Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994H.R. 3355) signed as Pub.L. 103–322 by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 (codified in part at 42 U.S.C. sections 13701 through 14040). The Act provides $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposes automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allows civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave un-prosecuted. The Act also establishes the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.

VAWA was drafted by the office of Senator Joe Biden (DDE), with support from a broad coalition of advocacy groups. The Act passed through Congress with bipartisan support in 1994, clearing the United States House of Representatives by a vote of 235–195 and the Senate by a vote of 61–38, although the following year House Republicans attempted to cut the Act’s funding. In the 2000 Supreme Court case United States v. Morrison, a sharply divided Court struck down the VAWA provision allowing women the right to sue their attackers in federal court. By a 5–4 majority, the Court overturned the provision as exceeding the federal government’s powers under the Commerce Clause.

VAWA was reauthorized by Congress in 2000, again in December 2005, and again in 2013, after a long legislative battle throughout 2012–2013.

Source: Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_Against_Women_Act

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The History of the Violence Against Women Act Timeline

1990

  • U.S. Senator Biden introduces the first Violence Against Women Act.

1993

  • U.S. Senator Joseph Biden and the majority staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee conclude a three‐year investigation into the causes and effects of violence against women. In his introduction to Violence Against Women ‐ The Response to Rape: Detours on the Road to Equal Justice report, Senator Biden states, “Through this process, I have become convinced that violence against women reflects as much a failure of our nation’s collective moral imagination as it does the failure of our nation’s laws and regulations. We are helpless to change the course of this violence unless, and until, we achieve a national consensus that it deserves our profound public outrage.

1994

  • The Act provided $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted. The Act also established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.

9/13/1994  President Bill Clinton signs the Violence Against Women Act into law as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

  •  Requires a coordinated community response to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking crimes, encouraging jurisdictions to bring together multiple players to share experience and information and to use their distinct roles to improve community‐defined responses.
  • Strengthens federal penalties for repeat sex offenders and included a federal “rape shield law,” which is intended to prevent offenders from using victims’ past sexual conduct against them during a rape trial.
  • Creates full faith and credit provisions requires states and territories to enforce protection orders issued by other states, tribes and territories.
  • Creates legal relief for battered immigrants that made it more difficult for abusers to use immigration law to prevent victims from calling the police or seeking safety.
  • Allows victims to seek civil rights remedies for gender‐related crimes.1

DOJ, HHS, and CDC grant programs under VAWA 1994 include:

DOJ: The STOP (Services*Training*Officers* Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program, the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies Program, the Rural Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Assistance Grant Program, and the STOP Violence Against Indian Women Discretionary Program (created from a statutory set‐aside of STOP funds for Indian tribal governments).

HHS: VAWA authorizes funds to establish the National Domestic Violence Hotline and to support battered women’s shelters, rape prevention education, and coordinated community responses to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

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IRS extends deadline for ‘innocent spouse’ tax relief application

8/12/13 4 hours ago YahooNews

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Moving to help victims of domestic violence and others, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Monday proposed rules to extend the amount of time taxpayers can apply for its “innocent spouse” relief program which stops collection of taxes in certain situations.

The program aims to assist taxpayers – including single mothers – who have filed tax returns as married couples but later face a tax bill. The applicants are usually people who did not know their spouse had accumulated a tax liability, which the “innocent” spouses are also responsible for as part of a married tax filing.

Under the proposed rules, taxpayers would have up to 10 years to apply for the program and stop a tax collection process. Nearly 50,000 people apply annually for the program, including some involved in domestic disputes or physical abuse.

In 2011, the IRS said it would stop enforcing a two-year deadline to file an innocent spouse relief application. Monday’s proposals would make the 10-year deadline permanent in law.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/irs-extends-deadline-innocent-spouse-tax-relief-application-230545697.html

Tax Information for Innocent Spouses

New Rule for Innocent Spouse Relief
The two-year time limit no longer applies for many innocent spouse requests. Under this new provision, many taxpayers may qualify for retroactive relief.

Introduction to Innocent Spouses
This publication explains these types of relief, who may qualify for them, and how to get them.

Explore if you are an Eligible Innocent Spouse
In order to qualify for Spousal Relief, you must meet certain conditions. Information is provided to help you determine if you qualify for relief.

Three Types of Relief
In some cases, a spouse will be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint tax return. Three types of relief are available.

Innocent Spouse Relief – Publication 971
There are three types of relief for the innocent spouse.

Applying for Innocent Spouse Relief
Find Form 8857 including Form 8857 Fillable and Spanish Versions.

Where to Mail Completed Form 8857
Improve Service by mailing innocent spouse claims directly to Cincinnati.

Innocent Spouse Questions & Answers
This section answers questions commonly asked by taxpayers about innocent spouse relief.

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GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_small

House GOP blocks Violence Against Women Act

Wed Jan 2, 2013 2:13 PM EST By Steve Benen – maddowblog

Congress had a lengthy to-do list as the end of the year approached, with a series of measures that needed action before 2013 began. Some of the items passed (a fiscal agreement, a temporary farm bill), while others didn’t (relief funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy).

And then there’s the Violence Against Women Act, which was supposed to be one of the year’s easy ones. It wasn’t.

Back in April, the Senate approved VAWA reauthorization fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. The bill was co-written by a liberal Democrat (Vermont’s Pat Leahy) and a conservative Republican (Idaho’s Mike Crapo), and seemed on track to be reauthorized without much of a fuss, just as it was in 2000 and 2005.

But House Republicans insisted the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans — and they’d rather let the law expire than approve a slightly expanded proposal. Vice President Biden, who helped write the original law, tried to persuade House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to keep the law alive, but the efforts didn’t go anywhere.

And so, for the first time since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act is no more. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Democratic point person on VAWA, said in a statement:

“The House Republican leadership’s failure to take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable. This is a bill that passed with 68 votes in the Senate and that extends the bill’s protections to 30 million more women. But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates. No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first.”

For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/02/16305284-house-gop-blocks-violence-against-women-act?lite

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122 thoughts on “Violence Against Women Act

  1. WH

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:35 AM
    President Obama Speaks to the Press on the Attack in Benghazi
    The White House

    10:45 AM
    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    Vice President Biden attends a campaign event
    Wright State University, Dayton, OH

    1:00 PM
    1:15 PM
    President Obama departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews.

    1:30 PM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews en route Las Vegas, Nev.

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    President Obama arrives in Las Vegas, Nev.

    7:00 PM
    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden host a reception with Jewish community leaders at the Naval Observatory.

    8:00 PM
    8:25 PM
    President Obama attends a campaign event
    Cashman Center, Las Vegas, NV

    9:00 PM
    9:40 PM
    President Obama departs Las Vegas, Nev. en route Aurora, Colo.

    10:00 PM
    11:00 PM
    11:10 PM
    President Obama arrives in Aurora, Colo.

    President Obama overnights in Denver, Colorado

    • POTUS podium

      September 12, 2012

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

      10:35 AM EDT
      President Obama Speaks to the Press on the Attack in Benghazi
      The White House

      —-

      CNN http://live.cnn.com

      10:00 AM ET
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gives a statement about the attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya

      10:00 AM ET
      Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee: Future of GSA

      10:35 AM EDT
      President Obama Speaks to the Press on the Attack in Benghazi
      The White House

      11:00 AM ET
      Farmers rally on Capitol Hill
      Hundreds of farmers will gather at the U.S. Capitol to call on Congress to pass legislation that could help American farmers.

      11:00 AM ET
      Arnold Palmer honored with Congressional Gold Medal
      Golf great Arnold Palmer receives the Congressional Gold Medal for his contributions to the nation at a Capital Hill ceremony.

      12:00 PM ET
      U.S. Muslims briefing on Libya, Egypt attacks
      Leading American Muslims and others will condemn the murder of U.S. diplomats in Libya during a briefing at the National Press Club.

      12:30 PM ET
      Vice President Biden attends a campaign event
      Wright State University, Dayton, OH

      5:30 PM ET
      Obama Presidential Campaign
      Former President Clinton at Obama Campaign Rally
      Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando, FL

      8:25 PM ET
      President Obama attends a campaign event
      Cashman Center, Las Vegas, NV

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      10:00 AM ET
      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gives a statement about the attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/USConsu

      10:00 AM ET
      Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee: Future of GSA http://www.c-span.org/Events/GSA-Acting-Admin-Details-Agencys-Improved-Spending-Practices/10737434001/

      10:00 AN ET
      The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation will review the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Transportation System, an air traffic control modernization program http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-Cmte-Reviews-FAAs-NextGen-Program/10737434029/

      10:00 AM ET
      The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on the Department of Energy’s management of nuclear weapons. http://www.c-span.org/Events/House-Energy-and-Commerce-Cmte-Examines-Nuclear-Weapons-Mgt/10737434028/

      10:35 AM EDT
      President Obama Speaks to the Press on the Attack in Benghazi
      The White House http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/SConsu

      11:00 AM ET
      Farmers rally on Capitol Hill
      Hundreds of farmers will gather at the U.S. Capitol to call on Congress to pass legislation that could help American farmers.

      11:00 AM ET
      Arnold Palmer honored with Congressional Gold Medal
      Golf great Arnold Palmer receives the Congressional Gold Medal for his contributions to the nation at a Capital Hill ceremony.

      12:00 PM ET
      U.S. Muslims briefing on Libya, Egypt attacks
      Leading American Muslims and others will condemn the murder of U.S. diplomats in Libya during a briefing at the National Press Club.

      2:00 PM ET
      Senators Hear About NASA’s Efforts to Explore Mars http://www.c-span.org/Events/Senators-Hear-About-NASA39s-Efforts-to-Explore-Mars/10737434031/

      ————

      Department of State http://www.state.gov

      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gives a statement about the attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya

  2. 9/13/1994 Violence Against Women Act

    The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, H.R. 3355) signed as Pub.L. 103-322 by President Bill Clinton (D) on September 13, 1994. The Act provided $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted. The Act also established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.

    VAWA was drafted by the office of Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), with support from a broad coalition of advocacy groups. The Act passed through Congress with bipartisan support in 1994, clearing the House by a vote of 235–195 and the Senate by a vote of 61–38, although the following year House Republicans attempted to cut the Act’s funding.In the 2000 Supreme Court case United States v. Morrison, a sharply divided Court struck down the VAWA provision allowing women the right to sue their attackers in federal court. By a 5–4 majority, the Court’s conservative wing overturned the provision as an intrusion on states’ rights.

    VAWA was reauthorized by Congress in 2000, and again in December 2005.The Act’s 2012 renewal was fiercely opposed by conservative Republicans, who objected to extending the Act’s protections to same-sex couples and to provisions allowing battered illegal immigrants to claim temporary visas.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_Against_Women_Act

    • Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act

      Under the leadership of then-Senator Joe Biden, Congress recognized the severity of violence against women and our need for a national strategy with the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. This landmark federal legislation’s comprehensive approach to violence against women combined tough new provisions to hold offenders accountable with programs to provide services for the victims of such violence.

      VAWA has improved the criminal justice response to violence against women by:

      • holding rapists accountable for their crimes by strengthening federal penalties for repeat sex offenders and creating a federal “rape shield law,” which is intended to prevent offenders from using victims’ past sexual conduct against them during a rape trial;

      • mandating that victims, no matter their income levels, are not forced to bear the expense of their own rape exams or for service of a protection order;

      • keeping victims safe by requiring that a victim’s protection order will be recognized and enforced in all state, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions within the United States;

      • increasing rates of prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of offenders by helping communities develop dedicated law enforcement and prosecution units and domestic violence dockets;

      • ensuring that police respond to crisis calls and judges understand the realities of domestic and sexual violence by training law enforcement officers, prosecutors, victim advocates and judges; VAWA funds train over 500,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and other personnel every year;

      • providing additional tools for protecting women in Indian country by creating a new federal habitual offender crime and authorizing warrantless arrest authority for federal law enforcement officers who determine there is probable cause when responding to domestic violence cases.
      VAWA has ensured that victims and their families have access to the services they need to achieve safety and rebuild their lives by:

      • responding to urgent calls for help by establishing the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which has answered over 3 million calls and receives over 22,000 calls every month; 92% of callers report that it’s their first call for help;
      • improving safety and reducing recidivism by developing coordinated community responses that bring together diverse stakeholders to work together to prevent and respond to violence against women,

      • focusing attention on the needs of underserved communities, including creating legal relief for battered immigrants so that abusers cannot use the victim’s immigration status to prevent victims from calling the police or seeking safety, and supporting tribal governments in building their capacity to protect American Indian and Alaska Native women.

      VAWA has created positive change. Since VAWA was passed:

      Fewer people are experiencing domestic violence.

      * Between 1993 to 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence declined 67%;

      * Between 1993 to 2007, the rate of intimate partner homicides of females decreased 35% and the rate of intimate partner homicides of males decreased 46%.
      More victims are reporting domestic and sexual violence to police, and reports to police are resulting in more arrests.

      States have reformed their laws to take violence against women more seriously:

      * All states have reformed laws that previously treated date or spousal rape as a lesser crime than stranger rape;
      * All states have passed laws making stalking a crime;

      * All states have authorized warrantless arrests in misdemeanor domestic violence cases where the responding officer determines that probable cause exists;

      * All states provide for criminal sanctions for the violation of a civil protection order;

      * Many states have passed laws prohibiting polygraphing of rape victims;

      * Over 35 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have adopted laws addressing domestic and sexual violence, and stalking in the workplace. These laws vary widely and may offer a victim time off from work to address the violence in their lives, protect victims from employment discrimination related to the violence, and/or provide unemployment insurance to survivors who must leave their jobs because of the abuse.

    • April 18, 2012

      Presidential Memorandum — Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce

      MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
      SUBJECT: Establishing Policies for Addressing Domestic Violence in the Federal Workforce

      Despite the considerable progress made since the initial passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 (Public Law 103-322), domestic violence remains a significant problem facing individuals, families, and communities. Domestic violence causes two million injuries each year, and an average of three women in the United States die each day as a result of domestic violence. While a disproportionate number of victims are women, domestic violence can affect anyone.

      The effects of domestic violence spill over into the workplace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that domestic violence costs our Nation $8 billion a year in lost productivity and health care costs alone, and other studies have suggested that the full economic impact is even higher. Moreover, many victims of domestic violence report being harassed in the workplace or experiencing other employment-related effects.

      As the Nation’s largest employer, the Federal Government should act as a model in responding to the effects of domestic violence on its workforce. Executive departments and agencies (agencies) have taken steps to address this issue, including by enhancing the quality and effectiveness of security in Federal facilities and by linking victims of domestic violence with Employee Assistance Programs. By building on these important efforts and existing policies, the Federal Government can further address the effects of domestic violence on its workforce.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/18/presidential-memorandum-establishing-policies-addressing-domestic-violen

    • Strengthening the Violence Against Women Act

      Posted by Lynn Rosenthal and Kimberly Teehee on April 25, 2012 at 08:53 AM EDT

      This week, the Senate will consider bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), that would reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). First authored by then-Senator Biden in 1994, VAWA provides funding to states and local communities to improve the criminal justice response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. VAWA supports specialized law enforcement units to investigate these crimes and helps prosecutors get dangerous offenders off the streets. Since the passage of the act, annual incidents of domestic violence have dropped by more than 60 percent.

      While tremendous progress has been made, violence is still a significant problem facing women, men, families, and communities. On average, 3 women a day die as a result of domestic violence. The hidden crime of stalking affects 1 in 6 women and sexual assault remains the most underreported violent crime in the country. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been sexually assaulted at some time in their lives. The Leahy-Crapo bill to reauthorize VAWA addresses today’s most pressing issues and builds on what we have learned over the past 17 years. We must continue moving forward to reduce violence against all women.

      Native American women suffer from violent crime at some of the highest rates in the United States. One regional survey conducted by University of Oklahoma researchers showed that nearly three out of five Native American women had been assaulted by their spouses or intimate partners. In addition, a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) study found that 46 percent of Native American women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Tribal leaders say there are countless more victims of domestic violence and sexual assault whose stories may never be told.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/25/strengthening-violence-against-women-act

    • September 13, 2012

      Statement by the Vice President on the Eighteenth Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act

      Eighteen years ago today, the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed into law. It was founded on the basic premise that every woman deserves to be safe from violence, and since its passage, we have made tremendous strides towards achieving that goal. We gave law enforcement and the courts more tools to combat domestic violence and hold offenders accountable. We created a national hotline to direct victims to life-saving assistance. And since VAWA passed, annual rates of domestic violence have dropped by more than 60 percent.

      But we still have much work to do. Three women still die every day as a result of domestic violence. One in five women have been raped, many as teenagers, and one in six women have been victims of stalking. While women and girls face these devastating realities every day, reauthorization of a strengthened VAWA languishes in Congress. VAWA is just as important today as it was when it first became law, and I urge Congress to keep the promise we made to our daughters and our granddaughters on that day—that we would work together to keep them safe.

    • Domestic Abuse Victims Get Chance At Freedom

      10/5/12 by GLORIA HILLARD – NPR

      Brenda Clubine is a platinum blonde with focused blue eyes and a no-nonsense demeanor.

      She spent 26 years in prison for killing her husband. After enduring beatings and emergency room visits, she says, it finally ended in a locked motel room where he told her to give him her wedding rings.

      “I said, ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Because tomorrow they won’t be able to identify your body without them,’ ” Clubine says.

      She hit him in the head with a wine bottle, and he died of blunt force trauma. She got out of prison four years ago, but many women with stories similar to Clubine’s are still behind bars.

      Now, those women may have a chance at release. California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a bill to allow new evidence to be considered in the cases of women serving decades-long sentences for killing their abusive partners.

      At least once a month, Clubine returns to the prison to attend the support group she started more than two decades ago, Convicted Women Against Abuse.

      Sitting in a circle are women of all ages, but the older ones stand out. Some have walkers, while others have bandaged legs or arms. Other wounds are invisible.

      “My arrest photos show [my husband’s] kick prints all up and down my back,” says inmate Glenda Virgil.

      Virgil is in a wheelchair. She has had back surgery and a number of medical issues that she counts off on her fingers. She’s 65 and has spent close to 27 years in prison.

      “He had said — threatened — to kill me before, but he had never said he was going to kill himself and me in the same breath, and then our dog too. He was going to take us all,” Virgil says.

      The prison-issued muumuu that Rosemary Dyer is wearing looks like something out of the 1950s: white polka dots on slate gray. She’s 60 years old and has been in prison since 1988 for killing her husband.

      Dyer says that in the past few years she has received letters from victims of domestic violence asking for advice. For six months, she corresponded with a young woman being abused by her baby’s father. One day, the letters stopped. She later heard what happened.

      “He killed both of them,” Dyer says, fighting back tears. “And the only thing I could think of was what more could I have said to express to her the importance to get away.”

      About a half-dozen of the women in the support group, including Virgil and Dyer, are featured in a documentary about incarcerated battered women called Sin By Silence.

      The film’s director sent a copy of the documentary to California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, chairwoman of the Select Committee on Domestic Violence. After seeing the film, Ma wrote legislation she called the Sin By Silence Bills. One of the new statutes allows incarcerated victims of domestic violence to refile for a writ of habeas corpus.

      “These cases were tried prior to Aug. 29, 1996, and back then the judge did not allow expert testimony related to battered women syndrome as part of the defense,” Ma says. “Had they presented it today, they probably would have received no sentence or involuntary manslaughter.”

      For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2012/10/05/162169484/jailed-domestic-abuse-victims-get-chance-at-freedom

    • House GOP blocks Violence Against Women Act

      Wed Jan 2, 2013 2:13 PM EST By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      Congress had a lengthy to-do list as the end of the year approached, with a series of measures that needed action before 2013 began. Some of the items passed (a fiscal agreement, a temporary farm bill), while others didn’t (relief funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy).

      And then there’s the Violence Against Women Act, which was supposed to be one of the year’s easy ones. It wasn’t.

      Back in April, the Senate approved VAWA reauthorization fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. The bill was co-written by a liberal Democrat (Vermont’s Pat Leahy) and a conservative Republican (Idaho’s Mike Crapo), and seemed on track to be reauthorized without much of a fuss, just as it was in 2000 and 2005.

      But House Republicans insisted the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans — and they’d rather let the law expire than approve a slightly expanded proposal. Vice President Biden, who helped write the original law, tried to persuade House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to keep the law alive, but the efforts didn’t go anywhere.

      And so, for the first time since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act is no more. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Democratic point person on VAWA, said in a statement:

      “The House Republican leadership’s failure to take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable. This is a bill that passed with 68 votes in the Senate and that extends the bill’s protections to 30 million more women. But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates. No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first.”

      For more: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/01/02/16305284-house-gop-blocks-violence-against-women-act?lite

    • BREAKING: House Republicans Backing Down On Violence Against Women Act

      FEBRUARY 26, 2013, 10:25 PM 2563 SAHIL KAPUR – tpm

      After nearly a year of resistance that has damaged them politically with women voters, House Republicans have found a clever way to back down on the reauthorization of an expanded Violence Against Women Act, aides confirmed to TPM late Tuesday.

      The original plan was for the Republican majority in the House to pass its version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and then go to conference conference committee with the Senate. The Senate has already overwhelmingly passed a more aggressive bill, with protections for LGBT, Native American and undocumented women that have been at the heart of the dispute with House Republicans.

      But all that changed Tuesday night. The Rules Committee instead sent the House GOP’s version of the Violence Against Women Act to the floor with a key caveat: if that legislation fails, then the Senate-passed version will get an up-or-down vote.

      The big admission implicit in this latest move is that House GOP leaders don’t believe they have the votes to pass their version of the bill but that the Senate version is likely to pass the chamber. So this way they’ll give House conservatives the first bite at the apple as a way of saving face and still resolve an issue that has hurt them politically.

      Here’s how Democrats expect it to play out.

      After the House finishes debating the GOP-version of the bill on Wednesday and Thursday, it will get a vote, but will fail to muster enough votes for passage due to conservative and Democratic opposition. So the Senate-passed bill will get a vote instead, and Democrats as well as a faction of more moderate Republicans will carry it to victory. Then it will go straight to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

      “[Rules Committee Chairman] Pete Sessions laid it out in not so many words that this is what the majority’s plan is,” a House Democratic aide said Tuesday evening. “They’re anticipating that their version gets voted down. But it’s clear the Senate bill will pass with flying colors.”

      A House Republican leadership aide didn’t dispute this characterization, but said that after the Rules Committee meeting Tuesday, the House “is still expected to take up a strong Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization later this week.”

      After months of holding firm, Democrats are anticipating victory.

      For more; http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/02/house-gop-backs-down-on-violence-against-women-act.php?ref=fpa

    • Tattoo Removal Artist Helps Clients With Emotional Scars

      March 29, 2013 3:09 AM by NPR STAFF

      Dawn Maestas runs a tattoo-removal business in Albuquerque, N.M., and her clients include women who want the names of abusive partners removed.

      Some of them have been tattooed forcibly, like the 22-year-old client who visited StoryCorps with Maestas.

      “I was with a guy for five years. He was much older. He was really abusive toward me. After a while when I tried to finally end it, he kidnapped me, held me hostage and tattooed his name all over my body against my will,” says the woman, who did not want to be named.

      Maestas removes the tattoos for free because she, too, has lived through domestic violence. She understands.

      “Every time that you had to get dressed and undressed, you would have to look at that tattoo and know where it came from,” she tells her client. “When you walked in my office, it was déjà vu. I knew the loneliness, the embarrassment, and I was so angry that life had done to you what it had done to me.”

      Maestas says her ex made references to her tattoo of his name all the time. “That he owned me,” she says. “This is a person who locks his arms around your legs at night, and you have to ask for permission to use the restroom. So, you know, it’s not just a tattoo. It’s … like being in a car accident — every time you pass that intersection you remember the impact.”

      Maestas’ client is grateful for the understanding.

      For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2013/03/29/175585389/tattoo-removal-artist-helps-clients-with-emotional-scars

    • How many acid attacks are there?

      9 August 2013 By Tom de Castella – BBC News Magazine

      The acid attack on two young British women in Zanzibar has cast a spotlight again on a sinister crime. How often do such assaults happen?

      Anyone who throws acid in someone’s face intends to scar them for life.

      It is a crime with a marked gender skew. Experts say that women and girls are victims in 75-80% of cases. Of the female victims, about 30% are under 18.

      The case of Kirstie Trup and Katie Gee, British tourists in Zanzibar, who had acid thrown on their faces, chests and hands, has caused revulsion.

      The artistic director of Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet was attacked in January. Now after 18 operations he is still almost completely blind, according to reports.

      Another high profile case was that of Katie Piper, who in 2008 was the victim of an acid attack orchestrated by her jealous boyfriend. Since then she has had nearly 100 operations and become a campaigner.

      For more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23631395

      • Obama Appoints Record Number Of Women Judges To Federal Bench

        Posted: 09/10/2012 6:24 pm Updated: 09/11/2012 8:03 am

        WASHINGTON — With the confirmation of Stephanie Rose as a U.S. district court judge on Monday, President Barack Obama has put 72 women on the federal bench — the most ever appointed by a president in one term. It also ties the number former President George W. Bush had confirmed in his entire eight-year presidency, according to numbers provided by the White House.

        In an 89-1 vote, the U.S. Senate voted to approve Rose as a judge in the Southern District of Iowa. She is the first woman to ever serve on this court, and it’s the sixth time that Obama has put a woman on the bench for the first time in various courtrooms.

        Former President Bill Clinton had the most female judges confirmed during his entire presidency — 111 — but just 61 of them were appointed in his first term.

        Beyond women on the bench, Obama has had a remarkably strong record on diversifying the federal judiciary. The AP reported last year that Obama is “the first presidentwho hasn’t selected a majority of white males for lifetime judgeships.”

        Obama has had 29 minority women confirmed to the federal bench, compared to 22 during Bush’s presidency. He has also had 31 African-American federal judges confirmed, compared to 26 for Bush. Three openly gay judges have been confirmed as federal judges under Obama; there were zero confirmed during Bush’s term.

        “At this time, it’s beyond dispute that having a diverse set of judges improves the quality of justice for everybody,” said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center. “And that is certainly true for having women on the bench as well as men. A woman’s perspective can enrich the way women understand the practicalities of the application of legal issues to real life.”

        For more; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/obama-women-judges-stephanie-rose_n_1792063.html?1347315934

    • National Organization for Women PAC
      Endorses Obama-Biden for Re-election
      Statement of NOW/PAC Chair Terry O’Neill

      July 11, 2012 now

      It is with great pride that I announce today, on behalf of the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots women’s rights organization, that the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee endorses President Barack Obama for re-election as president of the United States.

      NOW PAC is proud to stand behind a president who unquestionably represents the path forward to achieve equality for women. Throughout the past four years President Obama has listened to our concerns and repeatedly stood up for women’s rights against a right-wing juggernaut bent on undermining our access to reproductive health care, our economic security and even our safety from intimate partner violence and sexual assault.

      The extremists’ War on Women is all too real, and in order to win this struggle we must have strong allies in the White House who will work with us to implement policies that empower the women of this country to live healthy, safe and productive lives. President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden have shown time and again that they are our allies.

      President Obama’s record on women’s issues speaks for itself:

      On health care: The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover preventive care without co-pays, including contraception, mammograms, screening for cervical cancer, diabetes and heart disease, and many other prevention measures. The ACA also prohibits sex-based discrimination in insurance premium pricing, stops insurers from refusing coverage because of a pre-existing condition, expands Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income people (disproportionately women, particularly women of color), and will subsidize health premiums for millions more low- and middle-income earners — again, disproportionately women — who don’t get health coverage through their jobs and wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. And the president stood up to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops when they demanded restrictions on birth control, ensuring access to contraception coverage for the millions of women insured through religiously affiliated schools, hospitals and nonprofits throughout the country.

      On pay equity: The first piece of legislation President Obama signed in January 2009 was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and he continues to support passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill to end wage discrimination against women.

      On violence against women: President Obama supports the inclusive, bi-partisan Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, and he has threatened to veto the partisan Republican House version of the bill that excludes key provisions protecting Native Americans, immigrant women and the LGBT community.

      President Obama also issued an executive order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls, tasked with ensuring that every part of the federal government takes into account the needs of women and girls in the policies they draft, the programs they create and the legislation they support. He is also a strong supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

      Meanwhile, presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has consistently spoken out against women’s rights, and he doesn’t appear to have a clue what women really need or want.

      Romney has promised to defund family-planning programs, even though access to family planning is essential to women’s basic health and to their families’ economic security. Romney has also vowed to outlaw abortion and even supports a ‘personhood’ measure declaring a fertilized egg to be a human being, which would criminalize all abortions without exception and likely outlaw common forms of contraception as well as stem cell research and in vitro fertilization. He has made it clear that he would overturn Roe v. Wade, saying: ‘Absolutely, it would be a good day for America.’

      Finally, Romney supports Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which takes aim at Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and a range of social programs that disproportionately serve and employ women. And we have yet to hear Romney’s position on equal pay legislation, or where he stands on guaranteeing women’s basic equality through an Equal Rights Amendment.

      For more: http://www.nowpacs.org/2012/press/obama-endorsement.html

    • DNC 2012 – Sandra Fluke Address the DNC

      Published on Sep 5, 2012 by WSJDigitalNetwork

      Women’s rights advocate Sandra Fluke addresses the 2012 Democratic National Convention, touting President Obama’s focus on women’s rights and the two futures American women face. Photo: Associated Press.

    • Lily Ledbetter: Without Equal Pay, ‘We Lose What Cannot be Measure by Dollars’

      Published on Sep 4, 2012 by PBSNewsHour

      After a video introduction, Lilly Ledbetter, Women’s Equality Leader and Namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, talks about her struggle to earn equal pay as a woman for the same job done as a man, and how the first bill President Obama signed into law.

      “That was the first step, but it can’t be the last. Because women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar men make. Those pennies add up to real money… maybe 23 cents doesn’t sound like a lot to a person with a Swiss bank account … but Gov. Romney, when we lose 23 cents every hour, every day, every paycheck, every job over the entire life, we lose what cannot be measure by dollars.”

    • Women for Obama

      Women For Obama Launch House Party in Boca Raton, Florida

      Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on Feb 8, 2012
      Join Women for Obama: https://my.barackobama.com/womenfloridavid

      Dina hosted a house party for the 2012 launch of Women for Obama. In this video, she shares what’s at stake for her and her family and why she had to get involved in the campaign again. As Dina says:

      “We women are going to have to be the ones to take the charge for everything in our families and what’s really important.”

      Get involved with the campaign’s work for women, contribute your ideas, and help tell the story of how women are shaping this movement. Click this link to join Women for Obama: https://my.barackobama.com/womenfloridavid

    • 5-cosas-que-debes-saber-sobere-el-candidato-de-mitt-romney-a-la-vice-presidencia-pau-ryan

      
nuns-on-the-bus-

      Nuns On The Bus

      Catholic Sisters 

      Every hour of each day, Catholic Sisters stand in solidarity with all who live in poverty, and we confront injustice and systems that cause suffering.

      “We cannot stand by silently when the U.S. Congress considers further enriching the wealthiest Americans at the expense of struggling, impoverished families.

      “As part of our campaign for budget fairness we are taking a bus trip. Our bus will travel to places in many states where Sisters actively serve people in need. For they are our best witnesses to the suffering our federal government must not ignore.

      We ask all who visit this website to join us in prayer and to support our work to defeat government actions that would add to the suffering of already struggling families.”

      .

      The Ryan Budget

      The Catholic Sisters are speaking out against the current House Republican budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget plan that harms people who are already suffering.

      THE RYAN BUDGET WOULD:

      * Raise taxes on 18 million hardworking low-income families while cutting taxes for millionaires and big corporations.

      * Push the families of 2 million children into poverty.

      * Kick 8 million people off food stamps and 30 million off health care.

      NETWORK’s Executive Director, Sister Simone Campbell, said in a recent media interview that Catholic Sisters “know the real-life struggles of real-life Americans.”  It is this knowledge that impelled us to organize this bus trip. When the federal government cuts funding to programs that serve people in poverty, we see the effects in our daily work. Simply put, real people suffer. That is immoral. Click on the links below to see how the Ryan budget affects people in your state.

      How the Ryan Budget Hurts Illinois

      How the Ryan Budget Hurts Indiana

      How the Ryan Budget Hurts Iowa

      How the Ryan Budget Hurts Michigan

      How the Ryan budget Hurts Ohio

      How the Ryan Budget Hurts Pennsylvania

      How the Ryan Budget Hurts Virginia

      How the Ryan Budget Hurts Wisconsin

      To learn more about Nuns on the Bushttp://nunsonthebus.com/

      catholics-for-obama
      Catholics For Obama – Biden http://catholicsforobama.blogspot.com/2012/06/nuns-on-bus.html

      —————–

      FACT CHECK: PAUL RYAN FALSELY CLAIMS REPUBLICAN BUDGET WOULD FIX THE DEFICIT

      APR 01, 2012 dccc.org

      On CNN State of the Union today, House Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-01) falsely claimed the House Republican budget reduces the deficit, saying, “we put solutions that actually fix the problem.” He also made a similar claim during an appearance on ABC’s This Week, by stating “we’re doing something about” the deficit.

      In reality, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the House Republican budget would add $3.1 trillion to the deficit, greater what the deficit would be under current law, while it ends Medicare and raises health care costs for seniors. Ryan’s plan fails to reduce the debt as it gives a $394,000 tax cut for people making over $1 million a year according to the Tax Policy Center.

      FACT CHECK

      Congressional Budget Office: Ryan’s Plan Adds $3.1 Trillion to the Deficit; Adds More to the Deficit than Under Current Law.
      ( The Hill, 3/20/12,/a>)

      Ryan’s Plan Proposes Nearly $10 Trillion in Tax Cuts
      [
      Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/22/12; see also: Tax Policy Center Table T12-0075]

      House Republican Budget Would Give People Making Over $1 Million Per Year a $394,000 Tax Cut
      [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/27/12; see also Tax Policy Center, Table T12-0078 and T10-0132]

      Ryan Budget Pads Big Oil’s Pockets with Senseless Subsidies
      [Center for American Progress, 3/20/12]

      Tax Expert Called Ryan’s Budget Plan Phony
      [Citizens for Tax Justice, 3/20/12]

      Star-Ledger: Ryan Punts on Deficit Reduction
      [Star-Ledger Editorial, 3/22/12

      Ledger: Ryan’s Budget Simply Isn’t Serious
      [The Ledger Editorial, 3/28/12]

      For the entire article: http://dccc.org/newsroom/entry/fact_check_paul_ryan_falsely_claims_republican_budget_would_fix_the_deficit/

      • Sister Simone Campbell at the 2012 Democratic National Convention (Nuns On The Bus)

        Published on Sep 6, 2012 by DemConvention2012

        Sister Simone Campbell addresses the 2012 Democratic National Convention

    • GOP WRONG WAY

      Grand, Old and Anti-Woman

      3/15/12 By ANDREW ROSENTHAL – nytimes

      Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska got it half right on Tuesday when she told her Republican colleagues that their party was at risk of being painted as anti-woman. It would be more accurate to remove the hedges and say flat out that the G.O.P. is anti-woman.

      There’s really no other conclusion to reach from the positions Republican lawmakers, and the contenders for the party’s presidential nomination, have taken on contraception, abortion and reproductive health services, including their obsession with putting Planned Parenthood out of business.

      Republican opposition to reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act certainly won’t help the party’s reputation. That law, which provides federal money to investigate and prosecute domestic violence, has had broad bipartisan support since it was enacted in 1994. Congress renewed it in 2000 and 2005 without struggle.

      Senate Democrats have revised the law to include LGBT victims of domestic violence, dating violence and sexual assault. New provisions would also allow more immigrant victims to claim temporary visas. The latest version has five Republican co-sponsors, but it failed to garner a single Republican vote in the Judiciary Committee last month.

      Despite what Republicans might say to the press, the Democrats did not dream up these changes to infuriate their opponents—they were responding to calls from groups that help victims of domestic violence. A 2010 report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs detailed a woeful shortage of services for LGBT violence victims – including scarce access to shelters. An expanded Violence Against Women Act would reflect the reality of American life in the 21st century – when gay men and lesbians actually get married and illegal immigrants cannot merely be deported or wished away.

      Naturally, certain out-of-control right-wingers are eager to fight over this bill. Phyllis Schlafly said last month that it promoted “divorce, breakup of marriage and hatred of men.” Because, I guess, women whose husbands are beating them should stay in those relationships and just try to work it out. Or maybe because if we provide assistance to lesbian women whose girlfriends beat them up, straight women will hate their boyfriends. (Honestly, what is the logic here?)

      But Congressional Republicans are scared of another tussle. They are bleating that it’s not fair to attach these provisions in an election year, because voting them down would make Republicans look bad. Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, put it this way: “I favor the Violence Against Women Act and have supported it at various points over the years, but there are matters put on that bill that almost seem to invite opposition,” he said.

      They only invite opposition if you are ant-immigrant or homophobic.

      Including same-sex couples in domestic violence programs would not diminish their value for couples of opposite genders in any conceivable way. And giving a battered illegal immigrant woman a temporary visa is not a threat to national security.

      The real agenda here is obvious: If a federal bill recognizes that there is such a thing as domestic violence in same-sex families, then that implicitly recognizes the legitimacy of those couples and that could lead – gasp – to giving them actual rights.

    • Why Do Republicans Oppose Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act?

      4/20/2012 @ 4:02PM Rahim Kanani – forbes

      Earlier this week, Vice President Biden hosted a White House event to highlight the critical need to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Joined by Attorney General Eric Holder, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, and White House Advisor on Violence Against Women Lynn Rosenthal, Vice President Biden made an incredibly impassioned plea to reauthorize this important piece of legislation—one he authored that was passed in 1993 and came into effect in 1994. By 2010, the number of women killed by their intimate partner fell 30%, and the annual rate of domestic violence against women fell more than 60%.

      However, even after the success of VAWA, 1 in 4 women experiences domestic violence in her lifetime. Moreover, more than 2 million adults and 15 million children are exposed to such violence annually. Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett explained to an audience of supporters, advocates, victims, congressional staffers and others, “for a woman, ending a relationship should not mean the end of her life.”

      “For the life of me, I can’t understand why this is a debate in congress. It is inconceivable to me. It must be passed,” implored Eric Holder.

      The bill has had an enormous impact for good on millions of women across the nation, and yet Republicans are in opposition to its reauthorization, largely driven by their disagreement with additional provisions that would accommodate same-sex couples and undocumented immigrants.

      Today, the national hotline for domestic violence receives more than 23,000 calls every month. “Imagine the courage it takes to call that number,” said Vice President Biden. “This bill is as relevant today as it was the day it passed.”

      Biden also explained that as far as we’ve come in dealing with this issue, the world looks to us as an example, citing his countless meetings with Heads of States and civil society leaders worldwide these past several years. Moreover, Biden continued, women are subject to acid attacks, so-called honour killings and other horrors in many parts of the world, and they look to the United States as an example of leadership and resolve when it comes to addressing violence against women.

      “It’s bad enough that we’re even debating this issue. But imagine what message this would send to the women and girls of this nation and around the world if we didn’t reauthorize this bill. Imagine the signal it would send to our mothers and our daughters that they are not entitled to be free of abuse,” asserted Biden.

      Referring to his fathers words, Biden insisted that the physical, financial or psychological abuse of women is the “cardinal sin of all sins.” Urging us to appeal to the “better angels” of those in opposition, Biden said that we need to “remind them that they too have mothers, wives, and daughters.”

      For 18 years, the Violence Against Women Act has never been a partisan issue, and now, a law that has clearly been effective in saving lives, in preventing violence, in holding offenders accountable, and in redefining the moral fabric of our society, is in question. I tend to agree with Biden in that “the moral disapprobation of society is the only thing that changes society,” and that first and foremost, “there needs to be a cultural consensus that this is a god-awful crime.”

      Haven’t we come to that conclusion a long time ago?

    • Religious right lobbies against (VAWA) Violence Against Women Act

      Apr 25, 2012 2:45 PM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      As the Violence Against Women Act gets ready to move in the Senate, no one seems to be lobbying against it as aggressively as the religious right.

      While the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is mired in scandal resulting from ERLC head Richard Land’s repeated plagiarism and inflammatory remarks on race, it has found time to criticize the Violence Against Women Act. Doug Carlson, manager for administration and policy communications for the ERLC, voiced the group’s opposition to the highly successful law because of new provisions that ensure that LGBT victims of domestic violence do not encounter discrimination while seeking help.

      Carlson quoted a letter Richard Land signed along with Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, Jim Garlow of Renewing American Leadership Action, Tom McClusky of Family Research Council Action, C. Preston Noell of Tradition, Family, Property Inc., Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum and Penny Nance and Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America.

      Notably, the letter was also signed by conservative activist Timothy Johnson, who was convicted of a felony domestic violence charge and was arrested a second time for putting his wife in a wrist lock and choking his son, as reported by Sarah Posner.

      The lobbying efforts don’t appear to be having much of an impact. The Hill reports today that Senate Republicans “will let legislation on domestic violence pass the upper chamber despite having concerns about its constitutionality.”

      The focus will shift quickly to the House. A Senate Democratic leadership aide added, “We will be happy to point out as long as it takes the inability of the House to act on the Violence Against Women Act. We won’t let a day go by where we don’t put pressure on the House to move forward. Republicans would be wise to let this go through the Senate and not count on House GOP counterparts to hold it up and strip out provisions.”

      Source: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/25/11393803-religious-right-lobbies-against-vawa?lite

      • Republicans Oppose Violence Against Women Act!

        Published on Mar 16, 2012 by politicalarticles

    • Mitt Romney’s ‘women problem’: 4 theories

      4/2/12 By The Week’s Editorial Staff | The Week

      A new poll shows President Obama surging ahead in swing states, thanks largely to Romney’s falling support among women

      A month ago, Mitt Romney had a two-point edge over President Obama among voters in 12 potentially crucial swing states. Now Romney has fallen dangerously behind, with 42 percent support to Obama’s 51 percent, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll . The biggest factor in the shift? A sharp drop in support for Romney among women. Only 30 percent of women under 50 back Romney — down from 44 percent in mid-February — while Obama’s number with that demographic jumped from just under 50 percent to more than 60 percent. What accounts for Romney’s “women problem”? Here, four theories:

      1. The GOP’s war on contraception is killing him
      Romney’s women problem started in February, says Steve Kornacki at Salon , “when Republicans revolted against the Obama administration’s efforts to make birth control a mandatory component of health insurance coverage.” House Republicans held a “committee hearing made up entirely of male witnesses,” Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut,” and top Republicans were reluctant to condemn him for it. It’s suddenly easy for Democrats to claim the GOP is “engaged in a ‘war on women,'” and Romney is paying the price.

      2. Romney hasn’t found the right message
      If contraception is behind this, says Molly Ball at The Atlantic , why does Romney’s main GOP rival, hardline social conservative Rick Santorum, do better among swing-state women than Romney? Maybe the real problem is that “Romney’s economic message is leaving women cold.” Mitt has been deploying his “charming wife Ann to do women’s outreach; her pitch revolves around how concerned women are about the deficit.” But the swing-state poll found that women’s No. 1 concern is health care — the deficit is fourth. If Romney hopes to make inroads, he’ll have to find a better message.

      3. He just doesn’t get women
      When Romney needs to counter Democrats’ claims that the GOP is at war with women, Romney relies on Ann to make his defense, says Amy Davidson at New Yorker. “It is a symptom of Romney’s women problem that he thinks his wife might be an answer to his women problem.” Apparently, Romney imagines “the electorate as a cocktail party or a company barbecue, where his wife can be relied on to talk to the spouses and then report back to him.” Really, Mitt, “you don’t need to be a woman to listen” to women.

      4. It’s a reflection of Romney’s lackluster support overall
      Romney was always fighting an uphill battle with women, says William McGurn in The Wall Street Journal . After all, Obama won handily among women in 2008. And yet, Romney’s women problem is symptomatic of a larger issue: “His inability to generate much excitement among women appears related to a general inability to generate much excitement among anyone.”

    • Republican Budget Threatens Health Coverage and Insurance Protections

      Jeanne Lambrew April 25, 2012 12:05 PM EDT

      This week, Republicans in Congress are considering budget bills that give more power to health insurance companies, raise taxes for middle-class Americans, and threaten health care coverage for children – all by rolling back rolling back important provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

      Under the new health care law, states have new tools and resources to hold insurance companies accountable. Today, states are using these resources to ensure insurers are spending your premium dollars wisely, reviewing proposed rate increases to see if they are reasonable. In 2014, states will use these resources to continue to ensure that insurance companies play by the rules in new Affordable Insurance Exchanges, where insurers will compete to offer you quality coverage at a fair price. Already, 33 states and the District of Columbia have received Exchange establishment grants, including 15 states with Republican or independent Governors. In contrast, Republican Representatives in Congress want to cut this funding for states, stopping them in their tracks and taking us back to the days where insurance companies, not American families, were in charge of health care.

      Under the new health care law, middle-class families will receive the largest health care tax cut in history through new tax credits to help you afford health insurance offered through Exchanges. In contrast, House Republicans support a proposal that would raise taxes for certain middle-class families whose income changes during the year, for example, by putting in overtime or earning a promotion. By making it harder for families to juggle health care costs, this proposal could cause 350,000 people to lose their health coverage altogether according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/04/25/republican-budget-threatens-health-coverage-and-insurance-protections

    • Really Out of Touch: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan

      Published on Aug 13, 2012 by PPVotes

      When women hear about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s plans for women’s health, they are appalled. Romney and Ryan are out of touch and harmful for women’s health in America. Planned Parenthood Action Fund will be making sure voters know exactly where Romney and Ryan stand. We will be mobilizing our more than 6 million strong network to fight for women’s health come November.

      Take a stand, tell them you’re watching: http://ppaction.org/notmyticket

    • “The Same”

      Published on Aug 17, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom
      Learn more: http://OFA.BO/94PQjp

      Voiceover:
      “He’s made his choice. But what choices will women be left with?”

      “Just like Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan would get rid of Planned Parenthood funding.”

      “In Congress, Ryan voted to ban all federal funding for Planned Parenthood…”

      “…and allow employers to deny women access to cancer screenings and birth control.”

      “And both Romney and Ryan backed proposals to outlaw abortion … even in cases of rape and incest.”

      “For women…for president…the choice is ours.”

    • The GOP War on Women’s Health is Real

      Published on Jul 30, 2012 by NewLeftMedia

      The Republican Party continues to pass harsh laws restricting access to women’s healthcare across the country, but the mainstream press has stopped paying attention.

      That’s why we’ve produced a short documentary that cogently explains the state and national efforts by Republicans–including Mitt Romney–to limit access to birth control and other basic women’s health services.

      Featured interviews include Rep. Lois Capps (CA-23), who as a former nurse has long been a leader on women’s health issues; Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List; and Dr. Kimberly Shepherd, an OB/GYN who provides medical authority on issues that never should’ve been politicized in the first place.

      With the lives of millions of women potentially impacted by the dangerous proposals of Mitt Romney and Republican lawmakers, it’s vital that this issue isn’t forgotten this election season. Help us spread the word.

      TAKE ACTION
      Visit StopTheWarOnWomen.com, and SHARE THIS VIDEO!

    • Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan – Dangerous

      Published on Sep 11, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom
      Share this: http://OFA.BO/1rsrfU
      Tweet this: http://OFA.BO/BfWa31

      Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would get rid of Planned Parenthood funding. And allow employers to deny coverage for cancer screenings and birth control. Both backed proposals to outlaw abortions…even in cases of rape and incest.

    • Mitt Romney and Steve King: Partners in Extremism

      Published on Sep 7, 2012 by DemRapidResponse

      DNC Video: “Mitt Romney and Steve King: Partners in Extremism”

  3. Congress has little motivation for compromise before election

    September 11, 2012 By Deirdre Walsh, CNN Senior Congressional Producer

    Washington (CNN) — After a five-week summer recess, Congress returns to a long list of unfinished business, but with 57 left days before Election Day, it’s likely it will tackle only the bare minimum in its short fall session.

    The one must-pass measure — a short-term continuing resolution to fund federal agencies — will avoid any pre-election talk of a government shutdown, with which neither party wants to be tagged. Republican and Democratic leaders struck a deal this summer on a six-month bill, but both chambers still need to pass the legislation before government funding expires at the end of this month.

    The House is expected vote on the bill Thursday, and two GOP leadership aides predict it will get a sizable bipartisan majority. A senior Senate Democratic aide tells CNN the Senate is expected to approve the measure next week.

    Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the third-ranking GOP leader in the House, did not directly answer whether a majority of House Republicans would vote for the stopgap spending bill, but said, “I expect that bill to be a bipartisan vote, and I expect the Senate to pass it as well and not add anything to it.”

    What could move
    — It’s possible that GOP and Democratic leaders could work out a deal on a farm bill to reform agriculture programs and provide some relief to drought-stricken states — or at least agree to another short-term extension of the current law, according to multiple congressional aides. If they can’t reconcile differences between the two varying approaches taken by the House and Senate, some money for drought assistance, plus some money for states affected by recent natural disasters, could be tacked onto the spending bill.

    McCarthy, who represents some agricultural interests in his California district, told reporters Monday he’s still pressing to pass a bill before the election.

    He acknowledged to reporters on Capitol Hill that “the time frame is tough,” but “it’s our intent to get it done.”

    — It’s possible that GOP and Democratic leaders could work out a deal on a farm bill to reform agriculture programs and provide some relief to drought-stricken states — or at least agree to another short-term extension of the current law, according to multiple congressional aides. If they can’t reconcile differences between the two varying approaches taken by the House and Senate, some money for drought assistance, plus some money for states affected by recent natural disasters, could be tacked onto the spending bill.

    McCarthy, who represents some agricultural interests in his California district, told reporters Monday he’s still pressing to pass a bill before the election.

    He acknowledged to reporters on Capitol Hill that “the time frame is tough,” but “it’s our intent to get it done.”

    — The Senate will return and work on a veterans jobs bill this week. Senate Democrats are also considering action this month on a housing bill that President Barack Obama included on his congressional “to do” list earlier this summer, but House Republicans haven’t expressed any desire to act on it.

    — Some key provisions of the federal wiretapping bill known as FISA that was created after the 9/11 terror attacks under President George W. Bush are due to expire at the end of the year, and Congress is expected to pass an extension of the current law. House Republicans have slated a vote this week to renew the current law for another five years.

    Likely to be punted
    The roughly eight-week sprint to Election Day means several major measures that lawmakers have failed to make any progress on over the summer will continue to languish on Capitol Hill.

    These include some issues that both parties say they want to address but will have little motivation to compromise on: The renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, a bill providing new cybersecurity protections and legislation to reform the postal service, which recently defaulted on payments to the Treasury Department for employee health plans.

    For more: http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/10/politics/congress-election-compromise/index.html

    • 3 Farm Bill Extension Measures Filed In House – UPDATE: CBO Releases Score For One-Year Farm Bill Extension

      Congress has run out of time to pass new Farm Bill, says House Ag Chair Lucas; measures seek to avert a dive off the “dairy cliff,” provide drought relief to farmers…Senate Ag Chair Stabenow supports extension…
      *Update at bottom of post

      SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2012 By Jerry Hagstrom Founding Editor, The Hagstrom Report

      House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., is urging passage of a one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, but the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition said on Sunday that House Republican leaders had filed three different versions of an extension on Saturday night, and that each is problematic. In addition to Lucas’ One-Year Farm Bill Extension, a Temporary One-Month Farm-Bill Extension was filed, as was a One-Month Dairy-Only Extension.

      In a statement on Sunday, Lucas said the one-year bill is a result of “discussions” with House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Senate “colleagues,” but he did not say specifically that the others were backing the bill.

      “Clearly, it is no longer possible to enact a five-year Farm Bill in this Congress,” Lucas said.

      “Given this reality, the responsible thing to do–and the course of action I have long encouraged if a five-year bill was not possible is to extend the 2008 legislation for one year. This provides certainty to our producers and critical disaster assistance to those affected by record drought conditions.”

      For more: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2012/12/3-farm-bill-extension-measures-filed-in.html

  4. americans_abroad_for_obama

    A SPECIAL GUIDED TOUR FOR BARACK OBAMA IN GENEVA Wednesday 12 September 2012

    Public Event · By Obama for America Europe

    Join Democrats Abroad on September 12th for this third and last exclusive pre-opening guided tour of a select number of contemporary art galleries featuring American and Swiss artists in Geneva’s Quartier des Bains.

    All benefits will go to our Get Out The Vote efforts for the Obama 2012 Campaign!

    Now is when your donations matter most.

  5. US mortgage applications rise last week: survey

    9/12/12 -1 hr 42 mins ago – The Standard

    Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as demand for refinancing and new loans jumped, an industry group said on Wednesday.

    The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 11.1 percent in the week ended September 7, Reuters reports.

    The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications rose 11.9 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, rose 8.1 percent.
    MBA cautioned the numbers adjusted for the Labor Day holiday may overstate the level of refinance applications because some lenders who take applications through the internet saw little decline in applications, compared to drops reported by lenders relying on retail offices.

    The refinance share of total mortgage activity increased to 80 percent of applications from 79 percent the week before.

    Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.75 percent in the week, down 3 basis points from 3.78 percent the week before.

    The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.

    • Statement on the Death of American Personnel in Benghazi, Libya

      September 12, 2012

      Hillary Rodham Clinton
      Secretary of State
      Washington, DC

      It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the death of four American personnel in Benghazi, Libya yesterday. Among them were United States Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and Foreign Service Information Management Officer, Sean Smith. We are still making next of kin notifications for the other two individuals. Our hearts go out to all their families and colleagues.

      A 21 year veteran of the Foreign Service, Ambassador Stevens died last night from injuries he sustained in the attack on our office in Benghazi.

      I had the privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a few months ago. He spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people. This assignment was only the latest in his more than two decades of dedication to advancing closer ties with the people of the Middle East and North Africa which began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. As the conflict in Libya unfolded, Chris was one of the first Americans on the ground in Benghazi. He risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the foundation for a new, free nation. He spent every day since helping to finish the work that he started. Chris was committed to advancing America’s values and interests, even when that meant putting himself in danger.

      Sean Smith was a husband and a father of two, who joined the Department ten years ago. Like Chris, Sean was one of our best. Prior to arriving in Benghazi, he served in Baghdad, Pretoria, Montreal, and most recently The Hague.

      All the Americans we lost in yesterday’s attacks made the ultimate sacrifice. We condemn this vicious and violent attack that took their lives, which they had committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future.

      For more: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/09/197630.htm

    • Statement on the Deaths of Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty in Benghazi, Libya

      Press Statement
      Hillary Rodham Clinton
      Secretary of State
      Washington, DC

      September 13, 2012 state.gov

      Share on facebookShare on google_plusone
      The attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya on Tuesday claimed the lives of four Americans. Yesterday, I spoke about two: Ambassador Chris Stevens and Information Management Officer Sean Smith. Today, we also recognize the two security personnel who died helping protect their colleagues. Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty were both decorated military veterans who served our country with honor and distinction. Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest gratitude are with their families and friends. Our embassies could not carry on our critical work around the world without the service and sacrifice of brave people like Tyrone and Glen.

      Tyrone’s friends and colleagues called him “Rone,” and they relied on his courage and skill, honed over two decades as a Navy SEAL. In uniform, he served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2010, he protected American diplomatic personnel in dangerous posts from Central America to the Middle East. He had the hands of a healer as well as the arm of a warrior, earning distinction as a registered nurse and certified paramedic. All our hearts go out to Tyrone’s wife Dorothy and his three sons, Tyrone Jr., Hunter, and Kai, who was born just a few months ago.

      We also grieve for Glen Doherty, called Bub, and his family: his father Bernard, his mother Barbara, his brother Gregory, and his sister Kathleen. Glen was also a former Navy SEAL and an experienced paramedic. And he put his life on the line many times, protecting Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other hotspots. In the end, he died the way he lived – with selfless honor and unstinting valor.

      We condemn the attack that took the lives of these heroes in the strongest terms, and we are taking additional steps to safeguard American embassies, consulates, and citizens around the world. This violence should shock the conscience of people of all faiths and traditions. We appreciate the statements of support that have poured in from across the region and beyond. People of conscience and goodwill everywhere must stand together in these difficult days against violence, hate, and division.

      I am enormously proud of the men and women who risk their lives every day in the service of our country and our values. They help make the United States the greatest force for peace, progress, and human dignity that the world has ever known. We honor the memory of our fallen colleagues by continuing their work and carrying on the best traditions of a bold and generous nation.

    • Remarks at Reception Marking Eid ul-Fitr

      Hillary Rodham Clinton
      Secretary of State
      Ben Franklin Room
      Washington, DC

      September 13, 2012 state.gov

      SECRETARY CLINTON: Good evening, and although I am many weeks overdue in saying it: Eid Mubarak. No matter how belated we are honoring Eid and the end of Ramadan, this is a cherished tradition here at the State Department. And I would like to thank all of you for being here, including the many members of the Diplomatic Corps.
      Tonight, our gathering is more somber than any of us would like. This comes during sad and difficult days for the State Department family. We lost four Americans. They were good and brave men. They were committed to the cause of building a brighter future for the people of Libya. And we condemn the violence in the strongest terms, the violence against our posts in Benghazi, in Egypt, and now in Yemen.

      The Libyan ambassador is with us tonight, and I want to take a moment to thank him for the support that his government and the Libyan people have shown to the United States in this tragedy, particularly the outpouring of feelings of grief and loss because of the killing of our ambassador.

      Ambassador Aujali, would you mind saying a few words?

      AMBASSADOR AUJALI: Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton. Standing beside you here in the Department of State, it shows the world how much the Americans are standing by the Libyans and the Libya revolution. You do support us during the war, but you have to support us during the peace. We are going through a very difficult time, and we need the help of friends.

      It is a very sad day for me, since I learned of the death of my dear friend and colleague, Ambassador Chris Stevens. I knew Chris for the last six years. We play tennis together, we drive in one car, and we had some traditional Libyan food in my house. I must tell you, Madam Secretary, and tell the American people, that Chris is a hero. He is a real hero. He’s the man who believes in the Libyans and the Libyan ability that they will achieve democracy after 42 years of the dictatorship.

      Now we are facing a serious problem, and we have to maintain and we have to – we need security and stability in our country. The government, unfortunately, faces a serious problem, personnel and equipment. And the support of you and the friends who support us during the war is very important.

      I want to show you and to show the American people how much it was – we were shocked by the death of four American diplomats. It is a very sad story to tell. But I am sure that it is our responsibility, and the responsibility of the Libyan people, that we have to protect our people, we have to protect the Americans in the first place and have to protect all the diplomatic missions who are serving in our country. I am sure that without the help, we will not be able to do it.

      I hope that this sad incident which happened, this terrorist attack which took place against the American consulate in Libya, it will tell us how much we have to work closely. Our religion, our culture, never tells us that this is the way to express your view. It is – in fact (inaudible) a terrorist act. This is condemned by all the world and by all the Libyans at the top level of the Libyan authority.

      Please, Madam Secretary, accept our apology and accept our condolence for the loss of the four Americans, innocent people. They lost their lives in the Libyan territory. Chris, he loves Benghazi, he loves the people, he talks to them, he eats with them, and he committed — and unfortunately lost his life because of this commitment.

      Madam Secretary, thank you very much indeed. (Applause.)

      SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Ambassador. I know that that was a very personal loss for you, as it was for me. I’m the one who sent Chris to Benghazi during the revolution to show support and be able to advise our government about what we could do to bring freedom and democracy and opportunity to the people of Libya.

      Religious freedom and religious tolerance are essential to the stability of any nation, any people. Hatred and violence in the name of religion only poison the well. All people of faith and good will know that the actions of a small and savage group in Benghazi do not honor religion or God in any way. Nor do they speak for the more than one billion Muslims around the world, many of whom have shown an outpouring of support during this time.

      Unfortunately, however, over the last 24 hours, we have also seen violence spread elsewhere. Some seek to justify this behavior as a response to inflammatory, despicable material posted on the internet. As I said earlier today, the United States rejects both the content and the message of that video. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. At our meeting earlier today, my colleague, the foreign minister of Morocco, said that all prophets should be respected because they are all symbols of our humanity, for all humanity.

      But both of us were crystal clear in this paramount message: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind. And we look to leaders around the world to stand up and speak out against violence, and to take steps to protect diplomatic missions from attack.

      Think about it. When Christians are subject to insults to their faith, and that certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. When Hindus or Buddhists are subjected to insults to their faiths, and that also certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. The same goes for all faiths, including Islam.

      When all of us who are people of faith – and I am one – feel the pain of insults, of misunderstanding, of denigration to what we cherish, we must expect ourselves and others not to resort to violence. That is a universal standard and expectation, and it is everyone’s obligation to meet that, so that we make no differences, we expect no less of ourselves than we expect of others. You cannot respond to offensive speech with violence without begetting more violence.

      And I so strongly believe that the great religions of the world are stronger than any insults. They have withstood offense for centuries. Refraining from violence, then, is not a sign of weakness in one’s faith; it is absolutely the opposite, a sign that one’s faith is unshakable.

      For more: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/09/197735.htm

    • September 12, 2012

      Remarks by the President on the Deaths of U.S. Embassy Staff in Libya

      Rose Garden

      10:43 A.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Every day, all across the world, American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of our nation. Often, they are away from their families. Sometimes, they brave great danger.

      Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi. Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith. We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed. And today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.

      The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We’re working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats. I’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

      Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

      Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya. Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans. Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.

      It’s especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save. At the height of the Libyan revolution, Chris led our diplomatic post in Benghazi. With characteristic skill, courage, and resolve, he built partnerships with Libyan revolutionaries, and helped them as they planned to build a new Libya. When the Qaddafi regime came to an end, Chris was there to serve as our ambassador to the new Libya, and he worked tirelessly to support this young democracy, and I think both Secretary Clinton and I relied deeply on his knowledge of the situation on the ground there. He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.

      Along with his colleagues, Chris died in a country that is still striving to emerge from the recent experience of war. Today, the loss of these four Americans is fresh, but our memories of them linger on. I have no doubt that their legacy will live on through the work that they did far from our shores and in the hearts of those who love them back home.

      Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourned with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

      As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.

      No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/12/remarks-president-deaths-us-embassy-staff-libya

      • Video shows Libyans trying to rescue US ambassador

        9/18/12 By MAGGIE MICHAEL | Associated Press – 2 hrs 51 mins ago

        CAIRO (AP) — Libyans tried to rescue Ambassador Chris Stevens, cheering “God is great” and rushing him to a hospital after they discovered him still clinging to life inside the U.S. Consulate, according to witnesses and a new video that emerged Monday from last week’s attack in the city of Benghazi.

        The group of Libyans had stumbled across Stevens’ seemingly lifeless form inside a dark room and didn’t know who he was, only that he was a foreigner, the man who shot the video and two other witnesses told The Associated Press.

        The account underlines the confusion that reigned during the assault by protesters and heavily armed gunmen that overwhelmed the consulate in Benghazi last Tuesday night, killing four Americans, including Stevens, who died from smoke inhalation soon after he was found. U.S. officials are still trying to piece together how the top American diplomat in Libya got separated from others as staffers were evacuated, suffocating in what is believed to be a consulate safe-room.

        The Libyans who found him expressed frustration that there was no ambulance and no first aid on hand, leaving him to be slung over a man’s shoulder to be carried to a car.

        “There was not a single ambulance to carry him. Maybe he was handled the wrong way,” said Fahd al-Bakoush, a freelance videographer who shot the footage. “They took him to a private car.”

        U.S. and Libyan officials are also trying to determine who was behind the attack. Still unclear was whether it had been planned beforehand or was sparked by an anti-Islam film made in the United States that, hours before the Benghazi assault, had sparked protests at the American Embassy in Cairo.

        • Libyans storm militia in backlash of attack on US

          9/21/12 By MAGGIE MICHAEL | Associated Press – 2 hrs 31 mins ago

          BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Hundreds of protesters angry over last week’s killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya stormed the compound of the Islamic extremist militia suspected in the attack, evicting militiamen and setting fire to their building Friday.

          In an unprecedented show of public anger at Libya’s rampant militias, the crowd overwhelmed the compound of the Ansar al-Shariah Brigade in the center of the eastern city of Benghazi.

          Ansar al-Shariah fighters initially fired in the air to disperse the crowd, but eventually abandoned the site with their weapons and vehicles after it was overrun by waves of protesters shouting “No to militias.”

          “I don’t want to see armed men wearing Afghani-style clothes stopping me in the street to give me orders, I only want to see people in uniform,” said Omar Mohammed, a university student who took part in the takeover of the site, which protesters said was done in support of the army and police.

          No deaths were reported in the incident, which came after tens of thousands marched in Benghazi against armed militias. One vehicle was also burned at the compound.

          For many Libyans, the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was the last straw in one of the biggest problems Libya has faced since the ouster and death of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi around a year ago — the multiple mini-armies that with their arsenals of machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades are stronger than the regular armed forces and police.

          The militias, a legacy of the rag-tag popular forces that fought Gadhafi’s regime, tout themselves as protectors of Libya’s revolution, providing security where police cannot. But many say they act like gangs, detaining and intimidating rivals and carrying out killings.

          Militias made up of Islamic radicals like Ansar al-Shariah are notorious for attacks on Muslims who don’t abide by their hardline ideology. Officials and witnesses say fighters from Ansar al-Shariah led the attack on the U.S. consulate, which killed Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

          After taking over the Ansar compound, protesters then drove to attack the Benghazi headquarters of another Islamist militia, Rafallah Sahati. The militiamen opened fire on the protesters, who were largely unarmed. At least 20 were wounded, and there were unconfirmed witness reports of three protesters killed.

          Earlier in the day, some 30,000 people filled a broad boulevard as they marched along a lake in central Benghazi on Friday to the gates of the headquarters of Ansar al-Shariah.

          “No, no, to militias,” the crowd chanted, filling a broad boulevard. They carried banners and signs demanding that militias disband and that the government build up police to take their place in keeping security. “Benghazi is in a trap,” signs read. “Where is the army, where is the police?”

          Other signs mourned the killing of Stevens, reading, “The ambassador was Libya’s friend” and “Libya lost a friend.” Military helicopters and fighter jets flew overhead, and police mingled in the crowd, buoyed by the support of the protesters.

          For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/libyans-storm-militia-backlash-attack-us-225317193.html

          • October 10, 2012

            Statement by NSC Spokesman Tommy Vietor on John Brennan’s Trip to Libya

            Today, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan met with senior Libyan officials, including President Magariaf, in Tripoli. Mr. Brennan, on behalf of President Obama, expressed support for Libya’s ongoing government formation and transition to democracy and accepted condolences for the tragic deaths of four Americans in Benghazi last month.

            The two sides discussed the continuing investigation into the Benghazi attacks, including specific additional steps Libya can take to better assist the U.S. in ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to justice. Both sides reaffirmed their strong commitment to countering terrorism and violent extremism. Mr. Brennan encouraged Libyan officials to move quickly on refining their policies and advancing government capabilities in the security and justice sectors, and urged Libya to take full and timely advantage of specific offers of assistance from the United States and other international partners.

            Finally, Mr. Brennan reinforced U.S. support and commitment to the Libyan people and their leaders as they undertake the hard work of governance and reform necessary to build a new Libya.

          • Libyan authorities name Islamist group leader in Benghazi embassy attack

            10/18/123 By Ron Recinto | The Lookout – 2 hrs 37 mins ago

            Authorities in Libya have named a leader of a Benghazi-based Islamist group as the commander in the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans last month, the New York Times reports.

            Libyans involved in the investigation say Ahmed Abu Khattala was seen by witnesses as leading the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Abu Khattala is the leader of the Ansar al-Shariah, a militant group that wants to advance Islamic law in Libya, according to the the Times.

            His exact involvement is still unclear as his group is fractionalized, and there may be more than one leader.
            The Times story notes that the Ansar al-Shariah brigade has 100 to 200 fighters. Its name means “supporters of Islamic law,” and the group is against electoral democracy. “Abu Khattala and Ansar al-Shariah share Al Qaeda’s puritanism and militancy,” says the writer of the New York Times story.

            But the article also points out that the two groups operate independently, and Ansar al-Shariah “focuses only on Libya rather than on a global jihad against the West.”

            Abu Khattala, who was imprisoned but was released about a year ago by the government to appease an uprising, remains at large. He may flee across the Libyan border to another country, according to the Times.

      • Obama administration airs ads in Pakistan, condemning anti-Islam film

        9/20/12 3:54 PM EDT POLITICO44

        The Obama administration is airing ads on Pakistani television condemning the anti-Islamic film “The Innocence of Muslims,” a State Department spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.

        “As you know, after the video came out, there was concern in lots of bodies politic, including Pakistan, as to whether this represented the views of the U.S. Government. So in order to ensure we reached the largest number of Pakistanis – some 90 million, as I understand it in this case with these spots – it was the judgment that this was the best way to do it,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

        The ads show clips of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemning the film in English (but dubbed in Urdu) in remarks they made last week. In the and emphasizing that it was not produced or authorized by the United States government.

        “In the case of Pakistan, it is common and traditional to have to buy airtime on Pakistani TV for public service announcements. So in that environment, it was their recommendation that we buy some airtime to make sure that the Pakistani people would heard the President’s messages and the Secretary’s messages, so we did purchase some time, is my understanding, on Pakistani TV stations, all of the stations,” Nuland said.

        She pointed to other instances of the U.S. government airing ads in foreign markets — including after the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

        A spokesman for the department said that some Pakistani outlets carried the ad free of charge, while others identified it as a paid public service announcement.

        The film “The Innocence of Muslims” has sparked worldwide protests against the United States, and has drawn condemnation from politicians of both sides of the aisle.

        • In Pakistan, an Activist Schoolgirl is Shot by the Taliban

          OCTOBER 9, 2012 ⋅BY ADELINE SIRE ⋅ theworld.org

          Summary:

          A 14-year-old schoolgirl who campaigned for girls’ education in north-west Pakistan has been shot and wounded.

          Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head or neck by an unidentified man as she traveled home from school, in Mingora in SWAT.

          A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban told the BBC that they shot her.

          Yousafzai wrote a regular diary for the BBC Urdu language service in Pakistan under the name of Gul Makai while the Taliban was in control of SWAT three years ago and girls’ education was banned.

          Her diary entries were translated into English and Yousafzai became well-known.

          The girl is currently in critical condition at a Peshawar hospital.

          The BBC’s Haroon Rashid says the attack happened some time after Yousafzai told an interviewer that President Barack Obama is her “idol” and that she praises “what he’s doing for peace in the world.”

          For the audio interview: http://www.theworld.org/2012/10/pakistan-schoolgirl-taliban/

          • Taliban shooting of 14-year old sparks outrage in Pakistan
            Hundreds of people took to the streets to show their anti-Islamist sentiment after the Pakistani Taliban took responsibility for shooting a 14-year-old Pakistani girl in the head.

            October 10, 2012 By Mahvish Ahmed, Correspondent – csmonitor

            LAHORE, PAKISTAN
            Political leaders and media have joined students, activists, and a broad segment of Pakistanis in condemning the Pakistani Taliban for shooting a 14-year-old girl in the head and neck, leaving her in critical condition this week.

            The girl, Malala Yousafzai, is a children’s rights activist who blogged about life under the Taliban also known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) when it occupied her home district of Swat in 2009. She is known for her media appearances bringing attention to atrocities carried out by the militant group.

            The shooting prompted widespread outrage against the Pakistani Taliban and Islamist militancy among ordinary Pakistanis – and some hope that the strong reaction would prompt some type of change. Though officials have offered a 10 million rupee ($105,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of the girl’s assailants, human rights activists, however, remain skeptical.

            “This is not the first time that extremist militant groups have carried out atrocities. I am pleased to see the strong reaction, but fear that little will change,” says I. A. Rehman, the Secretary-General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

            The girl, Malala Yousafzai, is a children’s rights activist who blogged about life under the Taliban also known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) when it occupied her home district of Swat in 2009. She is known for her media appearances bringing attention to atrocities carried out by the militant group.

            The shooting prompted widespread outrage against the Pakistani Taliban and Islamist militancy among ordinary Pakistanis – and some hope that the strong reaction would prompt some type of change. Though officials have offered a 10 million rupee ($105,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of the girl’s assailants, human rights activists, however, remain skeptical.

            “This is not the first time that extremist militant groups have carried out atrocities. I am pleased to see the strong reaction, but fear that little will change,” says I. A. Rehman, the Secretary-General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

            A TTP gunman sought out Malala on a school bus on Tuesday and shot her twice. Two other girls sustained injuries, and one was in critical condition on Wednesday. Malala is now “out of danger,” according to surgeons who have successfully removed both bullets.

            But Ehsanullah Ehsan, the TTP Spokesman who claimed responsibility for the shooting, says that the militant group would attack her again if she survives.

            “She was pro-West, she was speaking against the Taliban and she was calling President Obama her idol,” he said in a statement. “She was young but she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas.” Malala and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, have been on a TTP hit list since 2011.

            For more: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2012/1010/Taliban-shooting-of-14-year-old-sparks-outrage-in-Pakistan

            ————

            Malala Yousafzai 14 Year Old Pakistani Girl Shot By Taliban, CNN

            Published on Oct 10, 2012 by chouhdhryfarooq

            Malala Yousafzai 14 Year Old Pakistani Girl Shot By Taliban, CNN Interview

          • Pakistani Girl Shot by Taliban Sent to Britain

            October 15, 2012 VOA News

            Pakistan’s military says the 14-year-old schoolgirl who was recently shot by the Taliban has been sent to Britain for medical treatment.

            The military said Monday that a panel of doctors recommended Malala Yousafzai’s transfer to a British facility “which has the capability to provide integrated care to children who have sustained severe injury.” The teenager was being treated in military hospitals in the Pakistani cities of Peshawar and Rawalpindi.

            Taliban gunmen shot Yousafzai in the neck and head on October 9 as she left school in the northwestern area of Swat Valley. The Taliban said it targeted the girl because she spoke out against the militant group.

            The Pakistani military said Monday doctors agreed that Yousafzai “will require prolonged care to fully recover from the physical and psychological effects of trauma that she has received.” The military said she will need the repair or replacement of “damaged bones of the skull and long-term rehabilitation.”

            The United Arab Emirates provided an air ambulance for Yousafzai’s trip to Britain, where British Foreign Secretary William Hague said she will be receiving specialist medical care at a public hospital.

            Yousafzai has been internationally recognized for promoting education for girls and documenting Taliban atrocities in the area near her home in the northwestern Swat Valley.

            British Foreign Secretary Hague said Monday “last week’s barbaric attack on Malala Yousafzai and her school friends shocked Pakistan and the world.” He said, “Malala’s bravery in standing up for the right of all young girls in Pakistan to an education is an example to us all.”

            For more: http://www.voanews.com/content/wounded-pakistani-girl-sent-to-britain/1526564.html

          • Pakistan marks “Malala Day”, poor children to get cash for school

            11/10/12 By Katharine Houreld | Reuters – 16 hrs ago

            ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The families of more than 3 million poor children in Pakistan will receive cash stipends if their children go to school, the government said as officials prepared to mark “Malala Day” on Saturday in support of a schoolgirl shot by the Taliban.

            U.N. officials declared Malala Day one month after 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai and two of her classmates were shot by the Pakistan Taliban. She had been targeted for speaking out against the insurgency.

            In the days following the shooting, Yousufzai became an international icon and world leaders pledged to support her campaign for girls’ education. She is now recovering in a British hospital.

            On Friday, Pakistani president Asif Zardari added his signature to petitions signed by more than a million people urging Pakistan to pay stipends to families who put their girls in school in honor of Malala.

            “Malala’s dreams represent what is best about Pakistan,” said former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown as he presented the petitions to President Zardari.

            Tens of thousands of Britons have called on the government to nominate Malala Yousufzai for a Nobel Peace Prize for her work promoting girls’ education.

            On Friday, the government announced that poor families will now receive $2 a month per child in primary school.

            The program will be funded by the World Bank and Britain and distributed through the government’s Benazir Income Support Program, designed to give small cash payments to needy families. The families in the program already receive $10 a month for basic expenditure.

            After a stipend program was put in place in Pakistan’s Punjab province, a World Bank study found a nine percent increase in girls’ enrolment over two years, said Alaphia Zoyab, the South Asia campaigner for internet activist group Avaaz.

            Pakistan is struggling to overcome widespread poverty, a Taliban insurgency and massive, endemic corruption. Less than 0.57 percent of Pakistan’s 180 million citizens pay income tax, money that the government could use to educate poor children.

            Instead, the Pakistani government relies on foreign donors to fund many social programs. Britain is due to spend around $1 billion on helping Pakistan educate poor children by 2015.

    • September 12, 2012

      Statement by the President on the Attack in Benghazi

      I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

      I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

      On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

      The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

    • The White House

      Office of the Press Secretary

      For Immediate Release September 12, 2012

      HONORING THE VICTIMS OF THE ATTACK IN BENGHAZI, LIBYA

      – – – – – – –

      BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
      A PROCLAMATION

      As a mark of respect for the memory of John Christopher Stevens, United States Ambassador to Libya, and American personnel killed in the senseless attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, September 16, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

      IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
      twelfth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

      BARACK OBAMA

    • Biden on slain diplomats: ‘As courageous as any of our warriors’

      9/12/12 1:13 PM EDT POLITICO44

      FAIRBORN, Ohio — Starting his Ohio campaign rally on a somber note, Vice President Joe Biden paused to remember the four American diplomats killed in Libya — casualties that included the United States ambassador to Libya.

      “As we always have, Americans must be steadfast, resolved and committed in the face of such horrific events,” Biden told supporters.

      Biden told supporters that foreign service officers and other diplomatic personnel serving in dangerous countries were just as brave as any member of the military.

      “Being a foreign service officer ain’t all about going to coffees and teas,” Biden said. “So many of them, as I speak, are risking their lives in Afghanistan this moment.”

      “It’s not hyperbole to say brave,” Biden said.

      “Our ambassador risks his life repeatedly while the war in Libya to get rid of that dictator was going on,” Biden said about the late Christopher Stevens, who he noted worked on the Foreign Relations committee — a panel that Biden chaired when he was a senator.

      “These men are as brave sand as courageous as any of our warriors,” Biden said.

      Biden also vowed that the United States was committed to avenging their deaths.

      “Let me be clear,” Biden said. “We are resolved to bring to justice their killers.”

    • Obama calls families of slain diplomats

      9/12/12 6:04 PM EDT POLITICO44

      From White House press secretary Jay Carney’s gaggle: “I can tell you that on this flight the President has spoken with Sean Smith’s wife. He has also spoken with both the mother and father of Ambassador Stevens. On all these calls, he has offered his condolences and made clear that his thoughts and prayers and the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the family members of those we lost. He thanked the family members for the service to their country that Ambassador Stevens and Mr. Smith provided, and made clear his commitment that justice be done when it comes to finding out who was responsible for the attacks that led to their deaths.”

    • Obama visits State Department employees

      9/12/12 12:29 PM POLITICO44

      From the White House, via a pool report:

      “The president is meeting with State Department employees today to express his solidarity with our diplomats stationed around the world. At this difficult time, he will give thanks for the service and sacrifices that our civilians make, and pay tribute to those who were lost.”

      “Obama spoke for about 15 minutes to a large crowd gathered in the courtyard in the middle of the State Department Building. There were at least a couple of hundred people gathered for the president’s remarks, some people watching from the windows.

      In addition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he was flanked by Tom Nides, deputy Secretary for Management and Resources; Cheryl Mills, chief of staff; Pat Kennedy, undersecretary of State for management; and Jake Sullivan, director of the Policy Planning Office.

      He talked about how important the foreign service is and what a great job it does representing the U.S. abroad. He also had a line about how he understands the value of the foreign service because he spent so much time as a kid growing up abroad.

      He also spoke highly of the Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other officials who died in the attack. He concluded his visit by shaking dozens of hands and talking one-on-one with people, who seemed very appreciative for the visit.

      The official said it seemed as if Obama was speaking off the cuff, not from prepared remarks.

      When he turned to leave, he got a huge round of applause when he waved to say goodbye and he appeared to be saying thank you to individual people.”

    • US Diplomat’s Death Shakes Online Gaming World

      September 12, 2012 Kate Woodsome – voanews

      WASHINGTON —
      A senior U.S. State Department official killed late Tuesday at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was not only a diplomat in real life but in the virtual world as well.

      Sean Smith, an information management officer, was better known as “Vile Rat” on EVE, a popular online science fiction video game in which nearly 400,000 players explore, fight and build communities in space.

      As news of his death broke, popular gaming sites and forums exploded with outpourings of grief at the loss of a prominent member of the EVE community.

      Mark Heard, another EVE player who goes by “Seleene,” noticed something was wrong when he saw “Vile Rat” type an expletive and then “gunfire” on the instant messaging service Jabber.

      In an online tribute, Heard says his first thought was, “Oh, hell, he’s in another one of those places” with spotty Internet and lax security, like Smith’s previous post in Baghdad. But this time was different.

      Heard and other EVE players say they have lost one of their most important members.

      “Sean was one of the most well known and respected diplomats for one of the most powerful alliances in EVE. He helped shape the universe we all play in,” said Heard, adding that diplomacy in the game is as complex as anything you would see in the real world.

      “Powerful alliance representatives communicate using out of game chat clients, serious [real] money is spent on securing forums to protect from informational ‘espionage’ and the leaders of alliances can, over years, achieve a cult of personality status that is analogous with what you see in real world politics,” he said.

      Smith, a member of the “GoonSwarm” alliance, was one of those personalities.

      “Sometimes the fortunes of tens of thousands of people can turn on the words of just a few, or even one, player. Sean was such a player, and over the years, he directly or indirectly touched the virtual lives of countless people,” said Heard, who says he considered Smith a friend after meeting him in person for the first time at an EVE summit in Iceland last year.

      A Florida-based EVE player who goes by the handle “Bagehi” and says he saw Smith in Iceland a few months ago, describes the gamer as a “good guy.”

      “His work in real life seemed to influence his play style. I wouldn’t say he was against violence in the game, but it was clear that his real life experiences gave him a heightened sense of compassion,” Bagehi said in an exchange on Reddit, an online forum.

      For more: http://www.voanews.com/content/us-diplomat-gamer/1506831.html

    • FLOTUS: Obamas ‘heartbroken’ over Libya deaths

      9/13/12 2:07 PM EDT By JENNIFER EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

      First lady Michelle Obama and President Obama are “heartbroken” over the loss of four American lives in Libya, she said Thursday, and are grateful for the sacrifices that diplomats and their families make each day.

      “It’s just important to say that our hearts and our prayers are with those who gave their lives serving our country,” the first lady said at the start of a campaign rally in Richmond, Va.

      “I just want us to remember that those brave Americans who died in that tragedy — and men and women just like them — they are the face of American diplomacy, truly,” she continued. “They are public servants who represent our country in countries around the world, and often they do it in harm’s way.”

      Diplomats do their jobs every day “with courage and with grace,” Obama added, “and it’s important for them to know, for their families to know, that we are so proud of them. and that we are so grateful for their service.”

    • Obama: Terror ‘will not dim the light’ of American values

      9/13/12 1:24 PM EDT By JENNIFER EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

      President Obama vowed Thursday to bring the perpetrators of the Benghazi consulate attack to justice as he stressed that terrorism would never deter the United States from upholding its ideals, including freedom of speech and religion.

      “I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished,” Obama said midday in Golden, just outside Denver. “It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.”

      Obama began his second stump speech since Tuesday’s attack in Libya and unrest elsewhere in the Arab world with a tribute to American values that didn’t include any of the jabs at Mitt Romney — at least on his handling of this week’s crisis — that were part of the president’s two Wednesday TV interviews.

      “This is a tumultuous time that we’re in,” he said Thursday. “But we can and we will meet those challenges if we stay true to who we are.” The United States is different of the rest of the world, he continued, “because we’re a nation that’s bound together by a creed. We’re not made up of a single tribe or single religion or a single race. We’re a collection of people from all around the world who came here because of a certain set of principles — the idea that all men and women are created equal, that we are all endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights.”

      But more than being American values, they’re values that Americans believe the rest of the world should also enjoy. “These are not just American rights,” Obama said. “We believe these are universal aspirations. And they are held by people who live in tiny villages in Libya, prosperous cities in Europe.”

      Those rights are “our light to the world, and our task as the most powerful nation on earth is to defend and protect and advance our people, but also to defend and protect and advance those values at home and around the world,” he said. “That’s what our troops do. That’s what our diplomats do.”

    • Report: Libyan authorities make Benghazi arrests

      9/13/12 3:05 PM EDT POLITICO

      Reuters reports:

      Libyan authorities have made four arrests in the investigation into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in which the U.S. ambassador and three embassy staff were killed, the deputy interior minister said on Thursday.

      “Four men are in custody and we are interrogating them because they are suspected of helping instigate the events at the U.S. consulate,” Wanis Sharif told Reuters.

      The arrests come in the wake of attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

  6. Ban, Security Council condemn ‘in strongest terms’ attack on US consulate in Libya

    12 September 2012 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council today condemned “in the strongest terms” yesterday’s attack against the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four US diplomats, as well as Libyan employees of the Consulate.

    “The Secretary-General condemns this attack in the strongest terms,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement, which noted that the UN chief is “saddened” by the attack and extends his condolences to the US Government and to the bereaved Libyan and American families.

    In a press statement, the members of the Security Council echoed the Secretary-General’s reaction and expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the victims of “this heinous act” and to their families.

    According to initial media reports, it is believed the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other diplomats were killed, and others injured or killed, when suspected Libyan religious extremists stormed the US Consulate in the eastern Libyan town late Tuesday.

    Mr. Stevens was reportedly paying a short visit to the city when the consulate came under attack, and the extremists are said to have attacked the location in protest against an anti-Islamic video produced by an American-Israeli real-estate developer.

    “The United Nations rejects defamation of religion in all forms. At the same time, nothing justifies the brutal violence which occurred in Benghazi yesterday,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said. “The Secretary-General reminds the Libyan authorities of their obligations to protect diplomatic facilities and personnel.”

    Citing the fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises, and the obligations on host Governments – including under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations – the Council members called on authorities to protect diplomatic and consular property and personnel, and to respect their international obligations in this regard.

    “The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that such acts are unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” the Council statement read, while also mentioning that the Council members condemned “in the strongest terms” an attack on the US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, which took place on Tuesday.

    For more: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42867&Cr=libya&Cr1=#.UFD4U0J9-Jc

    • U.S. Ambassador, Bay Area Native Chris Stevens, 3 Staffers Killed In East Libya Attack

      September 12, 2012 5:45 AM sanfrancisco.cbslocal

      EASTERN LIBYA (AP) – A U.S. ambassador with Bay Area ties, and three of his staff members were killed in attacks on a U.S. consulate in Eastern Libya.

      President Barack Obama on Wednesday condemned attacks that killed the U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three American members of his staff. He ordered increased security at U.S. diplomatic posts around the world.

      In a White House statement, Obama said he had ordered “all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe.”

      The attacks occurred Tuesday night in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, according to Libya officials. Ambassador Chris Stevens, 52, was killed when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob guns and rocket propelled grenades. Three other Americans were also killed.

      Stevens, a U.C. Berkeley, and U.C. Hastings graduate, was the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in an attack since 1979, when Ambassador Adolph Dubs was killed in Afghanistan.

      The State Department identified one of the other Americans killed Tuesday as Sean Smith, a foreign service information management officer. The identities of the others were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

      Obama called Stevens a “courageous and exemplary representative of the United States.”

      “I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi,” Obama said in the statement. The four Americans, he said, “exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe.”

      The Pentagon said early Wednesday that it was working with the State Department on Obama’s order for increased security around the world.

      “We are following this tragic incident closely with the State Department,” Lt. Col. Steven Warren, a Defense Department spokesman said. “We are prepared to support the State Department in any way.”

      For more: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/09/12/u-s-ambassador-bay-area-native-chris-stevens-killed-in-east-libya-consulate-attack/

      • Libyans Recall a Rare Ambassador Who Shared Their Struggles

        SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 BY JOYCE HACKEL ⋅ theWorld

        Summary: The death of Amb. Christopher Stevens is a blow to those Libyans who worked closely with the US diplomat before and after the 2011 revolution.

        Alaeddin Muntasser is a businessman based in Tripoli who had been a friend of Amb. Stevens for the past five years.

        The two men were planning a reception for this weekend where Amb. Stevens would be formally introduced to the Libyan people.

        Muntasser says Stevens “really believed in Libya, in some cases more than us.”

        For the audio interview: http://www.theworld.org/2012/09/libya-ambassador-struggles/

        ———-

        Introducing U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens

        Published on May 21, 2012 by USEmbassyTripoli

        Meet Chris Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya, and learn about his unique connection to the Arab world.
        تقديم السفير الأمريكي الي ليبيا السيد كريس ستيفنز
        التقي مع السفير الأمريكي الي ليبيا السيد كريس ستيفنز وتعرف علي علاقته المميزة والفريدة بالعالم العربي

      • September 14, 2012

        Remarks by the President at Transfer of Remains Ceremony for Benghazi Victims

        Andrews Air Force Base

        2:46 P.M. EDT

        THE PRESIDENT: Scripture teaches us “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Glen Doherty never shied from adventure. He believed that, in his life, he could make a difference — a calling he fulfilled as a Navy SEAL. He served with distinction in Iraq and worked in Afghanistan. And there, in Benghazi, as he tended to others, he laid down his life, loyal as always, protecting his friends. Today, Glen is home.

        Tyrone Woods devoted 20 years of his life to the SEALs — the consummate “quiet professional.” At the Salty Frog Bar, they might not have known, but “Rone” also served in Iraq and Afghanistan. And there, in Benghazi, he was far from Dorothy and Tyrone Jr., Hunter and little Kai. And he laid down his life, as he would have for them, protecting his friends. And today, Rone is home.

        Sean Smith, it seems, lived to serve — first, in the Air Force, then, with you at the State Department. He knew the perils of this calling from his time in Baghdad. And there, in Benghazi, far from home, he surely thought of Heather and Samantha and Nathan. And he laid down his life in service to us all. Today, Sean is home.

        Chris Stevens was everything America could want in an ambassador, as the whole country has come to see — how he first went to the region as a young man in the Peace Corps, how during the revolution, he arrived in Libya on that cargo ship, how he believed in Libya and its people and how they loved him back. And there, in Benghazi, he laid down his life for his friends — Libyan and American — and for us all. Today, Chris is home.

        Four Americans, four patriots — they loved this country and they chose to serve it, and served it well. They had a mission and they believed in it. They knew the danger and they accepted it. They didn’t simply embrace the American ideal, they lived it. They embodied it — the courage, the hope and, yes, the idealism, that fundamental American belief that we can leave this world a little better than before. That’s who they were and that’s who we are. And if we want to truly honor their memory, that’s who we must always be.

        I know that this awful loss, the terrible images of recent days, the pictures we’re seeing again today, have caused some to question this work. And there is no doubt these are difficult days. In moments such as this — so much anger and violence –even the most hopeful among us must wonder.

        For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/14/remarks-president-transfer-remains-ceremony-benghazi-victims

        • Remarks at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony to Honor Those Lost in Attacks in Benghazi, Libya

          Hillary Rodham Clinton
          Secretary of State
          Andrews Air Force Base
          Joint Base Andrews, MD

          September 14, 2012

          SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Chaplain. Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Secretary Panetta, Ambassador Rice, Secretary Powell and Mrs. Powell, family members of the four patriots and heroes we bring home, members of the State Department family, ladies and gentlemen, today we bring home four Americans who gave their lives for our country and our values. To the families of our fallen colleagues, I offer our most heartfelt condolences and deepest gratitude.

          Sean Smith joined the State Department after six years in the Air Force. He was respected as an expert on technology by colleagues in Pretoria, Baghdad, Montreal, and The Hague. He enrolled in correspondence courses at Penn State and had high hopes for the future. Sean leaves behind a loving wife Heather, two young children, Samantha and Nathan, and scores of grieving family, friends, and colleagues. And that’s just in this world. Because online in the virtual worlds that Sean helped create, he is also being mourned by countless competitors, collaborators, and gamers who shared his passion.

          Tyrone Woods, known to most as Rone, spent two decades as a Navy SEAL, serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2010, he protected American diplomatic personnel in dangerous posts from Central America to the Middle East. He had the hands of a healer as well as the arms of a warrior, earning distinction as a registered nurse and certified paramedic. Our hearts go out to Tyrone’s wife Dorothy, and his three sons Tyrone, Jr., Hunter, and Kai, born just a few months ago, along with his grieving family, friends, and colleagues.

          Glen Doherty, who went by Bub, was also a former SEAL and an experienced paramedic. He too died as he lived, serving his country and protecting his colleagues. Glen deployed to some of the most dangerous places on Earth, including Iraq and Afghanistan, always putting his life on the line to safeguard other Americans. Our thoughts and prayers are with Glen’s father Bernard, his mother Barbara, his brother Gregory, his sister Kathleen, and their grieving families, friends, and colleagues.

          I was honored to know Ambassador Chris Stevens. I want to thank his parents and siblings, who are here today, for sharing Chris with us and with our country. What a wonderful gift you gave us. Over his distinguished career in the Foreign Service, Chris won friends for the United States in far-flung places. He made those people’s hopes his own. During the revolution in Libya, he risked his life to help protect the Libyan people from a tyrant, and he gave his life helping them build a better country.

          For more: https://propresobama.org/2012/09/13/romney-is-out-of-touch-with-americas-needs/#comment-67433

    • California man confirms role in anti-Islam film

      9/13/2012 06:54:19 AM PDT By GILLIAN FLACCUS and STEPHEN BRAUN, Associated Press

      LOS ANGELES — The anti-Muslim film implicated in mob protests against U.S. diplomatic missions in the Mideast received logistical help from a man once convicted of financial crimes and featured actors who complained that their inflammatory dialogue was dubbed in after filming.

      The self-proclaimed director of “ Innocence of Muslims” initially claimed a Jewish and Israeli background. But others involved in the film said his statements were contrived as evidence mounted that the film’s key player was a southern Californian Coptic Christian with a checkered past.

      Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, told The Associated Press in an interview outside Los Angeles Wednesday that he managed logistics for the company that produced “Innocence of Muslims,” which mocked Muslims and the prophet Muhammad.

      The movie has been blamed for inflaming mobs that attacked U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya this week as well as U.S. Embassy in Yemen on Thursday.

      Nakoula denied he had directed the film, though he said he knew the self-described filmmaker, Sam Bacile. But the cellphone number that the AP contacted Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as Bacile traced to the same address near Los Angeles where Nakoula was located.

      Nakoula told the AP he is a Coptic Christian and supported the concerns of Christian Copts about their treatment by Muslims.

      The film was implicated in protests that resulted in the burning of the U.S. consulate Tuesday in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. Libyan officials said Wednesday that Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other embassy employees were killed during the mob violence, but U.S. officials now say they are investigating whether the assault was a planned terrorist strike linked to Tuesday’s 11-year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

      Nakoula denied he had posed as Bacile. Federal court papers filed in a 2010 criminal prosecution against him said Nakoula had used numerous aliases in the past. Among the fake names, the documents said, were Nicola Bacily and Erwin Salameh.

      During a conversation outside his home, Nakoula offered his driver’s license to show his identity but kept his thumb over his middle name, Basseley. Records checks by the AP subsequently found that middle name as well as other connections to the Bacile persona.

      The AP located Bacile after obtaining his cellphone number from Morris Sadek, a conservative Coptic Christian in the U.S. who had promoted the anti-Muslim film in recent days on his website. Egypt’s Christian Coptic populace has long decried what they describe as a history of discrimination and occasional violence from the country’s Arab majority.

      Pastor Terry Jones, of Gainesville, Fla., who sparked outrage in the Arab world when he burned Qurans on the ninth anniversary of 9/11, said he spoke with the movie’s director on the phone Wednesday and prayed for him. Jones said he has not met the filmmaker in person but added that the man contacted him a few weeks ago about promoting the movie. Jones and others who have dealt with the filmmaker said Wednesday that Bacile was hiding his real identity.

      “I have not met him. Sam Bacile, that is not his real name,” Jones said. “I just talked to him on the phone. He is definitely in hiding and does not reveal his identity. He was quite honestly fairly shook up concerning the events and what is happening. A lot of people are not supporting him. He was generally a little shook up concerning this situation.”

      The YouTube account under the username “Sam Bacile,” which was used to publish excerpts of the provocative movie in July, was used to post comments online as recently as Tuesday, including this defense of the film written in Arabic: “It is a 100 percent American movie, you cows.”

      Nakoula, who talked guardedly about his role, pleaded no contest in 2010 to federal bank fraud charges in California and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer.

      Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Leigh Williams said Nakoula set up fraudulent bank accounts using stolen identities and Social Security numbers; then, checks from those accounts would be deposited into other bogus accounts from which Nakoula would withdraw money at ATM machines.

      It was “basically a check-kiting scheme,” the prosecutor told the AP. “You try to get the money out of the bank before the bank realizes they are drawn from a fraudulent account. There basically is no money.”

      American actors and actresses who appeared in “Innocence of Muslims” issued a joint statement Wednesday saying they were misled about the project and alleged that some of their dialogue was crudely dubbed during post-production.

      In the English-language version of the trailer, direct references to Muhammad appear to be the result of post-production changes to the movie. Either actors aren’t seen when the name “Muhammad” is spoken in the overdubbed sound, or they appear to be mouthing something else as the name of the prophet is spoken.

      “The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer,” said the statement, obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “We are 100 percent not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”

      One of the actresses, Cindy Lee Garcia, told the Gawker.com website that the film was originally titled “Desert Warriors” and said the script did not contain offensive references to Islam. She said the director, who identified himself as Bacile, told her then that he was Egyptian.

      The person who identified himself as Bacile and described himself as the film’s writer and director told the AP on Tuesday that he had gone into hiding. But doubts rose about the man’s identity amid a flurry of false claims about his background and role in the purported film.

      Bacile told the AP he was an Israeli-born, 56-year-old Jewish writer and director. But a Christian activist involved in the film project, Steve Klein, told the AP on Wednesday that Bacile was a pseudonym and that he was Christian.

      For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_21533466/california-man-confirms-role-anti-islam-film?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com

      • Clinton: Video is ‘disgusting and reprehensible’

        9/13/12 10:34 AM EDT By JENNIFER EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

        The anti-Islam video that sparked protests in Libya and Egypt is “disgusting and reprehensible,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday, but it’s no reason for violence — especially against diplomats.

        “Let me state very clearly — and I hope it is obvious — that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its content and message. America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation,” Clinton said at the State Department, as she held a pre-scheduled meeting with Moroccan leaders.

        But the violent reaction to the video has been unacceptable, she said. “Violence, we believe, has no place in religion and is no way to honor religion. Islam, like other religions respects, the fundamental dignity of human beings, and it is a violation of that fundamental dignity to wage attacks on innocence.”

        Still, freedom of speech and freedom of religion are ideals that the United States upholds even when the results outrage some. “I know it is hard for some people to understand why the United States cannot or does not just prevent these kinds of reprehensible videos from ever seeing the light of day,” Clinton said, directing her remarks toward the Muslim world.

        Current technologies mean there’s no way of effectively muzzling speech, she said, “but even if it were possible, our country does have a long tradition of free expression, which is enshrined in our Constitution and in our law. We do not stop individual citizens from expressing their views no matter how distasteful they may be.”

        Clinton also spoke out against violence targeting diplomatic facilities.

        “It is especially wrong for violence to be directed against diplomatic missions,” she said. “These are places whose very purpose is peaceful to promote better understanding across countries and cultures. All governments have a responsibility to protect those spaces and people, because to attack an embassy is to attack the idea that we can work together to build understanding and a better future.”

      • California man linked to anti-Islam film taken in for questioning

        9/15/12 By Alex Dobuzinskis | Reuters – 2 hrs 0 mins ago

        LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California man convicted of bank fraud was taken in for questioning on Saturday by officers investigating possible probation violations stemming from the making of an anti-Islam film that triggered violent protests in the Muslim world.

        Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, voluntarily left his home in the early hours of Saturday morning for the meeting in a sheriff’s station in the Los Angeles suburb of Cerritos, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

        “He will be interviewed by federal probation officers,” Whitmore said. He said Nakoula had not been placed under arrest but would not be returning home immediately. “He was never put in handcuffs… It was all voluntary.”

        Nakoula, who has denied involvement in the film in a phone call to his Coptic Christian bishop, was ushered out of his home and into a waiting car by several sheriff’s deputies, his face shielded by a scarf, hat and sunglasses.

        The crudely made 13-minute English-language film, filmed in California and circulated on the Internet under several titles including “Innocence of Muslims”, mocks the Prophet Mohammad.

        The film sparked a violent protest at the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi during which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed on Tuesday. Protests have spread to other countries across the Muslim world.
        For many Muslims, any depiction of the prophet is blasphemous. Caricatures deemed insulting in the past have provoked protests and drawn condemnations from officials, preachers, ordinary Muslims and many Christians.

        For more: http://news.yahoo.com/u-investigating-man-linked-anti-islam-film-011018967.html

      • Consulate Attack Preplanned, Libya’s President Says

        8/16/12 by LEILA FADEL – npr

        Libya’s president says he believes al-Qaida is behind a deadly attack in eastern Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. staffers.

        In an exclusive interview with NPR in Benghazi, President Mohammed el-Megarif says foreigners infiltrated Libya over the past few months, planned the attack and used Libyans to carry it out.

        Wearing the traditional long white robe of men in Libya, Megarif is visibly exhausted when we speak to him at his home in Benghazi. As he describes the ambush on the U.S. consulate that killed Stevens and three other Americans, his eyes water and he drops his head.

        “Our friend and friend of all Libyans and all residents of Benghazi and we feel very, very, very,” deep sadness, he says.

        A steady stream of people files in and out of the soft-spoken president’s home. This eastern Libyan city was the birthplace of the revolt against late dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Now it is a neglected place, with few security forces on the street and a flood of heavy weaponry.

        Megarif says that over the past few months, foreigners took advantage of the security vacuum and flowed into the country from Mali and Algeria. I ask if this attack was over an anti-Muslim film that sparked violent protests across the Muslim world. He shakes his head.

        “The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous,” he says. “We firmly believe that this was a precalculated, preplanned attack that was carried out specifically to attack the U.S. Consulate.”

        The attackers used the protesters outside the consulate as a cover, he says.

        “The intention was there from the beginning, for it to take this ugly barbaric, criminal form,” he says.

        Megarif claims evidence shows that some elements of Ansar al-Sharia, an extremist group in eastern Benghazi, were used as tools by foreign citizens with ties to al-Qaida to attack the consulate and threaten Libya’s stability.

        For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2012/09/16/161228170/consulate-attack-preplanned-libya-s-president-says

    • US Pulls Embassy Staff Amid al-Qaida Calls for Violence

      September 16, 2012 6:26 AM VOA News

      The U.S. has ordered the departure of all non-essential personnel and the families of diplomats from its embassies in Sudan and Tunisia.

      The State Department order Saturday also warned U.S. citizens against travel to the two countries because of concerns about rising anti-American violence.

      A U.S. made, anti-Muslim film prompted a wave of protests and violence last week across the Middle East and other regions.

      The man allegedly behind the private film was questioned Saturday by U.S. authorities in California.

      Some parts of the Muslim world returned to calm Saturday following violence that began Tuesday when U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed along with three other Americans. Several demonstrators have died since then.

      Al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen has called for more violence against American embassies after days of deadly protests against the film.

      Sudanese police patrolled the streets of Khartoum Saturday, a day after protesters attacked the British, German and U.S. embassies.

      Sudan’s foreign minister, Ali Karti, has rejected a U.S. request to send Marines to the capital to protect the embassy.

      Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry has condemned the violence and says it is committed to protecting all embassies and diplomatic missions.

      Egyptian workers spent Saturday cleaning up Cairo’s Tahrir Square after a night of fighting between police and demonstrators that left one person dead.

      Other countries that had seen days of protests, including Tunisia and Yemen, were also quieter Saturday. But new protests erupted in Afghanistan, India, Indonesia and Sydney, Australia.

  7. Corn crop larger than expected, soy smaller: USDA

    9/12/12 – 2 hrs 28 mins ago- yahoonews

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Searing summer drought slashed U.S. corn production to the lowest level in six years and soybeans to the lowest in nine years, the government forecast on Wednesday, but the corn crop is larger than expected, which will relieve the third year in a row of tight supplies.

    With the fall harvest running faster than usual, the Agriculture Department lowered its corn forecast by less than 1 percent; traders had expected a cut of nearly 4 percent from August. The surplus at the end of this marketing year would be the smallest since 1996 but 24 percent larger than the trade expectation.

    USDA cut its forecast of the soybean crop by 2 percent from its August figure, twice the cut expected by traders. It said the carry-over at the end of the marketing year would be the smallest in eight years although slightly larger than expected.

    Besides the United States, drought damaged the wheat crop in Russia and its neighbors. Russia’s crop was 39 million tonnes, down 9 percent from the August estimate and the second large cut in a row. Kazakhstan’s crop was reduced 4.5 percent by USDA.

    World wheat supplies are only marginally lower despite the losses, said USDA, and feed grain production also is down less than 1 percent, compared to August forecasts. The world wheat crop is down 5 percent from last year and coarse grains down 2.4 percent. World rice production is on par with last year.

    Leaders of the Group of 20 wealthy nations said the U.S. forecasts would help determine if an emergency meeting is needed to constrain an upsurge in food prices. France suggested on Tuesday the creation of strategic stocks to buffer food price gyrations.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/corn-crop-larger-expected-soy-smaller-usda-123852018.html

  8. Guide

    Published on Sep 12, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom
    Get the facts: http://OFA.BO/sDeWVg

    Voiceover:
    “The new AARP Voter Guide is out with facts you need on Medicare.

    Fact: Barack Obama will protect your guaranteed benefits and will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program.

    Fact: Mitt Romney would take away Medicare as guaranteed benefits and instead give future retirees “premium support” or vouchers.

    AARP apposes that plan and non-partisan analysts say it could raise seniors’ costs up to $6,400 a year.”

  9. The Choice

    Published on Sep 12, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom

    Read the President’s Plan: http://OFA.BO/MX3Ss8

    “Over the next few months you have a choice to make. Not just between two political parties or even two people. It’s a choice between two very different plans for our country.

    Governor Romney’s plan would cut taxes for the folks at the very top, roll back regulations on big banks, and he says that if we do our economy will grow and everyone will benefit.

    But you know what? We tried that top-down approach. It’s what caused the mess in the first place.

    I believe the only way to create an economy built to last is to strengthen the middle class. Asking the wealthy to pay a little more so we can pay down our debt in a balanced way. So that we can afford to invest in education, manufacturing, and homegrown American energy for good middle class jobs. Sometimes politics can seem very small. But the choice you face, it couldn’t be bigger.”

    • moving_america_forward

      FORWARD

      President Obama is taking a balanced approach to cutting the deficit without sacrificing investments needed to grow the economy and create jobs

      President Obama has a long-term economic plan, investing in education, small businesses, clean energy, infrastructure, and tax cuts for companies that bring jobs back to the U.S.

      President Obama is calling on millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share, and believes no family earning less than $250,000 should face higher taxes – compare the tax plans
      President Obama responsibly ended the war in Iraq, is bringing our troops home from Afghanistan, and will use half the savings to reduce the deficit

      President Obama has improved Medicare by adding benefits like free mammograms, is closing the “donut hole” and saving seniors an average of $600 a year on prescription drugs, and extending Medicare’s life by eight years

      ——————————————-

      GOP WRONG WAY

      NOT BACKWARD

      Mitt Romney opposes asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share and instead wants to reward them with even more tax breaks, paid for by raising middle class taxes

      Mitt Romney’s plan would add $5 trillion in tax cuts skewed to the rich, either increasing the deficit or requiring tax increases on the middle-class

      Mitt Romney would slash middle class investments like education, Social Security, and Medicare

      Mitt Romney criticized the end of the Iraq war as “tragic,” and has offered no plan to bring our troops home from Afghanistan

      Mitt Romney would let Medicare go bankrupt by the end of his first term, and then turn it into a voucher

  10. Wholesale Inventories in U.S. Climb 0.7%, More Than Forecast

    Sep 12, 2012 7:00 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

    Inventories at U.S. wholesalers rose in July by the most in five months as sales fell, indicating production may cool.

    The 0.7 percent increase in stockpiles followed a 0.2 percent drop in the prior month, Commerce Department data showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.3 percent July gain. Sales declined 0.1 percent, the third straight decrease.

    At the current pace of sales, wholesalers had enough goods on hand to last 1.21 months, the most since November 2009, the report showed. A global slowdown and looming U.S. tax and government spending changes may prompt companies to temper orders to factories as they work off any unintended build-up of stockpiles.

    “Companies will want to stay lean because of the outlook,” Millan Mulraine, a senior U.S. strategist at TD Securities in New York, said before the report. “The uncertainty is a constraint on demand.”

    The median forecast for wholesale inventories was based on a Bloomberg survey of 29 economists. Estimates ranged from no change to an increase of 0.8 percent.

    Businesses trying to keep stockpiles in line with demand include Deere & Co. (DE), the world’s largest maker of agricultural equipment, which in August cut its full-year profit forecast as sales slowed.

    “The sales shortfall is reflected in higher inventories in the third quarter and at year-end,” James Field, president of the Moline, Illinois-based company’s agriculture and turf unit, said on an Aug. 15 teleconference. “Actions have been taken to manage the inventories.”

    For more; http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-12/wholesale-inventories-in-u-s-climb-0-7-more-than-forecast.html

  11. 12:30 PM ET
    Vice President Biden attends a campaign event
    Wright State University, Dayton, OH

  12. GOP WRONG WAY

    The Romney campaign gets desperate

    September 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm Posted by Ezra Klein – washingtonpost

    There’s a saying in politics: No campaign is ever as good as it looks when it’s winning nor as bad as it looks when it’s losing. In Mitt Romney’s comments on Libya, you see part of the reason why.

    A few months ago, the Romney campaign had a clear theory of the campaign: Keep the focus on the economy. When other issues came up, they had a clear strategy for dealing with them: Acknowledge them, issue some restrained comment, and then, if possible, end by saying we need to remain focused on the economy. Everything was about Romney campaign’s Prime Directive: It’s the economy, stupid.

    That Romney campaign would have known just what to do on Libya. A simple, restrained statement condemning the murderers and expressing sympathy and solidarity with the victims. A few lines on Romney’s resolve to hunt murderers like these down. Make Romney look presidential, but whatever you do, don’t interrupt the underlying dynamics of the election. This is, by and large, the template that other major Republicans followed in their responses to the attacks.

    President Obama, after all, has a wide lead in the polls on who is better at handling foreign policy and terrorism. If the campaign turns to those issues, that might well help Obama. Which gets to the corollary of the Prime Directive: If the election isn’t about the economy, then Obama might win, stupid.

    But the underlying dynamics of of the election are no longer seen as helping Romney. He trails Obama in the polls, and has for basically the entire campaign. He received little-to-no bump from his convention, and then watched Obama enjoy a significant bounce out of his. The economy isn’t proving sufficient to beat Obama. That means the Romney campaign’s strategy isn’t proving sufficient to beat Obama.

    For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/12/the-romney-campaign-gets-desperate/

  13. First group of delayed young deportees approved

    9/11/12 By Alicia A. Caldwel – Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — Just three weeks after the Obama administration started accepting applications from young illegal immigrants seeking to avoid deportation and get a work permit, the government already has approved some of the roughly 72,000 applications it has received.

    The Homeland Security Department said Tuesday that a small group of applications has been approved and those immigrants are being notified this week about the decision. The department did not say how many applications had been approved.

    The first wave of approvals comes months head of DHS’ own internal estimates of how long the application process for the administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could take — and less than 60 days before the Nov. 6 elections. According to an internal DHS document obtained by The Associated Press, the department’s Citizenship and Immigration Services had estimated that each application could take several months to be completed.

    “Following a thorough, individualized case review, USCIS has now begun notifying individuals of the determination on their deferral requests,” DHS spokesman Peter Boogaard said in a statement. He said about 72,000 applications have been received since the program’s Aug. 15 start.

    DHS said background checks, including finger prints checks, are being conducted on each immigrant before an application can be approved. The average wait time for approval is expected to be about four months to six months.

    For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21522058/first-group-delayed-young-deportees-approved?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com

  14. Hello CR and friends. Thanks for this wonderful thread and articles CR. I am sad about the employees killed at the embassy.

    • Hello COS!

      It is very sad how very evil people muniplate the media to their own means to bring division and violence to an already troubled world.

  15. September 12, 2012

    Readout of President Obama’s Telephone Call with President Karzai

    President Obama called President Karzai earlier today as part of their regular consultations as transition continues in Afghanistan. The two Presidents took the opportunity to discuss the tragic events that took place in Benghazi, including the death of U.S. Embassy personnel. President Karzai expressed condolences for the tragic loss of American life and the Presidents discussed the importance of working together to help ensure that the circumstances that led to the violence in Libya and Egypt do not pose a threat to U.S. forces or Afghans. President Obama also reaffirmed his commitment to transferring detainees to Afghan authority in a manner that respects Afghan sovereignty and protects U.S. and Afghan forces. The two Presidents agreed to speak again soon on additional issues of mutual interest.

    • Bill Clinton: Blame me, not Obama

      9/12/12 7:26 PM EDT By REID J. EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

      ORLANDO, Fla. – President Bill Clinton said to blame him for the economy, if you want, but absolve President Obama from any fault.

      Speaking to 2,000 people in a crowded and loud hotel ballroom here on the second night of his Florida campaign swing, the 42nd president once again delivered an entirely off-the-cuff speech in praise of Democratic politics in general with a nod to President Obama’s re-election.

      He reprised the general themes of his well-received speech at last week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., emphasizing the idea that the nation’s economy was in such turmoil that no one could have fixed it in a single four-year term.

      “First I want to say again something I said in Charlotte, because the whole election could come down to this,” he said. “I honestly believe it doesn’t matter who caused it or whether the contributing factors all happened under President Bush or something I did or something Ronald Reagan did 30 years ago. Regardless, President Obama didn’t cause it.”

      Clinton’s don’t-look-back theme comes in stark contrast to the Obama campaign stump speech that largely serves as a warning not to return to George W. Bush-era economic policies that he maintains caused the economic mess he has spent the last four years fixing. Clinton will make campaign and fundraising appearances for Obama in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, New York and California during the next six weeks.

      Clinton continued.

      “And if he’d kept telling us that and not done anything, we’d still have to replace him,” he said of Obama. “You don’t get to pick the good and not the bad. So he took it on. Now what I want to say again and again and again, it is my opinion, as someone who, beginning when I was governor in 1979, has spent a lifetime trying to create jobs and help people start businesses and expand manufacturing and create opportunity for people to train and educate them to seize those opportunities, it is my opinion that no president, not Barack Obama, not Bill Clinton not anybody who served before us, nobody who ever had this job could repair that much damage to this economy.”

      In his 34 minute-speech, Clinton, as he did Tuesday night in Miami, delivered a strong defense of Obama’s student loan and health care policy. He touted the Democrats for having “a responsible debt plan” and urged people to choose “cooperation over conflict and arithmetic over illusion.” He did not address the attacks on U.S. diplomatic posts in Libya and Cairo.

      And Clinton mocked Republicans who maintain they are seeking to return to the Constitution’s original intent. In what served as his big finish, Clinton wrapped a call for a re-electing Obama with a shot at the tea party.

      “All these people talk about the intent of the founding fathers, when the Constitution was ratified only guys like me could vote. White, male property owners,” he said. “That was it. But we can grow and we have grown and we will grow again. But you need to re-elect President Barack Obama.”

      With that, the Springsteen music kicked on and the former president left the stage.

  16. 7:00 PM ET
    Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden host a reception with Jewish community leaders at the Naval Observatory.

    • September 13, 2012

      Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — Las Vegas, NV

      The Cashman Center
      Las Vegas, Nevada

      6:03 P.M. PDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. Can everybody please give Adriana a great round of applause for the wonderful introduction? (Applause.)

      I also want to say it’s good to see your once and next Congresswoman, Dina Titus. (Applause.) And it is so good to see all of you.

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

      THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.) I do. I wanted to begin —

      AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. So I wanted to begin tonight by just saying a few words about a tough day that we had today. We lost four Americans last night, who were killed when they were attacked at a diplomatic post in Libya. And they were serving overseas on our behalf, despite the dangers, despite the risks, to help one of the world’s youngest democracies get on its feet. They were working to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans. And as Americans, we stand united -– all of us -– in gratitude for their service, and we are mindful of their sacrifice, and we want to send out heartfelt prayers to their loved ones who grieve today. (Applause.)

      It’s a reminder that the freedoms we enjoy -– sometimes even the freedoms we take for granted -– they’re only sustained because there are people like those who were killed, who are willing to stand up for those freedoms; who are willing to fight for those freedoms; in some cases, to lay down their lives for those freedoms. So tonight, let’s think of them and thank them.

      As for the ones we lost last night: I want to assure you, we will bring their killers to justice. (Applause.) And we want to send a message all around the world — anybody who would do us harm: No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America. (Applause.)

      We will not be deterred. We will keep going. We will keep going because the world needs us. We are the one indispensable power in the world. And if we are going to see peace and security for our children and our grandchildren, then that means that this generation of Americans has to lead. We’re going to have to keep doing the work — no matter how hard it seems sometimes.

      And that’s what I want to talk to you about here today. We’ve got work to do overseas; we’ve also got to do some work here at home. (Applause.) And we’ve got to do some work right here in the great state of Nevada. (Applause.)

      Now, because Nevada is a battleground state, you are aware that we’ve got an election going on. (Applause.) Unless you’ve accidentally stumbled in here looking for a convention of podiatrists — (laughter) — then you’ve been paying some attention to the election. Both parties just came out with their conventions. Each side made its case. And now your choice — facing a very big choice.

      See, our vision, what we’re fighting for, the reason all of you are here today, is because we believe in the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known. (Applause.) It’s a bargain that says hard work will pay off; that if you act responsibly, you’ll be rewarded; that everybody gets a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, everybody plays by the same rules -– from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, D.C.; that it doesn’t matter where you come from, or what you look like, or what your last name is — here in America, you can make it if you try. That’s what we believe in. (Applause.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/13/remarks-president-campaign-event-las-vegas-nv

  17. GOP WRONG WAY

    The third time isn’t the charm

    Sep 12, 2012 4:24 PM EDT By Steve Benen – maddowblog

    Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is pushing talking points to Republican leaders and top GOP surrogates, urging them to dismiss questions about how Team Romney responded overnight to the violence in Libya and Egypt.

    And yet, Romney aides continue to discuss the issue themselves, making their third effort in 17 hours to get this right.

    The Romney campaign continues to defend its increasingly isolated response to the Libya consulate attack, claiming that the White House implicitly acknowledged its criticism was accurate by disavowing an earlier statement from the U.S. embassy in Egypt.

    “If Gov. Romney ‘jumped the gun’ why were White House officials also distancing themselves from the statement?” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement. “Why didn’t President Obama take any questions from the press this morning to explain?”

    Saul was referring to a statement released Tuesday by the U.S. embassy in Cairo, which said that it “condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.” The White House later disavowed that press release and subsequent tweets from the embassy’s Twitter account that referred to it were deleted.

    It appears the Romney campaign is confused. Perhaps I can help focus matters by asking simple, straightforward questions they can answer at their leisure.

    * Does Romney realize that the embassy condemned anti-Muslim propaganda before protests turned violent? If so, why has Romney lied about it?

    * Can Romney defend the charge that the “Obama administration’s first response” was “to sympathize with those who waged the attacks”?

    * Can Romney defend the charge that Obama administration officials “apologized for American values”? If, in Romney’s mind, criticizing anti-Muslim propaganda is implicitly the same thing as “apologizing for American values,” why did the Romney campaign echo the Obama administration’s condemnation of the anti-Muslim propaganda in question?

    * If Romney thinks White House officials right to distance themselves from tweets from the Cairo embassy, why does Romney also think White House officials were wrong?

    Meanwhile, the Washington Post editorial board, which I think it’s fair to say is not exactly liberal, published an item this afternoon saying Romney’s rhetoric “discredits his campaign.”

  18. Obama On Romney’s Libya Response: ‘Shoot First And Aim Later’

    SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 BENJY SARLIN – tpm

    President Obama pushed back against Mitt Romney’s accusation that his administration mishandled its response to the Libya crisis, noting that Romney bungled basic facts in his Tuesday night statement.

    “There’s a broader lesson to be learned here: Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later and as president one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that,” Obama told CBS News Wednesday.”It’s important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts and that you’ve thought through the ramifications before you make them.”

  19. WH

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    Vice President Biden attends a campaign event
    W.L. Zorn Arena, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, WI

    1:10 PM
    President Obama attends a campaign event
    Lions Park Golden Community Center, Golden, CO

    2:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks to Richmond Grassroots Supporters
    Richmond CenterStage, Richmond, VA

    2:50 PM
    President Obama departs Golden, Colo. en route Washington, D.C.

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks to Fredericksburg Grassroots Supporters
    University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA

    6:00 PM
    6:50 PM
    President Obama arrives at Joint Base Andrews.

    7:00 PM
    7:05 PM
    President Obama arrives at the White House.

    7:30 PM
    Vice President Biden to Address Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 35th Anniversary
    Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC

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

  20. Vice President Joe Biden to Attend CHCI’s 35th Anniversary Awards Gala

    September 11, 2012 chci.org

    CHCI Chair Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez is pleased to announce that Vice President Joseph R. Biden will attend CHCI’s 35th Anniversary Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, September 13. Vice President Biden will address more than 2,000 attendees during CHCI’s premier celebration of the Latino community, which will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (L Street Entrance) and is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.

  21. Consumer Comfort in U.S. Advanced Last Week Most Since December

    Sep 13, 2012 6:45 AM PT By Alex Kowalski – bloomberg

    Consumer confidence in the U.S. rose last week by the most since December as higher stock prices made Americans more secure about their finances.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index climbed to a five-week high of minus 42.2 in the period ended Sept. 9 from minus 46.5. Forty-seven percent of respondents rated their finances positively, the largest share since early August, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted its biggest weekly gain in almost three months.

    A growing number of households who consider their financial situations sound may help maintain the pace of consumer spending, which makes up about 70 percent of the economy. At the same time, persistent joblessness and rising gasoline prices may limit the pace of purchases.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-13/consumer-comfort-in-u-s-advanced-last-week-most-since-december.html

  22. Good Thursday morning. I am off to another Phone Bank O-event later today. I HOPE that you have a good day.

  23. Fed Pulls Trigger, to Buy Mortgages in Effort to Lower Rates

    9/13/12 By Jeff Cox | CNBC – 6 minutes ago

    The Federal Reserve fulfilled expectations of more stimulus for the faltering economy, taking aim now at driving down mortgage rates.
    The Fed said it will buy $40 billion of mortgages per month in an attempt to foster a nascent recovery in the real estate market. The purchases will be open-ended, meaning that they will continue until the Fed is satisfied that economic conditions, primarily in unemployment, improve.

    Enacting the third leg of quantitative easing will take the Fed’s money creation past the $3 trillion level since it began the process in 2008.

    “The Committee is concerned that, without further policy accommodation, economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions,” the Open Market Committee said in a statement. (More: Read the Fed’s Full StatementHere.)

    In addition, the Fed said it will continue its program of selling shorter-dated government debt and buying longer-term securities, a mechanism known as Operation Twist. It also will continue its policy of reinvesting principal payments from agency debt and mortgage-backed securities back into mortgages.

    For more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/fed-pulls-trigger-buy-mortgages-163638925.html

  24. SIGH….MORE FROM THE HATERS:

    2016: Obama’s America is a 2012 documentary by conservative author and commentator Dinesh D’Souza (releases on 9/14/12)

    …As a result, the film argues that President Obama wants to significantly reduce the U.S.’s influence within the world while increasing the influence of nations that he believes have suffered or been held back economically or militarily due to U.S. and western domination.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Obama%27s_America

    • Obama campaign fact-checks, fires back at “2016”

      Tue, Sep 11, 2012 By Kasia Anderson – Reuters

      LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – Barack Obama’s campaign has hit back at Dinesh D’Souza and his filmmaking team for their cutting characterization of the incumbent president in “2016: Obama’s America.”

      On September 5, as the anti-Obama documentary continued its winning streak at the box office and the Democratic National Convention hit a crescendo with a rousing appearance by former President Bill Clinton, a pointed blog entry about “2016” was posted on BarackObama.com.
      Calling D’Souza, a longtime fixture on the right-wing speakers’ circuit, “a self-proclaimed expert on the President,” the blog post on the campaign site’s “Truth Team” page fires this opening salvo: “Right-wing author Dinesh D’Souza has recently released ‘2016: Obama’s America,’ a movie that falsely smears President Obama as having a hidden agenda bent on realizing ‘anti-colonial’ ambitions.”

      The article calls into question D’Souza’s use of his own work as a basis for building his argument about what moviegoing citizens “don’t know” about the president – much of which stems from Obama’s relationship with, and purported feelings about, his distant father.

      Obama’s “Truth Team” points to D’Souza’s use of his own life story in the first part of the film, slamming the documentary’s creator for “baselessly claiming his supposedly similar background gives him a special insight into the President’s thinking.”

      The campaign site’s impromptu review also offers counterpoints to specific claims the documentary makes about the president’s politics. On the subject of the source of the controversial TARP bank bailout program, for example, the entry states: “D’Souza even claimed that President Obama passed the bank bailouts when the facts clearly show that it was President Bush who signed the Troubled Asset Relief Program into law in October 2008.”

      As if there was any room for doubt, the blog gives “2016” a clear thumbs down, concluding that the documentary is “nothing more than an insidious attempt to dishonestly smear the President by giving intellectual cover to the worst in subterranean conspiracy theories and false, partisan attacks.”

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-campaign-fact-checks-fires-back-2016-231134066.html?_esi=1

    • September 13, 2012

      Remarks by the President in Golden, CO

      Lions Park
      Golden, Colorado

      11:03 A.M. MDT

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

      AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

      THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.)

      You know, this is just too pretty. (Laughter.) I don’t know how you guys get any work done around here. (Laughter.) It is spectacular today. (Applause.) Spectacular. And I notice there’s kind of like a water slide in there — I wanted to try it out, but — (laughter) — Secret Service said no. (Laughter.) They would not let me do it.

      It is great to be back in Colorado. Can everybody please give Lisa a big round of applause for that great introduction? (Applause.) Not only does she deserve a great introduction — or applause because of the introduction, but also having three kids and one more coming — (laughter) — that deserves some applause. (Applause.) To all the moms out there. (Applause.) That is some work. And once you get to three, then you’ve got to play zone defense — (laughter) — I don’t even know what to do with four. (Laughter.)

      I am so grateful to be here, and I’m so grateful that Lisa took the time to do this. I’ve got a couple other friends who are here — first of all, your former senator and outstanding Secretary of the Interior, looking after the natural resources of America — Ken Salazar is in the house. (Applause.) Your Mayor, Marjorie Sloan, is here. (Applause.)

      Marjorie, she could not be sweeter. I mean, she gave me such a nice welcome hug, and informed me that I am the first President to visit this county since Ulysses S. Grant. Is that correct? (Applause.) Now, that’s pretty impressive. That’s a long time ago, Ulysses S. Grant. (Laughter.) Back then you couldn’t even vote. You guys were still a territory. (Laughter.) So I’m glad to put down my marker here. (Applause.) Absolutely.

      Let me say at the outset that obviously our hearts are heavy this week — we had a tough day a couple of days ago, for four Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Libya. Yesterday I had a chance to go over to the State Department to talk to friends and colleagues of those who were killed. And these were Americans who, like so many others, both in uniform and civilians, who serve in difficult and dangerous places all around the world to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans.

      And a lot of times their work goes unheralded, doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it is vitally important. We enjoy our security and our liberty because of the sacrifices that they make. And they do an outstanding job every single day without a lot of fanfare. (Applause.)

      So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. (Applause.) I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America. (Applause.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/13/remarks-president-golden-co

  25. 2:00 PM ET
    First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks to Richmond Grassroots Supporters
    Richmond CenterStage, Richmond, VA

    • She was great, of course. Reminded listeners that this election is not just about immediate benefits, it’s about building a foundation for the future.

    • September 13, 2012

      Remarks by the First Lady at a Campaign Event

      Richmond Centerstage
      Richmond, Virginia

      1:54 P.M. EDT

      MRS. OBAMA: Thank you so much. (Applause.) Oh, my goodness. You all rest yourselves. You have to rest yourselves. Four more years.

      AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

      MRS. OBAMA: All right, you all. I would love to hang out all day, but I know you all have things to do. But, please, rest yourselves. You all aren’t going to sit down. I love you all.

      But before we get started, though, in all seriousness, because I want to take a moment to say how heartbroken Barack and I are about the horrific tragedy that happened earlier this week in Libya.

      And it’s just important to say that our hearts and our prayers are with the families of those who gave their lives serving our country. We have to remember — (Applause.) Yes, absolutely.

      I just want us to remember that those brave Americans who died in that tragedy — and men and women just like them — they are the face of American diplomacy, truly. They are public servants who represent our country in countries around the world, and often they do it in harm’s way. And they do this every day, these people. Every day, they do it with courage and with grace. And it’s important for them to know, for their families to know that we are so proud of them and that we are so grateful for their service and their sacrifice. (Applause.)

      So I wanted us to start with that, right? Just take a moment. But I do want to thank Jean. We’re going to put Jean on the road, don’t you think? (Applause.) Jean was good. That was a very kind introduction. And I want to thank her for her outstanding work here in this state.

      I also want to recognize Mayor Jones, for his leadership and service. (Applause.)

      And most of all, I want to thank all of you for joining us here today. Thank you so much. (Applause.)

      Well, it is quite clear that you all seem pretty fired up. (Applause.) And ready to go.

      AUDIENCE: Yes!

      MRS. OBAMA: And that’s a very good thing because after our convention in Charlotte, I’m feeling pretty fired up and ready to go myself. (Applause.)

      Last week, we heard from folks like President Clinton, Vice President Biden. (Applause.) They reminded us how much we’ve accomplished together, how much is at stake and why we need to re-elect my husband for four more years. (Applause.)

      Now my job in Charlotte was pretty simple, I had the pleasure and the honor of talking about the man I’ve loved and admired for 23 years — (applause) — and why I decided to marry him. Now, ladies, understand this, when I first met Barack, now it’s true he had everything going for him.

      AUDIENCE: Yes!

      MRS. OBAMA: He was handsome, still is. (Applause.) He was charming, talented and smart. But that’s not why I married him. What truly made me fall in love with Barack Obama was his character -– his decency, his honesty, his compassion and conviction.

      I loved that Barack was so committed to serving others that he turned down high-paying jobs, and instead, he started his career fighting to get folks back to work in their communities where a steel plant shut down and jobs had dried up. And I loved that Barack was devoted to his family, especially the women in his life. (Applause.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/13/remarks-first-lady-campaign-event

  26. President Obama’s Rosh Hashanah Greeting

    Published on Sep 13, 2012 by whitehouse

    The President extends his warmest wishes to all those celebrating the Jewish HIgh Holidays.

  27. 5:00 PM ET
    First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks to Fredericksburg Grassroots Supporters
    University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA

  28. Top U.S. educator touts technology

    9/12/2012 11:49:44 PM PDT By Sharon Noguchi – mercurynews

    REDWOOD CITY — U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan got his show on the road here Wednesday, hyping the promise of technology to transform education as he embarked on a series of back-to-school pep talks across the country.

    In two days in Silicon Valley, Duncan displayed the enthusiasm for change that has marked his 3½ years as educator-in-chief and defended the Obama Administration’s relentless push for higher standards and achievement, better teaching, education equity and now, technology in the classroom.

    “Our challenge is to make great education the norm,” he told an auditorium full of students, teachers and community leaders at Sequoia High School. He lauded the progress at the school, where 51 percent of the students come from poor families and 25 percent are undocumented immigrants, yet 68 percent of juniors and seniors take at least one honor course and nearly all graduates continue to some kind of colleges, according to Principal Bonnie Hansen.

    Duncan touted the federal Dream Act, which would allow undocumented students to enroll in college, join the military or legally work. “We can’t afford to keep that talent on the sidelines,” he said to applause.

    In pushing the promise of technology, Duncan and others stressed that digital innovation is not about replacing teachers. Equipping “great teachers with great tools is going to save education,” said Catlin Tucker, an English teacher from Windsor High in Sonoma County,

    For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_21528594/top-u-s-educator-touts-technology?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com

    • March 07, 2013

      Remarks by the President and Vice President at Signing of the Violence Against Women Act

      Interior Department
      Washington, D.C.

      2:16 P.M. EST

      THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Diane. Thank you. (Applause.)

      Some of you in the audience who are survivors know how much courage it takes to do what Diane did. (Applause.) Some people who don’t know will say, well, she’s just recounting what happened. But every single time you stand and recount what happened, it brings it all back. It brings it all back like a very bad nightmare. But your speaking out, Diane, and so many survivors like you are literally saving the lives of so many other women who, God willing, will be able to avoid the abuse that you had to put up with.

      I want to thank all the advocates who are here today. I got a chance to meet in my office with some of you a little bit earlier — not only those on the stage who I, again, had a chance to meet with, but the many women out in the audience, as I look out and see some familiar faces like Pat Rouse and Ellie Smeal and Paulette Sullivan Moore from — I’m being parochial — Paulette Sullivan Moore from my home state, and so many others. (Applause.)

      Those of you who have been around a while with me know that I quote my father all the time who literally would say, the greatest sin that could be committed, the cardinal sin of all sins was the abuse of power, and the ultimate abuse of power is for someone physically stronger and bigger to raise their hand and strike and beat someone else. In most cases that tends to be a man striking a woman, or a man or woman striking a child. That’s the fundamental premise and the overarching reason why John Conyers and I and others started so many years ago to draft the legislation called the Violence Against Women Act.

      It passed 19 years ago, and that’s why we shortly thereafter instituted a hotline where women in distress could call for help. I remember, John, when we did that hotline, it was like, well, it will be useful, but I’m not so sure how much it will be used. Well, the truth of the matter is it’s been used a lot and it’s saved a lot of lives. Over 2 million women have had the courage — the courage — to try to get out of earshot of their abuser, escape from the prison of their own home, and pick up that phone and call to a line that you had no idea who on the other end was going to answer, and to say, I’m in trouble. Can you help me? Can you help me?

      I love those men who would say when we started this about why don’t they just leave. Well, if they had one-third the courage that those women — those 2 million women had who have picked up the phone and called, not knowing what to expect, it would be a whole lot better nation.

      We’ve built a network of shelters that are immediately available to women in need because we found out that the vast majority of children who are homeless on the street — Nancy knows and others — were there because their mothers were abused. Imagine fleeing for your life with only the clothes on your back and your child in your arms. The shelter was their only lifeline, and it’s worked.

      We also have specialized law enforcement units with trained prosecutors, victim advocates, court personnel who understand the unique challenges of the access. Because of all of you in the audience that are here today, we’ve been able to train judges and train intake officers, so when a frightened woman shows up at the family court and says to the intake officer, “I want to tell you” — “Speak up, will you?” “Well, I just — my” — and they turn around and walk away, because there’s only a very brief window, as all of you know, a very brief window, again, after a woman screws up the courage — the courage — to ask for help.

      All these links in the chain have made a difference in the lives of women. It’s one woman, one girl, one person at a time, one case at a time. And you providers know that better than anyone.

      With all the law’s success, there are still too many women in this country who live in fear of violence, who are still prisoners in their own home; too many victims that we have to mourn. We knew from the outset in 1994 that there was much more we could have done at the beginning if we were able to get the votes. But we did what was necessary and important, but we knew more had to be done to reduce domestic violence, domestic violence homicides, to provide new tools, as was just spoken to, to protect Native American women, to address the perplexing rate of dating violence among young women, and so much more.

      But because of the people on this stage and in this room, every time we reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, we improved it. Every single time, we’ve improved it. (Applause.)

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/03/07/remarks-president-and-vice-president-signing-violence-against-women-act

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