Pearl Harbor 70th Anniversary Remembrance

USS Arizona MemorialUSS Arizona Memorial Names

President Barack Obama places a wreath at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 29, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama places a wreath at the USS Arizona Memorial in
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 29, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Enduring Legacy of Pearl Harbor

As the generation of Pearl Harbor Survivors, WWII veterans, and home front civilians pass away, the stakeholders of WWII history pass on to the next generation the hope and promise to remember the events that changed their lives and the course of history.

The 70th Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration is an opportunity to explore the legacy of Pearl Harbor through the lens of American memory. All generations of Americans should be involved in the exploration and discovery of this history.

You are invite to join us in to commemorating this historic milestone and honoring the enduring legacy of Pearl Harbor.

Pacific Historic Parks

70th Remembrance Ceremonies

Hickam Field
12/7/2011
7:55 am
Base Flag Pole, Atterbury Memorial Park, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
Honolulu, Hawai’i

Pearl Harbor Day
70th Anniversary Commemoration
12/7/2011
7:40 am – 9:30 am
WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument
Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i

USS Oklahoma Memorial Marker Ceremony
12/7/2011
10:30 am
National Cemetery of the Pacific – Punchbowl, Honolulu, Hawai’i

USS Oklahoma Memorial
Commemoration
12/7/2011
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
USS Oklahoma Memorial
Ford Island, Honolulu, Hawai’i

Documentary Film Showing
Under a Jarvis Moon
12/8/2011
6 pm
Pearl Harbor Visitor Center
Movie Theaters, Honolulu, Hawai’i

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

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USS Arizona Memorial

The Visitor Center operated by the National Park Service is free to the public and has a museum with exhibits about the Pearl Harbor attack, such as the ship’s bell from the USS Arizona. The Pearl Harbor National Monument Bookstore revenue helps support the museum.

World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument

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81 thoughts on “Pearl Harbor 70th Anniversary Remembrance

  1. WH

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:45 AM
    President Obama and Biden meet with Senate Democratic Leadership.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:00 AM
    10:30 AM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin hold an off-camera gaggle in the Brady Press Briefing Room.

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:15 PM
    President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Harper of Canada.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    3:00 PM
    President Obama and Prime Minister Harper of Canada deliver statements
    South Court Auditorium
    Open Press

    4:00 PM
    4:35 PM
    President Obama attends a campaign event.
    DC, The Jefferson Hotel, Washington
    Closed Press

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

  2. Attack on Pearl Harbor 70th Anniversary

    The attack on Pearl Harbor (called Hawaii Operation or Operation AI by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters (Operation Z in planning) and the Battle of Pearl Harbor) was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States.

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

    • Presidential Proclamation — National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, 2011

      BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
      A PROCLAMATION

      December 06, 2011

      On a serene Sunday morning 70 years ago, the skies above Pearl Harbor were darkened by the bombs of Japanese forces in a surprise attack that tested the resilience of our Armed Forces and the will of our Nation. As explosions sounded and battleships burned, brave service members fought back fiercely with everything they could find. Unbeknownst to these selfless individuals, the sacrifices endured on that infamous day would galvanize America and come to symbolize the mettle of a generation.

      In the wake of the bombing of our harbor and the crippling of our Pacific Fleet, there were those who declared the United States had been reduced to a third-class power. But rather than break the spirit of our Nation, the attack brought Americans together and fortified our resolve. Patriots across our country answered the call to defend our way of life at home and abroad. They crossed oceans and stormed beaches, freeing millions from the grip of tyranny and proving that our military is the greatest force for liberty and security the world has ever known. On the home front, dedicated civilians supported the war effort by repairing wrecked battleships, working in factories, and joining civilian defense organizations to help with salvage programs and plant Victory gardens. At this time of great strife, we reminded the world there is no challenge we cannot meet; there is no challenge we cannot overcome.

      On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor the more than 3,500 Americans killed or wounded during that deadly attack and pay tribute to the heroes whose courage ensured our Nation would recover from this vicious blow. Their tenacity helped define the Greatest Generation and their valor fortified all who served during World War II. As a Nation, we look to December 7, 1941, to draw strength from the example set by these patriots and to honor all who have sacrificed for our freedoms.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/06/presidential-proclamation-national-pearl-harbor-remembrance-day-2011

      • December 07, 2011

        Statement by President Barack Obama on the 70th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

        Seventy years ago today, a bright Sunday morning was darkened by the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor. Today, Michelle and I join the American people in honoring the memory of the more than 2,400 American patriots—military and civilian, men, women and children—who gave their lives in our first battle of the Second World War. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families for whom this day is deeply personal—the spouses, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters who have known seven decades without a loved one but who have kept their legacy alive for future generations.

        We salute the veterans and survivors of Pearl Harbor who inspire us still. Despite overwhelming odds, they fought back heroically, inspiring our nation and putting us on the path to victory. They are members of that Greatest Generation who overcame the Depression, crossed oceans and stormed the beaches to defeat fascism, and turned adversaries into our closest allies. When the guns fell silent, they came home, went to school on the G.I. Bill, and built the largest middle class in history and the strongest economy in the world. They remind us that no challenge is too great when Americans stand as one. All of us owe these men and women a profound debt of gratitude for the freedoms and standard of living we enjoy today.

        On this National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we also reaffirm our commitment to carrying on their work—to keeping the country we love strong, free and prosperous. And as today’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan come to an end and we welcome home our 9/11 Generation, we resolve to always take care of our troops, veterans and military families as well as they’ve taken care of us. On this solemn anniversary, there can be no higher tribute to the Americans who served and sacrificed seventy years ago today.

    • 70th Anniversary remembrance ceremony honors Hickam heroes

      12/2/2011 Senior Airman Lauren Main – 15th Wing Public Affairs – 15wing.aft.mil

      JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii– — The Pacific Air Forces and the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will be holding a joint 70th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony commemorating the attack on Hickam Field from 7:55 to 9 a.m. Dec. 7 at Atterbury Circle.

      Eight Hickam Field survivors, five child survivors and two spouse survivors will be attending the ceremony.

      The theme of the ceremony is “Honoring our Heroes.” The ceremony includes an F-22 missing man flyover from the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing, a wreath laying and an honor guard gun salute. U.S. Air Force Gen. Gary North, Pacific Air Forces commander, and Col. Sam Barrett, 15th Wing commander, will be the guest speakers. Chaplain Joseph Deichert, 647th Air Base Group chaplain, will deliver the invocation. A trio from the Pacific Air Forces Band will perform various musical pieces throughout the ceremony.

      The 15th Wing will also be hosting an event Dec. 6 at Atterbury Circle. The Manchester Central High School band will be performing from 9:15 to 9:40 a.m.

      The Manchester Central High School band will be performing in honor of two students, Pvt. Joe Jedrysik, who attended Manchester Central High School and Sgt. Maurice St. Germain, who attended Manchester West High School. Both men were killed in action Dec. 7, 1941.

      The guest speaker for this event will be Col. Dan Baldessari, 15th Operations Group commander, who attended a high school that was nearby to Manchester Central High School.

      For the entire article: http://www.15wing.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123282109

    • Only Yesterday – Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor.mov

      Uploaded by 2manyphotos on Nov 18, 2011

    • Welcoming Home Our Veterans

      Published on Jul 23, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom
      Learn more: http://OFA.BO/ooJZtN

      Since day one, President Obama has made it a priority to keep the sacred trust we hold with those who wear the uniform of the United States and their families.

      In advance of the President’s remarks at the VFW Convention in Reno, Obama for America released this video that discusses the President’s commitment to keeping our nation’s sacred promise to our veterans. This video highlights a St. Louis parade organized to welcome our servicemembers home from Iraq.

      Learn how President Obama continues to better serve those who have served this nation and how you can get involved with Veterans and Military Familes for Obama: http://OFA.BO/ooJZtN

  3. The 442nd Infantry, formerly the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the United States Army, was an Asian American unit composed of mostly Japanese Americans who fought in Europe during World War II.The families of many of its soldiers were subject to internment. The 442nd was a self-sufficient fighting force, and fought with uncommon distinction in Italy, southern France, and Germany. The unit became the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the United States Armed Forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients.

    Most Japanese Americans who fought in WWII were Nisei, Japanese Americans born in the U.S. Nevertheless, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japanese American men were categorized as 4C (enemy alien) and therefore non-draftable. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing military authorities “to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion.” Although the order did not refer specifically to people of Japanese ancestry, it set the stage for the internment of people of Japanese descent. In March 1942, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Defense Command, issued the first of 108 military proclamations that resulted in the forced removal of more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast from their homes and placed in guarded concentration camps behind barbed wire, or (as the government euphemistically referred to them) relocation camps.

    In Hawaii, martial law, complete with curfews and blackouts, was imposed. A large portion of the population was of Japanese descent (150,000 out of 400,000 people in 1937) and internment was deemed not practicable, mostly for economic reasons. When the War Department called for the removal of all soldiers of Japanese ancestry from active service in early 1942, General Delos C. Emmons, commander of the U.S. Army in Hawaii, decided to discharge those in the Hawaii Territorial Guard, which was composed mainly of ROTC students from the University of Hawaii. However, he kept the more than 1,300 Japanese American soldiers of the 298th and 299th Infantry regiments of the Hawaii National Guard. The discharged members of the Hawaii Territorial Guard petitioned General Emmons to allow them to assist in the war effort. The petition was granted and they formed a group called the Varsity Victory Volunteers, which performed various construction jobs for the military. General Emmons, worried about the loyalty of Japanese American soldiers in the event of a Japanese invasion, recommended to the War Department that those in the 298th and 299th regiments be organized into a “Hawaiian Provisional Battalion” and sent to the mainland. The move was authorized, and on June 5, 1942, the Hawaiian Provisional Battalion set sail for training. They landed at Oakland, California on June 10, 1942 and two days later were sent to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. On June 15, 1942, the battalion was designated the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)—the “One Puka Puka”.

    For the entire article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/442nd_Regimental_Combat_Team

    • AJA soldiers to get top medal in November

      Sep 21, 2011By William Cole – staradvertiser

      A Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring Japanese-American troops for their bravery in World War II will be held Nov. 2 in Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep Mazie Hirono’s office said today.

      The nation’s highest civilian award will be bestowed, collectively, on the U.S. Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service for their extraordinary accomplishments at a time when the nation questioned nisei loyalties.

      Hirono and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa voted today in favor of Senate Concurrent Resolution 28, which will allow the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for the commemoration.

      U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye introduced the measure in the U.S. Senate last month where it passed on Sept. 8.

      “This recognition of valor and heroism is long overdue,” Hanabusa said. “Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, these remarkable heroes volunteered to defend a country that declared them to be ‘enemy aliens.’ ”

      The Japanese-Americans “clamored for permission to fight for a nation that sent many of their family members and friends to internment camps,” Hanabusa added. “This ceremony will give us the opportunity to thank these veterans for their service and sacrifice — and honor those who are not with us to witness this extraordinary moment.”

      On Oct. 5, 2010, President Barack Obama signed legislation collectively granting the Congressional Gold Medal to members of 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service for their decorated service.

      Many of the Japanese-American soldiers were from Hawaii.

      For the entire article: http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/130329083.html

      • A long overdue recognition. Thank you President Obama for signing this legislation. And may every kind of racism and hate vanish from our country.

    • 442nd legacy takes Soldiers from ‘enemy aliens’ to heroes

      October 31, 2011 By Rob McIlvaine – army.mil

      WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 28, 2011) — On Dec. 7, 1941, 5,000 Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans) had been drafted to serve in the U.S. Army.

      With Executive Order 9066 in hand, though, Military Governor Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt decided to discharge all those Japanese Americans on the west coast and send them home. He was also responsible for forcing more than 115,000 persons of Japanese ancestry into relocation camps.

      For the entire article: http://www.army.mil/article/68392/442nd_legacy_takes_Soldiers_from__enemy_aliens__to_heroes/

  4. Canadian PM to visit

    12/02/11 By BYRON TAU – POLITICO

    White House press secretary Jay Carney announced Friday that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit next week. The Canadian press has the details on what the two leaders will announce:

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper is heading to the White House on Wednesday for a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, where it’s expected they will finally announce details of the Beyond the Border trade and security deal.

    Canada and the United States have for months been looking to finalize the Beyond the Border initiative, a bilateral trade and security agreement designed to better co-ordinate intelligence-sharing at the border and streamline cross-border trade.

    The Harper government originally said the plan would be ready by the end of summer, but details haven’t been unveiled. The deal is expected to formally be announced following Wednesday’s meeting at the White House.

    Carney was asked in the briefing if President Obama and PM Harper would be announcing the Beyond the Border details, and he declined to comment.

  5. Obama to address climate conference

    12/06/11 By Ben Geman – TheHill

    President Obama will address an event at the ongoing United Nations climate talks in South Africa via video on Wednesday with remarks that will laud the legacy of the late environmental activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.

    The event about forest protection and “green growth” – which is also a tribute to Maathai – will be hosted by the group Avoided Deforestation Partners, and is slated to include a suite of top officials from the UN and other nations.

    Maathai, who died in September, launched the Green Belt Movement, an organization that paid African women to plant millions of trees around the continent. Obama praised Maathai in a statement upon her death. The Wednesday event is one of many forums unfolding on the sidelines of the formal negotiations at the U.N. summit.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/197547-obama-listed-as-speaker-at-climate-conference-event

  6. Hello, CR – Thank you for the trip back in time with your remembrances of Pearl Harbor. I remember everyone lost, but also all of those who came along to stand by our country and the world during World War II, including our Japanese Americans who fought so valiantly. I like to forget how we treated other Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor, but we can never forget … just make sure we don’t take similar actions again in the future.

    Coincidentally, one of my cousins was born on the first day of WWII and his younger brother was born on the last day of WWII. I came along a year later, along with the big ol’ post-WWII baby boom!

    Enjoy your evening. Today is my first granddaughter’s 21st birthday, which I can hardly believe since it seems like just yesterday when we first saw her adorableness!

    • We must always be on guard against people who want to divide us. We are one American and human family.

      Happy birthday to your granddaughter!

      (According to Rick Perry, she is now old enough to vote for President.)

    • Happy birthday to your granddaughter Ms O’Boomer!

      Pearl City view

      It’s hard to believe that it has been 70 years since the Pearl Harbor attacks. I was born in and grew up in Hawaii; our house was way up on the hill that had a great view of Pearl Harbor.

      To think that 70 years ago that view would have shown that there were Japanese zeros infiltrating U.S. territory and attacking people and ships, that there were Americans hurt and dying just breaks my heart.

      • Mine, too, CR. Such a beautiful area (love your image) to have been so devastated. We can only hope it never happens again – anywhere.

        Thanks for the birthday wishes for my granddaughter. I’ll be seeing her here in February, along with my new great grandson who’ll be age one in January. Can’t wait! They live in Florida, so we’ll have their winter jackets ready for them at the airport!

  7. 50 percent default rate subprime in 2006 mtgs

    By the Numbers: 50 Percent

    Posted by Megan Slack on December 06, 2011

    In the run-up to the financial crisis, independent, unregulated mortgage lenders were among the largest originators of subprime mortgages. The default rate on subprime mortgages made in 2006, the height of the housing bubble, now exceeds 50 percent.

    In part to prevent future homeowners from being saddled with mortgages they can’t pay, as well as regulate practices that led to the housing market crash in the first place, President Obama created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

    The Bureau consolidates consumer protection authorities that previously existed in seven different agencies under one roof. Prior to the passage of the Wall Street Reform Act, no single agency had effective tools to set the rules for and oversee the whole market, and consumer financial protection was not anyone’s top priority. The result was a system where no one was sufficiently accountable for getting the job done.

    In addition to being tasked with the authority to supervise financial institutions like banks and credit unions under laws that already existed, CFPB will also be able to supervise financial institutions like independent mortgage lenders payday lenders, private student loan companies, credit bureaus, and debt collectors. The Bureau will be able to make and enforce rules that protect people who rely on these types of services from abusive practices, and ensure consumers have the information they need to make good financial decisions.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/12/06/numbers-50-percent

  8. Preventing Hunger and Protecting Taxpayers: Our Renewed Efforts to Combat SNAP Fraud

    Posted by Kevin Concannon on December 06, 2011

    In recent years, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – formerly known as food stamps – has demonstrated an exceptional record in program integrity and stewardship of taxpayer dollars. The program currently serves as a bridge to success for over 46 million Americans who are at risk of being hungry when they face challenging economic times. More than half of those who rely on the program are children, elderly or the disabled, and many participants are newly unemployed and never thought they would be living in poverty. The program has never been more important and neither has the need to be a good steward of its dollars. In this vein, President Obama and Vice President Biden launched the Administration’s new Campaign to Cut Waste in government spending in June to eliminate misspent tax dollars and USDA strongly supports this effort.

    Today we are reinforcing this commitment, strengthening our resolve to ensure program integrity and working on behalf of American taxpayers to protect the federal investment in SNAP and make sure the program is targeted towards those families who need it the most. While we recognize that fraud occurs relatively infrequently in SNAP, it has great potential to undermine public confidence in government and jeopardize the ability of the program to serve the millions of struggling families who rely on benefits each month.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/12/06/preventing-hunger-and-protecting-taxpayers-our-renewed-efforts-combat-snap-fraud

  9. Seeking Your Input on the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan

    Posted by Aneesh Chopra on December 06, 2011

    On September 20, 2011, on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly, the President announced the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan. The Plan was developed through a process that involved extensive consultations with external stakeholders, including a broad range of civil society groups and members of the private sector, to gather ideas on open government. As we continue our work to implement the National Action Plan, we want your help. Specifically, we’d like your input and recommendations on how to improve and help facilitate public participation – your participation – in government.

    The United States committed to undertake 26 Open Government initiatives in the National Action Plan, and we are working to implement each of them now. For example, the White House recently announced that Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will be the senior U.S. official to lead implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, an effort to ensure that taxpayers receive every dollar due for extraction of our natural resources. A major milestone was also reached in the development of an open government platform that will enable governments around the world to stand up their own open government data sites. And just last week, the President fulfilled a commitment made in the National Action Plan to begin a government-wide effort to reform and modernize records management policies and practices.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/12/06/seeking-your-input-us-open-government-national-action-plan

  10. Meeting with Lady Gaga on Inclusion and Equality for Our Young People’

    Posted by Valerie Jarrett on December 06, 2011

    Lady Gaga is a source of strength for many young people who feel isolated and scared at their schools. Today, I had the opportunity to welcome her to the White House, where we discussed ways we could work together to make sure that no child comes under attack, regardless of his or her race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other factor.

    One of Lady Gaga’s newest projects is joining together with the MacArthur Foundation and Harvard University to launch the Born This Way Foundation, which will explore ways to help change the culture, the policies, and the curriculum surrounding the safety of our children in school.

    Lady Gaga has described this cause as a personal one – she has said that as a child, she was often picked on for being different. I am deeply moved by the way she has used her story, and her success, to inspire young people, and shine the spotlight on important issues.

    I am proud to be part of an Administration that has taken steps to address bullying. In 2010, the Department of Education made it clear to schools that allowing bullying against LGBT students can violate anti-discrimination statutes. In 2011, the Department reaffirmed students’ rights to form gay-straight alliances and other similar groups. Earlier this year, President Obama and the First Lady held a White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. And today the Administration released a new analysis of state bullying laws and policies, summarizing the efforts currently in place to prevent bullying in and out of schools. The report shows that while states have made recent progress in enacting policies and legislation to address bullying, more must be done.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/12/06/meeting-lady-gaga-inclusion-and-equality-our-young-people

  11. Geithner to see Sarkozy, urge decisive euro action

    12/6/11 By Daniel Flynn | Reuters – 3 hrs ago

    PARIS (Reuters) – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Wednesday to press for decisive steps towards resolving Europe’s deepening debt crisis as the region’s leaders prepare for a crucial summit this week.

    Geithner voiced strong support for a Franco-German blueprint for an overhaul of the European Union (EU) treaty during a visit to Berlin on Tuesday, after credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s fired a second warning shot at the bloc in 24 hours by threatening to cut the credit rating of its EFSF rescue fund.

    Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are due to propose to Friday’s EU summit a plan to impose mandatory penalties on euro zone states that exceed deficit targets, with the aim of restoring market trust and preventing the region’s deepening debt crisis spiraling out of control.

    Details of their treaty reform proposals were due to be presented on Wednesday in a letter to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who will chair the meeting of 27 EU leaders.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/geithner-see-sarkozy-urge-decisive-euro-action-003724399.html

    • Geithner sees encouraging progress in Europe

      12/7/111 By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | AP – 2 hrs 13 mins ago

      PARIS (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday he is very encouraged with the progress Europe is making in coming up with a plan to shore up the euro in the wake of a crippling debt crisis.

      Geithner’s comments to reporters followed a meeting with French Finance Minister Francois Baroin on the second day of his whirlwind trip through Europe.
      At a summit on Friday, Europe’s leaders will discuss proposals made by France and Germany to impose greater budget discipline on the 17 nations that use the euro as a common currency.

      Baroin said he and Geithner had spoken about building a “robust firewall” to reassure financial markets. Baroin also said they had also discussed greater involvement by the International Monetary Fund in resolving the debt crisis.

      European countries have been pushing for more support for the IMF, which is already helping in the financial bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal. But the United States has previously said that the IMF has adequate resources following a big increase in its financial firepower following the 2008 financial crisis.

      However, U.S. officials have said they were reviewing a European proposal that some European governments would loan the IMF money that the agency could use to make loans to countries facing financial problems.

      Geithner did not comment directly on Baroin’s remarks about increasing IMF support but he called their meeting a “good, constructive” discussion.

      For the entire article; http://goo.gl/0JhvM

  12. Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period Ends Today

    Medicare Open Enrollment: October 15 – December 7, 2011

    Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) will end on December 7, 2011

    Where do I start?

    How do I choose a Medicare plan?

    How can I save money on my medical and drug costs?

    Where can I get personalized help?

    For the entire article: http://www.medicare.gov/open-enrollment/index.html

    Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period http://www.medicare.gov
    1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

  13. When Does President Obama Get Your Apology, Professional Left?

    December 06, 2011 Posted by Deaniac83 – ThePeoplesView

    I had changed my registration from Democrat to Independent, and I had blacked out the top of the “h” on my Obama bumper sticker, so that it read, “Got nope” instead of “got hope.” I felt like he had let down the struggling middle class. My son and I had campaigned for him, but since he took office, we felt he had let us down.

    So this is my public apology. I’m sorry I didn’t do enough of my own research to find out what promises the president has made good on. I’m sorry I didn’t realize that he really has stood up for me and my family, and for so many others like us. I’m getting a new bumper sticker to cover the one that says “Got nope.” It will say “ObamaCares.”

    When I read those words, I got a chill. These are words by Spike Dolomite Ward, a breast cancer patient and an Obama volunteer in 2008 who felt that the President had let her down, and who now calls ObamaCare a “lifesaver – perhaps literally.” The plan she is talking about is the Pre-existing Conditions Insurance Plan (PCIP), provided under the Affordable Care Act with a federal funding of $5 billion as a bridge for patients with pre-existing conditions until 2014, when the exchanges start, pre-existing conditions discrimination ends forever and the subsidies kick in.

    For the entire article: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2011/12/how-professional-left-undermines.html

    • Fantastic post. Hope it gets reblogged, tweeted, emailed etc. everywhere. Absolutely true IMO what Deaniac says about the fauxgressive left:

      “…. Will Spike’s story teach these Professional Whiners a lesson? Will they apologize for lying to unsuspecting progressives who trusted them? Will they apologize for trying to kill a law that is literally keeping people alive? Will they apologize for calling this President a weak sellout? Will they apologize for damaging the progressive cause, demoralizing liberal voters in 2010 and forestalling the progress we could have made this year and the next if this president had a Democratic Congress?

      I wouldn’t hold my breath. But I would learn ourselves a lesson from this. Don’t trust people who value their ideological talking points more than the lives of ordinary citizens….”

  14. Text4baby for Pregnant Women and New Moms

    What is text4baby?
    Text4baby is a free service that provides pregnant women and new moms with free text messages each week on pregnancy and baby care health tips. These messages are timed to a woman’s due date or the baby’s date of birth.

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    Sign up for the service by texting BABY to 511411 (or BEBE in Spanish) to receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to your due date or baby’s date of birth.

    For more information: http://www.text4baby.org/

  15. Long live our “mom in tennis shoes”!

    From TPM:

    Patty Murray: The One Percent Aren’t ‘Job Creators’

    By Brian Beutler

    Former Super Committee co-chair and head of Senate Democrats’ 2012 campaign effort Patty Murray will take on the GOP myth that the wealthiest Americans are “job creators” — and therefore must be protected from higher marginal tax rates.

    In prepared floor remarks sent my way, Murray will argue that ….
    “Republicans …. believe the only ones who create jobs in America are the rich …. It was this kind of thinking that turned a surplus into a deficit, that brought the economy to its knees, that failed the middle class — and that allowed the wealthiest Americans to amass record fortunes paying the lowest tax rates in decades.”

    …. Murray’s remarks suggest that Dems, bolstered by a heightened national focus on the economy, taxes, and income inequality, will be taking this notion head on.

    http://bit.ly/rxyOle

  16. Hi, CR and O’family – Thought I’d start my visits online today by stopping here first on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Such a monumental date in our country’s history, which eventually brought Americans together as one nation fighting awful people and events who tried to re-shape our world. Of course, we’re still fighting in some parts of the world … we can only hope that the human condition improves some fine day, so that we can all live in peace!

    Busy making holiday preps here in the Midwest – awaiting another small snowstorm tomorrow – and will be attending a seven-year-old’s holiday pageant at her school tonight. That’ll be cute!

    Have a good, HOPEFUL day and keep the faith!

    Obama-Biden 2012

  17. President Obama won’t go to Hawaii while payroll tax is in limbo

    12/07/11 By Alexander Bolton – TheHill

    President Obama is not vacationing in Hawaii with his wife and children while the extension of the payroll tax holiday remains in limbo, and has warned GOP congressional leaders to stay in town as well.

    Obama had planned to fly to Hawaii with his family on Dec. 17 and stay there through New Year’s.

    After getting ripped by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney over his vacation plans, Obama told Senate Democratic leaders Wednesday that he will stay in town until Congress finishes work on the payroll tax holiday, unemployment benefits and other issues.

    Obama told Democratic leaders: “Michelle and the girls are going to have a great time in Hawaii, they don’t need me there,” according to Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.).

    Romney blasted Obama’s vacation plans on Monday.

    “I just think it’s time to have a president those idea of being ‘hands on’ doesn’t mean getting a better grip on the golf club,” Romney told potential caucus voters in Iowa.

    Obama told leaders it would be unacceptable if House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) adjourned for Christmas next week without extending a 2-percentage point reduction of the payroll tax.
    A White House official disputed the notion that Obama had altered his vacation plans because of Romney’s criticism.

    The official noted that Obama had already threatened to spend Christmas with Republicans in Washington if Congress failed to take action on payroll taxes.

    “We’re going to keep pushing Congress to make this happen,” Obama said Friday. “Now is not the time to slam the brakes on the recovery. Right now, it’s time to step on the gas. We need to get this done. And I expect that it’s going to get done before Congress leaves. Otherwise, Congress may not be leaving, and we can all spend Christmas here together.”

    White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday that he would be surprised if Congress left town for the Christmas break without extending the payroll tax rate.

    “The president said himself quite explicitly that he, if necessary, will – I think the phrasing was, be here through Christmas,” according to a press report.

    • December 07, 2011

      Statements by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper of Canada

      South Court Auditorium

      3:16 P.M. EST

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody. Please be seated.

      I am very pleased to welcome my friend and partner, Prime Minister Harper, back to the White House. Whenever we get together it’s a chance to reaffirm the enduring alliance between our nations, the extraordinary bonds between our peoples, the excellent cooperation between our governments, and my close personal friendship to the Prime Minister.

      Stephen, I believe this is the 11th time that we’ve sat down and worked together, not including our many summits around the world. And on occasions like this, unfortunately, I only speak one language; Stephen moves effortlessly between two. But no matter what language we speak, we always understand each other. In Stephen, I’ve got a trusted partner, and I think he’ll agree that perhaps no two nations match up more closely together, or are woven together more deeply, economically, culturally, than the United States and Canada.

      And that deep sense of interconnection, our shared values, our shared interests, infused the work that we have done today — from supporting a resolution to the eurozone crisis to moving ahead with the transition in Afghanistan, from deepening security cooperation here in the Americas to supporting reform and democratic transitions in the Middle East and North Africa.

      Our focus today, however, is on our highest priority, and my top priority as President, and that’s creating jobs faster and growing the economy faster. And in this mission, Canada has a special role to play. As most of you know, Canada is our single largest trading partner, our top export market, and those exports — from cars to food — support some 1.7 million good-paying American jobs. Canada, in turn, is one of the top foreign investors in the United States, and that creates even more jobs and prosperity.

      And the Prime Minister and I are determined not just to sustain this trade but to expand it, to grow it even faster, so we’re creating even more jobs and more opportunity for our people. Canada is key to achieving my goal of doubling American exports and putting folks back to work. And the two important initiatives that we agreed to today will help us do just that.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/07/statements-president-barack-obama-and-prime-minister-canada-stephen-harp

    • December 07, 2011

      Fact Sheet: U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border and Regulatory Cooperation Council Initiatives

      Today, the United States and Canada enjoy the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world. Total trade and investment between the United States and Canada topped $1.1 trillion in 2010, and those numbers are growing.

      The United States and Canada are each other’s largest export market, with roughly 20 percent of all U.S. goods exports destined to Canada. U.S. exports to Canada already support 1.7 million jobs, and in 2010 U.S. exports to Canada grew more than U.S. exports to the rest of the world. Canada is the top export destination for 36 U.S. states.

      We share common infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, pipelines, and electricity grids, and our supply chains are integrally linked, with a single good often crossing the shared border multiple times during its production cycle.

      Recognizing these dynamics, on February 4, 2011, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced two initiatives to ensure that the vital economic partnership that joins our two countries continues to be the cornerstone of our economic competitiveness and security as we together face the challenges of the 21st century.

      Since the Leaders’ announcement, representatives from across the United States Government have worked with their Canadian counterparts to formulate the Beyond the Border (BTB) Action Plan and the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Action Plan being unveiled today.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/07/fact-sheet-us-canada-beyond-border-and-regulatory-cooperation-council-in

  18. $4.2 billion per yr penalty fees

    By the Numbers: $4.2 Billion

    Posted by Megan Slack on December 07, 2011

    Payday loans, sometimes called cash-advance loans or check-advance loans offer borrowers short‐term funds at very high interest rates that are not always clearly disclosed. On average, payday lenders charge fees of roughly $16 for a $100 two‐week loan. If borrowers miss payments, fees can begin to accumulate, resulting in extremely high total payments. Payday loan borrowers are paying nearly $4.2 billion in fees annually, according to some studies.

    Even when rates and penalties are disclosed, borrowers in desperate need of cash may agree to disadvantageous loan terms. Many times, these borrowers’ financial resources have already been depleted by an emergency, sustained unemployment, or illness. Relying on payday loans to make ends meet can create a debt‐and‐fee‐spiral that some people may find extremely difficult to exit.

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was established to provide federal supervision and oversight over a full range of financial service providers that consumers rely on–from banks and credit unions, to payday lenders and independent mortgage brokers. President Obama has nominated Richard Cordray to head the CFPB, and the Senate will vote on his confirmation this week. Having a director in place will allow the Bureau to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices from providers like those that issue payday loans.

  19. December 07, 2011

    Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel of Germany

    The President and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone this afternoon, continuing their ongoing consultations on the financial situation in the eurozone. As before, the President expressed his appreciation for the efforts the Chancellor and other European leaders are making to resolve the crisis. Both leaders agreed on the importance of a lasting and credible solution to the crisis, and agreed continue their close cooperation on these issues.

  20. December 07, 2011

    Statement by the Press Secretary on Iran’s Blockage of Virtual Embassy Tehran

    We condemn the Iranian government’s efforts to deny their people the freedom to access America’s recently launched Virtual Embassy Tehran. Through this action, the Iranian government has once again demonstrated its commitment to build an electronic curtain of surveillance and censorship around its people. The Iranian government’s systematic efforts to deny information to its citizens—to control what the Iranian people see and hear—is doomed to fail in a 21st century when technology is empowering citizens around the globe.

    The United States remains steadfast in our commitment to a dialogue with the Iranian people based upon mutual interests, mutual respect, and admiration for a great and ancient civilization. The Iranian government should explain to its own people why it fears their ability to access the information that they choose.

  21. WH

    Thursday, December 8 , 2011

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:30 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:00 AM
    10:15 AM
    President Obama holds a meeting with House Democratic leadership.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:00 AM
    11:15 AM
    The Vice President and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan deliver remarks at Duncan U. Fletcher High School
    Florida, Neptune Beach
    Open Press

    11:30 AM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM

    1:50 PM
    President Obama is interviewed by regional television outlets.
    Map Room
    Closed Press

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    The President delivers remarks at the Hanukkah Reception; the Vice President, First Lady and Dr. Biden attend
    Grand Foyer
    Pooled Press

    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • POTUS podium

      December 8, 2011

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

      11:00 AM EST
      VP Biden Speaks to Students
      Duncan U. Fletcher High School, Neptune Beach, Florida (Audio Only)

      11:30 AM EST
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      6:00 PM EST
      White House Hanukkah reception
      President Obama makes remarks at a Hanukkah reception at the White House.

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      9:00 AM EST
      U.S. House of Representatives: Farm Dust Regulations

      9:30 AM EST
      House Judiciary Committee: Operation Fast and Furious

      9:30 AM EST
      U.S. Senate: Nomination of R. Cordray as Consumer Financial Protect. Bureau Dir.

      9:30 AM EST
      MF Global bankruptcy hearing
      Former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine will testify before the House Agriculture Committee on the collapse of his MF Global brokerage firm.

      11:00 AM EST
      U.S. Senate: Extending Payroll Tax Cut

      11:30 AM EST
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      2:30 PM EST
      Senate Energy Subcmte: Domestic and Global Water Supply Issues

      6:00 PM EST
      White House Hanukkah reception
      President Obama makes remarks at a Hanukkah reception at the White House.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:00 AM EST
      U.S. House of Representatives: Farm Dust Regulations

      9:30 AM EST
      House Judiciary Committee: Operation Fast and Furious http://www.c-span.org/Events/Atty-Gen-Holder-on-Operation-Fast-and-Furious/10737426112/

      9:30 AM EST
      U.S. Senate: Nomination of R. Cordray as Consumer Financial Protect. Bureau Dir.

      9:30 AM EST
      MF Global bankruptcy hearing
      Former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine will testify before the House Agriculture Committee on the collapse of his MF Global brokerage firm. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Fmr-Senator-Corzine-to-Testify-in-MF-Global-Investigation/10737426111/

      11:00 AM EST
      U.S. Senate: Extending Payroll Tax Cut http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-and-Senate-Negotiators-Meet-on-Spending-Bills/10737426137/

      11:30 AM EST
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      1:00 PM EST
      House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Weekly Legislative Briefing

      2:30 PM EST
      Senate Energy Subcmte: Domestic and Global Water Supply Issues http://www.c-span.org/Events/Senate-Committee-Tackles-Global-Water-Challenges/10737426135/

      6:00 PM EST
      White House Hanukkah reception
      President Obama makes remarks at a Hanukkah reception at the White House.

  22. Gene Sperling Call – December 8

    On Thursday, December 8th at 3:00 p.m. EST, please join Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, to discuss:

    President Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, Kansas
    President Obama’s strong support for a payroll tax cut that will save the average American family $1000
    This week’s We Can’t Wait executive actions

    What: Call on Kansas Speech, Payroll Tax, and We Can’t Wait
    When: Thursday, December 8th
    Start Time: 3:00 p.m. EST
    Dial In: (800) 288-8967
    Passcode Title: White House Update Call

    To sign up: http://www.whitehouse.gov/webform/gene-sperling-call-december-8

  23. Good Thursday morning everyone! I HOPE that the nomination of Richard Cordray as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director is approved and that the Payroll Tax Cut is extended!

  24. I also hope that after this week, my work schedule will ease up so that I can spend more time here. It has been a rough two months for me even though I love my job.

  25. Jobless claims at 9-month low last week

    12/8/11 Reuters – 21 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a nine-month low last week, a government report showed on Thursday, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining momentum.

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000, the Labor Department said, the lowest since late February. That was below economists’ expectations for a fall to 395,000.

    The report, coming on the heels of data last week showing a rise in hiring and a sharp drop in the unemployment rate to 8.6 percent in November, pointed to some healing in a sector that has been the Achilles heel of the economy’s recovery.

    Claims were the latest data to suggest an acceleration in economic growth in the current quarter after output expanded at a 2.0 percent annual rate in the July-September period.

    “It looks as if the U.S. labor market does not know how to spell the word euro contagion,” said Cary Leahey, economist at Decision Economics in New York. “This is a good report … adds to the sense that the job market continues to brighten, though very slowly.”

    The United States is a relatively strong spot as much of the global economy slows and parts of the euro zone are already in recession. the European Central Bank on Thursday cut interest rates by a quarter of a point a record low 1 percent.

    There are fears that Europe’s debt crisis could slow the U.S. economic recovery.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/jobless-claims-9-month-low-last-week-134124265.html

  26. GOP WRONG WAY

    Revisiting Newt Gingrich’s 1997 Ethics Investigation

    December 8, 2011 by PETER OVERBY – NPR

    Even as Republican presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich is riding high in the polls this week, he’s been dragged back into a debate over a problematic part of his past. In 1997, he was the first speaker of the House, ever, to be punished by the House for ethics violations.

    With “Renewing American Civilization,” history-professor-turned-politician Newt Gingrich had a college course — a program that was supposed to be insulated from partisan politics and campaign cash.

    The litany he used in the classroom sounds much like one he uses today.

    “American civilization cannot survive with 12-year-olds having babies, 15-year-olds shooting one another, 17-year-olds dying of AIDS, and 18-year-olds graduating with diplomas they cannot read,” Gingrich lectured.

    But then as now, Gingrich had several overlapping projects going on. And Democrats alleged that Gingrich used the college course to promote a political agenda.

    In one instance, a restaurant-industry advocacy group gave Gingrich’s college course $25,000. One of Gingrich’s political fundraisers solicited the money and said in a memo that the group might contribute if Gingrich would teach ideas that it favored.

    The chairman of the group was chain-restaurant owner Norman Brinker. Brinker was later featured in a flattering video used by Gingrich in his course to talk about business innovation: “Whether it’s his beloved game of polo or his magical success in business, Norman Brinker simply does not know how to lose.”

    For nearly two years, the House ethics committee investigated this and other Democratic allegations.

    In the end, the House voted overwhelmingly, 395 to 28, to reprimand Gingrich and to fine him $300,000.

    “Today we conclude this case by imposing a heavy penalty on the leader of this House. It is a tough penalty, unprecedented and appropriate,” Republican Rep. Nancy Johnson, who chaired the ethics committee, said at the time on the House floor.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/12/08/143333594/revisiting-newt-gingrichs-1997-ethics-investigation

  27. Newt Gingrich’s Gay Half-Sister Is Voting for Obama

    12/15/11 By Alexander Abad-Santos | The Atlantic Wire – 55 mins ago

    Ouch, Newt Gingrich’s gay sister, Candace Gingrich-Jones told Rachel Maddow yester-night that she wouldn’t be voting for her brother should he snag the nomination–her snag being his anti-gay rights position. Not having your own relative give you an endorsement sounds a bit rough. But Gingrich-Jones, Newt’s half-sister, is and has historically been a vocal advocate for gay rights and and is one of the directors of the Human Rights Campaign’s youth outreach program. “He is definitely on the wrong side of history when it comes to those issues,” Candace Gingrich-Jones told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (video below), adding that she and her half-brother are “mutually respectful” of each other–which is helpful considering he didn’t attend her wedding and that come election time, she is planning to “work really, really hard to make sure that President Obama is re-elected next year no matter who the Republican candidate is.” And “mutual respect” must come into play when your brother recently told Iowans that marriage equality “is a temporary aberration that will dissipate. I think that it is just fundamentally goes against everything we know.” Maddow noted that Jones-Gingrich hasn’t been afraid to voice her dissent with her brother’s conservative views, dating back to when he was Speaker of the House. “At the end of the day, we are a family and that’s important,” she said. “The catch is that when we leave the dinner table or leave the Christmas gathering, you know he and Callista still have way more rights than my wife and Rebecca and I do.”

  28. Wholesalers boost inventories by most since May

    12/8/11 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | AP – 4 mins 42 secs ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale companies increased their stockpiles of autos, paper, and other goods in October by the most in five months, a sign they expect consumer demand to rise.

    The Commerce Department said Thursday that wholesale inventories grew 1.6 percent, the most since May. Rising stockpiles of nondurable goods, such as paper and petroleum, drove the increase. September’s figure was also revised to show that inventories were unchanged, up from last month’s estimate of a 0.1 percent decline.

    Sales at the wholesale level increased 0.9 percent, after a 0.3 percent increase in September.

    When companies build up their inventories, it usually signals that they expect more sales. And the extra factory production needed to increase stockpiles boosts economic output.

    Overall inventories shrank in the July-September quarter, shaving a full percentage point off economic growth. Companies likely cut back their stockpiles out of concern over future economic growth.

    Companies are now rebuilding their stockpiles as the economy is showing signs of improvement. In addition to the wholesale gains, manufacturers increased their inventories 0.9 percent in October, the government said last week.

    Rising inventories are a big reason economists expect growth will improve in the fourth quarter. Most expect the economy to expand by an annual rate of about 3 percent, up from 2 percent in the July-September quarter.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/wholesalers-boost-inventories-most-since-may-150500983.html

    • Making College More Affordable

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Dec 9, 2011

      Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visit Duncan Fletcher High School in Neptune Beach, Florida to discuss the steps the administration has taken to make college more affordable and the need for Colleges to keep costs lower so the next generation of Americans can outcompete the rest of the world.

  29. GOP blocks Obama nominee to head financial agency

    12/8/11 By JIM ABRAMS | AP – 4 mins 7 secs ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked President Barack Obama’s choice to head the new consumer protection agency that was designed to help curtail the excesses and abuses that led to the financial meltdown.

    Republicans presented a near-solid front in filibustering the nomination of former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency was an essential element of legislation enacted last year to overhaul the financial system.

    Only one Republican voted to advance the nomination. The 53-45 vote was short of the 60 needed to overcome GOP opposition.

    Obama planned to comment on the vote late Thursday morning.

    Republicans said they had no objections to Cordray, the agency’s enforcement chief. But for months they have made clear they would vote against anyone until the administration agreed to changes in an agency they contend has too much power and too little accountability.

    Democrats accused Republicans of favoring Wall Street over the consumers the agency is supposed to protect and suggested the dispute could become an issue in next year’s presidential campaign.

    “This is the first time in Senate history a party has blocked a qualified candidate solely because they disagree with the existence of the agency that’s being created by law,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

    The agency officially opened its doors in July, but under law cannot carry out its full functions until a director is in place. It can enforce existing bank regulations, but cannot issue new rules affecting nonbank entities such as payday lenders and credit card companies.

    The bureau on Wednesday did introduce a simplified two-page credit card agreement it hopes will be a model for the industry.

    Republicans, who fought passage of what is known as the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill last year and continue to challenge some of its provisions, say their support for the agency hinges on replacing the director with a bipartisan board of directors; subjecting the agency to the congressional appropriations process; and giving more regulatory offices power to overrule agency decisions.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/gop-blocks-obama-nominee-head-financial-agency-161833201.html

      • December 08, 2011

        Statement by the President

        James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

        11:40 A.M. EST

        THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. A couple of days ago I said that we are in a make-or-break moment when it comes to America’s middle class. We either have a country where everybody fends for themselves, or we create a country where everybody does their fair share, everybody has got a fair chance, and we ensure that there’s fair play out there.

        Now, to ensure fair play, one of the things that I talked about was the importance of making sure we implement financial reform, Wall Street reform that was passed last year. And a key component of that was making sure that we have a consumer watchdog in place who can police what mortgage brokers and payday lenders and other non-bank financial entities are able to do when it comes to consumers.

        This is a big deal. About one-in-five people use these kinds of mechanisms to finance everything from buying a house to cashing their checks. And we passed a law last year that said we need this consumer watchdog in place to make sure that people aren’t taken advantage of.

        Now, we have nominated somebody — Richard Cordray, former attorney general and treasurer of Ohio — who everybody says is highly qualified. The majority of attorney generals, Republican and Democrat, from across the country have said this is somebody who can do the job with integrity, who has a tradition of being a bipartisan individual who looks out for the public interest, and is ready to go. And he actually helped set up the Consumer Finance Protection Board.

        This morning, Senate Republicans blocked his nomination, refusing to let the Senate even go forward with an up or down vote on Mr. Cordray. This makes absolutely no sense.

        Consumers across the country understand that part of the reason we got into the financial mess that we did was because regulators were not doing their jobs. People were not paying attention to what was happening in the housing market; people weren’t paying attention to who was being taken advantage of. There were folks who were making a lot of money taking advantage of American consumers.

        This individual’s job is to make sure that individual consumers are protected — everybody from seniors to young people who are looking for student loans, to members of our Armed Services who are probably more vulnerable than just about anybody when it comes to unscrupulous financial practices.

        There is no reason why Mr. Cordray should not be nominated, and should not be confirmed by the Senate, and should not be doing his job right away in order to carry out his mandate and his mission.

        So I just want to send a message to the Senate: We are not giving up on this. We’re going to keep on going at it. We are not going to allow politics as usual on Capitol Hill to stand in the way of American consumers being protected by unscrupulous financial operators. And we’re going to keep on pushing on this issue.

        For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/08/statement-president

        • “Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top Al-Qaeda leaders who have been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement.”

          YES, MR. PRESIDENT!

          I love this.

          bin Laden and al Quaeda flourished throughout the Bush-Cheney administration. In less than 3 years, President Obama devastated the terrorist organization and cut off its head.

      • The CFPB Needs Its Director

        Posted by Matt Compton on December 08, 2011

        The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a new agency, created just last year. They have a big responsibility — acting as a watchdog for all of us who hold a mortgage, use credit cards, or otherwise need to apply for a loan.

        The staff there has already gotten to work. Just this week, they’ve announced a project to simplify credit card agreements and make them less confusing for consumers.

        But right now, the Bureau is hamstrung by the simple fact that the Senate has so far refused to confirm Richard Cordray — the man who President Obama has nominated to be its director.

        This isn’t a question of credentials. Cordray has a wealth of experience as a public servant. He has clerked for the Supreme Court, been elected to the Ohio state legislature, and served as Ohio’s State Treasury and Attorney General. He understands the issues facing middle class families and has been a champion for consumers throughout his career.

        This isn’t really even a question of bipartisan support. Cordray has the backing of a majority of the nation’s Attorneys General. So far, 37 of them, Republicans and Democrats, from across the country, have called on the Senate to confirm Cordray. That’s a call that’s been echoed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, who have issued their own letter calling for Cordray’s confirmation.

        Instead, this is about Republicans trying to make the CFPB less effective. President Obama talked about that refusal to confirm Cordray yesterday in Kansas:

        Does anyone think the problem before that led to this crisis was too much oversight of mortgage lenders or debt collectors? Every day we go without a consumer watchdog in place is another day when a student, or a service member, or a senior citizen could be tricked into a loan they can’t afford – something that happens all the time. Financial institutions have plenty of lobbyists looking out for their interests. Consumers deserve to have someone whose job it is to look out for theirs. And I intend to make sure they do.

        Now, it appears that the Senate will finally vote on Cordray’s nomination. We’ll keep you posted as that vote unfolds.

  30. Plan to boost employment for disabled workers

    12/8/11 By SAM HANANEL | AP – 21 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration wants to use the power of government purchasing to help increase the number of disabled people in the workforce, proposing to require federal contractors to set a goal of having disabled workers make up at least 7 percent of their employees.

    Labor officials called the plan one of the most significant efforts to protect the rights of disabled workers since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.

    “This is really a historic moment in the civil rights movement in America,” Patricia Shiu, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, said in an interview.

    Federal contractors and subcontractors account for nearly a quarter of the nation’s workforce. The proposal could have a ripple effect across the country and help bring down the 13 percent unemployment rate for disabled workers, which is about 1 1/2 times the rate of those without disabilities.

    There are about 200,000 federal contractors taking in approximately $700 billion annually in contracts.

    The government long has used the leverage of federal spending to promote affirmative action in the hiring of women and minorities. The new rule would, for the first time, give that same treatment to people with disabilities.

    There are about 200,000 federal contractors taking in approximately $700 billion annually in contracts.

    The government long has used the leverage of federal spending to promote affirmative action in the hiring of women and minorities. The new rule would, for the first time, give that same treatment to people with disabilities.

    The proposed rule is not a quota. It would require companies to devote more resources to recruiting efforts to hire more disabled workers, improve training programs and update data collection.

    Contractors would have to keep detailed records showing they are complying. The rule would require them to list job openings to increase their pool of qualified applicants.

    “For nearly 40 years, the rules have said that contractors simply need to make a ‘good faith’ effort to recruit and hire people with disabilities,” Shiu said. “Clearly, that’s not working.”

    The Labor Department will take comments on the rule for 60 days before considering final approval next year.
    Disability advocates praised the rule.

    “It has been proven again and again that investing in opportunities for people with disabilities are repaid tenfold,” said Lara Schwartz, spokeswoman for the American Association of People with Disabilities. “When more people have the opportunity to earn a living, pay taxes, live independently, the entire nation benefits.”

    Businesses have had mixed reactions to the plan, which could prove easier for larger companies to put in place than smaller ones that face increased costs and paperwork.

    “The agency issued a number of regulations that have dramatically expanded paperwork and record-keeping requirements with real costs to contractors,” said Michael Eastman, executive director for labor law policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    That organization has yet taken a formal position on the proposed disability hiring rules. Eastman said his group supports the goals of trying to bring more people with disabilities into the workforce, “but we have concerns whether the agency has proposed the right approach or not.”

    Republican lawmakers have complained frequently about the costs that new regulations impose on businesses. On Wednesday, the House passed a measure that would require congressional review of rules that have an effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adverse effects on employment and productivity

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/h640G

  31. Dems’ payroll tax cut extension goes down again in Senate

    12/08/11 By Josiah Ryan – TheHill

    Senate Republicans blocked the latest installment of President Obama’s jobs plan — a bill to extend the payroll tax cut — for the second week in a row on Thursday.

    The bill, titled the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, was shot down 50-48. It would have cut the payroll tax paid by employees to 3.1 percent from the current 4.2 percent while funding itself by imposing a surtax on millionaires.

    That legislation’s defeat, aided by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), followed the 51-49 defeat of a similar bill offered by Democrats last Thursday, which carried an extra $85 billion in costs.

    Senate leadership and the White House spent much of the week assailing Republicans over their opposition to the plan. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sought to once again place Republicans in the awkward position of having to vote against a tax cut.

    “Republicans in Congress dismiss our plan at their own peril,” he warned on Monday.

    Democrats also decided to shrink the price tag on the legislation in hopes of attracting Republican defections and to frame the new piece of legislation as “a compromise.”

    Republicans, however, showed themselves unwilling to swallow the tax hike on the rich, and some, like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), scoffed at the idea that it represented a serious compromise.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/198227-senate-defeats-second-rounds-of-rival-payroll-tax-cut-extension-bills

  32. Court to Hear Arguments on Prop. 8 Trial Footage, Recusal Issue

    12/8/11 By Andrew Harmon – advocate

    On Thursday, a federal appeals court panel in San Francisco will hear arguments on two issues in the Proposition 8 lawsuit: Whether video of the 2010 trial can be released to the public and whether Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision striking down the anti-marriage equality ballot measure should be vacated because he is gay.

    On the latter issue, U.S. district judge James Ware, who took over the case following Judge Walker’s retirement earlier this year, ruled in June against throwing out Walker’s decision. In his order, Ware wrote that it was unreasonable to presume that a judge is biased, as Prop 8 proponents assert Walker is, “solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings.”

    Prop. 8 supporters, whom the California Supreme Court ruled last month have the right under state law to defend the initiative in court after state officials declined to do so, appealed Ware’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ninth circuit, where the case is on appeal.

    Though this may be the first time that a federal appeals court considers a motion to vacate a judgment because of a judge’s sexual orientation, observers following the case expect Ware’s ruling to stand and do not expect the U.S. Supreme Court to hear any potential appeal from antigay groups.

    Judge Ware also previously ruled that video of the 2010 trial be made public. Proposition 8 supporters have fought to keep the recordings sealed, arguing that the tapes were only to be used by Judge Walker “in preparing the findings of fact and conclusions of law” and were not intended for public dissemination.

    But Ware ruled that confidence in the judicial system requires “public access to trials and public access to the record of judicial proceedings,” and that “no compelling reasons exist for continued sealing of the digital recording of the trial.”

    Beginning at 2:30 p.m. PST, a three-judge panel for the ninth circuit will hear two hours of arguments, one hour devoted to each issue. Representing the two plaintiff couples who sued the state of California, Ted Olson will argue the video issue, along with Therese Stewart, chief deputy city attorney of San Francisco, and an attorney representing a media coalition (all three parties support making the video public). David Boies, who alongside Olson co-leads the legal team challenging Prop 8, will argue against vacating Judge Walker’s decision.

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/Tf7kc

    • Appeals court skeptical of California gay marriage appeal

      12/8/11 By Dan Levine | Reuters – 2 hrs 11 mins ago

      SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court appeared skeptical on Thursday toward attempts by California gay marriage opponents to overturn a landmark court decision because the judge overseeing the case did not disclose his own long-term homosexual relationship.

      California voters banned same sex marriages in 2008 by approving the Proposition 8 ballot initiative. But last year U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco ruled the measure unconstitutional.

      Shortly after Walker retired earlier this year, he disclosed his homosexuality in the press for the first time, saying he is in a 10-year relationship with a physician.

      That led opponents of same-sex marriage to ask that Walker’s ruling be vacated. Walker’s relationship put him in the same position as the plaintiffs and should have been disclosed when he was assigned to the case, their attorneys argued.

      U.S. District Judge James Ware rejected that argument in June, and Prop 8 supporters appealed.

      A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard two hours of oral arguments on Thursday. “So a married judge could never hear a divorce?” asked Judge Michael Daly Hawkins.

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

      • Court: CA gay marriage ban is (un)constitutional

        2/7/12 Associated Press – 3 mins 47 secs ago

        SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has declared California’s same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, paving the way for a likely U.S. Supreme Court showdown on the voter-approved law.

        A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled 2-1 Tuesday that a lower court judge interpreted the U.S. Constitution correctly in 2010 when he declared the ban, known as Proposition 8, to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

        The measure, which passed with 52 percent of the vote in 2008, outlawed same-sex unions just five months after they became legal in the state.

        Lawyers for Proposition 8 sponsors and for two couples who sued to overturn the ban have said they would appeal to the Supreme Court if they did not receive a favorable ruling from the 9th Circuit.

        • GOP WRONG WAY

          Romney slams judges for Prop. 8 same-sex-marriage ruling

          2/07/12 By Cameron Joseph – TheHill

          GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney slammed a Tuesday appellate court ruling that would overturn California’s ban on gay marriage.

          “Today, unelected judges cast aside the will of the people of California who voted to protect traditional marriage,” he said in a Tuesday statement.

          “This decision does not end this fight, and I expect it to go to the Supreme Court. That prospect underscores the vital importance of this election and the movement to preserve our values.
          “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.”

          Conservatives have expressed concerns about Romney’s record on social issues, and are suspicious he would not strongly oppose gay marriage if elected. But Romney has said he is against same-sex marriage.

          Tuesday’s ruling forces the issue back into the spotlight, and while Romney prefers to talk about economic issues, this topic provides him an opportunity to brush up on his social conservative bona fides.

    • December 08, 2011
      Remarks by the President at Hanukkah Reception

      Grand Foyer

      6:10 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, good evening, everybody. Welcome to the White House. Thank you all for joining us tonight to celebrate Hanukkah — even if we’re doing it a little bit early. (Laughter.)

      I want to start by recognizing a few folks who are here. The ambassador to the United States from Israel, Michael Oren, is in the house. (Applause.)
      We are honored to be joined by one of the justices of the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is here. (Applause.) We are thrilled to see her. She’s one of my favorites, I got to — (laughter.) I’ve got a soft spot for Justice Ginsburg.

      And we’ve got more than a few members of Congress here and members of my administration in the house, including our new Director of Jewish Outreach, Jarrod Bernstein is here. Where’s Jarrod? (Applause.) Hey, Jarrod.

      I also want to thank the West Point Jewish Chapel Cadet Choir –- (applause) — the Voice of Tradition -– for their wonderful performance, but more importantly, for their extraordinary service to our country.

      And I want to thank all the rabbis and lay leaders who have come far and wide to be here with us today.

      Now, as I said, we’re jumping the gun just a little bit. The way I see it, we’re just extending the holiday spirit. We’re stretching it out. (Laughter.) But we do have to be careful that your kids don’t start thinking Hanukkah lasts 20 nights instead of eight. (Laughter.) That will cause some problems.

      This Hanukkah season we remember a story so powerful that we all know it by heart — even us Gentiles. It’s a story of right over might, of faith over doubt. Of a band of believers who rose up and freed their people and discovered that the oil left in their desecrated temple –- which should have lasted only one night –- ended up lasting eight.

      It’s a timeless story. And for 2,000 years, it has given hope to Jews everywhere who are struggling. And today, it reminds us that miracles come in all shapes and sizes. Because to most people, the miracle of Hanukkah would have looked like nothing more than a simple flame, but the believers in the temple knew it was something else. They knew it was something special.

      This year, we have to recognize the miracles in our own lives. Let’s honor the sacrifices our ancestors made so that we might be here today. Let’s think about those who are spending this holiday far away from home -– including members of our military who guard our freedom around the world. Let’s extend a hand to those who are in need, and allow the value of tikkun olam to guide our work this holiday season.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/08/remarks-president-hanukkah-reception

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