Wisconsin Governor Special Election 2012

Scott Walker’s Closest Aide Revealed in Court as Source of Damaging Leak; Flips on Embattled Governor


Scott Walker’s closest political aide has just been named in Milwaukee County Circuit Court Monday as the source of damaging revelations that undermine Walker’s claim that he has cooperated with the John Doe criminal corruption probe into his current and former administrations.

Tim Russell, who was hired or promoted by Scott Walker even after he was fired for stealing from a state agency, was said in court Monday to have given Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice information that showed that, contrary to Walker’s claims, Walker was stonewalling investigators all along.

Source: http://www.wisdems.org/news/press/view/2012-06-breaking-scott-walkers-closest-aide-revealed-in-cour

June 5

Wisconsin Special Election –  Gov Scott Walker’s Recall 

Wisconsin Democratic Party
Website: http://www.wisdems.org/
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/WisDems
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/wisdems

Tom Barrett for WI Gov http://www.barrettforwisconsin.com



79 thoughts on “Wisconsin Governor Special Election 2012

  1. WH

    Monday, June 4, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:45 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
    Local Event Time: 9:45 AM EDT
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.
    Local Event Time: 12:30 PM EDT
    Press Briefing Room

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    3:25 PM
    President Obama departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews.
    Local Event Time: 3:25 PM EDT
    South Lawn
    Open Press

    3:40 PM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews en route New York City.
    Local Event Time: 3:40 PM EDT
    Joint Base Andrews
    Travel Pool Coverage

    4:00 PM
    Vice President Biden delivers commencement address to Cypress Bay High School Graduates
    Marlins Baseball Park
    Miami, Florida
    Local Event Time: 4:00 PM EDT
    Marlins Park
    Open Press

    4:35 PM
    President Obama arrives in New York City.
    Local Event Time: 4:35 PM EDT
    John F. Kennedy International Airport
    Open Press

    5:00 PM
    5:20 PM
    President Obama attends fundraiser co-hosted by former President Bill Clinton in New York
    Waldorf Astoria, New York, NY
    Print Pool

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    8:25 PM
    President Obama attends campaign fundraiser with former President Bill Clinton
    The New Amsterdam Theater, New York, NY

    9:00 PM
    9:35 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event.
    New York, NY

    10:00 PM
    11:00 PM
    11:20 PM
    President Obama departs New York City en route Joint Base Andrews.

    12:00 AM
    12:15 AM
    President Obama arrives at Joint Base Andrews.

    12:30 AM
    President Obama arrives at the White House.

    • WI Gov Scott Walker’s Recall Election

      2012 Recall Initiatives
      The Government Accountability Board has now ordered recall elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and four members of the State Senate, based on the six recall petitions filed on January 17, 2012 against those officeholder.

      Recall elections were ordered for May 8, 2012. If necessary, that election will become a primary, with the final recall election held June 5, 2012.

      Source: http://gab.wi.gov/elections-voting/recall

    • Wisconsin Governor Walker to face recall vote on June 5

      3/30/12 By Brendan O’Brien | Reuters

      MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – Wisconsin’s controversial Republican Governor Scott Walker will face a recall election on June 5 over a new law he championed that strips public sector unions of most power, becoming the first U.S. governor to face a no-confidence vote in nearly a decade.
      The five-member Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, which manages elections, voted unanimously on Friday to formally certify more than 900,000 signatures calling for Walker’s ouster, setting in motion the recall election.

      Democrats and labor unions, outraged by the law they see as an attack on the rights of workers and their unions, gathered nearly double the number of signatures needed to force a recall vote.
      A Democratic primary will be held on May 8 to choose Walker’s opponent in the recall vote. The Democrat who could face Walker is Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a rematch of the 2010 election narrowly won by Walker, although Barrett has not yet formally entered the race.

      For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/wisconsin-governor-walker-face-recall-vote-june-5-152557966.html

    • I recall – One Million Strong

      Uploaded by wisdems09 on Jan 20, 2012

      More than one million Wisconsinites are standing united against Scott Walker’s attacks on working, middle-class families.

    • Wisconsin Recall Primary: Tom Barrett Wins Democratic Nod

      5/8/12 By Elizabeth Hartfield | ABC OTUS News

      Milwaukee Mayor;Tom Barrett won the Democratic primary in Wisconsin on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. This means Barrett will go head-to-head with embattled Republican Gov. in the rare recall election on June 5.

      Barrett, who also ran against Walker in 2010, was expected to win his party’s nomination- polls had showed him with a large lead over former Dane county executive Kathleen Falk, who was viewed as his biggest competitor and had been endorsed by many of the labor organizations in the state. With 33 percent of precincts reporting, Barrett led Falk 54.7 percent to 37 percent.

      Enthusiasm has run high in Wisconsin ahead of the recall election. Walker, Barrett and Falk each reported raising large sums of money- though at slightly under $1 million each, Falk and Barrett have been far outpaced by Walker, who has raised $13 million between mid-January, when the recall was officially announced, and mid-April.

      The Government Accountability Board- which oversees elections in Wisconsin- predicted turnout for the primary would be between 30 and 35 percent of the voting age population, notably higher than the 25 percent that turned out for the presidential primary April 3.

      A Marquette Law School poll released at the beginning of May showed Barrett and Walker in a statistical dead heat.

      If Walker loses the election, he will be the third governor in U.S. history to be recalled from office. He is the first governor in Wisconsin’s history to face a recall election, which was initiated after the governor moved to curtail the rights of some unionized state workers.

    • tom_barrett_wi_gov_banner


      Thomas Mark “Tom” Barrett (born December 8, 1953) is an American politician and a member of the Democratic Party who currently serves as the Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin since 2004. He began his political career serving first in the Wisconsin State Assembly beginning in 1984, then in the Wisconsin State Senate from 1989 to 1993. Barrett served in the United States House of Representatives representing Wisconsin’s 5th congressional district from 1993 to 2003. He ran for Governor of Wisconsin in 2010, garnering 47% of the vote to Republican Scott Walker’s 52%.[

      On May 8, Barrett won the Democratic primary for the recall election of Scott Walker scheduled to take place on June 5, 2012.

      Tom Barrett http://www.barrettforwisconsin.com

    • Wisconsin – June 6 Results

      Gubernatorial Recall Election
      S. Walker, R (i) 53.5% 1,248,373
      T. Barrett, D 46.0% 1,073,446
      H. Trivedi, O 0.6%

  2. cypress_bay_hs

    Cypress Bay High School 2012 Commencement

    Vice President Biden delivers the commencement address at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, FL
    Cypress Bay High School Graduation 2012

    Date: Monday, June 4, 2012 4 P.M. EDT

    Marlins Baseball Park
    Miami, Florida 33125

  3. President Obama And Bill Clinton To Headline Gala Dinner Fundraiser In New York

    MAY 14, 2012 obamafoodorama.blogspot

    On the heels of George Clooney’s megamillions fundraising dinner for President Obama, Campaign officials have newly announced another big-ticket culinary soiree. Former President Bill Clinton will join President Obama at a “Gala Dinner” at The Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York on Monday, June 4th. Grammy Award-winning rock legend Jon Bon Jovi will give a special concert. Tickets are $35,800 for silk-pocketed donors wanting the full experience of facetime and a photo op with 44 & 42. The race is on to make the 6:00 PM Park Avenue event a sell out, just like Clooney’s affair, which raised close to $15 million.

    I suggest ordering your ticket soon since this event will probably sell out quickly,” co-host Jon Cooper wrote in an email sent this weekend with the invitation. President of New York’s Spectronics Corporation and Co-Chair, Tri-State Region, of the Obama Victory Trustees, Cooper hailed the event as “what is sure to be a very memorable evening!”

    Obama for America already announced two other fundraising events for the two Presidents on the same day; one is at the New Amsterdam Theater on West 42nd Street. Dubbed ‘Barack on Broadway,’ it officially kicks off at 7:00 PM. The third will be at hedge-fund manager Mark Lasry’s home, with tickets at $40,000 each. Clinton’s first Obama fundraiser was a dinner and reception on April 29th at the Virginia home of former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe.

    For more: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/05/president-obama-and-bill-clinton-to.html

  4. New farm bill would end direct payments to farmers

    6/2/12 By JIM ABRAMS | Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A program that puts billions of dollars in the pockets of farmers whether or not they plant a crop may disappear with hardly a protest from farm groups and the politicians who look out for their interests.

    The Senate is expected to begin debate this week on a five-year farm and food aid bill that would save $9.3 billion by ending direct payments to farmers and replacing them with subsidized insurance programs for when the weather turns bad or prices go south.

    The details are still to be worked out. But there’s rare agreement that fixed annual subsidies of $5 billion a year for farmers are no longer feasible in this age of tight budgets and when farmers in general are enjoying record prosperity.

    About 80 percent of the bill’s half-trillion-dollar cost over the next five years represents nutrition programs, primarily food stamps now going to some 46 million people. About $100 billion would be devoted to crop subsidies and other farm programs.

    The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee last month approved a bill that would save $23 billion over the next decade by ending direct payments and consolidating other programs. The bill would strengthen the subsidized crop insurance program and create a program to compensate farmers for smaller, or “shallow,” revenue losses, based on a five-year average, for acres actually planted.

    Getting a bill to the president’s desk will be a challenge. Most of the bill’s spending is on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, at an annual cost now of about $75 billion. The Republican-led House is looking for greater cuts to this program than the Democratic Senate will accept.

    The House also is more sympathetic to Southern rice and peanut farmers who say that shallow loss program hurts them. They want to keep some form of target price subsidy.

    The current farm bill expires at the end of September.

    But the Senate bill, and presumably the yet-to-be-written House counterpart, “makes clear that the era of direct payments is over,” said Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, who heads the Senate committee. She said the Senate bill “represents the most significant reform in American agriculture policy in decades.”

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/farm-bill-end-direct-payments-farmers-113631289–finance.html

  5. StartUp America

    $15K + Cambridge/Menlo Park + Awesome Mentors + No Strings Attached

    Summer@HIGHLAND is a 5-year old entrepreneurship program designed to provide student entrepreneurs and university-affiliated startups with the environment and resources for taking their initiative/company to the next level. The program is “founder friendly”: Highland receives no equity stake in exchange for a team’s participation, and teams are under no obligation to Highland after the summer. Our only priority is helping entrepreneurs and their teams significantly advance their startup over the summer.

    For the entire article: http://www.s.co/event/summerhighland-15k-cambridgemenlo-park-awesome-mentors-no-strings-attached

  6. Former Rep. Giffords to campaign with Democrat running to replace her

    6/03/12 07:28 PM ET By Josh Lederman – TheHill

    Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) will campaign in Arizona with Democrat Ron Barber, the former aide who is running to replace her.

    Giffords will appear with Barber at a get-out-the-vote rally and concert at a historic theater in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday – three days before the special election to replace Giffords.

    “She knows that Ron is the only person running who will fight for Southern Arizona,” read an invitation to Barber’s supporters from Jennifer Cox, Barber’s campaign manager. “So, Gabby is coming to town to help get out the vote for Ron.”

    Giffords has made few public appearances since narrowly surviving an assassination attempt at a campaign event in her district in January 2011. Giffords personally asked Barber to run to replace her, and has endorsed his campaign, but has not appeared on the trail until now.

    Barber, who served as Giffords’s district director, was shot twice in the January 2011 shooting spree that killed six, critically injured Giffords and led to her resignation from the House one year later.

    Giffords’s favorite band, the Tucson-based group Calexico, will play at the concert. The band played frequently at Giffords’s own campaign events and her husband, Mark Kelly, selected one of the band’s songs as the wake-up call for the crew of the Discovery shuttle mission he commanded in 2008, NPR reported.

    For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/230617-former-rep-giffords-to-campaign-with-democrat-running-to-replace-her

  7. Paycheck Fairness

    12:00 PM ET
    Senior White House Officials are hosting a conference call to talk about paycheck fairness

    Dial In: (800) 230-1092
    Passcode Title: White House Update Call

  8. Next Up..

    1:00 PM EDT
    White House Council on Community Solutions Summit
    During the White House Summit on Community Solutions for Disconnected Youth, Council members and leaders from a range of local and national non-profit, philanthropic, business, government, and national service organizations gathered to discuss the recommendations and learn about innovative community-developed initiatives connecting young people to critical education and employment opportunities.
    The White House

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

    • White House Council on Community Solutions Summit

      Published on Jun 4, 2012 by whitehouse

      At the House Summit on Community Solutions for Disconnected Youth, Council members and leaders from a range of local and national non-profit, philanthropic, business, government, and national service organizations discuss innovative community-developed initiatives that connecting young people to critical education and employment opportunities. June 4, 2012.

    • June 04, 2012 wisdems.org

      BREAKING: Scott Walker’s Closest Aide Revealed in Court as Source of Damaging Leak; Flips on Embattled Governor

      Scott Walker’s closest political aide has just been named in Milwaukee County Circuit Court Monday as the source of damaging revelations that undermine Walker’s claim that he has cooperated with the John Doe criminal corruption probe into his current and former administrations.

      Tim Russell, who was hired or promoted by Scott Walker even after he was fired for stealing from a state agency, was said in court Monday to have given Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice information that showed that, contrary to Walker’s claims, Walker was stonewalling investigators all along.

      The shocking revelation that Scott Walker’s closest aide sought to damage Walker on the eve of Tuesday’s historic recall election indicated that Russell was cooperating with a prosecution against Walker himself.

      “If Republicans are wondering who is leaking information about crimes that Scott Walker may have committed, they need only look into their own house. That Scott Walker’s longtime and closest political aide, who is charged with stealing from veterans, is the source of information undercutting Walker’s self-serving claims of cooperation shows with crystal clarity just why Wisconsin must remove Scott Walker from office tomorrow,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday.

      “Today’s revelation removes any doubt that Scott Walker is the target of a criminal prosecution.”

    • Scandal surrounds Scott Walker

      Published on May 7, 2012 by GreaterWisComm

      Fifteen felony and three misdemeanor charges have been filed against top aides and associates of Scott Walker. Two have already plead guilty. Another had her home raided by the FBI. Investigators believe Walker’s staffers installed a secret computer network inside his government office building so they could conduct campaign activities while working for the taxpayers. Walker wants us to believe he had no knowledge of these activities. How could he not have known what has going on in the offices of people he personally hired and worked only feet from his office?

  9. avg_us_femarle_earns_431000dollars_less_over_lifetime

    By the Numbers: $431,000

    Colleen Curtis June 04, 2012 01:16 PM EDT

    The gender wage gap puts women at a career-long disadvantage. In 2011, a typical 25-year-old woman working full-time all year earned $5,000 less than a typical 25-year-old man. In just 10 years, her cumulative lost wages will reach $34,000. If that earnings gap is not corrected, by the age of 65 years, she will have lost $431,000 over her working lifetime.

    This substantial gap is more than a statistic — it has real life consequences. When women, who make up nearly half the workforce, bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families, and over a lifetime of work, far less savings for retirement.

    President Obama supports passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Congress puts to a vote on June 5. This comprehensive and common sense bill updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/04/numbers-431000

    • June 04, 2012

      Remarks by the President on Equal Pay for Equal Work via Conference Call

      Via Conference Call

      Please see below for a correction (marked with an asterisk).
      CORRECTION: Women still earn just 70 77* cents for every dollar a man earns.

      12:15 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hey, guys, thanks for joining the call. As Valerie just said, and I know everybody has been talking about, tomorrow Congress is going to have a chance to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act. I don’t have to tell you how much this matters to families across the country. All of you are working day in, day out, to support the basic principle, equal pay for equal work.

      And we’ve made progress. But we’ve got a lot more to do. Women still earn just 70 77* cents for every dollar a man earns. It’s worse for African American women and Latinas. Over the course of her career a woman with a college degree is going to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a man who is doing the same work.

      So at a time when we’re in a make-or-break moment for the middle class, Congress has to step up and do its job. If Congress passes the Paycheck Fairness Act, women are going to have access to more tools to claim equal pay for equal work. If they don’t, if Congress doesn’t act, then women are still going to have difficulty enforcing and pressing for this basic principle.

      And we’ve got to understand this is more than just about fairness. Women are the breadwinners for a lot of families, and if they’re making less than men do for the same work, families are going to have to get by for less money for childcare and tuition and rent, small businesses have fewer customers. Everybody suffers.

      So that’s why we moved forward with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. That’s why I established a National Equal Pay Task Force to help crack down on violations of equal pay laws. Earlier this year, the Department of Labor announced the winners of a national competition for equal pay apps that give women interactive tools and key information to help them determine if they’re getting paid fairly.

      So we’re going to be releasing this afternoon a formal administration policy message supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act, and we’re going to call on Congress to do the right thing. But let’s face it. Congress is not going to act because I said it’s important; they’re going to act because you guys are making your voices heard. So senators have to know you’re holding them accountable. Everything that they’re going to be hearing over the next 24 hours can make a difference in terms of how they vote.

      We’ve got a long way to go, but we can make this happen, and together we can keep moving forward. So let’s make sure hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded.

      I appreciate everything you guys do. And I’m going to turn over the call to Cecilia Muñoz, who is going to describe the Paycheck Fairness Act in more detail.

      Thanks, everybody. Bye-bye.

      12:21 P.M. EDT

    • June 04, 2012

      FACT SHEET: Fighting for Equal Pay and the Paycheck Fairness Act

      Today, the President continues to advocate for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive bill that strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work. The Paycheck Fairness Act is commonsense legislation that, among other things, would achieve the following:

      Better align key Equal Pay Act defenses with those in Title VII.
      Bring remedies available under the Equal Pay Act into line with remedies available under other civil rights laws.
      Make the requirements for class action lawsuits under the Equal Pay Act match those of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
      Protect employees who share their own salary information at work from retaliation by an employer.
      The existing legal tools available to remedy pay discrimination are not enough, so Congress needs to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act now.

      From the beginning of his administration, President Obama has worked to ensure that women are paid fairly for their work. The President is committed to securing equal pay for equal work because it’s essential that we build an economy where everyone gets a fair shot. American families and the health of our nation’s economy depend on it.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/04/fact-sheet-fighting-equal-pay-and-paycheck-fairness-act

      • Never has there been a President more truly committed to the rights of women. And everybody.

    • Senate GOP kills Paycheck Fairness Act

      Jun 5, 2012 3:35 PM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      Two years ago, a majority of the Senate supported the Paycheck Fairness Act, but it died at the hands of a Republican filibuster. At the time, every GOP senator, including the so-called “moderates,” not only opposed the legislation, but also refused to even let the bill have an up-or-down vote.

      Two years later, the exact same thing happened.

      Democratic legislation meant to fight gender discrimination in the workplace failed in the Democrat-controlled Senate Tuesday on a procedural vote.

      In a 52 to 47 tally the Senate defeated the Paycheck Fairness Act. The legislation aimed to increase protections for women filing gender discrimination lawsuits, as well as create a federal grant program to improve salary negotiating skills of women. The vote was strictly along party lines, with the two Independent senators voting with the Democrats and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) not voting.

      There were some hopes that less-conservative Republican senators like Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) might break ranks on this one. For that matter, vulnerable Republican incumbents like Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) could have sided with Democrats purely for appearances, knowing that their votes wouldn’t affect the outcome.

      Perhaps some of the senators being considered for the Republican vice presidential nomination, such as Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), or Rob Portman (R-Ohio), might side with women to make themselves more palatable to a national audience? No, they all backed the filibuster and killed the bill, too.

      The GOP opposition was as unanimous as it was unyielding, White House lobbying notwithstanding.

      For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/05/12071540-senate-gop-kills-paycheck-fairness-act?lite

      • Congress Says No to Equal Pay

        Colleen Curtis June 05, 2012 04:24 PM EDT

        Equal pay for women is about more than just fairness. Women are breadwinners in more than 50 percent of American households, and if they’re making less than men do for the same work, families have to get with less money for childcare and tuition and rent, and small businesses have fewer customers. Everybody suffers.

        President Obama supports passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive and commonsense bill that updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work. Following Congress’s failure to act on this bill today, the President released the following statement:

        This afternoon, Senate Republicans refused to allow an up-or-down vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a commonsense piece of legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act and give women more tools to fight pay discrimination. It is incredibly disappointing that in this make-or-break moment for the middle class, Senate Republicans put partisan politics ahead of American women and their families. Despite the progress that has been made over the years, women continue to earn substantially less than men for performing the same work. My Administration will continue to fight for a woman’s right for equal pay for equal work, as we rebuild our economy so that hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded, and every American gets a fair shot to succeed.

    • June 04, 2012

      Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden at the Cypress Bay High School Graduation Ceremony

      Marlins Park
      Miami, Florida

      5:18 P.M. EST

      THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. (Applause.) Please, please be seated.

      As a kid, this was my dream, standing at home plate at a major league ballpark, not as a speaker but as a batter. But I had to settle for becoming Vice President. (Laughter.)

      Ladies and gentlemen, parents, the graduating class, grandparents, brothers and sisters, what a great day for all of you, the parents of those graduating today. To you, Principal Neely, affectionately known as the “Big Kahuna” — (laughter) — to the administrators, the faculty, this entire community, this is truly a remarkable school. What you’ve built in 10 years is amazing.

      When Debbie asked me a while ago whether I would come down and be your commencement speaker, I was honored. But as she started to tell me about the school, I began to wonder whether or not she was just overselling to get me to come the day after my daughter’s wedding.

      Well, ladies and gentlemen, you are absolutely amazing, and nothing is more amazing than you students. (Applause.) Class of 2012, you are a remarkable, remarkable group of graduates. (Applause.)

      As we’ve heard from your principal, you haven’t just distinguished yourself on the field; you’ve distinguished yourself in every field: soccer championships, tennis championships, math championships, more AP tests than I can count and nationally ranked debaters.

      More importantly, from my observation, it’s the atmosphere you’ve created here that has enabled you to excel; an atmosphere of acceptance and support for one another; a cohesion that is rare in any school, much less a school as big as this one.

      If you can take that attitude with you –- the attitude where you don’t simply tolerate differences of background and opinion, you accept it, you even solicit the differences — if you can take that with you, it will be one of the keys for your success in life, because there is nothing, nothing your world is going to need more than being able to accept, support, and work with people with very different views.

      As the world shrinks, what happens in a remote province of Pakistan or Nigeria or Brazil is known by the entire world within a matter of minutes. The democratic movement that has swept across the Middle East, the so-called Arab Spring, began when a simple fruit vendor set himself on fire to protest a corrupt government. And a wildfire spread across a quarter of the world, a confrontation that was magnified by social media, and has set off a revolution. Isolation is obsolete today, even where it may still be desired.

      But here’s the thing: As the world shrinks, the cultural divides in the world do not shrink. The lines marking cultural and religious differences do not blur. In fact, those lines become more stark as we confront those differences up close.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/04/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-cypress-bay-high-school-graduation-cere

  10. 5:20 PM ET
    President Obama attends fundraiser co-hosted by former President Bill Clinton in New York
    Waldorf Astoria, New York, NY

    • June 04, 2012

      Remarks by President Obama and President Clinton at a Campaign Event

      Private Residence
      New York, New York

      5:24 P.M. EDT

      PRESIDENT CLINTON: (In progress) — and secondly, the alternative would be, in my opinion, calamitous for our country and the world. I think that he’s got the right economic policies and the right political approach, and I think their economics are wrongheaded and their politics are worse.

      And if you just look at — the month he took the oath of office, we lost 800,000 jobs. In the last three and a half years, the economy has produced 4.3 million — 27 months, really, — 4.3 million private sector — for the last three-and-a-half years. It is 60 percent more jobs — listen to this — 60 percent more private sector jobs than were created in the seven years and eight months of President Bush’s administration, before the meltdown — before the meltdown. And he did it with the so-called stimulus bill, with the automobile restructuring — which I think is an amazing achievement — and with a number of other things, including a serious commitment to an independent energy future and a commitment to bringing manufacturing back to this country.

      And things have slowed up a little now for two reasons — one is Europe, which is beyond our control, although he and his national security team are working hard on it. That is, the economic team is now our national security team in Europe. (Laughter.) And the other is that the Republican Congress and their nominee for President, Governor Romney, have adopted Europe’s economic policy. Who would have ever thought that the Republicans who made a living for decades deriding “old Europe” would embrace their economic policy? (Laughter.) But that’s what they’ve done.

      Their economic policy is austerity and unemployment now, and then a long-term budget that will explode the debt when the economy recovers so that interest rates will be so high nobody will be able to do anything. His economic policy is job growth now, and long-term budget restraint.

      If you look at the budgets, their budgets, every one of them, all the congressional budgets and Governor Romney’s add $1 or $2 trillion to the trajectory of the debt that we’re on right now. His budget takes it down.

      And if you look at their politics, it’s constant conflict. And the only thing in the world that’s working is cooperation. When he has a free hand, he cooperates. He got labor and management together in the auto restructuring, and we’ve got 80,000 more people working making American cars, and saved 1.5 million jobs.

      I know a lot about this — I grew up in a car dealership. (Laughter.) I know a lot about this. We would never have heard the end of it if those two companies had failed and all those auto parts manufacturers had failed and all those dealerships had closed. It would have been a nightmare.

      He got labor, management, the environmental groups and the government together on the auto-mileage standards — you got 150,000 new jobs out of it.

      Cooperation is what works. Constant conflict is a dead-bang loser. You can see it all over the world.

      So the politics is wrong on the Republican side; the economics are crazy. He’s got good policies. He’s got a good record. He’s made the best of a very challenging situation. He deserves to be reelected. And I know I don’t have to say that I think he’s done an extraordinary job with the national security responsibilities of the country, both making it safer and building a world with more partners. And he had a pretty good Secretary of State, too. (Laughter and applause.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/04/remarks-president-obama-and-president-clinton-campaign-event

  11. Same-sex marriage cases loom for Supreme Court

    6/4/12 By Terry Baynes and Rebecca Hamilton | Reuters – 48 mins ago

    (Reuters) – For advocates and foes of same-sex marriage, two names have suddenly taken center stage in the legal universe: Kennedy and Romer.

    Kennedy – that would be associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy – is the court’s perennial swing vote. Romer – as in Romer v. Evans – is the 1996 decision penned by Kennedy that struck down a Colorado amendment barring the state from passing laws to protect homosexuals and bisexuals.

    The two names are in the spotlight because last Thursday a federal appeals court panel in Boston found that a central provision of the Defense of Marriage Act – which defines marriage as between a man and a woman – is unconstitutional.

    The ruling propels the DOMA case toward the high court, where Kennedy’s interpretation of Romer, a case that turned on the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, will be pivotal.

    The clause prohibits the states from denying citizens equal protection under the law. Over time the Supreme Court has carved out more rigorous protection for groups that have faced discrimination over such fixed characteristics as race, religion, and gender. In the jargon of the court, these factors deserve a higher level of scrutiny than other claims of discrimination – claims based on, say, weight or economic status.

    The notable development in Romer was that the court appeared to open the door to including sexual orientation as one of those special categories. “From the time Romer came out, a lot of people believed the court was applying a higher level of scrutiny … but just not saying so,” said Steve Sanders, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Michigan Law School.

    In the DOMA case, the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, while relying on Romer, was explicit about the fact that it was applying a more searching level of scrutiny. According to Yale Law School Professor William Eskridge, attention will now turn to the author of Romer. “I’m tempted to say everything will hinge on whether Justice Kennedy reads Romer as broadly,” said Eskridge.

    The Supreme Court could choose to overturn Romer. “This court is not shy about overturning decisions that are just a few years old,” said Daryl Lapp, a lawyer with Edwards Wildman Palmer in Boston who submitted a joint amicus brief with the American Civil Liberties Union against DOMA in the Massachusetts case.

    Romer is at the heart of another same-sex marriage case, the challenge to Proposition 8, the California law banning gay marriage. In that case, too, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco defined Romer broadly when ruling that California had denied its citizens rights when it allowed, then banned, same-sex marriage. The judges of the Ninth Circuit, where the case is pending, have allowed Proposition 8 to remain in effect while they mull how to proceed.

    Lawyers on both sides in both cases will present arguments about the role of Romer. Same-sex marriage proponents will seek to convince the high court that a broad reading of Romer should guide the rulings – in other words, that the decision should apply beyond the facts of the Colorado case. Opponents of same-sex marriage will argue for a narrow interpretation, saying the issues at stake in the Proposition 8 and DOMA cases are different from those of Romer.

    When considering Romer, the Supreme Court found the Colorado constitutional amendment to be extremely broad and unjustified because it took away even the most basic protections for homosexuals. “That’s not the case with marriage,” said Dale Schowengerdt, a lawyer with the Alliance Defense Fund, which has supported the prohibition on same-sex marriage in California.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/same-sex-marriage-cases-loom-supreme-court-214146211.html

    • So Dale Schowengerd and the Alliance Defense Fund want to argue that marriage is not a basic right? They want the SCOTUS to rule that marriage is not a basic right? Holy Toledo.

  12. 8:25 PM ET
    President Obama attends campaign fundraiser with former President Bill Clinton
    The New Amsterdam Theater, New York, NY

    • June 04, 2012

      Remarks by President Obama and President Clinton at a Campaign Event

      Waldorf Astoria Hotel
      New York, New York

      8:40 P.M. EDT

      PRESIDENT CLINTON: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. I am the warm-up act for the President. (Laughter.) And I will attempt to bring him on while you’re still warm. (Laughter.)

      I want to thank Eric Schneiderman for his lucid statement of the case of what’s at stake in this election, and for his exceptional service to the state of New York. Thank you, Assemblyman Keith Wright, and thank you, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, for co-chairing this dinner. And, Representative Carolyn Maloney, thank you very much for your friendship and everything you’ve done. (Applause.) And I believe on his last day as chairman of the New York State Democratic Party — thank you, Jay Jacobs, for being one of the best Democratic chairmen in the entire nation. (Applause.)

      I want to thank my longtime friend, Jon Bon Jovi, for performing and for always being there for us. (Applause.)

      Now, here’s what I want to say to you. Most of my life now has nothing to do with politics. You know that. I work on my foundation; I work around the world; I work in America. I work with Democrats and Republicans and independents, and half the time I don’t know who I’m working with, politically. But I do spend two hours a day still studying the economic trends around the world and studying what is going on in America. And I care about the long-term debt of the country a lot. Remember me? I’m the only guy that gave you four surplus budgets out of the eight I sent. (Applause.) So I hope what I say to you will have some weight, because I want you to say it to everybody you see between now and November.

      I don’t think it’s important to reelect the President; I think it is essential to reelect the President — (applause) — if we want this country to have the kind of future that our children and grandchildren deserve. And here’s why.

      When I left office, we returned to the trickle-down policies — big tax cuts, mostly for people of my income group — I love saying this because I never had any money until I got out of the White House. (Laughter.) Maybe that’s why I don’t mind paying those taxes — since I never had it before I don’t know what it was like. (Laughter.)

      And we doubled our debt of the country again. And then, after totally anemic growth for seven years and eight months, on the day before the financial collapse, median family income was $2,000 lower than it was the day I left office, while the cost of health care had gone up three times the rate of inflation, college twice the rate of inflation.

      Then all of a sudden, September 15th comes and goes and poof! The good news was for President Obama is that he was elected President on September 15, 2008. He’s the only person in the history of the country ever to be elected President before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. (Laughter.)

      The bad news is he was elected President on September 15, 2008 — (laughter) — in the teeth of the worst recession since the Great Depression, a financial collapse of enormous proportion. In the last 500 years, such financial collapses have taken on average five to 10 years to get over — and when they’re deep and big and accompanied by mortgage collapse, almost always 10 years.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/04/remarks-president-obama-and-president-clinton-campaign-event-0

  13. WH

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:45 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden receive the presidential daily briefing.

    11:00 AM
    First Lady Michelle Obama unveils a Let’s Move! 22nd private-sector commitment with Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company
    Newseum, Washington, DC

    11:15 AM
    President Obama meets with senior advisors.

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    6:30 PM
    Vice President Biden attends an event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
    Alexandria, VA

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

  14. Tuesday: First Lady Michelle Obama Unveils New Healthier Food Commitment From Walt Disney

    JUNE 04, 2012 obamafoodorama.blogspot

    On Tuesday morning, First Lady Michelle Obama will unveil the 22nd private-sector commitment for her Let’s Move! campaign when she joins Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company at an event in Washington, DC. Mrs. Obama will “announce significant advancement of Disney’s existing nutrition guidelines policy,” the White House said on Monday. Disney first created a Let’s Move! partnership with Mrs. Obama in September of 2010, six months after the she started her childhood obesity campaign.

    In addition to serving millions of meals daily at its theme parks, Disney sells a wide array of branded foods, including fruits, vegetables and dairy through its Consumer Products division. “Disney has helped kids and families consume over 1.3 billion servings of Disney-branded fruits and vegetables since 2007 as well as 50 million servings of Disney branded dairy in the past year alone,” the company said in 2010.

    In 2010, Disney launched “The Magic of Healthy Living Campaign,” a multi-media promotion that featured Mrs. Obama and Disney child TV stars messaging Let’s Move! healthy eating and fitness projects on TV, online, and at theme parks, designed to target the hundreds of millions of Mouse House fans. The company in 2010 also made a $1 million donation to sponsor ten gardening and playground projects for ‘underserved communities’ across the US.

    Mrs. Obama and Iger will make the announcement on Tuesday at 11:00 AM at the Newseum, the White House said.

    For more: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/06/tuesday-first-lady-michelle-obama.html

    • Michelle Obama to do Top 10 on Letterman

      |6/5/12 2:00 PM EDT By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

      First lady Michelle Obama will present the Top 10 list on the “The Late Show” with David Letterman on Tuesday.

      “Mrs. Obama’s Top Ten List is focused on gardening, tied to her new book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America,” CBS said.

      The appearance was not listed on her public schedule, but CBS Tweeted about it and issued a press release. Guests on the show include actor Neil Patrick Harris, actress Noomi Rapace and musical guest Alan Jackson. The first lady last appeared on the show in March.

  15. Venus

    Between June 5 and June 6, 2012 the planet Venus will pass across the face of the sun as viewed from Earth. The last time this happened was June 8, 2004 and before then, the transits occurred in the years 1882 and 1874. Millions of people viewed this re-occurring event world-wide. Astronomers also studied this event in order to figure out the distance of the Earth from the sun.

    For more information: http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/Transit2012.html


    NASA.gov http://venustransit.nasa.gov/transitofvenus/

    5:45 PM ET June 5, 2012
    Transit of Venus

  16. Hello CR and friends I am praying that Tom Barrett and all of the Dems win the election tomorrow.

  17. DOD looks to foreign allies for help passing Law of the Sea treaty

    6/04/12 08:07 PM ET By Carlo Munoz -TheHill

    The Defense Department is looking for a little help from its friends overseas as the Pentagon and White House try to break Senate opposition to an international treaty on maritime law.

    Meeting with the defense chiefs of several Asian powers during the Shangri-La defense talks over the weekend, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta took the opportunity to continue his push for Senate ratification of the controversial Law of the Sea treaty.

    “The United States believes it is critical for regional institutions to develop mutually agreed rules of the road that protect the rights of all nations to free and open access to the seas,” Panetta told Asian defense leaders during the high-level security conference on Saturday.

    For more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/230839-dod-looks-to-overseas-allies-for-help-passing-law-of-the-sea-treaty-

  18. G-7 to hold Europe conference call Tuesday: Canada

    June 04, 2012 Greg Robb – Marketwatch

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors will hold a conference call on Tuesday on the European debt crisis, a spokeswoman for Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Monday. Earlier, Flaherty told reporters in Toronto after a speech that the G-7 planned to hold the talks. “I’ve been having discussions and I will have more discussions tomorrow morning and subsequently with my G-7 colleagues,” Flaherty told reporters. “Those discussions also take place with some of the non-European members of the G20 … who are concerned around the world outside of the euro zone with the potential consequences of a crisis in the euro zone, particularly a banking crisis,” he added. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury Department declined comment on the statement from Flaherty’s office.

  19. June 05, 2012

    Vice President Biden, Secretary Duncan, CFPB Director Cordray and College Presidents Meet About Transparency of College Costs

    College Presidents and Leaders to Commit to Providing Prospective Students with Key Financial Information

    Today, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Richard Cordray and Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz will meet with presidents and leaders from ten colleges and universities who will commit to providing key financial information to all of their incoming students starting next year. Following the meeting, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Richard Cordray will join Press Secretary Jay Carney in the briefing room where they will call on all college and university presidents to make the same commitment to provide easy-to-understand financial data about their higher education investment.

    Today’s commitment to financial aid transparency embraces the obligation to provide students and their families with the clear, useful information they need to make the best decisions about where to enroll and what kind of financial commitment they are taking on with their important, long-term investment in higher education. Each of the participants will commit to providing the following information in one easy-to-understand place, to all incoming students as part of their financial aid package beginning with the 2013-2014 school year:

    * How much one year of college will cost
    * Financial aid options to pay this cost, with a clear differentiation between grants and scholarships, which do not have to be repaid, and loans, which do;
    * Net costs after grants and scholarships are taken into account;
    * Estimated monthly payments for the federal student loans the student would likely owe after graduation; and
    * Vital information about student results, including comparative information about the rates at which students enroll from one year to the next, graduate, and repay their loans without defaulting on their obligations.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/05/vice-president-biden-secretary-duncan-cfpb-director-cordray-and-college-

  20. ISM Non-Manufacturing Index indicates slightly faster expansion in May

    6/05/2012 10:00:00 AM by CalculatedRisk

    The May ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 53.7%, up from 53.5% in April. The employment index decreased in May to 50.8%, down from 54.2% in April – the lowest level since November 2011. Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

    From the Institute for Supply Management: May 2012 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®

    Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in May for the 29th consecutive month, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives in the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®.

    The report was issued today by Anthony Nieves, C.P.M., CFPM, chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “The NMI registered 53.7 percent in May, 0.2 percentage point higher than the 53.5 percent registered in April. This indicates continued growth this month at a slightly faster rate in the non-manufacturing sector. The Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index registered 55.6 percent, which is 1 percentage point higher than the 54.6 percent reported in April, reflecting growth for the 34th consecutive month. The New Orders Index increased by 2 percentage points to 55.5 percent, and the Employment Index decreased by 3.4 percentage points to 50.8 percent, indicating continued growth in employment at a slower rate. The Prices Index decreased 3.8 percentage points to 49.8 percent, indicating lower month-over-month prices for the first time since July 2009. According to the NMI, 13 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in May. The majority of the respondents’ comments are positive and optimistic about business conditions and the direction of the economy.”

    For more: http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/06/ism-non-manufacturing-index-indicates.html

  21. ICSC/Goldman Sachs Chain Stores Sales Up 0.4% from Prior Week

    6/5/12 By Lauren Pollock – Nasdaq – 2 hours, 8 minutes ago

    The International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs Retail Chain Store Sales Index edged up 0.4% in the week ended Saturday from the week before on a seasonally adjusted, comparable-store basis, the first increase in six weeks.

    Despite a cooler national temperature over the past week, sales improved modestly after a five-week contraction as customer traffic at apparel store traffic improved sharply but weakened appreciably at discounters, Michael Niemira, ICSC vice president of research and chief economist, said

    ICSC expects June industry comparable-store sales, excluding drug stores, to rise about 3.5% to 4%. Including drug store sales, the industry tally is likely to be about two percentage points weaker, ICSC said.

  22. 11:00 AM ET
    First Lady Michelle Obama unveils a Let’s Move! 22nd private-sector commitment with Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company
    Newseum, Washington, DC

    • June 05, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at Disney Press Conference

      Washington, D.C.

      11:13 A.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, everyone. Good morning. Oh my goodness. I am so thrilled to be with all of you today, and I want to start by thanking Bob for that very kind introduction and for his tremendous leadership at Disney.

      I’d also like to thank Leslie for all of her hard work in this effort. Also, everyone from the Newseum for hosting us today, and also to all of the parents and advocates who are here today who have been working so hard for so many years on these issues. And finally, I want to thank everyone at Disney for making this day possible.

      This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children. See, for years people told us that no matter what we did to get our kids to eat well and exercise, we would never solve our childhood obesity crisis until companies changed the way they sell food to our children. And we all know the conventional wisdom about that. We’ve heard all the cynics who say that we simply can’t change the market, or that concerned parents are no match for corporate bottom lines, or that companies will never change their business model for the good of our kids.

      But truly, today, Disney has turned that conventional wisdom on its head. This is a major American company, a global brand that is literally changing the way it does business so that our kids can lead healthier lives. With this new initiative, Disney is doing what no major media company has ever done before in the United States. And what I hope every company will do going forward when it comes to the ads they show and the food they sell they’re asking themselves one simple question: Is this good for our kids?

      And make no mistake about it — this is huge. That’s why I’m here. It’s huge. Just think about it. Just a few years ago if you had told me or any other mom or dad in America that our kids wouldn’t see a single ad for junk food while they watched their favorite cartoons on a major TV network, we wouldn’t have believed you because parents know better than anyone else just how effective and pervasive those advertisements have become — Bob mentioned it.

      Our kids see an estimated $1.6 billion a year worth of food and beverage marketing, and many of those ads are for foods that are high in calories and sugar but low in nutrition. So our kids are constantly bombarded with sophisticated messages designed to sell them foods that simply aren’t good for them. And let me tell you, we know it works, right?

      As parents, we know that whatever is on TV is what our kids are going to want. I remember, as Bob has discussed, going to the grocery store with the kids, and the minute you walk down the aisle the kids are singing some jingle, or they’re pulling on your leg begging you, pleading you for whatever they saw on TV. And as a mom, I know how that makes it even harder for us to keep our kids healthy.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/05/remarks-first-lady-disney-press-conference

    • June 5, 2012

      First Lady Joins the Walt Disney Company to Announce New Standards for Food Advertising to Kids

      First Lady Michelle Obama today joined The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger to announce that Disney will become the first major media company to introduce new standards for food advertising on programming targeting kids and families. Under Disney’s new standards, all food and beverage products advertised, sponsored, or promoted on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney, and Disney-owned online destinations oriented to families with younger children will be required by 2015 to meet Disney’s nutrition guidelines. The nutrition guidelines are aligned to federal standards, promote fruit and vegetable consumption and call for limiting calories and reducing saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. American children see an estimated $1.6 billion a year worth of food and beverage marketing, and many of those ads are food food that are high in calories and sugar, but low in nutrition. The First Lady has been focusing on these issues since launching her Let’s Move! initiative, and in 2010 called on the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association to retool their advertising to market healthy foods and habits to children.

      “This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “This is a major American company – a global brand – that is literally changing the way it does business so that our kids can lead healthier lives. With this new initiative, Disney is doing what no major media company has ever done before in the U.S. – and what I hope every company will do going forward. When it comes to the ads they show and the food they sell, they are asking themselves one simple question: ‘Is this good for our kids?’”

      “We’re proud of the impact we’ve had over the last six years,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “We’ve taken steps across our company to support better choices for families, and now we’re taking the next important step forward by setting new food advertising standards for kids. The emotional connection kids have to our characters and stories gives us a unique opportunity to continue to inspire and encourage them to lead healthier lives.”

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/06/05/first-lady-joins-walt-disney-company-announce-new-standards-food-adverti

    • Michelle Obama, Disney on Cutting Junk Food Ads

      Published on Jun 5, 2012 by ABCNews

      First lady teams up with Disney CEO in battle over childhood obesity.

  23. Insurance Rebates on the Way

    Nancy-Ann DeParle June 05, 2012 10:13 AM EDT

    Consumers across the country are starting to hear the good news about their health insurance costs.

    Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the new health care law, health insurers generally have to spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollars on health care and quality, not administrative overhead. This minimum percentage is called a medical loss ratio. If your insurer doesn’t meet or exceed this standard, they must rebate you the difference.

    The rule encourages insurers to give you better value for your premium dollar and holds them accountable if they don’t. Last week, insurers were required to report the refunds that will go to consumers and small businesses later this summer and we have already started to see the effects:

    * BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has announced that it will pay $8.6 million to about 73,000 individual policyholders in August because they spent less than 80 percent of premiums on health care.

    * In Arizona, more than $36 million in refunds will go to both consumers and small businesses. One insurer in the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, alone will pay out an estimated $8.7 million to more than 77,000 individual policyholders, and another $3.2 million to more than 3,700 small businesses. United Healthcare’s Golden Rule Insurance will refund nearly $8.7 million to more than 30,000 additional Arizona policyholders.

    * Two insurers in California will pay out more than $50 million in rebates to nearly 1 million customers statewide.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/05/insurance-rebates-way

    • Outdoor Viewing Advisory

      Looking directly at the photosphere of the Sun (the bright disk of the Sun itself), even for just a few seconds, can cause permanent damage to the retina of the eye, because of the intense visible and invisible radiation that the photosphere emits. This damage can result in permanent impairment of vision, up to and including blindness. The retina has no sensitivity to pain, and the effects of retinal damage may not appear for hours, so there is no warning that injury is occurring.

      Under normal conditions, the Sun is so bright that it is difficult to stare at it directly. However, during an eclipse, with so much of the Sun covered, it is easier and more tempting to stare at it. Unfortunately, looking at the Sun during an eclipse is as dangerous as looking at it outside an eclipse, except during the brief period of totality, when the Sun’s disk is completely covered (totality occurs only during a total eclipse and only very briefly; it does not occur during a partial or annular eclipse). Viewing the Sun’s disk through any kind of optical aid (binoculars, a telescope, or even an optical camera viewfinder) is extremely hazardous and can cause irreversible eye damage in a fraction of a second.

      The safest way to view the Sun’s disk is by indirect projection. This can be done by projecting an image of the disk onto a white piece of paper or card using a pair of binoculars (with one of the lenses covered), a telescope, or another piece of cardboard with a small hole in it (about 1 mm diameter), often called a pinhole camera. The projected image of the Sun can then be safely viewed; this technique can be used to observe sunspots, as well as eclipses. Care must be taken, however, to ensure that no one looks through the projector (telescope, pinhole, etc.) directly.Viewing the Sun’s disk on a video display screen (provided by a video camera or digital camera) is safe, although the camera itself may be damaged by direct exposure to the Sun. The optical viewfinders provided with some video and digital cameras are not safe. Securely mounting #14 welder’s glass in front of the lens and viewfinder protects the equipment and makes viewing possible. Professional workmanship is essential because of the dire consequences any gaps or detaching mountings will have. In the partial eclipse path one will not be able to see the corona or nearly complete darkening of the sky, however, depending on how much of the Sun’s disk is obscured, some darkening may be noticeable. If three-quarters or more of the sun is obscured, then an effect can be observed by which the daylight appears to be dim, as if the sky were overcast, yet objects still cast sharp shadows.

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse#Viewing

  24. 6:30 PM ET
    Vice President Biden attends an event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
    Alexandria, VA

  25. *********************

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ DNC LGBT Leadership Council’s 2012 Gala”

    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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