Let’s Move! – Tour 2012

LET’S MOVE! is celebrating it’s Second Anniversary !


On February 9, 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama will kick off a three day, nation-wide tour celebrating the second anniversary of Let’s Move!, her initiative to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. Since launching Let’s Move! on February 9, 2010, significant progress has been made to solve the problem of childhood obesity. Parents, businesses, educators, elected officials, members of the military, chefs, physicians, athletes, childcare providers, community and faith leaders and kids themselves have made substantial commitments to improve the health of our nation’s children.

Through working together with Let’s Move!,  these groups have provided children with healthier food and greater opportunities for physical activity in schools and communities, helped get families the information they need to make healthier decisions, supported a healthy start in early childhood, and have worked to ensure more people have access to healthy, affordable food.  The Let’s Move! tour will highlight examples of people making changes across the country, from a single family to an entire state.

A fact sheet on a few of the many accomplishments of Let’s Move! is attached and can be found HERE.


The First Lady’s Let’s Move! tour schedule is below:


Des Moines, Iowa  11:00 AM CT/ 12:00 PM ET
Let’s Move! Day in Iowa

Little Rock, Arkansas 2:15 PM CT / 3:15 PM ET
Military Improving Nutrition for Servicemembers

Fort Worth, Texas 5:30 PM CT / 6:30 PM ET
Parents and Businesses Making a Difference



Dallas, Texas 9:00 AM CT / 10:00 AM ET
Schools and Chefs Working Together

Homestead, Florida 3:30 PM ET
WebMD Town Hall: Simple Tips For Healthy Families

Orlando, Florida 7:00 PM ET
Change Begins at Home



Longwood, Florida 10:00 AM ET
Faith and Community Groups Leading the Way

Orlando, Florida Afternoon Getting Active Is Fun!


Let’s Move! Websitehttp://www.letsmove.gov/

Let’s Move! FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/letsmove

Let’s Move! Tweet: http://www.twitter.com/letsmove

Let’s Move! MeetUphttp://www.meetup.com/Lets-Move

Let’s Move! YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com/letsmove



103 thoughts on “Let’s Move! – Tour 2012

  1. WH

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:30 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:00 AM
    President Obama meets with senior advisers.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    12:00 PM
    12:45 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    President Obama attends the Democratic Senate Caucus
    Nationals Park
    Closed Press

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    The President and the Vice President meet with Secretary of State Clinton
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

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

    • POTUS podium

      February 8, 2012

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

      9:00 AM EST
      Innovation for Global Development
      The White House

      11:00 AM EST
      Open for Questions: Innovation for Global Development
      The White House

      12:45 PM EST
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press


      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      9:00 AM EST
      House Looks Into Corporate Tax Policy

      9:00 AM EST
      Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan
      Army Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti holds a briefing on current military operations in Afghanistan.
      Officer’s dissenting view of Afghan war

      9:30 AM EST
      Cybersecurity hearing
      A House commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on cyber threats to communications networks and how the private sector is responding.

      10 AM EST
      U.S. Capitol Police Chief Philip Morse testifies before the House Appropriations Committee about the budget for the Capitol police force.

      11:00 AM EST
      House Transportation – Subcmte on Aviation GPS Infrastructure

      12:45 PM EST
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      2:30 PM EST
      Secretary of State Clinton meets with Haiti prime minister
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Haiti’s prime minister speak with reporters following talks at the State Department.


      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:00 AM EST
      House Looks Into Corporate Tax Policy http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-Looks-Into-Corporate-Tax-Policy/10737428067/

      9:00 AM EST
      Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan
      Army Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti holds a briefing on current military operations in Afghanistan.
      Officer’s dissenting view of Afghan war http://www.c-span.org/Events/Pentagon-Provides-Update-on-Afghanistan-Operations/10737428066/

      9:30 AM EST
      Cybersecurity hearing
      A House commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on cyber threats to communications networks and how the private sector is responding. http://www.c-span.org/Events/The-Private-Sector-Responds-to-Cyber-Threats/10737428069/

      10 AM EST
      U.S. Capitol Police Chief Philip Morse testifies before the House Appropriations Committee about the budget for the Capitol police force.

      11:00 AM EST
      House Transportation – Subcmte on Aviation GPS Infrastructure http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-Aviation-Cmte-Reviews-the-Global-Positioning-System/10737428068/

      12:45 PM EST
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      2:30 PM EST
      Secretary of State Clinton meets with Haiti prime minister
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Haiti’s prime minister speak with reporters following talks at the State Department.

  2. Let’s Move! – Tour

    First Lady Michelle Obama to embark on three day national tour celebrating the second anniversary of Let’s Move!

    On February 9, 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama will kick off a three day, nation-wide tour celebrating the second anniversary of Let’s Move!, her initiative to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. Since launching  Let’s Move! on February 9, 2010, significant progress has been made to solve the problem of childhood obesity.

    The First Lady’s Let’s Move! tour schedule is below:


    Des Moines, Iowa 11:00 AM CT/ 12:00 PM ET
    Let’s Move! Day in Iowa

    Little Rock, Arkansas 2:15 PM CT / 3:15 PM ET
    Military Improving Nutrition for Servicemembers

    Fort Worth, Texas 5:30 PM CT / 6:30 PM ET
    Parents and Businesses Making a Difference

    FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2012

    Dallas, Texas 9:00 AM CT / 10:00 AM ET
    Schools and Chefs Working Together

    Homestead, Florida 3:30 PM
    WebMD Town Hall: Simple Tips For Healthy Families

    Orlando, Florida 7:00 PM ET
    Change Begins at Home


    Longwood, Florida 10:00 AM ET
    Faith and Community Groups Leading the Way

    Orlando, Florida Afternoon Getting Active Is Fun!


    Let’s Move!

    Website: http://www.letsmove.gov/
    FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/letsmove
    Tweet: http://www.twitter.com/letsmove

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/03/first-lady-michelle-obama-embark-three-day-national-tour-celebrating-sec


    Looking for the Best Ideas to Get our Kids Moving

    Posted by on February 07, 2012

    First Lady Michelle Obama today announced a new a national competition that will identify and reward the most creative, impactful, and scalable school-based programs and technological innovations that promote physical activity for children.

    Sponsored by the Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP) in collaboration with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), the contest will award a total of $500,000 in prizes, with individual awards of up to $100,000. Top winners will participate in funded pilot studies aimed at expanding the reach and impact of the projects.

    “We know there’s so much good work going on all across this country to get our kids up and moving every single day,” said Mrs. Obama. “So we want to find the best school programs and technology ideas that increase physical activity for kids – and then help them reach even more children throughout America.”

    The competition has two categories: “School Programs” and “Technology Innovation.” Teachers, schools, or even entire districts are encouraged to submit their in-school physical activity programs –from curriculums, environmental modifications, events, or other initiatives that promote quality school-time physical activity — in the “School Programs” category.

    Winners in the “Technology Innovation” category will demonstrate how an existing or emerging technology can be used to inspire kids to be physically active. This can include tracking and measurement systems, software applications, innovative uses of social media, gaming, smart phones, and more.

    “TVs and computers can sometimes be an impediment to physical activity,” said the First Lady, “but we also know we can harness the power of technology to get our kids up and active.”

    • Lets Move Flotus vs Fallon

      Michelle Obama takes on Jimmy Fallon in fitness challenge

      2/7/12 By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

      First Lady Michelle Obama may have started something.

      After making it through 25 pushups in a head-to-head challenge last week against Ellen DeGeneres, the first lady is now scheduled to appear in a fitness challenge against Jimmy Fallon.

      It’s unclear exactly what’s involved in the challenge, scheduled to air tonight, but a picture tweeted by Obama’s Let’s Move! program suggests there could be some tug of war.

      • Let’s Move with Michelle Obama

        Uploaded by LNightFan1 on Feb 7, 2012

        As part of the Let’s Move! initiative, Jimmy visits the White House to compete in a fitness competition with Michelle Obama.

    • Michelle Obama does push-ups with Ellen

      By CAITLIN MCDEVITT | 2/1/12

      First lady Michelle Obama got a workout on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Wednesday.

      As she’s done in the past, the first lady danced onto the set of the daytime talk show. And when host Ellen DeGeneres challenged her to a contest, Obama dropped and did 25 push-ups as the audience counted along.

      Afterward, DeGeneres joked, “I thought it wouldn’t be good to show off [to] the first lady so I stopped. Because I thought, this looks bad that I’m going to beat her.”

      During the interview, which airs on Thursday, Obama dished to DeGeneres about her husband, admitting that while he “can sing,” he’s not the best dancer.

      “You really are a good dancer,” DeGeneres told the first lady. “And are Sasha and Malia good dancers as well?”

      “They’re pretty good. I think they each got one of our genes. Sasha has my genes,” Obama said, implying that her husband and Malia aren’t as skilled.

      Also not the president’s strong suit: cleaning up after himself.

      “Does he pick up his socks?” asked DeGeneres.

      “No, no, he doesn’t,” the first lady said. “…He thinks he’s neat but he has people who help him. I’m like it’s not you that’s neat. It’s the people who pick up your socks. Those are the neat people.

    • A “State Dinner” Just For Kids

      Posted by on May 21, 2012 lets move

      Calling all kid chefs: The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge invites parents of kids ages 8-12 to submit an original recipe for a lunch that is nutritious and delicious. All entrants have the chance to win a trip to Washington D.C. and the opportunity to be invited to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House in August, where a selection of the winning healthy recipes will be served.

      Let’s Move! is teaming up with Epicurious, the Department of Education and USDA to find great lunch ideas that are healthy, affordable, and — of course — tasty.

      “We all want to ensure that our kids are eating nutritious, delicious food at every meal, and as a mom I know that parents are always looking for new ideas to make that happen,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “With parents and kids all across the country getting creative in the kitchen, I know we’ll find healthy meals that every family will enjoy. And I can’t wait to try the kids’ creations myself.”

      The rules are simple: All entrants are encouraged to reference the MyPlate nutritional guidelines to ensure recipes meet the primary criterion of being healthier. Entries should represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruit, veggies, whole grains, protein and low-fat dairy foods.

      Recipes can be submitted May 21 through June 17, either online at http://recipechallenge.epicurious.com or via mail. Winners will be notified on July 16. The White House Kids “State Dinner” is currently scheduled to take place in August 2012.

  3. Open for Questions: Innovation for Global Development

    Erin Lindsay February 06, 201

    On Wednesday, February 8 at 9am, the White House will host an event to highlight how the government and the private sector are harnessing science, technology, and innovation to promote global development. Speakers from the White House, U.S. Agency for International Development, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the private sector will join participants from universities, industry, and nonprofits for a discussion of innovation and global development. Watch live at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live.

    Later in the day, at 11:00 a.m., Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director of the National Security Council and Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy & Senior Advisor for Science, Technology, and Innovation, National Economic Council will take your questions on the role of science, technology and innovation in global development.

    * What: Open for Questions: Innovation for Global Development
    * Who: Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director of the National Security Council and Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy & Senior Advisor for Science, Technology, and Innovation, National Economic Council

    * When: Wednesday, February 8 at 11:00 a.m. ET
    * Where: Watch live at WhiteHouse.gov/live and submit your questions via Facebook, Twitter using the hashtag #WHChat or our webform.


    • February 09, 2012

      Executive Order — Establishing the President’s Global Development Council


      – – – – – – –


      By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

      Section 1. Policy. To help protect national security and further American economic, humanitarian, and strategic interests in the world, it is the policy of the Federal Government to promote and elevate development as a core pillar of American power and chart a course for development, diplomacy, and defense to reinforce and complement one another. As stated in the 2010 National Security Strategy and the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, the successful pursuit of development is essential to advancing our national security objectives: security, prosperity, respect for universal values, and a just and sustainable international order. The effectiveness of this development policy will depend in large measure on how we engage with partners, beneficiaries of our development assistance, and stakeholders. We will use evidence-based decision-making in all areas of U.S. development policy and programs, and we commit to foster development expertise and learning worldwide.

      Sec. 2. Establishment. There is established the President’s Global Development Council (Council). The Council shall be established for administrative purposes within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) subject to the foreign policy and budgetary guidance of the Secretary of State.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/09/executive-order-establishing-presidents-global-development-council

      • February 09, 2012

        FACT SHEET: The President’s Global Development Council

        “Our U.S. Global Development Policy – the first of its kind by an American administration – is rooted in America’s enduring commitment to the dignity and potential of every human being. It outlines our new approach and the new thinking that will guide our overall development efforts. Put simply, the United States is changing the way we do business.”

        – President Obama, September 2010

        On September 15, 2010, the President signed the Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) on Global Development, which underscores that development is vital to national security and is a strategic, economic, and moral imperative for the United States. The PPD on Global Development provides clear guidance to all Federal agencies and sets forth a new development policy, enhanced operational model, and modern architecture for U.S. development efforts.

        Consistent with that new policy, the President signed today an Executive Order establishing the President’s Global Development Council. The Council, which will be administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will be comprised of no more than 12 individuals from a variety of sectors outside the Federal Government, including, among others, institutions of higher education, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, civil society, and private industry. In addition to these 12 individuals, the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Defense, the USAID Administrator, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation will serve on the Council as non-voting members. The Council will inform and provide advice to the President and other senior U.S. officials on U.S. global development policies and practices, support new and existing public-private partnerships, and increase awareness and action in support of development by soliciting public input on current and emerging issues in the field of global development.

        To express interest in being a member of the President’s Global Development Council, please send your full name, contact information and resume or biography to Interest_GDC@who.eop.gov by 5:00pm (EST) on Friday, February 24, 2012.

  4. CR, thanks for highlighting this great initiative of our First Lady to help America’s kids! This whole Administration is about moving the country forward.

  5. Protecting Taxpayer Dollars by Strengthening SNAP

    Kevin Concannon February 07, 2012

    While fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a relatively limited problem, any amount of waste or abuse is too much. As I wrote back in December, we are taking more aggressive steps to root out fraud and abuse as part of this administration’s Campaign to Cut Waste and to continue improving our stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

    This week we were pleased to announce that fiscal year 2012 first quarter results for USDA’s efforts to identify and eliminate fraudulent retailers from SNAP are available. From October 1 through December 31, 2011, USDA took final actions to sanction through fines or temporary disqualifications—more than 225 stores found violating program rules. We also permanently disqualified over 350 stores for trafficking (exchanging benefits for cash) SNAP benefits.

    Again, cases of abuse in SNAP are pretty rare and the vast majority of SNAP participants and authorized retailers play by the rules using the program as intended. However, it’s important that we stay vigilant and raise awareness of these issues so people know how and where to report any incidences of abuse.

    This week, we launched a Fighting SNAP Fraud website to raise awareness of integrity issues and provide a direct portal to report suspicious activities. To reduce the number of disqualified store owners who attempt to return to the program by falsifying information on their applications, we are:

    * Increasing documentation required for high-risk stores applying to redeem SNAP benefits to better verify their identity and assure their business integrity.
    * Researching high-risk store owners to confirm application information. High-risk stores are those located at the site of a previous disqualification. Store owners found to have falsified information with the intent to hide ownership or past violations will be charged, disqualified and may be liable for a $10,000 fine or imprisonment for as long as 5 years or both.
    * Continuing to notify state and federal partners about violators to better protect our public programs. This includes information on program recipients with suspicious transactions at firms known to be trafficking for further investigation by States.
    We will continue to do everything we can to root out fraud and abuse. There are over 46 million people who currently rely on SNAP to help put healthy food on the table. We owe it to the public to ensure the program is run with integrity.

    Kevin Concannon is the USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services.

  6. Bernanke urges Congress to address Bush tax cuts

    2/7/12 By Mark Felsenthal | Reuters – 6 hrs ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday warned Congress that putting off a decision on the fate of expiring Bush administration tax cuts could unsettle businesses and households, undercutting the U.S. economic recovery.

    With presidential and congressional elections looming in November, many analysts think Congress is unlikely to act until the final months of the year. The tax cuts expire on January 1.
    Bernanke told the Senate Budget Committee that lawmakers might not have the luxury of waiting.

    “I don’t know exactly when the uncertainty would become a factor, but surely as we get closer to January 1 and Congress has not given a clear road map for how it plans to proceed, that would certainly affect planning, business decisions, household decisions, as they look ahead to the next year,” he said.

    Bernanke did not go beyond comments he made on the outlook for the economy and monetary policy he made last week in an appearance before a House of Representatives panel and did not comment on a surprising upswing in hiring in January.

    Bernanke repeated that the jobs situation had improved modestly over the past year, but there was a long way to go before jobs markets return to normal.

    Government data released on Friday showed employers added a surprisingly hefty 243,000 jobs in January, with the jobless rate dropping to 8.3 percent. It bumped up market expectations of a January 2014 Fed interest rate hike to a 38 percent chance from a 28 possibility beforehand.

    The second month of solid job growth prompted some Wall Street firms, including BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank, to raise their forecasts for first-quarter U.S. economic growth to an annual rate of 2.5 percent and 2.8 percent from 2.0 percent.

    The Fed cut rates to near zero more than three years ago and has bought $2.3 trillion in bonds to spur growth. The Fed in late January said the sluggish recovery likely warranted keeping rates near zero until the end of 2014, and Bernanke left open the possibility of another round of asset buying if growth shows signs of flagging.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/bernanke-urges-congress-address-bush-tax-cuts-185616082.html

    • Innovation for Global Development

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Feb 8, 2012

      The White House hosts a discussion about President Obama’s commitment to fostering game-changing innovations that have the potential to solve long-standing global development challenges. February 8, 2012

    • Open for Questions: Innovation for Global Development

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Feb 8, 2012

      Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director of the National Security Council and Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy & Senior Advisor for Science, Technology, and Innovation, National Economic Council answer questions on the role of science, technology and innovation in global development. February 8, 2012.

  7. February 08, 2012

    Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping

    Vice President Biden spoke by phone yesterday with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping. Following up on their discussions during Vice President Biden’s August trip to China, the two leaders previewed the agenda for Vice President Xi’s visit to the U.S. next week – including a broad range of economic and trade issues and regional and global developments. Vice President Biden emphasized the importance of building a U.S.-China relationship that addresses practical issues important to both countries, and expressed support for efforts during Vice President Xi’s visit to further develop bilateral cooperation.

  8. The GOP’s new push to defang the CFPB

    2/08/2012 Suzy Khimm – washingtonpost

    Republicans couldn’t stop President Obama from installing Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But they hope they can rein the bureau in by passing legislation. The House GOP is now moving forward with bills that would remove the CFPB director from overseeing the Federal Deposit Insurance Company and allow Congress to directly control its funding every year. The bills are DOA in the Democrat-controlled Senate. But the GOP’s new bills provide a clear guide to what is likely to happen to the CFPB if Republicans take full control of Congress and/or the White House.

    Even before the Cordray appointment, Republicans objected to the basic structure of the CFPB, which Sen. Richard Shelby described as having “unfettered power over the American people” under the authority of an “unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat.” Under the new bills from Reps. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) and Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.), Cordray would be removed from his new seat on the board of the FDIC, and the bureau would be subject to the regular appropriations process under the Treasury Department — handing the purse strings over to Congress. Under Dodd-Frank, which created the bureau, the CFPB is funded by the Federal Reserve, which isn’t subject to congressional appropriations. There’s also a bill to ensure that information collected by the bureau is subject to attorney-client privilege.

    At a Wednesday hearing in the House Financial Services Committee, the American Bankers Association — which criticized the recess appointment of Cordray — had ample praise for the GOP legislation. “There needs to be an effective check and balance on the Bureau’s authority,” said Michael Hunter, the ABA’s chief operating officer, according to his prepared remarks. “On funding of the Bureau, we believe that the Bureau should be accountable to Congress to show how it is using its resources.” Hunter also argued that consumer protection was not integral to the FDIC’s mission to support a safe, sound the banking industry. “There is no question that consumer protection policies could be created that act in conflict with safety and soundness,” Hunter said.

    Supporters of the CFPB believe the bills are an attempt by Republicans to weaken and defund the CFPB under the guise of reform and good governance. In the last budget, for example, Republicans pushed for big cuts to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission — two other agencies that are critical to Dodd-Frank — and they’d likely to do the same with the CFPB if Congress were given funding oversight, says Michael Greenberger, a former CFTC official and law professor at the University of Maryland.

    For the entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-gops-new-push-to-defang-the-cfpb/2012/02/08/gIQA1DrfzQ_blog.html

  9. America’s Agricultural Success: A Well-Kept Secret?

    2/8/12 BY: JUDY WOODRUFF – pbs

    Amid all the worry about how long it will take the economic recovery to kick into high gear, there’s a little-noticed sector that’s doing very well, thank you: American agriculture. Overlooked by many of us in the news media, probably in part because we spend most of our time in big cities, farm sector earnings hit a record last year, with farm income rising just above $100 billion.

    I sat down with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack a few days ago to get an update on what his huge (90,000 employees) department is up to, and came away surprised by the successes in the American agri-economy. Much of this is being driven by farm exports, which reached a record high last year — and as Vilsack, a former Governor of Iowa, likes to point out, helped support 1.15 million jobs here in the United States. These exports contributed to an overall U.S. trade surplus that also hit a record in 2011. (Did you know that every $1 billion in overseas trade generates 8,400 jobs in this country?)

    The question is WHY is agriculture doing so well? Vilsack, whose grandfather owned a farm, says back in 1975, the most productive farmers planted an average of 12,000 seeds per acre. Today, thanks to science, it’s closer to 30,000. After information technology, agriculture is the second most productive sector of the economy. Farm unemployment is dropping at a faster rate than the rest of the job specialties because of this, and because of what Vilsack calls “an extraordinary investment in infrastructure.” He describes an extensive supply chain including storage, transport, and equipment manufacturing. Farmers are buying lots of new machinery, like large tractors with sophisticated GPS systems, leading to new hiring on the part of companies like John Deere, which recently added 250 people at a plant in Ankeny, Iowa, that manufactures cotton pickers.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/02/american-agricultural-success-a-well-kept-secret.html

  10. Washington state House poised to pass gay marriage bill

    2/8/12 By Nicole Neroulias | Reuters – 1 hr 7 mins ago

    OLYMPIA, Wash (Reuters) – The Washington state House of Representatives was expected to endorse gay marriage on Wednesday in a vote that puts the state on the cusp of becoming the seventh in the nation to recognize same-sex nuptials.

    Floor action began with lawmakers quickly rejecting a series of amendments, most of them relatively technical in nature, that would have slowed the bill’s momentum by forcing it back to the Senate for further consideration.

    Both sides predicted the measure would win House passage by at least as comfortable a margin as it took to clear the Senate, on a 28-21 vote, a week ago. Democrats, accounting for the lion’s share of support for the bill, control both legislative bodies but enjoy a bigger majority in the House.

    Governor Christine Gregoire, a Democrat in her final year in office, set the stage for swift passage of the measure when she announced last month that she was backing the legislation. If the bill were to win final House passage on Wednesday, she is expected to sign it into law early next week.

    Six other states already recognize same-sex marriage — New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa — as does the District of Columbia.

    Supporters are pushing similar statutes in Maryland and New Jersey, and a referendum to legalize gay marriage in Maine has qualified for the November ballot there.

    Gay rights advocates won another victory on Tuesday when a federal appeals court declared a voter-passed ban on same-sex marriages in California to be unconstitutional.

    For the entire article: http://goo.gl/b2MHu

  11. WH

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the Ohio Newspaper Association Convention.
    Hilton Columbus/Polaris Hotel

    11:15 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    12:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts an event: “Let’s Move!” Day
    Des Moines, Iowa

    12:15 PM
    President Obama Speaks on The Housing Settlement
    The White House

    1:00 PM
    1:55 PM
    President Obama Speaks on Providing State Flexibility under No Child Left Behind
    The White House

    2:00 PM
    2:45 PM
    President Obama welcomes Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy to the White House.
    Oval Office
    Pool Spray at the Bottom

    3:00 PM
    3:15 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a “Let’s Move!” event: “Military Improving Nutrition for Servicemembers ”
    Little Rock, Arkansas

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    6:30 PM ET
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a “Let’s Move!” event: “Parents and Businesses Making a Difference”
    Fort Worth, Texas

    7:00 PM
    7:10 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event.
    D.C., Private Residence, Washington
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  12. January 23, 2012

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of Prime Minister Monti of Italy

    President Obama will host Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy at the White House on Thursday, February 9th. Italy and the United States are close NATO allies, and coordinate continuously on a full range of regional and global priorities. The two leaders will discuss the comprehensive steps the Italian government is taking to restore market confidence and reinvigorate growth through structural reforms, as well as the prospect of an expansion of Europe’s financial firewall. Italy is also a founding member of NATO and the President appreciates Italy’s important contributions to international security, within Europe and beyond, including its continuing leadership in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. President Obama looks forward to consulting with Prime Minister Monti about preparations for the 2012 G8 and NATO Summits that the United States will host in Chicago, as well as discussing developments in the Middle East and North Africa.

  13. Vice President Joe Biden to address Ohio newspaper convention Thursday

    February 07, 2012 cleveland.com

    WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Ohio Thursday to deliver remarks at the Ohio Newspaper Association Convention.

    His speech at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris Hotel will take place at 11 a.m., the White House says.

    The group Biden will address is a trade association for more than 250 daily and weekly newspapers in Ohio and more than 150 websites. Its members include The Plain Dealer.

    Republican National Committee spokesman Ryan Tronovich said the trip is part of a White House effort to “save Barack Obama’s job.”

    “Unfortunately for Ohio voters, another campaign stop in a battleground state won’t fix the damage that their extreme policies have done to our nation’s economy,” Tronovich said.

  14. Let’s Move!: Two Years of Healthy Changes for our Nation’s Kids

    Colleen Curtis February 08, 2012 at 12:45 PM EST

    Let’s Move!was launched on February 9, 2010, and in the past two years, significant progress has been made to solve the problem of childhood obesity. Parents, businesses, educators, elected officials, members of the military, chefs, physicians, athletes, childcare providers, community and faith leaders and kids themselves have made substantial commitments to improve the health of our nation’s children. Through working together with Let’s Move! these groups have provided children with healthier food and greater opportunities for physical activity in schools and communities, helped get families the information they need to make healthier decisions, supported a healthy start in early childhood, and have worked to ensure more people have access to healthy, affordable food.

    Tomorrow, First Lady Michelle Obama is starting a tour to celebrate the second anniversary of the initiative. On her trip she will meet with some of the many teachers, elected officials, faith and community leaders, parents and children who have embraced the principles of Let’s Move!and are making a difference in the lives of our children.

    Just some of the many Let’s Move!accomplishments of the past two years that will be celebrated on the road include:

    In December 2010 President Obama signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a groundbreaking piece of legislation, to help all kids have healthier food in school. In January 2012, USDA released new school meal regulations to update the quality of nutrition through the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs. Changes include ensuring kids are offered and served more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and less sodium, saturated fat and trans fats .

    Walgreens, Supervalu, Walmart and several small grocers announced a commitment to build or expand 1,500 stores in communities with limited or no access to healthy food. The companies estimated that 9.5 million people who currently have limited access to nutritious food will now have healthy food in their neighborhoods and create thousands of jobs for local residents. In addition, the Fresh Works Fund committed 200 million dollars to eliminate food deserts in California.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/02/08/lets-move-two-years-healthy-changes-our-nations-kids

    • Let’s Move!– Tour

      First Lady Michelle Obama to embark on three day national tour celebrating the second anniversary of Let’s Move!

      The First Lady’s Let’s Move! tour schedule for February 9:

      THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2012

      Des Moines, Iowa 11:00 AM CT/ 12:00 PM ET
      Let’s Move! Day in Iowa

      Little Rock, Arkansas 2:15 PM CT / 3:15 PM ET
      Military Improving Nutrition for Servicemembers

      Fort Worth, Texas 5:30 PM CT / 6:30 PM ET
      Parents and Businesses Making a Difference

  15. Sorry I missed you all today. Our Opening Brief in the US Court of Appeals was due today and I have been working many long hours. I started this morning at 4:30. Things will be getting back to normal for a bit. See you all tomorrow morning.

  16. GOP targets child tax break for illegal immigrants

    2//8/12 By ANDREW TAYLOR | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are looking to deny child tax credits to illegal immigrants, refund checks averaging $1,800 a family, in an effort that has roused anger among Hispanics and some Democratic lawmakers.

    The proposal, which would require people who claim the federal credit to have Social Security numbers to prove they are working legally, is being offered as a way to help pay for extending the Social Security tax cut for most American wage-earners. It would trim federal spending by about $10 billion over a decade.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the proposal unfairly goes after the children of poor Hispanic workers. Such kids often are U.S. citizens, even when their parents are not, because they were born in this country.

    Says Leticia Miranda, senior policy adviser of the Latino rights organization National Council of La Raza: “People who are making close to the minimum wage and are raising children in this country — and we’re asking them to pay for the payroll tax cut?” She says, “It’s outrageous and it’s crazy.”

    Illegal immigrants have been barred from other refundable tax credits — in which low-income workers not only don’t owe income taxes but receive payments from the government — such as the earned income tax credit. Such credits are a popular anti-poverty tool in part because a recipient has to hold a job to receive the benefit.

    But a 1997 law enacting a $500 per-child tax credit does not specifically exclude illegal immigrants from collecting. It was significantly expanded in 2001 to gradually reach $1,000, and rules were eased so that many more people could get it on a refundable basis. It was made more generous in 2009 so that more taxpayers could claim the credit or claim a larger amount. On the other side,

    Republicans and some Democrats say what is crazy is even having a debate over whether the government should be cutting checks to people who have sneaked into the country illegally.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/gop-targets-child-tax-break-illegal-immigrants-201231430.html

    • Good Thursday morning and thank you Jackie!

      It’s all still here for you to catch up on in the last thread!

      My husband has been working 12 hour days gor two weeks now and is almost complete with one of three big projects at work and he decided to work for home so I over slept!

  17. U.S. jobless claims fall 15,000 to 358,000

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – U.S. jobless claims fell by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000 in the week ended Feb. 4, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had estimated claims would rise to 370,000. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up by 6,000 to 373,000. The four-week average of claims, meanwhile, dropped by 11,000 to 366,250, the lowest level since April 2008. The monthly average smoothes out seasonal quirks and provides a more accurate assessment of labor-market trends, economists say. Also on Thursday, the government said continuing claims increased by 64,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.52 million in the week ended Jan. 28. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag. About 7.66 million people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week ended Jan. 21, up 7,982 from the prior week. Total claims are reported with a two-week lag.


  18. Feds to Announce $26B Foreclosure Abuse Deal

    2/9/12 By SUSANNA KIM | Good Morning America – 2 hours 35 minutes ago

    Government officials are set today to announce a record $26 billion settlement with the five biggest banks related to foreclosure abuses including “robo-signing” of documents.

    The Department of Justice will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. to announce an agreement in principal. At least 42 states have agreed to sign onto the agreement. New York and California were among the last holdouts and it wasn’t clear whether they will join or sue separately.

    For the past year, President Obama has advocated for a mortgage relief plan with the five biggest mortgage servicers, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial, to settle an investigation of foreclosure abuses. Evidence of robo-signing foreclosure documents began to show in 2010 during a record national wave of foreclosed homes.

    Earlier versions of the deal would give about 1 million U.S. homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages relief of as much as $20,000 in principal owed, and those who were foreclosed would receive several thousand dollars. The deal would apply to loans that were not sold to mortgage guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Several states had previously agreed to a $19 billion settlement that would be used for national mortgage relief. The deal was reported to designate $17 billion to pay for principal reductions and other relief for up to one million borrowers behind in payments but owe more than their houses are currently worth, the New York Times reported.

    For the entire article: http://gma.yahoo.com/feds-announce-26b-foreclosure-abuse-deal-122214492–abc-news.html

  19. Consumer Comfort Hits Highest Level in a Year

    2/9/12 By Timothy R. Homan – bloomberg

    Consumer confidence in the U.S. climbed last week to a one-year high, spurred by improving employment opportunities and a rally in the stock market.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 41.7 in the period to Feb. 5 from minus 44.8 the previous week. Confidence among political independents, considered a key group in presidential elections, increased to a four-year high.

    Americans’ views of the economy were the least pessimistic in eight months after employers beefed up payrolls in January and joblessness fell to the lowest level since February 2009.

    Consumers may be looking beyond the recent rise in gasoline prices as the increase in equity values boosts household wealth and promotes spending.

    “Encouraging labor-market gains over the past two months are the likely catalyst for the sharp improvement,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “Declining natural gas and home heating oil prices are likely offsetting rising gasoline prices, which has probably bolstered consumer balance sheets along with consumer sentiment.”

    Fewer Americans than forecast filed claims for unemployment insurance payments last week, indicating the labor market recovery is gaining traction, figures from the Labor Department showed today. Applications for jobless benefits decreased by 15,000 in the week ended Feb. 4 to 358,000. The median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected 370,000.

    There were 366,250 claims filed on average over the past four weeks, the fewest since April 2008.

    For the entire article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-09/consumer-comfort-hits-highest-level-in-a-year.html

  20. US Wholesale Inventories rises 1% in Dec

    2/9/12 20 mins ago – By Eric Morath and Tom Barkley -nasdaq

    WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. wholesale inventories and sales both posted solid increases in December, as a broad restocking by businesses helped propel stronger economic growth at the end of last year.

    The inventories of U.S. wholesalers increased by 1.0% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $473.17 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

    Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a 0.5% increase.

    Sales rose at the fastest pace since March, up 1.3% in December to $413.11 billion.

    The U.S. economy grew by 2.8% on an annualized basis during the final three months of 2011, according to the government’s preliminary estimate released last month. Much of that improvement was attributable to a buildup in business inventories. Companies restocked late in the year as demand picked up and fears of a second recession dissipated.

    But inventory levels tend to be highly volatile and many analysts expect a decline in the early part of this year. A give back on inventories, combined a looming recession in Europe and concerns about how Washington will handle spending cuts, has many economists expecting gross domestic product growth to slow from the pace seen in the fourth quarter.

    The Federal Reserve is forecasting economic growth between 2.2% to 2.7% this year.

    Wholesalers hold about 30% of all business inventories in the U.S., with manufacturers and retailers making up the rest.

    For the entire article: http://www.nasdaq.com/article/data-snap-us-wholesale-inventories-up-10-in-dec-20120209-01054

    • VP Biden touts US economic resiliency at Ohio stop

      2/9/12 By ANN SANNER | Associated Press – 1 hr 1 min ago

      COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden says he’s convinced America is better positioned than other nations to continue to lead the world’s economy — whether or not his boss is still in charge.

      Biden touted the resiliency of the U.S. economy on Thursday during remarks to the Ohio Newspaper Association.

      He said the economy will continue to provide Americans with decent jobs for years to come whether or not he and President Barack Obama are in office. And he said he’s convinced that people are regaining confidence about the country’s ability to lead economically.

      Biden said he believed that in the year 2020 or 2030, the U.S. would be “the single most vibrant economy in the world,” adding that is in the world’s interest that it is.

  21. U.S. Postal Service loses $3.3 billion in first quarter

    2/9/12 Reuters – 1 hr 7 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Postal Service reported a net loss of $3.3 billion in its first quarter as plummeting mail volumes overshadowed stronger than expected holiday shipping, the cash-strapped agency said on Thursday.

    The mail carrier has watched its traditional business erode as increasing use of email and online bill-paying drain mail volumes. The Postal Service lost $5.1 billion last year.

    In the first quarter of fiscal 2012, which ended on December 31, total mail volume dropped 6 percent. The Postal Service said declines in first-class and standard mail revenue outweighed a boost to the package business from growth in online shopping.
    Total revenue fell 1.1 percent to $17.7 billion, the Postal Service said.

    “Technology continues to have a major impact on how our customers use the mail,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said. “While it has helped us grow our Shipping Services businesses, it has had a significant negative impact on some of our much larger sources of revenue.”

    The Postal Service said it expects large losses to continue unless it sees results from a plan to close thousands of facilities and restructure its healthcare program. The agency said it needs to reduce operating costs by $20 billion by 2015.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/u-postal-loses-3-3-billion-first-quarter-152850550.html

  22. 12:00 PM EST
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts an event: “Let’s Move!” Day
    Des Moines, Iowa

    • February 09, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at “Let’s Move” Event — Des Moines, IA

      Wells Fargo Arena
      Des Moines, Iowa

      11:17 A.M. CST

      MRS. OBAMA: This is so cool. Hey! (Applause.) Well, hello, everybody! It’s great to be here in Iowa! (Applause.) Happy birthday “Let’s Move!” Happy “Let’s Move” Day! This is terrific. (Applause.) Wow. I hear you guys have been having some fun, is that right?

      AUDIENCE: Yes!

      MRS. OBAMA: Good stuff. You’ve got a lot of energy because you all are eating your vegetables and exercising. This is terrific.

      Well, let me start by thanking the Governor for all that he’s done to make this day possible. I also want to thank Secretary Vilsack. I want to thank Mayor Cownie. I want to thank Coach Hoiberg, who has also done a lot for this day. And all the folks — because there were so many people who helped make today possible. I want to thank everyone. But most of all, I want to thank all of you amazing, amazing young people for being here. Wow! (Applause.)

      This is so cool, isn’t it? (Applause.) This is a huge day. It is a huge day. We are celebrating the second anniversary of “Let’s Move.” And we could have had this party anywhere in the country, right? We could have gone anywhere, but there is a reason why we wanted to come here to Iowa to be with all of you. (Applause.) And that’s because I am so proud of what you all are doing to make Iowa the healthiest state in this country by 2016.

      I am proud that you guys are starting community gardens, that you’re eating your fruits and vegetables. I’m proud that you guys are walking to school instead of taking the bus. I’m proud that you’re working hard to get that 60 minutes of activity a day, every day. I’m also proud of your government, and businesses like Hy-Vee, and community leaders across the state who are all coming together to help you guys get healthy, to keep moving.

      This is exactly what “Let’s Move” is all about. We want every single state in this country to do exactly what Iowa is doing. (Applause.) And so you guys are the model — you are the model of what every state should be doing. So we’re working to make that happen. We’re working to get healthier food into your school breakfasts and lunches, as well as into restaurants and on grocery store shelves.

      We’ve invited folks like LeBron James, and Drew Brees, and Carl Edwards. (Applause.) We had the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team — all of them have come to the White House to inspire kids just like you to get up and get active.

      And as you saw from that video, right, I’ve gotten active myself. I have hula-hooped, I’ve played flag football, I got to dance to Beyoncé, do a little “Dougie” in a flash mob — that was so cool. I even joined kids across the country to help break the world record for people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/09/remarks-first-lady-lets-move-event-des-moines-ia

    • First Lady Michelle Obama promotes her “Let’s Move” campaign

      Uploaded by DMRegister on Feb 9, 2012

      2/9/12 — At an event in DesMoines, First Lady Michelle Obama celebrates the second anniversary of her “Let’s Move!” campaign to battle childhood obesity.

    • LetsMove bday cake

      FLOTUS looks at a huge birthday cake made of fruits during an event to promote her “Let’s Move” initiative at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines 2/9/12. REUTERS- /Kevin Lamarque

    • The First Day of The First Lady’s Lets Move! Anniversary Tour

      From: whitehouse | Feb 9, 2012

      Go inside First Lady Michelle Obama’s first day of a three day tour to mark the second anniversary of the Lets Move! launch. Lets Move! is a nationwide initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation. http://www.letsmove.gov

    • First Lady Learns the Interlude Dance

      Uploaded by uofnortherniowa on Feb 10, 2012

      UNI students Ian Goldsmith, Tyler Wright and Scott Connerley lead First Lady Michelle Obama and 14,000 school kids in Des Moines in the Interlude Dance. Obama was in Iowa to celebrate the second anniversary of her “Let’s Move” campaign.

    • February 09, 2012

      Remarks by the President on the Housing Settlement

      Room 430
      Eisenhower Executive Office Building

      12:28 P.M. E

      THE PRESIDENT: All right, good afternoon, everybody. Before I start, I just want to introduce the folks on stage here, because the extraordinary work that they did is the reason that a lot of families are going to be helped all across the country.

      First of all, our Attorney General Eric Holder; Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan; Associate Attorney General — and former classmate of mine — Tom Perrelli. We’ve got Attorney General George Jepsen from Connecticut; Roy Cooper, Attorney General from North Carolina; Lisa Madigan from my home state of Illinois, and former seatmate of mine when we were in the state legislature together; Dustin McDaniel from Arkansas; Gregory Zoeller from Indiana; and Tom Miller from Iowa. And I also want to acknowledge Bob Ryan, who worked with Shaun Donovan extensively on this issue, as well as Tim Massad of Treasury. And I’m going to acknowledge also Gene Sperling, who doesn’t always get the credit he deserves for doing outstanding work.

      The housing bubble that burst nearly six years ago triggered, as we all know, the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. It cost millions of innocent Americans their jobs and their homes. And it remains one of the biggest drags on our economy.

      Last fall, my administration unveiled a series of steps to help responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages to take advantage of historically low rates. And last week, I urged Congress to pass a plan that would help millions more Americans refinance and stay in their homes. And I indicated that the American people need Congress to act on this piece of legislation.

      But in the meantime, we can’t wait to get things done and to provide relief to America’s homeowners. We need to keep doing everything we can to help homeowners and our economy. And today, with the help of Democratic and Republican attorney generals from nearly every state in the country, we are about to take a major step on our own.

      We have reached a landmark settlement with the nation’s largest banks that will speed relief to the hardest-hit homeowners, end some of the most abusive practices of the mortgage industry, and begin to turn the page on an era of recklessness that has left so much damage in its wake.

      By now, it’s well known that millions of Americans who did the right thing and the responsible thing — shopped for a house, secured a mortgage that they could afford, made their payments on time — were, nevertheless, hurt badly by the irresponsible actions of others: by lenders who sold loans to people who couldn’t afford them; by buyers who knew they couldn’t afford them; by speculators who were looking to make a quick buck; by banks that took risky mortgages, packaged them up, and traded them off for large profits.

      It was wrong. And it cost more than 4 million families their homes to foreclosure.

      Even worse, many companies that handled these foreclosures didn’t give people a fighting chance to hold onto their homes. In many cases, they didn’t even verify that these foreclosures were actually legitimate. Some of the people they hired to process foreclosures used fake signatures to — on fake documents to speed up the foreclosure process. Some of them didn’t read what they were signing at all.

      We’ve got to think about that. You work and you save your entire life to buy a home. That’s where you raise your family. That’s where your kids’ memories are formed. That’s your stake, your claim on the American Dream. And the person signing the document couldn’t take enough time to even make sure that the foreclosure was legitimate.

      These practices were plainly irresponsible. And we refused to let them go unanswered. So about a year ago, our federal law enforcement agencies teamed up with state attorneys general to get to the bottom of these abuses. The settlement we’ve reached today, thanks to the work of some of the folks who are on this stage — this is the largest joint federal-state settlement in our nation’s history — is the result of that extraordinary cooperation.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/09/remarks-president-housing-settlement

    • HUD chief: Settlement is one piece of broader puzzle

      February 10, 2012 Kai Ryssdal – Marketplace.org

      Kai Ryssdal: The six-year crash of the American housing market is, maybe, slowing. There’s a lot to be done yet, but one big step was taken yesterday with the $25 billion settlement between the five biggest mortgage companies and state and federal regulators.

      Shaun Donovan is one of those regulators; he’s the secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Secretary, good to have you with us.

      Shaun Donovan: Great to be on the show.

      Ryssdal: I wonder if you worry that by making this agreement and by unplugging, if you will, that the backlog of foreclosures that there have been in this economy for the past year or two — because of the robo-signing issue — whether or not things might get worse before they better.

      Donovan: Well look, there is some chance that homes that haven’t been foreclosed on will get foreclosed on now because there is more clarity in the process. If somebody is still in their home, they will have a chance to get help as a result of this. I do think that getting clarity, lifting the cloud from the market, turning the page on this era of recklessness, is an important piece of what this settlement can achieve.

      Ryssdal: I wonder though if, given the size of the size of the problem of the American housing market — with hundreds of billion of dollar of underwater mortgages — whether $25 billion is enough to do any of that. It’s a small, small deal.

      Donovan: Look, what we were focusing on here were the servicing practices — the robo-signing that people have heard about and a range of other things that they did wrong. When you step back, what really created this crisis was the orignation and the securitization practices. That’s where the damage was really done. We shouldn’t see this as solving all the problems that led to the housing crisis. What we should see it as is one of the biggest steps that we have taken so far.

      Ryssdal: Let me see if I can take some of the higher-profile items that have been discussed in the reporting on this and get your take on those. First of all, the $2,000 payment for people who were foreclosed upon in the past three or four years, rightly or wrongly. I wonder, Mr. Secretary, if — with all respect — $2,000 isn’t sort of insulting to someone who has lost their home?

      Donovan: Most of the folks, they were asked to add fees that shouldn’t have been. Their paperwork may have been delayed or lost. While those are real violations, they also aren’t things that caused people to lose their homes. We felt that by creating sort of a straightforward, kind of class-action process almost, if everyone in this group could get a quick, simple payment was important. If you lost your home and you shouldn’t have, you will be fully compensated for that harm based on whatever evidence is there. If those aren’t satisfactory to you, you’re not giving up any legal rights to be able to come in and sue. So you really have to see those payments as part of three different avenues that homeowners have.

      Ryssdal: On the subject of principal reductions, or writing down the main amount owed on the mortgage, I wonder how you decide between a guy down the street who has missed a bunch of payments and is still sitting there in his house, but will be eligible for some kind of principal relief, and the guy on the other side of the street who has made all his payments and yet may not get that relief. How do you decide? Where’s the fairness here?

      Donovan: Well look, these were violations in the servicing area. If you’re current on your mortgage, you’re not having any problems — you weren’t a victim of these practices. This is one piece of a broader puzzle. We absolutely recognize that the damage here is much broader than will be solved just by this one step of the settlement.

      For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/hud-chief-settlement-one-piece-broader-puzzle

  23. February 08, 2012

    Readout of the President’s Meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan

    President Obama met today with his national security team as a part of his regular meetings on Afghanistan and Pakistan. The President received an update on our engagement with the Pakistani Government on a range of issues of mutual interest, including efforts to strengthen cooperation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The President also received an update on Afghanistan, including the building of capable Afghan security forces, our support for an Afghan-led reconciliation process, and our efforts to build a long-term, strategic partnership between the United States and Afghanistan. Finally, the President received an update on preparations for the NATO Summit in Chicago, where we will further define the ongoing transition to Afghan-lead security and NATO’s commitment to the future of Afghanistan as agreed to at the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon.

  24. February 09, 2012

    Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting on Human Rights and Reform in China

    The Vice President and senior Administration officials met yesterday with four experts and advocates on human rights and legal reform in China: Dr. Xiaorong Li, Professor Benjamin Liebman, Mr. Kenneth Roth and Ms. Jianying Zha. They discussed the deterioration of China’s human rights situation, prospects for reform, and recommendations for U.S. policy. The Vice President underscored the Administration’s belief in the universality of human rights and its commitment to human rights as a fundamental part of our foreign policy. He reiterated his view that greater openness and protection of universal rights is the best way to promote innovation, prosperity, and stability in all countries, including China.

    • February 09, 2012

      Remarks by the President on No Child Left Behind Flexibility

      East Room

      1:57 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Please have a seat, have a seat. Thank you so much. Well, hello, everybody, and welcome to the White House.

      I want to start by thanking all the chief state school officers who have made the trip from all over the country. Why don’t you all stand up just so we can see you all, right here. (Applause.) It’s a great group, right here. Thank you. And I want to recognize someone who is doing a pretty good job right here in Washington, D.C., and that is my Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Love Arne. (Applause.)

      We’ve also got some outstanding members of Congress who are here who have always been on the front lines when it comes to education reform. But above all, I want to thank all the teachers who are here today. Where are the teachers? Come on, stand up, teachers. (Applause.) There you go. We got some teachers here.

      Earlier this week, we hosted our second White House science fair. Some of you may have seen this on TV. I got a chance to shoot a marshmallow out of an air cannon, which I don’t usually get to do. (Laughter.) But I met these incredibly talented young people — kids who are working on everything from portable housing for disaster victims to technology that can detect smuggled uranium before it became a threat; this young man had built a prototype. And I asked him how he came up with this idea, and he said, “I’ve always just been really interested in nuclear materials, and I collect samples.” (Laughter.) And I asked him, “How does your mom feel about this?” (Laughter.) He said she wasn’t that happy about it.

      But just unbelievable young people. It was extraordinary. And before they left, I gave them some homework. I told them go find a teacher who helped them make it here and say thank you, because every single one of us can point to a teacher who in some way changed the course of our lives. I certainly can; I know Arne can. And the impact is often much bigger than we realize.

      One study found that a single good teacher can increase the lifetime earnings of a classroom by $250,000 — single teacher. A great teacher can help a young person escape poverty, allow them to dream beyond their circumstances.

      So teachers matter. And in an economy where employers are looking for the most skilled, educated workers, few people are going to have a bigger impact on that than the men and women who are in our classrooms. And that ultimately is why we’re here today. It’s about our classrooms, and our children, and what’s happening to them and how they can perform.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/09/remarks-president-no-child-left-behind-flexibility

    • February 09, 2012

      No Child Left Behind, Announces Flexibility in Exchange for Reform for Ten States

      Additional States Expected to Request Flexibility in the Coming Weeks

      WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama will announce today that ten states that have agreed to implement bold reforms around standards and accountability will receive flexibility from the burdensome mandates of the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In exchange for this flexibility, these states have agreed to raise standards, improve accountability, and undertake essential reforms to improve teacher effectiveness. The ten states approved for flexibility are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

      In a White House announcement attended by state education officials, teachers, civil rights, and business leaders, the President will say that NCLB, which is five years overdue for a rewrite, is driving the wrong behaviors, from teaching to the test to federally determined, one-size-fits-all interventions. The President will call on Congress to work across the aisle to fix the law even as his administration offers solutions for states to help prepare all students for college and career readiness.

      “After waiting far too long for Congress to reform No Child Left Behind, my Administration is giving states the opportunity to set higher, more honest standards in exchange for more flexibility,” said President Obama. “Today, we’re giving 10 states the green light to continue making reforms that are best for them. Because if we’re serious about helping our children reach their potential, the best ideas aren’t going to come from Washington alone. Our job is to harness those ideas, and to hold states and schools accountable for making them work.”

      The administration is continuing to work closely with New Mexico, the eleventh state that requested flexibility in the first round. Twenty-eight other states along with D.C. and Puerto Rico have indicated their intent to seek waivers.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/09/no-child-left-behind-announces-flexibility-exchange-reform-ten-states

    • February 09, 2012

      Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Monti of Italy after Bilateral Meeting

      Oval Office

      3:30 P.M. EST

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, hello, everybody. Benvenuto. I want to welcome Prime Minister Monti to the White House for his first visit. I had the opportunity to congratulate him after he took on the extraordinary responsibilities that he has accepted.

      I want to begin by saying that it’s nice to be able to return the hospitality of the Italian people. Every time I’ve been to Rome and L’Aquila, the warmth that has been extended not just to me but to my family has been extraordinary. And obviously we have a deep and special connection with the Italian people. The Italian-American community here in the United States has had as much of an impact as any group within our country.

      I personally cannot claim Italian ancestry — although my name ends in a vowel — (laughter) — so sometimes I try to pretend.

      The Prime Minister came in at a very difficult time in Italian politics and the Italian economy. And I just want to say how much we appreciate the strong start that he has embarked on and the very effective measures that he is promoting inside of Italy. You’ve already seen because of his stewardship and his experience and his knowledge of economics, that not only has he boosted confidence within Italy about a reform agenda, but he’s also been able to generate confidence throughout Europe and in the marketplace that Italy has a plan that takes seriously its fiscal responsibilities, but also emphasizes the need for structural reforms that can promote growth.

      And so one of the topics of our conversation obviously was my continuing to encourage the fine work that has already been done by the Prime Minister and to express our interest in doing whatever we can do to help stabilize the situation in the eurozone, including something that we both agree on, which is the need for a stronger European firewall that will allow for a more stable path for repayment of debt, but also the promotion of a growth strategy within Europe, which is obviously important not only to Europe but the entire world economy, and to our economy back here in the United States of America.

      In addition to all the burdens that he has economically, Prime Minister Monti also is the leader of one of our most important friends and allies when it comes to security issues. So I emphasized to him how much we appreciate the sacrifices and outstanding work that are made by Italian forces in Afghanistan, and we reaffirmed our commitment to the Lisbon schedule in which we transition to full Afghan lead by the end of 2014.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/09/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-monti-italy-after-bilateral-m

  25. 3:15 PM EST
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a “Let’s Move!” event: “Military Improving Nutrition for Servicemembers ”
    Little Rock, Arkansas

    • February 09, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady in a Briefing with Air Force Leadership at Little Rock Air Force Base

      Hercules Dining Facility
      Little Rock Air Force Base
      Little Rock, Arkansas

      2:17 P.M. CST

      BRIGADIER MURRIE: Good, afternoon again, ma’am. We’re thrilled to have you here to visit your first Air Force Food Transformation base. I know you had a chance to look at the slides a little before. I do want to point out, Mr. Mike Teal is on my staff — he’s kind of the architect for the Air Force Food Transformation. He’s allowing me to brief, but if there’s any hard questions we’ll look right at him.

      MRS. OBAMA: I got it. I do the same thing. (Laughter.)

      BRIGADIER MURRIE: Okay. Next slide, please.

      Ma’am, traditionally, chow halls are what we found in the military. We moved in the Air Force to “dining facility” name — a little more elegant, but we really hadn’t upgraded our meal choice, our menu variety, or anything for a few years. While it was nutritious, we were on a kind of a rotating menu, and the airmen said, you know what, can you beef it up a little? So we said, okay, let’s look at it. And we did that, and that’s how Food Transformation was born, on the feedback from our airmen.

      Next slide. Our goal is to continue to provide service and quality, menu variety, and of course nutritious options. What Food Transformation has allowed us to do is open our dining facilities to the entire populous. Traditionally, they were for our airmen in the dorms or airmen in uniform and not open to the rest of the base — and so we’ve been able to do that.

      The other that, interestingly enough, we’ve been able to do with AirMark’s help is all of the concessions on base, like at the bowling center or the golf course or that the airmen who are on a meal card — the Air Force is paying for their meals — can use that card and eat at different venues. And so that’s increased their variety, too. And of course AirMark is working with us to make sure we have nutritional options for them at those concession.

      Six bases so far. Of course, here at Little Rock, you can see the other six up there, and I mentioned the concessions already. And so far, it’s going really well, as I’ll show you in a couple of slides.

      Next slide. DOD and menu standards, nutrition. Of course, that’s got to be what we’re concentrated on, and obviously with “Let’s Move” being near and dear to your heart, we’re working toward that with DOD menu standards, and we’re making sure that we meet those. And that’s through Dr. Woodson and Mr. Gordon making sure that we have those.

      You can see here just the salad bar alone that we’ve beefed up — it sounds like such a simple thing, but that’s one thing that we did better. And you know it’s a huge motivator for folks who come in and either eat in or take a salad out. We had that before but we just made it better. And access and opportunity and menu variety, once again, is what we did, and tying those into the menu standards for DOD, that will make it even better as we go forward.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/09/remarks-first-lady-briefing-air-force-leadership-little-rock-air-force-b

    • February 09, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at Little Rock Air Force Base on Let’s Move! Tour — Little Rock, AK

      Hercules Dining Facility
      Little Rock Air Force Base
      Little Rock, Arkansas

      2:53 P.M. CST

      MRS. OBAMA: Thank you all. (Applause.) It’s great to be here in Arkansas. And I have to say, you all look really good, really fit. (Laughter.) So thank you for eating your vegetables. We need you strong.

      I want to start by thanking Dr. Woodson for that very kind introduction, but also for his leadership on behalf of our men and women in uniform. I also want to thank Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert Gordon, General Murrie, Colonel Brian “Smokey” Robinson. Thank you all for your leadership and service to our country.

      I am truly proud to be here today as the Department of Defense is making what is a groundbreaking commitment to the health of our troops and their families.

      And this is a big day. That’s why we brought all these people. It’s huge. As Dr. Woodson explained, for the first time in 20 years, the DOD is updating their nutritional standards to include more fresh fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products with every single meal. So that means more DOD installations will offer the kind of fresh, healthy food that the Air Force’s Food Transformation Initiative helped bring here to Little Rock.

      The DOD is also going to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of every single military base in America to make sure they’re serving healthy food not just to those in uniform, but to their families. They’ll be looking to improve the food served in dining facilities, school cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars, and any other places where military families purchase food.

      So this isn’t just a drop in the bucket. I mean, this is really a big splash. This will affect more than 1,000 dining facilities and nearly 1.5 million troops. Simply put, this is an example of America’s entire military once again stepping forward to lead by example.

      And it’s happening because our military leaders know that this is not just a diet issue; it’s not just a health issue. This is truly a national security issue. According to a recent Army study, more than a quarter of our nation’s 17- to 24-year-olds are too overweight to serve in our armed forces today. And even those who make the cut often struggle in basic training. One Army general told me that after years of inactivity and poor nutrition, many recruits are just out of shape and they’re more likely to injure themselves in basic training. As a result, the military is spending more and more money on obesity-related injuries, health problems — and dental care, which was a surprise to me; the cost of dental care because of poor nutrition has gone up.

      So that’s why our armed forces are rolling out this very comprehensive strategy to give our troops and their families the healthy, nutritious food they need and, more importantly, they deserve. And I want to emphasize that in doing so, you’re not just sending a powerful message throughout the military community. You’re sending a message to our entire country. And that’s one of the reasons I wanted to be here, because whenever our men and women in uniform step forward, America takes notice. We are all inspired by your courage. We are all inspired by your service and your sacrifice.

      So when you make healthy eating a priority in your lives, the rest of us are more likely to make it a priority in our lives.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/09/remarks-first-lady-little-rock-air-force-base-lets-move-tour-little-rock

  26. Aide injured in Giffords shooting will run to replace her in House

    2/09/12 By Josh Lederman – TheHill

    Ron Barber, an aide to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) who was wounded in the shooting spree that also injured Giffords, will run to replace her in the House.

    Barber announced Thursday he would run in the special election to replace Giffords and said she had personally asked him to enter the race. Giffords resigned from Congress last month to focus on her recovery from the shooting.

    Her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, said he and Giffords were supporting Barber’s campaign.

    “While there will never be anyone who can fill Congresswoman Giffords’ shoes, I look forward to continuing her legacy of putting problem-solving before politics,” Barber said in announcing his candidacy.

    Barber served as Giffords’s district director, staying on after he was shot twice in the shooting spree in Tucson.

    “My roots in southern Arizona go deep. I’ve lived here since 1959,” he told reporters on a conference call. “Having survived the tragic shooting on Jan. 8, I really feel fortunate I’ve gotten to serve my community in a new way.”

    Barber said he had never anticipated running for public office, but that the idea had come from Giffords herself.

    “The congresswoman looked at me directly and said: ‘Ron, will you run?’ That started a discussion with my family,” he said.

    Arizona will hold a special election on June 12 to pick a candidate to finish the rest of Giffords’s term, followed by a regular election in November. Barber said he considered it presumptious to be thinking about whether he would run for a full term in November before he had even made it on the ballot for the special election, but said he would make a decision soon about whether to run again.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/209745-aide-injured-in-giffords-shooting-will-run-to-replace-her

    • Former Giffords aide raises more than $500,000 for special election

      4/05/12 By Josh Lederman – TheHill

      Democrat Ron Barber raised almost $550,000 in the first seven weeks of his campaign to finish the term of former Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), his campaign announced Thursday.

      Barber’s campaign said 3,293 individuals had pitched in since he announced in February his campaign for the special election.

      “I believe that fundraising isn’t just about the bottom line — it’s about people investing in someone they know will stand up for their values,” Barber said in a statement.
      The former district director for Giffords, Barber was shot twice in the January 2011 shooting spree that critically injured Giffords and led to her resignation one year later.

      Barber is unopposed in the Democratic primary, but four Republicans are duking it out in the GOP primary, including Jesse Kelly, who came within 2 points of unseating Giffords in 2010 in a toss-up district.

      Most of the Republican candidates have not yet released their fundraising figures, but sports broadcaster Dave Sitton announced he raised more than $250,000 during the same period.

      Barber’s first goal is to win a June special election to finish the remainder of Giffords’s term. But Barber has also announced plans to seek a full term in the House that starts in 2013. Barber will compete in the fall in the regular election in a redrawn district that slightly improves chances for Democrats.

      • ron_baber_for_az_congress

        Ron Barber for AZ Congress http://ronbarberforcongress.com

        AZ 8th Congressional District Special Election

        Ron Barber for Arizona Congress

        I’ve lived here in Southern Arizona most of my life, running a small business with my wife, and helping to solve problems for people — whether it was heading up Congresswoman Giffords’s district operations to help people resolve their problems, or working for 35 years to look out for people with disabilities.

        I’m running for Congress because we need someone who will put politics aside to solve problems for the people of Southern Arizona. We need someone who will be honest with people, and who will lead with civility. And someone who will focus on the needs of Southern Arizona — balancing the budget the right way, by protecting Social Security and Medicare, creating jobs, protecting our military families and bases, and securing our border.

        My children and grandchildren are all here in Southern Arizona — and I want this to be as special a place for them as it’s been for me.

        Ron Barber

  27. 6:30 PM ET
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a “Let’s Move!” event: “Parents and Businesses Making a Difference”
    Fort Worth, Texas

    • February 09, 2012

      Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event

      Private Residence
      Washington, D.C.

      7:09 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, Laura, for the wonderful introduction — the best introduction that a Cubs fan has ever given me. (Laughter.) The rivalry is fierce in Chicago, but I’ll make an exception here.

      And I want to thank Karen and Nan for opening up their incredible home. (Applause.) To all of you, and to everybody who helped put this together, thank you so much. I am very grateful.

      I’m going to be very brief at the top, because I want to — usually in these things I like to spend most of my time in a conversation. I do want to acknowledge that I have as good a Cabinet as I think any President in modern history has had. And one of the stars of that Cabinet is sitting right here, Kathleen Sebelius. (Applause.)

      All of America has gone through an incredibly difficult, wrenching time these last three years. And it doesn’t matter whether you are black or white, whether you are Northern or Southern, rich or poor, gay or straight; I think all of us have been deeply concerned over these last three years to making sure that our economy recovers, that we’re putting people back to work, that we stabilize the financial system. The amount of hardship and challenge that ordinary families have gone through over the last three years has been incredible. And there are still a lot of folks hurting out there.

      The good news is that we’re moving in the right direction. And when I came into office, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month, and this past month we gained 250,000 — that’s a million job swing. (Applause.) And for the last 23 months, we’ve now created 3.7 million jobs. And that’s more than any time since 2000 — or, yes, since, 2005 — the number of jobs that we created last year, and more manufacturing jobs than any time since the 1990s.

      So we’re making progress on that front now, but we’ve still got a long way to go. Today, we announced a housing settlement, brought about by our Attorney General and states attorneys all across the country. And as a consequence, we’re going to see billions of dollars in loan modifications and help to folks who are seeing their homes underwater. And that’s going to have a huge impact.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/09/remarks-president-campaign-event

  28. DOD Opens More Jobs, Assignments to Military Women

    2/9/12 By Karen Parrish – American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2012 – Military women, particularly soldiers, will see more than 14,000 new job or assignment opportunities because of policy changes the Defense Department announced today.

    The changes are included in a report the department submitted to Congress today, based in part on findings the Military Leadership Diversity Commission reported in March.

    Today’s report includes a “vision statement”: “The Department of Defense is committed to removing all barriers that would prevent service members from rising to the highest level of responsibility that their talents and capabilities warrant.”

    A Pentagon news release accompanying the announcement quotes Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta as saying women have proven themselves in and out of battle.

    “Women are contributing in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission,” he said. “Through their courage, sacrifice, patriotism and great skill, women have proven their ability to serve in an expanding number of roles on and off the battlefield.
    “We will continue to open as many positions as possible to women so that anyone qualified to serve can have the opportunity to do so,” the secretary added.

    The biggest barrier DOD is lifting is a 1994 policy prohibiting women from jobs — such as tank mechanic and field artillery radar operator — that take place near combat units. With that bar removed, more than 13,000 Army jobs will be available to women soldiers for the first time.

    The second change is an “exception to policy” that will allow the Army, Navy and Marines to open select positions at the battalion level in jobs women already occupy.

    The current policy, also set in 1994, bars women in jobs such as intelligence, communications and logistics from assignment at units smaller than a brigade. Nearly 1,200 assignments will open to women soldiers, sailors and Marines under the exceptions.

    For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=67130

  29. Let’s! Move Anniversary: A New Coalition & A New Website For “Chefs Move To Schools”

    FEBRUARY 08, 2012 obamafoodorama.blogspot

    In this new video, Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass discusses the Chefs Move to Schools project, a key component of Let’s Move! that matches professional chefs to schools. This Friday, Day 2 of the Let’s Move! second anniversary tour, First Lady Michelle Obama will spotlight Chefs Move with a visit to the Nancy Moseley Elementary School in Dallas, Texas. She’ll announce a new coalition that will work together to expand Chefs Move, which will be made up of “leaders from the school and nutrition side” and “chefs and professional culinary organizations,” Kass says onscreen. The video will be posted on a new website, http://www.ChefsMoveToSchools.org, which will debut on Friday.

    For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/

  30. 10:00 AM EST
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a “Let’s Move!” event: Schools and Chefs Working Together
    Dallas, Texas

    • February 10, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at “Top Chef” School Event — Dallas, TX

      Kleberg/Rylie Recreation Center
      Dallas, Texas

      11:20 A.M. CST

      MRS. OBAMA: Wow! Wasn’t that fun?

      AUDIENCE: Yes! (Applause.)

      MRS. OBAMA: I think the point in our decision is that when you’ve got great chefs paired with kids that are enthusiastic, and you’ve got schools that care, everybody is a winner. I think every single one of those meals would be something that school kids would love, they would get the kind of nourishment they needed. And we sent the signal that good food doesn’t have to cost a ton of money.

      So we’re just excited that “Top Chef” hosted this competition. All our teams, all our schools were amazing. We’re so proud of you.

      I have to start by thanking Tom and everyone from “Top Chef” for putting together such a great competition. Let’s give them a round of applause. Tom, thank you. (Applause.)

      And of course, we have to thank all our hype men from the Dallas Cowboys, right? (Applause.) DeMarcus Ware, Miles Austin, Felix Jones, and DeMarco Murray — you all were fabulous. Hope you all learned a little something here. (Applause.)

      I also want to recognize Dora Rivas. She’s the Director of Food and Child Nutrition Services for the Dallas Schools. She’s just been amazing. (Applause.) And I want to thank everyone from the Kleberg/Rylie Recreation Center for hosting us here today. This is very nice. (Applause.)

      And finally, I want to say thank you to all of you guys — our students, our teachers, the staff. Thank you for being here with us as we celebrate the second anniversary of “Let’s Move.”

      Now, this is the third state — the third state — that we’ve visited in just a little over a day, so we’ve been busy. We’ve been to Iowa. We’ve been to Arkansas. And right after we leave here, we’re going to be in Florida. And we’re doing this because we want to see what folks across this country are doing to eat healthy and to get active. And there are wonderful stories all over this country, including right here.

      And that’s one of the reasons why I’m here in Dallas today, because I’ve heard that you all are doing some terrific work through the HealthierUS Schools Challenge. You all have been doing some amazing things.

      As everybody here knows, this challenge is run by the Department of Agriculture, or the USDA as we call it. And it recognizes schools that meet the highest national standards for nutrition and physical activity — the highest standards. These schools are the schools that are finding creative, innovative ways to serve healthy meals and to get kids active. So it’s a twofer — it’s not just nutrition, but it’s also physical activity. And these high-ranking schools are doing it at a time when budgets are tight — and we all know that budgets are tight — and there aren’t a whole lot of resources to go around, again, which is why this competition is important, because schools are being asked to do so much more with less.

      But right here in Dallas, more than 150 schools have been recognized in this challenge. That includes 78 schools that have earned Gold Awards, which go to schools that meet the highest levels of standards. And that’s more than any other school district in the entire country. Did you hear that? (Applause.) Dallas, you have more Gold schools in this district than anywhere in the country. And that includes schools like Nancy Moseley Elementary School! (Applause.)

      So that’s why we’re here, because you all are really leading the way for schools. And we want schools across the country to start following your lead. See, when we first launched “Let’s Move” just two years ago, we set a goal of doubling the number of HealthierUS Schools by June of 2011, which was last year. And then we had a goal of adding 1,000 more schools, new schools each year. And now — when we set this goal, there were just 625 HealthierUS Schools around the entire country. By June of last year, 2011, we had more than doubled that number — more than doubled that number in a very short period of time. And as far as reaching our goal of 1,000 new schools by this year, well, today, thanks to the hard work and support of the USDA staff all across this country, I’m proud to announce that 1,589 schools have already earned awards in the challenge this school year. (Applause.) Good stuff, good stuff.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/10/remarks-first-lady-top-chef-school-event-dallas-tx


      KERA: Michelle Obama in Dallas

      Uploaded by KERAPublicMedia on Feb 10, 2012

      First Lady Michelle Obama brought her “Let’s Move” program to Dallas on Friday. She joined some 200 students from Dallas’ Moseley Elementary, Dallas Cowboys players and top chefs in a competition to prepare healthy, affordable school lunches.

  31. 3:30 PM EST
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a “Let’s Move!” event: WebMD Town Hall: Simple Tips For Healthy Families
    Homestead, Florida

    • February 10, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at a Let’s Move! WebMD/YMCA Forum

      Homestead YMCA
      Homestead, Florida

      4:10 P.M. EST

      MS. WARD: Yay! Yes, great crowd. Very good, very good. All right. Yay! This is great. Well, Mrs. Obama, we’d like to start acknowledging your amazing displays of strength and agility recently, when you competed against Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres. (Laughter.) I hope you all saw that. This is a push-up queen here. (Laughter.) But also I know a lot of the kids are very curious about your appearance on the iCarly television show, and they would like to know how that was.

      MRS. OBAMA: How many people here saw iCarly? Oh, yeah. We’ll, see, my girls love iCarly, but I didn’t know how many kids across this country love iCarly. So the reason why we worked with iCarly is that — and I didn’t realize this, because I watch the show with the girls every now and then — but she’s a military kid, as you guys know. And one of the things that I’ve worked a lot on is making sure that the country supports our military families. And iCarly — exactly. (Applause.) Absolutely.

      MS. WARD: Absolutely.

      MRS. OBAMA: So we’re looking at all kinds of creative ways to get the message out. And one important element is making sure that other kids around the country realize the sacrifices that military kids make. Because I don’t think most people understand that military kids oftentimes are moving from school to school to school; every few years they have to get readjusted, keep their grades up; oftentimes dealing with a loved one deployed — a mom or a dad. And that’s tough, but they manage to keep it together.

      And that time on iCarly was a lot of fun. There are two members of the cast that are military kids. So it was really great. They’re all down-to-earth kids. They’re nice, they’re kind, they’re polite — so keep that in mind. In real life, they’re good people.

      So it was a lot of fun, and I’m glad you all watched.

      MS. WARD: Great, great. We have so much to get to. We’ve got some great questions from our viewers and also from the audience. And the first one is for you: “When you and your family are on the road, what are your favorite go-to healthy meals?”

      MRS. OBAMA: Oh, favorite go-to — now that’s — the tough thing is really staying on track when you’re not at home. And a lot of times we travel, whether it’s campaigning or doing things like this. But what I remind my kids is that a lot of foods that are out there are healthy. I mean, a hamburger is not unhealthy, right, if it’s on a whole-wheat bun, if the fries are baked, if it’s not fried, if it’s grilled. Sandwiches are good — turkey sandwiches and on whole-wheat, and you put lettuce and tomato, you’ve got a good mix.

      What I usually encourage my kids to do is to — I tell them that they have alternating opportunities to pick a fun lunch and a healthy lunch. And the fun lunch means they can eat whatever they want. A healthy lunch means it’s got to be something that has a vegetable, but it can be something like pasta, and oftentimes we’ll use whole-wheat pasta. So a lot of times it’s the way it’s prepared, and it’s not necessarily the actual thing. So chicken nuggets are good. Oftentimes we look at them when they’re baked and not fried. That’s a good meal.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/10/remarks-first-lady-lets-move-webmdymca-forum

  32. 7:00 PM EST
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a “Let’s Move!” event:
    Change Begins at Home
    Orlando, Florida

    • February 11, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at a Let’s Move! Faith and Communities Physical Activity Event at Walt Disney World

      ESPN Wide World of Sports
      Walt Disney World
      Orlando, Florida

      2:25 P.M. EST

      MRS. OBAMA: Oh, my gosh! You guys be careful! (Applause.) Oh, wow! It sounds like you all are having some good fun out here! (Applause.)

      You know, I am happy to be here. We are celebrating the second anniversary of “Let’s Move.” I have been traveling all over the country — I’ve been to Iowa, watching how kids are eating well and changing their schools. I’ve been to Dallas, with “Top Chef.” (Applause.) And we’ve made — Dallas! (Applause.) I had some good dinner here in Florida. And now I’m hanging out with all of you.

      And I just want to thank Disney and all that they have done to support “Let’s Move” and to make sure that our kids are eating right and being active. Right? We want to give Disney a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      So now I hear you all have been practicing something for me. You’ve got a little dance you want to show me?

      AUDIENCE: Yes!

      MRS. OBAMA: You guys know I like to dance. I haven’t completely gotten the dance down, but I’m going to watch you all — right? All right, you all ready to do some dancing?

      AUDIENCE; Yes!

      MRS. OBAMA: Let’s do it!

      2:27 P.M. EST

  33. 8:30 AM EST
    First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a “Let’s Move!” event: Faith and Community Groups Leading the Way
    Longwood, Florida

    • First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks on the Second Anniversary of Lets Move!

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Feb 11, 2012

      First Lady Michelle Obama speaks in Longwood, Florida about the progress that has been made during the last two years of Lets Move!, the national initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation.

    • First Lady Michelle Obama & The Platypus Walk

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Feb 11, 2012

      On the third day of her tour to promote the second anniversary of the Lets Move! initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama performs the Platypus Walk with children and Disney stars at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. http://www.letsmove.gov

  34. On Board with The First Lady: Let’s Move! 3rd Anniversary Tour

    Published on Mar 8, 2013

    On Board with the First Lady! First Lady Michelle Obama travels to Mississippi, Chicago and Missouri on the Let’s Move! 3rd anniversary tour. She meet with elementary school kids and teachers, announced the Let’s Move Healthy Schools initiative, filmed a lunch-lady cook off with Rachael Ray and visited a Walmat neighborhood market to see changes that have been made to make healthy foods more accessible and affordable to families.

  35. *********************

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “U.S. Recovering Faster Than Other Countries”

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

Comments are closed.