditional marriage want the court to let the political process play out, rather than have judges order states to allow same-sex couples to marry.

      Same-sex couples can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/justices-must-act-fast-gay-marriage-settled-june-083801891.html

    • Release No: NR-272-15

      July 13, 2015 dod.gov

      Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on DOD Transgender Policy

      Over the last fourteen years of conflict, the Department of Defense has proven itself to be a learning organization. This is true in war, where we have adapted to counterinsurgency, unmanned systems, and new battlefield requirements such as MRAPs. It is also true with respect to institutional activities, where we have learned from how we repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” from our efforts to eliminate sexual assault in the military, and from our work to open up ground combat positions to women. Throughout this time, transgender men and women in uniform have been there with us, even as they often had to serve in silence alongside their fellow comrades in arms.

      The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions. At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they’re able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite. Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines – real, patriotic Americans – who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of service and individual merit.

      Today, I am issuing two directives to deal with this matter. First, DoD will create a working group to study over the next six months the policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly. Led by (Acting) Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson, and composed of military and civilian personnel representing all the military services and the Joint Staff, this working group will report to Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work. At my direction, the working group will start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified. Second, I am directing that decision authority in all administrative discharges for those diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify themselves as transgender be elevated to Under Secretary Carson, who will make determinations on all potential separations.

      As I’ve said before, we must ensure that everyone who’s able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so, and we must treat all our people with the dignity and respect they deserve. Going forward, the Department of Defense must and will continue to improve how we do both. Our military’s future strength depends on it.

  3. Obama wedding photo

    Happy 19th Wedding Anniversary to the First Couple, the Obamas!

    Married on October 3, 1992

    • Barack and Michelle Obama Marriage Profile

      By Sheri & Bob Stritof, About.com Guides

      What You Can Learn From the Marriage of Michelle and Barack Obama:

      Barack and Michelle understand the importance of putting a priority on their time together. Even with both of their busy schedules, Barack and Michelle make time for one another.

      In an ABC interview, Michelle said that “Barack didn’t pledge riches, only a life that would be interesting. On that promise he’s delivered.” She also said as part of the division of labor in their house, Barack did the grocery shopping.

      01/20/09: Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States.

      11/04/08: “Barack Obama, a first-term US senator from Illinois who campaigned on a message of hope and change, was elected the country’s first African-American president tonight.”
Source: Michael Kranish, Scott Helman. “Obama wins historic election.” Boston.com. 11/04/08.

      Election Night PDA

      Born:
      Barack “Barry” Hussein Obama, Jr.: August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His name Barack means “one who is blessed” in Swahili. He was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia.
      Michelle LaVaughn Robinson: January 17, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois.

      How Barack and Michelle Met:

      In 1989, Michelle was working at a downtown law firm and assigned the role of advisor to a summer associate from Harvard, Barack Obama. He reportedly didn’t have much interest in corporate law, but did have a lot of interest in Michelle.

      She said “she fell in love with him for the same reason many other people respect him; his connection with people.” 
Source: Journal Gazette/Times-Courier Online

      After refusing to go out with Barack for a month, Michelle agreed to spend the day with him. They went to the art institute, had lunch at an outdoor cafe, walked and talked, saw the movie Do the Right Thing, and had a drink on the 99th floor of the John Hancock building.

      In a CNN interview with Suzanne Malveau, Michelle said “We clicked right away … by the end of that date it was over … I was sold.”

      Obama: “I think it’s fair to say that had I not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle might not have dated me. We might not have married. The fact that we agreed on Stevie was part of the essence of our courtship.”
Source: Mark Dagostino. “The Obamas’ Secret to Love? Stevie Wonder.” People.com. 2/26/09.

      For the entire article: http://marriage.about.com/od/celebritymarriages/p/barackobama.htm

    • The President And First Lady Celebrate 19th Wedding Anniversary At Restaurant Eve

      10/1/11 obamafoodorama.blogspot

      President Obama zipped back to the White House on Saturday night to retrieve First Lady Obama after giving the keynote speech at the Human Rights Campaign annual national dinner in Washington. The First Couple mark their 19th wedding anniversary on Monday, Oct. 3, and Mr. Obama escorted his beloved to the upscale Restaurant Eve for an early celebration. They arrived at the fine dining establishment, located about seven miles from the White House across the Potomac River in Alexandria, VA, shortly before 8:30 PM.

      Cathal Armstrong, a transplanted Dublin native who is a leader in the local movement for organic and sustainable sourcing, is executive chef, and he cooked the Presidential meal, according to the restaurant. Armstrong is founder of Chefs as Parents, and works on school nutrition initiatives. He was among the small cabal of culinary professionals who helped advise Mrs. Obama and her Let’s Move! team during the creation of the Chefs Move to Schools initiative in 2010.

      For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2011/10/president-and-first-lady-celebrate-19th.html

  4. Health care law looms over new Supreme Court term
    Obama’s health care law is elephant in the courtroom as Supreme Court starts new term Monday

    October 1, 2011 Mark Sherman, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The nine justices of the Supreme Court, who serve without seeking election, soon will have to decide whether to insert themselves into the center of the presidential campaign next year.

    The high court begins its new term Monday, and President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, which affects almost everyone in the country, is squarely in its sights.

    The Obama administration’s request last week that the justices resolve whether the health care law is constitutional makes it more likely than not that they will deliver their verdict by June 2012, just as Obama and his Republican opponent charge toward the fall campaign.

    Already, GOP presidential contenders use virtually every debate and speech to assail Obama’s major domestic accomplishment, which aims to extend health insurance to more than 30 million people now without coverage.

    If as now expected the justices agree to review the law’s constitutionality, those deliberations would certainly define the court’s coming term. Their decision could rank as the court’s most significant since the December 2000 ruling that effectively sealed George W. Bush’s election as president.

    Health care is only one of several issues that the court could hear that would make for a “fantastic Supreme Court term,” said former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, now in private practice at the Hogan Lovells law firm.

    For the entire article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Health-care-law-looms-over-apf-389471011.html?x=0&.v=2

  5. Take Back the American Dream Conference

    The “American Dream” of a vibrant middle class is under siege. But there is a real middle-class uprising sweeping the nation to save it and renew it.

    The Campaign for America’s Future is teaming up with Van Jones’ “Rebuild The Dream” organization to add fuel to the grassroots fire that has already been lit—in Madison, Wisconsin and town halls all over the country. We want to channel that grassroots energy into an unstoppable force.

    Our annual conference of the progressive movement has a new name—and a new focus on strengthening the fast-growing American Dream Movement.

    Rising leaders like Van will share innovative movement-building strategies that have begun to shake up politics. Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus will join with the nation’s best community organizers to map out a cross-country drive for economic revival. Student leaders will share how social media is essential to stifle the forces that oppose the Dream.

    There will be more arts to lift the spirit, more organizing to fight the battles raging outside of Washington, and more sessions organized by you.

    For the entire article: http://www.ourfuture.org/conference

    • This sounds good – fingers crossed – yet I’m just so worried it will be a “blame Obama” fest. Not from Van Jones, but who knows.

      I forced myself to watch Bill Maher because Van Jones was on this week. Van said that everybody forgot the President had said, “Yes We Can” – emphasis on the “We” – and added it was time for the rest of the country to get on board.

      Fingers crossed.

  6. Biden sees a top Russian official

    10/03/11 By MATT NEGRIN – POLITICO44

    Vice President Biden will meet with a top Russian official on Monday, just more than a week since President Dmitry Medvedev endorsed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for president in next year’s election.

    The White House says that Biden and Igor Shuvalov, Russia’s first deputy prime minister, will sit down together in the Roosevelt Room for a closed-press meeting at 1 p.m.

    Last week’s news from Moscow doesn’t appear to have been a top priority in the administration, which has often touted its “reset” policy with Russia. Two days after Medvedev said Putin should again be the president, White House press secretary Jay Carney said he hadn’t talked with Obama about the news “specifically,” only “generally.”

    “The progress that we’ve made, which has been well recognized, has come with the entire Russian leadership,” he told reporters on Air Force One. “That includes President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin.”

    Obama himself last mentioned Russia publicly on Friday, when he said at a farewell ceremony for Adm. Mike Mullen that the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff helped reboot American leadership globally. “We forged a new treaty with Russia to reduce our nuclear arsenals,” Obama said, referring to the Start pact.

    • October 03, 2011

      Readout of Vice President Biden’s Meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov of Russia

      Vice President Biden welcomed First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Igor Shuvalov to the White House today. The two discussed United States-Russian relations and Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization. They agreed on the importance of continuing to strengthen our bilateral relations in a way that promotes the security and prosperity of both countries. The Vice President affirmed U.S. support for Russia’s accession to the WTO and commended Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov on Russia’s significant progress in the accession process. In this regard, the Vice President encouraged the successful conclusion of ongoing talks between Russia and Georgia with respect to Russia’s WTO accession.

  7. What would you like to hear from President Obama?

    Today, we will present an exclusive live interview with the president, conducted by George Stephanopoulos of ABC News and presented on both Yahoo! News and ABCNews.com at 2:35 pm ET. Submit your questions. Yahoo! and ABC News will pick some of them to to ask the president live.

    Submit your questions here. Yahoo! and ABC News will pick several and put them to the president live.

    2 hours ago and4 days left to answer.

    To submit a question: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20111003024220AAavzyB

    • But…but….but…..Regan is the Republican idol.

      What I don’t understand is most of the Republicans that I know of were “wild” when they were young and now they have done a 180 and become ultra conservative; what is up with that?

  8. Manufacturing sector grows faster in September

    10/3/11 By Lucia Mutikani, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama | Reuters – 13 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Factory activity expanded at a faster pace than expected in September as production and hiring increased, the latest sign of resilience in manufacturing despite faltering economic growth.

    The Institute for Supply Management said on Monday its index of national factory activity rose to 51.6 last month from 50.6 in August.
    September marked the 26th straight month of expansion in a sector that has shouldered the broader economic recovery.

    Economists polled by Reuters had expected the index to edge down to 50.5. A reading above 50 indicates expansion manufacturing.

    A measure of factory employment rose to 53.8 last month from 51.8 in August, while production climbed to 51.2 from 48.6.
    (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

  9. September auto sales up, allaying fears of recession

    10/3/11 By Bernie Woodall and Ben Klayman | Reuters – 1 hr 1 min ago

    DETROIT (Reuters) – Major automakers posted double-digit percentage U.S. sales gains for September in a rebound that General Motors Co said showed the economy was likely to steer clear of a double-dip recession.

    Among the Detroit automakers, GM sales rose 20 percent, while Ford’s rose 9 percent and Chrysler Group was up 27 percent. Nissan Motor Co saw a sales gain of 25 percent and Volkswagen AG posted a sales increase of 36 percent.

    The initial sales reports put industrywide sales on track to near 13 million vehicles on an annualized basis, at the high end of the range of analysts’ forecasts.

    That would represent the strongest sales pace since April and an increase of roughly 10 percent from the sales rate of September 2010.

    Last month’s auto sales were bolstered by increased inventory levels for Japanese automakers that had been depleted through the summer, by steady gasoline prices and a trickle back of demand from customers looking to replace aging vehicles, executives and analysts said.

    GM sales chief Don Johnson said the September auto sales and other recent economic data “all point to a slow growth scenario but not a double dip.”

    GM kept its forecast for industrywide auto sales unchanged and said it expected to see increasing sales in October through December.

    The top U.S. automaker forecasts overall U.S. vehicle sales of at least 13 million, including medium and heavy duty trucks. That would be up from the sales rate of 12.8 million on that basis in the year to date.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/chrysler-u-september-auto-sales-27-percent-140532281.html

  10. October 03, 2011

    Remarks by the President Before Cabinet Meeting

    Cabinet Room

    11:17 A.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. I am pulling my Cabinet together to talk about the one topic that’s on everybody’s minds, and that is how do we put America back to work.

    Each of the Secretaries and heads of agencies have been assigned to look at what we can do administratively to accelerate job growth over the next several months. And working with the Jobs Council that we’ve set up, working with the private sector, we have been looking for a wide range of ideas of administrative action we can take. A good example would be, for example, accelerating the payments to small businesses so that they’ve got better cash flow; trying to figure out ways that we can be working in the housing market without congressional action to provide some relief for homeowners.

    But, ultimately, we still have to have congressional action. It’s been several weeks now since I sent up the American Jobs Act. And as I’ve been saying on the road, I want it back. I’m ready to sign it. And so my expectation is, is that, now that we’re in the month of October, that we will schedule a vote before the end of this month. I’ll be talking to Senator Reid, McConnell, as well as Speaker Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, and insisting that we have a vote on this bill.

    We’ve been hearing from Republicans that there are some proposals that they’re interested in. That is not surprising, since the contents of the American Jobs Act includes proposals that, in the past, have been supported by Republicans and Democratic — Democrats alike. And if there are aspects of the bill that they don’t like, they should tell us what it is that they’re not willing to go for; they should tell us what it is that they’re prepared to see move forward.

    I have to tell you that I can’t imagine any American that I’ve been talking to that’s not interested in seeing construction workers back on the job rebuilding roads and bridges, schools, airports; putting teachers back in the classroom to make sure that our kids are getting the very best education; making sure our vets get help when they come home and that small businesses have further incentive to hire them.

    So I’m very much looking forward to seeing Congress debate this bill, pass it, get it to my desk, so we can start putting hundreds of thousands and millions of Americans back to work. And I will be continuing to put as much pressure as I can bring to bear on my administration and our agencies to do everything we can without Congress’s help. But, ultimately, they’ve got to do the right thing for the American people.

    All right? Thank you very much, everybody.

    Q Are you sending those trade agreements up, sir?

    THE PRESIDENT: We’ll have an announcement on that in the next day or so.

    END
    11:21 A.M. EDT

    • President Obama Meets with Cabinet to Discuss Job Creation

      Posted by Colleen Curtis on October 03, 2011

      President Obama today met with his Cabinet to talk about the most pressing issue facing the country right now: Putting America back to work. The President is waiting for Congress to take action on the American Jobs Act, which he introduced at a Joint Session in early September. But in the meantime, the President is committed to having the entire administration and all agencies to do everything possible that does not require Congress’s help, as he said before the meeting today:

      Each of the Secretaries and heads of agencies have been assigned to look at what we can do administratively to accelerate job growth over the next several months. And working with the Jobs Council that we’ve set up, working with the private sector, we have been looking for a wide range of ideas of administrative action we can take. A good example would be, for example, accelerating the payments to small businesses so that they’ve got better cash flow; trying to figure out ways that we can be working in the housing market without congressional action to provide some relief for homeowners.

    • At the White House with the Google Global Science Fair Winners

      From: whitehouse | Oct 7, 2011

      President Obama welcomes the winners of the first-ever Google Global Science Fair to the White House. Go behind-the-scenes with the three remarkable, young, American women that swept the awards and hear what the journey to success has been like. http://whitehouse.gov/stem

  11. News roundup: October 3, 2011

    October 03, 2011 Posted by Kevin Liao – democrats.org

    Mitt Romney may be exactly the type of millionaire that President Obama refers to when advocating the need for the “Buffett Rule.” TIME reports that a large chunk of Romney’s income comes in the form of long-term investments that allow him and other wealthy investors to pay a lower tax rate than middle-class Americans do.

    Romney entered politics from the corporate world promising to cut government interference with business. Instead, he implemented new corporate taxes as governor of Massachusetts. Only in the wake of a possible run for president did Romney cut back on some of his tax enforcement policies for fear of retribution from conservative groups.

    DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was in Iowa this weekend touting the President’s American Jobs Act, which would cut payroll taxes for small-business owners and provide new jobs for 1,700 construction workers in the state. Rep. Wasserman Schultz also criticized Republicans for opposing the jobs plan for their own political gain rather than focusing on the well-being of the U.S. economy.

    Republican attempts to pass laws establishing more stringent voting laws “could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012,” according to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law. Eligible poor voters, young voters, and African-American voters in particular may be discouraged or barred from voting under these regulations.

  12. 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

  13. October 03, 2011

    Statement from President Obama on the Submission of the Korea, Colombia, and Panama Trade Agreements

    “The series of trade agreements I am submitting to Congress today will make it easier for American companies to sell their products in South Korea, Colombia, and Panama and provide a major boost to our exports. These agreements will support tens of thousands of jobs across the country for workers making products stamped with three proud words: Made in America. We’ve worked hard to strengthen these agreements to get the best possible deal for American workers and businesses, and I call on Congress to pass them without delay, along with the bipartisan agreement on Trade Adjustment Assistance that will help workers whose jobs have been affected by global competition.”

    A fact sheet on the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement is available HERE.

    A fact sheet on the U.S.-Panama Trade Agreement is available HERE.

    A fact sheet on the U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement is available HERE.

    • Obama to send trade deals to Congress Monday: Senator Hatch

      10/3/11 By Doug Palmer | Reuters – 1 hr 11 mins ago

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will send three long-delayed trade deals to Congress later on Monday afternoon, a top Republican senator said.

      Senator Orrin Hatch, in a speech on the Senate floor, said he had been informed of the pending action by Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

  14. Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:15 AM
    The President departs the South Lawn en route Joint Base Andrews
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    9:30 AM
    The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route Dallas, TX
    Travel Pool Coverage

    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:20 PM
    The President arrives Dallas, TX
    Local Event Time: 11:20 CDT
    Dallas Love Field
    Open Press

    12:30 PM
    The Vice President delivers remarks on the American Jobs Act in Oakstead Elementary School in Land O’Lakes, Florida

    1:00 PM
    1:35 PM
    The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
    Local Event Time: 12:35 PM CDT
    Dallas, Sheraton Hotel, TX
    Pooled Press

    2:00 PM
    The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
    Local Event Time: 1:00 PM
    Sheraton Hotel
    Print Pool

    3:00 PM
    3:35 PM
    The President tours Children’s Laboratory School at Eastfield College
    Local Event Time: 2:35 PM CDT
    Eastfield College, Mesquite, Texas
    Pooled Press

    3:55 PM
    The President delivers remarks urging Congress to pass the American Jobs Act now
    Local Event Time: 2:55 PM CDT
    Eastfield College
    Open Press

    4:00 PM
    4:55 PM
    The President departs Dallas, Texas en route St. Louis, MO
    Local Event Time: 3:55 PM CDT
    Dallas Love Field
    Open Press

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    6:25 PM
    The President arrives St. Louis, MO
    Local Event Time: 5:25 PM CDT
    Open Press

    7:00 PM
    7:45 PM
    The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
    Local Event Time: 6:25 PM CDT
    MO, Renaissance Hotel, St. Louis
    Pooled Press

    8:00 PM
    8:35 PM
    The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
    Local Event Time: 7:35 PM CDT
    Private Residence
    Print Pool

    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM
    The President departs St. Louis, MO en route Joint Base Andrews
    Local Event Time: 9:00 PM
    St. Louis Lambert Field
    Open Press

    11:00 PM
    11:55 PM
    The President arrives Joint Base Andrews
    Travel Pool Coverage

  15. Senate votes 79-19 to move bill punishing China on currency

    10/03/11 06:26 PM ET By Josiah Ryan -TheHill

    The Senate voted Monday to advance legislation pressuring the Chinese government to stop undervaluing its currency, a practice most economists agree is giving the country an unfair trade advantage and is costing the U.S. jobs.

    The Senate voted 79-19 to end debate on a motion to proceed to the bill, the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011. While the vote does not mean the bill has passed, the strong show of support suggests it could well be approved in the upper chamber by the week’s end. Passage through the House is less clear, however, and GOP leaders have given no indication they will move forward with it.

    Senate Democratic leadership, responsible for bringing the legislation to the Senate floor, heralded it as a way to create jobs and right a long-standing trade imbalance with China.

    “China is by far the biggest exploiter of predatory currency practices,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday. “[T]hese currency policies artificially raise the price of U.S. exports and suppress the price of imports into the United States, undermining the economic health of American manufacturers and their ability to compete at home and around the globe.”
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) defended his decision to call up the bill after he was attacked by Republicans on his timing, arguing it is an important part of Democrats’ job-creating agenda.

    “That massive trade deficit is one reason for our unsustainable unemployment rate,” Reid said.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/185223-china-currency-bill-clears-hurdle

  16. What does GOP stand for?

    10/3/11 MJ Lee – POLITICO

    Barely half of Republicans know what “GOP” stands for, according to a new poll.

    Just 51 percent of party members in a Vanity Fair/CBS News Poll on Monday correctly said the acronym stood for “Grand Old Party.”

    Overall, 45 percent of Americans gave the right answer and only 38 percent of Democrats were on the mark.

    Among all voters, the next most popular answer was “Government of the People,” which 35 percent of those surveyed picked. Seven percent said GOP stood for “Grumpy Old People,” 3 percent said it was “God’s Own Party,” while 9 percent said they didn’t know what GOP meant.

    The poll also asked whether people trust journalists or politicians more — 76 percent of those surveyed said they trust journalists more, while just 6 percent said politicians were more trustworthy.

    And in a question about which characteristic is most important for a president to have, 40 percent said “intelligence” was most significant, followed by 35 percent of people who chose “character.” Just 2 percent picked “ruthlessness.”

    This poll was conducted via telephone interview among a sample of 1,165 adults.

  17. Bernanke to offer economic outlook to Joint Economic Committee Tuesday

    09/30/11 By Josiah Ryan -TheHill

    As hope for a swift economic recovery continues to wane, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke is set to testify before Congress on Tuesday on the nation’s economic outlook.

    Bernanke’s testimony follows a torrent of bad economic news and bleak forecasts for the near future. The Dow Jones average was on pace Friday to drop about 500 points in September, and the Fed last month promised to maintain “exceptionally low” interest rates through 2013 in anticipation of a rocky economic road ahead.

    In the meantime, Congress seems to be soundly rejecting the latest White House stimulus effort to create jobs and repair the economy.

    The tide also seems to be turning against the Fed, as several Republican presidential candidates are pledging to either audit or abolish the Federal Reserve. Bernanke for his part on Wednesday recognized that the nation’s unemployment is a “national crisis.”

    Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) will preside over the hearing titled “The Economic Outlook,” of which Bernanke is scheduled to be the only witness.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/184799-bernanke-to-offer-economic-outlook-to-house-committee-next-week

  18. President Obama to visit Mesquite community college

    Sep 29, 2011 wfaa

    MESQUITE – President Barack Obama will visit Eastfield College in Mesquite on Tuesday, Oct. 4, the Office of the Press Secretary announced Thursday.

    President Obama will deliver remarks urging Congress to pass the American Jobs Act now. He will also attend two private fundraisers while in town.

    More details will be released as they become available.

  19. Obama Coming to Orlando, Biden Visits Elementary School

    10/3/11 westorlandonews

    Vice President Joe Biden will visit Oakstead Elementary School in Land O’Lakes, Pasco County tomorrow, Tuesday, October 4.

    The Vice President will deliver remarks urging Congress to pass the American Jobs Act now to keep teachers in the classroom, rebuild schools in Florida and across the nation, and put more money in the pockets of working Americans, while not adding a dime to the deficit.

    Pasco County Public Schools eliminated 513 positions for the 2011-2012 school year, including 8 out of 83 teachers at Oakstead Elementary School.

    The Vice President will focus on the impact of teacher layoffs on the quality of education for middle class families, highlighting how budget cuts are impacting our children’s education and prospects for competing in the future.

    Meanwhile, the White House said last week that President Barack Obama will head to Orlando next Tuesday, October 11. A statement from the White House said that further details of the president’s visit will be released at a later time.

  20. Good Morning O supporters!!! Have been crazy busy at my job (retail is not what it used to be), anyway still grateful to be out of the house. Hope you all have a great day.

    CR this is the only place I get the most updated info. Thank you.

  21. Ford to add 5,750 new jobs, invest $4.8B in plants

    10/4/11 AP – 40 mins ago

    DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says it will add 5,750 jobs and invest $4.8 billion in its factories as part of a new contract deal with the United Auto Workers union.

    Company Vice President of Manufacturing John Fleming tells reporters that most of the new hires will be at an entry-level wage, which will cut the company’s labor costs.

    The four-year deal was reached early Tuesday after eight straight days of bargaining. Union leaders are expected to release further details of the contract later Tuesday. Union workers are likely to vote on it next week.

    Fleming would not give details about where the new jobs would go. He said the jobs are in addition to the 7,000 new positions that Ford announced earlier this year.

  22. Businesses ordered more long-lasting goods

    10/4/11 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER – AP Economics Writer | AP – 8 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses ordered more computers,communications equipment and other big-ticket items in August, a sign they aren’t cutting back spending plans despite weak economic growth.

    The Commerce Department says orders for capital goods, a measure of business investment plans, rose 0.9 percent in August, the second gain in three months.

    Overall factory orders fell 0.2 percent, after rising a downwardly revised 2.1 percent in July. Orders for autos and auto parts fell sharply, dragging down the overall total. But that comes after automotive orders jumped by the most in eight years in July. Automakers are returning to full production after output was interrupted by Japan’s March 11 earthquake.

  23. Highlights: Bernanke testifies on economic outlook

    10/4/11 Reuters – 25 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The following are highlights from a congressional Joint Economic Committee hearing on Tuesday with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifying on the economic outlook.

    BERNANKE ON FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC:
    “I think for the near term it would be difficult to create a full-fledged alternative to Fannie and Freddie who are currently now the basic source of securitization in the mortgage market. But to the extent that Congress is able to lay out a clear framework or path to a new housing finance system, I think that would create some certainty and maybe would allow some of the private sector securitization activities to resume. There are things that can be done.

    BERNANKE ON UNCERTAINTY CAUSED BY DEBT DEBATE:
    “Unfortunately the brinkmanship of the summer and the — at least the perception in the minds of some investors that the United States might actively consider defaulting on its debt — and moreover the possibility that it might be recurring periodically I think was a negative for the financial markets. It was the reason that the downgrade occurred, S&P cited the political process more than the amount of debt outstanding. It’s no way to run a railroad, if I may say so.”

    BERNANKE ON SIZE OF BANKS:
    “There are benefits to size. The 60 percent of GDP you mentioned is much smaller than many countries that have banks that are bigger than their GDP. The right response is to put extra cost, extra supervision on these firms that would give them an incentive to eliminate unnecessary size, to eliminate unnecessary activities, and to reduce their risk taking, and that’s what Dodd-Frank attempts to do.”

    BERNANKE ON UNDERVALUED CHINESE CURRENCY:
    “Right now our concern is that the Chinese currency policy is blocking what might be a more normal recovery process in the global economy. In particular we have now a two-speed recovery where advanced industrial economies like the United States and Europe are growing very, very slowly (and) where emerging-market economies are growing quite quickly. A more normal recovery, more balanced recovery would have some more demand being shifted away from emerging markets toward industrial economies. The Chinese currency policy is blocking that process so it is to some extent hurting the recovery process.”

    US ECONOMY CLOSE TO FALTERING
    “The economy is close, the recovery is close to faltering. We need to make sure that the recovery continues and doesn’t drop back and that the unemployment rate continues to fall downward. So I don’t have a precise number but I would just call it moderate support, not something that should be expected to change the picture but should be helpful both in keeping prices near the price stability level but also providing some support for growth.”

    IMPACT OF OPERATION TWIST ON LONG-TERM RATES
    “We would expect something on the order of 20 basis points, approximately. We see this as being roughly approximately equal to something like a 50 basis point cut in the federal funds rate. In that respect it’s a significant step but not a game changer in some respects.”

    “We think this is a meaningful but not an enormous support to the economy. I think it provides some provide some additional monetary accommodation, it should help somewhat on job creation and growth. It’s particularly important now the economy is close — the recovery is close — to faltering. We need to make sure that the recovery continues and doesn’t drop back and the unemployment rate continues to fall downward. I don’t have a precise number, but I would just put it as a moderate support, not something that’s expected to radically change the picture but should be helpful both in keeping prices near the price stability level but also provide some support for growth.”

    FROM BERNANKE’S PREPARED TEXT:
    BERNANKE ON FED READINESS
    “The Committee will continue to closely monitor economic developments and is prepared to take further action as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery in a context of price stability.”

    BERNANKE ON LIMITS TO MONETARY POLICY
    “Monetary policy can be a powerful tool, but it is not a panacea for the problems currently faced by the U.S. economy. Fostering healthy growth and job creation is a shared responsibility of all economic policymakers, in close cooperation with the private sector. Fiscal policy is of critical importance, as I have noted today, but a wide range of other policies — pertaining to labor markets, housing, trade, taxation, and regulation, for example — also have an important roles to play.”

    BERNANKE ON FISCAL CHALLENGES
    “One crucial objective is to achieve long-run fiscal sustainability. The federal budget is clearly not on a sustainable path at present. … A second important objective is to avoid fiscal actions that could impede the ongoing economic recovery. These first two objectives are certainly not incompatible, as putting in place a credible plan for reducing future deficits over the longer term does not preclude attending to the implications of fiscal choices for the recovery in the near term.

    BERNANKE ON THE RECOVERY:
    “It is clear that, overall, the recovery from the crisis has been much less robust than we had hoped. Recent revisions of government economic data show the recession as having been even deeper, and the recovery weaker, than previously estimated; indeed, by the second quarter of this year — the latest quarter for which official estimates are available — aggregate output in the United States still had not returned to the level that it had attained before the crisis. Slow economic growth has in turn led to slow rates of increase in jobs and household incomes.”

    BERNANKE ON FACTORS LIMITING GROWTH:
    “However, the incoming data suggest that other, more persistent factors also continue to restrain the pace of recovery. … Consumer behavior has both reflected and contributed to the slow pace of recovery. Households have been very cautious in their spending decisions, as declines in house prices and in the values of financial assets have reduced household wealth, and many families continue to struggle with high debt burdens or reduced access to credit. Probably the most significant factor depressing consumer confidence, however, has been the poor performance of the job market.”

    BERNANKE ON FINANCIAL STRESS:
    “We have also recently seen bouts of elevated volatility and risk aversion in financial markets, partly in reaction to fiscal concerns both here and abroad. Domestically, the controversy during the summer regarding the raising of the federal debt ceiling and the downgrade of the U.S. long-term credit rating by one of the major rating agencies contributed to the financial turbulence that occurred around that time. Outside the United States, concerns about sovereign debt in Greece and other euro-zone countries, as well as about the sovereign debt exposures of the European banking system, have been a significant source of stress in global financial markets.”

    BERNANKE ON INFLATION:
    “As the FOMC anticipated, however, inflation has begun to moderate as these transitory influences wane. In particular, the prices of oil and many other commodities have either leveled off or have come down from their highs, and the step-up in automobile production has started to reduce pressures on the prices of cars and light trucks. Importantly, the higher rate of inflation experienced so far this year does not appear to have become ingrained in the economy.”

    • Keeping Teachers like Mrs. Keene in the Classroom

      Posted by Maureen Tracey-Mooney on October 07, 2011

      Last year, Mrs. Keene’s 5th grade class at Oakstead Elementary in Land O’Lakes, Florida had 19 students in it. This year, she has a class of 25. As a result of state budget cuts, Oakstead lost 8 out of 83 teachers for the 2011-2012 school year, eliminating nearly 10% of the teaching staff at a school that serves over 1000 students.

      During his visit to Oakstead on Tuesday, Vice President Biden had the chance to visit Mrs. Keene’s class, as well as speak to a group of parents and teachers about how the American Jobs Act would help keep and put hundreds of thousands of teachers in the classroom.

      The 8 teaching positions lost at Oakstead were just a few of the 513 positions eliminated district-wide when Pasco County Public Schools had to close a $54 million budget shortfall this year. After years of budget cuts from the state and declining tax revenues – the district now receives $780 less per pupil in funding than it did in 2007 – and cutting all of the overhead it could, the District was forced to make cuts that impact the classroom. As a result, kids are in bigger class sizes – some over the state limit – and receive less arts, music and physical education.

      In his remarks, the Vice President described how smaller class sizes in the early years can increase the likelihood that kids attend and graduate from college as well as how access to arts and music education may help keep kids engaged in school and prevent them from dropping out.

      Unfortunately, kids across the country are seeing the kind of cuts that the Vice President saw at Oakstead. In the last 12 months we have lost nearly 200,000 education jobs. That’s why the American Jobs Act includes $30 billion to support 400,000 education jobs nationwide. These critical resources will help prevent lay-offs and allow districts like Pasco County to rehire teachers already laid off, as well as hire new teachers.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/10/07/keeping-teachers-mrs-keene-classroom

  24. September likely solid, not stellar, for U.S. chains

    10/4/11 By Jessica Wohl | Reuters – 23 mins ago

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – Shoppers hunting for back-to-school deals gave a nice boost to U.S. discount chains in September, though the rocky stock market and economic malaise may have curbed some people’s desire to spend more.

    September is a particularly important time for retailers focused on children’s and young adult apparel. Back-to-school shopping is the second-largest retail spending season behind the holiday period of November and December.

    Retailers were upbeat earlier in the year as shoppers were eager to spend again. Now, as stores fill their aisles with Christmas trees and other winter items, lingering fears about the economy have been exacerbated by the stock market’s worst quarter since the depths of the 2008 credit crisis.

    A tally issued by Thomson Reuters on Monday found that analysts expect the 24 retailers in its index — including Costco Wholesale Corp and Macy’s Inc — to report a 4.7 percent increase in September sales at stores open at least a year, a measure known as same-store sales.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/september-likely-solid-not-stellar-u-chains-155704918.html

  25. First Lady Michelle Obama Meets with Military Spouses

    Posted by Nikki Sutton on October 4, 2011

    Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama was in Cranston, Rhode Island to meet with military spouses at the Rhode Island Army National Guard Facility.

    The First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden have been traveling across the country to talk about how neighbors, communities, and the nation as whole can support our military families as part of the Joining Forces initiative. They have seen extraordinary examples of individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations stepping up to support our Nation’s military families.

    One way to support the families of our troops is to hear stories about their experiences directly from military families themselves. The roundtable conversation in Rhode Island was another opportunity for the First Lady to listen to military spouses and let them know about some of the work that is being done to give them the support they deserve such as the President’s challenge to the private sector to hire or train unemployed veterans and their spouses by the end of 2013.

  26. 1:35 PM EDT
    The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
    Local Event Time: 12:35 PM CDT
    Dallas, Sheraton Hotel, TX

    • October 04, 2011

      Remarks by the President at a DNC Event

      Sheraton Hotel
      Dallas, Texas

      12:28 P.M. CDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Dallas. Thank you. Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you so much, everybody. Thank you. (Applause.) Everybody please have a seat. It’s good to be back in Texas. (Applause.)

      First of all, I just want to say thank you to Emmitt Smith, who the first time we had a big rally here in Dallas — some of you may remember, it was a big auditorium — and he had just won “Dancing with the Stars” — (laughter) — and he gets up there and he starts preaching. And the crowd is roaring, and he is — and I’m thinking, is there something this guy cannot do? (Laughter.) But he was a great friend then, at a time when the campaign was still very much in doubt. He is a great friend now, and obviously one of not only the greatest athletes of all time but also just a great citizen to Dallas. So give Emmitt Smith a big round of applause. (Applause.) We are grateful to him.

      It is great to be here. We made sure to schedule this game before the Rangers game. (Laughter.) I will try to wrap up before the first pitch. In addition, Emmitt, I want to thank you for sending me Ron Kirk. You guys trained him well, because he is doing a great job — (applause) — on behalf of all the American people, making sure that we’ve got free trade and fair trade. And he could not be a better negotiator and a better advocate.

      I want to acknowledge your outstanding new mayor here in Dallas. Mike Rawlings is here. Give him a big round of applause. (Applause.) I did not say anything about the Cowboys when we landed. (Laughter.)

      And I also want to acknowledge Texas Democratic state chair, Boyd Richie is here. So give Boyd a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      So I’ve come here today because I need your help. I’ve come here today because we have to finish what we started in 2008.

      Back then — we began this campaign not because we thought it would be a cakewalk. Ron and I were remembering — reminiscing a little bit about when I was still a senator, traveling with Ron, and most of the time I was flying Southwest or American. And Ron got this private plane for us to fly down to Houston. And it was about 100 degrees in July, and it turned out to be a prop plane, and we were bouncing all over the place. (Laughter.) And Ron was sweating all — as he is prone to do sometimes. (Laughter.)

      We knew that running for President was not going to be easy. You knew it. You knew it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk. After all, you supported a candidate named Barack Hussein Obama. (Laughter.) That requires a leap of faith. (Applause.) You didn’t need a poll to know that that might be challenging. (Laughter.) But we forged ahead, because we had an idea about what this country is, and what it can be.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/04/remarks-president-dnc-event

  27. 2:00 PM EDT
    The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
    Local Event Time: 1:00 PM
    Sheraton Hotel

    • October 04, 2011

      Remarks by the President at a DNC Event

      Sheraton Hotel
      Dallas, Texas

      1:08 P.M. CDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Well, it is wonderful to see all of you. I’m not going to be long. I want to make a few brief remarks, and then just have a conversation with all of you.

      A lot of folks in this room I know. A lot of you have been there for me in the past. Some of you supported me when I was running for the United States Senate. Downstairs, I was telling the story about Ron Kirk and I — and I think you were with us, Lisa, right? Flying down from Dallas to Houston, and it was about 100 degrees, and Ron had a thick wool suit. (Laughter.) And we got out on that tarmac, and he was — (laughter) — dripping from head to toe. And I think on that same trip we went to Austin, and we were in somebody’s back yard, and it wasn’t that big a yard, and there were about 400 people; they had expected 50. (Laughter.) And they had to put the sprinklers on to make sure that people didn’t pass out. (Laughter.)

      So I’ve got a lot of fond memories and a lot of great friends here in Texas. I want to thank Naomi and everybody who helped put this together on short notice. But I think that — I suspect the reason we were able to do it on short notice is not only do we have relationships and friendships and common experiences to draw upon, but I think everybody here understands that the stakes are enormous in this upcoming election. They were big in 2008. I actually think they’re bigger now.

      Because in 2008, we recognized that there were a series of issues that had been building up over decades, and that nobody had taken on. We hadn’t gotten a smart energy policy. We hadn’t been dealing with an education system that was inadequate. Our health care system was broken. Most importantly, middle-class families were seeing their wages and their incomes flatline even though the costs of everything were going up. And the society was becoming more unequal, and the paths for middle-class families to either stay in the middle class or get into the middle class were becoming blocked.

      And what we’ve done over the last two and a half years has been to lay the foundation to take on those issues, first and foremost by making sure that we didn’t plunge into a second Great Depression, making sure that the auto industry didn’t collapse, making certain that the financial system didn’t melt down. We passed health care reform, something I’m incredibly proud of, to lay the foundation for starting to reduce costs and increase affordability for families all across the country. We put in place financial reform. But all that work that we did, we now have to implement it. We have to make sure that it’s done right.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/04/remarks-president-dnc-event-0

  28. Raise taxes on super rich, not semi-rich: poll

    10/4/11 By Patrick Temple-West, editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Gerald E. McCormick | Reuters – 2 hrs 54 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Less than a quarter of wealthy Americans support raising taxes on households making $250,000 or more a year, the level being targeted by President Barack Obama, though tax increases further up the income scale have broader support, said a poll released on Tuesday.

    Nearly half of those polled approved of income tax increases on discretionary household incomes of $500,000 or more annually, said the poll sponsored by two marketing and publishing companies.

    For those earning $1 million or more annually, 65 percent of respondents said they would support income tax increases.
    Only 23 percent of respondents said they support tax increases for households making $250,000 a year.

    The poll was conducted in September by the Harrison Group, a research and marketing firm, and American Express Publishing Corp., a media subsidiary of American Express Co. It surveyed 769 respondents with minimum discretionary income of $100,000.

    Only 43 percent said tax increases would improve the overall economy, while confidence in the economy dropped from 50 percent in September 2010 to 33 percent this year.

    The poll found 55 percent of those surveyed do not blame the Obama administration for economic woes.

    Obama has called for tax cuts to expire for households earning $250,000 a year. The president is also looking to pass a new levy that would tax Americans earning $1 million or more a year to ensure they do not pay taxes in a lower bracket.

  29. 3:35 PM EDT
    The President tours Children’s Laboratory School at Eastfield College
    Local Event Time: 2:35 PM CDT
    Eastfield College, Mesquite, Texas

    • October 04, 2011

      Remarks by the President on the American Jobs Act

      Eastfield College
      Mesquite, Texas

      2:47 P.M. CDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Dallas! Thank you so much. Thank you, everybody. Please have a seat, have a seat. (Applause.) Thank you.

      It’s good to be back in Texas. (Applause.) It is good to be back in Texas. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be with all of you.

      I want to thank a couple of people. First of all, the mayor of Mesquite, John Monaco is here. (Applause.) And the mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings is in the house. (Applause.) And I want to thank the former mayor of Dallas, who I stole from you to be one of the best trade representatives this country has ever had — my dear friend Ron Kirk is in the house. (Applause.)

      I also want to thank — I want to thank the folks over at the Children’s Lab School, who gave me a tour, and I want to especially thank Kim Russell for sharing her story. Thank you, Kim. (Applause.)

      Now, teachers like Kim are why I came here today. Teachers like Kim and her former students. That’s why I’ve been traveling all across this country for the last few weeks. These are the toughest times we’ve been through since the Great Depression. And because the problems that led to the recession weren’t caused overnight, they won’t be solved overnight. That’s the hard truth. It took us a decade to see the culmination of some of the bad ideas that had been put into place — the lack of regulation on Wall Street, middle-class folks struggling.

      So we’re not going to solve all those problems overnight. But that doesn’t mean we have to sit back and do nothing about this economy. There are steps we can take right now to put people back to work. There are steps we can take right now to put money in the pockets of working Americans. There are things we can do right now to restore some of the security and fairness that has always defined this great country of ours. And that’s what will happen if this Congress will finally get its act together and pass the American Jobs Act. (Applause.)

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/04/remarks-president-american-jobs-act

  30. American Jobs Act

    Supporters of the “American Jobs Act”

    AARP
    AFL-CIO
    AFSCME
    Allentown, Pennsylvania Mayor Ed Pawlowski

    American Federation of Teachers
    Andrew N. Liveris, Dow Chairman and CEO

    Atlanta, Georgia Mayor Kasim Reed
    Augusta, Georgia Mayor Deke Copenhaver
    B’nai B’rith, Rachel Goldbert, PhD, International Director of Aging Policy
    Baltimore, Maryland Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
    Bi-partisan Joint Statement by Leadership of the U.S. Conference of Mayors

    BlueGreen Alliance Backs American Jobs Act

    Boston, Massachusetts Mayor Thomas Menino

    Charleston, South Carolina Mayor Joseph Riley

    Cincinnati, Ohio Mayor Mark Mallory
    Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
    Colorado State Representative Dan Pablon

    Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael Coleman
    Communications Workers of America (CWA)
    Community Catalyst
    Congresswoman Frederica Wilson
    Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy
    Delaware Governor Jack Markell
    Denver, Colorado Mayor Michael Hancock
    Detroit, Michigan Mayor David Bing
    Families USA
    Flint, Michigan Mayor Dayne Walling
    Hampton, Virginia Mayor Molly Ward
    Hartford, Connecticut Mayor Pedro Segarra

    Hispanic Federation
    Illinois Governor Quinn
    Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE, and Chairman, President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

    Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express and Member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

    Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

    Mark Gallogly Co-founder and Managing Principal, Centerbridge Partners and Member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

    Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley
    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick
    Matthew Rose, Chairman and CEO, BNSF Railway and Member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

    Mayor Michael Nutter
    Medical Rights Center
    Mesa, Arizona Mayor Scott Smith
    Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on American Jobs Act

    Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton
    National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare
    National Partnership for Women & Families
    National Women’s Law Center (NWLC)
    NEA
    New Orleans, Louisiana Mayor Mitch Landrieu

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
    New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver

    Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker
    Ohio State House Democratic Leader Armond Budish

    Orlando, Florida Mayor Buddy Dyer
    Representative Becerra
    Representative Emanuel Cleaver
    Representative John Lewis
    Representative Steny Hoyer
    Richard D. Parsons, Chairman of Citigroup and Member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

    Robert Wolf, UBS Americas, President, UBS Investment Bank and Member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

    San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julián Castro
    San Francisco, California Mayor Ed Lee
    Santa Clara County, California Supervisor Dave Cortese
    Seattle, Washington Mayor Mike McGinn
    Senator Carl Levin
    Senator Charles E. Schumer
    Senator Harry Reid
    Senator Inouye
    Senator Kent Conrad
    Senator Kerry
    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Backs American Jobs Act
    Senator Robert Menendez
    Senator Tom Harkin
    Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

    St. Louis, Missouri Mayor Francis Slay

    Steve Case, Chairman & CEO of Revolution LLC, Chairman of the Startup America Partnership and Member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness
    Teamsters

    UAW President Bob King
    Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin
    Washington Governor Christine Gregoire

    • October 04, 2011

      White House Report: American Jobs Act Supports Nearly 400,000 Education Jobs

      White House Releases Report Outlining the Current Challenges to our Education System and the Impact of the American Jobs Act

      Today, the White House released a report, Teacher Jobs at Risk, outlining how the Administration’s efforts – including the American Jobs Act – will keep teachers in the classroom, strengthen our schools and improve the local economy in communities across the country. The American Jobs Act will support nearly 400,000 education jobs, preventing layoffs of educators and allowing thousands more to be hired or rehired. In addition, the President’s plan will modernize at least 35,000 public school buildings and community college campuses while putting construction workers back to work.

      Here in America, we are laying off teachers in droves. It makes no sense, and it has to stop. This bill will prevent up to 280,000 teachers from losing their jobs – and support almost 40,000 jobs right here in Texas,” said President Obama. “Congress should pass this jobs bill so we can put our teachers back in the classroom where they belong.”

      America’s education system has always been one of our greatest sources of strength and global economic competitiveness, as well as the engine of incredible progress in science, technology, and the arts. We cannot expect to train our children for the high-skilled jobs of today, or for the opportunities of the future, without investments in a world-class education system.

      But the severe recession from which we are still recovering has caused serious budget problems for many state and local governments, which fund the vast majority of the costs of public elementary through high school education. What this means is that school districts have been forced to make difficult decisions. Over the past twelve months, despite private-sector job growth of 1.7 million, local governments have reduced the number of teachers and education personnel they employ by nearly 200,000 people, about two thirds of all local government job losses during this period.

  31. House passes spending stopgap, sends to Obama

    10/04/11 By Pete Kasperowicz – TheHill

    The House on Tuesday afternoon easily approved a stopgap bill funding the federal government through November 18, and sent it to President Obama for his signature.

    The continuing resolution was approved in a 352-66 bipartisan vote in which 170 Democrats voted “yes,” a far cry from the six Democrats who supported an earlier version of the bill last month.

    The result was expected after both parties last week found a way around a fight over how much to fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Senate approved the measure last week.

    In September, 48 House Republicans voted against a similar measure, mostly to protest the lack of deeper spending cuts.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/votes/185423-house-passes-spending-stopgap-sends-to-obama

  32. Afghanistan signs pact with India, irking Pakistan

    10/4/11 By KATY DAIGLE – Associated Press | AP – 2 hrs 0 mins ago

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Afghanistan signed a strategic partnership with India on Tuesday, a move likely to enrage neighboring Pakistan at a time when its relations with the Afghans and the West are sharply strained over alleged links of its spy agency to militants blamed for high-profile attacks across the border.

    The Pakistanis consider India their chief adversary in the region, and the two countries have fought three major wars since the two were carved out of British India in 1947.

    The strategic pact is Afghanistan’s first with any country, and its timing sparked speculation of a shift in regional alignments after Afghan President Hamid Karzai chastised Pakistan for failing to act against Taliban-led insurgents based in Pakistan.

    The announcement in New Delhi came as an Afghan government commission investigating the assassination of the country’s former President Burhanuddin Rabbani accused Pakistan of not cooperating, after alleging that Pakistani intelligence officials also had advance knowledge of the plot.

    Pakistan says it is cooperating and denies involvement in the Sept. 20 killing of Rabbani, who was trying to broker peace with the Taliban. Its spy agency has been accused of backing the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, blamed for a series of attacks in Afghanistan including a recent assault on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in the capital, Kabul.

    Karzai had said over the weekend he was giving up on negotiating with the Taliban directly, and accused Pakistan of doing little to help rein in terrorists.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/afghanistan-signs-pact-india-irking-pakistan-192844352.html

    • Karzai seals strategic pact with India

      Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Oct 4, 2011

      The political leaders of Afghanistan and India have forged closer ties between their nations by signing a “strategic partnership” following talks in New Delhi.

      The agreement, announced on Tuesday after Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s meeting with Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, is the first such pact between Afghanistan and another country and aims to boost trade, security and cultural links between the countries.

      Karzai, speaking at a press conference with Singh, stressed again that “terrorism and radicalism” were being used “as an instrument of policy against our citizens”.

      Al Jazeera’s Prerna Suri reports from New Delhi, India.

  33. October 04, 2011

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Attack in Mogadishu

    The United States strongly condemns the outrageous terrorist attack carried out earlier today by al-Shabaab in Mogadishu, Somalia. This despicable and cowardly act took the lives of dozens of innocent civilians, including students taking an exam in hopes of receiving scholarships to study abroad. Those who carried out these attacks have nothing to offer the people of Somalia except murder and destruction, and they must be held accountable. The United States stands with the families and loved ones of those killed and injured, and with the Somali people, who have suffered for far too long. This senseless attack also underscores the continued need for the international community to support the efforts of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the Transitional Federal Government.

    Al-Shabaab has shown its utter disregard for human life and human dignity by carrying out terrorist attacks, brutalizing the Somali people, and disrupting and denying humanitarian aid to millions in need even as the United Nations warns that 750,000 Somali men, women and children could lose their lives by the end of the year if humanitarian aid is not received. The United States, United Nations and international community will continue to provide life-saving relief to Somalis in need, while al-Shabaab’s continued actions draw strong and broad condemnation from the international community. Together, we must work to save lives while standing against those who deny the basic dignity of the Somali people.

  34. Trade Agreements Will Help Create Export-Supported Jobs in America

    Posted by Ambassador Ron Kirk on October 04, 2011

    Every day, President Obama is fighting to put more Americans back to work. That’s why he proposed the American Jobs Act – a package of bipartisan, common sense measures designed to help U.S. businesses grow and create jobs – which Congress should pass right away.

    Yesterday, the President took another step to help create and preserve U.S. jobs when he sent Congress three trade agreements, with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. President Obama is calling on Congress to pass the trade agreements and at the same time to renew Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) that helps workers whose jobs are affected by global competition. All four of these items are important elements of the President’s balanced trade agenda to open markets for U.S. exporters and keep faith with workers here at home.

    Together, these agreements are estimated to increase U.S. GDP by more than $12 billion and support tens of thousands of additional American jobs. In fact, it is estimated that every $1 billion of goods and services we export supports approximately 5,500 jobs at home. That means the Korea trade agreement will support at least an estimated 70,000 U.S. jobs through increased goods exports alone.

    Naturally, the big job-building potential of these agreements has led many Americans to ask how increased trade translates into more U.S. jobs. The short answer is that trade agreements open overseas markets to significantly enhance opportunities for American businesses and workers to sell more innovative, high-quality products Made in America to customers all around the world. And as American exporters expand their businesses by increasing international sales into these newly-opened markets, they are likely to hire more workers to produce goods and provide services here at home.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/10/04/trade-agreements-will-help-create-export-supported-jobs-america

  35. Up Next…

    7:45 PM EDT
    The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
    Local Event Time: 6:25 PM CDT
    MO, Renaissance Hotel, St. Louis

    • October 04, 2011

      Remarks by the President at a DNC Event

      Renaissance Hotel
      St. Louis, Missouri

      6:39 P.M. CDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, hello, hello! (Applause.) It’s good to be back in St. Louis. It’s close to home. This is close to home. It’s good to be back in the Midwest. Good to be —

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

      THE PRESIDENT: I love you, too. (Applause.) It’s good to be back in Missouri. I know that the Cardinals game is going on right now. (Applause.) I see some of you checking your phones for the score. (Laughter.) So I’m going to try to be brief, see if I can get you out of here by —

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)

      THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no. You’ve got the ninth inning coming up. A couple of people I just want to acknowledge. First of all, you have one of the finest governors in the country, somebody who is thinking about the families of Missouri every single day, Jay Nixon. (Applause.) Please give him a big round of applause. I want to acknowledge the outstanding mayor of St. Louis, Francis Slay. (Applause.) Congressman Russ Carnahan in the house. (Applause.) St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. (Applause.) Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster. (Applause.) Two people who are not here, but who are great friends, great supporters, I just want to acknowledge them — first of all, somebody who’s been a outstanding friend since I started this incredible journey, Claire McCaskill, you’re a great senator — (applause) — as well as Congressman William Lacy Clay, who are both in D.C. but doing great work. (Applause.) We are proud of them.

      Now, I’ve come here today because I need your help.

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay. (Laughter.)

      THE PRESIDENT: I need your help — I need your help to finish what we started in 2008. Back then, we started this campaign not because we thought it was going to be a cakewalk. I mean, after all, your candidate’s name was Barack Obama. (Laughter.) So we knew that was going to be hard. We didn’t need a poll for that. But we forged ahead, because we believed that the essence of this country is that no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, that if you’re willing to work hard, if you’re willing to make an effort, you can make it here. You can make it if you try.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/04/remarks-president-dnc-event-1

  36. 8:35 PM EDT
    The President delivers remarks at a campaign event
    Local Event Time: 7:35 PM CDT

    • October 04, 2011

      Remarks by the President at a DNC Event

      Private Residence
      St. Louis, Missouri

      7:35 P.M. CDT

      THE PRESIDENT: It is good to be back in the Midwest. (Applause.) There is a lot of foolishness going on on the East Coast. (Laughter.) So I had to get back to my roots.

      It is wonderful to be with all of you. Bob, thanks for everything that you’ve done, including, by the way, fixing some of the lighting in the White House. (Laughter.) Which we very much appreciate.

      To the Carnahans, thank you for the incredible hospitality. What a wonderful greeting.

      I have a soft spot for anybody who’s got daughters. (Laughter.) So — and you guys have your hands full. (Laughter.) But they are gorgeous.

      To all of you who helped to pull this evening together, I’m extraordinarily grateful.

      I’m going to be very brief at the top, because I want to spend most of the time just in conversation. We’ve got a lot of friends here, people who I’ve known for a long time who have been great supporters for a long time.

      We’re obviously at a critical junction in our country’s history. You guys helped to propel me into office in 2008. We didn’t fully understand at that point how deep this crisis was going to be. And we now know that in that final quarter of 2008, when we were still campaigning, that the economy actually shrank by 9 percent. It was the deepest, toughest economic crisis that we’ve had since the Great Depression.

      So we had to go in and move quickly. And we did. And because we moved quickly, by the end of 2010, the economy was growing again. Because we moved quickly, the auto industry was safe. Because we moved quickly and effectively, we were able to stem some of the job loss. And in the meantime, we were able to keep a bunch of promises that we’d talked about during the campaign, whether it was getting our troops from Iraq and making sure that we ended “don’t ask, don’t tell,” to being able to finally pass health care reform and make sure that not only were we bringing down costs over the long term but also making sure that people who didn’t have health insurance could actually have access to coverage.

      So I am extraordinarily proud of the track record that we’ve established over the last two and a half years. But people are still hurting out there, and times are still tough. And it’s not just here in the United States; it’s global.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/04/remarks-president-dnc-event-2

  37. rainbow-flag

    Appeals court rules against Defense of Marriage Act

    10/18/12 By Terry Baynes | Reuters – 3 hrs ago

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court in New York on Thursday ruled that a U.S. law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples.

    The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is now the second federal appeals court to reject part of the Defense of Marriage Act. It upheld a lower court ruling that had found a central part of the law unconstitutional.

    Appeals in several cases are currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, which could choose to take up the issue in its current term.

    Two members of a three-judge panel ruled in favor of Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old woman who argued that the law discriminates against gay couples in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

    They found that gays and lesbians are entitled to heightened protection from the courts, based on the history of discrimination the group has suffered.

    “Homosexuals are not in a position to adequately protect themselves from the discriminatory wishes of the majoritarian public,” Judge Dennis Jacobs wrote for the majority.

    Six states have legalized same-sex marriage, including New York in 2011. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed in 1996, federal law and government programs do not recognize those marriages.

    The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Windsor by the American Civil Liberties Union in federal court in New York. Windsor is a former IBM computer programmer who married Thea Clara Spyer in Toronto, Canada, in 2007. The two were engaged in 1967.

    Spyer died in 2009 after a decades-long battle with multiple sclerosis, leaving all of her property to Windsor. Because the marriage was not recognized under federal law, Windsor had to pay more than $363,000 in federal estate taxes, according to her lawsuit.

    Windsor’s attorneys argued that the act violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law.

    The Obama administration said last year it considered the law unconstitutional and would no longer defend it. Instead, a group appointed by the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives is defending the law in courts across the country.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/appeals-court-ny-rules-gay-marriage-law-unconstitutional-160159196.html

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