Joining Forces – 1st Anniversary

First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a roundtable discussion with military spouses at the Soldier Support Center in Fort Bragg, N. C., March 12, 2009.  (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

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In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden came together to launch Joining Forces, a nationwide initiative calling all Americans to rally around service members, veterans, and their families and support them through wellness, education, and employment opportunities. Joining Forces works hand in hand with the public and private sector to ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the tools they need to succeed throughout their lives.

Primary Objectives of Joining Forces

  • Bring attention to the unique experiences and strengths of America’s service members, veterans, and their families.
  • Inspire, educate, and spark action from all sectors of society — citizens, communities, businesses, nonprofits, faith-based institutions, philanthropic organizations, and government — to ensure service members, veterans, and their families have the opportunities, resources, and support they have earned.
  • Showcase the skills, experience, and dedication of America’s service members, veterans and their families to strengthen our nation’s communities.
  • Create greater connections between the American public and the military.

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April 12th is the anniversary of “Joining Forces

The campaign “aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of our society — citizens, communities, businesses, non-profits, faith based institutions, philanthropic organizations, and government — to ensure military families have the support they have earned,”. “We’re focusing on four main areas: Employment, education, wellness and public awareness,” said Mrs. Obama.

 

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Joining Forces 
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joining-Forces/217042158310061
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/joiningforces

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 On April 11, 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will kick off a two-day tour celebrating the first anniversary of Joining Forces to highlight examples of organizations and companies that have made significant commitments to support military families

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

10:40 AM EDT  Anniversary Celebration – White House
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will kick off a celebration for military families and organization leaders that have played key roles in supporting our nation’s troops, veterans and families

2:15 PM EDT Nurses Nationwide Join Forces to Support Veterans and Military Families – University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

 First Lady Michelle Obama  appears on The Colbert Report – New York City

Thursday, April 12, 2012

1:15 PM CT / 2:15 PM EDT
Announcing Joining Forces’ 50,000th Hire
– Shreveport, Louisiana 

6:00 PM EDT
Honoring Young Women from Military Families
– Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida

#JoiningForces

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122 thoughts on “Joining Forces – 1st Anniversary

  1. WH

    Wednesday, April 11 , 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:15 AM
    President Obama delivers a statement on the Buffett Rule.
    Eisenhower Executive Office Building Room 430
    Open Press

    10:35 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:40 AM
    First Lady Michelle Obama & Dr. Jill Biden Celebrate First Anniversary of Joining Forces
    White House

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    Vice President Biden attends a campaign fundraiser for Sen. Amy Klobuchar in Minneapolis, Minnesota

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

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    President Obama meets with Department of Defense Secretary Panetta.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    5:00 PM
    5:15 PM
    President Obama attends a campaign event at The W Hotel.
    Washington, D.C
    Closed Press

    6:00 PM
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    10:00 PM

    • POTUS podium

      April 11, 2012

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

      10:15 AM EDT
      President Obama delivers a statement on the Buffett Rule.

      10:40 AM EDT
      First Lady Michelle Obama & Dr. Jill Biden Celebrate First Anniversary of Joining Forces
      White House

      11:00 AM EDT
      Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus – White House Rollout
      Official release of a first-ever report on the impact that intellectual property and IP-related industries have on the economy and U.S. jobs.
      The White House

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

      1:30 PM EDT
      Tribal Trust Case Settlement Event
      An event to announce and recognize the resolution of approximately 40 long standing disputes with Indian tribal governments over the management of trust assets.
      The White House

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      9:15 AM EDT
      U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will address the 14th annual national convention of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.

      10:15 AM EDT
      President Obama delivers a statement on the Buffett Rule.

      10:40 AM EDT
      First Lady Michelle Obama & Dr. Jill Biden Celebrate First Anniversary of Joining Forces
      White House

      11:30 AM EDT
      Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director

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

      1:00 PM EDT
      Trayvon Martin’s parents speak out
      The parents of the late Florida teen Trayvon Martin speak with reporters at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network national convention.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      9:00 AM EDT
      National Action Network
      Attorney General Eric Holder Remarks
      Eric Holder
      http://www.c-span.org/Events/Attorney-General-Speaks-at-National-Action-Network-Annual-Convention/10737429790/

      10:00 AM EDT
      National Action Network
      Discussion on the Justice System

      10:15 AM EDT
      President Obama delivers a statement on the Buffett Rule.

      11:30 AM EDT
      Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director

      12:00 PM EDT
      Americans for Democratic Action Education Fund
      U.S. Tax System
      The panel will focus on inequities in the tax code and how to make the system fairer. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Progressive-Tax-Reform-Advocates-Discuss-US-Tax-Code/10737429792/

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

      6:30 PM EDT
      Supreme Court Justices Celebrate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor http://www.c-span.org/Events/Supreme-Court-Justices-Celebrate-Justice-Sandra-Day-OConnor/10737429777/

    • April 04, 2012

      First Lady Michelle Obama & Dr. Jill Biden to Celebrate First Anniversary of Joining Forces

      April 11th and 12th visits include White House kick off; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Jacksonville, Florida

      WASHINGTON – On April 11, 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will kick off a two-day tour celebrating the first anniversary of Joining Forces, their initiative to recognize, honor and serve military families. Since launching Joining Forces on April 12th, 2011, significant progress has been made to rally Americans around military families. Communities, businesses, schools, faith groups, non-profit organizations and individual Americans have made substantial commitments to show military families the support that they deserve. Through collaborative efforts with Joining Forces, these groups have helped thousands of veterans and military families find jobs, improved educational opportunities for military children, supported our nation’s wounded warriors and their caregivers, and honored our nation’s fallen. The Joining Forces two-day tour will highlight examples of organizations and companies that have made significant commitments to support military families.

      First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden created Joining Forces to bring Americans together to recognize, honor and take action to support veterans and military families as they serve our country and throughout their lives. The initiative aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of society to ensure veterans and military families have the support they have earned. The initiative focuses on key priority areas – employment, education, and wellness — while raising awareness about the service, sacrifice, and needs of America’s veterans and military families. More information is available at: http://www.JoiningForces.gov.

      The First Lady and Dr. Biden’s Joining Forces tour schedule is below:

      Wednesday, April 11, 2012
      11:00 AM ET Anniversary Celebration – White House

      First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will kick off a celebration for military families and organization leaders that have played key roles in supporting our nation’s troops, veterans and families

      2:15 PM ET Nurses Nationwide Join Forces to Support Veterans and Military Families – University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

      First Lady Michelle Obama will appear on The Colbert Report to discuss her Joining Forces initiative.
      New York City * The Colbert Report

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/04/first-lady-michelle-obama-dr-jill-biden-celebrate-first-anniversary-join

    • First Lady Announces 15,000 Jobs for Military Spouses

      Brad Cooper April 04, 2012 06:58 PM EDT

      Earlier today, I joined with First Lady Michelle Obama, to announce a major commitment by forward looking businesses that have launched an ambitious new effort to deliver more than 15,000 jobs to military spouses and veterans in the coming years. This new effort will help deliver jobs that are physically located near bases, as well as thousands of highly sought-after at-home employment opportunities to military families across the country.

      Military families are 10 times more likely to move across state lines than civilian families. Home based jobs are especially valuable for military families because they can move with military spouses as they relocate from base to base across the country, accommodate flexible work hours, enable spouses who care for children or elderly parents to work from home, and give home-bound veterans with disabilities new opportunities to have a fulfilling job.

      At home jobs with flexible work schedules can also lead to better work life balance, and extend job opportunities into communities often left behind. Military families will also benefit from the new job commitments being announced at nearly two-dozen physical contact centers located in close proximity to active military bases. These contact centers often support military families through: family-friendly scheduling, maintaining service accrual records, enabling the seamless transfer from one contact center to another in an event of a relocation, as well as extensive training and immense growth opportunities from agents to supervisors.

      These companies and their associated job opportunities will also be integrated into the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), a Department of Defense-led effort with more than 100 companies in the private sector who have committed to a focused effort on military spouse employment. MSEP was launched by Dr Jill Biden last summer.

      Additional information specifics of the commitments can be found at: http://www.joiningforces.gov/commitments

    • Michelle Obama to appear on ‘The Colbert Report’

      By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 4/4/12 11:58 AM EDT – POLITICO44

      First Lady Michelle Obama will speak to the Colbert Nation next week with an appearance on “The Colbert Report,” the latest in a string of high-profile TV appearances she’s made in the last few months.

      The White House confirmed Wednesday that Obama will make her first appearance on the satirical news show since the 2008 campaign on April 11. In a statement, Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert said he is “honored that the first lady is joining us and I trust that the feeling is mutual.”

      The show is billing Obama’s appearance as a chance to mark the one-year anniversary of Joining Forces, her project aimed at helping military and veteran families.

      But it will also be yet another opportunity for the first lady to humanize the president and to relate to ordinary Americans.

      In February, she appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” to mark the second anniversary of the Let’s Move! program. While she spent one segment urging Leno to eat more fruits and vegetables, she also praised the president’s singing skills, talked about her daughters’ “regular” lives, and said there isn’t much she and the president can do to prepare for his reelection campaign.

      For the entire article:http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/04/michelle-obama-to-appear-on-the-colbert-report-119607.html

    • Mrs. Obama: Nation Must ‘Step up Forever’ for Military Families

      April 9, 2012 By Lisa Daniel – American Forces Press Service

      WASHINGTON – As First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden mark the first anniversary of their “Joining Forces” campaign this week, the two say they will continue to solidify its successes so a structured effort to help military families is a permanent part of American culture.

      The pair reflected on the campaign’s success during an April 6 interview here with American Forces Press Service.

      “This has been a phenomenal first year,” Obama said. “But the truth is, Jill and I have been working this issue since our husbands took the oath of office” in January 2009.

      Obama and Biden, wife of vice president Joe Biden, said they’ve been amazed by the outpouring of support by American civilians. More than 100 companies have committed to participate in the administration’s goal of the private sector hiring of 100,000 spouses and veterans. They also noted a Joining Forces commitment from the nation’s medical colleges to better train civilian health-care providers in caring for war veterans and their families.

      “We’ve seen Americans — 13 million of them — step up to pledge hours of service,” Obama said. “It’s been phenomenal to see a grateful nation step up to help military men and women who sacrifice so much for us.”

      Biden, a community college professor, said she’s been gratified by progress in the education arena. Teachers colleges have incorporated military family matters into curricula to help teachers-to-be understand the unique challenges their students from military families face, she said. And more and more school systems recognize course credits of military family members who must relocate frequently, she added.

      For the entire article: http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=67877

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      Joining Forces – Military Family Support Site

      http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2012/0212_familysupport/

    • flotus_penn_nursing

      Nursing, Veterans, and PTSD

      First Lady Michelle Obama and
      Dr. Jill Biden with Penn Nursing on April 11, 2012

      nursing .upenn.edu

      First Lady Michelle Obama is turning to nurses to identify, treat, and conduct research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as part of a national initiative. Attention to PTSD is a significant component of Joining Forces , created by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to champion wellness, education, and employment among military service members and their families. PTSD is a serious and widespread anxiety disorder affecting veterans, and the symptoms – re-living the traumatic event, avoiding situations reminiscent of the event, feeling numb and emotionless, or feeling relentlessly agitated — can be terrifying.

      “Penn Nursing scientists are leading investigators of PTSD and trauma, producing evidence-based research that is translated into innovative and effective clinical care,” says Dean Afaf I. Meleis.

      For the entire article: http://www.nursing.upenn.edu/media/Michelle_Obama_Veterans_PTSD/Pages/default.aspx

    • Welcoming Home Our Veterans

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

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

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

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

    • July 25, 2012

      America’s Social Workers Join Dr. Jill Biden to Launch “Social Work and Service Members: Joining Forces to Support Veterans and Military Families”

      National Association of Social Workers urges 650,000 professional social workers to gain education and training on mental and behavioral health, health, economic, and social challenges facing nation’s veterans and military families

      WASHINGTON, D.C.—Dr. Jill Biden will join the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at their national practice conference, Restoring Hope: The Power of Social Work, to announce a new Joining Forces commitment aimed at educating all social workers, regardless of practice area or focus, to have a better understanding of issues relating to the care, culture, and lifestyle of our nation’s troops, veterans, and military families. The Joining Forces commitment means that more than 650,000 social workers – the nation’s largest group of mental health care providers – will have access to training and resources to help meet the needs of our service men and women, veterans and military families.

      “We have asked a lot of our military over the past decade, and they have responded to the need for more and frequent deployments without complaint. Our veterans and military families are among the most resilient men and women I have ever met and I am always inspired by them. But they have shouldered a tremendous burden and for those who need some additional support, we need to be ready to help. Social workers are uniquely positioned to help reach our troops, veterans and military families exactly where they are, in every single county in America,” said Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States.

      In addition to invisible wounds such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which impact approximately one in six of our troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, service members and veterans have a heightened risk of substance use, unemployment, homelessness, and suicide. Female veterans and those residing in rural areas are at an even greater disadvantage as they may find it difficult to access services or find resources that directly address their unique needs.
      “Social workers are the largest provider of mental health services in the United States. We have a responsibility to ensure that service members, veterans, and their loved ones have access to the mental and behavioral health services they deserve. In addition, social workers who provide a broad range of services in areas such as sexual assault, case management, and advocacy have expertise and skills to offer and should be leaders in these efforts,” NASW President Jeane Anastas, PhD, LMSW, said.

      First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Biden created Joining Forces last year as a way to spark action and encourage all Americans to find ways to honor and support our service men and women, veterans and military families in their own communities. The initiative focuses on improving employment, education, and wellness of America’s troops, veterans and military families as well as raise awareness about the service, sacrifice and needs of all who serve our country. NASW has been a proud member of Joining Forces since 2011 and is committed to educating and training all social workers so that they are prepared to meet the needs of those who have made incredible sacrifices for the United States.

      “This announcement from America’s social workers is exactly the type of commitment we hoped to see when the First Lady and Dr. Biden launched Joining Forces last year – a major national organization stepping up and positively impacting our veterans and military families in the most meaningful of ways. This commitment is particularly meaningful and unique because it lays a foundation that will support our troops and their families for decades to come,” said Captain Brad Cooper, Executive Director of Joining Forces.
      Social work has been known as the helping profession for over a century and during that time has been an essential component of the social safety net, guiding people to critical resources, counseling them on important life decisions, and helping them reach their full potential. The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of all people, with particular attention to those who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/07/25/americas-social-workers-join-dr-jill-biden-launch-social-work-and-servic

    • Karl Marlantes on What It’s Like to Go to War

      July 27, 2012 billmoyers

      Summary: Bill talks to Karl Marlantes — a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran, Rhodes Scholar, author, and PTSD survivor — about what we on the insulated outside need to understand about the minds and hearts of our modern warriors. Marlantes shares with Bill intimate stories about how his battlefield experiences both shaped and nearly destroyed him, even after returning to civilian life.

      “’Thou shalt not kill’ is a tenet you just do not violate, and so all your young life, that’s drilled into your head. And then suddenly, you’re 18 or 19 and they’re saying, ‘Go get ‘em and kill for your country.’ And then you come back and it’s like, ‘Well, thou shalt not kill’ again. Believe me, that’s a difficult thing to deal with,” Marlantes tells Bill. “You take a young man and put him in the role of God, where he is asked to take a life — that’s something no 19-year-old is able to handle.”

      For the audio interview: http://billmoyers.com/segment/karl-marlantes-on-what-its-like-to-go-to-war/

    • August 22, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at Joining Forces Veterans Hiring Event

      Mayport Naval Station
      Mayport, Florida

      1:35 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Thank you all so much. Please be seated. Forgot you all take orders really well. (Laughter.) I am beyond thrilled to be here with all of you today at Naval Station Mayport. And I want to start by thanking Paul for that very kind and, for me, moving introduction. And I also want to thank Vice Admiral Van Buskirk for his remarks as well today and for his strong leadership in America’s Navy.

      And I also want to recognize a couple of people who are here — Representative Brown for her service. I understand the Mayor is here as well. But I also want to thank Rear Admiral Sinclair Harris and his wife, Cora; Captain Douglas Cochrane and his wife, Anne; as well as Command Master Chief Robert White and his wife, Lesley. Thank you for hosting us here today.

      But most of all, I want to thank all of you, our extraordinary men and women in uniform and veterans, and your extraordinary families.

      I know that we’re being broadcast live into every U.S. military base –- here in America and around the world –- and we’ve got folks tuning in from as close by as Tampa and Pensacola, and as far away as Kabul and Seoul. And on behalf of myself and my husband, I want to start off by saying that we are so proud of your service and so grateful for your sacrifice.

      You all — and I say this time and time again, and I mean it every time I say it — you all are the very best of America. You all have given so much to this country. And I’m here today because I want to talk with you about what this country is doing to give back to all of you.

      As you all may know, last August — I think you saw a video — my husband issued a challenge to American businesses. He challenged them to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. And since Jill Biden and I launched Joining Forces, he asked the two of us to take the lead on working with companies to fulfill this challenge. And I have to admit, when you get an order from the President, it’s a little daunting, even if he is your husband. (Laughter.)

      So I was a little nervous, and I thought this challenge was pretty ambitious. And when we first started out, we only had two companies as our partners, and I wondered to myself how we were going to get from there to 100,000 new jobs in two years.

      But, fortunately, I didn’t have much time to sit around and worry, because before long, companies across this country started stepping up — big companies like Siemens and Sears; small businesses like tech startups and restaurants and transportation providers. And soon, those two companies became 20, and then 200, and then 2,000.

      And by mid-March, these companies had already hired 50,000 veterans and military spouses. By mid-April, it was 60,000. By May, we had 80,000. And today, I am so proud to announce that these 2,000 companies have not just met our challenge — they’ve exceeded it.

      As of today, they have hired or trained 125,000 veterans and military spouses –- 125,000. (Applause.) And they’ve done it more than a year ahead of schedule. That’s pretty impressive.

      And it would be understandable if these companies just stopped now and patted themselves on the back for a job well done and called it a day. But instead, these companies are doing just the opposite –- they’re doubling down on their commitment to all of you. And today, they’re pledging to hire or train another quarter of a million of our nation’s heroes — a quarter of a million — 250,000 -– including at least 50,000 military spouses. (Applause.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/22/remarks-first-lady-joining-forces-veterans-hiring-event

      • August 22, 2012

        First Lady Michelle Obama Announces 125,000 Veterans & Military Spouses Hired through Joining Forces

        Announcement meets President’s challenge one year early

        WASHINGTON – Today, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Naval Station Mayport, Florida to announce that more than 2,000 businesses who have participated in her Joining Forces initiative have hired or trained more than 125,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year. Mrs. Obama also announced that these same companies have committed to build on the momentum to date and have pledged to hire or train 250,000 veterans and spouses in the coming years. The First Lady’s event at Naval Station Mayport was livestreamed by the Department of Defense to every U.S. military base around the world.

        One year ago, the President announced a series of measures to increase veterans’ employment and he asked the First Lady and Dr. Biden to lead an effort with the private sector through Joining Forces to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. Joining Forces efforts to date have exceeded the President’s challenge to the private sector with hiring milestones met more than a year early.

        The First Lady also reiterated her challenge to states to pass legislation that reduces the financial and administrative strains that 100,000 military spouses incur from trying to get their state licenses or certification credentials to transfer from state to state as they move. Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden made their pitch to governors in February of this year when only 11 states had legislation on the books supporting military spouse license portability. In just six months the number of states with supportive measures in place has more than doubled to 26 states.

        “The story of Joining Forces is of people across this country stepping up and doing everything they can to serve military families as well as they have served this country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Today’s announcement is just the beginning. We’re not going to stop until all our veterans know that when they hit the job market, their skills will be rewarded. And we won’t stop until all our military spouses know that the next time their family is transferred, they won’t have to leave their profession behind.”

        Companies are making new commitments to veteran employment every week. The following companies are new among the 2,000 businesses that are recognizing that hiring veterans is good for their bottom line:

        * NatLabs, Inc. committed to bring 400 jobs back to the U.S. from overseas starting in 2013 and hire veterans as 75 percent of their labor force. These 400 jobs in hi-tech manufacturing will be located in the Jacksonville, Florida, area.

        * Companies like, Dupont and Exelon have made commitments to have veterans constitute 10 percent of their new hires in the coming years.

        * The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) – consisting of more than 140 companies – is committed to hire 50,000 military spouses in the coming years. This unique partnership is coordinated by the Department of Defense and consists of companies who have pledged to hire military spouses and support their continued employment and professional development by transferring a spouse’s job with them when they move to a new military duty station. More information on MSEP can be found at: https://msepjobs.militaryonesource.mil/video/military-spouse-employment-partnership

        A complete list of every company and their commitment to veteran and military spouse employment through Joining Forces can be found at http://www.joiningforces.gov/commitments

      • Joining Forces to Provide Jobs for Military Families

        Published on Aug 22, 2012 by whitehouse

        In August 2011, President Obama challenged America to increase hiring for Veterans and military families. In just one year, the administration’s Joining Forces initiative, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, has answered the call and create job opportunities for more than 125,000 Veterans and military spouses. http://www.whitehouse.gov

        • Announcing 125,000 Hires Through Joining Forces

          Published on Aug 24, 2012 by whitehouse

          First Lady Michelle Obama makes a major announcement of 125,000 Veteran and Military Spouse hires through the administration’s initiative, Joining Forces. http://www.joiningforces.gov

  2. GOP WRONG WAY

    Missouri GOP: “Supporting the troops” doesn’t including letting them vote

    April 18, 2012 By Nathan Thomas – dlcc

    Military personnel could become collateral damage in the latest GOP attack on voting rights – a Republican-sponsored bill in Missouri that could effectively end many military voters’ ability to vote by mail.

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch condemned the bill, sponsored by GOP state Rep. Shane Schoeller, in a sharply-worded editorial last week:

    Schoeller not only wants to ask voters to weaken the state constitution and then disenfranchise any state voters who lack a specific form of government-issued photo identification, now he also wants to take away the right of absentee voters — including members of the armed services — to mail in their ballots.

    House Bill 2109 is horrendous for a variety of reasons. (…) The bill, for instance, gives local election boards the right to determine if your birth certificate is adequate. (Note to Hawaiians: Cancel that move to Missouri). Similarly, if you have a drivers license from a state that your local election authority doesn’t think protects citizenship enough, you might not be able to register to vote.

    The worst provision in Mr. Schoeller’s bill would take away the long-held right of Missourians who request absentee ballots to vote by mail. These folks already are registered to vote. Some of them are disabled and can’t get to the polls. Others are members of the military, stationed far from home, perhaps even overseas protecting the very right to vote that Mr. Schoeller seeks to diminish.

    For the entire article: http://www.dlcc.org/node/2445_Missouri_GOP_Voter_Suppression_Targets_Military_Voters

  3. VP Biden to hold Minneapolis fundraiser for Amy Klobuchar

    4/4/12 By Joe Kimball | 02:30 pm minnpost

    Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to hold a fundraiser for Sen. Amy Klobuchar April 11 in Minneapolis.

    The event at the Hilton Hotel includes a VIP (with the VP) option: For $10,000, donors get prime seating, a mention in the program and a photo op with Biden.

    MPR notes that Klobuchar’s campaign will split the money raised from the event with the Minnesota DFL State Central Committee.

  4. 3:00 PM EDT
    White House Office Hours – Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, answers questions on Twitter about the Buffett Rule

    * Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat
    * Follow the Q&A through the @WHLive Twitter account
    * If you miss the live session, the full session will be posted on WhiteHouse.gov and Storify.com/WhiteHouse

  5. The Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory, during a grand opening ceremony at the Detroit Arsenal at 10 a.m., April 11, 2012.

    Army’s newest laboratory complex to open April 11

    March 15, 2012 By John W. Wray, RDECOM – army.mil

    U.S ARMY DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. — The U.S. Army will open its new complex, the Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory, during a grand opening ceremony at the Detroit Arsenal at 10 a.m., April 11, 2012.

    The eight-labs-in-one Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory, or GSPEL, facility offers numerous testing capabilities and an unmatched combination of resources in a single lab. The GSPEL is part of the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s, or TARDEC’s, laboratory system.

    While closed to the public, the grand opening is expected to draw top government and industry leaders — many of whom are or will soon be GSPEL’s collaborative partners. GSPEL offers shared access to industry and academia to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas to develop emerging energy technologies and validate ground vehicle systems — research that could help the nation achieve energy security goals.

    “GSPEL gives the Army overarching, full-spectrum testing and evaluation capability,” said TARDEC Interim Director Jennifer Hitchcock. “The GSPEL’s unique facilities will allow the Army to drive innovation for tomorrow’s energy solutions.”

    For the entire article; http://www.army.mil/article/75836/Army_s_newest_laboratory_complex_to_open_April_11/

    • Unprecedented Capabilities, High-Tech Resources to Debut at Army’s New Laboratory Complex

      Mar 22, 2012 PRWeb

      When the U.S. Army opens the new Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory (GSPEL) on April 11, officials will proudly unveil 30,000 square feet of research space, eight distinct state-of-the-art labs and one of the world’s largest environmental testing chambers capable of testing equipment in temperatures ranging from a frosty minus 60°F to a blistering 160°F.

      The GSPEL – a comprehensive addition to the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center’s (TARDEC) laboratory system at the Detroit Arsenal – offers numerous testing capabilities and an unmatched combination of resources in a single lab, according to TARDEC Interim Director Jennifer Hitchcock.

      “GSPEL gives the Army overarching, full-spectrum testing and evaluation capabilities,” she said. “The Army’s best and brightest ground systems research scientists, engineers and technicians will work in this unique facility to drive innovation for tomorrow’s energy solutions.”

      Two GSPEL labs back up that point: the Power and Energy Vehicle Environmental Lab (PEVEL) and the Calorimeter Lab.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/unprecedented-capabilities-high-tech-resources-debut-army-laboratory-210839433.html

    • Senior Army, Energy, Legislative Officials to attend opening of Army lab in Michigan

      April 5, 2012 By Mr. John W. Wray (RDECOM) – army.mil

      U.S. ARMY DETROIT ARSENAL, WARREN, Mich. — Top leaders from government, industry and academia will gather April 11 at the Detroit Arsenal for the Grand Opening of the Army’s new eight-labs-in-one facility: the Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory.

      Prior to officially opening the doors of the 30,000-sq.-ft. facility, a lineup of distinguished Army leaders and energy officials will join Michigan’s Senate delegation to offer remarks commemorating the grand opening and stressing the importance of energy security.

      Those speakers include:

      • Dr. John P. Holdren — Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science
      and Technology.

      • Dr. Joseph Westphal — Under Secretary of the Army.

      • U.S. Sen. Carl Levin — Senior U.S. senator from Michigan and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

      • U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow — Junior U.S. senator from Michigan.

      • Katherine Hammack — Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment.

      “Having nationally recognized leaders in science and technology and defense join Senator Levin and Senator Stabenow for the GSPEL Grand Opening underscores the importance of energy security for our Soldiers, the Army, and the Nation,” remarked Jennifer Hitchcock, interim director of the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) at the Detroit Arsenal.

      For the entire article; http://www.army.mil/article/77233/

    • April 11, 2012

      Fact Sheet: Obama Administration Announces Additional Steps to Increase Energy Security

      Senior Officials to Highlight Commitment to Energy Security for America’s Warfighters

      Today, the Obama Administration is announcing new steps to bolster energy security for America’s warfighters – underscoring the significant and inherent connection between energy independence and national security. In Michigan, the Army will open a new 30,000-square-foot lab to develop cutting edge energy technologies for the next generation of combat vehicles. This new lab will support the launch of the Army Green Warrior Convoy, which will test and demonstrate advanced vehicle technology including fuel cells, hybrid systems, battery technologies and alternative fuels.

      In addition, today, the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency will launch a research competition to engage our country’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs in improving the capability of energy storage devices that can be used in the battlefield and for civilian applications. And, building on President Obama’s State of the Union commitment, the Department of Defense (DoD) will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history, with a new goal to deploy three gigawatts of renewable energy – including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal – on Army, Navy, and Air Force installations by 2025 – enough to power 750,000 homes.

      These new steps build on President Obama’s unwavering commitment to energy security for America’s warfighters, and to a sustained, comprehensive strategy to ensure a secure energy future for all Americans. Since the President took office, domestic oil and gas production has increased each year. At the same time, our reliance on foreign oil has decreased – a trend expected to continue thanks in part to the historic fuel economy standards established by President Obama, effectively doubling the efficiency of the cars we drive and saving consumers thousands at the pump. In 2011, U.S. crude oil production reached its highest level since 2003, increasing by an estimated 120,000 barrels per day over 2010 levels. Overall, oil imports have been falling since 2005, and net imports as a share of total consumption declined from 57 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2011 – the lowest level since 1995.

      * Army Opens a New Lab to Develop the Next Generation of Combat Vehicles

      * Army to Road-Test Advanced Energy Technologies in Green Warrior Convoy

      * Defense Department Increases Commitment to Renewable Energy to 3 Gigawatts

      * Energy Department Launches Competition to Make Energy Storage More Effective and Safe

      * Administration Announces Progress on Advanced Biofuels Initiative

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/11/fact-sheet-obama-administration-announces-additional-steps-increase-ener

  6. What the Health Law Means for the Latino Community

    Posted by Leon Rodriguez on April 10, 2012 at 07:54 PM EDT

    Ed note: this was originally posted on the Healthcare.gov blog

    Across the country, more than 50 million Latinos are part of our communities, classrooms and workplaces. And thanks to the health care law, the Affordable Care Act, an estimated 5.4 million Latinos will gain insurance coverage by 2016 under the new law, according to an issue brief released by HHS today (go here to read it in Spanish). Just two years after it was passed, the health care law has already improved health outcomes and increased access to care for Latinos by:

    * Extending coverage to an estimated 736,000 Latino young adults under a provision that allows them to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26,

    * Expanding access to preventive services with no-cost sharing to an estimated 6.1 million Latino Americans with private insurance, and

    * Requiring most health insurance plans to cover prevention and wellness services like cancer screenings, flu shots , and pap smears and mammograms for women, with no cost-sharing.

    While 16.3 percent of Americans are currently uninsured, the percentage of Latinos without health insurance is even higher at 30.7 percent. As the law continues to be implemented:

    * Latinos of all income levels who would otherwise be uninsured will have access to health insurance through new Affordable Insurance Exchanges and as a result of expanded Medicaid coverage,

    * Latino Americans suffering from a chronic disease—like the estimated 4.3 million Latino adults who are currently living with diabetes—will have access to new care innovations, like community health teams, that will help them manage their illness, and

    * Latinos living in medically underserved areas will have access to new community health centers and preventive and primary care services.
    To learn more about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the health of the Latino community, join our Spanish-language Twitter chat today, April 10. You can join in the conversation starting at 2pm EST by following the #LaSaludLatina hashtag and at @HHSLatino.

    You can read the issue brief in English here, and in Spanish here, For the fact sheet, visit this page.

    • Mercury News editorial: The path to reducing America’s health care costs

      4/10/12 Mercury News Editorial

      President Barack Obama’s health care reforms offer Americans the best chance to start getting a handle on out-of-control medical costs. If you don’t believe the president, then ask the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. The GAO reported last week that health care costs will go up considerably if the Supreme Court, as expected, rejects the reforms.

      It would be a shame because these initial reforms are just the first step toward attacking the problem of skyrocketing medical costs, as even the president admits. Major restructuring of medical care is what’s needed to curb costs while continuing to lead the world in medical innovation. Fortunately, doctors around the country are beginning to offer insights into how to do that. And no, death panels aren’t on the list.

      Physicians representing the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation last week released an important study recommending that doctors stop routinely performing 45 tests and procedures that are of questionable value under many circumstances. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in 2008 that as much as 30 percent of the $2.6 trillion the United States spends on health care — $700 billion every year — is squandered on unnecessary tests, procedures, medications and hospital stays.

      Critics already are proclaiming this as the start of rationing. But in a 2011 survey of doctors reported by the Archives of Internal Medicine, 80 percent said they order tests they know are unnecessary. Some fear being sued for malpractice. Others don’t want to deny patients procedures they believe will benefit them, even if the doctor disagrees.

      For the entire article: http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_20367931/mercury-news-editorial-path-reducing-americas-health-care

    • Investing in America’s Health Care Workforce

      Jon Carson April 11, 2012 04:52 PM EDT

      In too many communities across America, residents do not have easy access to a primary health care provider. As a medical student in Baltimore, Maryland, Christin Donnelly has seen the impact that has on families and communities:

      “My experiences working in inner city Baltimore and rural western Maryland have shown me how fulfilling it is to provide healthcare for those who need it the most. I enjoy the challenge and believe that I can maximize the wonderful education I have been given by working with these underserved populations.”

      Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more Americans will have access to health care from a compassionate doctor or nurse like Christin – receiving part of $9.1 million in National Health Service Corps funding being distributed to medical students at schools in 30 states and the District of Columbia – who will serve as primary care doctors and help strengthen the health care workforce.

      This Students to Service program is just one of many NHSC initiatives receiving funding under the new law. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act and the Recovery Act, communities nationwide are benefiting from the nearly $900 million in scholarships and loan repayments that has almost tripled the number of participants in the National Health Service Corps to include more than 10,000 National Corps members – doctors, nurses and other health care providers.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/11/investing-america-s-health-care-workforce

  7. Indonesia issues new tsunami alert for aftershock (8.2 & 8.6)

    4/11/12 By FAKHRURRADZIE GADE | Associated Press – 32 mins ago

    BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia has issued a fresh tsunami warning after an aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 shook its western coast.

    The first 8.6-magnitude quake off Aceh province, hours earlier, spawned a wave around 30 inches (80 centimeters) high but caused no serious damage.

    The U.S. Geological Survey said the strong temblor that followed was centered 10 miles (16 kilometers) beneath the ocean around 380 miles (615 kilometers) from the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.

    Harjadi, a local official who goes by only one name, said the new tsunami warning was for residents living along the western coast of the country.

    It included Sumatra island and the Mentawai islands.

    For the entire article; http://goo.gl/NLEJV

    ——————–

    NOAA TSUNAMI WATCH INFORMATION: http://www.tsunami.gov/

    • Indonesia says only small tsunami waves hit Sumatra after quakes

      4/11/12 Reuters – 1 hr 25 mins ago

      JAKARTA (Reuters) – Small tsunami waves of around one meter hit the western coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island on Wednesday after a series of major earthquakes, though the country’s disaster agency said it was still assessing whether there were any deaths or damage.

      The agency expects the worst impact to have been on Simeulue island off Sumatra and forecasts further small aftershocks in the country’s westernmost region, but it has lifted its tsunami alert for an area which was devastated by a tsunami in 2004.

  8. White Board: Brian Deese on the Buffett Rule

    Matt Compton April 11, 2012 09:22 AM EDT

    In this new White House White Board, Brian Deese, the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, explains why the Buffett Rule is necessary to restore fairness to the American tax system — and ensure that everyone plays by the same set of rules.

    Later this morning, President Obama will discuss the Buffett Rule from the White House. Tune in at 10:15 AM ET at http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/live.

    • April 11, 2012

      Remarks by the President on the Buffett Rule

      Eisenhower Executive Office Building

      10:25 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Everybody, please have a seat. Thank you. It is wonderful to see you. Lately, we’ve been talking about the fundamental choice that we face as a country. We can settle for an economy where a shrinking number of people do very, very well and everybody else is struggling to get by, or we can build an economy where we’re rewarding hard work and responsibility — an economy where everybody has a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same set of rules.

      The people who have joined me here today are extremely successful. They’ve created jobs and opportunity for thousands of Americans. They’re rightly proud of their success. They love the country that made their success possible, and most importantly, they want to make sure that the next generation, people coming up behind them, have the same opportunities that they had.

      They understand, though, that for some time now, when compared to the middle class, they haven’t been asked to do their fair share. And they are here because they believe there is something deeply wrong and irresponsible about that.

      At a time when the share of national income flowing to the top 1 percent of people in this country has climbed to levels we haven’t seen since the 1920s, these same folks are paying taxes at one of the lowest rates in 50 years. In fact, one in four millionaires pays a lower tax rate than millions of hardworking middle-class households. And while many millionaires do pay their fair share, some take advantage of loopholes and shelters that let them get away with paying no income taxes whatsoever — and that’s all perfectly legal under the system that we currently have.

      You’ve heard that my friend Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary — because he’s the one who’s been pointing that out and saying we should fix it. The executives who are with me here today, not just behind me but in the audience, agree with me. They agree with Warren — they should be fixed. They, in fact, have brought some of their own assistants to prove that same point — that it is just plain wrong that middle-class Americans pay a higher share of their income in taxes than some millionaires and billionaires.

      Now, it’s not that these folks are excited about the idea of paying more taxes. This thing I’ve always made clear. (Laughter.) I have yet to meet people who just love taxes. Nobody loves paying taxes. In a perfect world, none of us would have to pay any taxes. We’d have no deficits to pay down. And schools and bridges and roads and national defense and caring for our veterans would all happen magically.

      We’d all have the money we need to make investments in the things that help us grow — investments, by the way, that have always been essential to the private sector’s success, as well, not just — they’re not just important in terms of the people that directly benefit from these programs, but historically, those investments that we’ve made in infrastructure, in education, in science, in technology, in transportation, that’s part of what has made us an economic superpower.

      And it would be nice if we didn’t have to pay for them, but this is the real world that we live in. We have real choices and real consequences. Right now, we’ve got significant deficits that are going to have to be closed. Right now, we have significant needs if we want to continue to grow this economy and compete in this 21st-century, hyper-competitive, technologically-integrated economy. That means we can’t afford to keep spending more money on tax cuts for wealthy Americans who don’t need them and weren’t even asking for them. And it’s time we did something about it.

      Now, I want to emphasize, this is not simply an issue of redistributing wealth. That’s what you’ll hear from those who object to a tax plan that is fair. This is not just about fairness. This is also about growth. This is also about being able to make the investments we need to succeed. And it’s about we as a country being willing to pay for those investments and closing our deficits. That’s what this is about.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/11/remarks-president-buffett-rule

  9. Next Up…

    10:40 AM EDT
    Joining Forces Anniversary Event
    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Biden kick off a celebration for military families and organization leaders who have played key roles in supporting our nation’s troops, veterans and families. The Missouri Air National Guard’s 571st Air Force Band “Sidewinder,” a YouTube sensation, will open the event.
    The White House

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

    • April 11, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady and Dr. Biden at the Joining Forces Anniversary event

      South Lawn

      11:13 A.M. EDT

      DR. BIDEN: What a great day for a celebration. Thank you, General Dempsey, for that kind introduction and for all that you have done to support the Joining Forces initiative over the past year. I also want to thank Deanie Dempsey, who’s been a wonderful partner and a wonderful friend. Thank you for your leadership. (Applause.)

      To the Joining Forces Community Challenge finalists who are here, it was great to see you all yesterday, and we’re delighted to have you here at the White House this morning.

      One of the best parts of my role as Second Lady is spending time with military veterans and families. And I’ve traveled across the — as I’ve traveled across the country and the world, I’m always inspired by the strength and the resilience of our military families.

      While the troops serving our nation may be only 1 percent of the population, we want to make sure that 100 percent of Americans are supporting them. Our military families have done so much for our country and each of us can do something in return. That’s why the First Lady and I created Joining Forces to encourage all Americans to support and honor our military families.

      Since we launched Joining Forces a year ago, we have been so inspired by the many ways Americans all across the country are honoring, celebrating and supporting our military families. Our partners in this effort are businesses, schools, churches, communities and individuals. The Joining Forces Community Challenge finalists here today are shining examples of what we’ve seen.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/11/remarks-first-lady-and-dr-biden-joining-forces-anniversary-event

    • One Year of Joining Forces

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Apr 11, 2012

      First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden honor our veterans and military families on the one year anniversary of their Joining Forces initiative.

  10. GOP WRONG WAY

    Allen West: Half the Democrats in Congress are Communists

    4/11/12 10:24 AM ET By Daniel Strauss – TheHill

    Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) says he’s heard that almost half of all the Democrats in Congress are secretly part of the Communist Party.

    He offered no names or proof of his accusation.

    West told almost 100 Floridians in Palm City on Tuesday that “he’s heard” as many as 80 Democrats in Congress are members of the Communist Party, according to the Palm Beach Post.

    The freshman Republican, an outspoken conservative and Tea Party favorite, is a longtime critic of the Democratic Party.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/220935-allen-west-half-the-dems-in-congress-are-communists

  11. GOP WRONG WAY

    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.

    Source; http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/220971-romney-aides-on-equal-pay-law-well-get-back-to-you

    • Steve Benen says:

      …. These weren’t trick questions. This was, after all, a call about women’s issues. It was organized by the Romney campaign, so it’s not as if these staffers could say they were caught off guard….

      As a result of all of this dissembling, the larger story this morning is that the Romney campaign stumbled on its own initiative, allowing Obama’s team to go on the offensive when Romney expected to put them on the defensive….

      http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/11/11143021-romney-campaign-stumbles-on-equal-pay?lite

    • TPM:

      Romney Camp Can’t Explain How Obama’s ‘War On Women’ Works

      by Benjy Sarlin

      …. But no one from his campaign, including economic and policy advisers, could offer a clear explanation of this disparity Romney has trumpeted on a press call Wednesday…. And, regardless of its cause, Romney’s advisers wouldn’t say whether Romney would do anything to address it….

      The (women lost) “92 percent” (of jobs) line is difficult to explain and defend for a reason. Independent fact-checkers have dubbed it misleading this week in that it treats the initial recession Obama inherited as the result of his policies, and ignores that there are good reasons for the disparity: Men lost the vast majority of the initial jobs wiped out by the housing collapse and financial crisis, many of which were in areas like construction. As a result, they’ve been gaining those jobs back disproportionately as the economy has recovered while women, who have a significantly lower unemployment rate, have added jobs at a slower rate.

      The result: A statistic that makes a great sound bite but crumbles immediately when put under the microscope.

      http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/04/romney-camp-cant-explain-how-obamas-war-on-women-works.php

    • Mitt Romney Should Listen to Lilly Ledbetter

      Published on Apr 11, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom

      Join the Truth Team: https://my.barackobama.com/romneywomenvid

      Lilly Ledbetter explains why equal pay for equal work is a civil right, and Mitt Romney should listen.

      The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill President Obama signed into law. When asked whether Mitt Romney supports the Act, Romney’s campaign replied, “We’ll get back to you on that.”

  12. 12:00 PM EDT
    Vice President Biden attends a campaign fundraiser for Sen. Amy Klobuchar in Minneapolis, Minnesota

  13. Next Up…

    1:00 AM EDT
    Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus – White House Rollout
    Official release of a first-ever report on the impact that intellectual property and IP-related industries have on the economy and U.S. jobs.
    The White House

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

    • Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus

      Uploaded by whitehouse on Apr 11, 2012

      The White House releases the first-ever report on the impact that intellectual property and IP-related industries have on the economy and U.S. jobs. April 11, 2012.

  14. Next Up…

    1:30 PM EDT
    Tribal Trust Case Settlement Event
    An event to announce and recognize the resolution of approximately 40 long standing disputes with Indian tribal governments over the management of trust assets.
    The White House

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

    • Have we ever had an Administration this actively engaged with Native Americans?

    • Secretary Salazar and Attorney General Holder Announce $1 Billion Settlement of Tribal Trust Accounting and Management Lawsuits Filed by More Than 40 Tribes

      April 11, 2012 bia.gov

      WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the settlement of lawsuits filed by 41 federally-recognized tribes against the United States, in which the tribes alleged that the Department of the Interior and the Department of the Treasury had mismanaged monetary assets and natural resources held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the tribes. The announcement followed a 22-month-long negotiation between the tribes and the United States that has culminated in settlements between the government and tribes totaling more than $1 billion.

      These settlements resolve claims dating back more than 100 years and will bring to an end protracted litigation that has burdened both the plaintiffs and the United States. Ending these long-running disputes about the United States’ management of trust funds and non-monetary trust resources will allow the United States and the tribes to move beyond the distrust exacerbated by years of litigation. These settlement agreements represent a significant milestone in the improvement of the United States’ relationship with Indian tribes.

      “These settlements fairly and honorably resolve historical grievances over the accounting and management of tribal trust funds, trust lands, and other non-monetary trust resources that, for far too long, have been a source of conflict between Indian tribes and the United States,” said Attorney General Holder. “Our commitment to tribes is the cornerstone of the Department of Justice’s policies and initiatives in Indian Country, and these settlements will enable the tribal community to pursue the goals and objectives they deem to be appropriate while marking another step in our shared future built upon mutual respect and strong bonds of trust between tribal governments and the United States.”

      “These important settlements reflect President Obama’s continuing commitment to ensuring empowerment and reconciliation for American Indians,” said Secretary Salazar. “It strengthens the government-to-government relationship with Tribal nations, helps restore a positive working relationship with Indian Country leaders and empowers American Indian communities.

      I want to commend Attorney General Holder, our Interior Solicitor Hilary Tompkins and other key officials who were involved in the long negotiations leading to these historic agreements. I look forward to working with Tribal leaders to further strengthen our government-to-government relationship based on mutual respect and a shared concern for the proper management of tribal trust assets and funds.”

      The Department of the Interior manages almost 56 million acres of trust lands for federally- recognized tribes and more than 100,000 leases on those lands for various uses, including housing, timber harvesting, farming, grazing, oil and gas extraction, business leasing, rights-of- way and easements. Interior also manages about 2,500 tribal trust accounts for more than 250 tribes.

      Starting in the fall of 2009, lawyers for many of the tribes with litigation pending against the United States wrote to the president and asked the administration to engage in expedited settlement discussions with their clients. In April 2010, Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division Ignacia Moreno, Interior Department Solicitor Hilary Tompkins and Treasury Department General Counsel George Madison met with attorneys for the tribes, and the parties embarked on a settlement process that the tribes termed the “Settlement Proposal to Obama Administration,” or “SPOA,” which led in part to today’s announcement.

      For the entire article: http://www.bia.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/text/idc-017409.pdf

    • first_americans_for_obama

      Chairman Chief Allan said “President Obama has done more for us (Native Americans) then the last five presidents put together.”

  15. ThePeoplesView.net has a fine summary of major social and economic issues in the GOP’s war on women, including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, unemployment benefits extension, payroll tax cut, Pell grants and student assistance, Medicaid, food assistance, and other programs for the poor, Social Security and Medicare. The GOP has been and is against all of these in opposition to President Obama. This post alone should make the case for voting Democratic, not only for President (who after all gets to appoint federal judges, SCOTUS justices and other officials who impact our lives) but for every Governor, Senator (Senators can approve or block nominations), Congressman/woman (the House controls spending), and state office.

    “….the only people voting Republican as a block are white males. Women are gone, people of color are gone, and gone by big margins….

    The bottom line is women have a far more vested interest in a fairer, more equitable society and a stronger social safety net. The Republicans are not simply offending women’s sensibilities by meddling in women’s health care and family planning; they are messing with women by attacking the social safety net, programs for the poor and the elderly, as well as students. Republican talking heads are right that women are not a monolithic voting group. But they are real people with real interest in seeing a fairer society with more opportunity and a stronger safety net. And the Republican party has completely divorced itself from both.”

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/04/war-on-women-is-about-more-than-lady.html

    • What a day that was. I remember the first reports coming in and hoping it was true, just waitng for PBO to speak!

  16. 2:15 PM EDT
    Nurses Nationwide Join Forces to Support Veterans and Military Families
    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

    • April 11, 2012

      America’s Nurses Join Forces with the First Lady and Dr. Biden to support Veterans and Military Families

      3 million nurses, through 150 nursing organizations and 500 nursing schools will be educated on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the coming years

      Today at the University of Pennsylvania, home to one of America’s top Nursing Schools, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will announce a commitment from nurses across the country eager to serve our veterans and military families as well as they have served us. In a broad, coordinated effort, more than 150 state and national nursing organizations and over 500 nursing schools have committed to further educate our nation’s 3 million nurses so they are prepared to meet the unique health needs of service members, veterans, and their families. Led by the American Nurses Association, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the National League for Nursing, in coordination with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, nursing organizations and schools have committed to educating current and future nurses on how to recognize and care for veterans impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, and other combat-related issues, in ways appropriate to each nurse’s practice setting.

      “Whether we’re in a hospital, a doctor’s office or a community health center, nurses are often the first people we see when we walk through the door. Because of their expertise, they are trusted to be the frontline of America’s health care system,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “That’s why Jill and I knew we could turn to America’s nurses and nursing students to help our veterans and military families get the world-class care that they’ve earned. It’s clear from today’s announcement that the nursing community is well on its way to serving our men and women in uniform and their families.”

      “Nurses are at the center of providing lifesaving care in communities across the country — and their reach is particularly important because our veterans don’t always seek care through the VA system,” said Dr. Jill Biden. “This commitment is essential to ensuring our returning service men and women receive the care they deserve.”

      For the entire article; http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/11/americas-nurses-join-forces-first-lady-and-dr-biden-support-veterans-and

  17. How will you pay for college?

    4/11/12 consumberfinance.gov

    Students and families across the country are sifting through acceptance letters and financial aid information. Borrowing for school is a big decision, but you don’t have to make it alone. We are testing a new Financial Aid Comparison Shopper to help students make smart choices about student loans.

    Learn more and compare schools side-by-side.

    • U.S. consumer website helps factor college costs

      By Dave Clarke | Reuters – 1 hr 36 mins ago

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With many students eagerly waiting to find out which college they will be attending in the fall, the U.S. consumer watchdog is offering a sober reminder: loans for tuition are expensive.

      The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unveiled on Wednesday an online tool to compare tuition costs at various colleges and determine how much monthly payments would be on student loans.

      The calculator assumes four-year and two-year degree programs and a 10-year repayment period that would begin after graduation.

      “Student loan debt has crossed the $1 trillion mark and tuition continues to climb,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “Our Financial Aid Comparison Shopper helps students make apples to apples comparisons of their offers and pick the one that works best for their financial future.”

      The database contains tuition details of more than 7,500 institutions, allowing people to calculate by school how much they would have to borrow to cover annual tuition.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/u-consumer-website-helps-factor-college-costs-174750424.html

  18. April 11, 2012

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Situation in Bahrain

    The United States continues to be deeply concerned about the situation in Bahrain, and we urge all parties to reject violence in all its forms. We condemn the violence directed against police and government institutions, including recent incidents that have resulted in serious injuries to police officers. We also call on the police to exercise maximum restraint, and condemn the use of excessive force and indiscriminate use of tear gas against protestors, which has resulted in civilian casualties.

    We continue to underscore, both to the government and citizens of Bahrain, the importance of working together to address the underlying causes of mistrust and to promote reconciliation. In this respect, we note our continued concern for the well-being of jailed activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and call on the Government of Bahrain to consider urgently all available options to resolve his case. More broadly, we urge the government to redouble its ongoing efforts to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, and renew our call for the government, opposition parties, and all segments of Bahraini society to engage in a genuine dialogue leading to meaningful reforms that address the legitimate aspirations of all Bahrainis.

  19. April 11, 2012

    Readout of the President’s Meeting with Saudi Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abd Al-Aziz

    President Obama met with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Defense, Prince Salman bin Abd Al-Aziz Al Saud, today in the Oval Office. The President and Prince Salman affirmed the strong and enduring partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia and discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues. The President asked Prince Salman to convey his personal greetings to King Abdullah bin Abd Al-Aziz Al Saud.

  20. Fed survey shows US growth, hiring improves

    4/11/12 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | Associated Press – 13 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Federal Reserve survey of business conditions across the United States suggests last month’s pullback in hiring may be temporary.

    The survey released Wednesday showed that each of the Fed’s 12 bank districts grew steadily from mid-February through April 2. And hiring was stable or increased throughout most of the country, according to the survey.

    The Labor Department last week said that job creation slowed in March to half the pace from the previous three months. But the Fed survey, which is anecdotal, didn’t reflect the weakening.

    “I didn’t see any companies say that they’re scaling back sharply on hiring because demand is slowing,” said John Canally, an economist at LPL Financial.

    The survey, known as the Beige Book, suggests that the hiring trend is somewhere between the roughly 250,000 jobs added per month over the winter and the 120,000 created in March, Canally said.

    The Beige Book is released eight times a year and is based on surveys by the Fed’s 12 regional banks. There are no numbers in the report. But its findings, which are released two weeks before the Fed’s policy meeting, help influence the discussions.

    When the Fed meets on April 24-25, members are expected to stick with their plan to hold short-term interest rates at record lows until at least late 2014. They will likely point to the slower hiring pace in March as evidence that the economy still needs support.

    The Beige Book offered a brighter outlook for the coming months.

    Job gains occurred in manufacturing, shipping, information technology and professional business services, the survey noted.

    Consumers are still spending. Retail sales increased in almost all districts, the report said. And four districts said the short-term outlook for retail spending is positive.

    The housing market showed improvement in most areas. Developers built more apartments. And banks said demand for loans increased.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/fed-survey-shows-us-growth-hiring-improves-180251379.html

  21. WH

    Thursday, April 12 , 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    Vice President Biden to Deliver Remarks on President Obama’s Efforts to Promote Tax Fairness
    Exeter, New Hampshire

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

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:40 PM
    President Obama interviews with regional TV anchors
    Diplomatic Room
    Closed Press

    2:15 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a “Joining Forces” event
    Shreveport, Louisiana

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    President Obama meets with senior advisors
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    6:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle delivers remarks at “Honoring Young Women from Military Families” event
    Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida

    6:15 PM
    Vice President Biden attends a campaign event
    Scarsdale, New York

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

  22. Vice President Joe Biden Coming to Exeter

    4/1/12 By Jason Claffey – ExeterPatch

    Vice President Joe Biden will campaign at Exeter Town Hall this Thursday, according to the Nashua Telegraph’s Kevin Landrigan.

    Landrigan yesterday Tweeted the location of Biden’s visit. A representative for Biden has not yet taken out a permit from Exeter officials for the visit.

    New Hampshire is seen as a key swing state in this year’s presidential election. Biden has already made several visits to the Granite State in recent months, including one in Rochester in January.

    President Obama visited Nashua earlier this year, and Michelle Obama made a stop in Concord last month.

    Exeter Patch will have full coverage of Biden’s visit Thursday.

  23. Michelle Obama plans Shreveport visit

    Apr. 4, 2012 shreveporttimes

    First lady Michelle Obama will visit Shreveport on April 12 with Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, to celebrate a push for jobs for spouses of military personnel, The Associated Press reports.

    Obama and Biden, her partner in Joining Forces, the effort to boost spouse jobs, will visit the city, next door to Barksdale Air Force Base, to mark the 50,000th veteran or service spouse hired under the campaign.

    The time of her visit is given as 1:15 p.m., but no further information was provided on the first lady’s official website.

    The two also will make stops at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to meet with nursing industry leaders; in New York for a taping with comedian Stephen Colbert on his show “The Colbert Report”; and the Naval Air Station at Jacksonville, Fla.

    So far, Obama told reporters, the jobs component of Joining Forces has exceeded expectations. “The country is stepping up in ways both large and small,” she said.

    For the entire article: http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20120405/NEWS01/204050314/Michelle-Obama-plans-Shreveport-visit

  24. Michelle Obama, Jill Biden to visit Jacksonville NAS April 12

    April 4, 2012 Submitted by Mike Marino – jacksonville.com

    As part of a two-day schedule to mark a program to honor military families, First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, the wife of the vice president, will meet with high school junior and senior girls at Jacksonville Naval Air Station on April 12, the White House announced Wednesday.

    The trip includes stops in Philadelphia, Shreveport, La., and New York, the latter for Obama to make an appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”‘

    The news release said that the first lady will also reveal “special guests” she has invited for the occasion at NAS, which begins at 6 p.m.

    Michelle Obama was last in Jacksonville in October, also at NAS (where she spoke with Girl Scouts about healthy living) and later at the Prime Osborn Convention Center for a Democratic National Committee fund-raiser.

  25. Friday: White House Will Host Let’s Move! Google+ Hangout

    APRIL 11, 2012 obamafoodorama.blogspot

    The public is invited to join the master of the Presidential menu, White House Executive Chef Cris Comerford (l) and culinary expert and TV personality Gail Simmons this Friday, April 13, for a Google+ Hangout focusing on First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. They’ll be discussing healthy eating and cooking during a livestream from the White House, and are now taking questions online.

    Questions can be submitted on the Let’s Move Facebook page, on the @LetsMove Twitter account, and on the White House Google+ page using the hashtag #AskLetsMove. The livestream will begin at 1:00 PM EST at the White House Google+ Hangout, at Whitehouse.gov/live, and at at YouTube.com/whitehouse.

    For the entire article: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/04/friday-white-house-will-host-lets-move.html

  26. UN expects Syria cease-fire in place by April 12

    Apr 5, 2012 By JOHN HEILPRIN | Associated Press

    GENEVA (AP) — The United Nations expects a cease-fire between Syrian troops and opposition forces to be in place no later than April 12, a spokesman for the U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said Thursday, as activists reported a fierce attack by government troops on a Damascus suburb.

    Kofi Annan’s peace plan had previously set the April 10 deadline for Syrian troops to pull out of towns and cities, followed by a withdrawal by rebel fighters. Then all sides are supposed to hold talks on a political solution.

    Annan’s spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said they expect both sides to end the hostilities within 48 hours of the already agreed April 10 deadline.

    “The clock starts ticking on the 10th for both sides to cease all forms of violence,” he said.

    Fawzi said that by then the Syrian military units should withdraw from populated centers and no new units should move into cities.

    Syria has told U.N. officials that it is withdrawing troops from the southern province of Daraa, the northwestern province of Idlib and the rebel-controlled mountain resort town of Zabadani, north of Damascus, Fawzi said.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/un-expects-syria-cease-fire-place-april-12-104446750.html

  27. April 11, 2012

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

    The President and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone today to discuss several foreign policy issues of mutual concern, including Iran and Syria. Both leaders expressed the hope that Iran would take advantage of the upcoming P5+1 talks to address the international community’s concerns about the Iranian nuclear program. They also reiterated their common resolve to increase the pressure on the Iranian regime through sanctions and other measures if it remained unresponsive. On Syria, the President and Chancellor shared the concern that the Assad government was not complying with the terms of the agreement negotiated by Kofi Annan and continued to engage in unacceptable brutality against its own people. They agreed that this underscored the need for the UN Security Council to come together to take more resolute action. The President told the Chancellor that he looked forward to hosting her at Camp David for the G-8 Summit next month and to continuing their regular consultations on these and other important issues.

  28. Still can’t get over Romney’s crazy claim that 92% of all jobs lost in the recession belonged to women. So he’s hoping we think only 8% of those jobs were lost by men? Unbelievable.

    BTW, since GOP Reps. Mary Bono Mack and Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted AGAINST the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, does that mean they want to be paid less than male Congressmen? Maybe they also don’t think they’re entitled to the same health care the men get, or that they should pay 50% more for it.

    • I don’t understand Romney, Bono Mack and McMorris Rodgers’ reality….do they know that we are in the 2012 not 1912????

  29. White House Office Hours: Connecting the Americas

    Erin Lindsay April 11, 2012 07:21 PM EDT

    Tomorrow, the White House, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Council of the Americas, will host the White House Conference on Connecting the Americas leading up to the President’s participation in the 6th Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia this weekend. Building off the Summit’s theme – “Connecting the Americas: Partners in Prosperity,” Obama Administration officials will join Hispanic community and business leaders from across the country who have cultural and economic ties to the rest of the Americas to further identify ways in which they can partner up with the Administration to promote economic growth and prosperity.

    Join us tomorrow, Thursday, April 12th at 11:30 am EDT, for a special session of Office Hours on Twitter with Dan Restrepo, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs. He’ll be taking your questions about the upcoming Summit, and the work the Administration has carried out over the past three years to embark on a new era of regional cooperation based on equal partnership and shared responsibility with our neighbors in the Americas. Ask your questions now using the hashtag #WHChat.

    This will be a special bilingual edition of White House Office Hours on Twitter. We’ll be taking and answering questions in English and Spanish, so tune into @WHLive or @LaCasaBlanca to participate.

    Here’s how White House Office Hours work:

    * Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat

    * Follow the Q&A in English at the @WHLive Twitter account and at @LaCasaBlanca for Spanish translations.

    * If you miss the live session, the full session will be posted on WhiteHouse.gov and Storify.com/WhiteHouse

    For updates all day from the Conference on Connecting the Americans follow the hashtag #AmericasConf. Then don’t forget to stop by for Office Hours at 11:30 am EDT tomorrow with Dan Restrepo.

    Be sure to follow @WhiteHouse on twitter for the latest news and more opportunities to engage.

  30. Next Up…

    9:00 AM EDT
    White House Conference on Connecting the Americas
    In partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Council of the Americas, the White House Conference on Connecting the Americas is being held in the immediate lead up to the upcoming Summit of the Americas. Building off the Summit’s theme – “Connecting the Americas: Partners in Prosperity,” we aim to connect Obama Administration officials with the Latino diaspora and community business leaders to discuss the issues critical to the Hispanic community and Latin America. Only two parts of the conference will be live streamed.
    The White House

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

    • White House Conference on Connecting the Americas: Part 1

      Published on Apr 12, 2012 by whitehouse

      In partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Council of the Americas, the White House Conference on Connecting the Americas — held in the immediate lead up to the upcoming Summit of the Americas — connects Obama Administration officials with the Latino diaspora and community business leaders to discuss the issues critical to the Hispanic community and Latin America.

  31. April 12, 2012

    Readout of the President’s Video Teleconference with President Sarkozy of France

    Continuing their close consultations on global issues of common concern, the President and French President Sarkozy held a video teleconference today to discuss Syria, Iran, and stability in the oil markets. On Syria, the President and President Sarkozy condemned the violence perpetrated by the regime against its own people and noted that the regime had yet to fully implement the agreement negotiated with Kofi Annan pursuant to the Annan plan. The two leaders called for the regime to fully implement the Annan plan, noting that the international community would judge the regime by its actions and not its words. On Iran, both leaders expressed hope that Iran would take advantage of the upcoming P5+1 talks to address the international community’s concerns about the Iranian nuclear program. The President and President Sarkozy agreed to continue increasing the pressure on the Iranian regime through sanctions and other measures if Tehran remains unresponsive. Finally, the President and President Sarkozy agreed to continue their consultations about the tightness in global oil markets.

  32. Good Thursday morning everyone! We are in day three of four days of rain. I HOPE that you have a good day! 🙂

  33. Consumer Comfort in U.S. Held Last Week Near Four-Year High

    Apr 12, 2012 6:45 AM PT By Timothy R. Homan – Bloomberg

    Consumer confidence held last week near a four-year high as more Americans said their finances were in better shape.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index was minus 32.8 in the period ended April 8, second only to the prior week’s minus 31.4 as the highest since March 2008. Households were the most optimistic about their financial resources since April 2008.

    Employment gains and rising incomes may be making it possible for households to pay down debt and at the same time maintain spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. Signs that gasoline prices are stabilizing, albeit at the highest level in almost a year, may also be stoking optimism that the worst of the jump in fuel prices is over.

    For the entire article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-12/consumer-comfort-in-u-s-held-last-week-near-four-year-high.html

  34. DCCC billboards hit Republicans on Ryan budget in 14 states

    4/12/12 By Josh Lederman -TheHill

    As House Republicans drive around their districts during the April recess, 14 of them will see billboards attacking them on Medicare and tax cuts for millionaires, courtesy of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee .

    The billboards will remain up for all of April, and target Republicans facing vulnerable reelections. GOP Reps. Charlie Bass (N.H.), Sean Duffy (Wis.) and Steve King (Iowa) are on the list, as are Dan Lungren (Calif.) and Steve Southerland (Fla.).

  35. Romney-Ryan “Family Values:” Steal Food from 236 Hungry Children and Families for Each Millionaire’s Tax Cut

    11 Apr 2012 Deaniac83- ThePeoplesView

    You have got to hand it to Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney. They know where their priorities are. The Paul Ryan budget – the one Mitt Romney couldn’t be more in love with – will give an average of $394,000 in annual tax cuts to millionaires of America when the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (also part of the Romney-Ryan plan) is factored in ($129,000 from the Bush tax giveaways and an additional $265,000 from the current GOP budget). It will also cut $133.5 billion over 10 years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.

    So, let’s do some quick math. A $133.5 billion cut in SNAP represents a 17% reduction in the essential program to keep families and children in America from going hungry. 90% of SNAP funds go directly to food assistance for poor children and families (most of the rest goes to states for administering it), and nearly half of it goes to children and families below half of the federal poverty level. In 2013, there are projected to be 47.1 million people eligible for this program. Let’s say the 17% reduction in the budget represents a 17% reduction in the number of people getting the benefits. That’s over 8 million people in a given year. $133.5 billion also pays for the Romney-Ryan average tax breaks for 33,883 millionaires for 10 years (10-year cumulative average break for every millionaire at $3.94 million).

    For the entire article: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/04/romney-ryan-family-values-steal-food.html

    • Paul Ryan Mis-Reads Catholic Teachings To Defend ‘Immoral’ Budget

      Published on Apr 27, 2012 by politicalarticles

    • April 12, 2012

      Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden on Tax Fairness at a Campaign Event

      Exeter Town Hall
      Exeter, New Hampshire

      12:20 P.M. EDT

      THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hello, New Hampshire. (Applause.) Diedre — I told Diedre, I should say amen and sit down. (Laughter.) And I told Diedre, we have something in common. I drove a school bus too, when I was in law school to help pay my way, and now I’m kind of an administrative assistant, as well. (Laughter and applause.) And so we got a lot in common.

      Look, it’s great to back in New Hampshire and to see — I can’t see a lot faces because of the lights, but back here I see a number of familiar faces, and up there I see a number of familiar faces, and it’s great to be back with you all. (Applause.)

      You know over the past few weeks, I’ve given a series of speeches on behalf of the President and myself about what’s at stake for the middle class and why the choice in this election is so fundamental. I’ve spoken about the rescue of the automobile industry, the American automobile industry; about retirement security and having America lead the world again in manufacturing. And today, I want to speak about a fourth topic that’s going to impact significantly on — with the other three — on the state of the middle class in America, and that is the tax system.

      All of these issues touch the most fundamental issue of all: How do we rebuild an economy with a strong and growing middle class? That’s the challenge. As the President says, that’s the challenge of our time.

      When all is said and done, this campaign we’re on is going to really boil down to a very simple question: Are we going to rebuild an economy with a middle class that’s growing and not shrinking? And we are going to restore the value that says, in America if you work hard, you can get ahead, that personal responsibility will be rewarded, that everyone — everyone — from Main Street to Wall Street will play by the same rules?

      We are as a country going to make I believe the responsible choice to ensure that that kind of future we want for our children is back within reach for our children. Because you know the neighborhoods you grew up in, so many parents today of young children have doubt unlike we had raising our children that if they played by those rules, if they did it by the numbers, if they worked hard, they could be certain that they’d provide that opportunity for their children. That’s what this is really all about.

      And part of the debate is about the tax system we have, and the subject that’s on everyone’s mind as April 15th approaches. President Obama and I believe that it’s simply wrong to have a system that’s so riddled with loopholes and preferences that the wealthiest and most successful of all Americans often pay at a lower rate — at a lower rate of their taxes than average middle-class people do.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/12/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-tax-fairness-campaign-event

  36. Home prices close to bottoming, to rise in 2013

    4/12/12 By Lucia Mutikani | Reuters – 3 hrs ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The relentless decline in home prices is nearing an end and prices should rise for the first time in seven years in 2013, but a possible new wave of foreclosures could threaten the recovery, according a Reuters poll of economists.

    The median forecast of 24 economists polled by Reuters was for the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index to end the year unchanged. That was the same finding back in January for this house price gauge, which covers 20 cities.

    “We are expecting a gradual improvement, but if we get a big wave of new foreclosures coming to the market, price declines could be even greater,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York.

    The survey forecast the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rising 2.0 percent next year, up from 1.5 percent in the January survey.

    The housing market’s collapse pushed the economy into its longest and deepest recession since the 1930s. Historically, housing has led the economy out of recession, but it has been the weakest link in the recovery that started in mid-2009.

    While residential construction accounts for a mere 2.3 percent of gross domestic product, home prices have an oversized reach in the economy, influencing a wide range of consumption decisions by households.

    House prices have so far fallen about 32 percent from their peak at the end of 2005, and an estimated 11 million Americans now owe more on their homes than they are worth.

    A resulting tide of foreclosures has held back the housing market’s recovery.

    The survey predicted about 1.5 million foreclosed properties will come on to the market this year. While there is no comparison for this figure, most analysts believe the foreclosure wave has either peaked or is close to topping out.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/home-prices-close-bottoming-rise-2013-135728513.html

  37. Next Up…

    1:30 PM EDT
    White House Champions of Change: Corporate Environmental Sustainability

    On Thursday, April 12th, the White House will honor eight individuals as Champions of Change for demonstrating ways that corporate environmental leadership makes sense, both for business and for American communities.
    The White House

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

  38. April 12, 2012

    We Can’t Wait: Protecting Taxpayer Dollars from Wasteful Payment Errors and Fraud

    Today, as families across the country are filing their taxes, the Obama Administration is launching a new online tool that will enable the Federal government to prevent the waste of taxpayer dollars on improper payments. The Do Not Pay tool will prevent the kind of payment errors that have occurred in government for too long, such as sending funds out to dead people or entering into contracts with companies who have attempted to defraud the government. In his 2013 Budget, the President put forward a series of proposals that would save taxpayers $102 billion over the next decade by reducing payment errors and improving collection of outstanding debts owed to the government. These included provisions the President has submitted in multiple budgets and yet Congress has still not taken action. In the meantime, the Administration has been hard at work doing what it can without legislation, creating the Do Not Pay portal at the Department of the Treasury. The new tool brings together multiple government databases into one simple check point, and deploys advanced data matching and analytics to identify and stop wasteful errors before they happen.

    President Obama said, “The American people expect their public servants to be good stewards of their tax dollars. That’s why my Administration has made every effort to cut waste, from stopping payments to the deceased to cracking down on fraud. I urge Congress to join these efforts by passing the reforms I put forward in my budget.”

    Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jeffrey Zients said, “As families across the country pay their taxes this week, we are committed to continuing an aggressive campaign to stop misdirected and erroneous payments that represent an unacceptable waste of these tax dollars. With advances in technology and data analytics, we are at a real turning point in this fight and the Do Not Pay tool will allow us to stop more of these payments before they occur.”

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/12/we-can-t-wait-protecting-taxpayer-dollars-wasteful-payment-errors-and-fr

  39. 2:15 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a “Joining Forces” event
    Shreveport, Louisiana

    • April 12, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at a Joining Forces Employment Event – Shreveport, LA

      Kansas City Southern Railways
      Shreveport, Louisiana

      1:27 P.M. CDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Well, hello, everyone. (Applause.) I want to thank Michael for that very kind introduction and for his service. We are very proud of him. We know he’s going to do well. And we’re just thrilled to be here — thrilled to be here with all of you.

      I also want to thank Dave for his work and his introduction, for hosting us here today, and everyone else here at Kansas City Southern for hosting us as well. It is really exciting to be here as part of our first anniversary of Joining Forces.

      I also have to recognize Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, who is here. (Applause.) Thank you for being here and thank you for your leadership and for joining us today.

      Yesterday, we kicked off our tour to celebrate the first anniversary of Joining Forces, which is our nationwide campaign to honor and serve America’s veterans and military families. And I’m here today in Shreveport to make another big announcement about our effort to hire veterans and military spouses across the country.

      And I have a little secret — because the truth is, is that when we started to plan this event a couple of months ago, we had planned on announcing the 50,000th hire. That’s what this was going to be. But by mid-March — because we were going to hit that goal by the end of — the middle of the year — but by the end of March we had already hit that mark. (Applause.) And then a week later, we added 5,000 more. And by April, another 3,000. (Applause.)

      So today, I couldn’t be more excited to announce that America’s businesses have hired 60,000 veterans and military spouses in the past year. (Applause.) And that’s really the story that we want to celebrate here today. That’s the story of Joining Forces. Whenever we have asked Americans to step up, no matter who we were talking to, they have gone above and beyond our expectations — just above and beyond. And I want these veterans to understand that. America is stepping up in big ways.

      When we looked to America’s health care providers, 135 medical schools, more than 500 nursing schools, more than 3 million health care providers stepped up to improve care for veterans and military families. (Applause.)

      When we asked Americans of all kind to find ways to honor our military families, they answered by serving more than 13 million volunteer hours right in their own communities. (Applause.) That’s individual. That’s all volunteer work.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/12/remarks-first-lady-joining-forces-employment-event-shreveport-la

    • 60,000 Veterans and Military Spouses Have Been Hired Through Joining Forces Employment Initiatives

      Brad Cooper April 13, 2012 03:34 PM EDT

      It was a great day in Shreveport, Louisiana, yesterday. First Lady Michelle Obama joined the leadership of the Kansas City Southern (KCS) Railway Company in announcing Michael Abitago, Junior as the 50,000 veteran or military spouse to have been hired by a company through the Joining Forces employment efforts this past year! Abitago literally left active duty in the Army last Saturday after 4 years of service (including 2 tours in Iraq) and starts work on Monday as a Conductor-trainee. He was hired by KCS in mid-March at a Joining Forces hiring event in Ft Hood, Texas.

      And there’s even more great news. A couple of months ago when we first wanted to highlight this event, we had planned on announcing our 50,000 hire. But as we approached our visit to Shreveport we had already hit that mark. By April another 8,000 veterans and military spouses were hired. And yesterday, Mrs. Obama revealed the news that the surge in hiring pushed the number of veterans and military spouses hired through Joining Forces to 60,000!

      Through Joining Forces, American businesses have not only hired more than 60,000 veterans and military spouses to date, they have also pledged to hire at least 160,000 more in the years ahead.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/13/60000-veterans-and-military-spouses-have-been-hired-through-joining-forces-employmen

  40. Next Up…

    2:30 PM EDT
    White House Conference on Connecting the Americas
    In partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Council of the Americas, the White House Conference on Connecting the Americas is being held in the immediate lead up to the upcoming Summit of the Americas. Building off the Summit’s theme – “Connecting the Americas: Partners in Prosperity,” we aim to connect Obama Administration officials with the Latino diaspora and community business leaders to discuss the issues critical to the Hispanic community and Latin America. Only two parts of the conference will be live streamed.
    The White House

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

    • White House Conference on Connecting the Americas: Part 2

      Published on Apr 12, 2012 by whitehouse

      In partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Council of the Americas, the White House Conference on Connecting the Americas — held in the immediate lead up to the upcoming Summit of the Americas — connects Obama Administration officials with the Latino diaspora and community business leaders to discuss the issues critical to the Hispanic community and Latin America.

  41. Michelle Obama gets in a few jokes on ‘The Colbert Report’

    4/12/12 By JENNIFER EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

    First lady Michelle Obama squeezed a few jokes out of her Wednesday night appearance Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” as she marked the one-year anniversary of her Joining Forces initiative for military families.

    “Thank you for your service to your country. All Americans owe patriots like you a debt that can never be repaid. You are a true national treasure,” she said during a taped segment at the top of the show. Host Stephen Colbert thought she was directing her comments at him, but she quickly made clear that she was talking to the veteran he was interviewing.

    Colbert asked if she had anything to say to him. “Yeah, from this angle, your hair’s getting kind of thin,” Obama said.

    Later on, in a sit-down with the first lady, Colbert suggested that hiring a veteran — a key goal of Joining Forces — would help boost workplace morale. “It’s hard to be a whiner around a veteran,” Obama said.

    For the entire article: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/04/michelle-obama-gets-in-a-few-jokes-on-the-colbert-120292.html

    —————-

    The Colbert Report: 04/11/12 Recap

    Published on Apr 12, 2012 by comedycentral

    The studio is packed with Secret Service, a Marine learns pundit facial expressions, and Michelle Obama assesses Stephen’s gravitas. Watch new episodes of The Colbert Report Monday – Thursday at 1130/1030c.

  42. AFL-CIO bolsters super-PAC for general-election push

    4/12/12 By Kevin Bogardus – TheHill

    The nation’s largest labor federation is bolstering its super-PAC as the 2012 election season kicks into high gear.

    On Thursday, the AFL-CIO will announce that the Workers’ Voice super-PAC is bringing on new staff and revving up its presence online.

    Eddie Vale, a former AFL-CIO communications operative, is joining the super-PAC as communications director. Tim Tagaris, once a new-media director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), will become digital director.

    Tagaris’s hire underlines the group’s emphasis on digital political campaigning. Tagaris has helped pioneer some of the tools used in digital politics — online fundraising, Internet ads and email targeting — for Democratic campaigns at the state and national levels.

    The super-PAC plans to use email and social media to connect to voters. In addition, it will unveil a new digital organizing tool called Amicus that combines online campaigning with labor’s traditional strength in ground-game canvassing and phone banking.

    The AFL-CIO’s super-PAC was created last year. So far, the group has raised more than $3.7 million, according to Federal Election Commission records.

    For the entire article: http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/221107-afl-cio-bolsters-super-pac-for-general-election-push

  43. Rise in US exports brightens outlook for economy

    4/12/12 By MARTIN CRUTSINGER and PAUL WISEMAN | Associated Press – 8 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The outlook for U.S. economic growth is looking slightly better.

    American businesses sold a record number of goods and services in Europe, China and other foreign markets in February, while imports declined.

    Many economists began raising their forecasts for January-March growth after seeing Thursday’s government report on the lowest trade deficit since the fall.

    And the jump in exports helped drive stocks higher for a second straight day. The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 160 points, while broader indexes also increased.

    The economy still has a long way back to full health. More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the government said in separate report. That followed last week’s report that hiring slowed sharply in March after three months of strong job growth.

    The mixed economic picture, along with tame inflation cited in a third report, gives the Federal Reserve more ammunition to stick with its plan to hold interest rates near record lows when it meets later this month.

    “The underlying message is actually a good one,” said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, after the trio of reports was released. “It suggests that growth is a bit stronger.”

    The U.S. trade deficit narrowed more than 12 percent in February to $46 billion. That’s down from $52.5 billion in January, the widest deficit in three and a half years.
    Exports rose to a record $181.2 billion, while imports dropped to $227.2 billion.

    A smaller trade deficit reduces the drag on growth. More exports help the economy grow because they typically boost factory production, which can fuel more hiring and lead to greater consumer spending.

    And fewer imports subtract less from growth, largely because consumers are spending less on overseas goods and services.

    Most economists were encouraged by the trade report, as well as a report earlier this week that said wholesale businesses restocked at a faster pace in February. That also meant factories were busier because businesses anticipated more consumer spending in the months ahead.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/rise-us-exports-brightens-outlook-economy-182141720.html

    • White House Hangout: The Buffett Rule with Jason Furman

      Published on Apr 12, 2012 by whitehouse

      Jason Furman, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, answers questions about the Buffett Rule, a principle of tax fairness that would ensure no household making more than $1 million each year pays a smaller share of their income in taxes than a middle class family does. April 12, 2012.

  44. 6:00 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle delivers remarks at “Honoring Young Women from Military Families” event
    Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida

    • April 12, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady Honoring Young Women from Military Families

      Jacksonville Naval Air Station
      Jacksonville, Florida

      6:08 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Oh! (Applause.) How are you guys doing? (Applause.) You guys sit down. Rest yourselves. Are you having fun? (Applause.) There is more fun to come. I am thrilled — thrilled — to be here.

      I want to start by thanking Maddie for her poise and for introducing me not once, but twice. (Applause.) Well done, Maddie. She is amazing. She’s terrific. Very proud of her, so let’s give her another round of applause. (Applause.)

      A few other people that I want to thank. I want to thank Representative Corrine Brown, who’s here, and Mayor Alvin Brown, who are here to — joining us today. Thank you both for your leadership and being here with us.

      I also want to take a moment to recognize all of the extraordinary men and women in uniform who are here today. You’re amazing — and your amazing spouses. Yay for the spouses. Thank you for the service that you’ve given. Thank you for the sacrifices that you’ve made. You all are the very best this country has to offer, and I am thrilled that you could join us here today.

      And finally, I want to thank our guests of honor, these amazing, beautiful, well-dressed, well-put-together young women we are celebrating here today. (Applause.) And on behalf of myself and my husband, I want to tell you all truly how proud we are of you. We are so proud of you. We are inspired by you, and we are grateful for everything that you do for this country every single day. That’s why we wanted to have you here.

      You see, when we talk about how our men and women in uniform sacrifice so much and serve this country so bravely, we’re not just talking about your parents. We are not. We are talking about all of you. We’re talking about our military kids and our military families, because we know that when your parents are called to serve, you all serve right alongside them.

      When your parents get that call to pick up and move halfway across the country, you pick up and move right alongside them. And then, just when you finally get settled in, just when you’re feeling comfortable and make friends and start fitting in, what happens? That call comes again, right? And you have to start all over again and make new friends, and settle in, yet again.

      And I know that couldn’t be easy. That can’t possibly be easy for you. And I know it’s even harder when your parents are deployed, and you have to keep your spirits up through all those missed holidays, and missed birthdays, and times when you would give anything in the world to have them back home.

      And I know that some of you here will be — for you, there will be an empty seat at graduation — I know this. And for some of you, when it comes time for the prom, mom might not be there to help you pick out your dress. Dad might not be there to see you out on your date. And I know that that can’t possibly be easy either.

      But here’s something else that I know: Through it all –- through all the moves that you’ve had to make, through all those difficult moments, you all have stayed strong. I have seen it. I’ve seen it in so many kids like you across this country. You all have risen to the challenge.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/12/remarks-first-lady-honoring-young-women-military-families

  45. Travels with the First Lady: Joining Forces Anniversary

    Published on Apr 19, 2012 by whitehouse

    Welcome On Board with the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. The First Lady hit the road to mark the one year anniversary of Joining Forces, the nationwide intiative that she started with Second Lady and military mom Dr. Jill Biden. During the trip to highlight the progress the Joining Forces intiative has made in mobilizing communities to come together and provide Business, Education, and Health and Wellness opportunities to veterans and military families, The First Lady honored the Joining Forces Community Challenge winners, announced a new partnership to train 3 million nurses, stopped by The Colbert Report, celebrated the Joining Forces 50,000th hire and was joined by Ellen DeGeneres at an event honoring and recognizing the high school children of service members. http://www.joiningforces.gov

  46. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama deliver remarks on the President’s Principles of Excellence for Military, Veteran & Spouse Education Benefits at Fort Stewart, GA

    April 27, 2012

    Remarks by the President and First Lady at Fort Stewart, Georgia

    Fort Stewart
    Hinesville, Georgia

    12:45 P.M. EDT

    MRS. OBAMA: Hello, Fort Stewart! (Applause.) We are beyond thrilled — beyond thrilled — to be with all of you today. And before I get started, there’s just one thing I want to say, and that is, hooah!

    AUDIENCE: Hooah!

    MRS. OBAMA: Did I do that right?

    AUDIENCE: Hooah!

    MRS. OBAMA: All right, good. (Laughter.) Phew.

    I want to start by thanking Sergeant Marshall for that very kind introduction and for sharing his story with us today. And I want to thank all of you — our men and women in uniform, our veterans and your extraordinary families. (Applause.) Absolutely. For the families, yes! (Applause.)

    One of my greatest privileges as First Lady has been meeting folks like you on bases and communities all across this country. And I always say this, but I can never say it enough: I am in awe of you. I’m in awe of how many of you signed up to defend our country in a time of war, serving heroically through deployment after deployment. I’m in awe of your families — the spouses who run their households all alone, the kids who step up at home and succeed at school and stay strong through all the challenges they face. With their service, they make your service possible.

    And I’m also in awe of our veterans — (applause) — because I know that your service doesn’t end when you hang up your uniform. For so many of you, your whole life is a tour of duty, and as you become leaders in our communities and continue to give back to our country, you keep serving. And like so many Americans, the more I’ve learned about the sacrifices you all make, the more I wanted to find a way to express my gratitude, and that’s — not just with words, but with action.

    And that’s why last year Jill Biden and I started Joining Forces. It’s a nationwide campaign to recognize, honor and support our veterans, our troops and our military families. And I have to tell you, we had barely even finished announcing this campaign when we were inundated with offers to help. I mean, so many people wanted to step up and show their appreciation that we hardly knew where to begin.

    In our first year alone, more than 1,600 businesses hired more than 60,000 veterans, and they pledged to hire at least 170,000 more in the coming years. (Applause.) National associations of doctors and nurses representing millions of health professionals are working to improve treatment for post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. We’ve had TV shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Sesame Street; organizations like NASCAR and Disney — they’re working to share the stories of our military families with the rest of the country. And these are just a few examples out of thousands all across the country.

    So if I can leave you with just one message today, I want you all to know that America does have your backs. And we are just getting started. We are going to keep at this. We’re going to keep on working every day to serve all of you as well as you have served this country.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/27/remarks-president-and-first-lady-fort-stewart-georgia

    • April 26, 2012

      We Can’t Wait: President Obama Takes Action to Stop Deceptive and Misleading Practices by Educational Institutions that Target Veterans, Service Members and their Families

      On Friday, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will visit Fort Stewart in Georgia where the President will sign an Executive Order to help ensure all of America’s service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members have the information they need to make informed educational decisions and are protected from aggressive and deceptive targeting by educational institutions. We have a sacred trust with those who serve and protect our nation. It’s a commitment that begins at enlistment, and it must never end. That’s why President Obama is committed to ensuring veterans and service members have the chance to get a college education and can find work when they return from service.

      Since the Post-9/11 GI Bill became law, there have been reports of aggressive and deceptive targeting of service members, veterans, and their families by educational institutions, particularly for-profit career colleges. For example, some institutions have recruited veterans with serious brain injuries and emotional vulnerabilities without providing academic support and counseling; encouraged service members, veterans, and their families to take out costly institutional loans rather than encouraging them to apply for Federal student aid first; engaged in misleading recruiting practices on military installations; and have not disclosed meaningful information that allows potential students to determine whether the institution has a good record of graduating service members, veterans, and their families and positioning them for success in the workforce.

      Members of Congress have introduced legislation to address these issues, but the Administration believes we must do all we can administratively to protect veterans from these deceptive practices by improving the quality of information and services that these schools must provide. These steps will help ensure that Federal military and veteran education dollars are well spent. Today’s Executive Order will apply to a variety of military and veteran education benefits, including the GI Bill, Tuition Assistance Program, and Military Spouse Career Advancement Account Program (MyCAA).

      Today’s Executive Order will:

      • Help Ensure Military and Veteran Students Have the Information They Need

      • Keep Bad Actors Off of Military Installations

      • Crack Down on Improper Online Recruiting Practices

      • Provide Veterans with a Complaint System

      • Improve Support Services for Service Members and Veterans

      • Provide Students with Better Data on Educational Institutions

      • Strengthen Enforcement of Student Protections

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/26/we-can-t-wait-president-obama-takes-action-stop-deceptive-and-misleading

    • April 27, 2012

      Executive Order — Establishing Principles of Excellence for Educational Institutions Serving Service Members, Veterans, Spouses, and Other Family Members

      EXECUTIVE ORDER
      – – – – – – –
      ESTABLISHING PRINCIPLES OF EXCELLENCE FOR EDUCATIONAL
      INSTITUTIONS SERVING SERVICE MEMBERS, VETERANS, SPOUSES,
      AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS

      By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to ensure that Federal military and veterans educational benefits programs are providing service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members with the information, support, and protections they deserve, it is hereby ordered as follows:

      Section 1. Policy. The original GI Bill, approved just weeks after D-Day, educated nearly 8 million Americans and helped transform this Nation. We owe the same obligations to this generation of service men and women as was afforded that previous one. This is the promise of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (title V, Public Law 110-252) (Post-9/11 GI Bill) and the continued provision of educational benefits in the Department of Defense’s Tuition Assistance Program (10 U.S.C. 2007): to provide our service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members the opportunity to pursue a high-quality education and gain the skills and training they need to fill the jobs of tomorrow.

      Since the Post-9/11 GI Bill became law, there have been reports of aggressive and deceptive targeting of service members, veterans, and their families by some educational institutions. For example, some institutions have recruited veterans with serious brain injuries and emotional vulnerabilities without providing academic support and counseling; encouraged service members and veterans to take out costly institutional loans rather than encouraging them to apply for Federal student loans first; engaged in misleading recruiting practices on military installations; and failed to disclose meaningful information that allows potential students to determine whether the institution has a good record of graduating service members, veterans, and their families and positioning them for success in the workforce.

      To ensure our service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members have the information they need to make informed decisions concerning their well-earned Federal military and veterans educational benefits, I am directing my Administration to develop Principles of Excellence to strengthen oversight, enforcement, and accountability within these benefits programs.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/27/executive-order-establishing-principles-excellence-educational-instituti

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