Thursday, June 23, 2011

President Outlines Way Forward
in Afghanistan

President Obama addressed the nation from the East Room of the White House about the way forward in Afghanistan and his plan to remove 10,000 American troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and a total of 33,000 by next summer.

The President reflected on the difficult decision he made in December of 2009 to order 30,000 additional troops into Afghanistan, and keeping his commitment to begin the drawdown of troops this summer:

WATCH: President's Afghan Speech

To put this important decision in a larger context, Vice President Joe Biden took a few minutes to share his thoughts about the promises this Administration has made – and kept – when it comes to the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, and our commitment to defeat al Qaeda:

WATCH: V.P. Biden Discusses Promises Kept re: Afghanistan

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

JOHANNESBURG – A healthy-looking Nelson Mandela met with Michelle Obama and her daughters on Tuesday, an unexpected encounter between the first lady and the former South African president and anti-apartheid icon who has largely retired from public life.

A photo provided by the Nelson Mandela Foundation showed the 92-year-old Mandela sitting on a couch next to Mrs. Obama, pen in hand to sign an advance copy of his new book, "Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorized Quotations Book." Mandela was wearing one of his trademark shirts, richly patterned and buttoned at the neck.

Mrs. Obama, daughters Malia, 12, and Sasha, 10, and her mother, Marian Robinson, were viewing some of Mandela's personal papers at his foundation when he sent word that he wanted to meet them at his home in a leafy Johannesburg neighborhood. It was the first meeting between America's first black first lady and the political prisoner who later became his country's first black president

Mrs. Obama's family spent about 20 minutes with Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, who is a former first lady of Mozambique.

Mrs. Obama's niece and nephew, Leslie Robinson, 15, and Avery Robinson, 19, who are traveling with her, were also invited to meet Mandela.

White House officials had no immediate comment on the meeting. No aides were present for the meeting, except for one photographer each from the foundation and the White House who were allowed in to take photos at the beginning.

Mandela, who stepped down in 1999 after serving one term as president, is rarely seen in public anymore. At age 92, he is in fragile health and was briefly hospitalized in January with an acute respiratory infection. His condition has been steadily improving and he apparently felt well enough Tuesday to invite the Obama family to visit.

Mrs. Obama is traveling without President Barack Obama, who met Mandela in Washington in 2005 when he was a U.S. senator. Obama and Mandela have spoken by telephone several times since Obama took office, most recently last June, the White House said. The president also wrote a foreword for Mandela's book, "Conversations with Myself."

Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his role in the movement against apartheid, South Africa's now-abolished system of racial separation.

Mrs. Obama began a weeklong goodwill visit to South Africa and Botswana on Monday.

Earlier Tuesday, the first lady met with Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, a wife of South African President Jacob Zuma, who has three of them. She and her family also read Dr. Seuss' "The Cat in the Hat" and danced with youngsters at a day care center in a Johannesburg shantytown before ending the day with a largely private tour of the Apartheid Museum.

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Monday, June 20, 2011


aka...How President Obama Will LOSE
if We Don't WAKE UP !

It is of vital importance that we are all aware of the need to win key states in order to secure the re-election of President Obama. Below is an article that explains the importance of various states which is information for all to be aware of. If we Dems do not Unite and get Fired Up NOW....based on the Electoral College Map....even Rush Limbaugh could defeat President Obama. The Time is Wake Up....Unite....and Get Fired Up !!!

CHICAGO -- Republicans hope voters' fears about jobs and the economy will help them reclaim a handful of Mountain West and Southern states that were crucial to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential win.

Obama's campaign appears just as determined to hold those states next year and force Republicans to spend precious resources defending places they'd like to consider safe.

Every four years, political operatives fixate on the dozen or so states that always decide close presidential elections.

This time, Obama hopes to play on as big an Electoral College map as possible, and his team insists it will compete for the first time in traditionally solid Republican states like Georgia and Arizona. Republicans, conversely, want a compact map, hoping for wins in big, always-contested states such as Florida and Ohio, which were key to George W. Bush's victories in 2000 and 2004.

It takes 270 electoral votes to win the White House.

Obama won it in 2008 partly by prevailing in states such as Virginia and Indiana that had not voted for a Democratic presidential nominee in decades.

But with unemployment now at 9.1 percent, and the economic recovery slowed, many Republicans argue that Obama's chances are notably worse in those states, as well as others in the vote-rich, economically struggling Midwest. They say they can win some, if not all, of three crucial battleground states – Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania – along with some smaller states that Obama carried, including New Mexico, Nevada and Iowa. Republicans thrived in all those states in the 2010 midterm elections, and GOP strategists hope the momentum will carry into next year, thwarting Obama.

"The map is very difficult for him," said Rick Wiley, political director of the Republican National Committee.

Obama's campaign sees it differently.

"We are going to take the old map and expand it," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in an interview at his office in Chicago. He argues that demographic trends are moving in Democrats' direction in several states, which could help them hold Virginia and North Carolina and possibly win Georgia and Arizona.

"Changes in the composition of the electorate" make the states attractive, said David Axelrod, Obama's top political adviser.

The president carried North Carolina and Virginia in 2008 thanks largely to black voters, Latinos, college-educated workers and non-natives who are more open to Democrats than are many Southern-born whites. Those population groups are expanding in the two states, his backers say. The same is true in Georgia, a GOP-controlled state that hasn't been strongly contested in many years.

Obama insiders say he could have won Arizona in 2008 if John McCain, the state's senior senator, had not been the GOP nominee. They argue that with Arizona's Hispanic population still growing, Obama's chances are better this time because that group leans toward Democrats.

Many Republicans scoff at such talk. But they have their own problems, starting with the task of taking back most or all of the nine swing-voting states that Obama won in 2008 and that Democrat John Kerry lost in 2004: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

"There are a million different maps," Wiley said. But the GOP's priorities start with those nine "top tier" states.

To oust Obama, the Republicans don't need to win all nine.

If Obama keeps his grip on the Western states of Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico, and the Republican nominee wins the other six of the nine swing states, the GOP would reclaim the White House with 271 electoral votes. That's assuming other states vote the same as in 2008.

Obama's situation becomes more perilous if he loses a state that Democrats have won for several elections, although often narrowly. That might include Pennsylvania, Michigan or Wisconsin, a state that Democrats took by a whisker in 2000 and 2004. Obama handily won it in 2008.

Republican governors replaced Democrats last year in all those states, along with Iowa, New Mexico and Ohio.

In these battlegrounds with newly elected Republican governors, Wiley said, "you have that infrastructure that doesn't get dismantled, and it's a huge, huge advantage" to the 2012 GOP presidential nominee.

Not so, Democrats say.

New GOP governors such as Scott Walker in Wisconsin, John Kasich in Ohio and Rick Scott in Florida have clashed bitterly with various groups, especially unions. The result could be a fired-up Democratic base turning out heavily for Obama.

Top Democrats say it's unlikely that Obama will lose Pennsylvania, which always draws huge attention but has voted Democratic in the last five presidential elections.

Privately, those close to Obama worry more about Ohio, which has 18 electoral votes. Its unemployment rate, 8.6 percent, is slightly below the national average. But its population growth is almost flat, and it doesn't have the large numbers of unregistered minorities and young adults that the Obama campaign is targeting in other states.

No Republican has been elected president without carrying Ohio.

Of the nine targeted states that Kerry lost, Obama needs to hold only Ohio and one small state – say, Nevada or Iowa – to win re-election, assuming the other states vote the same as in 2008.

Florida, with 29 electoral votes, is even more vital.

If Obama holds no other state but Florida among the top-tier nine, he wins a second term.

Aubrey Jewett, a University of Central Florida political scientist, said the Sunshine State seems destined to play its toss-up role again.

"The economy is still not doing well here," Jewett said, "and Obama is not very popular." But Scott, the new Republican governor, "is extremely unpopular right now," he said, and that could undo the GOP presidential nominee in a razor-thin race.

Finally, several plausible map scenarios would leave the 2012 presidential nominees in a 269-269 electoral tie. That would hand the decision to the U.S. House, where Republicans expect to hold their majority even if they suffer some losses.



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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

President Obama Presented Ideas to Accelerate Job Growth and America’s Competitiveness at Jobs Council Meeting

Today, President Obama traveled to Durham, NC to meet with the Jobs and Competitiveness Council at the corporate and U.S. manufacturing headquarters of Cree, a leading manufacturer of energy efficient LED lighting. While at Cree, the President toured the company’s LED lighting product assembly facility, met with the Jobs Council and delivered remarks to Cree employees, Jobs Council members, local business owners and representatives from nearby engineering colleges and universities.

The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness is led by GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt and is composed of representatives from various sectors of the economy andleaders in diverse industries -- people running large and small companies that represent millions of Americans helping the economy run every single day. The Jobs Council held their first meeting at the White House on February 24, 2011. At that time the Council committed to holding their second meeting outside of Washington, DC. Cree’s facility, located in the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park area, was selected to hold the second meeting.

President Obama Tours Cree, Inc in Durham, N.C.

President Barack Obama tours the manufacturing facilities at Cree, Inc., a leading manufacturer of energy efficient LED lighting, in Durham, N.C. June 13, 2011. With the Presient are: Chuck Swoboda, Chairman and CEO of Cree, Inc., left, and Matthew Rose, Chairman and CEO, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, right. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

In his remarks today, the President commended Cree for exemplifying the potential of American innovation, manufacturing and advanced technology:

Today the small business that a group of N.C. State engineering students founded almost 25 years ago is a global company. It’s got 5,000 employees. Next month, your new production line will begin running 24/7. And soon you’ll add another 400,000 square feet of space on a new site next door. So you’re helping to lead a clean energy revolution. You’re helping lead the comeback of American manufacturing. This is a company where the future will be won.

He also discussed the role of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and detailed some of the recommendations to address short-term, medium-term and long term economic growth and job creation that they presented to him today:

And today, with the leadership of the Jobs Council, we’re announcing an all-hands-on-deck strategy to train 10,000 new American engineers every year. So -- and by the way, our Jobs Council, led by Jeff Immelt, they’re doing this not counting on a whole bunch of federal funding. Private sector companies are teaming up to help us promote STEM education, to offer students incentives to finish those degrees, and then to help universities fund those programs. They’re going to double their summer internship hiring.

We’re talking about companies like Intel, whose CEO Paul Otellini is here today. And Paul is heading up our task force for the Jobs Council in helping to figure this out, because he understands Intel’s survival depends on our ability to get a steady stream of engineers. I’ve been, by the way, to the Intel plant out in Oregon. It is unbelievable. It’s out of -- something out of science fiction. And I pretended like I understood what they were saying the whole time.

But that’s what’s going to drive our competitiveness in the future. We know that if we’re going to maintain our leadership in technology and innovation, our best companies need the world’s brightest workers –- American workers.

Now, that brings me to a second idea that we discussed backstage. At Cree, you’re putting people back to work in a field that has the potential to create an untold number of new jobs and new businesses right here in America -– and that’s clean energy. And my administration has invested heavily in clean energy manufacturing, because I want to see the LEDs and solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars of tomorrow made right here in the U.S of A. I want them made right here. (Read rest of article)

B4B NOTE: As President Obama works to accelerate Job Growth....Time to Ask the GOP....


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Vice President Biden to Take the Bite
Out of the Crime of Government Waste

By Althea Dixon
WH Correspondent

As the New Sheriff in Town by Executive Order VP Joe Biden was appointed by President Barack H. Obama as Sheriff Joe! "President Obama asked me to head up the Campaign to Cut Waste—a new effort to root out wasteful spending at every agency and department in the Federal Government.

According to WH officials, Biden is assigned to hunt down miss-spent dollars, he will shine a light on fraud which accounts for billions of taxpayers dollars being wasted by government useless and unaccounted for over-spending everyday. "This kind of waste is just unacceptable. Particularly at a time when we’re facing tough decisions about reducing our deficit, it's a no-brainer to stop spending taxpayer dollars on things that benefit nobody. " said Biden.

Biden with the help of a new Government Accountability and Transparency Board, which by the way, will be a group composed of independent inspectors general and high-level agency officials who he will personally assign and whose primary duty is to help him root out waste, fraud and abuse across the government. Thus ensuring that the citizens tax dollars are being spent on things that matter, like investments in education, innovation and improving the country's infrastructure.

"So, folks, we’re changing the way your government does business (and spends your hard-earned tax dollars), and I think you’re going to like the results." ~Vice President "Sheriff" Joe Biden.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

WATCH: President's Weekly Address
Partnering with the Private Sector
to Spur Hiring

WASHINGTON – In his weekly address, President Obama spoke to the American people about how the government is partnering with the private sector to make sure workers have the skills and training they need in this economy. This past Wednesday, he announced commitments by the private sector, colleges, and the National Association of Manufacturers that will make it possible for half a million community college students to get a manufacturing credential that has the industry’s stamp of approval. And on Monday, he will travel to North Carolina to meet with his Jobs Council to work on the steps the government can take to spur private sector hiring in the short-term and ensure our workers have the skills and training they need.


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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pathetic !
Ohio Among Other Republican Controlled States Fighting to DECREASE MINIMUM WAGE !

By Travis Waldron

Ohio is one of 17 states that require workers to be paid above the minimum wage mandated by federal law. But Ohio Senate Republicans are working to limit the number of people eligible to earn that wage, attaching an amendment to an omnibus budget bill that would circumvent the law and prevent an untold number of workers from collecting the state-mandated minimum wage.

In 2006, Ohio voters approved an amendment to the state constitution setting the state’s minimum wage at $6.85 an hour with a built-in increase attached to inflation each year. The current minimum wage in Ohio increased to $7.40 an hour this year, $0.15 higher than the $7.25 an hour required by federal law.

The amendment by state Senate Republicans would reduce the number of workers eligible for the state minimum wage, making only those covered by the looser federal law eligible to earn Ohio’s minimum wage:

(Image courtesy of Plunderbund)

The Legislative Service Commission, which evaluates legislation in Ohio, said the amendment “may result in fewer individuals subject to the minimum wage.”

As Plunderbund notes, Ohio Republicans, led by Gov. John Kasich (R), are already facing the remarkable unpopularity of Senate Bill 5, which rolls back collective bargaining rights for public employees, including police officers and firefighters. Now they have chosen to further their attacks on workers by targeting a law that was approved by voters in a referendum just five years ago.

But the attack on minimum wage laws is hardly unique to Ohio.

Since it became law, Republican lawmakers have waged various attacks on federal minimum wage legislation, falsely attacking it as a burden on small businesses and saying it stunts job creation, despite a lack of evidence on back up those claims. One of the Senate’s biggest critics of the minimum wage was former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), who is currently contemplating a run for president. And in 2007, Senate Republicans demanded that any increase in the minimum wage be accompanied by a tax cut for small businesses. They were successful, and increased the minimum wage to its current amount of $7.25 by offsetting the increase with $4.8 billion in small business tax breaks

Other conservatives have included the minimum wage among the many federal programs they view as unconstitutional overreaches into state’s rights, similar to federal child labor laws and federal safety standards.

Meanwhile, a recent study from Michigan showed that a worker making the minimum wage does not earn enough each week to support him or herself. According to the report, in Michigan, where the minimum wage is also $7.40, a single worker with no children would need to make more than $12 an hour to cover basic food, shelter, clothing, and transportation costs. A single mother with two children, meanwhile, would need to make $24.49 an hour — more than three times the minimum wage — to support herself and her family.

But ANOTHER Reason We


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