International Women’s Day 2012

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc.

For the entire article:’s_Day


2012 International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony
March 8, 2012 11:00 AM EST
Hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Live Broadcast:
Department of State


107 thoughts on “International Women’s Day 2012

  1. WH

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama greets Wounded Warriors at the White House in the afternoon

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:15 AM
    President Obama departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews.
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    10:30 AM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews en route Charlotte, N.C.
    North Carolina Air National Guard Base
    Open Press

    11:50 AM
    President Obama arrives Charlotte, N.C.

    12:00 PM
    12:45 PM
    President Obama tours Daimler Trucks North America manufacturing plant in Mount Holly, North Carolina

    12:45 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at Daimler Trucks North America manufacturing plant in Mount Holly, North Carolina

    1:00 PM
    1:45 PM
    President Obama departs Charlotte, N.C. en route Washington, D.C.
    North Carolina Air National Guard Base
    Open Press

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    President Obama arrives Joint Base Andrews.
    Travel Pool Coverage

    3:15 PM
    The President arrives the White House
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • POTUS podium

      March 7, 2012

      12:00 PM EST
      White House Champions of Change: Entrepreneurial Mentors
      The White House

      12:45 PM EST
      President Obama delivers remarks at Daimler Trucks North America manufacturing plant in Mount Holly, North Carolina



      9:00 AM EST
      Secretary of Defense Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Dempsey testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the situation in Syria.

      9:00 AM EST
      FBI Director Mueller III testifies before the House Appropriations Committee on the budget request for his agency

      9:00 AM EST
      White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and actress Kristin Davis are among the speakers at Oxfam America’s “International Women’s Day Sisters on the Planet Summit.

      Health & Human Services Secretary Sebelius testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the 2013 fiscal budget request for her department.

      10:00 AM EST
      U.S. Trade Representative Kirk testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on the administration’s trade agenda

      12:45 PM EST
      President Obama delivers remarks at Daimler Trucks North America manufacturing plant in Mount Holly, North Carolina

      6:30 PM EST
      The National Press Foundation holds its 29th annual Awards Dinner.
      Hilton Washington.

      6:30 PM EST
      Women’s Policy, Inc.’s 35th anniversary of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues
      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) attend the gala



      9:00 AM EST
      Secretary of Defense Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Dempsey testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the situation in Syria.

      9:00 AM EST
      FBI Director Mueller III testifies before the House Appropriations Committee on the budget request for his agency

      9:00 AM EST
      FEMA Director Defends FY2013 Budget at House Appropriations Hearing

      9:00 AM EST
      White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and actress Kristin Davis are among the speakers at Oxfam America’s “International Women’s Day Sisters on the Planet Summit.

      Health & Human Services Secretary Sebelius testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the 2013 fiscal budget request for her department.

      10:00 AM EST
      U.S. Trade Representative Kirk testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on the administration’s trade agenda

      12:45 PM EST
      President Obama delivers remarks at Daimler Trucks North America manufacturing plant in Mount Holly, North Carolina

      6:30 PM EST
      The National Press Foundation holds its 29th annual Awards Dinner.
      Hilton Washington.

      6:30 PM EST
      Women’s Policy, Inc.’s 35th anniversary of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues
      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) attend the gala


      Department of State

      4:00 PM EST
      Secretary Clinton addresses the U.S. Institute of Peace’s U.S.-China Conference, “The Week That Changed the World: President Nixon’s Historic Trip to China and the Future of U.S.-China Relations.”

    • Presidebt Obama's quote on women

      March 01, 2012

      Presidential Proclamation — Women’s History Month, 2012


      – – – – – – –



      As Americans, ours is a legacy of bold independence and passionate belief in fairness and justice for all. For generations, this intrepid spirit has driven women pioneers to challenge injustices and shatter ceilings in pursuit of full and enduring equality. During Women’s History Month, we commemorate their struggles, celebrate centuries of progress, and reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the rights, security, and dignity of women in America and around the world.

      We see the arc of the American story in the dynamic women who shaped our present and the groundbreaking girls who will steer our future. Forty-one years ago, when former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt confronted President John F. Kennedy about the lack of women in government, he appointed her the head of a commission to address the status of women in America and the discrimination they routinely faced. Though the former First Lady passed away before the commission finished its work, its report would spur action across our country and galvanize a movement toward true gender parity. Our Nation stands stronger for that righteous struggle, and last March my Administration was proud to release the first comprehensive Federal report on the status of American women since President Kennedy’s commission in 1963. Today, women serve as leaders throughout industry, civil society, and government, and their outstanding achievements affirm to our daughters and sons that no dream is beyond their reach.

      While we have made great strides toward equality, we cannot rest until our mothers, sisters, and daughters assume their rightful place as full participants in a secure, prosperous, and just society. With the leadership of the White House Council on Women and Girls, my Administration is advancing gender equality by promoting workplace flexibility, striving to bring more women into math and science professions, and fighting for equal pay for equal work. We are combating violence against women by revising an antiquated definition of rape and harnessing the latest technology to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual assault. From securing women’s health and safety to leveling the playing field and ensuring women have full and fair access to opportunity in the 21st century, we are making deep and lasting investments in the future of all Americans.

      Because the peace and security of nations around the globe depend upon the education and advancement of women and girls, my Administration has placed their perspectives and needs at the heart of our foreign policy. Last December, I released the first United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security to help ensure women play an equal role in peace-building worldwide. By fully integrating women’s voices into peace processes and our work to prevent conflict, protect civilians, and deliver humanitarian assistance, the United States is bringing effective support to women in areas of conflict and improving the chances for lasting peace. In the months ahead, my Administration will continue to collaborate with domestic and international partners on new initiatives to bring economic and political opportunity to women at home and abroad.

      During Women’s History Month, we recall that the pioneering legacy of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers is revealed not only in our museums and history books, but also in the fierce determination and limitless potential of our daughters and granddaughters. As we make headway on the crucial issues of our time, let the courageous vision championed by women of past generations inspire us to defend the dreams and opportunities of those to come.

      NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2012 as Women’s History Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month and to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, 2012, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that honor the history, accomplishments, and contributions of American women. I also invite all Americans to visit to learn more about the generations of women who have shaped our history.

      IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.


    • International Women’s Day

      Melanne Verveer
      Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues
      Washington, DC

      March 6, 2012

      As we mark International Women’s Day, we honor the accomplishments and special contributions of women all over the world. The past year has seen new milestones in the struggle for gender equality, illuminating the bravery and determination of so many women working on the front lines of change in every part of the world.

      The year began with women helping to lead the peaceful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt and it ended with the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to three extraordinary women who have advanced human rights, peace and democracy: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen. Their achievement is a testament to the essential role that women must play in the hard work of preventing conflict and building peace.

      In December, President Obama launched the first-ever U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. The plan charts a roadmap for how the United States will accelerate and institutionalize efforts across the government to advance women’s participation in preventing conflict and keeping peace. This initiative represents a fundamental change in how the U.S. approaches its diplomatic, military, and development-based support to women in areas of conflict, by ensuring that their perspectives and considerations of gender are woven into the very fabric of how we approach critical challenges.

      For the entire article:

    • 2012 International Women of Courage Ceremony and Awardees

      Office of the Spokesperson
      Washington, DC
      March 5, 2012

      Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony with special guest First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday, March 8. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and other U.S. and foreign dignitaries will also participate. Special guests this year include Ms. Leymah Gbowee and Ms. Tawakkol Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. The event will be held at approximately 11:00 a.m. in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the U.S. Department of State.

      The prestigious Secretary of State’s Award for International Women of Courage annually recognizes women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk. Since the inception of this award in 2007, the Department of State has honored 46 women from 34 different countries.

      For the entire article:

      • The names of this year’s honorees follow and full biographies and photos are available here:

        The Honorable Maryam Durani, Kandahar Provincial Council Member (Afghanistan);
        Major Pricilla de Oliveira Azevedo, police officer, Rio de Janeiro Military Police (Brazil);
        Zin Mar Aung, political activist and NGO co-founder (Burma);
        Jineth Bedoya Lima, investigative journalist (Colombia);
        Hana Elhebshi, architect and political activist (Libya);
        Aneesa Ahmed, gender-based violence (GBV) activist and former Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs (Maldives);
        Shad Begum, human rights activist and founder/executive director of Anjuman Behbood-e-Khawateen Talah (the Union of Women’s Welfare) (Pakistan);
        Samar Badawi, political activist (Saudi Arabia);
        Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih, human rights activist (Sudan);
        The Honorable Safak Pavey, Member of Parliament (Turkey)

    • Climate leaders celebrated on International Women’s Day

      Mar 08, 2010

      Washington, DC— International humanitarian organization Oxfam America marked International Women’s Day today by celebrating the efforts of a number of women who bear witness to the impacts of climate change and who are working on solutions, locally and globally.

      The event is part of Oxfam’s Sisters on the Planet Climate Leaders Summit, which brings to Washington almost 100 women from 33 states to advocate for climate legislation that includes substantial investments in vulnerable communities around the world. This Summit takes place just as the Senate is undertaking new efforts to pass climate change legislation.

      “International Women’s Day is about celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women. And so today, we celebrate the women who lead the charge in creating the political momentum needed to address climate change in a way that empowers their sisters across the globe to add their voice and ingenuity to the solution,” said Janet McKinley, Oxfam America’s Chair of the Board.

      For the entire article:’s+Day+Sisters+on+the+Planet+Summit

      White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and actress Kristin Davis are among the speakers at Oxfam America’s “International Women’s Day Sisters on the Planet Summit”.

    • Women’s Policy, Inc.

      Thirty Fifth Anniversary of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues

      Wednesday, March 7, 2012
      Union Station, East Hall Washington, DC
      Reception 6:30 p.m. • Dinner 7:30 p.m.

      For more information:


      Women’s Policy, Inc.’s 35th anniversary of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues
      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) attend the gala

    • April 18, 2012

      Presidential Memorandum — Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce

      SUBJECT: Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce

      Despite the considerable progress made since the initial passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 (Public Law 103-322), domestic violence remains a significant problem facing individuals, families, and communities. Domestic violence causes two million injuries each year, and an average of three women in the United States die each day as a result of domestic violence. While a disproportionate number of victims are women, domestic violence can affect anyone.

      The effects of domestic violence spill over into the workplace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that domestic violence costs our Nation $8 billion a year in lost productivity and health care costs alone, and other studies have suggested that the full economic impact is even higher. Moreover, many victims of domestic violence report being harassed in the workplace or experiencing other employment-related effects.

      As the Nation’s largest employer, the Federal Government should act as a model in responding to the effects of domestic violence on its workforce. Executive departments and agencies (agencies) have taken steps to address this issue, including by enhancing the quality and effectiveness of security in Federal facilities and by linking victims of domestic violence with Employee Assistance Programs. By building on these important efforts and existing policies, the Federal Government can further address the effects of domestic violence on its workforce.

      For the entire article:

      • April 18, 2012

        We Can’t Wait: President Signs Memorandum Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workplace

        Today the Obama Administration announced new efforts to help combat and prevent domestic violence in the federal workplace. President Obama today signed a memorandum that will require federal agencies to develop policies to address the effects of domestic violence and provide assistance to employees who are experiencing domestic violence.

        “We know that domestic violence doesn’t just stay in the home. It can extend into the workplace, with devastating effects on its victims and costs that ripple across the economy. Federal employees aren’t immune. The President’s Memorandum sends a message about what the federal government—and all employers—can do to end this abuse. Today, President Obama directed the federal government to become a model for all employers in providing a safe workplace and support for any employees who suffer from domestic violence. For the first time, all federal agencies are required to establish policies to respond to the legitimate needs of employees who are being abused and who might need help, ” said Vice President Biden.

        Domestic violence affects both the safety of the workplace and the productivity of employees. Victims report being harassed at work or distracted from their jobs because of abuse. The steps the Administration is taking today will build on ongoing efforts to improve workplace safety and assist victims of domestic violence.

        The memorandum directs the Director of Office of Personnel Management, in consultation with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and other interested heads of agencies, to issue guidance to agencies addressing the effects of domestic violence on the federal workforce. The guidance will include steps agencies can take to intervene in and prevent domestic violence against or by employees; guidelines for assisting employee victims; leave policies relating to domestic violence situations; general guidelines on when it may be appropriate to take disciplinary action against employees who commit or threaten acts of domestic violence; steps agencies can take to improve workplace safety related to domestic violence; and resources for identifying relevant best practices related to domestic violence.

        For the entire article:

      • Officials Explain New Sexual Assault Policies

        April 23, 2012 By Karen Parrish – American Forces Press Service

        WASHINGTON, – Senior Defense Department officials today said they hope more service members who are victims of sexual assault report the crimes as a result of a policy change Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced last week.

        Panetta issued guidance April 20 withholding “initial disposition authority” from any officer who is below the O-6 — colonel or Navy captain — level and who does not hold special court-martial convening authority. In other words, unit commanders at the company or squadron level no longer have authority to decide whether to take further action in reported cases of attempted rape, forcible sodomy or sexual assault.

        In announcing the new policy, the secretary said the change will ensure that sexual assault cases receive high-level attention.

        A senior defense official told reporters today during a background briefing that the new policy will allow more experienced and less partial officers to make the initial decision on whether a sexual assault case goes to trial. That will add consistency to how such cases are handled, the official added.

        “The further ‘north’ you go [in rank] the more attention there is paid to this,” the official said. “They get a level of training that somebody at the O-3 level wouldn’t necessarily get.”

        The defense official cited a hypothetical case in which an alleged attacker and victim belong to the same company-level unit of about 115 enlisted people and five officers working for the same Army captain or Navy lieutenant commander.

        In the past, the official said, a victim in that unit might choose not to report an assault because the commander liked the alleged attacker more, or because the victim’s performance in the unit might cause the commander to disbelieve the victim’s report. Now, that unit commander must forward such reports up the chain of command to a colonel-level special court-martial convening authority.

        A Joint Staff official told reporters, also on background, that the new policy is intended in part to remove decisions from the “immediate level of the crime.”

        For the entire article:

      • Combating Sexual Assault in the United States Military

        Lynn RosenthalApril 23, 2012 06:22 PM EDT

        Sexual assault is a pervasive problem in the United States. One in five women report having been raped in their lifetimes, and many experience ongoing physical and emotional trauma related to this crime. The Obama Administration has taken on this serious issue, and has announced new initiatives across the federal government to respond to and prevent sexual assault.

        Nowhere is our responsibility greater than in the military. Women and men who step forward to serve our country must be protected from this devastating crime, and offenders must be held appropriately accountable. Secretary Panetta has said loud and clear that sexual assault has no place in the United States military. Together with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey, the Secretary is taking important steps toward achieving this vision.

        On April 20, Secretary Panetta issued a directive that will require certain sexual assault complaints to be elevated to more senior levels of command. This significant change means that more experienced commanders will be making the initial disposition decisions for these cases. Specifically, the officers handling these cases will be at least in the grade of 0-6, meaning at least a colonel in the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force; a captain in the Navy, and must possess at least special court martial convening authority. This new policy underscores the gravity of these crimes and may give victims greater confidence to come forward.

        For the entire article:

      • April 23, 2012

        Statement by the President on Department of Defense Initiatives to Combat Sexual Assault in the Military

        I applaud the initiatives that Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have announced to further combat sexual assault in the military. The men and women of the United States military deserve an environment that is free from the threat of sexual assault, and in which allegations of sexual assault are thoroughly investigated, offenders are held appropriately accountable, and victims are given the care and support they need. Elevating these cases to a higher level of command review is a very important step. I believe that sexual assault has no place in our military. I thank Secretary Panetta and Chairman Dempsey and look forward to seeing continued progress on this important issue.

    • Valley Isle Democrats to caucus Wednesday

      March 4, 2012 The Maui News

      The Maui Democratic Party caucuses, which include the presidential caucus and district/precinct elections, will be held Wednesday across Maui County.

      The gatherings are only for Hawaii Democratic Party members. Registered voters may join the party that evening and vote in the caucuses and district/precinct elections.

      Precinct/district elections determine the organization, staffing and direction of the Maui Democratic Party, said Karen Chun, a party official. District and precinct officers and delegates to the state convention also are selected. Hawaii’s delegation to the national convention, where the party’s presidential candidate is nominated and the party platform is established, are chosen at the state convention.

      The presidential caucus is essentially the Democratic presidential primary, Chun said.

      President Barack Obama is the only major candidate running on the Democratic side, though write-ins are allowed, said Chun.

      “We have to cross the t’s and dot the i’s in order to actually select President Obama to be our candidate,” said Chun.

      For the entire article:

  2. President Obama to speak at Charlotte area truck manufacturing plant this week

    3/5/12 charlotte.news14

    CHARLOTTE – President Barack Obama will travel to the Charlotte area this week to speak about the economy.

    The White House reports he’ll visit the Daimler Trucks North America manufacturing plant in Mount Holly on Wednesday.

    The president narrowly won North Carolina in 2008 and advisers believe he has a shot in the Tar Heel State again in 2012, but the economic downturn hit the state hard.

    At the end of last year, North Carolina ranked 4th among states with the highest unemployment.

  3. Steelworkers Endorse Barack Obama for Re-election as President


    (Pittsburgh, Pa.) – The United Steelworkers (USW) International Executive Board today voted unanimously to support President Barack Obama for re-election in November.

    “This is the right time to do the right thing for a man who has proved he is right for the job,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “The President has turned around an economy he inherited that was nose-diving towards a depression by focusing on jobs, manufacturing and enforcing U.S. trade laws.

    “All of his accomplishments come despite obstructionist right-wingers in Congress beholden to the one percent at the expense of everybody else.”

    Beyond fulfilling his commitments to manufacturing and job creation, President Obama succeeded in regulating Wall Street and passing health care reform, Gerard pointed out, noting: “Because of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies no longer can deny care to those with pre-existing conditions, no longer can drop people when they get sick, and no longer can place lifetime limits on care.”

    The USW plans to support the President’s re-election efforts on the ground by mobilizing its members. “We plan to talk directly to our membership about the President’s policies that benefit working American families,” said USW International Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson. “USW activists will also work hard in the fight against right-wing voter suppression campaigns as well as continue to advocate that all workers have a voice in their workplace and the right to bargain collectively,” added Johnson.

    President Obama’s achievements in his first term have benefitted USW members who work in a wide range of industries including, steel, aluminum, glass and paper making; auto parts and wind turbine manufacturing; copper mining, tire building, and oil refining. As a result, the leaders of USW local unions across the country have expressed strong support for the President’s re-election.

    For the entire article:

  4. U.S. Department of State to Host Its First Press Briefing in Spanish

    Office of the Spokesperson
    Washington, DC

    March 6, 2012

    On Thursday, March 8, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. EST, the U.S. Department of State will host the first-ever Spanish-language press briefing on current U.S. foreign policy issues. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Mike Hammer will respond to questions in Spanish from the podium in the Department’s press briefing room.

    Video of the press briefing will be made available on the Department’s YouTube Channel at and on after the briefing concludes.

    Media interested in attending should register by emailing

    Final access time for journalists is 1:30 p.m. from the 23rd Street entrance lobby. Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) a U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver’s license, passport). Please allow 30 minutes to process through security.

    For additional questions, please contact the Office of Press Relations: (202) 647-2492.

    This press release is also available in Spanish.

  5. Hiring Heros

    Hiring Our Heros
    US Chamber of Commerce

    March 7, 2012 – Springfield, VA

    On March 7, 2012 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The American Legion in partnership with the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Services (DOL VETS), the Virginia Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and local chambers will be conducting a hiring fair for veterans, active duty military members, Guard and Reserve members, and eligible spouses at The American Legion Springfield Post 176 in Springfield, Virginia. This hiring event will be a one-of a-kind FREE hiring fair.

    This hiring fair is being conducted by the U.S. Chamber, The American Legion Post 176, and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce as part of a larger effort by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The American Legion to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment.

    This event will be open only to employers who are committed to hiring our veterans and to veteran job seekers, active duty military members, Guard and Reserve members, and eligible spouses.

    Springfield, Virginia
    The American Legion Springfield Post 176
    6520 Amherst Avenue, Springfield, Virginia
    March 7, 2012

  6. Intermountain Sustainability Summit
    March 7 – 8, 2012
    Ogden , UT

    The Intermountain Sustainability Summit is a premier event providing exceptional
    educational programs, networking, and trade show opportunities for government
    representatives, sustainability, energy, and solid waste professionals, students,
    politicians, and interested public. This event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).This year’s Summit provides sessions
    in the following three areas:

    Recycling & Waste Reduction
    Energy Conservation & Renewable Energy
    Sustainability Planning & Implementation

    For the entire article:

  7. Democrats protest plan for Rush Limbaugh bust in Missouri

    3/6/12 By Bruce Olson | Reuters – 2 hrs 23 mins ago

    T. LOUIS (Reuters) – A plan to place a bust in the Missouri Capitol to honor Rush Limbaugh, the conservative broadcaster embroiled in controversy over his calling a university student a “slut” on the air, has drawn protests from state Democrats who are trying to block the effort.

    The bust, proposed by Republican state House Speaker Steve Tilley, would sit in the Capitol rotunda alongside those of other prominent Missouri natives such as writer Mark Twain and former president Harry Truman.

    Some 47 Missouri Democratic leaders, in a letter delivered to Tilley on Tuesday, said Limbaugh should not be honored and that the action would be “inappropriate and offensive,” a spokesman for Tilley confirmed.

    “Honoring Mr. Limbaugh in the wake of this incident would be seen as a tacit endorsement of his misogynistic attitudes,” read the letter, circulated by House Minority Leader Mike Talboy.

    Missouri Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, who Limbaugh once called “a commie babe liberal,” said she opposed honoring him.

    “I draw the line,” at putting Limbaugh’s bust in the Capitol, McCaskill told MSNBC on Monday.

    About 1,300 people have signed an online petition protesting against a Limbaugh bust, said Sean Soendker Nicholson, executive director of the liberal group Progress Missouri, which launched the petition drive.

    For the entire article:

  8. Obama’s All-Of-The-Above Energy Strategy

    Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on Mar 6, 2012

    Get the facts:

    What are we doing to address rising gas prices? Only President Obama has laid out a real strategy to take control of our energy future. And we’re already seeing a change: US oil production is the highest in 8 years. And our reliance on oil imports is the lowest in 16 years. Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy is a real plan to get control of runaway gas prices and cut our reliance on foreign oil. Get the facts.

  9. Haven’t been by in a while CR…just now stopped by & reading your blog…All of your pages are very nice-looking….& it is ‘plum-full’ of information… are you ever going to run for an office yourself? you well could!!! Keep up good work…:)

  10. Private sector adds 216,000 jobs in February

    3/7/12 By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney

    The private sector added 216,000 jobs in the month, ADP said, roughly in line with forecasts for 218,000 jobs.

    In February, small businesses — those with fewer than 50 employees — made up half of the job gains, hiring 108,000 people.

    Large companies with 500 or more employees hired 20,000 new workers, and medium-sized businesses added 88,000 to their payrolls.

    ADP typically sets the tone for the government’s highly anticipated monthly jobs report, due Friday, but its figures aren’t always a good predictor of the government’s numbers.
    A month ago, for example, the report said private employers had slowed their hiring. Two days later, the government reported that private employers had picked up their hiring to the strongest levels in nine months.

    Economists surveyed by CNNMoney expect the Labor Department’s data to show 213,000 jobs were added last month, including 225,000 from the private sector and a loss of government jobs.

    That would mark slower hiring than in January, when the economy added 243,000 jobs.

  11. U.S. 4th-quarter productivity revised up to 0.9%

    March 7, 2012, 8:30 a.m. EST By Jeffry Bartash – Marketwatch

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – U.S. productivity was a touch higher in the fourth quarter of 2011 than originally reported, but the cost of producing goods and services jumped because of a sharp increase in hourly wages, according to revised government data. The Labor Department on Wednesday said productivity climbed 0.9% in the final three months of 2011, up from an initial estimate of 0.7%. That matched the forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch. The amount of goods and services produced, known as real output, grew at an annual rate of 3.7%, slightly higher than the original estimate of 3.6%. Hours worked rose 2.7%, slightly less than the initial 2.9% estimate. Yet hourly compensation, adjusted for inflation jumped 2.8%, sharply higher compared to the initial reading of 1.9%. As a result, unit-labor costs also went up 2.8% instead of 1.2% as previously estimated. Revised unit-labor costs had been forecast to rise 1.9%. In the third quarter, meanwhile, productivity was revised down to 1.8% from 1.9%. And productivity for 2011 was revised down to 0.4% from 0.7%, marking the smallest annual increase since 1995.

  12. Labor market shows more signs of life

    3/7/12 By Leah Schnurr | Reuters – 39 mins ago

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The pace of job creation by private employers accelerated in February, reinforcing hopes that Friday’s broader payrolls report would confirm the labor market recovery has moved into a higher gear.

    The private sector added 216,000 jobs last month, the ADP National Employment Report showed on Wednesday, topping economists’ expectations for a gain of 208,000.

    January’s payrolls figures were revised up to an increase of 173,000 from 170,000.

    U.S. stock index futures added to gains immediately after the data, while US Treasury debt prices held steady at lower levels.

    The ADP figures come ahead of the government’s more comprehensive labor market report on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment.

    “This does suggest we are moving in the right direction,” said Beth Ann Bovino, senior U.S. economist at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services in New York.

    “It supports the expectations of another 200,000-plus in Friday’s payroll report. The jobs numbers are looking healthier.”

    Economists polled by Reuters are expecting Friday’s report to show a gain of 210,000 in overall nonfarm payrolls, with the addition of 225,000 jobs in the private sector.

    Economists often refer to the ADP report to fine-tune their expectations for the payrolls numbers, though it is not always accurate in predicting the outcome.

    The report is jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.

    Another report on Wednesday also spelled better news for U.S. workers. Wages rose much faster than first reported in the fourth-quarter, according to Labor Department data.

    Alongside unemployment, the U.S. housing market has dragged on the economy.

    Separate reports on Wednesday provided mixed signals that the housing market might have seen the worst.

    U.S. home prices fell for the sixth month in a row in January as the market continued to be hampered by cheaper distressed sales, data analysis firm CoreLogic said.

    But excluding distressed sales, prices rose 0.7 percent in January and were off just 0.9 percent on a yearly basis.

    With U.S. housing prices down about a third from their pre-crisis peak, some buyers are being lured into the market.

    Applications for U.S. mortgages to buy homes rose last week although demand for refinancing was weaker, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

  13. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Statement on Tonight’s Republican Primary and Caucus Results

    March 07, 2012

    DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement on the GOP presidential primary and caucus results tonight:

    “The muddled mess that is the Republican presidential nominating contest continued tonight as Republican voters who are unenthusiastic and unmotivated, failed to consolidate around a single candidate. It was a particularly bad night for Mitt Romney who once again failed to close the deal with Republican Primary voters despite the millions he’s spent and the more than half a decade he’s been trying.

    “Mitt Romney’s stuck in a dead heat with Rick Santorum in Ohio and might just squeak out a win there despite out-spending him there four to one and pummeling Santorum with millions in negative ads. If his weak performance in Ohio wasn’t bad enough, Romney under performed in Virginia where his only competition was Ron Paul, came in third in North Dakota after winning there in 2008 and is losing among independents and young voters in key contests across the country.

    “Even after pandering to the Tea Party on everything from immigration to contraception, refusing to condemn the slanderous rhetoric of Rush Limbaugh, and after trying to buy the election with millions in negative ads from him and his allies, Mitt Romney is barely limping ahead of a weak and flawed field. Voters in his own party are learning what independent voters who have flocked away from him in droves already know: Mitt Romney has no core values, will say anything to get elected and can’t be trusted to lead.”


      Romney campaign can’t say if he supports equal-pay law

      4/11/12 11:29 AM ET By Josh Lederman – TheHill

      Mitt Romney’s economic and policy aides were caught off guard on Wednesday when asked whether the former Massachusetts governor supports equal-pay legislation signed into law by President Obama.

      Fresh off of a great day for Mitt Romney on Tuesday, when his main rival for the GOP nomination dropped out, the Romney campaign dispatched surrogates to knock Obama’s proposed “Buffet Rule” and to double down on their arguments that Obama’s policies have led to massive job losses for women.

      On a conference call with reporters Wednesday was Romney’s policy director, Lanhee Chen, and Kevin Hassett, one of his economic policy advisers. The aides accused Obama of setting women back 20 years and promoting policies that led to the hemorrhaging of women in the workforce.

      But asked by a reporter whether Romney supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which Obama signed in 2009 barely a week after taking office, the aides weren’t so sure.

      “We’ll get back to you on that,” said one of the Romney surrogates.

      The campaign had no immediate response to The Hill’s inquiry seeking clarification on Romney’s position on the law, which expands workers’ ability to sue over equal-pay discrimination claims.

      Ledbetter, in a statement released by Obama’s reelection campaign, criticized Romney for not having an answer.

      “I was shocked and disappointed to hear that Mitt Romney is not willing to stand up for women and their families. If he is truly concerned about women in this economy, he wouldn’t have to take time to ‘think’ about whether he supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,” she said. “Anyone who wants to be President of the United States shouldn’t have to think about whether they support pursuing every possible avenue to ensuring women get the same pay for the same work as men.”

      Both campaigns have made a priority of winning female voters, with polls showing a significant gender gap between Obama and Romney.


  14. Kucinich, Schmidt falter in Ohio

    Mar 7, 2012 By Steve Benen – maddowblog

    Associated Press

    Sitting members of Congress don’t generally lose primary fights, but in Ohio last night, two House incumbents lost.

    The first was Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D), a liberal firebrand, who found himself the victim of an unkind redistricting process.

    In a primary faceoff between two veteran Democratic incumbents, voters in Ohio delivered a victory to Representative Marcy Kaptur, a progressive from Toledo, over Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, leaving him without a seat in Congress for the first time in 16 years.

    Mr. Kucinich conceded just past midnight Wednesday. With nearly 85 percent of the vote counted, Ms. Kaptur led Mr. Kucinich, her colleague and frequent ally in the House, by about 24 points in the race to represent Ohio’s recently redrawn Ninth Congressional District.

    Kaptur will face Samuel Wurzelbacher, also known as Republican media personality “Joe the Plumber,” in November.

    We probably haven’t seen the last of Kucinich, though. When Kaptur accused the congressman of possibly running outside of Ohio if he lost yesterday’s primary, Kucinich did not rule out that possibility. He’s reportedly considered running in the state of Washington, which has a May 18 primary filing deadline.

    Kucinich, it’s worth noting, has no meaningful connection to the state of Washington, and has never lived there.

    More surprising than Kucinich’s defeat, however, was Rep. Jean Schmidt losing her re-election bid in a Republican primary to podiatrist Brad Wenstrup, who has never held elected office. Oddly enough, the race wasn’t especially close — with nearly all of the precincts reporting, Wenstrup won by about six points.

    It marked an unceremonious end to a troubled congressional career. Schmidt is probably best known for having lashed out at Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a decorated war hero, as a “coward” because he backed a troop-redeployment strategy for Iraq in 2005. She then proceeded to lie about the source of her remark, and in an especially sad display, characterize herself as a victim.

    What’s more, in 2009, Schmidt was recorded telling a birther activist, “I agree with you, but the courts don’t.”

  15. Is U.S. Energy Independence Finally Within Reach?

    3/7/12 by JOHN YDSTIE – NPR

    Rising gas prices have been the big energy story of the past several weeks. But many energy experts say that’s a sideshow compared with the really big energy event — the huge boom in oil and natural gas production in the U.S. that could help the nation reach the elusive goal of energy independence.

    Since the Arab oil embargo of 1973, energy independence has been a Holy Grail for virtually every American president from Richard Nixon to Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama.

    But now, it might just be within reach.

    The Shale Gale

    “Energy self-sufficiency is now in sight,” says energy economist Phil Verleger. He believes that within a decade, the U.S. will no longer need to import crude oil and will be a natural gas exporter.

    Verleger says all of the previous presidents fighting for energy independence would be quite surprised by how this came about: It’s not the result of government policy or drilling by big oil.

    “This is really the classic success of American entrepreneurs,” he says. “These were people who saw this coming, managed to assemble the capital and go ahead.”

    Small energy companies using such controversial techniques as hydraulic fracturing, along with horizontal drilling, are unlocking vast oil and natural gas deposits trapped in shale in places like Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Texas. North Dakota, for instance, now produces a half-million barrels a day of crude oil, and production is rising.

    Amy Myers Jaffe, of Rice University’s Baker Institute, also believes U.S. energy self-sufficiency is within reach.

    “I would say we’re the closest to being able to fashion a policy that would get us to energy self-sufficiency in decades,” she says.

    That policy would include continuing the green light on developing shale oil and gas, she says, while making sure it is done in an environmentally safe manner and continuing to require higher fuel efficiency in cars and trucks.

    “This shale gale, I describe it as the energy equivalent of the Berlin Wall coming down. This is a big deal,” says Robin West, chairman and CEO of PFC Energy, who has been in the energy consulting business for decades.

    For the entire article and audio interview:

    • Champions of Change: Honoring Mentors who Support America’s Entrepreneurs

      Doug Rand March 07, 2012 06:19 PM EST

      This afternoon, the White House honored eleven Champions of Change for their extraordinary service as mentors for startups and small businesses across the country. By sharing their expertise and hard-won experience with first-time entrepreneurs, these mentors are not only “paying it forward” – they are enabling countless American businesses to grow faster and create more jobs.

      Some of these Champions have done exemplary work through programs affiliated with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), including SCORE , Small Business Development Centers , Women’s Business Centers , and the Emerging Leaders (e200) Initiative . Others are working to grow regional “entrepreneurial ecosystems” through the Startup America Partnership , a private-sector response to the White House Startup America initiative.

      A strong mentor can offer invaluable support to entrepreneurs. Check out this new video on what makes an effective entrepreneurial mentor, drawn from interviews with leaders from the Startup America Partnership, who share their own experience on both sides of the relationship.

    • Champions of Change: Entrepreneurship Mentors

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Mar 7, 2012

      The White House honors local leaders for their work as mentors to entrepreneurs and small business owners.

    • March 07, 2012

      Remarks by the President on Energy — Mount Holly, NC

      Daimler Truck Manufacturing Plant
      Mount Holly, North Carolina

      12:50 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, North Carolina! (Applause.) Hello, Mount Holly! (Applause.) Thank you, Juan, for that introduction. I did not know he was a preacher. (Laughter.) He must be at least a deacon. (Laughter.) I was hearing — “Welll” — (Laughter.) He was starting to get the spirit up here. I’m going to take Juan on the road to introduce me everywhere. (Laughter.) Can I hear an “amen”?

      AUDIENCE: Amen!

      THE PRESIDENT: Amen.

      I want to thank Mark Hernandez, Ricky McDowell — (applause) — and Martin Daum for hosting us and being such great tour guides. Thank you so much, everybody. Give them a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      We’ve got a few outstanding North Carolinians in the house. You’ve got your Governor, Bev Perdue, is here. (Applause.) Your mayors, Bryan Hough and Anthony Foxx are here. (Applause.) Two outstanding Congressmen, Mel Watt and Heath Shuler are here. (Applause.) Thank you all for being here.

      It is good to be in North Carolina. Anthony Foxx pointed out that I decided to wear a tie that could be a Tar Heel — (applause) — but it’s got a little Duke color in there, too.

      AUDIENCE: Booo —

      THE PRESIDENT: I didn’t want to get in trouble with anybody, so I was hedging my bets. (Laughter.)

      I always tell people I am one of the best advertisers for North Carolina. I love this state. (Applause.) Love this state. Everybody here is so nice, so welcoming. Even the folks who don’t vote for me, they’re nice to me. They usually wave five fingers. (Laughter.) So it’s just a great pleasure.

      And I just had a chance to see some of the folks who are doing the work here today. I couldn’t be more impressed. Some people have been here — like Juan — 32 years, 25 years. Some folks have been here for four months, or six months, have just gotten hired. But everybody had such pride in their work.

      And the Freighterline trucks that you’re making here at this plant run on natural gas, and that makes them quieter, it makes them better for the environment, it makes them cheaper to fill up than they would be with diesel. I hear you sold your 1,000th natural gas truck last November -– (applause) — the first company to reach that milestone. And it was made right here in Mount Holly. (Applause.) And last year, this plant added more than 1,000 workers, hiring back a lot of folks who were laid off during the recession. (Applause.) That is something to be proud of.

      Now, here at Daimler, you’re not just building trucks. You’re building better trucks.

      AUDIENCE: That’s right.

      THE PRESIDENT: You’re building trucks that use less oil. And you know that’s especially important right now because most of you have probably filled up your gas tank a time or two in the last week, and you’ve seen how quickly the price of gas is going up. A lot of you may have to drive a distance to work. Higher gas prices are like a tax straight out of your paycheck.
      And for companies that operate a whole fleet of trucks, the higher costs can make a big difference in terms of the profitability of the company.

      Now, here’s the thing, though — this is not the first time we’ve seen gas prices spike. It’s been happening for years. Every year, about this time, gas starts spiking up, and everybody starts wondering, how high is it going to go? And every year, politicians start talking when gas prices go up. They get out on the campaign trail — and you and I both know there are no quick fixes to this problem — but listening to them, you’d think there were.

      As a country that has 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, but uses 20 percent of the world’s oil — I’m going to repeat that — we’ve got 2 percent of the world oil reserves; we use 20 percent. What that means is, as much as we’re doing to increase oil production, we’re not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices. Anybody who tells you otherwise either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or they aren’t telling you the truth.

      Here is the truth. If we are going to control our energy future, then we’ve got to have an all-of-the-above strategy. We’ve got to develop every source of American energy — not just oil and gas, but wind power and solar power, nuclear power, biofuels. We need to invest in the technology that will help us use less oil in our cars and our trucks, in our buildings, in our factories. That’s the only solution to the challenge. Because as we start using less, that lowers the demand, prices come down. It’s pretty straightforward. That’s the only solution to this challenge.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.g ov/the-press-office/2012/03/07/remarks-president-energy-mount-holly-nc

      • PBO: “…. we’re not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices. Anybody who tells you otherwise either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or they aren’t telling you the truth.”

        Let’s just add that the oil companies would NEVER allow gas prices to drop to the level that Gingrich and others promise to magically deliver. They are not in the business of giving away this incredibly valuable resource. They are in the hugely profitable business of charging every penny they can get AND demanding taxpayer-funded subsidies to boot. They get away with it as long as they are the only energy game in town. Competition and a diverse energy economy is the only thing that will lower prices, as PBO says.

      • Besides. When George Bush, the oil man, was President, why didn’t he use this magical power of lowering energy prices that the GOP claims to have? Could they be fibbing?

        >^OO^< astonished cat

    • March 07, 2012
      Fact Sheet: All-of-the-Above Approach to American Energy

      President Obama Announces $1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge to spur deployment of clean, advanced vehicles and expansion of advanced vehicle tax credit

      During the State of the Union Address, the President laid out a blueprint for a new era of American energy – an economy fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources that will be designed in America and produced by American workers. Today, the President will visit Daimler Trucks North America Mt. Holly Truck Manufacturing Plant in Mt. Holly, NC to deliver remarks on American energy. While at the Daimler Plant, the President will tour the assembly line, see several of the alternative fuel models built there, and discuss the importance of taking a sustained, all-of-the-above approach on energy, responsibly expanding domestic production of natural gas and oil, which is currently at an eight year high, improving the efficiency of our cars and trucks, and making the long-term investments in alternatives to oil to provide American families the choices we all deserve. This strategy is a win for the economy, a win for energy security, and a win for national security.

      In Mt. Holly, the President will announce a new $1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge to spur deployment of clean, advanced vehicles in communities around the country. The President will also announce a set of incentives to help consumers and businesses purchase new, advanced cars and trucks, including increasing and expanding the current tax credit for advanced vehicles, from the $7,500 credit that currently exists up to $10,000, while allowing the credit to be applied to additional types of technologies, not currently covered. In addition, the President is announcing a new research challenge that invests in breakthrough technologies to make electric vehicles as affordable and convenient to own and operate as gasoline-powered vehicles by the end of the decade.

      Today the President will also highlight Daimler’s commitment to increasing fuel economy standards and manufacturing vehicles that will increase fuel economy and reduce oil consumption. Taken together, the Obama Administration’s standards for cars and light-duty trucks span model years 2011 to 2025 and represent the first meaningful update in over three decades. Under this program, average fuel efficiency will reach a performance equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 and will save consumers $1.7 trillion at the pump overtime – or roughly $8,200 per vehicle and slash oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels a day by 2025. The Administration has also finalized the first-ever national fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for heavy-duty trucks, vans, and buses spanning model years 2014-2018, which will reduce oil consumption by over 500 million barrels, and save truck owners and operators more than $50 billion in fuel costs.

      For the entire article:

  16. March 07, 2012

    Readout of the President’s Meeting with Libyan Prime Minister ElKeib

    This morning President Obama welcomed Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim ElKeib to the White House—the first of several meetings the Prime Minister will hold with U.S. officials this week. During the meeting the President pledged continued support to the Libyan people and noted the contributions made by American service members and civilians to securing Libya’s freedom. The President applauded the Prime Minister for his leadership during Libya’s democratic transition and his government’s efforts to rebuild the country. The President encouraged the Prime Minister to continue plans to hold national elections in June and stressed the importance of transparency and engagement with Libya’s newly energized civil society as the government develops accountable institutions. The leaders also discussed a range of security issues and increased cooperation on border management, weapons security, and regional counterterrorism concerns. The President said he looks forward to a close partnership between the United States and Libya going forward.

    • Libyan Prime Minister ElKeib Visits the White House

      March 08, 2012 Benjamin Fishman

      Yesterday, President Obama welcomed Prime Minister Abdurrahim ElKeib of Libya to the White House, kicking off three days of meetings for the Libyan leader in New York and Washington with U.S. officials, members of Congress, and business and policy leaders. Dr. ElKeib was the first Libyan prime minister to visit the White House in nearly 60 years, indicating a new era of friendship between the United States and Libya.

      During yesterday’s meeting President Obama applauded Dr. ElKeib’s leadership and encouraged his government to make continued progress with the country’s democratic transition. He pledged the support of the United States to the people of Libya as they work to hold the country’s first free and fair national elections later this summer. Rebuilding their country and establishing security will take time, and the President encouraged Prime Minister ElKeib to take full advantage of American and international expertise as the Libyan people address the challenges of the days ahead.

      Given the President’s leadership mobilizing the international community last year to protect the Libyan people, it was particularly moving to see how warmly the Libyans greeted President Obama and their eagerness to forge a close partnership with the United States after so many years of limited contacts. Prime Minister ElKeib captured this spirit again this morning when he said at the State Department, “In the past year, the dynamics between the U.S. and Libya has been dramatically transformed for the better. We look forward to the continued strengthening of this relationship as Libya moves forward with its democratic transition and rebuilding its economy.”

  17. Antonio Villaraigosa backs gay marriage plank

    By MACKENZIE WEINGER | 3/7/12 11:26 AM EST

    Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — the chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention — said on Wednesday that he favors a gay marriage legalization plank in his party’s platform.

    Villaraigosa publicly announced he backs the national party taking a stance on marriage equality, an issue he has long supported, at Wednesday’s POLITICO Playbook Breakfast. President Barack Obama doesn’t support legalization but has said his position is evolving.

    During a wide-ranging interview, POLITICO’s Mike Allen at one point asked the recently selected chairman, “Do you think that the Democratic national platform should have a marriage equality plank?”

    “I do, I think it’s basic to who we are,” Villaraigosa said. “I believe in family values and I believe that we all ought to be able to have a family and marry if you want to. I don’t think the government should be in that business of denying people the fundamental right to marry.”

    As for what the plank includes, however, Villaraigosa said he would leave that up to the convention delegates.

    Meanwhile, Villaraigosa offered sharp criticism for the Republican party, saying that the GOP’s policies on immigration, women’s issues and gay marriage don’t match up with mainstream American thinking.

    The Democratic mayor warned that Republicans would lose their status as a top tier party if they continue to harp on divisive social issues instead of embracing the middle. He predicted that the Republican party is moving so far to the right it will “become the Whig party of the next millennia.”

    “Whigs no longer exist, they’re not here anymore as a party,” Villaraigosa said at the Newseum in Washington. “The fact is, when you hear the Republican candidates on immigration, when you see them and hear them talk about contraception, mammograms, abortion and not the economy, it’s clear to me they’re moving farther and farther away from the mainstream.”

    And on immigration — where Villaraigosa said it looks as though Republicans are “certainly not acting worried” about the impact of their policies — the mayor said he expects the harsh policies and rhetoric to backfire.

    Read more:

  18. Dempsey Reaffirms U.S.-Japan Alliance at Earthquake Anniversary Event

    March 6, 2012 By Lisa Daniel – American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON,– As the first anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Japan’s northeast region approaches, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday reaffirmed the U.S.-Japan partnership, saying it grew stronger in the face of adversity.

    “We have a saying: adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it,” Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said at a reception at the Japanese Embassy here last night. The event was held to thank Americans for their support following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and to highlight reconstruction efforts.

    “The character that has been revealed in the Japanese people and the Japanese defense forces — it’s probably the best thing that could come out of that kind of disaster,” Dempsey said. The chairman noted that, “while we recognize the goodness that comes out of these shared trials, there also is the sadness of all the people lost.”

    Dempsey thanked Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki and the Japanese people for their enduring partnership and friendship, following a flutist playing the Star Spangled Banner and the showing of a video of the earthquake and reconstruction efforts.

    “I have the real privilege of representing all the American armed forces and their family members who, really on this day, just want to tell the Japanese people — our long-term partners and friends — that we are so proud of you, after going through that kind of disaster,” Dempsey said. “It’s hard to imagine, really, the strength and resilience you have shown.”

    The chairman said he spoke earlier this week with his Japanese counterpart to express his condolences for the earthquake and reaffirm the bilateral partnership.

    “It’s to all of you who have been involved in the Pacific … that I will tell you, ‘thanks,’” he said. “And, to our Japanese brothers and sisters, we simply say the word that best defines us in this moment, and that is, tomodachi.”

    Tomodachi, or friend, is the name of a nonprofit organization the U.S. and Japanese governments created following “Operation Tomodachi,” the U.S.-Japanese military relief efforts following the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

    The disaster killed more than 15,400 people and destroyed coastal villages, towns and cities in the Tohoku region. The U.S. military sent 20 ships, including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, almost 20,000 personnel, and huge amounts of supplies and heavy equipment.

  19. Obama campaign release documentary next week

    3/7/12 12:36 PM EST POLITICO44

    The Obama campaign is preparing to roll out a documentary chronicling the president’s first term in office next week. The film is 17 minutes long and was directed by Davis Guggenheim, who also produced the documentaries “Waiting for Superman” and “An Inconvenient Truth.”

    “It’s going to put into perspective the enormous challenges that the nation faced when the president took office and the strides we’ve made together,” campaign manager Jim Messina said on a conference call with reporters.

    Campaign officials said that the trailer will be released in the next few days, and the film itself will be released next week and screened at supporter events around the country.

  20. WH

    Thursday, March 8 , 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    First Lady Michelle Obama attends the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards ceremony hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
    U.S. Department of State

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

    12:00 PM
    President Obama meets with senior advisors.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    12:30 P
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    3:30 PM
    President Obama hosts President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana for a meeting in the Oval Office
    Oval Office
    Pool Spray at the Bottom

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:35 PM
    President Obama and First Ladfy Michelle Obama have dinner with winners of a campaign contest.
    DC, Washington
    Travel Pool Coverage

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

    • POTUS podium

      March 8, 2012

      11:00 AM EST
      First Lady Michelle Obama attends the 2012 International Women of Courage Awards ceremony hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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

      3:30 PM EST
      President Obama hosts President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana for a meeting in the Oval Office



      9:30 AM EST
      Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood testifies before the House Appropriations Committee on the 2013 budget request for his department

      9:30 AM EST
      Food stamp fraud hearing
      The House Oversight Committee holds a hearing on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s efforts to crack down on food stamp fraud.

      10:00 AM EST
      House considers jobs legislation
      House lawmakers may vote on a measure that, if signed into law, would remove barriers to small business investment.

      10:00 AM EST
      Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the 2013 budget request for his department

      10:00 AM EST
      Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the budget request for her department

      10:00 AM EST
      Energy Secretary Steven Chu testifies before the House Energy Committee on the 2013 budget request for his department

      10:00 AM ET
      Senate Appropriations Subcommittee: Attorney General Holder on DOJ 2013 Budget

      10:45 AM EST
      House Minority Leader Pelosi weekly briefing
      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include federal spending.

      11:00 AM EST
      2012 International Women of Courage Awards ceremony hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

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

      2:00 PM EST
      State Department briefing in Spanish
      For the first time, the State Department will hold a briefing for reporters in Spanish.

      2:15 PM EST
      Senate Committee Indian Affairs
      Native American Programs Fiscal Year 2013 Budget

      2:30 PM EST
      Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee

      3:30 PM EST
      President Obama hosts President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana for a meeting in the Oval Office



      9:30 AM EST
      Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood testifies before the House Appropriations Committee on the 2013 budget request for his department

      9:30 AM EST
      Food stamp fraud hearing
      Under Secretary Concannon testifies on Food Stamp Fraud before the The House Oversight Committee.

      10:00 AM EST
      House considers jobs legislation
      House lawmakers may vote on a measure that, if signed into law, would remove barriers to small business investment.

      10:00 AM EST
      Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the budget request for her department

      10:00 AM EST
      Energy Secretary Steven Chu testifies before the House Energy Committee on the 2013 budget request for his department

      10:00 AM ET
      Senate Appropriations Subcommittee: Attorney General Holder on DOJ 2013 Budget

      10:45 AM EST
      House Minority Leader Pelosi weekly briefing
      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include federal spending.

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

      2:00 PM EST
      State Department briefing in Spanish
      For the first time, the State Department will hold a briefing for reporters in Spanish.

      2:15 PM EST
      Senate Committee Indian Affairs
      Native American Programs Fiscal Year 2013 Budget

      2:30 PM EST
      Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee

      3:30 PM EST
      President Obama hosts President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana for a meeting in the Oval Office


      Department of State

      11:00 AM EST
      2012 International Women of Courage Awards ceremony hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

  21. March 01, 2012

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of President Mills of Ghana

    President Obama will host President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana for a meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday, March 8. The President met President Mills in July 2009 and welcomes the opportunity to reciprocate the warm hospitality that both he and the First Lady received during their visit to Ghana. The two Leaders will have the opportunity to discuss our shared objectives in advancing development, as well as the commercial and economic ties between our two countries. President Obama looks forward to discussing cooperation on a host of other bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues, and deepening our bilateral partnership.

  22. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Addresses Nation’s Medical Students at AMSA’s 62nd Annual Convention & Exposition

    Results of the 2011-2012 PharmFree Scorecard
    to Be Announced on March 8


    Houston—The Honorable Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will address hundreds of future physicians at the American Medical Student Association’s Annual Convention & Exposition, March 8-11 at the Hyatt Regency Houston in Houston, Texas.

    “We are honored to welcome Secretary Sebelius,” says Danielle Salovich, AMSA national president. “Since taking office, she has led ambitious efforts to improve America’s health and enhance the delivery of human services to some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations. Sebelius will address the social determinants of health and health inequality. In an era where the health of millions is threatened by poverty and lack of health insurance, this issue couldn’t be more important to our society and our profession.”

    The other keynote speakers include Dr. Lucian Leape, adjunct professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health and a health policy analyst whose groundbreaking research has focused on patient safety and quality of care, Dr. Arthur Chen, who was featured in Time Magazine’s 2011 Person of the Year cover story, and Dr. David Ansell, a physician and nationally renowned health activist committed to closing the “death gap” that causes Americans to die younger than those of most other developed nations. Ansell wrote COUNTY: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital, a memoir about the years he spent working at Cook County Hospital.

    For the entire article:

  23. Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference

    March 8 – 9, 2012
    Charlotte , NC

    The 2012 Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference is a first-of-its-kind event that highlights Southeastern assets for wind energy deployment within the region. The conference is a collaborative effort involving more than 40 regional stakeholders from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Topics will include the region’s supply chain, resource, and market strengths to educate decision makers about costs, benefits, and policy options for wind energy. Offshore and coastal onshore wind energy will be discussed at this conference with a concentration on offshore wind energy and economic development opportunities.

    The East Coast Wind Energy Supply Chain Solution

    The Southeastern US has the potential to be the long-term leader in East Coast wind energy supply chain and development. The region’s offshore wind resource is second to none, its electricity markets are some of largest and fastest growing on the East Coast, and the region boasts existing world-class supply chain infrastructure and highly-skilled, low-cost labor markets. Come to network with decision makers in the region and learn what makes the Southeastern US unique. This event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

    For the entire article;

  24. Power Lunch Lecture: Integrating Variable Renewable Generation in the Electricity Grid

    March 8, 2012, 12:00 – 1:30 MST
    Golden, CO – NREL Visitors Center

    Variable renewable energy generators such as wind and solar can have output that varies over the course of the day or season and can be uncertain due to challenges in predicting the weather. The integration of variable generation into the electric grid requires additional operational flexibility.

    This event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). NREL’s Lori Bird and Debbie Lew will present “Integrating Variable Renewable Generation in the Electricity Grid” as part of the Power Lunch Lecture Series. Specifically, they will answer the following questions:

    * How predictable is wind and solar generation?
    * What are the impacts of integrating variable generation sources on the grid?
    * How much variable renewable energy generation can the grid handle?
    * How can the additional variability be managed?
    * What operational changes can help accommodate higher penetrations of variable generation?
    * What are the costs of integrating variable renewable energy generation?
    * What is the state of experience integrating high penetrations of variable renewable energy generating sources internationally?

    Free and open to the public

  25. greater_together_obama

    Young Americans For Obama

    Young Americans are at the foundation of this campaign. In 2008, young people came together to organize and lead a movement for change that helped Barack Obama win a historic election. Now, three years later, even more is at stake. We need to grow faster and fight harder to protect the progress we’ve made and continue to work for more. Young activists will lead the grassroots effort across the country to build this campaign for 2012 from the ground up.

    The 2012 election will depend on us, as a generation of young leaders, to get the word out about the kind of politics we want to see. We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for, and we’re greater together.

    Young Americans:

    Our Movement


    The Greater Together Student Summit Tour

    The Greater Together Student Summit Tour will run February 2012 to March 2012. The tour will bring together senior campaign officials, community leaders, student representatives and celebrities to discuss key policy issues impacting young Americans. This tour is a chance for students like you to weigh in on the issues that matter to you, and find out how you can start organizing on your campus to ensure a victory in November 2012.

    * University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI – March 8, 2012

    * University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI – March 8, 2012

    For more information on The Greater Together Student Summit Tour:

  26. Want $2.50 a gallon gas?
    Try $187 billion in subsidies

    March 7, 2012 by Kai Ryssdal – Marketplace

    This final note today. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago — the plan from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to get gas prices down to $2.50 a gallon. How, we asked, might that happen?

    Experts we talked to said, among other things, that Los Angeles and New York would have to stop driving. Completely.

    The Atlantic magazine took another track: $187 billion a year in government subsidies.

    The math’s pretty interesting. Check it out here.

  27. Former New Jersey governor goes undercover as homeless man

    3/7/12 By Barbara Goldberg | Reuters – 2 hrs 24 mins ago

    (Reuters) – A phony beard, a fake tattoo and clothes dragged through grass and stained with coffee were all it took to transform former New Jersey Governor Richard Codey into a homeless man looking for shelter on a frigid night this week.

    His self-appointed undercover mission to spotlight what he calls discrimination against men by shelters took about three months of planning before Codey stood at the door of the Goodwill Rescue mission in Newark, New Jersey at 8 p.m. on Monday, asking to be let in.

    Codey, 65, who is a state senator but disguised himself as a homeless man, had already been denied admission to about 25 other local shelters because he was not receiving welfare or other government assistance, he told Reuters on Wednesday.

    “We called and I said, ‘My uncle, he’s homeless, we want to find him a place at night to sleep.’ Each time I was told, ‘Does he have SSI? Welfare? Disability?’ When we said ‘No,’ we were told there was no room at the inn.”

    Codey, frequently mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for governor, plans to take his findings to seek more federal money for the homeless. The National Alliance to End Homelessness said more than 636,000 people were homeless in the United States in 2011.

    He is particularly concerned with single men and those with mental health issues, who he says are unfairly shut out of the shelter system. He said women and families have far greater access to emergency housing.

    When Goodwill agreed to take him in, offering a thin bedroll, a blanket and a spot on a linoleum floor with 20 other men, he thought he’d finally found a haven.

    Then came the shower call.

    “I was terrified because I knew if I had a shower, my makeup was coming off,” said Codey, whose undercover team included a makeup artist who spent nearly an hour transforming him, painting tobacco stains on his teeth and drawing broken blood vessels and dirt on his skin.

    By avoiding eye contact with the worker rounding men up for showers, he managed to slip by.

    For the entire article:

  28. Obama Campaign Likes Where It Stands After Super Tuesday

    3/7/12 BY: ALEX BRUNS – pbs

    As the Republican primary grinds on, the Obama campaign team is taking advantage of its downtime to plan for a general election in which they believe the president will face former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

    “We believe we are making steady progress because of what we are doing, how the economy is doing and what the Republican candidates are doing,” Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod told reporters on a conference call Wednesday morning.

    Recent polls, including a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released this week, show that as the primary fight drags on, some voters have gotten turned off, especially independents. One of the most telling discoveries in the WSJ/NBC poll was that an increasing percentage of voters now believe the Democratic Party does a better job of attracting those voters than Republicans.

    “We try to appeal to the best in people, [the Republicans] appear to be appealing to the worst,” Axelrod said, adding a dig at Romney. “It’s very hard to unify a party when 90 percent of the advertising is negative, when all you are doing is attacking your opponents, and you see it in the degradation of the Republican Party’s numbers.”

    The negative advertising seems to be having an effect all around. Rasmussen released a poll shortly after the call began showing 72 percent of likely voters now hold a unfavorable view of Romney.

    For the entire article:

  29. Biden swaps ties with fundraiser attendee

    By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 3/7/12 8:34 PM EST

    While in St. Petersburg, Fla., for a fundraiser Wednesday night, Vice President Joe Biden got a compliment on his red necktie.

    Rather than just thanking the donor and moving on, Biden admired the man’s purple tie, a pool report said. Then, in a moment of Biden being Biden, he suggested that they swap ties. And, in the midst of a photo line where donors paid $1,000 apiece to pose with the vice president, the two men did just that.

    Later on, Biden spent about 30 minutes speaking to about 200 donors who between $100 and $2,500 each to attend. Biden trotted out one of his standard fundraiser lines, his recommended slogan for the Obama reelection campaign: “Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.”

    As the enthusiastic crowd “four more years” and one guest shouted “Joe 2016,” Biden offered another catchphrase: “Let’s get 2012.”

  30. Jobless claims rise, but labor market healing

    3/8/12 By Lucia Mutikani | Reuters – 1 hr 38 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose last week, a government report showed on Thursday, but not enough to change perceptions that the labor market was strengthening.

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, the Labor Department said. Even with the increase, claims are still near their lowest in four years.

    Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims unchanged at 351,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, edged up 250 to 355,000 – still near a four-year low.

    “We remain in this lower range as far as the jobless claims are concerned and most analysts are looking forward to at least a moderately encouraging payrolls report tomorrow,” said Nick Bennenbroek, head of currency strategy at Wells Fargo in New York.

    Stock index futures held gains on the data, while bond prices were little changed. The dollar pared gains against the yen.

    Despite the rise in claims last week, labor market conditions are improving and the government is expected to report on Friday that the economy had a third straight month of solid job gains in February.

    Nonfarm employment likely increased 210,000 last month, according to a Reuters survey, after rising 243,000 in January. The unemployment rate is seen holding at a three-year low of 8.3 percent in February.

    Data on Wednesday showed private employers stepped up hiring in February. That improving labor market tone was reinforced by other data on Thursday showing planned layoffs at companies declined 3.3 percent in February.

    For the entire article:

    • March 08, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at International Women of Courage Awards

      Department of State
      Washington, D.C.

      11:14 A.M. EST

      MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Good morning, everyone. To say it is a pleasure to be here with all of you today would be an understatement. This is truly an important opportunity, it is an uplifting opportunity, and I am happy to be a part of it every single year.

      And I have to start by thanking Secretary Clinton not just for that very kind introduction, but she has been an outstanding — should I say that again? — an outstanding Secretary of State. (Laughter and applause.) And she has been an inspiration to women and girls around the world. She is a role model for me in so many ways. I don’t think she realizes how what she has done has made what I am doing partially possible. So with all the respect and admiration that I can give to her, I will be wherever she needs me to be, whenever she needs me to be there. (Applause.)

      I also want to join in recognizing our special guest, First Lady Mills, who is a dear friend. We enjoyed our visit to Ghana. (Applause.) And she is going to have a productive stay here in Washington, so she’s going to be busy. Just take it easy. (Laughter.) And of course, Secretary Vanda Pignato, who is a dear friend as well. We are honored to have you with us as well. I also want to thank them for taking the time to be here today. It means so much to us all for you to be here.

      I have to thank Ambassador Melanne Verveer for her terrific work she is doing — what she is doing for — (applause) — for Global Women’s Issues. This event is top-notch, and it wouldn’t happen if not for her. We are so grateful.

      And of course, I want to recognize most of all the ten Women of Courage that we’re honoring here today. These women come from all different corners of the globe. They have taken very different journeys to this moment. But they are all here today because somewhere along the line, they decided they could no longer accept the world as it is. And they committed themselves to fighting for the world as they know it should be. They saw corruption, and they worked to expose it. They saw oppression, and they worked to end it. They saw violence, poverty, discrimination, and inequality — and they decided to use their voices, and risk their lives, to do something about it.

      For the entire article:


      Secretary Clinton Hosts the 2012 International Women of Courage Award Ceremony

      Uploaded by statevideo on Mar 8, 2012

      U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hosts the 2012 International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards ceremony with First Lady Michelle Obama from the Department of State in Washington, D.C. on March 8, 2012. [Go to for more video and text transcript.]

    • 2012 International Women of Courage Award Winners
      Office of Global Women’s Issues

      March 5, 2012

      Honorable Maryam Durani, Kandahar Provincial Council Member
      Kandahar Province is among Afghanistan’s most conservative and most dangerous – but that has not stopped Maryam Durani from speaking out for the rights of Afghan women and girls.

      Pricilla de Oliveira Azevedo
      Major Azevedo joined the Rio de Janeiro Military police in 1998 and, following her graduation in 2000, started working in police battalions and street repression operations.

      Zin Mar Aung
      Zin Mar Aung is a former political prisoner, imprisoned for eleven years because of her political activism and has dedicated her life to promoting democracy, women’s empowerment, and conflict resolution in Burma.

      Jineth Bedoya Lima
      Throughout her career as an investigative journalist, Jineth Bedoya has consistently sought out tough assignments, despite knowing the risks involved. In 2000, as she arrived at a prison to interview a key paramilitary member about an arms smuggling network, Jineth was kidnapped, driven several hours away and repeatedly gang raped.

      Hana Elhebshi
      Ms. Hana El Hebshi is a 26-year old Libyan architect who, during the long months of the Libyan revolution, became a symbol of solidarity and a model of courage to many across the country

      Aneesa Ahmed
      Aneesa Ahmed stands out as a staunch advocate for ending gender-based violence (GBV) in the Maldives. While serving as Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, she raised the issue of domestic violence at a time when the subject was taboo.

      Shad Begum
      Shad Begum is a courageous human rights activist and leader who has changed the political context for women in the extremely conservative district of Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

      Samar Badawi
      Saudi Arabia
      In one of the world’s most restrictive environments for women, Samar Badawi is a powerful voice for two of the most significant issues facing Saudi women: women’s suffrage and the guardianship system, under which women cannot marry, work, or travel without a guardian’s (male relative) permission.

      Hawa Abdallah Mohammed Salih
      Hailing from North Darfur, Hawa and her family were forced to flee their home village in 2003 due to fighting between Darfuri rebels and government forces.

      Safak Pavey
      Safak Pavey, the first disabled woman elected to the Turkish Parliament, has demonstrated great personal dignity in overcoming physical obstacles every day, while locally and globally championing the rights of vulnerable populations, including refugees and disabled persons.

      For the entire article with full description of each individual:

    • “(Women) You must know that you have to be in the front line and struggle for all the rights not only women’s rights”.

  31. TONS of data here. From the email I just received:

    “What is

    President Obama promised he would “create a centralized Internet database of lobbying reports, ethics records, and campaign finance filings in a searchable, sortable, and downloadable format.” Today, with the launch of, he’s delivering on that promise. takes an important step to increase transparency and accountability by making this information available and accessible in one central location. This is good for government and good for the American people.

    Visit and give it a try.”

  32. TPM has the answer to Faux news “outrage”:

    “Sean Hannity and his friends at Breitbart were pretty excited to show a video of President Obama as a law student embracing Harvard Professor Derrick Bell. The late Andrew Breitbart promised to release the “explosive” video. On Wednesday, the clip surfaced. And, well, it shows Obama talking passionately about issues of race at Harvard Law School, sounding positively presidential at times.

    The purported bombshell moment of the clip comes when Obama says “open up your hearts, open up your minds” to the words of Derrick Bell. End scene.

    If Obama hugging the late professor doesn’t strike fear into your heart, consider these dozen other suspicious squeezes.”

  33. 3:30 PM EST
    President Obama hosts President John Evans Atta Mills of Ghana for a meeting in the Oval Office

    • March 08, 2012

      Remarks by President Obama and President John Atta Mills of Ghana

      Oval Office

      3:55 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, it is a great pleasure to welcome President Mills and his delegation from Ghana. This gives me the opportunity to return the extraordinary hospitality that they showed not only me, but also Michelle and Sasha and Malia when we had the opportunity to visit last year.

      There are sometimes — there’s sometimes a tendency to focus on the challenges that exist in Africa — and rightfully so. But I think it’s important for us to also focus on the good news that’s coming out of Africa, and I think Ghana continues to be a good-news story.

      This is a country that has established a strong tradition of democracy, and President Mills and I were comparing notes — we’re both up for reelection — but what we agreed to is the fact that regardless of who wins and who loses, our countries’ commitment to making sure that the people have a voice and determine who it is that represents them in their government is what gives both our countries such strength.

      And Ghana has proven, I think, to be a model for Africa in terms of its democratic practices. And I very much appreciate the efforts that President Mills has taken not only to ensure fair and free elections, but also to root out corruption, increase transparency, make sure that government is working for the people of Ghana and not just for the few. So we’re very appreciative of those efforts.

      For the entire article:

    • A Growing Trading Partner

      March 08, 2012

      Fact Sheet on the U.S.-Ghana Development and Economic Relationship

      Ghana’s democratic and economic development successes exemplify the integral relationship between democracy, good governance, and development. Ghana also exemplifies many of the positive economic trends in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, including Ghana, offering enormous potential for enhanced trade and investment by U.S. companies.

      * A Growing Trading Partner
      * Partners for Growth

      For the entire article:

  34. Building A Haven In Spain For Gay Retirees

    March 8, 2012 BY THE WORLD ⋅

    Summary: Some gay and lesbian Spaniards are trying to open Spain’s first gay-friendly retirement home.

    They’re doing it at a time when the new conservative government is trying to roll back gay rights legislation.

    The World’s Gerry Hadden has the story.

    For the audio interview:

  35. 5:35 PM EST
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have dinner with campaign contest winners ReGina Newkirk, a non-profit executive from Nashville, Tennessee; Cathleen Loringer, a former social worker from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; and Judy Glassman, a retired school administrator from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  36. March 08, 2012

    Readout of President Obama’s Video Conference with President Karzai

    Earlier today, the President held a video conference with President Karzai of Afghanistan, as a part of their regular consultations. President Karzai updated the President on the security situation in Afghanistan, which has calmed since the events of recent weeks. The two Presidents discussed a range of issues of mutual interest, including U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership negotiations, Afghan-led reconciliation, and regional matters. The leaders noted progress toward concluding a Strategic Partnership that reinforces Afghan sovereignty while addressing the practical requirements of transition. President Karzai updated the President on developments toward Afghan-led reconciliation talks. Finally, the President and President Karzai agreed that it is in both our interests to continue a partnership that is based on mutual respect, and agreed to stay in close touch in the lead up to the NATO Summit in Chicago.

  37. W.H.-opposed Keystone amendment fails

    3/8/12 4:28 PM EST POLITICO44

    Fifty-six senators voted to mandate construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, just short of the 60 needed for the proposal to be attached to a highway bill being debated on the Senate floor. The vote was 56-42. The Obama administration had lobbied Democrats not to vote for the amendment.

  38. *********************

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “Veteran Career Fairs”

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

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