FDA.gov Animal/Veterinary & Pet Lovers For Obama

The Partnership for Food Protection and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the launch of the Pet Event Tracking Network (PETNet). PETNet is a secure, web based information exchange system that will allow FDA and Federal and State Agencies to share initial information about pet-food related incidents, such as illness associated with the consumption of pet food or pet food product defects. PETNet’s voluntary information exchange, surveillance and alert system is designed to provide a real-time mechanism for sharing information about emerging pet food related illnesses and product defects between FDA, other Federal agencies, and the States.

The system will be accessible to PETNet members, who are Federal, State, and Territorial government officials responsible for the regulation of pet food products and the investigation of disease outbreaks in companion animals. Members will enter “events” into the system when they have identified a trend or a suspicious incident associated with pet food products, as well as pet food product defects within their own jurisdiction that should be communicated to their regulatory counterparts. Once entered on the standardized form, the information will be immediately available to all other PETNet members. This will enable PETNet members to track the emergence of such data and to evaluate the need for action within individual jurisdictions.

PETNet grew out of discussions held with State and federal government public health officials at an August 2008, FDA sponsored meeting, “Gateway to Food Protection” (also known as the 2008 “50 State” meeting). Following the meeting, the Partnership for Food Protection was established by the FDA. The purpose of the Partnership is to bring federal, state, local, territorial and tribal representatives with expertise in food, feed, epidemiology, laboratory, animal health, environment and public health together to develop an Integrated Food Safety System.

The concept for PETNet was developed in response to the 2007 melamine pet food recall.

For more information for pets: http://.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/
dog-cpr

Recalls & Alerts

Resources

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pet Lovers for Obama: First Dog rides in, not on cars

January 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm by Sarah Hinman Ryan, News Research Director – timesunion.com

Like one of my favorite journalists, New York Times columnist Gail Collins, I just can’t seem to get enough of the Seamus Romney storyline. (For more on Gail’s fixation on Seamus, see here.)

You know, Seamus, the Romney family dog who literally had the poop scared out of him — and onto the car window — when Mitt made him ride in a crate on top of the car.

And so I got a good chuckle out of the below photo, tweeted today by David Axelrod, President Obama’s senior campaign strategist, with the caption: “How loving owners transport their dogs.” The tweet was in tandem with the launch of the Pet Lovers for Obama Facebook page.

How loving owners transport their dogs.

~~~~~~~

Michelle Obama: Bo ‘is my son’

By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 3/20/12 12:12 AM EDT POLITICO44

Appearing on the “Late Show with David Letterman” Monday night, first lady Michelle Obama joked that she has three children — daughters Malia and Sasha, and Portuguese water dog Bo.

“He is my son. I have two girls and a boy,” Obama said with a smile.

Bo is “a very sweet dog,” the first lady said, adding: “I’m not being biased. He is really a good dog, he’s very well-mannered, he’s very even-tempered.” And, she said, he has “a very busy schedule … we’re thinking about getting him an agent.”

The first lady said that her daughters and “a number of people” are willing to take Bo out when he needs to. “He usually will tell you. He doesn’t talk, but he will come up and put his paw on your leg and kind of nudges you,” she said. “And then you’re like, what do you want? And then gets excited. And you say, you want to go out? And then he starts barking. He’s very smart.”

.

Officer Hurricane & Officer Jordan – White House Secret Service Canines

Animal Disaster Preparedness:  AnimalsInDisasterFactSheet.pdf

Ready.gov Animal information: http://www.ready.gov/search/node/animals

 

ANIMAL LOVERS VOTE SMART & VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS

Bo Approved
Bo Approved

Dedicated to Sable who was a rescued shelter dog 1998-2013

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83 thoughts on “FDA.gov Animal/Veterinary & Pet Lovers For Obama

  1. WH

    Wednesday, August 15,, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks to Teachers at Cascade High School, Cascade, Iowa

    Vice President Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Blacksburg, VA

    1:00 PM
    1:25 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend campaign event
    Alliant Energy Amphitheater, Dubuque, IA

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    6:35 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend campaign event
    Village of East Davenport, Davenport, IA

    7:00 PM
    7:50 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama depart Moline, Ill. en route Joint Base Andrews.

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    9:50 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at Joint Base Andrews.

    10:05 PM
    President Obama and First Lady arrive the White House.

  2. animal-shelter

    International Homeless Animals’ Day – August 18

    Common Questions about Animal Shelters

    December 9, 2011 hsus

    Here are the answers to some common questions about animal shelters.

    What is The HSUS’ role in relation to local animal shelters?

    If The HSUS does not oversee my local animal shelter, what does it do for local shelters?

    How many animals enter animal shelters each year? And how many are euthanized?

    Why are there so many animals in animal shelters?

    How long are animals held at an animal shelter before being adopted or euthanized? What factors affect those decisions?

    More: http://www.humanesociety.org/animal_community/resources/qa/common_questions_on_shelters.html#How_many_animals_enter_animal_shelters_e

    • Feds go after online ‘puppy mills’

      9/10/13 04:23 PM ET By Julian Hattem – TheHill

      The Obama administration is extending federal oversight to online pet stores in an effort to crack down on abusive “puppy mills.”

      A measure from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) puts new restrictions on breeders that sell pets on the Internet, closing what animal rights advocates call a loophole in the law.

      “The puppy mills are kind of like factory farms for dogs where the mother dogs are treated like a breeding machine and the puppies are turned out like a commodity,” Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the U.S., said in an interview with The Hill.

      “They don’t think of them of companions like pet owners do. It just becomes a money-making operation.”

      Breeders and other animal businesses have to abide by licensing and regulations issued under the Animal Welfare Act of 1966. The measure sets minimum standards for some wholesale breeders of dogs, cats and other pets.

      Retail outlets that sell animals are exempt from those rules, however. As a result, some negligent breeders have begun to sell their animals on the Internet to escape scrutiny, Pacelle said.

      “You have thousands of puppy mill operators who have migrated to the Internet as their primary means of commerce, and the Animal Welfare Act regulations were adopted prior to the era of the Internet,” he said. “It didn’t anticipate that direct sales by that method would come to dominate the industry.”

      The USDA’s regulation would change the definition of a “retail pet store” to exempt only brick-and-mortar facilities from the Animal Welfare Act.

      Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/administration/321435-feds-go-after-online-puppy-mills

    • Muffin’s Halo – Guide for Blind Dogs Story

      My precious 13 1/2 year old toy poodle Muffin Bordeaux, went blind approximately two years ago due to cataracts. I was devastated, since he kept bumping into walls and falling down the stairs. He became very depressed and was afraid to move around. I could not let him out of my sight and carried him around everywhere. I searched the internet extensively for solutions/assistance. That was when I realized that there is a great need for a products to assist blind/visually impaired dogs, so I invented this aid for dog device/guide, “Muffin’s Halo Guide For Blind Dogs ® ” that has changed his life, as well as mine. Muffin now knows his home again and can travel with me to any hotel or friend’s house and gets to familiarize any new surroundings, quickly. He just loves this aid and is back to his peppy confident self! Muffin also loves all the attention he gets when I take him on walks, as he looks like a little angel. Most importantly, I can leave him at home for hours and know that he is safe.

      For more: http://muffinshalo.com/muffins-story.php

    • Dogs of the Day
      Hurricane and Jordan

      Winter 2015 By Whitney Wilde – CoastalCaninemag

      whitehouse Seven-fifteen p.m., Wednesday, October 22, 2014: the sun was almost down at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. President Barack Obama had spent the day juggling many crises, including the outbreak of Ebola and the ongoing violence in Sudan. Wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, grey shorts, and black running shoes, a young man looking like any other tourist stood gazing at the south side of the White House.

      jordan

      The athletic and muscled 23-year-old scaled the 8-foot tall north perimeter fence, and entered the White House grounds after jumping over a second (shorter) fence, and then continued sprinting toward the doors near the White House kitchen. He did not go unnoticed. Secret Service officers ordered him to stop and get on the ground, but he raced forward another 25 yards. Two Secret Service officers approached him. He landed a solid kick into Officer Jordan’s body. Then Officer Hurricane slammed him to the ground. He got up, threw Hurricane down, and then repeatedly beat him with his fist. Moments later, he was surrounded and placed in handcuffs.

      hurricane

      The suspect had been arrested twice before for illegally entering the White House grounds. This time he was charged with four misdemeanor counts of willfully entering restricted grounds at the White House. More importantly, he was charged with two felony counts of maliciously harming the two Secret Service officers and one felony count of making threats. The two brave officers were taken for a medical check and released with minor bruising. They received a day off as a reward and it is likely these heroes will receive a Presidential Medal.

      It reads like the plot of a crime show on television, except that the stars of this show are two Belgian Malinois! Their job is to stop intruders at the White House. Officer Jordan is a five-year-old black-and-tan Malinois, and Officer Hurricane is a year older and solid black.

      For more: http://www.coastalcaninemag.com/issues/winter2015/dogofdaysecretservice.html

      • King Tut, the President’s Belgian Police dog has taken up his duties at the White House and makes regular rounds to see that the guards are in their places
        Repository: Library of Congress 1929 Apr. 11.

  3. fda_animalveterinary

    FDA- Animal & Veterinary

    The Partnership for Food Protection and FDA Announce Establishment of PETNet
    August 1, 2011

    The Partnership for Food Protection and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the launch of the Pet Event Tracking Network (PETNet). PETNet is a secure, web based information exchange system that will allow FDA and Federal and State Agencies to share initial information about pet-food related incidents, such as illness associated with the consumption of pet food or pet food product defects. PETNet’s voluntary information exchange, surveillance and alert system is designed to provide a real-time mechanism for sharing information about emerging pet food related illnesses and product defects between FDA, other Federal agencies, and the States.

    The system will be accessible to PETNet members, who are Federal, State, and Territorial government officials responsible for the regulation of pet food products and the investigation of disease outbreaks in companion animals. Members will enter “events” into the system when they have identified a trend or a suspicious incident associated with pet food products, as well as pet food product defects within their own jurisdiction that should be communicated to their regulatory counterparts. Once entered on the standardized form, the information will be immediately available to all other PETNet members. This will enable PETNet members to track the emergence of such data and to evaluate the need for action within individual jurisdictions.

    PETNet grew out of discussions held with State and federal government public health officials at an August 2008, FDA sponsored meeting, “Gateway to Food Protection” (also known as the 2008 “50 State” meeting). Following the meeting, the Partnership for Food Protection was established by the FDA. The purpose of the Partnership is to bring federal, state, local, territorial and tribal representatives with expertise in food, feed, epidemiology, laboratory, animal health, environment and public health together to develop an Integrated Food Safety System.

    The concept for PETNet was developed in response to the 2007 melamine pet food recall. One difficulty faced by FDA and FDA’s State regulatory partners during the melamine incident was the timely sharing of information between FDA and the States and among the States themselves. PETNet was developed with input from the States and other Federal agency partners to enable the sharing of information between Federal and State officials about instances of foodborne illness in companion animals, as well as product defects that may lead to such outbreaks.

    PETNet is currently made up of over 200 representatives from 4 Federal agencies, all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

    ———————————–

    From FDA.gov/AnimalVeterniary:

    Animal Drug Safety Frequently Asked Questions http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/FrequentlyAskedQuestions/ucm047083.htm

    Emergency Preparedness for Pets http://goo.gl/e25kV

    Pet Insurance: http://goo.gl/yjwE7

    Health and Safety Tips for Pets http://goo.gl/jC479

    Pet Health & Safety Widget http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/ucm192894.htm

    Diabetic Pets: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7660533

    The Aging Dog: http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/AnimalServices/pettips/dogtips/agingdog.aspx

    Elderly Dogs Deserve Special Attention: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/FDAVeterinarianNewsletter/ucm130386.htm

    • Promotion of officials in 2008 tainted milk scandal sparks outcry in China

      14 Sep 2012 whatsonningbo

      This was in response to the public outcry over news that Sun Xianze, former head of the food safety department at the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) who was given an administrative demerit in 2009, has been promoted to the SFDA’s deputy director.

      “There should be public release of his resume and wrongdoings before the promotion,” Li Fangping, a Beijing-based lawyer who helped victims of the scandal, told the Global Times, adding that the promotion process lacks transparency.

      Sun, who began working for the SFDA in 2003, made his post-punishment debut at a meeting in Beijing on policymaking of the pharmaceutical industry on September 6, reported the Beijing Times.

      He is also listed as one of the SFDA’s core leaders on its website. The date of his promotion is not known. The SFDA refused to comment when contacted by the Global Times.

      “A notice should be released to the public when an official who has been punished is about to get promoted,” Lin Zhe, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, told the Global Times.

      A total of six officials who were fired or punished for their negligence in the scandal have been promoted or reinstated to an official post, including Li Changjiang, former director of the SFDA, and Wu Xianguo, former secretary of the Shijiazhaung City Committee of the CPC in Hebei Province, said the news portal caixin.com.

      For more: http://www.whatsonningbo.com/news-10551-promotion-of-officials-in-2008-tainted-milk-scandal-sparks-outcry-in-china.html

  4. Do YOU Have What It Takes To Be A PET OWNER?

    Can you afford these BASICS PET REQUIREMENTS:

    USAAMagazine Spring 2012USAAMagazine Spring 2012

    2010 Pet Keeping Costs:
    USAAMagazine Spring 2012
    Fish: $35
    Sml Bird: $200
    Sml Mammal(Mouse, etc): $300
    Sml Dog: $355
    Cat: $495
    Med Dog: $470
    Lrg Dog: $650
    Guinea Pig: $635
    Rabbit: $730

    ——————–

    Care for your dog

    Dogs are intelligent animals that could be compared to a child of age 5; a child of that age would be afraid and lonely if left alone for hours while you are away at work and could easily get into trouble.

    Some dogs have separation anxiety and will chew through anything including door moldings in order to stay “with it’s pack”. You could leave some clothing that has your scent on it may help to comfort so that he can smell your scent and feel closer to you.

    Some people keep their dog outside in a fenced in yard or kennel, or keeping it indoors are options; either way the dog needs access to clean water, food, shelter to the elements and a place to relieve themselves. Dogs that are kept in the house can be kept busy with strong rubber toys that have compartments to hide canine treats that can be used a canine treasure hunt.

    Veterinarians also advise that you can give your dog a daily child’s gummy vitamin.

    ——————

    Daily Dog Exercise Time:

    How much exercise is enough depends on your dog’s age, breed, and health.

    Most dogs need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. Your canine pal needs enough that he’s slowed down by the time you stop. Some general rules of thumb:

    * Active breeds need a minimum of 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise most days of the week, preferably daily.

    * Not all toy or small breeds get enough exercise inside the house (contrary to popular belief). Pugs, for example, are prone to obesity and need much more exercise than they usually get.

    * It’s not safe to go out in extremely hot or cold weather. During such periods, stay inside and teach tricks to engage your dog’s mind, throw toys, or run up and down the stairs together.

    * Good exercise uses both mental and physical muscles. Exploring a new hiking trail, for example, engages your dog’s mind as well as his bo

    Source: http://dogtime.com/exercise-needs.html

  5. Owney (dog)

    Owney (ca. 1888 – July 11, 1897), was a stray mixed breed terrier adopted as the first official postal mascot by Railway Mail Service and Albany, New York, post office in 1888.

    Owney was abandoned by an Albany postal worker (no name was mentioned) in 1888 and was quickly adopted by the other post office workers working there. He usually slept on the mail bags and when they were moved, Owney went with them. He was considered to be good luck by postal workers, since no train he ever rode on was in a wreck.

    As his trips grew longer, the postal clerks at Albany became concerned that the dog be identified, and, if necessary returned to them. They bought Owney a collar with a metal tag that read: “Owney, Post Office, Albany, New York” at which point he became the unofficial mascot of the Railway Mail Service.

    The dog was later adopted by Railway Mail clerks as their unofficial mascot. They marked his travels by placing tags on his collar. Throughout his life, Owney accumulated an unknown number of tags, tokens, trinkets, and medals; some of which are now on display at the National Postal Museum.

    In 1895, Owney made an around-the-world trip, aboard trains and steamships. Starting from Tacoma, Washington, he traveled throughout Asia and across Europe, before returning to Albany.

    Owney retired from the Railway Mail Service in 1897 due to poor eyesight and old age. However, as a world-traveled dog he was difficult to contain and slipped out of the Albany post office in June 1897.

    The exact details of the incident which lead to his death are unclear, but according to the National Postal Museum website, “Owney rode the train one last time before he died.”

    Newspapers around the country carried the story of Owney’s death. They reported that Owney had been ill, was about 17 years old and had become aggressive in his old age. After attacking a postal clerk and a US Marshal in Toledo, Ohio, Owney was shot and killed on the orders of the local Postmaster.

    On July 27, 2011, the United States Postal Service issued a <a href=" “>Forever stamp honoring Owney.

    For the entire article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owney_(dog)

    ————-

    USPS Dogs At Work http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22328/html/info_013.htm

  6. pet_lovers_for_obama.

    DOGS FOR OBAMA

    Pet Lovers for Obama: First Dog rides in, not on cars

    January 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm by Sarah Hinman Ryan, News Research Director – timesunion.com

    Like one of my favorite journalists, New York Times columnist Gail Collins, I just can’t seem to get enough of the Seamus Romney storyline. (For more on Gail’s fixation on Seamus, see here.)

    You know, Seamus, the Romney family dog who literally had the poop scared out of him — and onto the car window — when Mitt made him ride in a crate on top of the car.

    And so I got a good chuckle out of the below photo, tweeted today by David Axelrod, President Obama’s senior campaign strategist, with the caption: “How loving owners transport their dogs.” The tweet was in tandem with the launch of the Pet Lovers for Obama Facebook page.

    • Obama campaign buys ‘Westminster Dog Show’ ad

      2/14/12 By GLENN THRUSH- POLITICO44

      POLITICO screen grab).

      Google the words “Westminster Dog Show” and what do you get (some of the time)?

      An Obama campaign website , created for the “Best in Show” annual event, that mocks Mitt Romney for strapping his pooch to his trunk on a family vacation.

      “When we’ve shared photos of Bo over the last few months, we’ve learned two things. One, there are a lot of First Dog fans out there. Two, there is an enthusiasm for this campaign that extends to the furriest members of your families,” the campaign writes. “That’s why we’ve launched Pet Lovers for Obama, a special way for pet lovers like you to be a part of this campaign. Say you and your pets are in for 2012 now.”

      Eat your heart out, Gail Collins.

      There was also a mini (or toy?) protest outside MSG by some anti-Mitt mutts.

      How loving owners transport their dogs.
      How loving owners transport their dogs.

    • Michelle Obama: Bo ‘is my son’

      By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 3/20/12 12:12 AM EDT POLITICO44

      Appearing on the “Late Show with David Letterman” Monday night, first lady Michelle Obama joked that she has three children — daughters Malia and Sasha, and Portuguese water dog Bo.

      “He is my son. I have two girls and a boy,” Obama said with a smile.

      Bo is “a very sweet dog,” the first lady said, adding: “I’m not being biased. He is really a good dog, he’s very well-mannered, he’s very even-tempered.” And, she said, he has “a very busy schedule … we’re thinking about getting him an agent.”

      The first lady said that her daughters and “a number of people” are willing to take Bo out when he needs to. “He usually will tell you. He doesn’t talk, but he will come up and put his paw on your leg and kind of nudges you,” she said. “And then you’re like, what do you want? And then gets excited. And you say, you want to go out? And then he starts barking. He’s very smart.”

      “Is this what Biden does?” Letterman asked.

      “No he does not,” the first lady responded, to laughs.

      ———–

      The Late Show with Dav… : David Letterman – Michelle Obama and Bo the Dog

      Published on Mar 20, 2012 by CBS

      Dave and the First Lady discuss the White House’s First Dog.

  7. Romney's dog Seamus

    Romney and Seamus the Dog

    December 21, 2011, 7:09 PM By Neil King Jr. – wsj

    It’s a question that has dogged him for years. Why did Mitt Romney once strap the family dog in its carrier to the roof of the car and then set off on a summer vacation to Canada?

    The story of the family pet, Seamus, appeared in a 2007 Boston Globe piece.

    “As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ‘Dad!’ he yelled. ‘Gross!’ A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who’d been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.

    As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.”

    New York Times columnist Gail Collins has famously skewered Mr. Romney for the episode, so much so that some might call it an obsession.

    In an interview ranging from the candidate’s shift to a general election tone to the causes of the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal asked Mr. Romney to give his side of the Seamus story.

    “Uh…,” Mr. Romney said, clearly at a loss for words. “Love my dog.”

    “That’s all I’ve got for ya,” he added.

    But asked to rebut Ms. Collins’ insinuations that he had been mean to his dog, Mr. Romney said, “Oh please. I’ve had a lot of dogs and love them and care for them very deeply.”

    At which point his aide said: “We’ve gotta get running.”

    Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/12/21/romney-and-seamus-the-dog/

    ———–

    Romney ties his dog to the roof of his car in an airtight kennel?!

    Uploaded by Levernius on Dec 14, 2011
    Mitt Romney admits on Fox News to tying his dog (in an air tight kennel) to the roof of this car for 12 hour hour car ride.

    • OP-ED COLUMNIST
      Haunted by Seamus

      August 4, 2007 By GAIL COLLINS -nytimes

      Most high-profile politicians acquire weird little bits of biography that you just cannot shake out of your mind. A reporter once told me that he sat next to a member of Congress on a trip, while said lawmaker kept eating mayonnaise out of those little packets they give you at fast-food restaurants. Even if this guy someday single-handedly resurrects the Equal Rights Amendment and shepherds it through 37 State Legislatures, when I look at him, a corner of my brain will always think condiments.

      Then there is Mitt Romney, a candidate most of us don t really know well yet. (A disconcerting number of well-informed people seem to believe his name is  Mort. ) Yet he could become the Republican presidential nominee. It behooves us to pay attention, to mull his Iran plan and deconstruct his position on health care.

      But every time I see him, all I can think about is Seamus the dog.
      Seamus, in case you missed the story, was the Romneys Irish setter back in the early 1980s. Mitt used to drive the family from Boston to Ontario every summer for a vacation, with the dog strapped to the roof in a crate.

      As The Boston Globe reported this summer, Romney had the entire trip planned so rigidly that every gas station stop was predetermined before departure. During the fatal trip of  83, Seamus apparently needed one more than the schedule allowed. When evidence of the setter s incontinence came running down the back windshield, Romney abandoned his itinerary and drove to the closest gas station, where he got a hose and sprayed both dog and station wagon clean.

       It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management, The Globe said.

      For the entire article; http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/04/opinion/04collins.html

      • “Emotion-free” is a polite way of saying heartless. I’ll never trust anybody who abuses his dog!

        • Yes, it simply heartless to treat a defenseless animal abusively; the animal trusts the owner not to do any harm to it.

  8. Obamas to campaign together in Iowa

    8/7/12 4:24 PM EDT By JENNIFER EPSTEIN -POLITICO44

    President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will hit the trail together in Iowa next week, the campaign announced.

    They’re set to make stops together on Wednesday, Aug. 15, in Dubuque and Davenport — the last two stops on the president’s three-day, seven-town tour of the Hawkeye State. The Obamas feel a special connection to the state because of the time they spent there in 2007 and 2008 launching the president’s bid for the White House.

    The first couple’s joint campaigning comes as the Romneys hit the trail together, too. Ann Romney is set to join her husband’s weekend bus tour — which include stops in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio — and will also be part of the Romney campaign’s rollout of a vice presidential candidate.

    • Hey Kat!

      If we take in a pet we also take on the responsiblity to care for it or we need to hand it over to someone who can; it is only fair to the pet.

  9. Paul Ryan Can’t Escape Own Budget Package In Debut Solo Interview

    AUGUST 14, 2012, 6:54 PM EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO – tpm

    Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have insisted they’re not running on the House budget plan Ryan’s best known for. Romney has his own economic plans, vague as they may be, and his campaign has tried to emphasize they’re different from Ryan’s.

    Ryan’s first solo interview as the Republican VP nominee suggested not everyone is persuaded.

    Ryan repeatedly tried to deflect attention from his own highly controversial budget proposal in an interview with Fox News’s Brit Hume Tuesday. Ryan’s plan is both a rallying point for conservatives and a whipping boy for Democratic strategists.

    Hume didn’t buy the suggestion that the Romney-Ryan ticket wasn’t running on Ryan’s budget plan, and the interview focused largely on Ryan’s budget package. In one exchange on balancing the budget, Hume objected when Ryan tried to talk about Romney’s plan — which has drawn fire for being vague at best. Hume insisted Ryan talk about his own economic vision, which doesn’t bring the budget into balance for decades.

    Ryan couldn’t predict when Romney’s plan would balance the budget.

    Hume: The budget plan you’re now supporting would get to balance when?
    Ryan: Well, there are different — the budget plan that Mitt Romney is supporting gets us down to 20 percent of GDP government spending by 2016. That means get the size of government back to where it historically has been. What President Obama has done is he brought the size of government to as high as it hasn’t been since World War II. We want to reduce the size of government to have more economic freedom.

    Hume: I get that. What about balance?

    Ryan: I don’t know exactly what the balance is. I don’t want to get wonky on you but we haven’t run the numbers on that specific plan. The plan we offer in the House balances the budget. I’d put a contrast. President Obama, never once, ever, has offered a plan to ever balance the budget. The United States Senate, they haven’t even balanced, they haven’t passed a budget in three years.

    Hume: I understand that. But your own budget, that you —

    Ryan: You are talking about the House budget?

    Hume: I’m talking about the House budget. Your budget will be a political issue in this campaign.

    Ryan: The House budget doesn’t balance until the 2030s under the current measurement of the CBO baseline.

    There are two things happening here. First, Ryan is unable to change the conversation away from the House budget, which Democrats, and reportedly some Republicans, are convinced is a guaranteed loser this fall.

    For more; http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/paul-ryan-cant-escape-own-budget-package-in-debut-solo-interview.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

  10. U.S. 10-Year Yield Highest Since May After Retail-Sales Gain

    Aug 14, 2012 2:08 PM PT By Daniel Kruger – bloomberg

    Treasuries fell after U.S. retail sales rose for the first time in four months in July and exceeded forecasts, damping demand for the safety of U.S. government debt.

    Benchmark 10-year note yields reached the highest level since May as the consumer-spending data and the Aug. 3 report of stronger-than-forecast jobs gains reduced speculation the Federal Reserve will add to its monetary stimulus. U.S. debt fell earlier after the German economy expanded in the second quarter at a faster pace than analysts forecast and the French economy unexpectedly avoided a contraction.

    “Today’s data, combined with the employment report, makes it harder for the Fed to do another round of quantitative easing,” said Gary Pollack, who manages $12 billion as head of fixed-income trading at Deutsche Bank AG’s Private Wealth Management unit in New York. With the Fed buying so much long- term debt “yields are much lower than they should be.”

    The benchmark 10-year yield rose eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 1.74 percent at 5 p.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices. The 1.625 percent note due in August 2022 fell 21/32, or $6.56 per $1,000 face amount, to 98 31/32. The yield is the highest since May 29.

    The 10-year note has fallen seven times in the last eight days. Treasury 10-year yields have risen from a record low 1.379 percent on July 25.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-14/treasuries-extend-losses-after-july-retail-sales-exceed-forecast.html

  11. US consumer prices flat for 3rd time in 4 months

    8/15/12 By By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | Associated Press – 12 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — US consumer prices were unchanged in July from June, as a small drop in energy costs offset slightly higher food prices. The consumer price index hasn’t changed since March, evidence that the weak economy is keeping inflation in check.

    The Labor Department says core consumer prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, ticked up 0.1 percent last month. More expensive medical costs, clothing and rents pushed up core prices.

    Prices increased 1.4 percent in the 12 months ending in July. That’s down from 1.7 percent in June and is the smallest yearly increase in 20 months. Core prices have increased 2.1 percent in the past year, down from a 2.2 percent pace in June.

    Mild inflation gives the Federal Reserve more leeway to take steps to boost growth.

  12. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it

    Published on Aug 15, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom
    Share this: http://OFA.BO/HLwUnn
    Tweet this: http://OFA.BO/pE3exQ

    Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it. Now, as voters react, Romney responds by lying about the President’s record on Medicare.

    Romney-Ryan: using bogus attacks to hide their plan to end Medicare.

  13. Democrats remain thankful for GOP base

    Aug 15, 2012 8:00 AM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

    With 12 weeks remaining before Election Day, it’s still far too soon to say with any confidence how many key contests will turn out, but a pattern is nevertheless clear: the Republican base is helping set up the Senate matchups Democrats want.

    In Indiana, Dems far preferred to run against Richard Mourdock than Dick Lugar, and GOP voters obliged. In Missouri, Dems hoped Republicans would nominate Todd Akin, and they did. Even Nebraska’s race is probably more competitive after Deb Fischer won her GOP primary.

    And in Connecticut, Democrats preferred not to face Chris Shays, and as of last night, they won’t.

    Linda McMahon, the former CEO of wrestling juggernaut WWE, once again won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate on Tuesday, crushing former Congressman Christopher Shays by a 3-to-1 ratio. […]

    McMahon praised Shays but said her victory proves voters want a business leader over a career politician. It’s an argument she already has been making against Rep. Chris Murphy, the Democratic nominee, who has spent his career in government, first in Hartford and now in Washington.

    Shays was the moderate former congressman running against McMahon, the conservative wrestling executive, who ran for the Senate two years ago and lost by 12 points in a cycle that heavily favored Republicans. Thanks to her vast fortune and the GOP base’s distaste for moderation, the results weren’t close.

    This is, of course, exactly what Democrats hoped would happen. Indeed, we’ve seen this dynamic before — in 2010, Dems were able to maintain their majority in the Senate thanks in large part to Republican primary voters rejecting more electable candidates in Nevada, Delaware, and Colorado. In 2012, it’s quite possible Democrats will hold onto their majority once more because the GOP base didn’t learn any lessons from the last cycle.

    There were plenty of other interesting results last night — Tricia mentioned several of them earlier — but there was one other primary that caught stood out for me. Did you hear about Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.)?

    For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/15/13294500-democrats-remain-thankful-for-gop-base?lite

  14. Boehner rejects the ‘knuckle-draggers’ in his midst

    By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:27 AM EDT

    Occasionally, the far-right Republican base voices strong concerns about House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) being insufficiently radical. His comments on Fox News last night aren’t going to help.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Fox News’ Greta Van Susstren noted that Paul Ryan’s record isn’t exactly that of a fiscal hawk (a point Rachel explained last night in some detail). Asked how the right-wing vice presidential nominee can “explain” his votes in Congress, Boehner said of Ryan:

    “I mean, I think that he’s a practical conservative. He’s got a very conservative voting record, but he’s not a knuckle-dragger, all right? He understood that TARP, while none of us wanted to do it, if we were going to save — save our economy, save the world economy, it had to happen. I wish we didn’t have to do it, either, but he understood that.”

    So, by that estimation, does Boehner believe Republican critics of the Wall Street bailout should be characterized as “knuckle-draggers”?

    As this relates to Paul Ryan, the guy clearly has to hope voters don’t give his record a close look. He voted to pass two massive tax breaks, two wars, Medicare expansion, and a Wall Street bailout and add every penny of the costs to the national debt. If Boehner wants to describe this as evidence of a “practical conservative,” good luck to him.

    But for the Speaker to suggest that members of his own caucus are “knuckle-draggers” if they disagree is just asking for trouble.

    ——–

    BOEHNER CALLS TARP OPPOSITION “KNUCKLEDRAGGER[S]” 120814

    Published on Aug 13, 2012 by agitatorxmedia

  15. Industrial Production In U.S. Rises 0.6% On Autos, Utilities

    Aug 15, 2012 6:26 AM PT By Michelle Jamrisko – bloomberg

    Industrial production in the U.S. increased in July, propelled by a pickup in motor vehicle output and a rebound in utility use during the hottest month on record.

    The 0.6 percent increase last month at factories, mines and utilities followed a revised 0.1 percent gain in June that was smaller than previously reported, Federal Reserve data showed today in Washington. Economists forecast a 0.5 percent rise, according to the Bloomberg survey median. Manufacturing, which makes up about 75 percent of total production, rose 0.5 percent for a second month.

    The pickup in industrial production, the most in three months, may ease concerns that the industry that’s powered the expansion is faltering. At the same time, recessions in parts of Europe and the prospect of fiscal tightening in the U.S. are hurdles for American factories.

    “There are still strong trends in the auto industry and a number of other sectors which will keep industrial production from dipping into the negative this year,” Guy LeBas, fixed- income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, said before the report.

    Projections from the 85 economists in the Bloomberg survey ranged from a decline of 0.2 percent to an increase of 1.1 percent after a previously reported 0.4 percent gain in June.

    Stock-index futures held losses after the figures. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in September dropped 0.1 percent to 1,399.7 at 9:24 a.m. in New York.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-15/industrial-production-in-u-s-rises-0-6-on-autos-utilities.html

  16. Homebuilder Confidence In U.S. Increases To Five-Year High

    Aug 15, 2012 7:10 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

    Confidence among U.S. homebuilders climbed in August to the highest level in more than five years, affirming the improvement in residential construction.

    The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder confidence index rose to 37, higher than projected and the best showing since February 2007, according to figures from the Washington-based group released today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for no change from July’s 35. Readings below 50 mean more respondents said conditions were poor.

    Builders such as PulteGroup Inc. (PHM) are benefiting as less- expensive properties and record-low mortgage rates entice buyers. At the same time, faster hiring and fewer foreclosures are needed to bring about bigger gains for the industry that precipitated the worst recession in the post-World War II era.

    “The outlook appears to be brightening,” Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the NAHB and a builder from Gainesville, Florida, said in a statement. At the same time, “there is still much room for improvement.”

    Other reports today showed production at factories, mines and utilities climbed more than forecast in July, and consumer prices were unexpectedly little changed.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-15/homebuilder-confidence-in-u-s-increases-to-five-year-high-1-.html

  17. 12:00 PM ET
    Vice President Biden attends campaign event
    McComas Hall, Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA

    • August 15, 2012

      Remarks by the President and First Lady at a Campaign Event — Dubuque, IA

      Alliant Energy Amphitheater
      Dubuque, Iowa

      12:34 P.M. CDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Oh, my goodness! (Applause.) This is so sweet.

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

      MRS. OBAMA: We love you guys, too. (Applause.) Let me start by —

      AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!

      MRS. OBAMA: Four more! (Applause.) But I want to start by thanking Jennifer for — (applause.) We are so proud of her. And we are so grateful for her sacrifice and her service, and for Andrew’s service and sacrifice as well. So I just want to thank her for that wonderful introduction and for all she’s doing for our country. (Applause.)

      And, yes, it sounds like you all are pretty fired up. (Applause.) And very ready to go. (Applause.) And I’m really glad to hear that. First of all, it’s good to see my husband. (Laughter.) Because I haven’t seen him in a good week.

      THE PRESIDENT: Five days.

      MRS. OBAMA: Five days?

      THE PRESIDENT: Five days.

      MRS. OBAMA: It seemed like a week, it was so long. (Laughter.)

      THE PRESIDENT: I missed you.

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

      MRS. OBAMA: Just take care of him. (Laughter.)

      But I am just as happy to be back in the great state of Iowa, where it all began. (Applause.) So you guys are getting me all fired up just being here. It is so beautiful here. (Applause.) It is so beautiful. Good to be back. Our family has so many wonderful memories of our time here in Iowa. In Pella, I remember that an entire neighborhood sang “Happy Birthday” to Malia on the Fourth of July. (Laughter.) That was so sweet. She was a little, bitty something, too.

      And on the day of the big Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, I remember how we danced down the street with the Isiserettes. (Applause.)

      THE PRESIDENT: That’s what they were called.

      MRS. OBAMA: It was the Isiserettes — and a few thousand folks across the state, as well, were there, too. So that was fun.

      THE PRESIDENT: That was fun.

      MRS. OBAMA: And our girls, Malia and Sasha, they still talk about our visit to the State Fair. (Applause.) We had a ball. We rode the bumper cars; we slid down that big slide — where Barack almost lost Sasha. (Laughter.) She flew up —

      THE PRESIDENT: I held on.

      MRS. OBAMA: It wasn’t pretty. Wasn’t happy about that. (Laughter.) And, yes, we experienced the magic of our first fried Twinkie. (Applause.) Yes, we did. Even though you say I don’t let you eat them, you eat what you want. (Laughter.)

      But we were surrounded by the press, so Barack left and the girls looked at me and they said, “Oh, I’m so glad Dad is gone.” (Laughter.) Now we can have fun. (Laughter.) So after he left, we stayed. We cut loose. We stayed until the fair shut down. It was a ball. And I have to say that we’re all very jealous that Barack got to go back to the fair without us last week. Did you have a fried Twinkie?

      THE PRESIDENT: Pork chop and beer. (Laughter and applause.)

      MRS. OBAMA: He’s so pleased with himself. (Laughter.)

      THE PRESIDENT: It was good. It was tasty.

      MRS. OBAMA: But in all seriousness, though, because of those wonderful memories and so many more, I want to start by saying thank you. Truly. Thank you for the kindness, generosity and love that you have shown our family — I mean, throughout the state, consistently. (Applause.) Iowa was our very first experience with a national campaign, truly. And it is because of all of you that Malia and Sasha still think campaigning is fun. (Laughter.) They do. Now, they never really want to go, but they’re like, that was fun. (Laughter.)

      But more importantly, because of you, Barack and I will always remember what this process can be at its very best. Every election, you all remind us what democracy is all about. It’s about people getting to know the issues and discussing them with their neighbors. It’s about meeting your candidates and getting to know them and their families up close and personal.

      I will never forget the very first visit that I made here back in 2007, and I think it was the very first campaign event I did, so of course I was nervous. And it was in the backyard of someone’s home, and I have to admit I really didn’t know what it would be like. I hadn’t done much campaigning, and back then people barely even knew who Barack was, let alone who I was.

      But the folks in that backyard welcomed me like an old friend, and within minutes, I was so comfortable that I remember kicking off my heels and I was standing barefoot in the grass, just talking and laughing and listening to people’s stories. And I heard about what was going on in folks’ lives — the jobs they were juggling, the businesses they were trying to keep afloat, the kids they hoped to send to college if they could just find a way to afford it.

      And the more we talked, the more at home I felt — because what I learned was that in all of those stories I saw my story; I saw Barack’s story. I mean, you all know that story by now. My father worked at the city water plant his entire life. And neither of my parents had a college degree, but they saved and sacrificed so that my brother and I could have the kind of education they only dreamed of.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/15/remarks-president-and-first-lady-campaign-event-dubuque-ia

    • President Obama With Michelle Obama, In Iowa – 2012-08-15

      Published on Aug 15, 2012 by SolelyByRequest

  18. Devo releasing song about Romney’s dog

    8/15/12 12:34 PM EDT By CAITLIN MCDEVITT – POLITICO

    Devo, best known for the ‘80s tune “Whip it,” is coming out with a song about Mitt Romney’s dog.

    Gerald Casale, one of the band’s founding members, wrote “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro! (Seamus Unleashed),” which is set for release on Aug. 26, according to a press release.

    Devo is working with “Dogs Against Romney” to spread the word.

    “The new DEVO song Gerald created with his bandmates is awesome, and I believe it will be the soundtrack for Romney’s defeat in November,” Scott Crider, the organization’s founder, said in the release.

    • Devo-Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro! (Seamus Unleashed)

      Published on Aug 31, 2012 by benravensfan02

      Devo’s Jerry Casale wants it to be known that their newest song, “Don’t Roof Rack Me, Bro,” isn’t meant as a partisan statement — even though it viciously mocks Mitt Romney for strapping his Irish Setter, Seamus, to the roof of his car for a 1983 family vacation.

      “This isn’t a red-state thing or Devo stumping for Obama,” he says. “But I think any animal lover that hears the story will learn so much about the character flaw of Romney. It’s just a deal-breaker about the man. My God, the world is a scary place with seven billion people. What you want in a leader is a guy with some humanity at his core. I just don’t feel that Mitt does.”

  19. Romney vows to end Amtrak funding
    (also subsidies for: PBS , the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities)

    8/15/12 10:31 AM ET By Keith Laing – TheHill

    Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said in an interview published this week that he would eliminate federal funding for Amtrak if he is elected in November.

    In an interview with CNN’s Fortune Magazine, the presumptive GOP nominee identified the national passenger rail service as a program that would be on the chopping block in a Romney administration.

    “There are three major areas I have focused on for reduction in spending,” Romney said to the magazine. “These are in many cases reductions which become larger and larger over time. So first there are programs I would eliminate — ObamaCare being one of them, but also various subsidy programs: the Amtrak subsidy, the PBS subsidy, the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

    Romney said he supported some of the programs he was proposing to eliminate funding for, but Amtrak was noticeably absent from that list.

    “Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS, I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf,” he said.

    Amtrak has received an annual subsidiary for its operations since it was set up by Congress to replace a network of private rail companies in 1971. The agency has come under fire from Republicans in the House for reports that the service lost $833 million on concession sales over the last 10 years.

    Romney has identified the Amtrak subsidy as a likely target for being cut from the budget if he defeats President Obama in November.

    For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/railroads/243767-romney-promises-to-end-amtrak-subsidy

    • Cutting PBS and the NEA won’t do it

      Aug 15, 2012 12:56 PM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      Mitt Romney sat down with Fortune magazine for a pretty interesting interview, which was published today. It’s worth your time, and I’ll resist the temptation to go through every exchange in detail, but there’s one part of the Q&A that seemed especially important.

      Romney believes — or at least wants you to believe — that he and Paul Ryan can balance the budget while cutting taxes on the rich, increasing defense spending, and increasing Medicare spending, all without raising taxes on the middle class. Anyone with common sense and a calculator knows such a plan is silly, but Romney says he can pay for his multi-trillion-dollar plan through ending various tax deductions and cutting spending.

      Which tax deductions? Romney and Ryan refuse to say — the former governor told Fortune he’ll “work with Congress to identify which of the alternative methods we should apply to reduce deductions, benefits, and exemptions.” In other words, maybe after voters elect him, Romney will tell voters what he’ll do.

      And what about the spending cuts? Asked for specifics, Romney told Fortune:

      “[T]here are programs I would eliminate. Obamacare being one of them but also various subsidy programs — the Amtrak subsidy, the PBS subsidy, the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities. Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf.”

      In Grown-Up Land, destroying the Affordable Care Act would make the deficit significantly worse, not better — Obamacare saves the country hundreds of billions of dollars — making this part of the plan particularly incoherent.

      But what about the other specifics? Sam Stein explained, “The government spends $444 million a year on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (the parent organization of PBS); Amtrak received $1.56 billion in federal funding in 2010, with $1.3 billion in stimulus funds; while the National Endowment of the Arts lists the current level of federal funding at approximately $146 million.”

      Looking at a deficit of a trillion dollars, the Republican has a plan to make the budget shortfall significantly worse, then make it ever-so-slightly “better” by nibbling around the edges.

      For more; http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/15/13298558-cutting-pbs-and-the-nea-wont-do-it

  20. 12:00 PM ET
    President Obama delivers remarks to Teachers at Cascade High School, Cascade, Iowa

    Cascade High School
    Cascade, Iowa

    • August 15, 2012

      Remarks by the President to Teachers at Cascade High School, Cascade, Iowa

      Cascade High School
      Cascade, Iowa

      11:09 A.M. CDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) So good to see you! I hear that there’s a little school going on here. (Laughter.) So I thought I’d stop by and just wish everybody luck.

      Have a seat. Have a seat. We were on our way by and I just wanted to say that, first of all, I’ve been seeing a whole bunch of the kids as I’ve been traveling around the state, and they’re really enthusiastic that the summer is over and that — (laughter) — so you’re going to have some charged-up kids.

      But the main thing I want to do is just say thank you for everything you guys do. I know how tough it is to be a teacher. My sister was a teacher. She’s now actually teaching teachers through college education — but I remember stories of her bringing home stuff from work and putting together a lesson plan, and staying up late, and sometimes having to help parents as well as the kids. And we appreciate you for what you guys do every single day.

      (A bell rings.) Oh, did we set off a fire alarm? (Laughter.)

      So I just wanted to say thank you. I know that you get a lot of satisfaction. Obviously, you guys don’t do this for the money. But to be able to every single day know that you’re making a difference in a young person’s life, at a time when education is more important than it’s ever been, has to be pretty gratifying and pretty significant. So we appreciate you.

      And I didn’t want to interrupt any — (laughter) — but what I was thinking was maybe I’ve got some time to take some questions or get some comments, ideas. I’d love to hear from you guys what’s working and what’s not, how we can be more helpful. What do you think, Principal, is that all right, spend a few minutes? (Laughter.) It’s not going to throw the whole schedule off?

      Okay. Can I just say that if this guy had been a principal at my school I would have gotten in a lot less trouble. (Laughter.) I’m looking at him and I’m thinking, I really wouldn’t goof off much. (Laughter.) He seems like a pretty serious guy.

      So anybody have comments, ideas, thoughts, things you think I need to know? The only person I’m not going to call is the guy with the Packers shirt. (Laughter and applause.) I generally don’t interact with Packers fans — except when I’m in Wisconsin. (Laughter.)

      So what do you think? Are people excited about the school year?

      Q Yes.

      THE PRESIDENT: Okay. What are the biggest challenges that you guys face? And what do you want me to know? Because I’ve got a little pull — I can talk to the Secretary of Education and tell him what I heard. (Laughter.)

      Yes, in the back. And introduce yourself — tell me what you teach.

      TEACHER: I’m Judy Callahan and I teach special ed. And with the No Child Left Behind laws, it’s going to be very difficult for our students to meet the grade. How do we help them?

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t know how — what you guys have been following about what we’ve been doing at the federal level, but we have been encouraging Congress to pass the new ESEA, and had a whole series of reforms in it. Shockingly, Congress didn’t get it done. And so what we did was, administratively, we have gone ahead and said to states and school districts that if they want to get a waiver from under No Child Left Behind, we will grant that waiver — the theory being that we don’t want you guys teaching to the test. We want you to feel creative and empowered inside your classroom.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/15/remarks-president-teachers-cascade-high-school-cascade-iowa

  21. An un-dynamic duo: Romney announces Ryan as VP pick
    August 11, 2012 By Amanda Litvinov – nea

    High profile couplings often make one stop and wonder: What do these two see in each other? But there’s little mystery in the case of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his vice presidential pick, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, which was announced earlier today.

    The two have a lot in common when it comes to their destructive approach to public education and an unflagging commitment to catering to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans at the expense of the remaining 98 percent.

    During his 13 years in Congress, Ryan has repeatedly supported cuts to education funding, including blocking support intended to help avoid educator layoffs and prevent ballooning class sizes. As chair of the House Budget Committee, Ryan was the architect of a plan that proposes to cut $1.1 billion from early childhood education, which would deny more than 2 million poor children the opportunity for high-quality early education.

    You can click here to sign the open letter to Mitt Romney and VP choice Paul Ryan and ask them to make investments in education a priority.

    “Ryan’s position on fundamental education issues like funding for early childhood education and efforts to keep class sizes small don’t speak to ensuring that every child in this country gets a quality education,” said educator and NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “It continues Romney’s misguided and out of touch mentality that class size doesn’t matter and children should get as much education as they can ‘afford’.

    For more: http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/2012/08/11/an-un-dynamic-duo-romney-announces-ryan-as-vp-pick/

  22. Nation’s Largest Teacher’s Union Prepares To Help DREAMers On Day One

    AUGUST 15, 2012, 12:44 PM EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO – tpm

    On the first day of President Obama’s new immigration rules for DREAM Act-eligible young people, the nation’s largest teacher’s union is preparing educators to help students who earn a reprieve work their way to permanent residency through schooling.

    “What an opportunity this is in this day and age of such divides and bickering back and forth. This is about American ideals, it’s a bipartisan issue. You don’t find many of those,” Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association told TPM. “And for us, the reason it’s so important is because what we’re talking about all of these new Americans and American immigrants, what we’re talking about is an opportunity for education.”

    On Wednesday night, Van Roekel will lead a town hall meeting with Hispanic activist groups and NEA members to educate them about how to help DREAM-eligible children of illegal immigrants now eligible to temporarily stay in the country apply for their new status. As the school year begins, the NEA will host a legal clinic with the American Immigration Lawyers Association to “provide legal assistance to DREAM students, their families, and community members in taking advantage of President Obama’s Deferred Action announcement.”

    The Republican Party, including Mitt Romney, has strongly objected to the Democratic version of the DREAM Act. (Some tepidly supported Sen. Marco Rubio’s watered-down version of the law, but Rubio abandoned the plan after Obama made his move.) The idea behind the law, allowing children raised in the U.S. as Americans by illegal immigrant parents who brought them here, enjoys broad public support. Romney’s continued promise to veto the version of the DREAM Act approved by the House in 2010 and kicked around Washington for years, along with Romney’s embrace of anti-immigration hardliners, has contributed to his terrible poll numbers with Hispanic voters, immigration advocates say.

    The NEA, which endorsed Obama’s reelection bid last year, is fully behind the president’s push for a DREAM Act, as well as his move to circumvent Congress to help it get off the ground. For Van Roekel, helping the DREAMers get their new benefits is a no-brainer.

    For more: http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/nations-largest-teachers-union-embraces-obamas-dream-move-on-day-one.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

    • Is ‘Deferred Action’ A Real Change For Ariz. Youth?
      Listen to the Story

      August 16, 2012 All Things Considered [4 min 35 sec]

      Summary: Wednesday, the U.S. government began a program to temporarily delay deportation for some undocumented youth. In response, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed an executive order denying public benefits to those granted deferred action. Melissa Block talks with undocumented activist Daniel Rodriguez about what deferred-action status will actually change for young people like himself in Arizona.

      For the audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2012/08/16/158943302/is-deferred-action-a-real-change-for-ariz-youth

  23. Flashback: 2010 Obama-Ryan exchange foreshadowed current Medicare debate

    8/15/12 POLITICO44

    2010 exchange between President Obama and Paul Ryan — then the top Republican on the House Budget committee — foreshadowed this week’s campaign trail brawl over Medicare.

    Obama, speaking at the House GOP retreat in Baltimore, said that any change to Medicare by either Democrats or Republicans would undoubtedly provoked a furious response from the other side — with the president lamenting the inevitable political back and forth.

    “There is a political vulnerability to doing anything that tinkers with Medicare,” Obama said, referring to Ryan’s proposal to make Medicare into a voucher system for future retirees.

    He continued:

    “We’re not going to be able to do anything about any of these entitlements if what we do is characterize whatever proposals are put out there as ‘well, the other party’s being irresponsible. The other party is trying to hurt our senior citizens,'” Obama said.

    “If we’re gonna frame these debates in ways that allow us to solve them, then we can’t start off by figuring out a.) who’s to blame and b.) how can we make the American people afraid of the other side?” Obama said.

    But in the heat of a presidential campaign, both sides have a Medicare vulnerability — and each campaign is now eager to exploit it.

    The Obama administration found more than $700 billion in savings to Medicare pay for the president’s health care plan, while Ryan has promised to fundamentally transform the system for future retirees.

    Obama’s campaign ads today hit Mitt Romney and Ryan hard for Ryan’s Medicare proposals — accusing them of dismantling the current program, all while Romney has promised to put the $700 billion back into the system.

    “Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan have put forward a plan that doesn’t promote Medicare solvency, it dismantles the program and would force seniors to pay thousands out of pocket for their health care costs,” Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said Wednesday. “The president, on the other hand, doesn’t just talk about Medicare solvency – he actually did something, and he did it in a way that enhances seniors’ benefits. President Obama extended the solvency of Medicare by 8 years by passing the Affordable Care Act, and his budget would add another two years to its lifetime.”

    For the short video: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/08/flashback-obamaryan-exchange-foreshadows-current-132202.html

    • Obama Faces GOP On Its Talking Points

      Uploaded by UpTakeVideo on Jan 30, 2010

      President Obama speaks to the GOP House Issues forum and debunks many talking points offered as questions by Republican House members.

    • Paul Ryan Slams His Own Medicare Cuts In Ohio

      8/15/12 1 hour ago – Benjy Sarlin – TPM

      Speaking at his alma mater Miami University in Ohio, Paul Ryan slammed President Obama for adopting Medicare cuts that, until last week, were openly supported by Ryan himself.

      “The president, I’m told, is talking about Medicare today,” Ryan said. “We want this debate.”

      Ryan went on to say that “what I don’t think he’ll be telling people is that the president took $716 billion from the Medicare program — he raided it to pay for Obamacare.”

      Like Romney, Ryan has pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which included $716 billion in savings taken from health care providers, not seniors’ benefits. But unlike Romney, Ryan wrote and passed two Republican budgets that kept the cuts in place.

      Romney, looking to get the upper hand on Medicare after picking Ryan, pledged this week to reverse the cuts even as he’s promised to close the entire budget deficit by the end of his second term.

      For more: http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/paul-ryan-slams-own-medicare-cuts-in-ohio.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

  24. August 15, 2012

    Notice — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Export Control Regulations

    NOTICE

    – – – – – – –

    CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO
    EXPORT CONTROL REGULATIONS

    On August 17, 2001, consistent with the authority provided to the President under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the President issued Executive Order 13222. In that order, he declared a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States in light of the expiration of the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2401 et seq.). Because the Export Administration Act has not been renewed by the Congress, the national emergency declared on August 17, 2001, must continue in effect beyond August 17, 2012. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13222.

    This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.

    BARACK OBAMA

    • August 15, 2012

      Letter — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Export Control Regulations

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

      Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within the 90-day period prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice, stating that the emergency caused by the lapse of the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended, is to continue in effect for 1 year beyond August 17, 2012.

      Sincerely,

      BARACK OBAMA

  25. Biden pauses at Virginia Tech memorial

    8/15/12 3:52 PM EDT POLITICO44

    Vice President Joe Biden made an unannounced stop on the Virginia Tech campus to pay tribute to the students killed there in a mass shooting in 2007.

    Asked by POLITICO’s Jonathan Martin what the memorial meant to him, Biden seemed to recall the death of his first wife Neilia Hunter and one-year old daughter.

    “It means,” Biden said, pausing. “I’ll tell you what it means. It means to me that – it reminds you how precious life is. And that – you know I think of those kids, but I also think of their parents. No child should predecease their parents. I remember what it’s like.”

    “It brings back … It brings back memories. Whether it’s that call, out of the blue that you get, and it’s like how could this happen,” Biden said.

    Asked by reporters about the more spate of high-profile recent shootings, Biden declined to weigh in.

    Biden was on the Virginia Tech campus for a speech when he stopped at the memorial — 32 individual stones with the name of the victims, and a plaque that reads “We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech.”

  26. Meet the Mirror-Free Bride: Woman Avoided Mirrors for One Year

    By GAIL DEUTSCH and MEGHAN MOORE | ABC News – 3 hrs ago

    Kjerstin Gruys, a 29-year-old PhD student in sociology, has mastered the art of avoiding her own reflection. For months, her daily schedule began with the typical teeth brushing, but a curtain covered the bathroom mirror. She inserted her contact lenses and applied her makeup by touch, not sight. Driving to work required glances in the rear- and side-view mirrors, but Gruys avoided peeking at her own image.

    It was part of a unique experiment that Gruys hopes will help boost her own self-esteem and inspire others to stop focusing on external perfection. In her blog “Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall“, she documents her yearlong effort to live mirror-free.

    Watch the full story on a special “20/20” TONIGHT at 10 p.m. ET.

    The project had its roots in Gruys’ struggles with body image and her experience overcoming an eating disorder. In high school, Gruys said, she had insecurities about her appearance and suffered from anorexia.

    “All my obsessing was kind of directed toward how much I weighed,” she said. She restricted her food and liquid intake, resulting in serious health problems. “I had kidney stones five times … and the lack of body fat started affecting my bone density.”

    Through years of therapy, Gruys finally overcame her eating disorder. Gruys began volunteering for About-Face, a San Francisco-based organization that seeks to help women and girls free themselves of body-image problems.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/meet-mirror-free-bride-woman-avoided-mirrors-one-175537122–abc-news-health.html

    • August 15, 2012

      Remarks by the President and First Lady at a Campaign Event — Davenport, Iowa

      Davenport, Iowa

      5:47 P.M. CDT

      MRS. OBAMA: I decided to bring someone out with me. You may know this guy. (Applause.)

      I want to start by thanking Amanda for that very kind introduction. We are so proud of her. And we are so grateful for her service. So let’s give Amanda another round of applause. (Applause.) And thank you, Amanda, for getting the President to eat some fruit this morning. That’s good. (Laughter.)

      Well, you guys, this looks amazing. You all sound really fired up. (Applause.)

      THE PRESIDENT: Fired up!

      MRS. OBAMA: And you definitely sound ready to go. (Applause.)

      THE PRESIDENT: Ready to go!

      MRS. OBAMA: And let me tell you, I’m glad to hear it because —

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: Four more years!

      MRS. OBAMA: Yes, indeed, with your help! (Applause.) With your help.

      Let me just say this. I shared this with the folks earlier today, but being back in the great state of Iowa — (applause) — yes, indeed! (Applause.) Where it all began for us. (Applause.) I have to say I’m feeling pretty fired up and ready to go myself.

      Our family has so many great memories of our time here in Iowa. As I mentioned earlier, I remember when we went to Pella, and an entire neighborhood sang “Happy Birthday” to Malia on the Fourth of July. (Applause.) Yes. It was so sweet. I remember, on the big day at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, we danced with about a thousand folks across the street with the Isiserettes. It’s a marching band. We’ve had them back to the White House since. But that was exciting.

      And our girls still talk about our visit to the State Fair. That was like I think the first big State Fair we ever went to. (Applause.) And it was so much fun. We did everything. We rode the bumper cars, and we slid down this big slide. I mentioned how Barack almost dropped Sasha — (laughter) — off of the slide. (Applause.) She flew up and he barely — I wasn’t very happy about that. (Laughter.)

      And, that is where, yes, we experienced our very first fried Twinkie on a stick. (Applause.) It was here. And it was also pretty funny because he was a senator at the time and he had a lot of press, and they were everywhere. And the girls were holding baby chicks, and the cameras were flashing. So when it was time for him to leave — he left early — the girls actually turned around to me and said, “Whew, I’m so glad Daddy is gone.” (Laughter.) Now we can really have some fun. (Laughter.)

      We essentially shut the State Fair down. So we had a great time. And I’ll have to say that I’m a little bit jealous that Barack got to go to the State Fair this week without me.

      AUDIENCE: Awww —

      MRS. OBAMA: Oh, it’s so sad.

      THE PRESIDENT: It was good. (Laughter.)

      MRS. OBAMA: So today I want to start by saying thank you, truly, thank you. I want to thank everybody in the state for the kindness and generosity and love that you all have shown our family. Regardless of what party you’re from, regardless of how you felt about us, you have shown us so much love. (Applause.) And you don’t understand how important that was for me because Iowa was my very first experience with a national campaign. And because of you all, this state, the people in this state, our girls still think campaigning is fun. (Laughter.) They really do.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/15/remarks-president-and-first-lady-campaign-event-davenport-iowa

    • potus-flotus-davenport

      President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at a campaign event, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, in Davenport, Iowa, during a three day campaign bus tour through Iowa. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  27. WH

    Thursday, August 16,, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:15 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden receive the presidential daily briefing.

    10:45 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with Secretary Clinton.

    11:00 AM
    11:30 AM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet for lunch.

    1:00 PM
    1:45 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with Treasury Secretary Geithner.

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  28. Jobless Claims In U.S. Little Changed As Market Stable

    Aug 16, 2012 5:41By Michelle Jamrisko and Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

    The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits was little changed last week, bringing the average over the past month to the lowest level since late March, a sign the labor market has stabilized after employment picked up in July.

    Jobless claims climbed by 2,000 to 366,000 in the week ended Aug. 11, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase to 365,000. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 363,750, the fewest since the week ended March 31.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-16/jobless-claims-in-u-s-little-changed-as-labor-market-stabilizes.html

  29. Pro-Obama youth groups face Ryan

    8/16/12 8:50 AM EDT By PUJA MURGAI – POLITICO

    Squaring off against one of the youngest-ever vice presidential nominees in Paul Ryan, pro-Barack Obama voter outreach groups are hoping to use the Wisconsin lawmaker’s age to help them steer the debate back to his policies that young voters may not support.

    “Now our focus is in terms of talking about Ryan because he is obviously a younger [nominee],” said Emily Sussman, executive director of Young Democrats of America. “We’re focusing on his values through his budget, and the values that he has articulated are not in line with Millennial Generation. As a package, he is showing he is out of touch with the Millennial Generation.”

    By choosing the 42-year-old Ryan, Mitt Romney’s doubling down on extreme policies that aren’t in line with young voters, the groups said, and they expect the vice presidential nominee to help put in better perspective exactly how young voters can benefit from Obama’s policies.

    “Young people support President Obama because he has taken action important to their generation: bringing the war in Iraq to a responsible end; repealing DADT; making health care affordable and accessible, including insuring an additional 3.1 million young Americans; making college more affordable and investing in education and clean energy,” Clo Ewing, director of constituency press for the Obama campaign, told POLITICO.

    Obama’s efforts are “in stark contrast to the Romney/Ryan ticket,” Ewing added, which supports “a budget that could cut college aid for nearly 10 million students, would repeal health care reform, enshrine discrimination into the constitution and proposed an economic plan that provides tax cuts for the wealthy that are paid for with tax increases on the middle class.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79787.html?hp=r7

  30. Redoubling Efforts to Support American Manufacturing

    Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank August 16, 2012 11:00 AM EDT

    I just returned from the White House Business Council American Economic Competitiveness Forum on Manufacturing, where I had an opportunity to hear from a group of American manufacturers—representing businesses of all sizes from across the country—about how the Obama Administration can continue to support them as they build things here and sell them everywhere. As we have seen in recent months, manufacturing is one of the bright spots for our economy. Over the past two and a half years, more than half-a-million manufacturing jobs have been created in the U.S. – the strongest job growth in that sector since the 1990s. In fact, just last month, an additional 25,000 new manufacturing jobs were added.

    In terms of production, manufacturing output is up 20 percent since 2009, and increased again in July. One manufacturing sector that has been consistently strong is the motor vehicles and parts industry, which has added 165,000 jobs since June 2009— a sector that might not even exist in the U.S. today if not for the assistance this Administration gave to the U.S. auto industry in 2009.

    This matters because we know that manufacturing jobs are good jobs that pay more than average and provide greater benefits. They strengthen economic security for middle class families.

    There is a powerful link between America’s ability to make things and America’s ability to innovate, compete, and create good jobs. We have come to realize that you can’t separate innovation and production—they have to sit near each other. Manufacturers perform 70 percent of all private sector R&D, investing in and producing technological advances that accounted for 90 percent of U.S. patents. Economic research indicates that innovation – in new products or new processes – was central to three-quarters of the nation’s economic growth since World War II and it is not an accident that the manufacturing sectors where America is most competitive are all advanced manufacturing, where new technologies, new products or new production processes are central to the success of specific firms.

    And, of course, manufacturing doesn’t just support production jobs; it also supports non-manufacturing jobs up and down the supply chain.

    That is why across the Administration, we are redoubling our efforts to promote a vibrant manufacturing sector. We are acting on the findings of a report that we released entitled, “ The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States.” It outlined steps needed to support America’s innovators and entrepreneurs. The report outlines a number of investments this country needs to make to remain competitive over the next two decades.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/08/16/redoubling-efforts-support-american-manufacturing

  31. Good Thursday morning everyone. Going to do data entry at a phone bank now. HOPE that you have a good day!

  32. Boosting Innovation in the Rust Belt

    Matt Compton August 16, 2012 03:18 PM EDT

    Soon, Youngstown, Ohio will be the home to a new public-private institute aimed at boosting innovation.

    The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute will focus on 3-D printing technology, and it will launch with $30 million in federal funding, matched by $40 million from manufacturing firms, universities, community colleges, and non-profits.

    “This institute will help make sure that the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow take root not in places like China or India, but right here in the United States of America,” said President Obama. “That’s how we’ll put more people back to work and build an economy that lasts.”

    The Youngstown facility will serve Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and is designed to function as a proof-of-concept for an eventual network of 15 manufacturing innovation institutes around the country.

    In March, the President called on Congress to invest $1 billion to launch the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation to boost competitiveness throughout America.

    Since lawmakers have yet to take action, the President is pushing forward with today’s initial effort as part of the We Can’t Wait initiative.

    Learn more

    See other steps President Obama has taken as part of the We Can’t Wait initiative.

    • August 16, 2012

      We Can’t Wait: Obama Administration Announces New Public-Private Partnership to Support

      Consortium of Businesses, Universities, and Community Colleges from Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania Co-Invest with Federal Government in a Manufacturing Innovation Institute

      WASHINGTON, DC – Following through on our We Can’t Wait efforts, the Obama Administration today announced the launch of a new public-private institute for manufacturing innovation in Youngstown, Ohio as part of its ongoing efforts to help revitalize American manufacturing and encourage companies to invest in the United States. This new partnership, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), was selected through a competitive process, led by the Department of Defense, to award an initial $30 million in federal funding, matched by $40 million from the winning consortium, which includes manufacturing firms, universities, community colleges, and non-profit organizations from the Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia ‘Tech Belt.’

      In order to create an economy built to last, America needs to make more things the rest of the world wants to buy. After losing millions of good manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the deep recession, the economy has added over 530,000 manufacturing jobs since February 2010 —the strongest growth for any 30 month period since 1989.Companies are also increasingly choosing to invest in the U.S. and bring jobs back. While there’s more work to be done, steps like today’s announcement build on this momentum.

      “I’m pleased that we are taking steps to strengthen American manufacturing by launching a new manufacturing institute in Ohio,” said President Obama. “This institute will help make sure that the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow take root not in places like China or India, but right here in the United States of America. That’s how we’ll put more people back to work and build an economy that lasts.”

      On March 9, 2012, President Obama announced his plan to invest $1 billion to catalyze a national network of up to 15 manufacturing innovation institutes around the country that would serve as regional hubs of manufacturing excellence that will help to make our manufacturers more competitive and encourage investment in the United States. The President called on Congress to act on this proposal and create the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).

      As part of his Administration’s We Can’t Wait initiative, President Obama also announced immediate steps to launch a pilot institute to serve as a proof-of concept for the NNMI. Five federal agencies – the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Commerce, the National Science Foundation, and NASA – jointly committed to invest $45 million in a pilot institute on additive manufacturing. Today’s announcement of an initial $30 million award under existing authorities is matched by $40 million from the winning consortium.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/16/we-can-t-wait-obama-administration-announces-new-public-private-partners

  33. Pet owners unite behind dog treats [chicken jerky] they claim are causing illness, death

    10/21/12 6:19 PM Bay City News

    A San Francisco pet owner has joined a national drive urging major chain stores to ban Chinese-made pet treats that campaigners hold responsible for the deaths of hundreds of dogs, a claim the company disputes and federal officials have yet to confirm.

    The campaign, started on the online advocacy platform Change.org, is asking top retailers such as Safeway, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Costco to stop selling Waggin’ Train brand white chicken jerky treats, which one San Francisco pet owner says nearly killed her dog.

    Dana Moskowitz — who is among more than 60,000 people Change.org said have signed petitions favoring the ban — said she witnessed her dog, Bella, almost die of kidney failure after she fed it Waggin’ Train jerky she bought at a Safeway store.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that since early 2011, consumers have reported 2,200 cases of pets that became ill and 361 reports of pets that died after eating the increasingly popular chicken jerky treats.

    However, the FDA, which began its investigation into Chinese chicken jerky treats in 2007, has been unable to conclude that the treats were responsible.

    The FDA did issue a warning to pet owners “to stop feeding the jerky pet treat product” if their pets show signs of poor health.

    The petition effort was started by Rita Desollar, an Illinois woman who said her dog died a week after eating two pieces of Waggin’ Train chicken jerky, Change.org senior campaigner Stephanie Feldstein said.

    Keith Shopp, a spokesman for Nestle Purina PetCare Co., said the company has no plans to voluntarily remove its chicken jerky treats from store shelves.

    Last month, the FDA reported that U.S. imports of pet food from China had skyrocketed over the past decade, from less than 500,000 pounds in 2001 to 86 million pounds in 2011.

    Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/10/pet-owners-unite-behind-dog-treats-they-claim-are-causing-illness-death#ixzz2A2KwWp7R

    • Questions and Answers Regarding Jerky Pet Treats

      Updated August 15, 2012 fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary

      Why did FDA issue a cautionary update in November 2011?

      In 2011, FDA saw an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China.

      FDA previously issued a cautionary warning regarding chicken jerky products to consumers in September 2007 and a Preliminary Animal Health Notification in December of 2008. The number of complaints being received dropped off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010. However in 2011, FDA once again started seeing the number of complaints rise to the levels of concern that prompted release of our earlier warnings.

      Since the issuance of the CVM Update on November 18, 2011, the agency has received numerous additional complaints regarding chicken jerky products.

      Types of Jerky Pet Treat Products
      What are the products involved?

      The cautionary update issued in November 2011 specifically refers to chicken jerky products that are imported from China. These dried chicken jerky products, intended for dogs, may also be sold as tenders, strips or treats.

      Has the agency received reports of illness associated with other types of jerky treats?

      Yes. More recently (2012), the product-associated complaints have expanded to other jerky pet treat products such as duck and sweet potato jerky treats. Our investigation now includes these types of jerky treat products.

      Are there specific brands we should be concerned about?

      No specific products have been recalled because a definitive cause has not been determined. The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem and its origin. If the FDA identifies the cause, the agency will take appropriate action and notify the public.

      Why aren’t these products being taken off the market?

      There is nothing preventing a company from conducting a voluntary recall. It is important to understand that unless a contaminant is detected and we have evidence that a product is adulterated, we are limited in what regulatory actions we can take. The regulations don’t allow for products to be removed based on complaints alone. This is an ongoing investigation and FDA will notify the public if a recall is initiated. Currently, FDA continues to urge pet owners to use caution with regard to jerky pet treat products.

      Are previously submitted Consumer Complaints regarding jerky pet treat products available to view?

      Yes. The following is a list of jerky pet treat product complaints received by FDA’s District Consumer Complaint Coordinators (CCC’s) between January 1, 2007 – July 2, 2012. These records only comprise complaints received by CCC’s and do not include reports received through FDA’s electronic Safety Reporting Portal (SRP) system.

      The spreadsheet lists a “country of origin” (C.O.O.) column. A few entries list the United States as the C.O.O. This is not correct. The distributor is located in the U.S. but the manufacturer is located in China. In addition, one entry lists, “Afghanistan,” as the C.O.O. It should indicate, “China,” in the C.O.O. column. Freedom of Information laws require records to be released “as is” regardless of any perceived errors (either manual or human).

      For more: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm295445.htm

      • Some veterinarians suggest giving a dog Milk Thistle capsules for liver damage. Just open the capsule and sprinkle contents on the dog’s food.

    • US to Tighten Food Import Regulations

      July 26, 2013 Steve Baragona – VOAnews

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed new rules aimed at making imported food safer. The FDA says the rules will hold importers accountable for observing the same safety standards as domestic producers.

      The United States imports about 15 percent of its food from 150 countries, according to the FDA.

      The agency currently relies on food safety inspectors at the border, who screen less than two percent of the products coming in. FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor says that’s changing.

      “The big paradigm shift is the shift toward prevention, and for industry being responsible for documenting what they have done to prevent problems,” he said.

      The FDA would require importers to examine their entire supply chains, from farm to shelf, and identify where the safety hazards are. Companies would need to document what they have done to control those hazards.

      Taylor says the new rules will make food safer and not just in the United States.

      “We are also directed to work with foreign governments to build their capacity to oversee food safety in ways that can strengthen food safety in their countries as well as in the United States,” he said.

      For more: http://www.voanews.com/content/us-to-tighten-food-import-regulations/1711012.html

    • FDA Facts: Jerky Pet Treats

      FDA has been actively investigating consumer complaints about jerky pet treats causing illness in dogs and in some cats. As of Sept. 24, 2013, over 3,600 dogs and 10 cats have reportedly become ill from eating jerky pet treats.

      The treats are sold as jerky tenders or strips and are made with chicken, duck, sweet potato, dried fruit, and in combinations of these ingredients.

      Product samples have been tested for contaminants known to cause the symptoms and illnesses reported in pets including Salmonella, metals, pesticides, and antibiotics, and were screened for other chemicals and poisonous compounds. Nutritional composition analyses have been conducted including fatty acids, crude fiber, glycerol, protein, ash and moisture, and other excess nutrients. The purpose of nutritional composition testing is to verify the presence of ingredients listed on the label. To date, none of the tests have revealed the cause of the illnesses.

      For the entire document: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/NewsEvents/Newsroom/FactSheets/UCM371715.pdf

  34. Sniffing Out Bombs In Afghanistan: A Job That’s Gone To The Dog

    March 08, 201311:31 AM by SEAN CARBERRY – NPR

    Lucy is a stereotypically giddy black labradoodle. She’s not what you picture when you think of a military dog serving on the front lines in Afghanistan. She wiggles around the room chasing her tennis ball and thinks my microphone cover is a chew toy.

    But her handler, Spc. Heath Garcia, says when Lucy is on a mission, she’s all business. She’s highly trained to sniff out improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, which are the No. 1 killer of civilians and troops in Afghanistan.

    “I always tell the guys that work the mine detectors, ‘Hey, you can pick up metal; I can’t. I can pick up explosives; you can’t. So if you want to do a coin flip, see who wants to be in the front, let’s do it,’ ” Garcia says.

    Leading The Patrols

    Lucy has shown she deserves to be out front on patrols and road-clearing missions. In her 10 months in the southern province of Kandahar, she’s found four different IEDs.

    “Her finding those is amazing because there’s a lot of dog handlers that come here and don’t find anything,” Garcia says.

    Garcia says he’s been working with Lucy for about two years. It’s his first deployment as a dog handler, and it’s her second as an explosives-detection dog. And, she outranks him; it’s a convention in the military for dogs to be given a rank above their handlers.

    But Garcia still gives the orders, and he says she handles the rigors of the assignment well.

    “She doesn’t mind flying, especially when we get on helicopters; she loves looking out the little windows,” he says. He adds that if they could open the windows, she’d stick her head out as if riding in a truck.

    There are seven dog teams at Forward Operating Base Frontenac. While they have outside kennels, on cold rainy days like this, the troops usually keep the dogs in their rooms.

    For entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2013/03/10/173815691/sniffing-out-bombs-in-afghanistan-a-job-thats-gone-to-the-dogs

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