Earth Day 2012

Earth Day is April 22

Environmental Action means taking the simple steps in the place where we live. By choosing to act on five or more of these ideas you are joining thousands of others who are doing all they can to be a good and responsible citizen of the world.


Environmental Action You Can Take:



National Environmental Groups Endorse President Obama

April 18, 2012

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, four of the nation’s largest environmental groups representing nearly 4 million Americans endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election. Jointly announcing their endorsement for the first time in history, the Sierra Club, Environment America, the League of Conservation Voters, and Clean Water Action praised the President as the clear choice to protect clean air, clean water, and the health of American families.

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club:

“The Sierra Club and our 1.4 million members and supporters share the same vision for America as the President for a prosperous and innovative economy that protects the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the health of our families. Together, we can build upon the historic successes of the last four years, including landmark fuel efficiency standards and the first-ever protections against toxic mercury pollution, to build a clean energy economy that creates thousands of new jobs and works for every American.”

Margie Alt, Executive Director, Environment America:

“When we look at the record, we see that in just three plus years President Obama has accomplished more for the environment and our families’ health than at any point since the benchmark laws to protect our air and water were passed more than 40 years ago. Four years ago we had hope, now we have evidence that Barack Obama is the right choice for the environment.”

Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters:

“Elections are about choices – and for those who care about building a clean energy economy and confronting the climate crisis, the choice is clear: President Obama is an environmental champion and Mitt Romney is climate denier. While President Obama has fought to put Americans back in control of our energy future, Mitt Romney and his Big Oil buddies would take us back to the failed dirty energy policies of the past.”

Bob Wendelgass, President and CEO, Clean Water Action:

“This election, we can either continue moving forward to build a future of clean water and clean jobs, or we can go back forty years to a time when rivers caught on fire and the air in most cities was unhealthy to breathe. Like President Obama, Clean Water Action and most Americans understand that strong environmental protections are essential ingredients for both healthy communities and a healthy economy.”



104 thoughts on “Earth Day 2012

  1. WH

    Friday, April 20, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:15 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
    Oval Office

    10:45 AM
    President Obama meets with senior advisors.
    Oval Office

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    Vice President Biden attends a campaign fundraiser in Santa Barbara, Calif.
    Local Event Time: 9:00 AM PT
    California, Santa Barbara

    12:30 PM
    U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join Press Secretary Jay Carney to discuss the Administration’s efforts to urge Congress to prevent the interest rate on student loans from doubling in July

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    3:35 PM
    The President signs a proclamation designating Fort Ord a national monument

    4:00 PM
    4:45 PM
    President Obama welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House.
    South Lawn

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

    • POTUS podium

      April 20, 2012

      9:00 AM EDT
      Rotary International Community Leaders Briefing

      12:30 PM EDT
      White House Champions of Change: Honoring Rotary International Members

      12:30 PM EDT
      U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join Press Secretary Jay Carney to discuss the Administration’s efforts to urge Congress to prevent the interest rate on student loans from doubling in July

      3:30 PM EDT
      White House Office Hours: Jumpstart our Business Startups (JOBS) Act with Todd Park, Assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

      4:45 PM EDT
      President Obama welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House.



      9:00 AM EDT
      Zimmerman bond hearing
      George Zummerman, who’s charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, has a bond hearing in Florida.

      12:30 PM EDT
      U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join Press Secretary Jay Carney to discuss the Administration’s efforts to urge Congress to prevent the interest rate on student loans from doubling in July

      4:45 PM EDT
      President Obama welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House.



      8:45 AM EDT
      Center for Global Development: Sustainable Energy Development

      12:30 PM EDT
      State Department briefing
      The State Department holds a briefing with reporters. Topics expected to be discussed include the situations in North Korea, Syria and Afghanistan.

      12:30 PM EDT
      U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join Press Secretary Jay Carney to discuss the Administration’s efforts to urge Congress to prevent the interest rate on student loans from doubling in July

      1:00 PM EDT
      National Community Reinvestment Coalition: Panel Discussion on the Housing Market

    • EnergySavers,gov

      Consumers can find financial assistance for energy efficient purchases and improvements in the form of tax credits, rebates, and energy-efficient financing.’

      * Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency
      Learn how you can take advantage of federal tax credits for your energy efficient purchases and improvements. For information on state and local tax credits, see State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.

      * Rebates for ENERGY STAR Appliances
      Rebates for ENERGY STAR Appliances will be available from your state in late 2009 or early 2010. Find out how the program will work and how you can apply.

      * Energy-Efficient Mortgages and Financing
      Learn about your options for energy-efficient financing programs, including mortgages to home improvement loans.

    • Your Home

      Your home uses energy every day, all day long. It uses energy to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It uses energy to provide you with light when you need it. It uses energy to provide you with hot water. And it uses energy to run all of your appliances and home electronics.

      Here you can learn how to use the energy in your home more efficiently. You can also learn how to use renewable energy to provide your home with electricity, heating, cooling, and water heating.

      Save energy in your apartment and reduce your utility bills.

      Appliances and Electronics
      Reduce the energy your appliances and electronics consume in your home.

      Design and Remodeling
      Create a home that consumes less energy and uses renewable energy.

      Reduce your electricity use, buy clean electricity, or make your own using renewable energy.

      Energy Assessments
      Assess your home’s energy use and loss to learn how to make it more energy efficient.

      Insulation and Air Sealing
      Improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort through proper insulation and air sealing techniques.

      Design your landscape to help lower your heating and cooling costs.

      Lighting and Daylighting
      Incorporate energy-efficient lighting and daylighting strategies into your home to reduce electricity costs.

      Space Heating and Cooling
      Minimize your utility costs using energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

      Water Heating
      Improve your water heating efficiency to reduce energy costs.

      Windows, Doors and Skylights
      Lower your heating, cooling, and lighting costs using energy-efficient fenestration.

      To learn more visit

    • US Governmental Departments Join Together To Protect Rivers, Streams and Lakes

      Secretary Vilsack Signs Historic Agreement with EPA and State of Minnesota Encouraging Farmers to Protect Rivers, Streams and Lakes


      ST. PAUL, Minn., – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Minnesota to develop a new state program for farmers designed to increase the voluntary adoption of conservation practices that protect local rivers, streams and other waters by reducing fertilizer run-off and soil erosion. Through this partnership producers, who undertake a substantial level of conservation activities to reduce nutrient run-off and erosion, will receive assurance from the state that their farms will meet Minnesota’s water quality standards and goals during the life of the agreement. Vilsack, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson signed the MOU during a ceremony in the Minnesota Capitol.

      “Establishment of this program will protect our water resources by providing assurances and incentives to participating farmers that their good deeds – their strong commitment to conservation – will be recognized,” Vilsack said. “Farmers will know the rules of the game while the state, EPA and the public will know that this program will lead to cleaner water.”

      “Clean, healthy waters are essential to the health of our people and to our nation’s farmers,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “I believe that local conservation efforts, like those supported through this MOU, are among the most effective means for improving water quality in our nation.”

      For the entire article:

    • Invest in a Clean Energy Future by Ending Fossil Fuels Subsidies

      Megan Slack March 26, 2012 10:38 AM EDT

      Earlier this month, President Obama called on Congress to repeal the $4 billion annual subsidies we give to oil companies, and they are scheduled to do so today.

      Congress “can either stand up for oil companies, or they can stand up for the American people,” the President said in a recent Weekly Address. “They can either place their bets on a fossil fuel from the last century, or they can place their bets on America’s future.”

      Investing in an all-of-the-above energy strategy—one that relies on domestically produced oil and gas, clean renewable resources like wind and solar power, and new technologies that help us use less energy altogether—requires the putting the right incentives in place.

      Instead of subsidizing the fossil fuels of the last century by giving away $4 billion of taxpayer money each year to oil companies that are more profitable than ever, we should be investing in a clean energy future–especially when gas prices are high and drivers, whose budgets are already stretched thin, are feeling the pain at the pump.

      For the entire article:

      • All-of-the-above energy strategy = saving money and energy, creating jobs in new industries, protecting the environment and strengthening our national security.

    • April 18, 2012

      Maggie Kao, Sierra Club

      Mike Palamuso, LCV

      Jon Scott, Clean Water Action

      Ivan Frishberg, Environment America

      National Environmental Groups Endorse President Obama

      (Washington, D.C.) – Today, four of the nation’s largest environmental groups representing nearly 4 million Americans endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election. Jointly announcing their endorsement for the first time in history, the Sierra Club, Environment America, the League of Conservation Voters, and Clean Water Action praised the President as the clear choice to protect clean air, clean water, and the health of American families.


      Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club:

      “The Sierra Club and our 1.4 million members and supporters share the same vision for America as the President for a prosperous and innovative economy that protects the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the health of our families. Together, we can build upon the historic successes of the last four years, including landmark fuel efficiency standards and the first-ever protections against toxic mercury pollution, to build a clean energy economy that creates thousands of new jobs and works for every American.”


      Margie Alt, Executive Director, Environment America:

      “When we look at the record, we see that in just three plus years President Obama has accomplished more for the environment and our families’ health than at any point since the benchmark laws to protect our air and water were passed more than 40 years ago. Four years ago we had hope, now we have evidence that Barack Obama is the right choice for the environment.”


      Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters:

      “Elections are about choices – and for those who care about building a clean energy economy and confronting the climate crisis, the choice is clear: President Obama is an environmental champion and Mitt Romney is climate denier. While President Obama has fought to put Americans back in control of our energy future, Mitt Romney and his Big Oil buddies would take us back to the failed dirty energy policies of the past.”


      Bob Wendelgass, President and CEO, Clean Water Action:

      “This election, we can either continue moving forward to build a future of clean water and clean jobs, or we can go back forty years to a time when rivers caught on fire and the air in most cities was unhealthy to breathe. Like President Obama, Clean Water Action and most Americans understand that strong environmental protections are essential ingredients for both healthy communities and a healthy economy.”


    • Watch Live: Be a Virtual Ocean Explorer

      Ari Isaacman Astles April 19, 2012 10:00 AM EDT

      Have you ever wanted to dive deep beneath the ocean’s surface? Discover a sunken shipwreck? Watch sea cucumbers dance and crabs scurry amongst deep corals? Or witness as scientists make new discoveries? Here is your chance.

      The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) invites you to join an expedition to explore deep-sea habitats and marine life in the northern Gulf of Mexico LIVE from the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, America’s Ship for Ocean Exploration. Advancing our understanding of the largely unknown ocean through exploration and research via expeditions such as this is directly in line with President Obama’s draft Ocean Policy Implementation Plan.

      Using satellite and high-speed Internet pathways, live seafloor video is streamed to scientists around the world. Scientists can follow along, providing input and helping to guide the expedition. These same live video feeds are available online 24/7, so that anyone, anywhere can follow the exploration.

      Despite their importance to our nation as a source for economic and natural resources, we know very little about deep-water habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of the current Okeanos Explorer expedition is to help reduce that large unknown, by mapping and imaging features and creatures that may never have been seen before. During the expedition, scientists have already observed and documented previously unexplored shipwrecks, and deep-sea corals and associated communities of life. They will continue to explore through and are also testing methods to measure the rate that gas rises from seeps in the seafloor.

      To learn more about the expedition, you can access mission logs, daily updates, photos and video clips, maps, and educational materials. You can also follow the expedition on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to keep up-to-date on the latest dive plans, operations, and discoveries.

      So get ready to dive in and be a virtual ocean explorer. Between now and April 28, watch live as scientists explore the unknown, potentially encountering shipwrecks, coral, fish, gaseous seeps, and fascinating ocean ecosystems, and prepare to witness active scientific exploration and discovery of America’s underwater territory.


      NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: Gulf of Mexico 2012, Deep-Sea Marine Life

      Published on Apr 18, 2012 by oceanexplorergov
      From March to April 2012, a team of scientists and technicians both at-sea and on shore will conduct exploratory investigations on the diversity and distribution of deep-sea habitats and marine life in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The video footage was captured by the Little Hercules ROV and Seirios Camera Sled platform during the April 3rd ROV dive.

      Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico Expedition 2012.

    • Backyard Wildlife Habitat

      Backyard Wildlife Habitat is a program of the National Wildlife Federation that encourages homeowners in the United States to manage their gardens and yards as a wildlife garden, with the goal of maintaining healthy and diverse animal habitats and ecosystems. The program began in 1973, by 1998 was known to have impacted more than 21000 yards, and as of 2006 has certified over 60,000 ‘backyards.


      To be a certified “Backyard Wildlife Habitat”, a garden or yard, or any outdoor space from a balcony up to a multi-acre tract of land, must offer food, water, shelter, and a place for raising young to beneficial insects or animals. Over time the Federation has introduced variants or expansions of the program for schoolyards and for communities.

      In order for a back yard to be certified as a “Backyard Wildlife Habitat” by the National Wildlife Federation, the space must do all of the following: provide food, water, cover, a place to raise young, and be maintained in a way that has a positive effect o n the health of the soil, air, water, and habitat for native wildlife. More specifically, the presence of native forbs, shrubs, and trees is necessary to provide food. Water can be supplied by natural features such as a streams, ponds, or wetlands, or by human-made features such as bird baths. Native vegetation can also provide cover and places for wildlife to raise their young, as can brush piles or dead trees. With all of these features in place, it is crucial that the land be cared for thoughtfully and as naturally as possible. Avoid the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, reduce the area that turf grass occupies, utilize mulch obtained from sustainable forestry practices, and minimize water use in order to maintain the integrity of the soil, air, and water in and outside of the habitat.

      For the entire article:

      • Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat

        Whether you have an apartment balcony or a 20-acre farm, you can create a garden that attracts beautiful wildlife and helps restore habitat in commercial and residential areas. By providing food, water, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young you not only help wildlife, but you also qualify to become an official Certified Wildlife Habitat®.

        How to Create a Wildlife-Friendly Garden

        * Provide Food for Wildlife
        * Supply Water for Wildlife
        * Create Cover for Wildlife
        * Give Wildlife a Place to Raise Their Young
        * Ready…Set…Certify!

        For the entire article:

        • Good stuff. We have some native plants that provide berries for birds and flowers for butterflies and hummingbirds. I noticed last year that we had very few bees, but have already seen a couple in recent warmish days so maybe they’ll be back this summer.

    • April 20, 2012

      Presidential Proclamation — Earth Day

      EARTH DAY, 2012



      On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans came together to celebrate the first Earth Day. Students, teachers, activists, elected officials, and countless others challenged our Nation to confront our most urgent environmental issues and rallied around a single message: the success of future generations depends upon how we act today. As we commemorate Earth Day this year, we reflect on the challenges that remain before us and recommit to the spirit of togetherness and shared responsibility that galvanized a movement 42 years ago.

      America rose to meet the call to action in the months and years that followed the first Earth Day. We passed the Clean Air, Clean Water, Endangered Species, and Marine Mammal Protection Acts; founded the Environmental Protection Agency; and ignited a spirit of stewardship that has driven progress for over four decades. Today, our air and water are cleaner, pollution has been greatly reduced, and Americans everywhere are living in a healthier environment.

      While we have made remarkable progress in protecting our health and our natural heritage, we know our work is not yet finished. Last July, my Administration proposed the toughest fuel economy standards in our Nation’s history — standards that will save families money at the pump, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and significantly reduce our dependence on oil. In December, we finalized the first-ever national standards to limit mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants, helping safeguard the health of millions. We have taken action to protect and restore our Nation’s precious ecosystems, from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes. And we continue to make landmark investments in batteries, biofuels, and renewable energy that are unlocking American innovation and ensuring our Nation stays on the cutting edge. Our country is on the path to economic recovery and renewal, and moving forward, my Administration will continue to fight for a healthy environment every step of the way.

      As we work to leave our children a safe, sustainable future, we must also equip them with the tools they need to take on tomorrow’s environmental challenges. Supporting environmental literacy and a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math for every student will help ensure our youth have the skills and knowledge to advance our clean energy economy. Last year, we launched the Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award to encourage more schools to pursue sustainability, foster health and wellness, and integrate environmental literacy into the curriculum. In the days ahead, we look forward to awarding the first Green Ribbons and recognizing the accomplishments of green schools across our country.

      For the entire article:

    • Protecting the Air You Breathe

      Megan Slack April 22, 2012 03:00 PM EDT

      To better protect the health of American families and the air they breathe, the Obama Administration has issued landmark clean air standards that will save lives by cleaning up air pollution in communities across the country.

      The Administration has established first-ever national limits for mercury, arsenic, and other toxic air pollution from power plants; put in place a program that will slash smog and soot-forming pollution from power plants that cross state lines and create health problems in downwind areas; and taken common-sense steps to limit mercury and other pollutants for the largest sources of industrial air pollution, including cement plants, industrial boilers, and waste incinerators.

      These clean air standards will provide enormous public health benefits: each year, they will avert tens of thousands of premature deaths, prevent tens of thousands of heart attacks and hospital visits, and alleviate hundreds of thousands of childhood asthma attacks.

      The Administration has also proposed the first national standard for carbon pollution from new power plants under the Clean Air Act, which will ensure that the next generation of power plants employ widely available, American-made technologies to produce electricity more cleanly and efficiently.

    • Eco-friendly green burials catching on in the U.S.

      February 15, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Johnson

      GAINESVILLE, Florida (Reuters) – After a two-year battle with cancer, Joseph Fitzgerald was determined to leave his final resting place to Mother Nature.

      On a quiet February day in rural Florida, Fitzgerald’s body was carried through the Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery on a bamboo stretcher made by family members.

      In an ecologically approved “green burial,” he was laid to rest on a plot of land surrounded by oak trees and Spanish moss he picked out just months before his passing in a grave that was dug by hand just two days prior.

      Green burial options have become a small but growing trend in the U.S. funeral industry, with an increasing number of funeral homes offering eco-friendly services and about 30 green cemeteries across the country, according to the Green Burial Council, or GBC, a non-profit organization operating in the United States, Canada and Australia.

      The most recent survey conducted by funeral industry publishers Kates-Boylston Publications in 2008 found that 43 percent of respondents said that they would consider a green burial. That was a significant increase from the 21 percent who expressed curiosity about green burials in an AARP study conducted the previous year.

      “There is a movement toward it, but it’s gaining traction very slowly,” said Jim Ford, vice president of operations at Neptune Society, the largest cremation-only funeral company in the United States. The firm also offers green burials at sea on a reef off Miami.

      At Prairie Creek, there have been 43 whole body natural burials, 14 cremated remains burials and 10 pet burials since it opened in late July of 2010, with another 197 future burial bookings.

      “It’s so much more natural and simple,” said David Gold, 64, a dental hygienist who plans to be buried at Prairie Creek. “It’s harmonious. It puts things (funeral plans) back in people’s control.”

      Freddie Johnson, the executive director of Conservation Burial, the non-profit organization that runs Prairie Creek, says he has noticed an increase in interest.

      “The biggest hurdle is getting the awareness of these choices and having choices in the proximity of where people are,” he said.
      People who choose green burials don’t use concrete vaults, traditional coffins with metalwork or any embalming chemicals.

      Instead, the body is wrapped in biodegradable shrouds or placed in a pine coffin and laid to rest where it can decompose and become part of the earth.

      Other options are available for green caskets, often called ecoffins. These coffins can be made of bamboo, pine, woven willow, recycled cardboard and even cord from dried banana plants. They range in cost from $500 to $1,000, depending on the material.

      For more:

      New Yosemite Blanket to Raise Funds for National Park Foundation

      YOSEMITE, Calf./PORTLAND, Ore One of our country’s oldest national treasures, Yosemite National Park, is the subject of a new addition to the famous Pendleton’s National Park Series Blankets this spring. Developed to honor the park, the new Yosemite Park Blanket also will help support it.

      Pendleton Woolen Mills and the National Park Foundation (NPF) jointly announce today the launch of the Yosemite National Park Blanket. Sales from the blanket will support the National Park Foundation. This blanket is the newest addition to the park series blankets available through NPF, the congressionally chartered and official non-profit partner of the National Park Service.

      “Pendleton, a time-honored and classic company, is an ideal partner of our national parks. The National Park Foundation is honored to partner with Pendleton, whose endearing history and conservation vision symbolize the lasting strength between Americans and their national parks.,” says Jill Nicoll, National Park Foundation acting president. “The program with Pendleton offers us a creative way to earn substantial dollars through the sale of one of our country’s timeless products, the Pendleton wool blanket.”

      Pendleton has offered their National Park Series (a collection of seven blankets, each representing a National Park) since the early 1900s. The historic striped markings and colors date back to the frontier trading posts. Traders would indicate the weight of the blanket offered in exchange for furs by holding up one finger for each pound. The original blankets incorporated three, four or five black stripes in the design, which indicated the value of the blanket.


      National Park Foundation

      Shop & Support

    • April 19, 2012

      Vice President Biden to Travel to Everglades National Park

      Washington, D.C. – On Monday, April 23, 2012, Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Everglades National Park in Miami-Dade County, Florida, to discuss the Administration’s efforts to restore the Everglades. Additional details are forthcoming.

    • April 20, 2012

      Presidential Proclamation — National Park Week, 2012




      When President Theodore Roosevelt first took office over a century ago, he embarked on a tour of the American West that would change his life and the life of our Nation forever. He traveled from Yellowstone’s geysers, to Yosemite’s granite cliffs, to Dakota’s Badlands, ever moved by the natural wonders of which he and all Americans were proud inheritors. As he explored wild country, he heard a call to preserve our country’s heritage that echoed throughout our forests and river valleys. He remarked of the Grand Canyon, “the ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”

      From that sense of commitment sprang five National Parks, 18 National Monuments, 51 Federal bird reservations, and 150 National Forests. From that commitment sprang an effort to save the great Redwoods of California and the Petrified Forest of Arizona, the great bird rocks of the Aleutian Islands and the Tongass of Alaska. President Roosevelt inspired a breathtaking legacy of conservation that has forever enriched our lives, and in the decades since his historic journey, millions have worked to build on his enduring mission. When the fate of our lands and waters has been cast into doubt, they have taken the long view that as Americans and as inhabitants of this one small planet, it is up to us to preserve our national heritage for our children, grandchildren, and for the generations to come.

      That spirit drives my Administration today. Since I took office, we have set aside more than 2 million acres of Federal wilderness and thousands of miles of trails and rivers under the Omnibus Public Land Management Act. Last November, I was proud to establish the Fort Monroe National Monument, forever enshrining a site of profound historical and cultural significance. Today, I designated Fort Ord as a National Monument that will not only protect one of the crown jewels of California’s coast a world class destination for hikers, mountain bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts but also honor the heroism and dedication of men and women who served our Nation during the major conflicts of the 20th century. And with the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, we continue to advance a smarter, more community-driven conservation and recreation strategy. We are partnering with cities and States to make it easier for families to spend time outside no matter where they live, and we are working to create jobs, boost rural economies, and increase tourism by enhancing public lands that draw travelers from across the globe. To celebrate National Park Week, all 397 National Parks will offer free admission from April 21 through April 29, 2012. I encourage every American to visit to find a nearby park and discover the land passed down to us by our forebears.

      For the entire article:

  2. Joe Biden to Visit Montecito

    Apr 12, 2012, 1:00 PM By Richard Mineards- edhat

    Vice President Joe Biden is making his first official visit to Montecito. Biden, 69, will be winging into Santa Barbara Airport on Air Force 2 on Friday, April 20, according to Montecito Journal columnist Richard Mineards.

    He will spend much of his day attending a stellar event hosted by Nancy Koppelman, a member of the president’s National Finance Committee, and her husband, Larry.

    Rather than being at the Koppelman’s oceanside home, a top secret location has been chosen for the bash, given the Secret Service considered their house “too exposed” for security purposes.

    For the entire article:

  3. Wounded Warrior Talks About Upcoming Soldier Ride

    April 12, 2012 wbaltv

    BALTIMORE — Wounded soldiers returning to civilian life after spending time overseas are getting help readjusting in the form of a bike ride set to happen in Washington, D.C., later this month.

    Retired Staff Sgt. David Weiner talked with 11 News about the Wounded Warrior Project and the upcoming Soldier Ride.

    Weiner was wounded in August 2004 when he fell in full gear about 5-7 feet off the back of a Chinook helicopter.

    “That included the rucksack that had a metal frame on it. When I fell, I kind of fell like a turtle, so the frame pretty much pushed into my lumbar (back area) and my neck, as well,” Weiner said. “I kind of just kept soldiering on, but it wasn’t until about six months later that my whole spine locked up.”

    He said he eventually went to a chiropractor and received medical treatment. He said he had to re-enlist to get the treatment he needed, and he eventually had a lower lumbar spine fusion.

    With the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, set to happen in D.C. April 18-21, Weiner said all the wounded warriors will get fitted with custom bikes. The ride gives them good cardiovascular exercise, as well as helps them get readjusted to civilian life and deal with their injuries.

    Weiner said it’s rewarding to be part of the project because he can pass along the help he’s gotten.
    “Where I was before and where I am now are two different stories,” he said. “When I had my back surgery, I lost mobility, but now — for me — I get the joy of helping others.”

    Weiner has a 15-month-old child and will graduate from college soon. He said he will be using a hand cycle in the race.

  4. StartUp America

    3 Day Startup

    The idea of 3 Day Startup is simple: start a technology company over the course of three days. We rent work space for an entire weekend, recruit 40 students with a wide range of backgrounds, cater food and drinks, invite top-notch entrepreneurs and investors, pick the best idea for a software startup during the Friday brainstorming session, and release a minimal prototype by Sunday night. The goal is to build enough momentum among a network of motivated people to sustain the company beyond the weekend. Sponsored by StartUp America

    Participants: Passionate students with an entrepreneurial drive, including Computer Science (PhD, MS, undergraduate), MBAs, law students, graphic designers, PR, business undergraduates, etc.

    April 20-22, 2012

    Hive at 55, 55 Broad Street
    New York City, NY

    For more information:

  5. White House Office Hours: Jumpstart our Business Startups (JOBS) Act

    Erin Lindsay April 19, 2012 01:48 PM EDT

    Earlier this month, President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act making it easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to obtain much needed access to capital. Tomorrow April 20th at 3:30 pm EDT join us for a special session of Office Hours with Todd Park, Assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) who will answer your questions about how the JOBS Act will help Main Street small businesses and high-growth enterprises to raise capital from investors more efficiently, and allow small and young firms across the country to grow and hire faster. You can ask your question on Twitter using the hashtag WHChat.

    The President believes that our small businesses and startups are driving the recovery and job creation and the JOBS Act includes new ways to encourage small business and startup investment by allowing for “crowdfunding,” expanding “mini-public offerings,” and creating an “IPO on-ramp” consistent with investor protections.

    • Allowing Small Businesses to Harness “Crowdfunding”: The Internet already has been a tool for fundraising from many thousands of donors. Subject to rulemaking by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), startups and small businesses will be allowed to raise up to $1 million annually from many small-dollar investors through web-based platforms, democratizing access to capital.

    • Expanding “Mini Public Offerings”: Prior to this legislation, the existing “Regulation A” exemption from certain SEC requirements for small businesses seeking to raise less than $5 million in a public offering was seldom used. The JOBS Act will raise this threshold to $50 million, streamlining the process for smaller innovative companies to raise capital consistent with investor protections.

    • Creating an “IPO On-Ramp”: The JOBS Act makes it easier for young, high-growth firms to go public by providing an incubator period for a new class of “Emerging Growth Companies.” During this period, qualifying companies will have time to reach compliance with certain public company disclosure and auditing requirements after their initial public offering (IPO). Any firm that goes public already has up to two years after its IPO to comply with certain Sarbanes-Oxley auditing requirements. The JOBS Act extends that period to a maximum of five years, or less if during the on-ramp period a company achieves $1 billion in gross revenue, $700 million in public float, or issues more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt in the previous three years

    Have a question about the JOBS Act? Want know more about crowdfunding? Join us this Friday, April 20th at 3:30 p.m. EDT, for a session of Office Hours on Twitter with Todd Park, Assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) . Ask your question now using the hashtag #WHChat.

    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 through the @WHLive Twitter account
    * If you miss the live session, the full session will be posted on and

    So, stop by for Office Hours at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 20th with Todd Park and be sure to follow @WhiteHouse on twitter for the latest news and more opportunities to engage.

  6. Turning the Unemployment Program into a Reemployment Program

    Secretary Hilda Solis April 19, 2012 05:15 PM EDT

    Two months ago, the President signed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. That legislation extended the vital payroll tax cut and federal unemployment insurance programs that have been so crucial for American families and to the continued and sustained economic recovery. But it also included several important reforms to the Unemployment Insurance system that didn’t grab the headlines the day it passed.

    The Obama Administration is committed to finding new and innovative ways to turn the unemployment system into a reemployment system. States, as laboratories of democracy, can play a crucial role in developing creative strategies that help us accomplish this goal in ways that may inform the policies of other states and the federal government in the future.

    Today, I had the privilege to announce guidance to states interested in developing demonstration projects to help their unemployed obtain jobs faster and more efficiently. These demonstrations are a key component in the first major overhaul of the Unemployment Insurance system in decades.

    Through this initiative, 10 states will have the opportunity to develop new and creative ways to help recipients of UI funds get back to work faster. These states will design programs that help the unemployed get back to work, while lowering costs and ensuring that all participants receive the same worker protections. This will create a level playing field for employers who follow the rules and have their employees’ welfare in mind.

    The Labor Department is preparing to announce more guidance in the coming months that further improve the functionality of the UI system. These reforms will provide states with more flexibility to respond to changes in the economy, provide employers tools to avoid layoffs, help the unemployed get back into the workforce faster and even expand opportunities for the unemployed to start their own businesses.

  7. YES! Love this topic, CR. I’m going to make a cup of coffee and start reading!

  8. Strong railroad profits show US economy growing

    4/19/12 By JOSH FUNK | Associated Press – 1 hr 21 mins ago

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Strong earnings reports from two of the nation’s biggest freight railroads show that the U.S. economy is continuing its long, slow recovery.

    Union Pacific Corp. said Thursday its first-quarter net income jumped 35 percent as the railroad hauled more cars and crude oil. CSX said earlier this week that its net income jumped 14 percent. Both railroads were hauling more containers of consumer goods and both were able to increase rates enough to offset a decline in coal shipments after a mild winter.

    “The economy is stable and slowly growing,” said Jack Koraleski, Union Pacific’s president and CEO. “We’re seeing some generally positive trends.”

    Many people will be encouraged by the reports because the major freight railroads are considered indicators of the nation’s economic health. The amount of cars, chemicals, crops, lumber and containers of imported goods that railroads carry across the country offer insight into those industries.

    “The railroad is a good leading indicator of how the economy will do,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University.

    Both Union Pacific and CSX reported a drop in coal shipments. Winter weather was mild and prices for natural gas, an alternative for power generation, are around 10-year lows. UP’s energy shipments declined 8 percent, and CSX reported a 14 percent drop in its coal shipments.

    But shipments of more economically sensitive items like cars, lumber, industrial products and crude oil all increased in the quarter. That led officials at both Union Pacific and CSX to express confidence that their companies could offset the decline in coal shipments this year with growth in other areas of their business.

    The 15 percent jump in automotive shipments that Union Pacific reported was particularly encouraging.

    That figure reflects the 13 percent increase in sales of cars and trucks in the first quarter. Analysts are predicting sales of 14.5 million or more this year, which would be the industry’s best performance since 2007.

    Sohn said the railroads’ strong performance, combined with data on trucking and port traffic, all suggest the economy is doing just fine.

    “They all indicate that the economy is moving in the right direction,” Sohn said.

    That’s the trend railroad officials have been seeing although Koraleski said he worries that sustained high gasoline prices could slow the economic recovery.

    The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.89, up 62 cents since Jan. 1.

    The U.S. government issues its initial estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product a week from Friday. Economists estimate the economy grew around 2.5 percent in the first three months of the year.

    Omaha-based Union Pacific said Thursday that it generated $863 million in net income, or $1.79 per share, in the quarter that ended March 31. That’s up from $639 million, or $1.29 per share, a year earlier.

    UP, which is the nation’s largest railroad, said it increased prices on many shipments and collected more fuel surcharge fees during the quarter to boost its revenue 14 percent to $5.11 billion.

    CSX said price increases helped it increase profits 14 percent to $449 million, or 43 cents per share, in the first quarter. That’s up from $395 million, or 35 cents per share, a year ago.

    Both railroads exceeded what Wall Street had been expecting.

    For the entire article;–finance.html


    Romney’s misfire on plant closings

    Apr 19, 2012 4:26 PM EDTBy Steve Benen – Associated Press

    For much of 2011, Mitt Romney’s campaign relied heavily on a specific campaign tactic: they’d hold an event in front of a closed factory, then blame President Obama for the plant’s troubles. Most of the time this didn’t make any sense for those who care about details and facts, but Romney seemed to like it, so the Republican campaign kept doing it.

    But that was last summer, when the recovery stalled and talk of a “double dip” was ubiquitous. As of a few months ago, Romney decided to switch gears and acknowledge that the economy has improved on Obama’s watch after all, while insisting that Americans not give the president credit.

    As of today, Romney has switched back, and has returned to the closed factories.

    Republican Presidential presumptive nominee Mitt Romney appeared in Lorain, Ohio today to deliver a rebuttal to a speech President Obama just across town at a local community college. But the site of the speech isn’t necessarily linked to President Obama.

    The National Gypsum drywall plant were the speech is being held closed its doors four years ago during the Presidency of George Bush ,and while the banner in the background reads “Obama Isn’t Working,” at least one city official has publicly questioned the site of the speech.

    “When you have to clean up a mess that was created over eight years, you will not get it done in four,” Lorain City Council President Joel Arredondo, a Democrat, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

    So to prove some kind of point about Obama, Romney appeared at an Ohio factory … that closed under Bush.

    Asked about this, Eric Etch-A-Sketch Fehrnstrom said, “The fact that [the economy] struggled through the last three years is not the fault of Barack Obama’s predecessor; it’s the fault of this administration and the failure of their policies to really get this economy going again.”

    For the entire article:

    • Ah. So problems created under one President are actually the fault of his successor? I guess Mitt Romney does not obey the laws of time and space, or the English language.

  10. First Question with Jay Carney – April 19th, 2012

    Published on Apr 19, 2012 by whitehouse

    In this installment of First Question, Press Secretary Jay Carney answers your questions on LGBT equality, small business taxes, and tells us the toughest question he has ever answered.

  11. West Wing Week: 4/20/12 or “Roll Tide”

    Published on Apr 19, 2012 by whitehouse

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President visited one of the Sunshine State’s largest ports, attended the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, announced new steps to strengthen oversight of energy markets, welcomed champion NASCAR drivers and the Alabama Crimson Tide football team to the White House, and traveled to Ohio to speak with unemployed workers about the importance of job training program.

  12. Now Streaming….

    9:00 AM EDT
    Rotary International Community Leaders Briefing
    On Friday, April 20th, the White House will welcome over 170 leaders from Rotary International as part of the White House Community Leaders Briefing Series. White House senior staff and agency officials will speak to attendees on a variety of policy areas including public/private partnerships, global health and community service.
    The White House

    • Rotary International Community Leaders Briefing Part 1

      Published on Apr 20, 2012 by whitehouse

      More than 160 members of Rotary International attend a series of briefings with Administration experts on a variety of topics including maternal and child health, disease prevention, economic development, youth and education, water and sanitation, and peace-building.

    • Rotary International Community Leaders Briefing Part 2

      Published on Apr 20, 2012 by whitehouse

      More than 160 members of Rotary International attend a series of briefings with Administration experts on a variety of topics including maternal and child health, disease prevention, economic development, youth and education, water and sanitation, and peace-building.

  13. Next Up…

    12:30 PM EDT
    White House Champions of Change: Honoring Rotary International Members
    On Friday, April 20th, the White House will honor eleven Rotary International members from across the country who devote their time to community service projects in the U.S. and across the globe. We are taking time today to honor them for their exemplary service.
    The White House


    Good clear chart and lots of detail in this article. Compare and contrast President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney on energy issues like oil and gas production, big oil subsidies, gas prices, energy efficiency, public lands, global warming, air pollution from power plants, fuel efficient cars, clean energy and green jobs.


    “I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here.” (State of the Union, 1/24/12)


    “You can’t drive a car with a windmill on it.” (ThinkProgress,3/6/2012)

    ***But you can drive a car with a terrified dog on it, right Mitt?***

    • From the article above, positions on green jobs:


      Historic level of investment in clean energy, a sector now with 3.1 million Americans employed. In 2008, Obama promised to create 5 million green jobs. [AP, 3/22/12]


      Repeatedly called green jobs fake, for example calling them “illusory” in an op-ed. “[Obama] keeps talking about green jobs, where are they?” [OC Register, 10/11, League of Conservation Voters, 9/15/11]

      Against renewable energy production credits, which risks the end of 37,000 jobs, according to a figure from Navigant Consulting [Chicago Tribune, 2/17/12]

    • April 20, 2012

      Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, 4/20/12

      James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

      12:44 P.M. EDT

      MR. CARNEY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It is great to have you here today. As you can tell, I have with me the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. This week, as I know you know, President Obama is launching a concerted effort to get Congress to stop the interest rate on student loans from doubling in July. Secretary Duncan is here to talk about that issue with you, to take questions on that issue from you. He can also take questions on other issues related to education.

      You know, it’s worth noting that Secretary Duncan oversees the implementation of the President’s education agenda, his vision for investment in education and education reform. And that latter piece, the education reform, is something that, in a way that is often unnoticed or unmentioned by folks in Washington, has enjoyed broad bipartisan support. This is another issue that should enjoy broad bipartisan support, because you really have to have a brick in your head not to understand that education is the cornerstone of our economic future. Without it we cannot compete and win in the 21st century.

      And with that, I give you Secretary Duncan.

      SECRETARY DUNCAN: Thank you, Jay. And good afternoon.

      Next week, President Obama is traveling to three states to talk about the fact that interest rates for new subsidized student loans are set to increase on July 1 unless Congress acts to change that law. The rates were set by Congress in 2007, and the current interest rate is 3.4 percent, and it will double without Congress’s action to 6.8 percent. Based on the average loan amount, this will add more than $1,000 in costs over the life of that loan.

      For students who borrow heavily to go to college, it would obviously cost them even more. And we estimate that this interest rate increase will affect more than 7 million families expected to take out new loans this fall.

      At a time when going to college has never been more important, it has also, unfortunately, never been more expensive. Families and students are struggling to meet these costs, and there’s no reason why we should add to their burden. And I have to tell you, as I’ve traveled throughout the country — and I was just in Iowa and Wisconsin over the past two days with Secretary Vilsack — not just in disadvantaged communities, but more and more middle-class families are starting to think college might not be for them, it’s for rich folks. There’s a real problem with that when we know going to college is the path to the middle class.

      Next week, President Obama will outline the administration’s proposal to work with Congress to keep interest rates down and spare working Americans this added cost, this added burden. And all of us share responsibility for the cost of college — from federal and state governments to educational institutions, students and their families.

      And because this issue is so important to our economy and to our future, our administration is doing more than ever before to address it and we have a number of proposals in our 2013 budget. With the support of Congress, we have doubled — doubled — Pell Grant funding for low-income students, and nearly tripled tax credits for middle-class families. We’ve lowered the cap on student loan payments to 15 percent of income, and we’re going to lower it even further to 10 percent starting in 2014.

      The President, Vice President Biden, and myself and so many others have held town halls all across the country to talk about the cost of college. We’ve met with university presidents, governors, state legislators and members of Congress. And next week, the President will meet with students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Iowa in Iowa City. These three universities are among the nation’s educational jewels, and we should do everything possible to ensure that they remain affordable.

      And we also know that 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln and created the first public universities. I think we have an amazing opportunity to honor Lincoln’s vision and secure our economic future by working together to ensure that college remains affordable for all Americans.

      For the entire article:

  15. Big manufacturers more likely to embrace “Made in USA”: survey

    4/20/12 By Nick Zieminski | Reuters – 12 hrs ago

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Large U.S. manufacturers are much more likely than their smaller peers to move production to the United States from China, according to a survey.

    Labor costs and the quality of goods are the top reasons for companies to consider so-called “re-shoring,” with some companies considering the United States a de facto low-cost country because of its high unemployment, according to the survey by the Boston Consulting Group.

    It found that 37 percent of all U.S.-based manufacturing executives either plan to or are actively considering moving production from China. That rises to 48 percent among companies with more than $10 billion in revenues, the poll found.

    Majorities of those polled said they expected wage costs in China to continue to rise, and said sourcing there is more costly than it appears on paper because of factors such as proximity to customers and the ease of doing business.

    Makers of rubber and plastic products are especially likely to consider re-shoring. Companies that make computer equipment, metal products and transportation goods are less likely to do so.

    “The economics of manufacturing are swinging in favor of the U.S.,” said Harold Sirkin, a BCG senior partner and co-author of the study. BCG says a more competitive U.S. manufacturing base could create up to 3 million jobs by the end of the decade.

    The poll of 106 U.S.-based manufacturers was conducted online in February.

    For the entire article:–sector.html

  16. 3:30 PM EDT
    White House Office Hours: Jumpstart our Business Startups (JOBS) Act with Todd Park, Assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

  17. 3:35 PM EDT
    The President signs a proclamation designating Fort Ord a national monument
    Oval Office

    • April 20, 2012

      President Obama to Sign Proclamation Designating Fort Ord National Monument

      National Monument will honor veterans, serve as hub for conservation and recreation

      President Obama today will sign a Proclamation to designate federal lands within the former Fort Ord as a National Monument under the Antiquities Act. Fort Ord, a former military base located on California’s Central Coast, is a world-class destination for hikers, mountain bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts who come to enjoy the area’s history and scenic landscapes.

      “Fort Ord’s dramatic landscape lives in the memories of thousands of veterans as their first taste of Army life, as a final stop before deploying to war, or as a home base during their military career. This national monument will not only protect one of the crown jewels of California’s coast, but will also honor the heroism and dedication of men and women who served our nation and fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century,” said President Obama.

      “Already, over 100,000 people come every year to enjoy all that Fort Ord has to offer. President Obama’s action, with the strong support of the people of California, will ensure that this special place continues to thrive for generations to come. At the same time, the creation of this new national monument is good for tourism, recreation, and local businesses that cater to the tens of thousands of people who come to experience this remarkable place,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

      For the entire article:

    • Obama to designate Fort Ord as a new national monumentVideo to follow

      4/20/12 By Paul Rogers –

      ort Ord, the sweeping former military base north of Monterey known for its oceanfront landscape and a history that dates back to cavalry soldiers in World War I, will become America’s newest national monument.

      President Barack Obama is scheduled to establish the new designation on Friday, making Fort Ord only the second national monument he has created since becoming president in 2009.

      “Fort Ord’s dramatic landscape lives in the memories of thousands of veterans as their first taste of Army life, as a final stop before deploying to war, or as a home base during their military career,” Obama said in a statement late Thursday.

      “This national monument will not only protect one of the crown jewels of California’s coast, but will also honor the heroism and dedication of men and women who served our nation and fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century.”

      More details are expected to be released Friday, but a White House official familiar with the plan said that about 14,650 acres will be included in the monument. That land is located on Fort Ord’s eastern half. It does not include the campus of Cal State Monterey Bay, the oceanfront lands along Highway 1 that make up Fort Ord Dunes State Park, or hundreds of homes and businesses located on the property in the towns of Seaside and Marina.

      In most national monuments, all oil and gas drilling, along with mining, is banned.

      The new monument, which will be supervised by the federal Bureau of Land Management, will include 7,200 acres now run by the BLM and open for hiking, horse riding and bicycling. It also will include an additional 7,450 acres where decades of unexploded shells and other ordnance once used for artillery practice are being cleaned up. That work is scheduled to be finished in 2019. That land is under the control of the Defense Department.

      Over the past year, environmental leaders, business officials and politicians in the Monterey Bay area have pushed for the former Army base to become a national monument. They wanted the designation to raise the profile of the area to attract tourism and business, and also to permanently lock in open-space protections.

      For the entire article:

    • April 20, 2012

      Remarks by the President at Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride

      South Lawn

      4:38 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you! (Applause.) Thank you so much. Well, good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to the White House. Thank you, Ric, for that introduction. More importantly, thank you for your service and for everything you do for our veterans and our wounded warriors.

      We’ve also got here today Senator Tom Udall and Congresswoman Corrine Brown with us. Thank you all for coming.

      This is the fourth time we’ve had the Soldier Ride here in the South Lawn. And this year, you’ve already covered some ground — 34 miles over the last few days, and another 24-mile ride tomorrow. So our job is to give you a break, maybe even a little extra fuel, and get you back on the road.

      The reason I ask this group to stop by every year is because this is one of the most inspiring events that we have here at the White House. As Commander-in-Chief, I can’t take sides, but I know the Army is represented here. (Hooah!) Navy is represented here. (Navy!) We’ve got some Air Force. (Hooyah!) We’ve got some Marines in the house. (Ooh-rah!) And we’ve got some Coast Guard. (Applause.) (Laughter.) And there’s some folks here who don’t wear a uniform, but who work just as hard and sacrifice just as much alongside you — and that’s our outstanding military families in the house. (Applause.)

      So this is a pretty diverse group. And I know you’re all doing this ride for different reasons. Some of you may be athletes looking to get the competitive juices flowing again. Maybe some of you are trying to see how far you can push yourselves. Some of you are doing it for the camaraderie and the bond that comes when you work hard alongside people who know what you’re going through. Maybe you’re doing it to honor a loved one or a buddy. But all of you are here because you believe in living your lives to the fullest. You know that each of us has a responsibility to seize the opportunities we’ve been blessed with. You ride because you can, and you ride for those who can’t. That’s what this is all about.

      For the entire article:

  18. NASA’s Greenest Building Unveiled at Moffett Field

    4/19/12 – 5:09 PM EDT By Dana Hull – mercurynews

    NASA’s newest building at the Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, has won the distinction of being certified as the nation’s “greenest” federal building.

    Known as “Sustainability Base,” the 50,000-square-foot, two-story office building is visually stunning: Sunlight streams through skylights, windows actually open, and the office floor plan has scrapped private offices in favor of open spaces that encourage teamwork and collaboration.

    The $25 million building integrates a host of clean-energy components, including fuel cells from Bloom Energy, solar panels, a water recovery system and building controls that can react to subtle changes in sunlight, temperature, wind and occupancy. The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) unit has awarded the building LEED Platinum status, the highest rating possible.

    “This building generates more electricity than it consumes, which allows us to support the energy needs of other buildings on the campus,” Steve Zornetzer, associate director of NASA Ames Research Center, said during a sneak peak of Sustainability Base on Thursday. “It’s not just net energy zero, it’s net-positive. And it uses 90 percent less water than other buildings.”

    The building’s official dedication will be Friday; U.S. Reps Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, are among those expected to attend.

    For the entire article:

  19. WH

    Saturday, April 21 , 2012

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.

    7:00 AM
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  20. President Obama’s Message to the People of Sudan and South Sudan

    Grant Harris April 21, 2012 02:22 AM EDT

    In these videotaped remarks, President Obama sends an important and very clear message to the people of Sudan and South Sudan: conflict is not inevitable. The people of Sudan and South Sudan still have a choice, a chance to avoid being dragged back into war. Sudan needs to halt all military actions, including aerial bombardments; give aid workers unfettered access to people in need; and end support for armed groups. Similarly, South Sudan must end its support for armed groups inside Sudan and cease its military actions across the border. All parties fighting – including in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States – must recognize that the only way to achieve real and lasting security is to resolve their differences through negotiation.

    President Obama is gravely concerned by the situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, especially as the violent clashes continue along the shared border with South Sudan. He continues to urge all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to emphasize the importance of finding peaceful solutions for Sudan and South Sudan. The President is deeply committed to seeing Sudan and South Sudan become two economically prosperous states living side-by-side in peace.

    For the entire article:

  21. Gilroy native, husband honored for Army service

    4/20/12 gilroydispatch

    A Gilroy native and her husband have recently been honored by the Army for their service to the nation and its soldiers.

    Lori Borgna-Strong (the daughter of Primo and Carla Borgna who are long-time Gilroy residents) and her husband Maj. Gen. Randolph P. Strong, were recognized Feb. 9 in a ceremony on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

    Borgna-Strong received the Commander’s Award for Public Service from Gen. Anne E. Dunwoody, the Army’s highest ranking female officer, for her outstanding service as a volunteer and community leader supporting the quality of life for soldiers and their families

    from 2009 to 2012. During that time, her husband, Maj. Gen. “Randy” Strong served as the commander of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command.

    Dunwoody said Borgna-Strong’s “dedication and spirit of volunteerism are in keeping with the highest traditions of selfless service.”

    Borgna-Strong earned a certificate of appreciation from the Army for her “unfailing support and understanding which contributed significantly to her husband’s career.”

    Maj. Gen. Strong retired Feb. 9 after 34 years of Army service. In addition to commanding Communications-Electronics Command in his career, Strong had been the Army’s 33rd Chief of Signal, the leader of his Army career field. He also had commanded two installations, Fort Gordon, Ga., and Fort Monmouth, N.J.

    For the entire article:

    • President Barack Obama. Obama wrote, “In your career, you have looked beyond your own comfort and safety to protect the lives and way of life of those you may never meet.”


    (**** MALWARE CHECK ****)

    The FBI is seeking information from individuals, corporate entities and Internet Services Providers who believe that they have been victimized by malicious software (“malware”) related to the defendants. This malware modifies a computer’s Domain Name Service (DNS) settings, and thereby directs the computers to receive potentially improper results from rogue DNS servers hosted by the defendants.

    For the entire article:

    • Hundreds of thousands may lose Internet in July

      4/20/12 By LOLITA C. BALDOR | Associated Press

      WASHINGTON (AP) — For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer.

      Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. In a highly unusual response, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.

      The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner, , that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.

      Most victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.

      Last November, the FBI and other authorities were preparing to take down a hacker ring that had been running an Internet ad scam on a massive network of infected computers.

      “We started to realize that we might have a little bit of a problem on our hands because … if we just pulled the plug on their criminal infrastructure and threw everybody in jail, the victims of this were going to be without Internet service,” said Tom Grasso, an FBI supervisory special agent. “The average user would open up Internet Explorer and get ‘page not found’ and think the Internet is broken.”

      On the night of the arrests, the agency brought in Paul Vixie, chairman and founder of Internet Systems Consortium, to install two Internet servers to take the place of the truckload of impounded rogue servers that infected computers were using.

      Federal officials planned to keep their servers online until March, giving everyone opportunity to clean their computers. But it wasn’t enough time. A federal judge in New York extended the deadline until July.

      Now, said Grasso, “the full court press is on to get people to address this problem.” And it’s up to computer users to check their PCs.

      For the entire article:–finance.html

    • To find your computer’s DNS number you need to:

      1) Go to “System Preferences”
      2) Go to “Network”
      3) Go to “Advanced”
      4) Go to “DNS”
      5) Write down your DNS number and type in those numbers into the FBI box and hit “Enter”

      6) Your computer is free of mallware if you get the response:

      “Your IP is not configured to use the rogue DNS servers”

  23. April 21, 2012

    WEEKLY ADDRESS: Calling on Congress to Prevent Student Interest Rates from Doubling

    WASHINGTON, DC—In this week’s address, President Obama called on Congress to act before student loan interest rates double for more than 7.4 million students, adding an average of $1000 to their debt. Having a college education has never been more important, but it’s also never been more expensive. While the Obama administration has taken historic steps to provide Americans with a fair shot at an affordable college education, Republicans in Congress have instead prioritized huge new tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. Congress has a chance to take action on what should be an area of bipartisan agreement to prevent this unnecessary and damaging increase in interest rates and give our young people a chance to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow.

    Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address
    The White House
    Saturday, April 21, 2012

    Hi. This week, I got the chance to sit down with some impressive students at Lorain County Community College in Ohio. One of them was a woman named Andrea Ashley. Two years ago, Andrea lost her job as an HR analyst. Today, she’s getting certified in the fast-growing field of electronic medical records. Before enrolling at Lorain, Andrea told me she was looking everywhere trying to find a new job. But without a degree, she said that nobody would hire her.

    Andrea’s story isn’t unique. I’ve met so many Americans who are out there pounding the pavement looking for work only to discover that they need new skills. And I’ve met a lot of employers who are looking for workers, but can’t find ones with the skills they’re looking for.

    So we should be doing everything we can to put higher education within reach for every American – because at a time when the unemployment rate for Americans with at least a college degree is about half the national average, it’s never been more important. But here’s the thing: it’s also never been more expensive. Students who take out loans to pay for college graduate owing an average of $25,000. For the first time, Americans owe more debt on their student loans than they do on their credit cards. And for many working families, the idea of owing that much money means that higher education is simply out of reach for their children.

    For the entire article:

  24. Good Saturday morning everyone! We had a 90 degree day yesterday and will again today. I HOPE that you have a good day! 🙂

  25. Bill Nye the Science Guy celebrates Eath Day by endorsing Democrat Jay Inslee for Governor of Washington!

    From an email I just received:

    …. Lately, you hear a lot of people trying to deny climate change by trying to mislead us, mixing scientific uncertainty with unreasonable, unfounded doubt. I’ve studied climate change since the 1980’s. That disinformation is politics, not science.

    But, with Earth Day coming up tomorrow, I’m more mindful than ever that we’re running the risk of letting politics trump science — and irreparably harming the planet we call home.

    That’s why, today, I’m supporting Jay Inslee for governor and asking you to join me. Jay never lets politics get in the way of science or building a better future for Washingtonians. He’s proven time and time again that he’s ready to lead the charge in building a clean energy future.

    Electing Jay will give us a real chance to take a step forward, get back to the science, and lead the way into a sustainable, clean energy future. But he needs your help to make it happen.

    Join me this Earth Day weekend and support Jay Inslee’s campaign. Contribute today!

    The scientific method demands facts, and I’ve got a few about Jay Inslee. Consider the following:

    • Fact number one: Jay is passionate about protecting the environment and getting people back to work. That’s why he wrote Apollo’s Fire, a visionary, practical, and attainable guide to restoring the middle class by building a clean energy economy.

    • Fact number two: Washington State is primed to be the hub of the new clean energy economy if our leaders step up. Jay is the only candidate in this race with a plan to seize that opportunity.

    • Fact number three: This race is going to be one of the tightest in 2012, so every single supporter’s actions are magnified. That’s why I’m asking you to help Jay today — because your support today will make a big difference come November.

    Celebrate Earth Day by helping to elect a champion for the clean energy economy. Contribute to Jay Inslee’s campaign today!

    From fostering the innovative companies that are building the clean energy future and creating jobs today — to helping support the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs in our schools that will help Washington students fill those jobs in the future — Jay know what it takes to build a thriving, sustainable, clean energy economy from the ground up.

    So, for Earth Day, I hope you’ll consider joining me to help elect someone who lets science guide his politics — and not the other way around — as the next governor of Washington state.

    Join me and contribute to Jay’s campaign today!

    Yours in Science!

    Bill Nye

    Jay Inslee’s contribution page:


    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:

  27. US and China Prepare Cyber Defenses in Face of Increased Hacking Threat

    APRIL 19, 2012 BY MARY KAY MAGISTAD – theworld

    China’s in a rush to catch up with and surpass the United States, and evidence suggests that hacking into and stealing data from the computers of strategic US companies, research labs and government departments is one of its favored tools.

    Hackers in China are now considered among the world’s best, and certainly most prolific, and Washington is amping up its efforts to thwart the threat.

    A cramped little office, in a hastily developed area of Beijing that still feels half-rural, is home to one of China’s first self-described “patriotic computer hackers.” He talks about how it all began, in college, a couple of decades ago.

    “When I took a computer class, and I found an interesting thing called a ‘computer virus.’ A computer virus is a small-size program. If I can learn how to make a computer virus, I can get a special skill,” said Wan Tao.

    Wan’s now edging up to middle age, and is, these days, a cyber-security consultant to a large western company. Back then, he was a student at Beijing’s Jiaotong University, known for its computer studies programs. And for turning out some of China’s better cyber-hackers. Wan Tao found his stride as a patriotic hacker in 2001, incensed that a Chinese pilot was killed while trying to thwart a US spy plane.

    “So 10 years ago, I was an angry young man. I thought ‘Chinese nation is a great nation and we are powerful and we need to be powerful and not so weak,’” Wan said.

    So Wan Tao assembled a group of more than 100 hackers, called China Eagle Union. It defaced about a thousand US websites, and put a couple of US government websites under denial-of-service attacks. That was kid stuff, compared to what other Chinese hackers have gotten up to since.

    For the entire article:

  28. Immigrant Workers Engage in Union Fight in Vegas Casinos

    APRIL 20, 2012 BY JASON MARGOLIS ⋅ theworld

    Employee unions have been under attack in recent years. There were the very public union fights in Wisconsin and Ohio. In Michigan, auto workers have struggled to preserve their benefits.

    There’s also a lesser publicized union fight brewing in Las Vegas. Most casino workers on the Las Vegas strip are part of a union. And many of those jobs are staffed by first-generation Americans.

    Now, some non-union casino workers, many of whom are immigrants, are saying they too want to be part of a union. But some say they’re being targeted for speaking out.

    The World’s Jason Margolis has more from Las Vegas.

    People have long come to Las Vegas to try and make it big at the poker or blackjack table. Vegas has also been a beacon for many immigrants. It’s a place where you can build a middle class life without much formal education and limited English.

    Many who’ve built that life say being part of a union was a key to entry. Hilary Wrona came here from Poland in 1983.

    Wrona: “My house is paid, my car is paid, I can afford to have my daughter right now in the second year in pharmacy school, which is a private college, which most of my counterparts who are non union, have not even had what I had.”

    Ovidio Aquino from Guatemala has one of those non-union jobs. He worked as a cook for 22 years for Station Casinos. Two years ago, he started organizing his co-workers to join a union. He says his bosses began harassing him. One day he was preparing fried rice.

    Ovidio Aquino and Mario Medina (right). Both men say they lost their jobs at Station Casinos becuase they support joining a union.

    Aquino: “This recipe I’ve been doing for years, the same way, but one time the chef he said he doesn’t’ like it, and that’s why the reason they gave to me to fire.”

    He says before he was fired, he’d never had any problems at work.

    Aquino: “Because if I had been in trouble before, why they don’t fire me before? If I’ve been working for 22 years it’s because I’m being a good worker.”

    For the entire article and audio interview:

  29. WH

    Sunday, April 22 , 2012

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.

    7:00 AM
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  30. Sunday talk show tip sheet

    4/20/12 Leigh Munsil POLITICO44

    (Democratic excerpts only)

    ….CBS also has a roundtable discussion on the Secret Service scandal with former Secret Service Director W. Ralph Basham, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

    Cummings is also on CNN’s “State of the Union” and TV One’s “Washington Watch.”…

    NBC has as well the president’s senior campaign strategist, David Axelrod, who also stops by CNN….

    Finally, C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” has Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which celebrates its 100th anniversary on Sunday. He’ll be interviewed by William McQuillen of Bloomberg and Damian Paletta of The Wall Street Journal.

    For the entire article:

  31. The GOP’s fade to irrelevance in California


    It’s not the polls that lead to that conclusion. All you have to do is look at the state’s latest voter registration statistics.

    They’re really quite stunning in what they reveal about the GOP’s fade toward irrelevance in the nation’s largest state.

    There used to be a time when California regularly produced talent for GOP presidential ticket. And from 1952 through 1988, the Republican nominee carried the state in every presidential election but one.

    Now, it’s nearly impossible for a Republican to get elected statewide — so California doesn’t produce anyone with enough stature for the national GOP ticket. The massive Democratic voter registration advantage helps explain why.

    According to the latest figures from the Secretary of State’s office, Democratic registration is 43.5% to 30.3% for Republicans.

    The GOP actually has a majority of voters in 30 of California’s 58 counties. But that number is misleading. If you look at the list of the 10 counties with the highest percentage of Democrats, they tend to be some of the more populous in the state – places like Alameda (Oakland) Los Angeles (LA), Contra Costa (Bay area), and San Mateo (Bay area) counties.

    The 10 counties with the highest percentage of Republicans tend to be among the least populous counties, all of them located inland.

    The data, the trendlines and the state’s demographics don’t paint a pretty picture for the GOP. But more than anything else, they signal that California’s 55 electoral votes are firmly in President Obama’s pocket.

      • They are plenty of offensive GOP here too.

        Democrats are smart! Independents and Republicans who side with President Obama are smart!

  32. Happy Earth Day everyone! We had a scorcher yesterday of 98 degrees. I HOPE that you have a good day! 🙂

    • Hi Jackie, I am going to be Tweeting for my nonprofit. From your experience, is there any advice you can share with me about how Twitter works?

    • Good morning and thank you for the candle link Jackie!

      On hot days I always think about you saying that your brother work place has extreme temperatures and that when he finishes his work day and then cools off in your pool.

  33. Swing-state unemployment down, Obama’s chances up

    4/22/12 By PAUL WISEMAN | Associated Press – 2 hrs 30 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The improving economy is swinging the pendulum in President Barack Obama’s favor in the 14 states where the presidential election will likely be decided.

    Recent polls have shown Obama gaining an edge over his likely Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, in several so-called swing states — those that are considered up for grabs.

    What’s made the difference is that unemployment has dropped more sharply in several swing states than in the nation as a whole. A resurgence in manufacturing is helping the economy — and Obama’s chances — in the industrial Midwestern states of Ohio and Michigan.

    And Arizona, Nevada and Florida, where unemployment remains high, are getting some relief from an uptick in tourism.

    “The biggest reason for the president’s improving prospects probably is the economy,” says Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

    The Great Recession of 2007-2009 hit several swing states particularly hard. Unemployment peaked at 14.2 percent in Michigan, where the auto industry faced ruin. It also hit double digits in Arizona, Nevada and Florida, which were at the center of the housing bust, and in North Carolina, which lost jobs in textile and furniture plants.

    In 2010, the economic misery helped Republicans retake control of the House and gain seats in the Senate. But the GOP can’t count on a repeat when voters return to the polls — with much more at stake — on Nov. 6.

    After an agonizingly slow recovery, several swing-state economies are finally accelerating:

    — The job market is improving in Michigan and Ohio. In Michigan, unemployment fell to 8.5 percent in March from 10.5 percent in March 2011. And in Ohio, it dropped to 7.5 percent from 8.8 percent over the same period, putting it well below the national average of 8.2 percent. A Fox News poll released Friday showed Obama leading Romney 45 percent to 39 percent among registered voters in Ohio.

    Many blue-collar workers in Ohio and Michigan credit the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler for saving tens of thousands of auto industry jobs, says Paul Allen Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State University. The bailout began under President George W. Bush, but Obama expanded it.

    “There’s a feeling the administration went out of its way to protect jobs that are very important,” Beck said.

    — In Florida, unemployment tumbled to 9 percent in March from 10.7 percent a year earlier. That was more than twice the nationwide drop of 0.7 percentage point (from 8.9 percent to 8.2 percent) over the same period. A rise in tourism is helping.

    “People who put off vacations or a trip to Disney World for two or three years got to the point where they feel safe in terms of financial security to finally take those trips,” says Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness.

    — Even Nevada, a focal point of the real estate collapse, has seen some improvement: Unemployment dropped to 12 percent in March from 13.6 percent a year earlier.

    — Unemployment is down over the past year in the 10 other states the Associated Press identifies as swing states: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

    For the entire article:–finance.html


    Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XIV

    Apr 20, 2012 By Steve Benen – maddowblog

    Campaigning in Ohio yesterday, Mitt Romney told supporters, without smirking or sounding sarcastic, “If I’m president of the United States, with your help, I will tell the truth.”

    Ordinarily, those seeking national leadership positions don’t vow to tell the truth if others help them, but since I am nothing if not helpful, I thought I might give the presumptive Republican presidential nominee a few examples of instances in which he fell short of honesty this week.

    Indeed, if Romney intends to “tell the truth,” he can start by reading the 14th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt’s mendacity.

    1. Speaking to the NRA, Romney said, “The Obama administration has decided that it has the power to mandate what Catholic charities, schools, and hospitals must cover in their insurance plans…. Here we are, just getting started with Obamacare, and the federal government is already dictating to religious groups on matters of doctrine and conscience.”

    In Massachusetts’ governor for one term, Romney took the same position Obama has adopted. He somehow forgot to mention this.

    2. Romney also told the NRA audience, “We need a president who will enforce current laws, not create new ones that only serve to burden lawful gun owners. President Obama has not, I will.”

    The grammar in this sentence makes it hard to understand, but the implication seems to be that Obama has created new restrictions on gun laws. That’s a lie.

    3. Romney also claims to be a “lifetime” member of the NRA.

    In reality, Romney used to oppose the NRA, but became a “lifetime” member fairly recently by buying the honor from the group.

    4. Romney also shared this interesting anecdote: “Mike and Chantell Sackett have seen firsthand how the Obama government interferes with personal freedom. They run a small business in Idaho. They saved enough money to buy a piece of property and build a home. But days after they broke ground, an EPA regulator told them to stop digging. The EPA said they were building on a wetland. But the Sackett’s property isn’t on the wetlands register. It sits in a residential area. Nevertheless, the EPA wouldn’t even let them appeal the decision. Fortunately, the Constitution confronted the Obama administration: the Supreme Court ruled unanimously for the Sacketts and against the Obama EPA.”

    That’s a fascinating story, but it was the Bush/Cheney EPA that the Sackett family was fighting.

    5. In the same speech, Romney said, “[Obama] told the Russian president last month when he thought no one else was listening, after his re-election he’ll have a lot more, quote, ‘flexibility’ to do what he wants.”

    That’s not what Obama said.

    6. Romney concluded, “We’ll stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad.”

    This is a lie Romney repeats so often, it raises real concerns about his character.

    7. Romney told ABC’s Diane Sawyer, “92% — 93% of the jobs lost have been lost by women during this president’s term.”

    This is a ridiculous lie.

    8. Trying to justify his secrecy on tax returns, Mitt Romney told CNBC, “John Kerry released two years of taxes.”

    That’s not true.

    9. Romney also told CNBC about the Buffett Rule, “[T]hey couldn’t get it through their own Democratic Senate.”

    The Buffett Rule enjoyed the support of a majority of the Senate, but it died because of a Republican filibuster. “They” could have gotten it through the Senate if the bill was given an up-or-down vote.

    10. The Romney campaign told NBC News this week that the former governor “never solicited” Ted Nugent’s endorsement.

    There’s clear evidence pointing in the exact opposite direction.

    11. On tax policy, Romney argued this week, “I’m going to keep the burden on the upper-income people the same as it is today.”

    That’s extremely misleading — Romney intends to give the rich a massive tax cut. The “burden” may not shift because he intends to cut taxes across the board, but the claim makes it seem as if “upper-income people” won’t see a change in their taxes, when in fact Romney intends to give them another huge break. (Thanks to reader V.S. for the tip on this one.)

    12. In Charlotte, Romney said of the president and the upcoming Democratic convention, “He’s not going to want to remind anyone of Greece because he’s put us on a road to become more like Greece.”

    Obama hasn’t put us on a road to become more like Greece. (Nor has Bush, who’s still largely responsible for today’s deficits.)

    13. In the same speech, Romney said Obama “is on track to add almost as much public debt to this country as all the prior presidents combined.”

    That’s a lie.

    14. Romney also said in the same speech that Bush added “far less” to the national debt than Obama.

    That’s not even close to being true.

    15. In the same speech, Romney said Obama is “first president in modern history, in any history, to cut Medicare by $500 billion.”

    Romney has said this countless times, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s not true.

    16. Romney claimed on Thursday that Obama has placed “three times” as many regulatory burdens on the private second as Bush did.

    That’s the opposite of the truth.

    17. In Ohio yesterday, Romney argued, “[Obama] said that if we let him borrow $787 billion, he would unemployment below 8%.”

    There is no universe in which this claim is true.

    18. In the same speech, Romney said Obama “has not created more jobs for the American people.”

    I know Romney’s busy running for president, but he should at least try to keep up with current events.

    19. Romney, in the same speech, shared one of his new favorite talking points: “The number of new businesses started per year is down 100,000 a year under the Obama term.”

    Actually, for those who take facts seriously, just last year, more than 540,000 new businesses were started each month — which is well above the levels seen before the Great Recession began.

    20. The Romney campaign argued this week that Kris Kobach, Romney’s controversial adviser on immigration policy, is a “supporter,” not an “adviser.”

    In reality, Kobach is still very much an adviser to Romney and his team.

    21. The Romney campaign also said yesterday that the former governor never said Arizona’s anti-immigrant law is a “model” for the nation.

    Romney absolutely said Arizona’s anti-immigrant law is a “model” for the nation.

    The Obama campaign, by the way, seems well aware of the fact that Romney lies with unnerving frequency, but seems reluctant to say so in harsh terms, fearing media and voter pushback. Instead, as of yesterday, Team Obama is resorting to an interesting euphemism: “Why does [Romney] have such an aversion to the truth?”

    Whether the political mainstream is comfortable using the word “lie” or not, that question seems increasingly unavoidable.

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

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “CT, DE, NY, PA & RI Primaries 2012 ”

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

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