Sunday, January 31, 2010

President Obama Commentates
At Duke-Georgetown Basketball Game

President Obama attended today's college basketball matchup between No. 7 Georgetown and No. 8 Duke. Among his companions were Joe Biden, David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs and Reggie Love.

The president also offered commentary during part of the CBS broadcast of the game. He said that he typically does not have time to watch entire college basketball games, but stays up to date by watching SportsCenter. He'll make an exception for the Final Four and watch all of the games.

The home team prevailed, as Georgetown beat Duke, 89-77. Scroll down for video and photos. Love when The President is asked the basketball question "...does he go to his right ".

President Commentates Game

To Visit B4B Site if video did not appear through email server

B4B Home Page

Friday, January 29, 2010

WATCH: Incredible !
GOP Invites President to GOP
Meeting-aka Lion's Den.
President Surprisingly Attends.

From WHITE HOUSE: Today the President did something unusual in American politics – initiated an open dialogue with members of the opposite party. Visiting the House Republican retreat, he took questions on anything they wanted to talk about. He heard them out, acknowledged where they were right, and gave a genuine explanation where he felt they were wrong.


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

B4B NOTE: This was an incredible first ! NEVER before in modern day history has a President gone to the opposing party's 'den' for the purpose of addressing and discussing the issues of America (and getting them straight) on national TV. I get the feeling that the GOP did not expect The President to accept their invitation...and he gave them such a dissecting that I'm SURE they're sorry he came ! Sorry, but while watching this LIVE !, I couldn't help picturing Bush trying to do something like this. (or coming across half as intelligently)

To visit B4B Site if video did not appear through email server

It's A NEW, New Day !
Visit B4B Site

Thursday, January 28, 2010

B4B Photo of the Week !

President Barack Obama kisses First Lady Michelle Obama in a holding room at the Capitol after delivering his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, Jan. 27, 2010.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Visit B4B Site

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Nation

President Obama NAILS IT...Again !


In his State of the Union Address, the President laid out an agenda attempting to attack one problem from every conceivable angle: the terrible squeeze felt by America’s middle class. Fundamentally, that means prying government away from special interests and dedicating it to measures that put Americans to work and lay the foundation for a stronger economy for our country – lowering health care and tuition costs, spurring creation of the next generation of clean energy jobs. It also means putting a cop on the beat on Wall Street, so major banks can no longer take advantage of families and taxpayers.

To do all that, though, we need to change the way Washington works. Already the President has taken unprecedented steps in this direction, from releasing the names of all visitors to the White House for the first time ever to clamping down on the revolving door between government and lobbying. But as much progress was made on this front in this first year, it was still only the first year, and the President will keep pushing forward, whether that’s shining sunlight on any contact between lobbyists and the White House, or pushing Congress to disclose all earmark requests in one place for Americans to see.

This was the vision that shaped the President's address, but this is not just a matter of rhetoric. The President made clear that there is tremendously busy agenda ahead for his second year – the policies and proposals below are just examples of the plans the President laid out in his address to put government to work for the middle class.

Here are a few initiatives you might have missed in the course of the speech:

  • The President called on the Senate to pass a financial reform package. “A strong, healthy financial market makes it possible for businesses to access credit and create new jobs. It channels the savings of families into investments that raise incomes. And that can only happen if we guard against the same recklessness that nearly brought down our entire economy.” Essential reforms include measures to protect consumers and investors from financial abuse; close loopholes, raise standards, and create accountability for supervision of major financial firms; restrict the size and scope of financial institutions to reign in excesses and protect taxpayers and address the ‘too big to fail’ problem; and establish comprehensive supervision of financial markets.
  • A vision for a clean energy economy. “…to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, and more incentives.” We will build on the historic $80 billion investment made through the Recovery Act. The President’s vision includes investments in important technologies to diversity our energy sources and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, including: the renewal of our nation’s nuclear energy industry after a 30-year hiatus, cutting edge biofuel and clean coal technologies, and additional offshore oil and gas drilling. To fully transition to a clean energy economy and create millions of new American jobs, we must pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation to promote energy independence and address climate change.
  • The President will continue his push to invest in the skills and education of our people.This year, we have broken through the stalemate between left and right by launching a national competition to improve our schools. The idea here is simple: instead of rewarding failure, we only reward success. In this country, the success of our children cannot depend more on where they live than their potential.” The Obama Administration supports a new vision for increasing student achievement, delivering opportunity, and supporting excellence in America’s public schools. The President’s 2011 budget supports a new framework for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that will foster innovation, reward excellence, and promote reform in our schools, as well as invests an additional $1.35 billion to continue the historic Race to the Top program to open it up to districts in order to spur innovation and additional progress. At the same time, the Administration is moving to consolidate ineffective policies and practices. The President’s Budget eliminates six programs and consolidates 38 others into 11 new programs that emphasize using competition to allocate funds, giving communities more choices around activities, and using rigorous evidence to fund what works.
  • The President is committed to making college affordable for all Americans. “(I)n this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job.” To increase college access and completion, the Administration will make student loans more affordable by limiting a borrower’s payments to 10 percent of his/her income and forgives remaining debt after 20 years – 10 years for public service works. We will also make permanent the American Opportunity Tax Credit. The President urges the Senate to pass the American Graduation Initiative, which invests more than $10 billion over the next decade in reforming our nation’s community colleges, promoting college completion, and moving toward the President’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. The President is also asking colleges and universities to do their share to make college affordable for all Americans cutting their own costs.
  • The President is making investments to ensure that the middle class benefits from this economic recovery. “(T)he price of college tuition is just one of the burdens facing middle-class families. That’s why last year I asked Vice President Biden to chair a task force on Middle Class Families.” The President has outlined immediate steps to reduce the strain on family budgets and help middle class families manage their child and elder care responsibilities, save for retirement and pay for college. He will double the child tax credit this year, make it easier to save for retirement with automatic IRAs for workers without access to existing retirement plans, provide larger tax credits to match retirement savings for millions of additional workers, and provide new safeguards to protect retirement savings.
  • Changing the way we do business.To close that credibility gap, we must take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work more openly; and to give our people the government they deserve.” The President has called for additional new lobbyist reforms, including enhanced disclosure of lobbyist contacts, strict campaign contribution limits by lobbyists, and a single earmark database, so American taxpayers find out what earmarks are being requested, and where their money is going.
  • Countering Citizens United.I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.” Last week’s Supreme Court Citizen’s United decision opens the floodgates to special interests and foreign countries and companies bankrolling national campaigns. The President called for bipartisan support for legislation that will remedy the Supreme Court’s unprecedented and troubling decision.
  • The President stands by military families. “Tonight, all of our men and women in uniform … must know that they have our respect, our gratitude, and our full support.” The President’s 2011 budget announces significant new investments, totaling more than $8 billion, and protections for our nation’s military families, including increased military pay and housing allowances, increased funding for family support programs, expanded availability of affordable, high-quality child care, the renovation or replacement of schools, and expanded and improved care for wounded, ill and injured service members.
  • The President is establishing a National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force. “We are going to crack down on violations of equal pay laws – so that women get equal pay for an equal day’s work.” To make sure we uphold our nation’s core commitment to equality of opportunity, the Obama Administration is implementing an Equal Pay initiative to improve compliance, public education, and enforcement of equal pay laws. The Task Force will ensure that the agencies with responsibility for equal pay enforcement are coordinating efforts and limiting potential gaps in enforcement. The Administration also continues to support the Paycheck Fairness Act, and is increasing funding for the agencies enforcing equal pay laws and other key civil rights statutes.
  • Immigration reform. “And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system – to secure our borders , enforce our laws so that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.” The President is pleased Congress is taking steps forward on immigration reform that includes effective border security measures with a path for legalization for those who are willing to pay taxes and abide by the law. He is committed to confronting this problem in practical, effective ways, using the current tools at our disposal while we work with Congress to enact comprehensive reform.

And here are still more initiatives the President spoke to:

  • The President will fight to recover the money American taxpayers spent to bailout the banks. To recover the rest, I have proposed a fee on the biggest banks. I know Wall Street isn’t keen on this idea, but if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.” The President has proposed the Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee, which will require the largest and most highly leveraged Wall Street firms to pay back taxpayers and provide a deterrent against excessive leverage for the largest firms. The conservative estimate for the cost of TARP in the budget is $117 billion, but the Treasury Department expects it to be much less and the fee will be in place for a minimum of ten years or however long it takes to recoup every last penny to the American taxpayer.
  • The President recognizes that Small Businesses will be key to our nation’s economic recovery. I’m proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. I am also proposing a new small business tax credit – one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages.” To get small businesses growing again, and growing our economy, the President has proposed a range of provisions that include tax incentives to spur investment; expanded access to capital and growth opportunities to create jobs; and increased support for entrepreneurship to foster innovation. He is proposing an employment tax credit for small businesses to encourage hiring, eliminating capital gains taxes on small business investments, extending enhanced small business expensing, and transferring $30 billion in resources from TARP to a new program to help community and smaller banks give small businesses the credit they need. The President and members of his Administration will announce additional details in the coming weeks.
  • The President reiterates his support for continued investment in our nation’s infrastructure. “Tomorrow, I’ll visit Tampa, Florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed rail road funded by the Recovery Act. There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help our nation move goods, services, and information.” Through the Recovery Act, we made the largest investment in our nation’s infrastructure since President Eisenhower called for the creation of our national highway system over half a century ago. In his speech, the President announced funding to make a down-payment on a new nationwide high-speed rail system being built in-part with ARRA dollars.
  • Tax breaks to keep jobs at home. “(I)t’s time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs in the United States of America.” The President has called for an end for tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas to help fund tax cuts – like making the R & E credit permanent – that reward companies for investing and creating jobs in the United States.
  • The President also called on the Senate to pass a jobs bill that he can sign.“The House has passed a jobs bill…. As the first order of business this year, I urge the Senate to do the same. People are out of work. They are hurting. They need our help. And I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay.The bold and difficult steps the President took to stabilize the financial system have reduced the cost of TARP by more than $200 billion, providing additional resources for job creation and for deficit reduction. In December, the President outlined a package of targeted measures to help further stimulate private sector hiring, including measures to facilitate small business growth, green jobs and infrastructure. The House has passed strong legislation - it is time for the Senate to do the same.
  • We must invest in American ingenuity and innovation. We need to encourage American innovation.” The Obama Innovation Agenda will get us closer to the President’s long-term goal of increasing combined private and public R&D investment to three percent of GDP. The Obama 2011 budget will move us closer to restoring America to first in the world in college completion; and invest in the next generation of scientists so we will not lag behind countries like China in science and engineering graduates. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • We need to export more of our goods around the world. “We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million new jobs in America.” To meet this goal, we’re launching a National Export Initiative that will help farmers and small businesses increase their exports and expand their markets. Details will be announced in the coming weeks, but the NEI includes the creation of the President’s Export Promotion Cabinet and an enhancement of funding for key export promotion programs. We will work to shape a Doha trade agreement that opens markets and will continue to work with key allies like South Korea, Panama, and Colombia on trade agreements that provide real benefits to our workers. The President and members of his Administration will announce additional details in the coming week.
  • The President remains committed to helping Americans stay in their homes and help their homes retain their value. “… we’re working to lift the value of a family’s single largest investment – their home.” Last year, we took steps allowing millions of Americans to take out new loans and save an average of $1,500 per family on mortgage payments. This year, we will step up programs that encourage re-financing so that homeowners can move into more affordable and sustainable mortgages. In addition to the changes proposed last week to ensure sound risk management, the FHA is continuing to evaluate its mortgage insurance underwriting standards and its measures to help distressed and underwater borrowers through other FHA initiatives going forward. In order to ensure American families receive the same consideration American corporations do, the Obama Administration remains supportive of efforts to allow bankruptcy proceedings to renegotiate all debts, including home mortgages.
  • As Americans are getting their budgets in order, the President is getting the nation’s financial house in order. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t.” The President has announced the three year, non-security discretionary spending freeze, and also called for a bipartisan Fiscal Commissionto identify policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run. The President and members of his Administration will announce additional details in the coming weeks.
  • The President’s focus on national security includes rooting out terrorists where they hide. Since the day I took office, we have renewed our focus on the terrorists who threaten our nation.” In the last year, hundreds of Al Qaeda’s fighters and affiliates have been captured or killed – far more than in 2008.
  • The President’s commitment to Non-Proliferation results. “Even as we prosecute two wars, we are also confronting the greatest danger to the American people – the threat of nuclear weapons.” The United States and Russia are completing negotiations on the farthest-reaching arms control treaty in nearly twenty years. He will also host a Nuclear Security Summit in April, which will bring forty-four nations together behind a clear goal: to secure all loose nuclear materials around the world in four years, so that they never fall into the hands of terrorists.
  • The President is launching a bioterror and pandemic threat initiative. “We are launching a new initiative that will give us the capacity to respond faster and more effectively to bio-terrorism or an infectious disease – a plan that will counter threats at home, and strengthen public health abroad.” The President called to action key U.S. Government leaders to re-design our medical countermeasure enterprise to protect Americans from bioterror or infectious health threats. We will pursue a business model that leverages market forces and reduces risk to attract pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry collaboration with the U.S. Government.
  • The President announced that he will work this year to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “I will work with Congress and the military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.”

Mona Sutphen is Deputy Chief of Staff


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

It's A NEW, New Day !

To visit B4B Site if video did not appear through email server


Office of the Press Secretary



January 27, 2010


We face big and difficult challenges. And what the American people hope – what they deserve – is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences; to overcome the numbing weight of our politics. For while the people who sent us here have different backgrounds and different stories and different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same. The aspirations they hold are shared. A job that pays the bill. A chance to get ahead. Most of all, the ability to give their children a better life.

You know what else they share? They share a stubborn resilience in the face of adversity. After one of the most difficult years in our history, they remain busy building cars and teaching kids; starting businesses and going back to school. They are coaching little league and helping their neighbors. As one woman wrote to me, “We are strained but hopeful, struggling but encouraged.”

It is because of this spirit – this great decency and great strength – that I have never been more hopeful about America’s future than I am tonight. Despite our hardships, our union is strong. We do not give up. We do not quit. We don’t allow fear or division to break our spirit. In this new decade, it’s time the American people get a government that matches their decency; that embodies their strength. And tonight, I’d like to talk about how together, we can deliver on that promise.

By the time I’m finished speaking tonight, more Americans will have lost their health insurance. Millions will lose it this year. Our deficit will grow. Premiums will go up. Co-pays will go up. Patients will be denied the care they need. Small business owners will continue to drop coverage altogether. I will not walk away from these Americans. And neither should the people in this chamber.

Rather than fight the same tired battles that have dominated Washington for decades, it’s time for something new. Let’s try common sense. Let’s invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let’s meet our responsibility to the people who sent us here.

To do that, we have to recognize that we face more than a deficit of dollars right now. We face a deficit of trust – deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years. To close that credibility gap we must take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; and to give our people the government they deserve.

That’s what I came to Washington to do. That’s why – for the first time in history – my Administration posts our White House visitors online. And that’s why we’ve excluded lobbyists from policy-making jobs or seats on federal boards and commissions.

But we cannot stop there. It’s time to require lobbyists to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with my Administration or Congress. And it’s time to put strict limits on the contributions that lobbyists give to candidates for federal office. Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign companies – to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, and worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.

I’m also calling on Congress to continue down the path of earmark reform. You have trimmed some of this spending and embraced some meaningful change. But restoring the public trust demands more. For example, some members of Congress post some earmark requests online. Tonight, I’m calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single website before there’s a vote so that the American people can see how their money is being spent.


Visit B4B Site

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

B4B News SpotLight !

Teabagger 'Convention' Plans
on Verge of Collapse.
Baggers Upset that ticket price set at $549.
PLUS Also hate that Sarah Palin was paid $100,000 to attend.
They're falling apart ! I Love It !

Click to read


President Obama Rather Be Really Good One-Term President Than Mediocre Two-Term Pres

President Obama: "There's a tendency in Washington to think that our job description, of elected officials, is to get reelected. That's not our job description," Finally...a Servant of the People committed to DOING THE JOB...not just KEEPING the job ! Quite refreshing.
Click to read/Watch interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer


House and Senate Discussing Passing Health Care Through Reconciliation

We reported this yesterday on our Greg Jones Facebook page-looks like it is materializing: Reports are eeking out that the House will pass the Senate version of the health care reform bill AS IS under the agreement that the bill will be fine-tuned/tweeked after PASSAGE through Reconciliation-needing only 51 votes in the Senate to pass. To convince the House that the Senate will comply, 52 Senators have reportedly signed a pledge that they will vote yes for the Recon version.
Click to read


Fox News Hero,
Anti-ACORN, Fake Pimp Filmmaker

Arrested by FBI
Click to read

President To Urge Partial Spending Freeze'

This plan is designed to actually allow the President to boost spending in certain categories while 'freezing' or reducing spending in categories declared wasteful. Plan will save $250B over 10 years. We were part of a White House conference call with Chief Economist and Economic Policy Advisor to the Vice President Jared Bernstein Monday in which he discussed a number of programs to be initiated in the Feb. 1st budget which will be revealed in the State of the Union speech Wednesday...and they sound good. Now, watch the right-wing start complaining about how terrible it is that The President wants to CONTROL SPENDING !
Click to read

Click to Visit B4B Site

Sunday, January 24, 2010

President Recruits Former Campaign Manager
David Plouffe to Head White House ' Department of FIGHT '

David Plouffe To Democrats: Time to..

" FIGHT LIKE HELL...And Do What the American People
sent us to Washington to do ! "

From: OFA

In today's Washington Post, Obama for America campaign manager David Plouffe penned an op-ed in which he admits that the Democratic Party received a resounding "wake-up call" from the Massachusetts special election on Tuesday, but he argues that the way forward is to continue to fight, and to show American people that they are capable of doing the hard things that voters sent them to Washington to do.

[The 2010 midterms] will be a tough election for our party and for many Republican incumbents as well. Instead of fearing what may happen, let's prove that we have more than just the brains to govern -- that we have the guts to govern. Let's fight like hell, not because we want to preserve our status, but because we sincerely believe too many everyday Americans will continue to lose if Republicans and special interests win.

Plouffe also outlines a few key principles the Democrats can use to be successful in this November, the first of which is passing a meaningful health insurance reform package without delay. He also urges Democrats to focus on job creation, and to do a better job articulating the positive impact American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on the economy.

Finally, Plouffe urges Democratic candidates to "run great campaigns," citing many of the same core organizing principles that proved to be so effective during the Obama campaign:

Our campaigns can leave no stone unturned, from believing in the power of grass-roots volunteers and voter registration, to using technology and data innovatively, to raising money -- especially with big corporate interests now freed up to dump hundreds of millions of dollars to elect those who will do their bidding. Democratic candidates must do everything well. Each one must make sure that the first-time voters from 2008 living in your state or district -- more than 15 million nationwide -- are in their sights. Build a relationship with those voters, organize them and educate them. On Nov. 3, many races are sure to be decided by just a few thousand if not a few hundred votes. These voters can make the difference. We have to show them that their 2008 votes mattered, and passing health insurance reform is one way to start.

...If Democrats will show the country we can lead when it's hard, we may not have perfect election results, but November will be nothing like the nightmare that talking heads have forecast.

Read the full op-ed...

B4B NOTE: Despite right-wing/media spinning otherwise (actually bold face lies)...since day one President Obama has tried to keep a campaign promise to govern in a bi-partisan manner with what has been determined to be The Party of No. Many feel that The President tried for too long...but now...

It's A New Day...Again !

The Time Is NOW...


Visit B4b Site

Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi Work Over Weekend

to Save HCR


By: Chris Frates


Struggling to salvage health reform, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have begun considering a list of changes to the Senate bill in hopes of making it acceptable to liberal House members, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The changes could be included in separate legislation that, if passed, would pave the way for House approval of the Senate bill — a move that would preserve President Barack Obama's vision of a sweeping health reform plan.

But the move comes with political risk, because it would open Democrats up to charges that they pressed ahead with roughly the same health care bill that voters appeared to reject in the Massachusetts Senate race Tuesday. Republican Scott Brown won on a pledge to try to block Obama-style health reform.

The effort also puts Reid and Pelosi on the side of giving a sweeping reform bill one more try, instead of adopting a course being floated by some Democrats in Congress and at the White House of adopting a scaled-back bill including popular reform provisions.

The changes are being worked on this weekend with plans for Pelosi to present them to her caucus next week, according to sources familiar with the situation. But, sources stressed, neither Reid nor Pelosi know if this strategy can win the support of their members, but they are attempting it because it is the quickest path to passage.

Earlier this week, Pelosi said she did not have the votes to pass the Senate bill unchanged through the House. And Reid, who lost his 60-vote majority Tuesday, does not have the votes to make wholesale changes to legislation his chamber passed last month.

So, leaders are considering making limited changes that can be passed using a budget process called reconciliation, which only requires 51 votes in the Senate.

The changes being considered track closely with the agreements House and Senate leaders made in White House meetings last week, according to a source. They include the deal with labor unions to ease the tax on high-end insurance plans, additional Medicare cuts and taxes, the elimination of a special Medicaid funding deal for Nebraska and a move to help cover the gap in seniors' prescription-drug coverage. Pelosi is also working to change the Senate provision that sets up state insurance exchanges. The House prefers a single, national exchange.

Reid spokesman Jim Manley declined to comment on whether a list of changes was being drawn up.

"We have still not decided what we are going to do," Manley said. "We remain confident we will pass health reform this year. We are working with the White House and the House to identify our options for doing so. We anticipate further conversations with the administration, the House and our caucus."

Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said, "Discussions are ongoing, and options are being examined on the best way to move ahead on health insurance reform, but no final decisions have been made. It is premature to conclude anything except that staff is continuing to work on various options."

There is great uncertainty around both the politics and policy of the reconciliation strategy. Under the budget reconciliation process, the bill's changes would have to be germane to the budget, so there is a real question about how many of the proposed tweaks could be included.

Politically, Democrats, shell-shocked from Tuesday's election, may be wary of using procedural maneuvers to pass the bill in place before Brown's election, which cost Democrats their 60-seat majority.

Some Democrats have viewed the election results as a sign that their party should change direction and scale back its ambitions, not move ahead on the same course.

But progressive groups and leading labor unions are pushing their Democratic allies not to shy from the fight, but to push ahead with the bill that was just days from possible passage before Brown's election. These groups have rejected the idea of passing a scaled-back bill.

Also, a Democratic source defended reconciliation as a legitimate legislative tool used in the past by both Democrats and Republicans. For instance, President George W. Bush's 2003 tax cuts were passed with 51 votes.

Carrie Budoff Brown and Patrick O'Connor contributed to this report.

B4B NOTE: Great to hear that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are in meetings right now (this weekend) working on a Plan to pass HCR through RECONCILIATION (which we have been screaming for for months) ! Also encouraging to hear that Pelosi is pushing for a single, NATIONAL EXCHANGE (that's a strong Public Option !!!) Things to keep in mind: First of all...The "We Need 60-Votes" was ALWAYS A LIE !!!! Also, keep in mind that the insurance cartel wants/needs some kind of health care plan PASSED...they WANT THE MANDATE !!! Stocks had SERIOUS drop this past week. Now they'll be lobbying (bribing) FOR HCR to PASS ! WE MUST FIGHT and steer for a good, strong, affordable, accessible Plan. Get ready for a good, productive FIGHT !

Be Inspired...Be Informed...
Be Involved...BE STRONG !!!

51 Votes...Get It Done !

Visit B4B Site

Saturday, January 23, 2010

President Obama's Weekly Address

President SLAMS Supreme Court Decision
Legalizing Corporate Take-Over of U.S. Politics

(Excerpt from Address) " This ruling opens the floodgates for an unlimited amount of special interest money into our democracy. It gives the special interest lobbyists new leverage to spend millions on advertising to persuade elected officials to vote their way – or to punish those who don’t. That means that any public servant who has the courage to stand up to the special interests and stand up for the American people can find himself or herself under assault come election time. Even foreign corporations may now get into the act.

I can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest. The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington, or more power to the special interests to tip the outcome of elections.

All of us, regardless of party, should be worried that it will be that much harder to get fair, common-sense financial reforms, or close unwarranted tax loopholes that reward corporations from sheltering their income or shipping American jobs off-shore.

It will make it more difficult to pass commonsense laws to promote energy independence because even foreign entities would be allowed to mix in our elections.

It would give the health insurance industry even more leverage to fend off reforms that would protect patients.

We don’t need to give any more voice to the powerful interests that already drown out the voices of everyday Americans.

And we don’t intend to. When this ruling came down, I instructed my administration to get to work immediately with Members of Congress willing to fight for the American people to develop a forceful, bipartisan response to this decision. We have begun that work, and it will be a priority for us until we repair the damage that has been done.

A hundred years ago, one of the great Republican Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, fought to limit special interest spending and influence over American political campaigns and warned of the impact of unbridled, corporate spending. His message rings as true as ever today, in this age of mass communications, when the decks are too often stacked against ordinary Americans. And as long as I’m your President, I’ll never stop fighting to make sure that the most powerful voice in Washington belongs to you."


B4B NOTE: If ever there was a time for ALL Americans, Democrats, Republicans and Independents to rise up in Unity to FIGHT for that which is right for Democracy,

To visit B4B Site if video did not appear through email server


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Supreme Court Removes Limits on

Corporate Campaign Spending !

PATHETIC ! Supreme Court just overturned a 100-year law by handing down a 5-4 decision to remove limits on corporate political spending. NOW a corporation can literally spend millions for ads either for or against a politician(s) starting with the 2010 midterm elections. The corporations have just LITERALLY taken control over our entire political system ! If we thought lobbying has been bad up until now...we haven't seen anything yet ! The Supreme Court has basically approved the buying of elections !

"Unlimited corporate spending on campaigns means that the government is up for sale to the highest bidder, and that the law itself will be bought and sold. It would be political bribery on the largest scale imaginable." -Rep. Alan Grayson



Read More

B4B Special:
Historic Quote of the Week !

“If the Democrats run for cover, if we become pale carbon copies of the opposition, we will lose — and deserve to lose.
The last thing this country needs is two Republican parties.”
Teddy Kennedy, 1980

Visit B4B

Wednesday, January 20, 2010



January 20, 2010

United States Government

Haiti Earthquake Disaster Response Update

On January 12, a massive earthquake struck the nation of Haiti, causing catastrophic damage inside and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince. President Obama has said, “at this moment, we are moving forward with one of the largest relief efforts in our history -- to save lives and to deliver relief that averts an even larger catastrophe. In these difficult hours, America stands united. We stand united with the people of Haiti, who have shown such incredible resilience, and we will help them to recover and to rebuild.”

The United States Government has mobilized resources and people to aid in the relief effort. At the direction of President Obama, this is a whole-of-government effort, and USAID has the lead in this swift, aggressive and coordinated response. Military personnel are playing an indispensable role in supporting this humanitarian effort, including making the logistics chain possible and distributing life-saving assistance. Aid workers are working around the clock to deliver more aid more quickly and more effectively to more people in need.

Below, please find some key facts and examples of government actions to date. All numbers below are accurate as of 2 p.m., Wednesday, January 20.


At the request of the Haitian government, the U.S. continues to coordinate America’s relief efforts with the United Nations and the international community. We are coordinating closely with more than 30 nations and hundreds of NGOs to deliver food and water quickly throughout the country.

· Tuesday evening, the President’s National Security Advisor convened a Principals Committee meeting with the Vice President, Secretaries of State, Defense, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, our Ambassador to the UN, the Administrators of USAID and FEMA, and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to discuss ongoing efforts and coordination.

· Afterwards, Dr. Shah said the meeting was an opportunity “to take stock of the performance and to make sure we were doing everything we possibly could to accelerate our efforts and do even better by reaching more people in Haiti with needed and critical supplies of food, water, shelter, and other critically needed items like medical kids and access to medical services.”

· Secretary Clinton spoke with Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Moreno on January 19 about ongoing relief efforts.


· The USNS Comfort arrived in Haiti today. The Comfort brings a hospital with a capacity for over 1,000 beds on board and has already started to receive patients by helicopter.

· Department of Defense personnel have treated over 200 patients and supported the movement of more than 29,000 lbs of medical supplies to date.

· As of January 20, more than 5,000 patients have been treated by Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) from the Department of Health and Human Services. .


· The airfield is open for 24/7 operations – 153 flights were expected for today. The U.S. was using 38 of those slots.

o U.S. Transportation Command reports that since commencing air operations, a total of 136 missions have been flown that have carried more than 2,400 tons of equipment and more than 1,900 passengers into Haiti.

· U.S. Army/Navy dive teams with underwater construction teams continued to assess port structural damage with the goal of reopening as quickly as possible.

· As of today, there are 20 U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard vessels and 51 helicopters deployed.

· The San Isidro airfield in the Dominican Republic is now open for C-130 operations to assist in the Haiti relief effort.


· The major focus of military efforts is establishing water distribution sites, and delivering fuel, food, and medicine.

· As of January 20, approximately 11,500 military personnel (2,000 ashore and 9,500 afloat) are a part of the relief effort.

o The BATAAN Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG)/22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit with 1,960 Marines and Sailors arrived and began moving forces ashore yesterday. The Marines began relief operations in the vicinity of Leogane.

· The Coast Guard has approximately 516 service members on site assisting with the Haiti recovery effort (24 ashore, 422 afloat, and 70 aircrew). On January 19, Secretary Napolitano authorized the activation of up to 900 reserve U.S. Coast Guard service men and women in to (mission: replace those deployed on the Comfort? And to assist with port security?) .


· Evacuations: The U.S. is conducting evacuations 24 hours a day. 88 American evacuees departed Port-Au-Prince this morning (1/20). On January 19, 1328 were evacuated. To date, more than 6,174 Americans have been evacuated.

· Search and Rescue: On January 19, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams from Virginia Beach and New York rescued two children. And a USAR team from Fairfax worked with locals as well a French USAR team to rescue a female Haitian who had been trapped for seven days without food or water in a supermarket in the Bois Verna neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.

· Currently, 43 international USAR teams, comprised of 1,739 rescue workers, with 161 dogs, are working in Haiti. 6 of those teams are from the United States – with 511 rescue workers from Fairfax County, Los Angeles County, Miami, Miami-Dade, Virginia Beach, and New York.

o To date, U.S. USAR teams have rescued 43 people from collapsed buildings, while international and U.S. USAR teams together have rescued a total of 122 people.


· U.S. military aircraft, helicopters, and vessels are giving the highest priority to the shipment of water.

o 152,000 liters bulk water and more than 165,000 water bottles were delivered yesterday (1/19).

o The USS Carl Vinson is producing 100,000 gallons of potable water daily – 2,000 gallons were distributed yesterday.

o Water tanks are being installed in each zone of the city. Potable water is now available at 45 distribution points.

· There are currently four established food and water distribution hubs and 190 distribution sites active and serving 96,000 people.

· The U.S. Coast Guard has distributed a total of 38.5 tons of water (62,880 bottles ) to date.

· Over the past several days, JTF-Haiti has distributed more than 400,000 meals/humanitarian rations and more than 600,000 bottles of water.

· C-17 air delivery of food and water will resume Thursday (1/21) -- approximately 15,000 water bottles and 14,500 MREs/Humanitarian Rations are slated for delivery.

o The first C-17 air delivery was conducted Monday, consisting of 14,000 1-liter bottles and 14,000 packages of daily rations.

· The vessel Americas departed Port Everglades today with 500,000 MREs, 290,000 liters of drinking water, 8,400 cots, 19,500 blankets, 41,800 tarps, 560 rolls of sheeting, and 70,000 comfort kits provided by FEMA, as well as medical supplies provided by USAID.

· On January 19, two USAID/OFDA funded flights carrying emergency relief supplies arrived in Port-au-Prince. Commodities included:

o 40,200 water containers that provide water for 80,400 people,

o 13,056 hygiene kits, which will serve 65,280 people,

o 200 rolls of plastic sheeting that will provide shelter for 10,000 people,

o 5 U.N. World Health Organization medical kits,

o 8 water bladders,

o 6 water purification units – each unit produces 100,000 liters of water per day and will provide water to a total of 60,000 people,

o 3 industrial air-conditioning units, and

o 1 generator.

· As of January 19, total USAID/OFDA commodities delivered to Port-au-Prince included:

o 9 water treatment units to provide 900,000 liters of safe drinking water for 90,000 individuals per day;

o 71,000 ten-liter water containers to benefit 142,000 people;

o nearly 24,500 hygiene kits to serve more than 121,000 beneficiaries;

o 700 rolls of plastic sheeting to support the shelter needs of approximately 35,000 people;

o 18 water bladders, each with a capacity of 10,000 liters, and

o five U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) medical kits capable of supplying medical supplies for up to 10,000 individuals for a two-month period.


· As Secretary Clinton said today at the State Department, “We are coordinating closely with the Haitian government, the United Nations, our other international partners, and NGOs on the ground to ensure that aid reaches Haiti’s orphanages and that newly orphaned children are accounted for and cared for…We will also do everything we can to reunite the many children and families who have become separated in the aftermath of the earthquake. And this is a crucial point: we have to be very careful not to exacerbate this difficult situation by removing children from Haiti who might have surviving family members. We will not let red tape stand in the way of helping those in need, but we will ensure that international adoption procedures to protect children and families are followed.”

· The State Department is heading up a joint task force with the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to streamline this process and ensure that these families are united as quickly as possible while still ensuring that proper safeguards are in place to protect children in our care.

· An interagency working group has been established to focus on the humanitarian needs of highly vulnerable children. And the Administration is also working closely with the many Members of Congress who are understandably very concerned about this process.


· As of today, in FY 2010, the U.S. Government has provided nearly $171 million in humanitarian assistance for the Haiti earthquake:

o Secretary of Defense Gates signed the Haiti Disaster Relief Execution Order authorizing up to $20 million in humanitarian, disaster and civic aids funds,

o USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) contribution of nearly $82 million,

o USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) assistance valued at $68 million, and

o USAID Dominican Republic (USAID/DR) health assistance valued at $1 million.


We are all deeply affected by the devastation in Haiti. Our common humanity demands that we act, as does America’s leadership and deep ties with Haiti. At the request of President Obama, former Presidents Bush and Clinton are coordinating private assistance and urging Americans to help at

· Funding raised through Text Message Program (keyword "Haiti", and short code number "90999"): $25 million from over 2.5 million people.

· You can also contribute online through

o Text “QUAKE” to 20222 to charge a $10 donation to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (the donation will be added to your cell phone bill).

· Find more ways to help through the Center for International Disaster Information (

Get Information about Friends or Family

· The State Department has set up a web page that will serve as a clearinghouse for information on Haiti:, including a new tool, the “Person Finder,” to allow people to find and share information on missing loved ones in Haiti.

· The State Department Operations Center has set up the following phone number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747 (due to heavy volume, some callers may receive a recording). You can also send an email to the State Department. Please be aware that communications within Haiti are very difficult at this time.

· The State Department has also partnered with the tech community to launch a free SMS relief information service to help people in Haiti. The text message program allows people with service from Digetel and Voila to text their location and needs to a free short code: "4636." Since the initiative was launched on January 18, NGO partners have received over 2,000 messages, including on food distribution, missing persons, water.

· — The White House website continues to serve as a focal point for information for about the relief effort, including accounting for family and friends in Haiti and contributing to the relief effort.

B4B NOTE: Although the UN coordination has been less than sufficient, President Obama has certainly been busy working toward saving the victims of the horrific catastrophe. It was also reported that The Obamas donated $15,000 of personal money to aid Haiti.

Visit B4B Site