In February, 2011, President Obama announced details of the “National Wireless Initiative“.

On October 27, 2011, The Federal Communications Commission approved a $4.5 billion broadband Internet fund aimed at giving money to private companies to bring access to rural households.

Learn how the National Broadband Plan is shaping the future of issues that matter to Americans. Get key highlights in the plan about:


66 thoughts on “Broadband

  1. WH

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:45 AM
    The President receives the presidential daily briefing.

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    The White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    Dr Jill Biden delivers remarks at a luncheon celebrating the Biden Breast Health Initiative.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    The President meets with Secretary of State Clinton.

    4:30 PM
    VP Biden and Dr Jill Biden speaks at the Florida Education Association’s 2011 Delegate Assembly meeting

    5:00 PM
    5:10 PM
    The President attend a Diwali reception.

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:30 PM
    VP Biden addresses the Florida Democratic Party Convention

    8:00 PM
    VP Biden addresses the 2011 Florida Democratic Party Convention

    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • POTUS podium

      October 28, 2011

      12:00 PM EDT
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press
      The White House

      4:30 PM EDT
      V.P. Biden Speaks at Florida Education Association’s 2011 Delegate Assembly Meeting, Orlando, Florida (Audio Only)



      12:00 PM EDT
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      12:00 PM EDT
      Urban Institute: Nation’s Priorities & Children

      12:00 PM EDT
      Bill Clinton on Clinton Economics
      Forum spotlights government’s role in U.S. economy

      12:45 PM EDT
      National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations: The Way Forward in Libya

      7:30 PM EDT
      VP Biden addresses the Florida Democratic Party Convention



      12:00 PM EDT
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      12:00 PM EDT
      Urban Institute: Nation’s Priorities & Children

      12:00 PM EDT
      Bill Clinton on Clinton Economics
      Forum spotlights government’s role in U.S. economy

      12:45 PM EDT
      National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations: The Way Forward in Libya

      7:30 PM EDT
      VP Biden addresses the Florida Democratic Party Convention



    While broadband enabled technologies have clearly brought tremendous economic benefits, the benefits have not reached enough businesses, communities and American workers. Ensuring innovation flourishes across all aspects of the broadband system—broadband networks, devices, and applications—is crucial to the future of the country. The FCC will partner with businesses, including women-owned and minority-owned enterprises, as well as investors and entrepreneurs from all backgrounds to support a flourishing digital economy, and ensure that all Americans can enjoy the benefits of broadband opportunity.

    * Give small businesses and their employees the broadband training they need to remain competitive in the global economy
    * Build a new online national employment assistance platform to efficiently connect struggling workers with resources
    * Keep American communities competitive and innovative in the 21st century economy by putting broadband at the forefront of regional development
    *Help eliminate tax and regulatory barriers to telework so workers can do their jobs from anywhere

    For the entire article:



    Broadband investment will help us lead the world in 21st century educational innovation. Here’s what the FCC is doing:

    Learning On-the-Go
    The FCC is launching a pilot program that supports off-campus wireless Internet connectivity for mobile learning devices. Education doesn’t stop at the schoolyard gate or the library door. Digital textbooks and other mobile learning devices allow students to learn in a real-world context, inside the classroom and beyond. Because of their low cost and accessibility, these mobile devices can also help advance digital equity, particularly for children from economically disadvantaged communities.

    Super-Fast Fiber
    The FCC’s new E-Rate Order will help bring affordable, super-fast fiber connections to America’s schools and libraries. It allows participants to use E-Rate funds to connect to the Internet in the most cost-effective way possible, including via unused fiber lines already in place across the country and through existing state, regional and local networks. With these fiber networks, schools and libraries can provide students and communities with cutting-edge connectivity, while saving millions of dollars.

    School Spots
    The FCC is also launching “School Spots” — where schools have the option to provide Internet access to the local community after students go home. With affordable fiber, these School Spots are a major step toward the National Broadband Plan’s goal of connecting an anchor institution in every community to affordable 1 Gbps broadband. School Spots will help ensure that people who otherwise lack access to enjoy the benefits of super-fast broadband.

    For the entire article:



    Broadband and health IT will transform health care, simultaneously enabling better outcomes and lowering costs. Electronic Health Records and Remote Monitoring technology could alone create over $700 B in net savings over 15-25 years. Yet in nearly every metric used to measure the adoption of health information technology (health IT), the United States ranks in the bottom half among comparable countries. The Federal government can do more to stimulate this rapidly-growing industry:

    * Ensure all health care providers have access to affordable broadband, by revamping the Rural Health Care Program
    * Upgrade Indian Health Services’ broadband network to meet their health IT needs
    * Create the economic incentives for broader health IT adoption and innovation.
    * Unlock the power of health care data and advanced analytics, while protecting privacy
    * Modernize rules to increase access to e-care

    For the entire article:



    Broadband investment will help us lead the world in 21st century energy innovation. Here’s how we get there:

    * Unleash energy innovation in homes by making energy data readily accessible to consumers.

    For too long the innovation of computing and communications has not been applied to energy management and efficiency. Families and businesses know almost nothing about their electricity consumption and related costs until they receive their utility bill. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that when people get feedback on their electricity usage, they make simple changes that save energy. Real-time information can also inform automated thermostats and appliances, enabling consumers to save energy and money automatically, while helping the country avoid new expensive power plants.

    * Modernize the electric grid with broadband, making it more reliable and efficient.
    Our aging electrical grid is a patchwork of out-dated infrastructure. It’s not just a system that delivers energy inefficiently — the country’s electric grid is increasingly vulnerable to failure and attack. To ensure American energy independence and efficiency, broadband and other advanced communications technologies must be used to modernize the grid. Paired with high-tech tools, like dynamic management software and remote sensors, broadband will be crucial to advancing innovations in renewable power, grid storage, and vehicle electrification.

    * Improve the energy efficiency and environmental impact of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.

    Greenhouse gas emissions from the ICT sector are growing three times faster than those from the rest of the economy. The electricity used up by data storage centers alone is expected to double from 2006 to 2011. The federal government should lead industry and examine ways to more effectively measure its data centers and craft solutions to make them more efficient, like the proven ENERGY STAR standard. In addition, the FCC will work with industry to understand how the ICT sector can improve its energy efficiency and environmental impact.

    * Transition to a safer, cleaner, and more efficient transportation sector.

    The transportation industry is the second largest consumer of energy and the second highest emitter of greenhouse gases. Digital innovations – like real-time traffic information systems and broadband-enabled navigation tools – can enable more efficient route-planning and driving for commuters and commercial operators. A more connected transportation sector can also promote safety, ease navigation, and enable tools to reduce distracted driving.

    For the entire article:



    Americans can check their bank accounts, communicate with customer service representatives and do their shopping anytime, anywhere by using applications enabled by broadband. Americans now expect this level of service from their government and are often disappointed with what they find. While some bright spots exist around filing taxes and paying parking tickets, these are the exception, not the rule.

    Government has fallen behind the private sector in using broadband to deliver services, and it is time to catch up. Here’s how we get there:

    * Streamline complex government processes and deliver services online to citizens quickly and efficiently
    * Embrace cost-saving platforms and infrastructure that also increase productivity
    * Partner with ISPs to make sure America’s communications networks are strong and secure
    * Allow state and local governments to leverage the buying power of the federal government to get lower service prices for telecommunication services and infrastructure

    For the entire article:



    Broadband can inform our communities and increase the level of citizen participation to strengthen local communities and the fabric of America’s democracy. It can also expand opportunities to weave citizen-based innovation and collaboration into our government.

    * Release more government data online in open and accessible formats to enable the public to more actively participate in the civic life of their communities and their democracy and hold their government accountable

    * Expand public media’s use of digital online platforms and create a 21st century digital national archive to empower people with information on broadband-enabled platforms

    * Increase opportunities for citizens to participate in the civic life of their local communities and to engage their government through social media and broadband-enabled tools, like smartphones, as well as open platforms and innovative partnerships

    * Leverage broadband-based technologies to modernize delivery of government services and enhance democratic processes and ensure that they are accessible to all Americans

    For the entire article:



    Broadband investment will help us lead the world in 21st century public safety and homeland security communications. Here’s how we get there:

    * Create a Nationwide Interoperable Public Safety Wireless Broadband Communications Network.

    Broadband technologies will give first responders new tools to save American lives. The nation needs a nationwide public safety broadband wireless network that allows first responders nationwide to communicate with one another at all times and without delay. A three-pronged approach will allow the speedy deployment, operation, and continued evolution of such a network. The three prongs are:

    1. An administrative system to ensure that public safety users of broadband spectrum have the capacity and service they require for their network; they also should be able to leverage commercial technologies to take advantage of the vast number of applications and devices that are being developed for commercial wireless broadband networks.
    2. An emergency response interoperability center to ensure that first responders nationwide can communicate with one another via public safety wireless broadband communications.
    3. A grant program to help fund the construction, operation and evolution of the public safety broadband network to ensure resiliency and ubiquitous coverage.

    * Improve Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Survivability
    Communications providers have encountered frequent attacks on critical Internet and broadband infrastructures. A variety of domestic and foreign actors have demonstrated the ability to steal, alter, or destroy data and to manipulate or control systems designed to ensure the functioning of portions of our critical infrastructure. Additional safeguards may be necessary to protect our nation’s commercial communications infrastructure from cyber attack and ensure it is resilient and reliable. oluntary incentives to improve cybersecurity.

    * Leveraging Broadband Technologies to Enhance Emergency Communications to and from the Public
    The nation’s 9-1-1 emergency call system and the emergency alert systems are critical to ensure that people can reach emergency responders and receive important information concerning emergencies. Accordingly, it is vital that Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) and Next Generation Emergency Alerting (NG Alerting) technologies are deployed in the near future. Providing sufficient funding to support deployment of NG911 and removing regulatory barriers to its deployment should ensure that NG911 is made available across the country.

    • May 23, 2012

      Obama Administration Launches Sweeping Shift to Mobile

      New Directive to Make Federal Services Available on Mobile Devices, Spur “App Economy” and Entrepreneurship

      WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Obama Administration is launching a new initiative to accelerate efforts to make new and useful services available to consumers on their mobile devices. As part of the President’s commitment to delivering a 21st century government, he is issuing a directive today requiring that each major Federal agency make two key government services the American people depend on available on mobile phones within the next 12 months. The Administration is also ramping up its ongoing efforts to make large amounts of government data more easily accessible to the public to spur entrepreneurs to develop innovative new services and mobile applications that take advantage of this data, creating new opportunities, businesses and jobs in the process. These actions are part of a larger digital strategy being implemented by the Administration—a roadmap that will guide the Federal government as it makes the most of new sources of digital information.

      President Obama said, “Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime, anywhere, and on any device. By making important services accessible from your phone and sharing government data with entrepreneurs, we are giving hard-working families and businesses tools that will help them succeed.”

      For more:

    • June 13, 2012

      We Can’t Wait: President Obama Signs Executive Order to Make Broadband Construction Faster and Cheaper

      White House Also Announces 100-Partner “US Ignite” Broadband Initiative

      Tomorrow, the President will sign an Executive Order to make broadband construction along Federal roadways and properties up to 90 percent cheaper and more efficient. Currently, the procedures for approving broadband infrastructure projects on properties controlled or managed by the Federal Government—including large tracts of land, roadways, and more than 10,000 buildings across the Nation—vary depending on which agency manages the property. The new Executive Order will ensure that agencies charged with managing Federal properties and roads take specific steps to adopt a uniform approach for allowing broadband carriers to build networks on and through those assets and speed the delivery of connectivity to communities, businesses, and schools.

      “Building a nationwide broadband network will strengthen our economy and put more Americans back to work,” said President Obama. “By connecting every corner of our country to the digital age, we can help our businesses become more competitive, our students become more informed and our citizens become more engaged.”

      The White House is also announcing that nearly 100 partners—including more than 25 cities as well as corporate and non-profit entities—will join with more than 60 national research universities to form a new public-private partnership called “US Ignite.” The US Ignite Partnership will create a new wave of services that take advantage of state-of-the-art, programmable broadband networks running up to 100 times faster than today’s Internet. By bringing software developers and engineers from government and industry together with representatives from communities, schools, hospitals, and other institutions that will benefit from faster and more agile broadband options, the partnership aims to speed up and increase the development of applications for advanced manufacturing, medical monitoring, emergency preparedness, and a host of other services. These applications will improve services to Americans and drive job creation, promote innovation, and create new markets for American businesses.

      For more:

    • Barns for Obama – OFA Ohio

      Published on Sep 3, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom
      Get involved in Ohio: http://OFA.BO/mS9cJo

      Brian, Joe and Rick share how President Obama has led in environmental and rural development investment. The President has empowered farming and rural communities—increasing their successes and helping Ohio move forward to an economy that’s built to last.

      Their enthusiasm from 2008 continues. They’ve added a new mural to the 2008 Obama Barn and continue to be a part of this campaign by volunteering and stepping up to be Neighborhood Team Leaders.

      How President Obama has helped Ohio:

      * Approved 1,296 farm loans in 2011
      * Expanded broadband internet to 28 new counties
      * Funded 169 rural clean energy projects
      * Funded 493 rural infrastructure projects

    • June 14, 2013

      Fact Sheet: Administration Provides Another Boost to Wireless Broadband and Technological Innovation

      The President today announced several new Administration initiatives to bolster American leadership in wireless broadband and technological innovation, leveraging the latest advances in the wireless sector to accelerate job creation. These new initiatives are the latest in a series of actions the Administration has taken over the past four years to ensure American businesses and workers have the infrastructure they need to compete in the 21st century economy. Also, the White House released a report, Four Years of Broadband Growth, showing the vast progress we have made towards expanding broadband access in recent years, thanks, in part, to those actions. The report’s findings include that:

      * Since 2009, the percentage of American homes reached by high-speed broadband networks have more than quadrupled (from less than 20% to more than 80%) and average broadband speeds have doubled.

      * Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of American households with a home connection to broadband has surged from 4.4% to 67%.

      * Annual investment in U.S. wireless networks grew more than 40% between 2009 and 2012, from $21 billion to $30 billion.

      For more:

    • ConnectED initiative

      ConnectED: President Obama’s Plan for Connecting All Schools to the Digital Age

      Driven by new digital technologies, the future of learning is increasingly interactive, individualized, and full of real-world experiences and information. Unfortunately, the average school has about the same connectivity as the average American home, but serves 200 times as many users, and fewer than 20 percent of educators say their school’s internet connection meets their teaching needs. And our teachers do not get enough training and support to integrate technology in their classroom and lessons, despite the fundamental and increasing importance of those skills.

      Today, President Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to take the steps necessary to build high-speed digital connections to America’s schools and libraries, ensuring that 99 percent of American students can benefit from these advances in teaching and learning. He is further directing the federal government to make better use of existing funds to get this technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained on its advantages. And he is calling on businesses, states, districts, schools and communities to support this vision.page1image9848page1image10008

      • Upgraded Connectivity: The ConnectED initiative will, within five years, connect 99 percent of America’s students to the digital age through next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in their schools and libraries.
      • Trained Teachers: The ConnectED initiative invests in improving the skills of teachers, ensuring that every educator in America receives support and training to use technology to help improve student outcomes. The Department of Education will work with states and school districts to better use existing funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to strategically invest in this kind of professional development to help teachers keep pace with changing technological and professional demands.
      • Build on Private-Sector Innovation: These investments will allow our teachers and students to take full advantage of feature-rich educational devices that are increasingly price-competitive with basic textbooks and high-quality educational software (including applications) providing content aligned with college- and career-ready standards being adopted and implemented by States across America.
      • FACT SHEET: Opportunity For All – Answering the President’s Call to Enrich American Education Through ConnectED

      • FCC to boost fund for broadband in schools

        February 2, 2014 By Cecilia Kang – washingtonpost

        The Federal Communications Commission plans to double a fund dedicated to bringing broadband Internet connections to schools and libraries, bolstering a White House push to wire all U.S. schools with faster speeds.

        The plan to be announced Wednesday by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is to increase to $2 billion from $1 billion the portion of the E-Rate program for broadband grants. The FCC said the two-year increase in broadband grants will not come from an increase in rates charged to wireless and phone customers. Consumers’ monthly bills include a line-item charge for the federal Universal Service Fund, which includes the $2.4 billion annual E-Rate program.

        Instead, the FCC will double broadband grants this year and next year with unused E-Rate funds from past years and by shifting away money dedicated to what it views as outdated telephone services such as dial-up Internet.

        It is the latest effort by the FCC to lessen its oversight and support of an aging telephone system as consumers turn to wireless devices and broadband services as their main methods of communications

        For more:

      • Obama secures $750 million in corporate gifts for Internet push

        February 04, 2014, 06:00 am By Justin Sink – TheHill

        President Obama is set Tuesday to announce more than $750 million in charitable commitments from technology and telecom companies for a new effort to bring high-speed Internet to the classroom.

        Speaking at a middle school in suburban Maryland on Tuesday, Obama will announce “major progress toward realizing the ConnectED goal to get high-speed Internet connectivity and educational technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained on its advantages,” the White House said in a statement.
        Some 70 percent of American schools do not have the capacity for every student to work from a high-speed Internet connection.

        The private commitments include $100 million in laptops and iPads from Apple, 12 million free copies of Microsoft Windows, and $350 million in educational and design software from companies like O’Reilly Media and Autodesk.

        “Education is the most important investment we can make for our collective future,” said Judson Althoff, president of Microsoft North America. “With this new Microsoft education offer, we are heeding the president’s challenge to ensure all students have access to the technology devices and services they need to succeed.”

        Three telecom companies — AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint — have also pledged up to $100 million each in Internet connectivity services.

        “That so many of our countries top telecom and tech companies have come through and made commitments for this is very encouraging,” White House economic adviser Gene Sperling said.

        Obama will also tout a $2 billion “down payment” from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that will connect some 20 million students to high-speed Internet. That doubles the $1 billion initially expected from the agency for the program over the next two years.

        The funding, which will help schools and libraries pay for IT infrastructure and Internet service, is paid for by FCC fees on monthly phone bills.

        “The vision was always with the support of the FCC and moving forward on [the president’s] vision that it would be the type of educational challenge that would take a village, and the village would respond,” Sperling said.

        The White House adviser said Monday that the additional money came from “reprioritizing and reallocating” the FCC’s existing budget, but it remains unclear whether the agency will increase service rates on cell phone bills.

        Sperling deferred questions about a possible rate increase to the FCC.

        President Obama first announced the program a year ago, and touted it again during his State of the Union address last week.

        “Last year I also pledged to connect 99 percent of our students to high-speed broadband over the next four years,” President Obama said. “Tonight I can announce that with the support of the FCC and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint and Verizon, we’ve got a down payment to start connecting more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students over the next two years without adding a dime to the deficit.”

  3. Remarks by the President on the National Wireless Initiative in Marquette, Michigan
    Northern Michigan University
    Marquette, Michigan

    1:36 P.M EST

    THE PRESIDENT: Have a seat, have a seat. It is wonderful to be here in the Upper Peninsula with so many Yoopers. (Applause.) How many of you are Green Bay fans, too? (Applause.) I’ve been seeing too many Green Bay fans lately. (Laughter.)

    It is great to be here. It is great to be at Northern Michigan University. We’ve got some wonderful guests here that I just want to mention. First of all, somebody who is as good a public servant, not just good at what he does but good at heart and works tirelessly on behalf of the entire state, your senior senator, Carl Levin, is here. (Applause.) Now, his partner in the Senate could not be here because she’s actually leading a Democratic caucus retreat, but she’s been fighting for manufacturing, for broadband, for a lot of things that we’re talking about here today. So I just want to acknowledge Debbie Stabenow, who deeply cares about the work that you do up here. (Applause.)

    I want to thank the great hospitality of Mayor John Kivela, who has been showing me around town. Thank you so much, Mayor Kivela. (Applause.) The President of Northern Michigan University, Dr. Les Wong, is here. (Applause.) And all of you are here. (Laughter.) And you guys are pretty special. Absolutely.

    Before I begin, I just want to say that we are following today’s events in Egypt very closely. And we’ll have more to say as this plays out. But what is absolutely clear is that we are witnessing history unfold. It’s a moment of transformation that’s taking place because the people of Egypt are calling for change. And they’ve turned out in extraordinary numbers representing all ages and all walks of life, but it’s young people who’ve been at the forefront — a new generation, your generation, who want their voices to be heard. And so going forward, we want those young people and we want all Egyptians to know America will continue to do everything that we can to support an orderly and genuine transition to democracy in Egypt.

    Now, as we watch what’s taking place, we’re also reminded that we live in an interconnected world. What happens across the globe has an impact on each and every one of us. And that’s why I’ve come to Marquette today — not only because it’s beautiful, and the people are really nice — which is true. (Applause.) But I’ve come here because in the 21st century, it’s not just the big cities where change is happening. It’s also in towns like this where the jobs and businesses of tomorrow will take root, and where young and talented Americans can lead. It’s towns like this where our economic future will be won.

    Now, in the short term, the best thing we can do to speed up economic growth is to make sure families and businesses have more money to spend, and that’s exactly what — got a little applause there. (Laughter.) That’s exactly why we passed those tax cuts in December. That’s what it’s doing. Because Democrats and Republicans came together, Americans’ paychecks will be a little bigger this year and businesses will be able to write off their investments and companies will grow and they’ll add workers. But we’ve got more to do.

    Our measure of success has to be whether every American who wants a job can find a job; whether this country is still the place where you can make it if you try. In a world that’s more connected and more competitive, other nations look at this moment as their moment, their turn to win the jobs and industries of our time. I see things differently. I see this as America’s moment to win the future, so that the 21st century is the American century just like the 20th century was. (Applause.) Yes we can. (Applause.)

    For the entire article:

    • February 10, 2011

      President Obama Details Plan to Win the Future through Expanded Wireless Access

      Initiative expands wireless coverage to 98% of Americans, reduces deficit by nearly $10 billion, invests in nationwide public safety network

      WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama will today detail his plan to win the future by catalyzing the buildout of high-speed wireless services that will enable businesses to grow faster, students to learn more, and public safety officials to access state-of-the-art, secure, nationwide, and interoperable mobile communications.

      In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for a National Wireless Initiative to make available high-speed wireless services to at least 98 percent of Americans. The Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative laid out today will make it possible for businesses to achieve that goal, while freeing up spectrum through incentive auctions, spurring innovation, and creating a nationwide, interoperable wireless network for public safety. It will also reduce the national deficit by approximately $10 billion.

      The President will announce the new initiative at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, a city where local businesses have been able to grow as a result of broadband access, with particular benefit in exporting goods to new markets around the world. He will also see a demonstration of how the university’s WiMAX network has enabled distance learning for university and community students.

      For the entire article:

    • Healing Rural Patients With A Dose Of Broadband

      8/17/10 by LAURA SYDELL – NPR

      Millions of Americans who live in rural areas travel long distances to get health care. Or they may go without it. But high-speed Internet connections now make it possible to bring a doctor’s expertise to patients in far-off places, if those places are connected.

      As part of its National Broadband Plan, the Federal Communications Commission has pledged $400 million a year to connect nearly 12,000 rural health care providers.

      Overstretched Clinics, Hurting Patients

      Redway, Calif., is more than 200 miles north of San Francisco — a pit stop on the way for tourists heading to see the giant redwoods more than an hour up the road. The town of 1,200 has one health clinic. And Wendi Joiner is the only doctor at the Redwoods Rural Health Center.

      There are 4,000 people from Redway and the surrounding area who use this clinic, so Joiner is one busy physician.

      “It’s a great job. It’s a special challenge. I love it, but sometimes I feel like there should be two or three of me,” she says. “It happens a lot where we’re asked to do things that we’re not specialists in.”

      Patients come in with skin problems, cancers, diabetes, hepatitis — all diseases that require expertise Joiner may not have. So she has to send patients to doctors in cities 100 or more miles away. That can be hard on many of them, both physically and financially.

      For the entire article and audio interview:

    • Report Shows More US Farmers Relying On Internet

      8/26/11 by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

      text size A A AFRESNO, Calif. August 26, 2011, 04:06 am ET
      Think of farms and images of tractors and combines come to mind. But what about laptops, smart phones and tablets?

      The number of farmers with Internet access on a variety of digital gadgets has dramatically increased, changing the way farms do business. Farmers say they’re increasingly using the Net to speed up their work flow, improve their farming techniques, market their crops, connect with customers and retailers, and fulfill a variety of regulatory requirements.

      Within the past decade, the number of farms with an Internet connection has increased by nearly 20 percentage points, according to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month. More than half of America’s farms now have access to the Internet, with farmers in the West with the highest access.

      “The Internet is such an integral part of doing business in agriculture,” said Dan Errotabere, who farms 3,500 acres in Riverdale, 25 miles south of Fresno. “If the power goes off, everything on the farm seems to stop. Everything is so electronic now.”

      Farmers still lag behind the general population — nearly 80 percent of Americans surf the Web at home — but the fact that Internet-enabled devices have become less expensive and more portable has fueled the increase.

      Big farms like Errotabere’s have the most access, the USDA report shows. More than 70 percent of farms with sales of $250,000 or more use the Internet for farm business.

      For the entire article:

    • Regulator overhauls fund to get broadband to all Americans

      10/27/11 By Jasmin Melvin | Reuters

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – All Americans will have broadband access to Internet and telephone services by the end of the decade under new rules adopted by U.S. regulators.

      The rules also reform a broken system of phone charges fraught with inefficiency and should result in $2.2 billion in savings passed down to consumers, the Federal Communications Commission estimates.

      The FCC voted unanimously on Thursday to modernize its universal service program, aiming to help the 18 million Americans who have no access to broadband where they live and work.

      The new rules will shift the roughly $4.5 billion in public money spent annually to subsidize telephone service for rural families to high-speed Internet in rural America and costly-to-serve areas.

      Challenging terrain, long distances from existing networks and low population density are among the factors creating gaps in infrastructure as broadband providers consider these areas not profitable to serve.

      “We are taking a system designed for the Alexander Graham Bell era of rotary telephones and modernizing it for the era of Steve Jobs and the Internet future he imagined,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said at the agency’s open meeting.

      For the entire article:

    • New Technology Reduces Agricultural Water Consumption

      10/25/11 Erica Gies – Forbes

      Faculty at the University of Georgia have invented an easy-to-use, GPS-based technology that allows farmers to more accurately target irrigation needs, reducing water consumption by an average of 15 percent. Most of our water use worldwide goes to agriculture, so reducing that amount will be critical as our population grows and climate change makes water supplies less predictable.

      The Ceres Aqua Gauge report I mentioned yesterday paints that picture:

      The rising global population (estimated to grow from 7 billion to 9 billion by mid-century) together with economic growth in emerging markets will mean burgeoning demand for both potable water and food. Agriculture now accounts for roughly 70 percent of global water use, but as dietary changes in developing countries raise demand for water-intensive foods such as meat and dairy, this proportion will grow yet higher. Without efficiency gains, agricultural water demand is expected to grow by 45 percent — or an additional annual 1,400 billion cubic meters of water per year — by 2030.

      While historically wet, the Southeast United States have seen persistent drought conditions over the past decade and legal conflicts over water. That makes Georgia’s Flint River basin, where farmers grow thirsty cotton, corn, peanuts, and pecans, a good proving ground for this technology. A common method of irrigation is the center pivot, which projects water 360 degrees, creating the crop circles obvious from an airplane. The Flint River basin has 6,250 center-pivot systems. The problem with this technology is that it sprays water blindly, even across areas too wet to plant, such as grass waterways, seasonal wetlands, permanent ponds, a lake on the edge of a field. Around 2004, University of Georgia faculty Calvin Perry, Stuart Pocknee, and Craig Kvien, developed variable rate irrigation (VRI), which allows farmers to selectively turn off specific nozzles as the pivot crawls over patches that don’t need water. This year, they made the system easier for farmers to use. The previous version required a farmer to develop a water application map on a computer, upload that map to a thumb drive, and transfer it to the irrigation controller. Using the new push-button version, “he would just walk his irrigation system to one of these areas he wishes to not apply water … push the button to tell the controller, ‘this is where this anomaly starts.’ He then walks the system to the far edge of the anomaly, pushes another button, which says, ‘this is where that ends,’” said Perry, who works in the university’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

      For the entire article:

  4. VP Biden addresses the 2011 Florida Democratic Party Convention

    The Florida Democratic Party is excited to announce that the US Vice President Joe Biden will address the Florida Democratic Party 2011 State Convention as the keynote speaker at the “A Legacy of Leadership: A Promise for Tomorrow” dinner on Friday, October 28, 2011.

    Our state is at a crossroads and Democrats are more determined than ever to fight. With 29 crucial electoral votes, Florida is one of the most important swing states in the country. With your help, we will re-elect President Obama, Senator Nelson and send more Democrats fighting for middle class families to Congress to join our Democratic Delegation. This year’s State Convention is exactly what we need to harness our collective enthusiasm and focus on electing Democrats in 2012.

    Information about the 2011 State Convention can be found below. Everything from hotel information, directions, meetings and special guests will be updated and housed here. If you have additional questions, please email

    For more information:

  5. Joe and Jill Biden to talk to FEA in Orlando Friday

    October, 26 2011 — posted by bshaw – orlando sentinel

    Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will be in town Friday to speak to the Florida Education Association’s 2011 Delegate Assembly meeting at the Rosen Centre Hotel on I-Drive. The 4:30 p.m. speeches are closed to the public.

    Friday night, the vice president is scheduled to speak to the Florida Democratic Party convention at Disney.

  6. 9 Straight Qtrs Economic Growth

    American Jobs Act By the Numbers: 9

    Posted by Megan Slack on October 27, 2011

    Today’s GDP report shows that the economy posted the ninth straight quarter of positive growth. Real GDP, the total amount of goods and services produced in the country, grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011.

    This good news is encouraging, but our economy isn’t growing fast enough. We’ve put 2.6 million people back to work in the last 19 months, but we have to do better to replace all the jobs lost during the recession. That’s why the President introduced the American Jobs Act, to put even more unemployed Americans back to work and further accelerate our economic recovery.

    The American Jobs Act will help keep teachers in classrooms and firefighters and police officers on the job. It will invest $50 billion in our nation’s infrastructure, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs modernizing roads, railways, and airports. The President’s proposal will also cut taxes for small businesses to encourage hiring and investment. We can’t wait any longer to restore our economy to its full potential.

    • Mapping Out the American Jobs Act

      Posted by Matt Compton on October 27, 2011

      The American Jobs Act is a big proposal that can be hard to visualize, so we wanted to put together a new tool to help show the impact.

      Our new map breaks down specific ways the President’s plan helps to create jobs and put money back in families’ pockets, state by state.

      If you wanted to see what a typical tax cut looks like for a family in Texas, it’s right here: $1,460.

      Teacher jobs in North Carolina? 13,400.

      Money for roads and bridges in Colorado? $494.8 million.

      Take the time to dig in and learn how the American Jobs Act would help your state and community — and share the map with those you know.

  7. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Marie Claire

    10/27/11Karin Tanabe – POLITICO

    In the November issue of Marie Claire, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz sat down for a Q &A with the glossy mag and talked about motherhood, her battle against breast cancer, her signature curls and how she’s developed “the skin of an alligator.”

    “It’s really tough to hurt my feelings at this point,” said Wasserman Schultz on the insults that have been tossed her way. When the writer brought up former congressman Mark Foley calling the rep “a Chihuahua in high heels,” the congresswoman and head of the DNC answered, “Oh, I heard about that. Consider the source: Last time I checked, he had to resign in disgrace.”

    On the other side of the spectrum, the mag pointed out that she’s been called a “new generation of Power Mom.” How, they wanted to know, does she juggle it all. “That’s a question men never get asked!” she replied. “You know, I just do it. I’m like any mom who’s balancing work and family… Fortunately for me, I married a wonderful guy who understands that parenting is a partnership.”

    For the entire article:

  8. Ohio Democratic Party: Romney to attend OSU-Wisconsin game, will root for whomever is winning at the time

    October 27, 2011 Posted by Elizabeth Chan –

    Breaking news from our friends in Ohio on the heels of Mitt Romney’s absurd flip-flop-flip on the state’s anti-collective bargaining law:

    The Ohio Democratic Party has learned that professional presidential candidate and serial flip-flopper Mitt Romney will attend this Saturday’s OSU-Wisconsin game during a brief campaign stop in Columbus. However, in a not-so-surprising development, Mr. Romney will refuse to address anything about the game or cheer for one of the teams. The former governor of Massachusetts has told Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine that, despite his plan to wear a red shirt, he is unfamiliar with the game or the teams and will cheer for whomever is leading at the time. Once Romney leaves the state, after conservative bloggers and his Republican primary opponents pan his visit as another example of Romney waffling on every issue, the former Massachusetts Governor will announce which team he was in fact rooting for, saying that he “fully supports” that team “110 percent.”

    “Mitt Romney cheering for whatever team is winning shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone in Ohio,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Seth Bringman. “But, if Governor Romney doesn’t support the best interests of the people of Ohio, the least he could do is tell us.”

  9. Forwarded from a friend….


    Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

    “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.

    The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971…before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.

    Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

    In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

    *Congressional Reform Act of 2011*

    1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

    2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

    3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

    7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.

    The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

    If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

    THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on.

  10. Treating Libyans
    24 fighters to fly to U.S.

    10/27/11 By POLITICO STAFF

    Dozens of Libyans wounded in the fight against Muammar Qadhafi’s fallen regime will receive treatment in the U.S., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed Thursday.

    In response to a request by the Transitional National Council, the U.S. is transporting 24 seriously wounded fighters to Spaulding Hospital in Boston, Mass., according to a State Dept. press statement.

    “The United States offers this humanitarian gesture of emergency medical evacuation assistance as a token of our support for the democratic aspirations of the Libyan people and our hope for a continued strong partnership as they build a new Libya.” Clinton said.

    All patients were injured as a result of recent fighting and suffer from conditions that cannot currently be treated in Libya, the statement said.

  11. ******** OUT OF OFFICE *********

    I am going to take a break right now and step out of the “office”.

    Since I am HQ any post w/ two+ links
    any first time poster’s comments will have to wait until I get back for me to receive the email from WordPress to approve it first!

    When I get back I will delete this message so don’t bother to reply to it!

    ******** OUT OF OFFICE *******

  12. Hey CR and friends. checking in a little late. I was away from home all day. This a great thread. I can’t imagine anyone else being President. PBO is really moving the country forward, while repugs are talking about taking the country back and repealing everything.

  13. Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address
    The White House
    October 22, 2011

    This week, we had two powerful reminders of how we’ve renewed American leadership in the world. I was proud to announce that—as promised—the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of this year. And in Libya, the death of Moammar Qadhafi showed that our role in protecting the Libyan people, and helping them break free from a tyrant, was the right thing to do.

    In Iraq, we’ve succeeded in our strategy to end the war. Last year, I announced the end of our combat mission in Iraq. We’ve already removed more than 100,000 troops, and Iraqi forces have taken full responsibility for the security of their own country. Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, the Iraqi people have the chance to forge their own future. And now the rest of our troops will be home for the holidays.

    In Libya, our brave pilots and crews helped prevent a massacre, save countless lives, and give the Libyan people the chance to prevail. Without putting a single U.S. service member on the ground, we achieved our objectives. Soon, our NATO mission will come to a successful end even as we continue to support the Libyan people, and people across the Arab world, who seek a democratic future.

    These successes are part of a larger story. After a decade of war, we’re turning the page and moving forward, with strength and confidence. The drawdown in Iraq allowed us to refocus on Afghanistan and achieve major victories against al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. As we remove the last of our troops from Iraq, we’re beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.

    To put this in perspective, when I took office, roughly 180,000 troops were deployed in these wars. By the end of this year that number will be cut in half, and an increasing number of our troops will continue to come home.

    For the entire article:

  14. Obama taking more steps on own to help businesses

    10/28/11 By BEN FELLER – AP White House Correspondent | AP – 1 hr 36 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Pushing a campaign to act without Congress, President Barack Obama will announce on Friday two more executive actions on the economy, both of them small steps intended to give a boost to businesses.

    The moves cap a week in which Obama has sought to employ the power of his office as he struggles to make headway on his jobs bill on Capitol Hill.

    Obama is directing government agencies to shorten the time it takes for federal research to turn into commercial products in the marketplace. The goal is to help startup companies and small businesses create jobs and expand their operations more quickly.
    On the other front, Obama is calling for creation of a centralized online site, to be known as BusinessUSA, for companies to easily find information on federal services. The site is to be up and running within 90 days and will be designed with input from U.S. businesses.

    Obama is announcing both steps in presidential memos to be released Friday morning, according to administration officials.
    On a larger scale, the president himself announced two other executive actions this week, one offering help for homeowners seeking to refinance at lower mortgage rates and the other allowing college students to simplify and lower their student loan payments. The White House also issued a challenge to community health centers in a bid to help get veterans jobs.

    For the entire article:

    • White House wants to open channels for small businesses

      September 30, 2011

      A new website will try to close the long-standing communications gap between agencies and small businesses.

      The White House will launch before the end of the calendar year in an effort to make it easier for small firms to find all the services the government offers.

      “It will be an online portal that will connect people to all of the programs and resources in an actual and intuitive way,” said Ari Matusiak, the executive director of the White House Business Council, during a panel discussion at the 29th Annual Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week in Washington. “There are a lot of great websites out there, government websites. There are some that are less good. But there are, all told, a ton of them. It’s very hard to know that this specific program is for you if you’ve never heard of it before. You don’t necessarily know what the name means and if it applies to you.”

  15. Good-bye to never-used tax withholding law

    Oct. 27, 2011 – UPI

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (UPI) — A never-used U.S. tax withholding mandate should be repealed both the White House and Republicans in Congress have said.

    The 2005 law, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act, was intended to partly offset the cost of tax cuts, Business Law Daily reported Thursday. It required the government to withhold 3 percent of the payment on government contracts as a safety net against potentially unpaid taxes.

    Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., said, “We should not have a national policy that assumes every contractor in America is a tax cheat.”

    The bill to repeal the law has 269 co-sponsors and support from the White House. It was introduced by Rep. Wally Herger, R-Calif., who said, “Full repeal of 3 percent withholding will help create a favorable environment for job creation and is necessary to provide certainty to our small businesses that this harmful provision will be eliminated once and for all.”

    Twice, the starting date for the withholding law has been delayed. Originally, it was to take effect January 2010. It is now scheduled to start in January 2013, except that isn’t expected to happen, as the repeal, set for a vote in the House Thursday, is likely to be approved, Business Law Daily said.

  16. Consumer spending up in September on savings

    10/28/11 By Lucia Mutikani and Jason Lange | Reuters – 15 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sluggish growth in U.S. consumer income in September led households to cut back on saving to increase their spending, casting doubts over the durability of the economy’s third-quarter growth spurt.

    The Commerce Department said on Friday consumer spending increased 0.6 percent, matching expectations, after a 0.2 percent gain in August. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

    With income edging up 0.1 percent last month, spending was at the expense of saving, which dropped to an annual rate of $419.8 billion, the lowest level since August 2009, from $479.1 billion in August.

    The saving rate, the percentage of disposable income socked away, fell to 3.6 percent, the slowest since December 2007, from 4.1 percent in August.

    Income fell 0.1 percent in August and economists had expected a 0.3 percent increase in September.

    For the entire article:

  17. ‘Recession risks are receding’

    10/28/11 By MATT NEGRIN – POLITICO44

    Via Morning Money, this is what Mark Zandi — the Moody’s economist whom the Obama administration loves to cite for his prediction of how the president’s jobs bill will help the economy — had to say about yesterday’s report of GDP growth:

    “The GDP report was encouraging. 2.5% growth is much better than I feared just a few weeks ago. The details of the report were also encouraging, including solid consumer spending, strong business investment, and inventories are not a problem and may even a bit on the lean side. Growth going into Q4 is thus tracking at least 2.5%. … Recession risks are receding. …The economic coast isn’t clear, however. Recession risks still remain high because much depends on the supercommittee. If the committee process completely falls apart there will be renewed financial turmoil. An extension of the current payroll tax holiday is also key to avoid backtracking into recession early next year.”

  18. 12:00 PM EDT
    Dr Jill Biden delivers remarks at a luncheon celebrating the Breast Health Initiative.

    • Biden Breast Health Initiative Marks Major Milestone


      The vision of Dr. Jill Biden, The Biden Breast Health Initiative was founded nearly 20 years ago as an innovative breast health education program designed for teenage girls.

      Dr. Biden felt it critical to focus on young women, instilling healthy and potentially life-saving habits early on.

      Today at noon, a luncheon will be held in Wilmington to celebrate the BBHI’s founding and to announced that since its creation, 20,000 young women have attended the BBHI’s education program, “Taking Care of Yourself,” in the public or private high schools.

  19. October 28, 2011

    We Can’t Wait: Obama Administration Announces Two Steps to Help Businesses Create Jobs, Strengthen Competitiveness

    WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Obama Administration announced it is taking two important steps to help U.S businesses create jobs and strengthen their competitiveness in a global economy. Through two Presidential Memoranda issued today, the Obama Administration will take steps to speed up the transfer of federal research and development from the laboratory to the marketplace, and it will create BusinessUSA, a one-stop, central online platform where small businesses and businesses of all sizes that want to begin or increase exporting can access information about available federal programs without having to waste time navigating the federal bureaucracy. These announcements are part of a series of executive actions to put Americans back to work and strengthen the economy because we can’t wait for Congressional Republicans to act.

    “With too many families struggling and too many businesses fighting to keep their doors open, we can’t wait for Congress to take action,” President Obama said. “Today, I am directing my Administration to take two important steps to help American businesses create new products, compete in a global economy, and create jobs here at home.”

    * Accelerating Products from the Science Lab to the Marketplace

    * Creating a Streamlined, Virtual One-Stop Shop to Help Businesses Grow and Hire

    For the entire article:

    • ‘Lab to Market’ Initiatives Transforming New Ideas into New Jobs

      Posted by Tom Kalil and Nick Maynard on October 28, 2011

      Today, the President announced a new directive requiring all Federal research agencies to bolster efforts to transfer the results of research from their lab to the marketplace. These agencies will streamline their research partnership programs for small businesses, universities, and local communities. They will also launch new programs designed to support regional innovation clusters, launch new public-private partnerships, and share Federal lab facilities with high-tech startups. Each agency will be responsible for designing a five-year plan with tailored goals and metrics to measure progress.

      Breakthroughs in science and technology have created the foundations for new industries, new companies, and new jobs. The United States has led the world for decades in this innovative process with our top-ranked universities and Federal laboratories. Today, other countries are challenging American leadership in the training of skilled workers, investments in research and development (R&D), and support of entrepreneurship. America must expand its ability to move science and technology breakthroughs into the marketplace. Federal labs play an important role in this effort, and we are working now to ensure that all research agencies make their “lab to market” efforts a top priority.

      The President’s directive builds on the recent lab-to-market initiatives that agencies announced in concert with the President’s signing of the American Invents Act and the President’s presentation of the National Medals of Science and National Medals of Technology and Innovation, including:

      * A new program at the National Institutes of Health to make patent licensing faster and more affordable for startups.
      * A new pilot commercialization program at the US Patent and Trademark Office designed to assist small businesses with their intellectual property.
      * An online platform at the National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST announced an online platform that will enable entrepreneurs to easily connect with more than 2,000 public-private organizations nationally that offer mentoring, technical assistances, and access to new markets.

  20. Obama Has Declared Record-Breaking 89 Disasters So Far in 2011

    10/28/11 By Amy Bingham | ABC News – 2 hrs 33 mins ago

    From Hurricane Irene , which soaked the entire East Coast in August, to the Midwest tornadoes , which wrought havoc from Wisconsin to Texas, 2011 has seen more billion-dollar natural disasters than any year on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

    And as America’s hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and wildfires set records this year, so too has President Obama in his response to them.

    During the first 10 months of this year President Obama declared 89 major disasters, more than the record 81 declarations that he made in all of 2010.

    And Obama has declared more disasters — 229 — in the first three years of his presidency than almost any other president signed in their full four-year terms. Only President George W. Bush declared more, having signed 238 disaster declarations in his second term, from 2005 to 2009.

    But while the sheer number of bad weather events played a big role in the uptick in presidential disaster declarations, Obama’s record-setting year may have something to do with politics as well.

    “There’s no question about it that the increase in the number of disaster declarations is outstripping what we would expect to see, given what we observe in terms of weather,” said Robert Hartwig, the president and economist at the Insurance Information Institute. “There’s a lot of political pressure on the president and Congress o show they are responsive to these sorts of disasters that occur.”

    While the president aimed to authorize swift and sweeping aid to disaster victims, Congress was entrenched in partisan battles over how to foot the bill . When Republicans demanded that additional appropriations for a cash-strapped FEMA be offset by spending cuts, the government was almost shut down over disaster relief funding.

    For the entire article:

  21. News roundup: October 27, 2011

    Posted by Ryan Fanning on Thursday, October 27, 2011

    The latest polls show that President Obama has a lead over the top three Republican candidates in Ohio, a key battleground state. Ohio has been a turning point in several elections, and the 18 electoral votes in Ohio are again expected to be critical in the 2012 election.

    Mitt Romney and Rick Perry can’t seem to make up their minds. Romney originally voiced his support in June for an Ohio ballot measure that would restrict workers’ rights, then on Tuesday refused to take a position before once again giving his support on Wednesday. His Republican competitor Rick Perry criticized him for what he called “finger-in-the-wind politics.” However, Perry did some flip-flopping of his own earlier in the week when he expressed doubt about the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate before recanting his statements a few days later.

    Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate are increasingly worried about the party’s 2012 presidential candidates. Many members of Congress have expressed concerns that the lack of focus on economic issues and excessive bickering will weaken the Republicans’ chances in 2012. As of late, the candidates have focused mostly on attacking each other rather than discussing substantive issues, which became particularly evident at the recent Las Vegas debate.

    Before Mitt Romney made a fundraising visit to Illinois today, Rep. Jan Schakowsky sent him a letter asking him to address concerns from her constituents. Schakowsky asked Romney why he thinks that the wealthiest Americans and corporations deserve tax breaks, after opposing President Obama’s middle class tax breaks. She also questioned his “hit the bottom” comments on foreclosures. The congresswoman also called into question Romney’s record of flip-flopping on issues such as the flat tax and his Massachusetts health care bill.

    According to advance reports today, the economy has seen its ninth straight quarter of growth as real GDP grew by 2.5 percent in the third quarter of this year. The level of real GDP now exceeds its level at the business cycle peak in the fourth quarter of 2007. While the increased growth is an encouraging sign, we must continue to act to reclaim lost jobs and accelerate the recovery by passing the American Jobs Act—which will help increase economic growth and reduce long-term unemployment.

  22. Businesses are using profits to invest, not hire

    10/28/2011 Posted by Suzy Khimm – washingtonpost

    Business investment has rebounded quickly since the worst of the recession. Non-residential investment grew at 16.3 percent in the third quarter of 2011, making up 1.54 percent of the 2.5 percent GDP growth reported Thursday. Nevertheless, employment has still lagged behind as firms are reluctant to hire. Why? Part of the reason that investment rates are relatively high is that firms are still playing catch-up after the biggest drop in investment in decades.

    “There was a dearth of investment even going into the recession, businesses cut back during recession, so there was a lot of pent-up demand for investment,” says Gus Faucher, director of macroeconomics for Moody’s Analytics.

    Low interest rates have made it very cheap for firms to borrow, and equipment costs have remained low, so it’s been relatively easy for businesses to make these capital expenditures. And the tech sector, which has been more shielded from the bust, has fueled investment in informing processing equipment and software–a big contributor to investment growth.

    Finally, because consumer spending and demand have remained low, businesses have been substituting capital for labor, directing corporate profits–which have remained strong–into the less risky sector of investment. ”If they take on workers, there’s a fixed cost to hiring. They are using their profits to invest rather than to hiring,” Faucher says. Nevertheless, Faucher believes that there will ultimately be a shift toward hiring as well, given the moderately optimistic signs of growth. “They’re going to reach the point to hire to keep up with demand,” he says. Though, as my colleague Brad points out, it’s still a long road to full employment.

    For the entire article:


    Boehner says no

    10/28/2011 Dylan Matthews & Michelle Williams – washingtonpost

    1) John Boehner has rejected Democrats’ “supercommitte” offer, report Paul Kane and Rosalind Helderman: “Amid a flurry of counter-proposals from the deficit-reduction committee, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday rejected a Democratic offer to slash $3 trillion from future debts because it contained significant tax increases. While GOP negotiators offered a slimmer package of savings with virtually no tax hikes, Boehner said the Democratic request for $1.3 trillion in new tax revenue was a non-starter and gave his most pessimistic outlook to date that the so-called ‘supercommittee’ would achieve its deficit target by its Thanksgiving deadline. ‘I don’t think it’s a reasonable number,’ the speaker said of the tax proposal, suggesting it was time ‘to get serious’ in order to avoid an automatic trigger of $1.2 trillion in spending cuts if the panel does not reach an accord.”

  24. October 28, 2011

    Statement by the President on the Court Approval of the Settlement of the Black Farmers Lawsuit

    The U.S. District Court’s approval of the settlement between the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and plaintiffs in the Pigford II class action lawsuit is another important step forward in addressing an unfortunate chapter in USDA’s civil rights history. This agreement will provide overdue relief and justice to African American farmers, and bring us closer to the ideals of freedom and equality that this country was founded on. I especially want to recognize the efforts of Secretary Vilsack and Attorney General Holder, without whom this settlement would not have been reached.

  25. We Can’t Wait to Help Businesses Grow

    Posted by Matt Compton on October 28, 2011

    While Republicans in Congress continue to block the American Jobs Act, President Obama is still finding new ways to boost the economy and put people back to work.

    This morning, the President signed two executive memorandums: one that would shorten the time it takes for companies to commercialize federal research, and another to launch BusinessUSA — a website that will make it easier for companies to learn about federal resources for business and exports — in early 2012.

    “With too many families struggling and too many businesses fighting to keep their doors open, we can’t wait for Congress to take action,” President Obama said in a statement.

    The first order will help speed up the time it takes for government research facilities to issue grants to start ups and give federal agencies more flexibility to partner with businesses.

    Every year, the government spends approximately $147 billion on research and development. This order from the President will help to ensure that money gets used even more efficiently.

    And by the way, we know the federal research grant process helps to spark entrepreneurship. Qualcomm, the communications giant; Symantech, the software security firm; and iRobot, maker of the Roomba and Packbot, all received federal agency support before becoming an industry leader.

    For the entire article:

  26. Standing Up for SNAP

    Posted by Valerie Jarrett on October 28, 2011

    Yesterday morning, I visited a local grocery store as part of Fighting Poverty with Faith, an interfaith campaign co-sponsored by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Catholic Charities USA, and the National Council of Churches.

    While I was there, I had the chance to speak about the Obama Administration’s commitment to fighting hunger through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. For many of the 45 million Americans who rely on SNAP each year, these benefits are an economic lifeline. They can be the difference between going hungry, and putting food on the table.

    President Obama knows that many Americans were struggling to afford food before the economic crisis of 2008, and that the recession only made things worse. He believes that our government must follow what he has called, “a common creed.” I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper.

    That is why, when President Obama took office, he enhanced and expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The investments we made kept 3.9 million Americans, including 1.7 million children, above the poverty line in 2010. They prevented child hunger from rising, even as poverty and unemployment levels increased in the wake of the economic crisis.

    These investments also benefited our economy as a whole. In fact, every five dollars in new SNAP generates up to nine dollars in increased economic activity, for stores, warehouses, truck drivers, and farms.

    For the entire article:

    • This is so wonderful in so many ways. Thanks for posting this heartwarming article, CR.

      When I think of little children in our own country who don’t have enough food to eat, it’s just unbelievable. Sad that Ms. Jarrett had to mention that the SNAP investments “also benefited our economy as a whole” (although I understand why she did), because we shouldn’t have to give any other reasons than it’s the right thing to do for each other.

  27. US Sending Spy Drones From Ethiopia into Somalia

    October 28, 2011 VOAnews

    U.S. officials have acknowledged they are sending drone aircraft from Ethiopia to conduct surveillance in Somalia, but say it has nothing to do with Kenya’s ongoing military operation there. Kenya has vowed to continue fighting until it has curtailed the activities of the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

    U.S. military officials say they have begun launching drone aircraft over Somalia from a position in southern Ethiopia. Officials say the drones, piloted by remote control, are only for surveillance and not for airstrikes.

    A U.S. military spokesman, Lieutenant Commander James Stockman, told VOA in an e-mailed statement that ‘there is no relationship between the aircraft operations in Ethiopia and the Kenyan operation in Somalia.” He said there are no U.S. military bases in Africa, except in Djibouti, and that a “limited number of personnel” are working on the Ethiopian program.

    Kenya sent troops into Somalia two weeks ago in pursuit of al-Shabab militants blamed for several kidnappings and attacks across the border in Kenya in recent months.

    Asked in a Twitter conversation whether Kenya is receiving any intelligence from the U.S. drone program, Kenyan military spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir replied, “Intelligence sharing between states happen[s] normally everyday, nothing has been enhanced from the normal.”

    For the entire article:

  28. Global Population to Reach Seven Billion


    On Monday, October 31st, millions of people will parade around in ghoulish Halloween costumes mocking death. But this year, October 31st will also be a notable day in the history of human life.

    The UN estimates that it’s the day when human population will reach 7 billion people for the first time.

    That number — 7 billion — is again stirring warnings about overpopulation. But the story of the human impact on the planet isn’t simply about numbers.

    “There’s nothing special about 7 billion,” says Robert Engelman, director of the World Watch Institute in Washington D.C. “It’s just a big round number.”

    What big round numbers like these do, Engelman says, is give us an opportunity to revisit discussions about the impacts of a rapidly growing human population.

    “We hit six billion just in 1999, and here we are twelve years later, and we are at seven billion, raising questions about whether we will successfully get to eight billion, nine billion, or beyond without seeing rising death rates related to food insecurity, disease, conflict.”

    Alarm bells have been rung about all those possible results of the growing number of people for at least two centuries.

    Around 1800, demographer Thomas Robert Malthus warned that food supplies wouldn’t be able to keep pace with growing numbers of people. And he predicted that at a certain threshold—which he set at ONE billion—there would be massive disease outbreaks, famine, and a crash in human numbers.

    And yet today, human population is seven times Malthus’ crisis threshold. Granted, disease outbreaks and famine remain a serious problem in many parts of the world. But the average human is living a longer, healthier life than in Malthus’s time.

    That’s led some people to dismiss Malthus’s theory.

    Not so fast, says Jonathan Foley, the director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

    “Humans aren’t exempt from Malthus’s observations. We just postponed it again and again and again through innovation.”

    Foley says the industrial revolution, the green revolution and other new technologies boosted agricultural productivity far beyond what Malthus predicted.

    “But at the end of the day, Malthus’s ghost is still lurking above us,” he adds.

    We may have innovated our way out of mass starvation and other problems so far, but those very innovations have created a host of environmental problems that threaten our future, says Foley.

    For the entire article and audio interview:

  29. News roundup: October 28, 2011

    October 28, 2011 Posted by Ryan Fanning –

    Thinking about the American Jobs Act in the abstract makes it hard to see the benefits it would bring to the country. Now, you can check out this new interactive map from the White House to see exactly what the American Jobs Act would do to help your state. Want to know what the tax cut for the average family in Texas will be? Simply roll over Texas on the map, and you can see that it would be $1,460.

    Republican Governor John Kasich signed SB 5 into law earlier this year, limiting state employee unions’ negotiating rights. Now President Obama is lending his support to the effort to repeal it, the Los Angeles Times reports. The President is in full support of “fundamental collective bargaining rights,” unlike Republican Mitt Romney, who voiced his support for the anti-workers’ rights legislation earlier this week (after saying he didn’t have a position…after saying he supported it).”

    We’ve released a new Which Mitt video. Earlier this week, Mitt Romney couldn’t decide whether or not he supported workers’ rights in Ohio. In June, Romney declared his support for the measure, but on Tuesday, he refused to offer his opinion, despite showing up at a phone bank on the issue. He changed his mind when asked again on Wednesday, confirming his support for the anti-collective bargaining law.

    This morning our communications director, Brad Woodhouse, released a memo detailing Mitt Romney’s latest campaign struggles. The memo paints a portrait of a candidate struggling to connect with ordinary Americans.

    President Obama welcomed four grassroots campaign donors to dinner on Thursday night. The donors won the opportunity to dine with the President through the “Dinner with Barack” campaign effort. Coming from across the country, the donors included a retired teacher from Colorado, an artist and retired professor from Indiana, a Postal Service employee from Arizona, and a small-business owner from Minnesota.

    In this West Wing Week, titled “We Can’t Wait,” the President announced he’d keep his promise to bring our troops home from Iraq, honored the nation’s top scientists and inventors, embarked on a three-day Western swing to urge Congress to pass the American Jobs Act, and announced major new executive actions that will help middle-class families in this difficult economy.

  30. West Wing Week: 10/28/11 or “We Can’t Wait”

    From: whitehouse | Oct 27, 2011

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President announced he’d keep his promise to bring our troops home from Iraq, honored the nation’s top scientists and inventors, embarked on a three day Western swing to urge Congress to pass the American Jobs Act and announced major new executive actions that will help middle class families in this difficult economy. That’s October 21st to October 27th or “We Can’t Wait.”

  31. Going off-the-cuff, Romney does himself few favors

    10/28/11 By PHILIP ELLIOTT – Associated Press | AP – 2 hrs 49 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney may need a censor. For himself.

    In the last few weeks in Nevada, the man who owns several homes told the state hit tough by the housing crisis: “Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.”

    At one point in Iowa, earlier this year, the former venture capitalist uttered, “Corporations are people,”with the country in the midst of a debate over Wall Street vs. Main Street. At an event in economically suffering Florida, the retiree — who is a multimillionaire many times over — told out-of-work voters, “I’m also unemployed.”

    Over the past year, the Republican presidential candidate has amassed a collection of off-the-cuff comments that expose his vulnerabilities and, taken together, cast him as out-of-touch with Americans who face staggering unemployment, widespread foreclosures and a dire outlook on the economy.

    So far, the foot-in-mouth remarks haven’t seemed to affect his standing in the nomination race.

    Romney has run a far more cautious and disciplined campaign than his losing bid of four years ago. He’s kept the focus on his core message: He’s the strongest candidate able to beat President Barack Obama on the biggest issue of the campaign, the economy. He still enjoys leading positions in public opinion polls in early primary states and across the nation. Few, if any, of the other Republicans in the race have turned his remarks against him.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Romney’s chief rival with the money to prove it, is all but certain to try. Perry has already started suggesting that Romney lives a life of privilege while he comes from humble roots. In an interview Friday with CNN, another GOP candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, painted Romney as “a perfectly lubricated weather vane on the important issues of the day.”

    And Romney’s eyebrow-raising comments are tailor-made for critical TV ads.

    Look no further than the Democratic Party and Obama’s advisers for proof of that.

    Each time Romney says something that makes even his closest aides grimace, Democrats quickly put together a Web video highlighting the remark — a preview of certain lines of attack come the general election should the former Massachusetts governor win the nomination.

    “Mitt Romney’s message to Arizona? You’re on your own,” says a new ad by the Democratic National Committee that jumps on Romney’s foreclosure remarks.

    For the entire article:

    • DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is giving a great speech!

      Dr Jill Biden has laryngitis! VP Biden is giving a great speech too!

      “This is not your father’s Republican party. They want to play roulette with the economy.” VP Joe Biden

      • Darn – Wish I were paying better attention to “show times” tonight! I’ll have to watch the video.

        Love Debbie and Joe and I’m sorry Dr. Jill is not able to speak!

  32. $1.1 billion American Jobs Act to invest toward jobs

    American Jobs Act By the Numbers: $1.1 Billion

    Posted by Megan Slack on October 28, 2011

    Our economy is struggling. Our infrastructure is failing. Millions of Americans are out of work, many of them for longer than six months.

    That’s why President Obama introduced the American Jobs Act.

    The proposal includes funds to retain and hire teachers and keep first responders on the job. It invests $50 billion in infrastructure projects to modernize our roads, railways, and airports, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs. It offers tax breaks to small businesses to encourage hiring, and payroll tax cuts for 98 percent of businesses to put more money in everyone’s pockets. It will help connect unemployed workers with pathways back to work.

    We’ve created an interactive state-by-state map to show how the American Jobs Act will affect your state, including how many teaching jobs it will create, how much money will be invested in infrastructure projects, and the number of unemployed workers who will be connected with jobs. Check it out and see why we can’t wait to pass the American Jobs Act.

  33. Have a good weekend, CR and O’family – and goodnight to all the ships at sea!

  34. *********************

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ Happy Halloween 2011”

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

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