U.S. GDP Data & Democrats Abroad 2012 Global Primary

The consequences of austerity in one chart?

4/26/12 By Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

“Check out the UK line,” writes Joe Weisenthal. “The UK was recovering on a fine trajectory right up until early 2010, at which point UK growth hit a brick wall. What happened in 2010? That’s when conservative David Cameron came to power with an agenda of reigning in the debt.”

Meanwhile, the United States is doing better than either the United Kingdom or the Eurozone.

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-consequences-of-austerity-in-one-chart/2012/04/26/gIQAi24EjT_blog.html

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98 thoughts on “U.S. GDP Data & Democrats Abroad 2012 Global Primary

  1. WH

    Monday, April 30, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:40 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:00 AM
    10:45 AM
    President Obama delivers remarks at the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference.
    Washington Hilton, Washington, DC

    11:00 AM
    11:40 AM
    President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Noda of Japan.
    Oval Office
    Pool Spray at the Top

    12:00 PM
    12:45 PM
    President Obama holds a working lunch with Prime Minister Noda of Japan.
    Old Family Dining Room
    Closed Press

    1:00 PM
    1:30 PM
    Dr Jill Biden and U.S. Department of Labor Assistant Secretary Jane Oates visit Metropolitan Community College.
    Kansas City, KS

    2:00 PM
    President Obama holds a press conference wih Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan
    Rose Garden
    Open Press

    3:00 PM
    President Obama meets with Geithner.
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    3:20 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to Obama campaign volunteers and supporters
    Colorado Springs, CO

    4:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama visits with servicemembers and their families at Albuquerque International Airport
    New Mexico’s Kirtland Air Force Base, NM

    4:30 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a fundraiser
    Albuquerque, NM
    Print Pool

    5:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Warrior Games
    Colorado Springs, CO

    6:00 PM
    Vice Biden President attends a campaign event
    Munster, IN

    Dr Jill Biden and Oates visit Ivy Tech Community College
    Gary, IN

    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    8:40 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama vists with youth volunteers at Tucson Village Farm.
    Tucson, AZ

    9:00 PM
    9:10 PM
    First LadyMichelle Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event
    Tucson, AZ

    10:00 PM

  2. uk-vs-us-vs-euro-2003-2012

    The consequences of austerity in one chart?

    4/26/12 By Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

    “Check out the UK line,” writes Joe Weisenthal. “The UK was recovering on a fine trajectory right up until early 2010, at which point UK growth hit a brick wall. What happened in 2010? That’s when conservative David Cameron came to power with an agenda of reigning in the debt.”

    Meanwhile, the United States is doing better than either the United Kingdom or the Eurozone. That doesn’t necessarily prove anything: We have different economies that have faced somewhat different crises. But imagine, for a moment, how often you would see this chart if austerity had coincided with the UK or the Eurozone recovering more quickly than us.

    Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-consequences-of-austerity-in-one-chart/2012/04/26/gIQAi24EjT_blog.html

    • Austerity Creating Backlash Across Europe

      April 27, 2012 By DAN BILEFSKY – nytimes

      PARIS — Romania’s government fell Friday in a no-confidence vote just two months after taking office, the latest government in Europe to crumble amid disputes over unpopular austerity measures.

      Some 235 lawmakers voted against the center-right government of Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, four more votes than needed, plunging the country into crisis and raising the prospect of months of political and economic uncertainty.

      The International Monetary Fund, which had been reviewing a precautionary loan for Romania of €5 billion, or $6.6 billion, said Friday that it would halt the review pending the formation of a new government, Reuters reported. President Traian Basescu is expected to nominate a new prime minister, who will be required to present his program to Parliament for approval. But analysts say the process could drag on for months.

      Governments have been collapsing across Europe amid calls by Germany and others for tough austerity measures to help restore confidence in the euro zone, even as some critics complain that aggressive cuts are undermining economic growth and spurring European citizens to protest. The sovereign debt crisis, accompanied by visceral frustration with the extent of painful government spending cuts, has helped unseat leaders in countries including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

      For the entire article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/28/world/europe/austerity-creating-backlash-across-europe.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

      • Eurozone unemployment hits record high ; Austerity questioned

        5/2/12 By Pan Pylas – Associated Press

        LONDON — The 17 countries that use the euro are facing the highest unemployment rates in the history of the currency as recession once again spreads across Europe, pressuring leaders to focus less on austerity and more on stimulating growth.

        Unemployment in the eurozone rose by 169,000 in March, official figures showed Wednesday, taking the rate up to 10.9 percent — its highest level since the euro was launched in 1999. The seasonally adjusted rate was up from 10.8 percent in February and 9.9 percent a year ago and contrasts sharply with the picture in the U.S., where unemployment has fallen from 9.1 percent in August to 8.2 percent in March.

        Spain had the highest rate in the eurozone, 24.1 percent — and an alarming 51.1 percent for people under 25.

        Austerity has been the prescription across Europe for dealing with a crisis that’s afflicted the continent for nearly three years and has raised the specter of the breakup of the euro. Three countries — Greece, Ireland and Portugal — have already required bailouts.

        Eight eurozone countries, including Greece, Spain and the Netherlands, have seen their economies shrink for two straight quarters or more, the common definition of a recession.

        Economies are contracting across the eurozone as governments cut spending and raise taxes to reduce deficits. That has prompted economists to urge European Union policymakers to dial back on short-term budget-cutting and focus on stimulating

        For the entire article: http://www.mercurynews.com/rss/ci_20534271?source=rss

    • Economy has grown the most when Democrats have been in power

      4/09/2012 Posted by Suzy Khimm – washingtonpost

      Earlier today, I linked to a Goldman Sachs research note arguing that the most fiscally conservative outcome in the 2012 election would be an Obama victory and Republican control of Congress. But their analysis was limited to deficit reduction.

      Last week, JPMorgan looked at this question using a broader lens: what happens to the economy under Democratic and Republican presidents, and Democratic and Republican Congresses?

      The economy has grown the most when Democrats have been in total control of Washington. But, interestingly, it’s grown the least when there’s been a Democratic president and a GOP-controlled Congress–our current scenario. But those are precisely the political conditions under which the stock market tends to perform the best, as well as the scenario that Goldman Sachs believes would lead to the most deficit reduction in 2013.

      
https://propresobama.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/gdp_growth_under_democrat_potus-e1334016055312.jpg?w=700

      Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/economy-has-grown-the-most-when-democrats-have-been-in-power/2012/04/09/gIQA1VhS6S_blog.html#pagebreak

    • sp_returns_dem_potus-_vs_gop\

      Three Charts Illustrating Two Different Visions for Our Nation

      Dan Pfeiffer April 03, 2012 02:07 PM EDT

      The President believes this is a make or break moment for the middle class and those working to reach it. That’s why he has put forward a blueprint for an economy built to last – one where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.

      Today at the Associated Press Luncheon, the President discussed how his vision differs with the radical vision laid out in the House Republican Budget:

      “This Congressional Republican budget, however, is something different altogether. It’s a Trojan Horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It’s nothing but thinly-veiled Social Darwinism. It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it – a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last – education and training; research and development – it’s a prescription for decline.”

      The President’s approach to reducing our deficit is a balanced approach that asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share, achieves significant health savings and enacts sensible spending cuts while making the investments we need to have a strong middle class.

      Take a look at how the President’s approach and the Congressional Republican policies stack up side by side:

      Side by Side – The President’s Budget vs. Republican Budget

      It’s a test of fairness. The Congressional Republican budget gives every millionaire and billionaire a tax cut of at least $150,000 paid for by ending Medicare as we know it and gutting programs that help the middle class and our economy. This graphic shows just what that $150,000 means to those programs our economic recovery depends on:

      The House Republican Budget – The Budget Fails the Test of Balance, Fairness, and Shared Responsibility

      gop_budget_2013_vs_pres_obama_budget_2013

      By standing by massive tax cuts we can’t afford paid for by the middle class and seniors, the Republican establishment has rubber stamped the economic policies of the past that caused the financial crisis in the first place. Just take a look at how much the Republican policies of the past added to our deficit:

      Changes in Deficit Projections Since January 2001

      At this critical moment for our economy and the middle class, the President will continue to stand by a policy of fairness that reflects our core values as a nation.

      • Fed: Economy growing moderately; no policy changes

        4/25/12 By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | Associated Press
        WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says the economy is growing moderately while cautioning that risks from Europe remain. It’s holding off on taking any further steps to boost the recovery.

        In a statement after a two-day meeting, the Fed said Wednesday that economic growth should “pick up gradually” — a somewhat brighter view than it offered last time. It said the job market has strengthened slightly but that unemployment remains elevated. And it pointed to a pickup in inflation but said it should be only temporary.

        The Fed stuck with its plan to keep a key short-term interest rate near zero through at least late 2014. It announced no new plans for further bond buying after a current program ends in June.

        For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/fed-economy-growing-moderately-no-policy-changes-163435863–finance.html

      • Geithner: U.S. can withstand any Europe stresses

        4/27/12 Glenn Somerville – Reuters

        WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Friday that if Europe mismanages its crisis it could slow U.S. growth but said the U.S. financial system could handle any resulting pressures.

        “The U.S. financial system is in a very strong position to withstand the foreseeable pressures we might face from Europe,” he said in an interview on American Public Media’s Marketplace program.
        Geithner said that, on balance, Europe was making headway in efforts to deal with its sovereign debt crisis.

        “I think they’ve made a lot of progress in the last few months in trying to bring back a measure of calm to their financial markets,” Geithner said.

        Concern about spillover from Europe’s crisis led member countries of the International Monetary Fund to agree last weekend to pledge an additional $430 billion to strengthen its war chest in case other countries are adversely affected.

        Geithner, who heads to Beijing with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton next week for the latest round of Strategic and Economic Dialogue talks between the two countries, was cautious when asked to assess relations between the two countries.

        “Better. Better than it was,” he said, noting that a 13 percent real appreciation in the yuan’s value was “pretty good for us” since it reduces the competitive price advantage that Chinese-made goods hold over U.S. products.

        Geithner and Clinton will discuss a full range of issues, potentially anything from cooperation on efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions to currency values in two days of talks May 3-4. He cited progress in several areas.

        “There’s better protection for intellectual property rights in China, less piracy against U.S. firms, and China is gradually dismantling a range of the subsidies that their firms enjoy which gives them an unfair advantage,” he said.

        There was still work to do, Geithner added, but “the basic direction of reforms in China is fundamentally in our interest.”

    • A look at economic developments around the globe

      4/30/12 By The Associated Press | Associated Press – 11 mins ago

      A look at economic developments and activity in major stock markets around the world Monday:
      ___

      MADRID — Spain confirmed it was officially back in recession as the country’s economy shrank 0.3 percent in the first quarter compared to the previous three months.
      ___

      FRANKFURT, Germany — Europe got more downbeat economic news as inflation remained higher than expected and European Central Bank data showed only anemic growth in credit to businesses — despite its massive infusion of cheap money into the financial system.
      ___

      LONDON — Concerns over Spain’s financial condition weighed on markets, after investors previously bid up stocks on hopes that the Federal Reserve would provide more stimulus to the U.S. economy.

      Britain’s FTSE closed down 0.7 percent and France’s CAC-40 fell 1.6 percent. Germany’s DAX lost 0.6 percent.
      ___

      TOKYO — In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.7 percent, South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.8 percent.
      ___

      GENEVA — Global unemployment will hit 202 million this year, or 6.1 percent, as debt-driven austerity measures hammer job markets and threaten to drive more of Europe into recession, the U.N. labor agency predicted.
      ___

      SINGAPORE — Singapore faces a higher inflation rate and slower economic growth as the government allows in fewer foreign workers, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned Monday.
      ___

      KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia has unveiled a minimum wage scheme for private sector workers in a move that could benefit more than 3 million low-income workers.
      ___

      TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s government on Monday lowered its economic growth forecast for 2012 to 3.4 percent from 3.8 percent as demand fades for the island nation’s mainstay electronic exports.
      ___

      HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s stock market operator said it’s studying a bid for London’s metal trading market, a move that comes after the exchange earlier this year announced plans to expand into commodities to capitalize on Chinese demand.
      ___

      DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Egypt’s visitor numbers should bounce back to pre-uprising levels this year after a drop caused by Arab Spring unrest, the country’s tourism minister said.

    • GOP WRONG WAY

      Yes, Bush’s economy was terrible

      5/01/2012 Posted by Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

      Of the more negative responses to today’s column, the one that’s been most common was the one I was least prepared for: The Bush economy, my correspondents say, was actually pretty good! As one reader e-mailed, “A stock market bordering 14,000, gas prices around $2-2.5/gal, a deficit in the low billions, an unemployment rate of 5-6% . . . oh, how horrible.”

      There’s something to this. Depending on how you look at it, the Bush economy was either okay, a bit weak or absolutely awful.

      To make it look okay, you eliminate all context. You look at levels rather than trends.

      Unemployment was in the 5 to 6 percent range. The economy was growing. Deficits, though rising, were at manageable levels. The stock market was booming. Most Americans were living pretty well. That all sounds pretty good.

      To make it look weaker, you add back in some context. Monthly job growth from March 2001 to December 2007 — so, from the end of the 2001 recession to the beginning of the 2007 recession — was 68,000. That’s one of the weakest expansions on record. Meanwhile, poverty and inequality were increasing even as median incomes were falling. Oh, and while Bush’s deficits weren’t huge, they came during a period of growth — normally, periods of growth are when you cut the deficit, as we saw in the 1990s. So these were deficits of an unusually irresponsible sort.

      To make it look absolutely awful, you add in the fact that there was a huge credit bubble inflating beneath the economy that George W. Bush did nothing to stop and that his choice for Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, did much to inflate. So as weak as the decade’s economic numbers look, they’re much, much worse when you realize they were artificially pumped up by the bubble, and Bush’s record is much, much worse when you add that the economic collapse began on his watch, and the long-term cost of the tax cuts and Medicare Part D and the war in Iraq.

      In other words, the more you actually know about Bush’s economy, how it compares with other periods in our economy and the role it played in the financial crisis, the worse it looks. I’m open to arguments that this really isn’t Bush’s fault, or that Mitt Romney’s policy differences with Bush are more significant than they appear to me. But the period itself is, from an economic perspective, really very bad.

    • UN: Austerity measures threaten global economy

      June 8, 2012 guardian

      UNITED NATIONS—Austerity measures implemented by European countries to contain a roiling debt crisis will likely drag them deeper into recession, unsettling global financial markets and presenting the biggest current threat to the world economy, according to UN report issued yesterday. The UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012 midyear update said most developed countries have yet to recover from the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and the fiscal austerity measures deployed in response have been backfiring. “The severe fiscal austerity programmes implemented in many European countries, combined with mildly contractionary policies in others, such as Germany and France, carry the risk of creating a vicious downward spiral with enormous economic and social costs,” the report states.

      The report calls for a shift in focus from short-term consolidation to medium- to long-term fiscal sustainability. It also says fiscal policies should be internationally coordinated and should support job creation. It warns that Italy and Spain currently pose the biggest danger to Europe, as the size of their debts would likely strain the region’s rescue funds. “The main fear is that Spain will slide deeper into recession, driving up its borrowing costs, leading to increased market turmoil and eventually requiring a bailout,” the report states. “This would leave insufficient funds available for Italy and renew speculation on a break-up of the euro area, further unsettling financial markets and triggering a downturn in global economic activity.” The report states that the world gross product increased 2.7 per cent in 2011 and is projected to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2012 and 3.1 per cent in 2013. Those figures represent a downward revision from January’s update. (AP)

      • Austerity pushes Europe back into recession

        Nov 15, 2012 12:35 PM EST By Steve Benen – maddowblog

        It’s starting to look as if austerity undermines economic growth and leads to recessions.

        The European economy shrank for a second quarter in a row, according to official data released Thursday, fulfilling a common definition of recession and signaling that the region still faces a long road to recovery.

        Gross domestic product in the euro zone fell 0.1 percent in the three months through September compared to the previous quarter, according to Eurostat, the European Union statistics agency. The euro zone economy improved slightly from the second quarter, when it contracted by 0.2 percent. But it was the fourth quarter in a row of zero growth or worse.

        The AP’s report added that continental fears are growing that “at a time of high unemployment in many countries, there are fears that the recession will deepen, and make the debt crisis even more difficult to handle.”

        Domestically, the right looks at these developments and says, “See? Europe has debt crises, which is keeping Eurozone in a recession, and if we want to avoid the same fate, we need to reduce our own debt.”

        But the repetition of this conservative message doesn’t make it less misguided. The United States doesn’t have a debt crisis — we have low inflation, low interest rates, and investors around the globe desperate to loan us money. Indeed, if there’s a lesson to be learned about the Eurozone recession it’s that austerity is exactly the wrong course of action given the current circumstances.

        For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/15/15192676-austerity-pushes-europe-back-into-recession

    • International Demand for U.S. Assets Rises on Europe

      Sep 18, 2012 8:07 AM PT By Meera Louis – bloomberg

      International purchases of U.S. financial assets rose more than sevenfold in July as investors sought shelter from the debt crisis in Europe.

      Net buying of long-term equities, notes and bonds totaled $67 billion during the month, up from net purchases of $9.3 billion in June, the Treasury Department said today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected net buying of $27.5 billion of long-term assets, according to the median estimate.

      “The data suggest that European private investors used Treasuries and agencies to protect against deterioration in the euro financial markets in July,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed- income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia. “That trend will likely continue into August’s data.”

      U.S. assets have maintained their attraction as Spanish banks are hemorrhaging deposits and European leaders are still squabbling over the next steps needed to overcome the sovereign debt crisis. A Sept. 14 European Union finance ministers meeting in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia deadlocked over the timetable for a more unified EU banking sector.

      For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-18/international-demand-for-u-s-assets-rises-on-europe-crisis.html

  3. Great post, CR — the economic policies of the right are a formula for failure.

  4. 2012_gp_banner

    VOTE 2012 Global Primary Resource Center

    Posted February 21st, 2012 democratsabroad.org

    Subject to the Presidential campaign’s approval, any member of Democrats Abroad may apply to run for a Delegate, Alternate or Standing Committee Member position. Members of Democrats Abroad may click on this link to see the names of those currently seeking Presidential campaign approval.

    Delegate applications for Global Primary **You must be a Logged in Member of Democrats Abroad to view **

    Delegate Candidate Application (Exhibit I)

    Voting Center Rules (Exhibit II)

    Challenge Form (Exhibit III)

    Confidentiallity Agreement (Exhibit IV)

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    For the entire article: http://www.democratsabroad.org/2012_global_primary

  5. April 17, 2012

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan

    President Obama will welcome Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan to the White House on Monday, April 30, 2012. The President looks forward to holding discussions with the Prime Minister on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance, economic and trade issues, and deepening bilateral cooperation. The two leaders will also discuss regional and global security concerns.

    • The Noda-Obama Summit and U.S. Defense “Rebalancing” toward Asia

      4/27/2012 forbes

      Prime Minister Noda will travel to Washington, D.C. on the 29th and meet with President Obama in the White House on April 30. What kind of visit will it be and what can we suppose they will be thinking and talking about?

      In contrast to the not so subtle humiliation endured by Noda during his short visit to Beijing last December (see 12/27/11 post), when China took the occasion to signal to Japan that more obeisance to China’s desires–and more independence from the U.S.–will be expected in the future, the reception in Washington is likely to be warm and, replete with assurances–touched with nostalgia–that the Japan-U.S. “alliance” is secure and slated to get stronger.

      If readers notice a disconnect here, particularly from Japan’s perspective, you are seeing the situation clearly. A China-dominated Asia is changing–growing stronger, richer, and more intent on defending its global interests, including with military power. Japan is changing–its population shrinking, its economy stagnating except where it is integrating with Asia, and especially with China, and its Self Defense forces inevitably weakening under budgetary constraints. The U.S., on the other hand, seems locked on an inertial course of naval and air force expansion (“rebalancing” it is called) in order to “maintaining regional stability,” which is to say, the status quo, in Asia.

      For Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines, now engaged in tense standoffs with China in disputed claims to presumed energy rich undersea territory in the Spratly Island chain, the U.S.‘s expansive rhetoric and deployments encourage boldness, if not recklessness. In a more natural and naturally stable future Asian order–one I suspect Japan clearly sees coming, even if DOD and Obama do not–these countries would be accepting Chinese suzerainty and negotiating for whatever concessions China might offer in exchange for ceding their territorial claims.

      China is, simply, too big and strong, and–the essential point–too vitally important economically to all Asian countries, including Japan, to be challenged on its core interests and objectives. This reality puts Japan in a tight and uncomfortable spot as the U.S. indulges the dangerous pretensions of third tier actors in Southeast Asia.

      There are only three topics of much substance that will be discussed between Noda and Obama. Two relate the Japan’s huge domestic fiscal and energy crises. Obama ask Noda about prospects for passage of the consumption tax increase, debate on which begins in the Diet next week. Obama will also express concern and ask about whether Japan will be able to restart nuclear power plants, and, if not, how Japan can limit the enormous costs and dislocations that will result from permanent closure.

      For the entire article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/stephenharner/2012/04/27/the-noda-obama-summit-and-u-s-defense-rebalancing-toward-asia/?feed=rss_home

  6. 2012 Warrior Games – “Let the Games Begin!”

    APRIL 26, 2012 ASHMCCALL – U.S. ARMY

    More than 200 wounded, injured and ill service members from the Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Special Operations Command are scheduled to compete in the 2012 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., beginning on April 30 and concluding April 5.

    First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver remarks during the Opening Ceremony for the third annual games. The Warrior Games represent a nexus of Mrs. Obama’s two main priorities as First Lady: supporting our nation’s veterans, service members and military families through her Joining Forces initiative and getting more children to lead healthy, active lifestyles through her Let’s Move! initiative . The men and women participating in the 2012 Warrior Games serve as an inspiration to all Americans for their service, sacrifice and achievements.

    Fifty Soldiers and Army veterans will be among the athletes competing for gold in the wheelchair basketball, archery, swimming, cycling, track and field, shooting and sitting volleyball events. The games demonstrate the dedication and determination of men and women of the armed forces overcoming their disabilities and proving themselves as athletes and warriors.

    For the entire article: http://armylive.dodlive.mil/index.php/2012/04/2012-warrior-games/

  7. Thousands meet at native people’s gathering in U.S.

    Apr 28, 2012 By Zelie Pollon – Reuters

    ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) – Tomé Roubideaux had not been to the annual meeting of Native American and indigenous people, known as the Gathering of Nations, for a decade because he was battling cancer and too sick to dance.

    This year, having survived the disease, the 68-year-old Lakota Indian from Conifer, Colorado, attended the gathering, the largest event of its kind, to give thanks.

    Adorned with a vest and headdress of porcupine quills, an eagle feather fan and beaded moccasins, Roubideaux joined thousands of people from 500 tribes from as far away as New Zealand and South America to dance to the rhythm of dozens of drummers.

    “It’s so good to be here. It’s my best therapy,” he said.

    Some 3,000 singers and dancers perform over the three-day Gathering of Nations, which began on Thursday in Albuquerque.

    Celebrating its 29th year, organizers say it’s the largest meeting of Native American and indigenous people in the world. They predict that about 150,000 people will attend.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/thousands-meet-native-peoples-gathering-u-214000055.html

  8. Jill Biden to visit Ivy Tech in Gary

    April 28, 2012 Associated Press

    GARY — Jill Biden is planning a visit an Ivy Tech Community College campus in northwest Indiana as part of her “Community College to Career” tour.

    The vice president’s wife will be at Ivy Tech’s Gary campus on Monday afternoon. She teaches English at a community college in Virginia and has called community colleges “one of America’s best-kept secrets.” She is working to highlight the role of community colleges in preparing American workers.

    Ivy Tech Community College President Thomas Snyder says community colleges help keep the middle class strong.

    • My mom was from Gary. I visited there a few times growing up. It isn’t too far from Metropolis, Illinois, the home of Superman. I think that is also where Michael Jackson was raised.

  9. Obama campaign confronts voter ID laws

    4/30/12 POLITICO44

    The New York Times’ Michael Shear looks at the state-by-state challenges that the Obama campaign faces in terms of keeping their most ardent supporters registered to vote:

    In Wisconsin, where a new state law requires those registering voters to be deputized in whichever of the state’s 1,800 municipalities they are assigned to, the campaign sent a team of trainers armed with instructions for complying with the new regulations.

    In Florida, the campaign’s voter registration aides traveled across the state to train volunteers on a new requirement that voter registration signatures be handed in to state officials within 48 hours after they are collected.

    And in Ohio, Mr. Obama’s staff members have begun reaching out to let voters know about new laws that discourage precinct workers from telling voters where to go if they show up at the wrong precinct.

    Many of the laws in question — including the ones in Florida and Wisconsin — are the subject of legal challenges by Democratic groups who say they are part of a partisan, Republican effort to dampen the turnout of voters, particularly members of minority groups, for Mr. Obama and his party.

    But senior aides to Mr. Obama said the campaign was preparing for the laws to be upheld and in force this fall — just in case.

    To combat the fact that their base — low-income voters, minority voters, and young voters are the least likely to have the proper ID, the campaign is relying on technology and online organizing.

    The campaign launched the website “Own your Vote” Wisconsin this month to help supporters there navigate the new voting rules. And the campaign is also organizing supporters in Florida and Ohio against voter ID measures — telling Ohio supporters to rally against a proposal to curtail early voting.

  10. U.S. March personal incomes rise, consumers save more

    4/30/12 Jason Lange – Reuters – 9 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. household income rose in March by the most in three months although consumers socked away part of the extra cash by saving more and only modestly increasing spending.

    The Commerce Department said on Monday consumer income rose 0.4 percent last month. Analysts had expected a gain of 0.3 percent. After tax income climbed 0.2 percent in March when accounting for higher prices.

    Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent last month, also just below the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 0.4 percent. When taking into account inflation, spending was up 0.1 percent.

    U.S. economic growth cooled in the first quarter as businesses cut back on investment and restocked shelves at a slower pace.

    Stronger consumer spending over the entire quarter cushioned the blow, but Monday’s data suggested consumers ended the quarter spending less freely.
    With consumption rising less quickly than income, the saving rate edged higher to 3.8 percent.

    A price index for personal spending rose 0.2 percent in March. In the 12 months through March, the PCE index was up 2.1 percent, the lowest in a year but still just above the U.S. Federal Reserve’s target of 2 percent.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/u-march-personal-incomes-rise-consumers-save-more-123337135–business.html

    • April 30, 2012

      Remarks by the President at the Building and Construction Trades Department Conference

      Washington Hilton Hotel
      Washington, D.C.

      10:38 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hey! Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you.

      AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much. Everybody, please have a seat. (Applause.) Thank you, guys. Everybody, take a seat. Well, thank you, Sean, for that outstanding introduction.

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: Four more years! Four more years!

      THE PRESIDENT: (Laughter.) I’ll take it. Thank you. Thank you.

      Well, it is good to be back among friends. The last time I was here we — was Saturday night. (Laughter.) And they tell me I did okay. But I want to not only thank Sean for his extraordinary leadership; I want to acknowledge all the other presidents who are on stage for what they do each and every day on behalf of not just their members, but on behalf of all working people. I’m proud of that. (Applause.)

      I want to thank my good friend, Tim Kaine, who is here and is a friend of labor — (applause) — the next United States senator from the great Commonwealth of Virginia.

      And obviously, we come here at a time where — I just want to repeat my condolences to everybody in the building and construction trades on the passing of Mark Ayers. Mark was a tremendous leader. He was a good friend. His commitment to the labor movement and to working people will leave a mark for years to come. And my thoughts and prayers are with his family. But I know that Sean is going to do an outstanding job, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. So congratulations. (Applause.)

      So it’s good to be back in front of all of you. It’s always an honor to be with folks who get up every day and work real jobs — (laughter) — and every day fight for America’s workers. You represent the latest in a long, proud line of men and women who built this country from the bottom up. That’s who you are. (Applause.) It was workers like you who led us westward. It was workers like you who pushed us skyward. It was your predecessors who put down the hard hats and helped us defeat fascism. And when that was done, you kept on building –highways that we drive on, and the houses we live in, and the schools where our children learn. And you established the foundation of what it means to be a proud American.

      And along the way, unions like yours made sure that everybody had a fair shake, everybody had a fair shot. You helped build the greatest middle class that we’ve ever seen. You believed that prosperity shouldn’t be reserved just for a privileged few; it should extend all the way from the boardroom all the way down to the factory floor. That’s what you believe. (Applause.)

      Time and again, you stood up for the idea that hard work should pay off; responsibility should be rewarded. When folks do the right thing, they should be able to make it here in America. And because you did, America became home of the greatest middle class the world has ever known. You helped make that possible — not just through your organizing but how you lived; looking after your families, looking out for your communities. You’re what America is about.

      And so sometimes when I listen to the political debates, it seems as if people have forgotten American progress has always been driven by American workers. And that’s especially important to remember today.

      The last decade has been tough on everybody. But the men and women of the building and construction trades have suffered more than most. Since the housing bubble burst, millions of your brothers and sisters have had to look for work. Even more have had to struggle to keep the work coming in. And that makes absolutely no sense at a time when there is so much work to be done.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/30/remarks-president-building-and-construction-trades-department-conference

    • Excerpts from President Obama’s speech today at the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference.

      “Infrastructure shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Investments in better roads and safer bridges and newer schools have been made by Democrats and Republicans for generations, because they benefit all of us. They lead to strong, durable economic growth.”

      “And yet, Republicans today seem to have exactly the opposite view. They voted to cut spending on transportation infrastructure by almost 30 percent. That means instead of putting more construction workers back on the job, they want to lay more off. Instead of breaking ground on new projects, they want to let existing projects grind to a halt. Instead of making the investments we need to get ahead, they’re willing to let us all fall further behind.

      Now, when you ask them why they’re making all these cuts, they say it’s because we need to pay down our deficit. And that argument might actually fly if they didn’t just vote to spend $4.6 trillion on lower tax rates – that’s trillion with a “T” – on top of the $1 trillion they would spend on tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year. That’s their real priority.

      Think about that. Republicans in Congress would rather put fewer of you to work building fewer things than ask millionaires and billionaires to live without massive new tax cuts.

      So let me you ask you: what’s a better way to make our economy stronger? Giving another tax break to every millionaire and billionaire in the country? Or building the roads and bridges and broadband networks that will help our businesses sell more goods around the world?

      Of course we need to bring down our deficit in the long-term. But if we’re smart about it, we can also afford to make the investments that will help our country and the American people in the short-term.

      I think that’s a no-brainer. But apparently Republicans disagree. And what’s more, they’ve also set their sights on dismantling unions like yours. After all you’ve done to build and protect the middle class, they’re saying you’re responsible for the problems facing the middle class. Somehow that makes sense to them.

      Well, that’s not what I believe. I believe our economy is stronger when workers are getting paid good wages and good benefits. I believe all of us are better off when we have broad-based prosperity that grows outward from a strong middle class. And I believe when folks try and take collective bargaining rights away by passing so-called “right to work” laws that might as well be called “the right to work for less and less,” that’s not about economics – it’s about politics.

      That’s why we’ve reversed harmful decisions designed to undermine those rights, and passed the Fair Pay Act to help stop pay discrimination. That’s why we’ve supported Davis-Bacon. And that’s why we’ve reversed the ban on Project Labor Agreements.”

  11. Forward.

    Published on Apr 30, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom

    Join the Team: https://my.barackobama.com/forwardvid

    The video outlines the challenges America faced as President Obama took office at the height of the worst recession in almost a century and details the progress that has been made reclaiming the security of the middle class and building an economy that’s meant to last, where hard work pays and responsibility is rewarded.

    • GREAT video. And it isn’t even a complete list of PBO’s accomplishments!

  12. U.S. consumer confidence surges as economy improves -Nielsen

    4/30/12 By Susan Fenton | Reuters – 1 hr 13 mins ago

    LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer confidence surged in the first quarter to its highest in more than four years as the economy improved, contrasting with still very low morale among debt-laden euro zone countries, a survey showed on Monday.

    Confidence remained highest in India and the Asia Pacific, according to the quarterly survey by global information company Nielsen.

    Globally, consumer sentiment rose slightly from the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index. The index gained 5 points in the first quarter of 2012 to 94, helped by a nine-point jump in the United States’ score over the previous three months.

    Some 55 percent of global consumers described their personal finances for the next 12 months as excellent/good, up from 52 percent in the previous quarter, while 33 percent indicated it was a good time to buy things they wanted.

    The rise in confidence in the United States, to its highest level since the third quarter of 2007, was much sharper than in most of the 56 markets survey. India, however, topped the global rankings again, followed by emerging economies including Saudi Arabia, Brazil and China.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/u-consumer-confidence-surges-economy-improves-nielsen-150607175–business.html

  13. 12:00 PM EDT
    U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy
    John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, delivers remarks on the Efficacy and Ethics of the President’s Counterterrorism Strategy
    The Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/Homeland-Security-Advisor-Speaks-about-Ethics-of-White-House-Strategy/10737430287/

    The Woodrow Wilson Center http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/the-efficacy-and-ethics-us-counterterrorism-strategy

  14. 1:30 PM EDT
    Dr Jill Biden and U.S. Department of Labor Assistant Secretary Jane Oates visit Metropolitan Community College.
    Kansas City, KS

    • April 30, 2012

      Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Noda of Japan at Joint Press Conference

      East Room

      2:16 P.M. EDT

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please be seated. Good afternoon, everybody. It is a great pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Noda of Japan, one of America’s closest allies in the Asia Pacific region but also around the world. And, of course, one of the reasons that we enjoy such a strong alliance between our nations is because it’s rooted in the deep friendship between our peoples. I’ve felt it in my own life, during my visits to Japan, including as a young boy. And we’ve seen that friendship on display very profoundly over the past year.

      Last month, we marked the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and nuclear crisis that followed. All across Japan, people stopped and stood in silence at 2:46 p.m. — the moment that the earth shook. Mr. Prime Minister, on behalf of the American people, I want to say to you and the people of Japan — we continue to stand with you as well.

      We stand with Japan in honoring the lost and the missing — 19,000 men, women and children who will never be forgotten. We stand with you as you rebuild — what you, Mr. Prime Minister, have called “the rebirth of Japan.” And we stand with Japan — in the Asia Pacific and beyond — because even as it has focused on the hard work at home, Japan has never stopped leading in the world. It is a great tribute to the Japanese people and to leaders like Prime Minister Noda.

      I’m told that over the past year many Japanese have found strength in what they call “kizuna” — the bonds of solidarity between friends and neighbors; bonds which cannot be broken. Mr. Prime Minister, the same could be said of the bonds between the United States and Japan. And today we welcome you in that spirit.

      As President, I’ve worked to strengthen the ties between our two nations since my first days in office. And when Prime Minister Noda and I first met last September we agreed to modernize our alliance to meet the needs of the 21st century. Mr. Prime Minister, I want to thank you for the personal commitment that you’ve brought to this effort. You’ve called the alliance with the United States Japan’s “greatest asset.” And in our work together we’ve seen your trademark determination and humility.

      In fact, during our discussions today, the Prime Minister compared his leadership style to that of a point guard in basketball — he may not be the flashiest player, but he stays focused and gets the job done. He’s brought that same sense of teamwork to our partnership, and it’s helped make this visit a milestone in the history of our alliance.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/30/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-noda-japan-joint-press-confer

    • April 30, 2012

      United States-Japan Joint Statement: A Shared Vision for the Future

      The U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace, security, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. This partnership has underwritten the dynamic growth and prosperity of the region for 60 years.

      The strength of this Alliance, which was demonstrated during the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, is founded on the close bonds between our two nations and our people. These bonds will continue to anchor and sustain our partnership.

      Japan and the United States share a commitment to democracy, the rule of law, open societies, human rights, human security, and free and open markets; these values guide us in our joint efforts to address the global challenges of our time.

      The U.S.-Japan partnership continues to be defined by our enduring commitment to the maintenance of peace. Over the decades, our Alliance has steadily developed into a comprehensive partnership that contributes to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, an important center for global economic growth, and beyond.

      Japan and the United States pledge to fulfill our roles and responsibilities by utilizing the full range of capabilities to advance regional and global peace, prosperity and security. Our cooperation and dialogue extend to all levels and areas of government and the private sector.

      To accomplish our shared vision for the future, we seek to further enhance our bilateral security and defense cooperation. We reaffirm the indispensability of the U.S.-Japan Alliance to the security of Japan, and to the peace, security, and economic prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, which faces diverse challenges in a changing international environment. We will pursue our respective commitments, including the development of Japan’s dynamic defense force under the 2010 National Defense Program Guidelines, and the U.S. strategic rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific with its efforts to achieve a more geographically distributed and operationally resilient force posture in the region. Our updated U.S. force realignment plan will further enhance the Alliance’s ability to respond to a variety of contingencies in the region.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/30/united-states-japan-joint-statement-shared-vision-future

    • April 30, 2012

      Fact Sheet: United States-Japan Cooperative Initiatives

      President Obama met with Prime Minister Noda in Washington, D.C., on April 30, 2012. In addition to releasing the “U.S.-Japan Joint Statement: A Shared Vision for the Future,” the two leaders announced the following cooperative initiatives, which are aimed at strengthening and expanding the U.S.-Japan relationship in the areas of security cooperation, economic partnership, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

      Joint Statement by the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee(2+2): The leaders welcomed the 2+2 Joint Statement of April 27, and affirmed that the new plan will enhance the implementation of U.S. force posture and realignment goals, leading to strengthened and expanded security and defense cooperation. The statement represents a key component of the broader U.S. strategic rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific by supporting a U.S. military presence in the region that is geographically distributed, operationally resilient and politically sustainable. It marks a major step forward in our bilateral security relationship and opens the way for new Alliance initiatives to enhance our operational cooperation, including dynamic defense cooperation involving timely and effective joint training, joint surveillance and reconnaissance activities, and joint/ shared use of facilities. It also opens a pathway to new initiatives for regional collaboration to help partners to build their capacity through both governments’ efforts. Additional information and the text of the statement are available here: http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspxreleaseid=15220

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/30/fact-sheet-united-states-japan-cooperative-initiatives

  15. 3:20 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to Obama campaign volunteers and supporters
    Colorado Springs, CO

  16. 4:00 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama visits service members and their families at Albuquerque International Airport
    New Mexico’s Kirtland Air Force Base, NM

  17. 5:00 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Warrior Games.
    Colorado Springs, CO

    • April 30, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at the Opening Ceremony of the Warrior Games

      Olympic Training Center
      Colorado Springs, Colorado

      3:52 P.M. MDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Thank you so much. Wow. (Applause.) Everyone, please, rest yourselves.

      Let me start by thanking General Dempsey for that very kind introduction and for all that he and his family does for this country. It has been such an honor to work with the General, with his wife Deanie. And we are just grateful for your service. It has been a true pleasure for me to have them as partners.

      I also want to join in in recognizing everyone from Deloitte, the Fisher House Foundation, the USO and the United States Olympic Committee for their support of the Warrior Games. And I want to join in in recognizing Senator Michael Bennet, Congressman Lamborn, Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia — you all, thank you for your service and thank you for taking the time to join us here.

      And I also have to give a warm welcome to all of the members of the British armed forces who are here to compete as well. We are thrilled that you could make the trip, but I want to warn you that nobody is going to go easy on you because of a little jet lag. (Laughter.) So that’s no excuse, okay?

      And, of course, I want to recognize all of our troops, veterans and military families who are here today. As you have seen, we have folks from the Army, the Navy, the Coast Guard, the Air Force and the Marine Corps. Just breathtaking is all I have to say. And I am humbled and inspired.

      As First Lady, one of the best parts of my job is spending time with all of you. Because whenever I go to Walter Reed or visit one of our military bases or talk with military families at the White House or anywhere else for that matter, I get to hear the stories of your service and your sacrifice, and that is what has moved me so much.

      I get to see your strength and your determination. I get to see that up close, firsthand, as you tell me that you’re not just going to walk again but you’re going to run, and you’re going to run marathons. That’s what I hear. No matter how seriously you’re injured, no matter what obstacles or setbacks you face, you just keep moving forward. You just keep moving forward. You just keep pushing yourselves to succeed in ways that just mystify and leave us all in awe.

      And that’s why I am so excited to be here, so humbled to be here as we kick off the 2012 Warrior Games, because this week all of that is going to be on display for the entire world and that’s exciting.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/30/remarks-first-lady-opening-ceremony-warrior-games

    • BOX SCORE WORLD SPORTS

      04.30.12 fisherhouse

      Highlighted by an affirmation from first lady Michelle Obama, 1,600 people celebrated the official opening of the 2012 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte here today at the Olympic Training Center. Hosted by the United States Olympic Committee, the Opening Ceremony took place on the Olympic Path and included a march of the 220 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans who will take part in the third annual competition from May 1-5.

      The 2012 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte are hosted by the USOC and supported by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, USO, Fisher House, Daniels Fund, Anheuser Busch, AT&T, BP, Chobani and DeVry.

      For more: http://www.fisherhouse.org/news/2012/april/first-lady-michelle-obama-opens-2012-warrior-games/

  18. Top court to follow up on immigration lawyer case

    4/30/12 By James Vicini | Reuters – 4 hrs ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide how broadly to apply its two-year old ruling that immigrants have a constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel and must be told about possible deportation stemming from a guilty plea.

    The justices said they would consider whether its March 31, 2010, ruling would apply retroactively to previous convictions or would only to convictions after that date. Defense lawyers said in their Supreme Court appeal that the issue has profound practical significance.

    In its original ruling, the Supreme Court decided by a 7-2 vote that an immigrant’s constitutional right to effective counsel was violated when his attorney mistakenly told him he could plead guilty to drug charges without being deported.

    Immigrant rights advocates said at the time the decision could potentially affect thousands of immigrants every year.

    Since the decision, U.S. courts of appeals have issued conflicting rulings on whether the high court’s ruling applied retroactively. The U.S. Justice Department told the Supreme Court the issue involved a recurring question of substantial importance that warranted review.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/top-court-immigration-lawyer-case-161539660.html

  19. CMS: Obama health law has saved seniors $3.4 billion on prescription drugs

    4/30/12 10:04 AM ET By Sam Baker – TheHill

    Seniors have saved $3.4 billion on prescription drugs because of President Obama’s healthcare law, the Medicare agency said Monday.

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said seniors saved an average of $837 in the first three months of this year.

    CMS said more than 5 million seniors have benefited from the law’s drug discounts — a provision that Democrats often highlight as they try to build public support for a law that remains stuck at about 50 percent approval.

    The Affordable Care Act seeks to close the so-called Medicare “doughnut hole” — a coverage gap in which seniors traditionally had to cover all of their prescription drug costs. Under the new law, seniors who reach the doughnut hole now receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs and a 7 percent discount on generics.

    The discounts were part of an agreement between Democrats and the pharmaceutical industry, which agreed to accept lower prices and also pay a modest excise tax.

    In addition to the discounts, CMS said, seniors in the doughnut hole are saving money by using more generic drugs.

  20. 8:40 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama visits with youth volunteers at Tucson Village Farm
    Tucson, AZ

    • May 01, 2012′

      Remarks by the First Lady at a Campaign Event

      Tucson Convention Center
      Tucson, Arizona

      6:56 P.M. MST

      MRS. OBAMA: Oh my goodness! (Applause.) All right. You all sound like you’re already fired up and ready to go, so I’ll just take my shoes off and go home. (Laughter.) Thank you so much. Thank you. Can you all hear me? I just want to make sure. I’m a little taller. (Laughter.)

      But let me tell you, it is a pleasure and truly an honor to be here with all of you, to be back in Tucson. I just can’t tell you how special this place is to us.

      I want to start by thanking Maria Elena for that very kind introduction. Let’s give her a round of applause. (Applause.) She gave me shoelaces, and I was like okay — so we took a picture with our shoelaces. She told me she would explain them and now I am proud to have my shoelaces. Thank you so much.

      I also want to recognize a few dear people here. Congressman Grilalba is here, who has just been amazing. (Applause.) And his beautiful daughter who was just -– she was just –- now she’s bigger! Oh my god, the years! Granddaughter — well, did I say daughter? Granddaughter, of course. I mean, you look good, but not that good. (Laughter.) She’s a preciousness.

      I also want to thank Mayor Rothchild for being here as well. (Applause.) Your State Party Chair, Bill Roe, who’s been doing an amazing job. (Applause.) Thank you all for your leadership and service. I know we’re going to do it here because of people like you. I know we are. (Applause.)

      And, wow, wasn’t Calexico — they were amazing. Amazing. (Applause.) I got to hear a little bit backstage, very good. Thank you all, thanks for that wonderful performance.

      I also want to recognize Ron Barber. (Applause.) He is going to do a fantastic job representing his district in Washington. We will be happy to have him out there. (Applause.)

      And we are thrilled to have Gloria Giffords here with us this evening. (Applause.) Gloria! She knows how proud we are of her daughter. I mean, we are so inspired by Gabby’s courage and her determination, and I just want you to know that we love her and we are with her, with you, with the family every step of the way. Thank you for taking the time to be here. (Applause.)

      And finally, I just want to thank all of you. This is a wonderful crowd. Look at you guys, looking so good here. Thank you all. Thank you for your support, and for taking the time to be here this evening. Is it evening now? I’m having a hard time keeping up with what time of day is it; I started in D.C. at 7 a.m. or something like that, so I think this is the second half of my day or something like that. But I’m thrilled to be here.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/01/remarks-first-lady-campaign-event

    • First lady honors Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson campaign stop

      4/30/12 By LEIGH MUNSIL – POLITICO44

      First lady Michelle Obama paid tribute to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a campaign stop in Tucson, Ariz., Monday, while drumming up support for her husband’s reelection bid.

      Obama gave a speech at the Tucson Convention Center, according to a pool report, saying it was an honor to be in the city again since visiting in the aftermath of the January 2011 shooting at a “Congress on Your Corner” event that killed six and wounded Giffords.

      “I can’t tell you how special this place is to us,” she said.

      Giffords’ mother, Gloria Giffords, was in attendance. While recognizing her, Obama said she and President Barack Obama are inspired by the former congresswoman’s courage and determination in her recovery from a brain injury caused by a gunshot to the head.

      “We love her and are with her, with you, with the family every step of the way,” Obama said.

      She also mentioned Ron Barber, Giffords’ former district director who’s running for her seat, saying he will do a “fantastic job” representing congressional District 8 in Washington, according to the pool report.

      In her speech, the first lady expressed confidence in her husband’s chances at winning the traditionally red state of Arizona in November.

      “I know we are going to do it here because of people like you,” Obama told the crowd.

      The Tucson stop is part of a Western campaign swing by the first lady, who continues on to Las Vegas and Albuquerque Tuesday.

  21. WH

    Tuesday, April 1, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama makes unannounced visit to Afghanistan.

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

    12:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a fundraiser
    Las Vegas, NV

    1:00 PM
    1:30 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to Obama campaign volunteers and supporters
    Las Vegas, NV

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:30 PM
    President Obama Speaks at Troop Rally
    Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:30 PM
    President Obama addresses the American people from Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan

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

  22. May 1

    International Workers’ Day (also known as May Day) is a celebration of the international labour movement and left-wing movements. It commonly sees organized street demonstrations and marches by working people and their labour unions throughout most of the world. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries. It is also celebrated unofficially in many other countries.

    • Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis promotes international worker rights through new collaborations

      2/15/12 osha.gov

      In two recent meetings, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis pledged to collaborate on international worker rights issues. At a Feb. 1 meeting in Washington, D.C., Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis met with Colombia Minister of Labor Rafael Pardo to discuss Colombia’s recent achievements in protecting workers’ rights, address challenges that remain, and award a grant of $2 million to the International Labour Organization (ILO) to develop a robust presence in Colombia.

      The following day, Secretary Solis and Minister of Labour and Employment Mallikarjun Kharge of the Republic of India signed a memorandum of understanding to encourage dialogue and cooperation between the United States and India on labor and employment issues. The memorandum will enable the Labor Department to begin dialogue with its counterpart in India occupation safety and health issues as well as other labor topics, with their counterparts in India.World workers express anger, gloom on May Day

      5/1/12 By DANIEL WOOLLS | Associated Press – 52 mins ago

      MADRID (AP) — Banging drums and waving flags, tens of thousands of workers marked May Day in European cities Tuesday with a mix of anger and gloom over austerity measures imposed by leaders trying to contain the eurozone’s intractable debt crisis.

      Taking the baton from Asia, where unions demanded wage increases as they transformed the day from one celebrating workers rights to one of international protest, workers turned out in droves in Greece, France and Spain — the latest focus of a debt nightmare that has already forced three eurozone countries to seek financial bailouts.

      In the United States, demonstrations, strikes and acts of civil disobedience were planned, including what could be the country’s most high-profile Occupy rallies since the anti-Wall Street encampments came down in the fall.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/world-workers-express-anger-gloom-may-day-132553909–finance.html

  23. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and local partners to assess the current landscape of regional, state, and local
    (RSL) nanotechnology initiatives.

    5/1-5/2 Portland, OR

    Event: A workshop sponsored by the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and local partners to assess the current landscape of regional, state, and local (RSL) nanotechnology initiatives.

    Date and Location: The workshop will be held at the Embassy Suites hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon, on May 1-2, 2012, with optional site visits to nanotechnology facilities on April 30th, 2012. See the hotel registration links and phone numbers below.

    Themes: Principal themes addressed in the workshop will include: a) the current landscape of U.S. RSL nanotechnology initiatives and their health; b) current Federal resources available for RSLs; c) RSL best practices, business models, and opportunities for partnering; and d) the role of nanotechnology RSLs in future U.S. economic growth and job creation. Sponsored by Nano.gov

    For more information: http://nano.gov/node/732

    • From Minister To Atheist: A Story Of Losing Faith

      4/30/12 by BARBARA BRADLEY HAGERTY – NPR

      This is the first in a series of stories on losing faith.

      Teresa MacBain has a secret, one she’s terrified to reveal.

      “I’m currently an active pastor and I’m also an atheist,” she says. “I live a double life. I feel pretty good on Monday, but by Thursday — when Sunday’s right around the corner — I start having stomachaches, headaches, just knowing that I got to stand up and say things that I no longer believe in and portray myself in a way that’s totally false.”

      MacBain glances nervously around the room. It’s a Sunday, and normally she would be preaching at her church in Tallahassee, Fla. But here she is, sneaking away to the American Atheists’ convention in Bethesda, Md.

      Her secret is taking a toll, eating at her conscience as she goes about her pastoral duties week after week — two sermons every Sunday, singing hymns, praying for the sick when she doesn’t believe in the God she’s praying to. She has had no one to talk to, at least not in her Christian community, so her iPhone has become her confessor, where she records her private fears and frustrations.

      “On my way to church again. Another Sunday. Man, this is getting worse,” she tells her phone in one recording. “How did I get myself in this mess? Sometimes, I think to myself, if I could just go back a few years and not ask the questions and just be one of those sheep and blindly follow and not know the truth, it would be so much easier. I’d just keep my job. But I can’t do that. I know it’s a lie. I know it’s false.”

      For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/30/151681248/from-minister-to-atheist-a-story-of-losing-faith?ft=1&f=1001

      • Teresa MacBain’s husband Ray said this:

        “I believe in God,” says her husband, Ray. “And to be honest, I pray for her every night, I got friends praying for her.”

        But he says he adores his wife and defends her right to disbelieve. “That’s why I spent 23 years in the Army. That’s why I’m still a police officer. We have freedom of speech and freedom of thought. And God never forced anybody to believe, so who am I to step up?”

  24. Charlie Pierce writes:

    Good on the Obama people for taking on the current national campaign of voter-suppression at the local level. Back in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer, volunteers were deeply schooled in the various regulations and tactics used to deprive African Americans of their right to vote, and how those regulations and tactics differed from county to county, city to city and, often, sheriff to sheriff. Now, the basic goals of these laws are the same everywhere they’ve been passed, but they differ just enough in the different states that the people attempting to blunt their effects have to be made aware of every local subtlety….

    This is absolutely the same thing that those people did in Mississippi 50 years ago, and it’s become necessary to do it again because the same foul impulses that brought us literacy tests and the poll tax is bringing us these latest attempts to make difficult what should be the easiest right for us to exercise….

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/obama-voter-id-scam-8484471#ixzz1tZqSl6bq

  25. Swiss Bank Account

    Published on May 1, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom

    Are you in? https://my.barackobama.com/swissbankad

    “Swiss Bank Account” highlights Mitt Romney’s belief that a strong economy is built on outsourcing, loopholes and risky financial deals. As a corporate CEO, he shipped American jobs to places like Mexico and China. As governor, Romney outsourced state jobs to India, and now as a candidate for president he is pushing tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

    Romney’s economic scheme stands in stark contrast with President Obama’s efforts to continue moving the country forward by rebuilding an economy that’s meant to last, by out-building, out-innovating and out-educating the rest of the world, and making the things the rest of the world buys by closing loopholes and providing incentives that are bringing jobs back to America.

  26. GOP WRONG WAY

    ‘The Republican Party is severely dysfunctional, not severely conservative’

    04/30/2012 Posted by Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

    The political scientist Jonathan Bernstein responds to Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein’s much-discussed essay published in Sunday’s Washington Post Outlook section:
    The key is what all of Mann and Ornstein’s examples are about, which is radicalism and irresponsible behavior, not ideological extremism. The most liberal, or most conservative, Member of Congress can find ways to compromise with the other side; there’s nothing inherent in conservativism, or even in ideological extremism, that precludes compromise, comity, respect for institutional norms, and other things that Gingrich/DeLay Republicans — and that’s what we have today — are lacking…The Republican Party is severely dysfunctional, not severely conservative.

  27. Manufacturing sector picks up in April: ISM

    5/1/12 Leah Schnurr – Reuters – 7 mins ago

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The pace of growth in the manufacturing sector unexpectedly picked up in April, while new orders gained, according to an industry report released on Tuesday.

    The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 54.8 from 53.4 in March, besting expectations of 53.0.

    A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector, while a number above 50 means expansion.

    New orders climbed to 58.2 from 54.5, while the employment index also improved to 57.3 from 56.1

    • May 01, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at a Campaign Event – Las Vegas

      The Springs Preserve
      Las Vegas, Nevada

      9:29 A.M. PDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Oh, wow, thank you so much. (Applause.) Thank you all. And it smells so good in here. (Laughter.) You all, please, rest yourselves. It is truly a pleasure and an honor to be here with all of you. I want to start by thanking Jenna for that very kind introduction and all of her hard work today. She has been just a true-blue friend and supporter from the very beginning, before anybody knew who Barack or Michelle Obama was. I remember our first meeting, and she was as fired up as she is today, and I am so grateful to her. So let’s give her a big round of applause. (Applause.)

      And I also want to thank The Springs Reserve [sic] and the Culinary Academy for hosting us here today. This is a beautiful site. As often as I have been here, I didn’t know this was here. This is a true treasure, and it’s my hope that I can come back with a little more quiet — (applause) — with the girls and really get to experience this place. And, you all, the food is amazing. Thank you for investing your time and your talent. It means the world to all of us, right — good food. (Laughter and applause.)

      I also want to recognize Representative Shelly Berkeley and former Representative Dina Titus. They are here. Thank you all so much. Thanks for joining us. Thank you for your support and your leadership. (Applause.) It’s great to see you all this morning.

      And I also want to give a hello and a thank you to our co-chairs — Senator Steven Horsford and Sonya, as well as Julie Murray. You guys — yay! (Applause.) Way to go. Thank you for doing everything to make today so special and such a great success.

      And finally, I have to thank all of you. Thank you for your support. Truly, thank you for taking the time out of your busy days to be here this morning. And I know that there’s a reason that you all are here. And it’s not just for a little good food and to see me — which is okay, too. (Laughter.) But I know that you’re here because this November, we are going to make a choice that will impact our lives for decades to come. And I know you’re here because you know that choice is not just going to affect all of us, but it will affect our children and our grandchildren, and it’s going to affect the world we leave behind for them long after we’re gone. And that is truly why I’m here as well.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/01/remarks-first-lady-campaign-event-las-vegas

  28. Some Housing Markets Rebound, But Bargains Scarce

    5/1/12 by TED ROBBINS – NPR

    The real estate market has turned around in some parts of the U.S., but many buyers aren’t seeing true bargains anymore. Investors are driving up prices, and inventory is low, especially for homes priced under $250,000. That’s not great news for anyone hoping to buy an affordable house to live in.

    Arizona is home to one of the nation’s extraordinary turnarounds. The Phoenix-area median home price rose 20 percent over the past year — 6 percent in March alone. And Tucson was recently named the nation’s best market for investors. But the easy money has already been made.

    Tucson firefighter Keith Cubberley buys distressed property in his spare time. The brick house he bought recently in an older middle-class neighborhood was trashed. “It was dirty and people hadn’t done anything to take care of the property for the last 40 years,” he says.

    So Cubberley gutted it, and now he has workers fixing it up. When he’s done, he’ll resell the house. But buying low-end real estate like this, he says, is getting harder.

    “Anything $100,000 and under … [is] selling very quickly,” he says.

    For the entire article and audio interview: “Anything $100,000 and under … [is] selling very quickly,” he says.

  29. 1:30 PM EDT
    First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to Obama campaign volunteers and supporters
    Las Vegas, NV

    • May 01, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at a Grassroots Event – Las Vegas

      The Springs Preserve
      Las Vegas, Nevada

      10:31 A.M. PDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Yes! Yes! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! (Applause.) You all, oh, this feels so good. Thank you all so much. (Applause.) I am beyond thrilled to be here with all of you today. Oh, my goodness.

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: We’re happy to have you! (Laughter and applause.)

      MRS. OBAMA: Let me start by thanking Loretta for that very kind, very passionate, very heartfelt introduction and for her outstanding work with our young people, work as a neighborhood team leader, and as a National Co-Chair. Let’s give her a big old round of applause. Loretta — way to go. (Applause.)

      I also want to thank Reverend Chaney for his invocation earlier in the program. Is that your Reverend? Is that your Reverend? (Applause.) And I want to thank Rubin for getting everybody pumped up this morning. (Applause.) Did a good job; well done, well done, well done. And I also want to recognize your state party chairwoman, Roberta Lange, who is here — thank her for her leadership here in this state. (Applause.)

      And finally, the reason why I am here is to thank all of you. I mean, truly, thank you for your extraordinary volunteer work. Thank you for all the organizing you do. Thank you for everything you do, day in and day out, to make this campaign possible. Truly, truly — (applause) — you all are doing the hard work. Thank you for knocking on those doors. Thank you for making all those phone calls. Thank you for registering those voters. I want to thank you for giving folks the information about the issues that they care about. That is so important.

      I want to thank you all for that kind of grassroots work that you all are doing to get people focused and fired up. Because what you have to know is that that kind of work — all that you’re doing — is at the core of our campaign. That’s who we are, right? That’s what we do, right? We reach out. We reach out; we bring folks from all different backgrounds into this democratic process, right? That’s how we did it four years ago, and that is exactly how we are going to do it again today, right? (Applause.)

      And the one thing I know is that the work you do is not easy. I know you all are putting in long hours. And I know you all have busy lives. You’ve got families you’re trying to raise, jobs you’ve got to do; many of you have got classes you’re attending — way to go. (Applause.)

      But I also know there’s a reason you all are devoting so much of your lives to this cause. And there’s a reason why I’m here today. And it’s not just because we support one extraordinary man –- (applause) — yes. Although I am a little biased — (laughter) — I think my husband has been a phenomenal President. (Applause.)

      And it’s not just because we want to win an election — which we do. But we’re doing this because of the values we believe in. We’re doing this because of the vision for this country that we all share — all of us. We’re doing this because we want our children to have schools worthy of their promise -– schools that push them, schools that inspire them, that prepare them for good jobs. We want our kids to have clean air, safe streets, and we want them to grow up in a world that is peaceful and secure.

      We want our parents and our grandparents to retire with dignity, because we believe that after a lifetime of hard work they should enjoy their golden years. Amen?

      AUDIENCE: Amen! (Applause.)

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/01/remarks-first-lady-grassroots-event-las-vegas

  30. Obama Marks Shift in Afghan Relations With Visit to Kabul

    KABUL, Afghanistan – President Obama landed here Tuesday, on a surprise visit, to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan meant to mark the beginning of the end of a war that has lasted for more than a decade.

    Mr. Obama, arriving after nightfall under a veil of secrecy at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul, flew by helicopter to the presidential palace, where he was to meet President Hamid Karzai before both leaders signed the pact. It is intended to be a road map for two nations lashed together by more of than a decade of war and groping for a new relationship after the departure of American troops, scheduled for the end of 2014.

    Mr. Obama was scheduled to address the American people from Afghanistan on Tuesday evening, which would be the middle of the night in Afghanistan. The address – on the one-year anniversary of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in neighboring Pakistan – will give Mr. Obama a new opportunity to make an election-year case that he has wound down two inexpensive and now unpopular wars, here and in Iraq.

    Read more:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/02/world/asia/obama-lands-in-kabul-on-unannounced-visit.html?_r=1&smid=tw-nytimes&seid=auto

  31. May 01, 2012

    Presidential Proclamation — Loyalty Day, 2012

    LOYALTY DAY, 2012

    BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    A PROCLAMATION

    More than two centuries ago, our Founders laid out a charter that assured the rule of law and the rights of man. Through times of tranquility and the throes of change, the Constitution has always guided our course toward fulfilling that most noble promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve the chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. America has carried on not only for the skill or vision of history’s celebrated figures, but also for the generations who have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents. On Loyalty Day, we reflect on that proud heritage and press on in the long journey toward prosperity for all.

    In the years since our Constitution was penned and ratified, Americans have moved our Nation forward by embracing a commitment to each other, to the fundamental principles that unite us, and to the future we share. We weathered the storms of civil war and segregation, of conflicts that spanned continents. We overcame threats from within and without — from the specter of fascism abroad to the bitter injustice of disenfranchisement at home. We upheld the spirit of service at the core of our democracy, and we widened the circle of opportunity not just for a privileged few, but for the ambitious many. Time and again, men and women achieved what seemed impossible by joining imagination to common purpose and necessity to courage. That legacy still burns brightly, and the ideals it embodies remain a light to all the world.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/01/presidential-proclamation-loyalty-day-2012

  32. May 01, 2012

    Letter — Prohibiting Certain Transactions with and Suspending Entry into the United States of Foreign Sanctions Evaders with Respect to Iran and Syria

    TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
    TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

    May 1, 2012

    Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

    Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order (the “order”) that takes additional steps with respect to the national emergencies declared in Executive Order 12957 of March 15, 1995, as relied on for additional steps in subsequent Executive Orders; in Executive Order 13338 of May 11, 2004, as modified in scope and relied on for additional steps in subsequent Executive Orders; in Executive Order 12938 of November 14, 1994, as relied on for additional steps in subsequent Executive Orders; and in Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, as relied on for additional steps in subsequent Executive Orders.

    I have determined that efforts by foreign persons to engage in activities intended to evade U.S. economic and financial sanctions with respect to Iran and Syria undermine our efforts to address the national emergencies described above. To address this situation, the order takes additional steps with respect to those national emergencies.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/01/letter-prohibiting-certain-transactions-and-suspending-entry-united-stat

  33. OBAMA CALLS FRENCH PRESIDENT-ELECT HOLLANDE

    by National Confidential Staff | 06 May 2012 | 6:36 pm EST

    President Obama has placed a phone call of congratulation to new French president-elect Francois Hollande. The White House sent out the following release:

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Call to President-elect Hollande of France

    President Obama called President-elect Francois Hollande of France to congratulate him after the results of the French election were announced today.

    President Obama indicated that he looks forward to working closely with Mr. Hollande and his government on a range of shared economic and security challenges. President Obama noted that he will welcome President-elect Hollande to Camp David for the G-8 Summit and to Chicago for the NATO Summit later this month, and proposed that they meet beforehand at the White House.

    President Obama and President-elect Hollande each reaffirmed the important and enduring alliance between the people of the United States and France.

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