Thursday, July 28, 2011

House Democratic Leaders to President:

Use The 14th Amendment

(HuffPo) WASHINGTON -- House Democratic leaders emerged from a Wednesday Caucus meeting with a message for President Barack Obama: Invoke the Constitution to resolve the debt standoff.

If Congress can't reach a deal on a long-term debt limit increase by August 2, Obama should "sign an executive order invoking the 14th Amendment," said Assistant Minority Leader James Cyburn (D-S.C.).

"I am convinced that whatever discussions about the legality of that can continue," Clyburn said. "But I believe that something like this will bring calm to the American people and will bring needed stability to our financial markets."

House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) acknowledged that Obama has previously expressed doubts about his legal authority to unilaterally raise the debt limit. But circumstances have changed, Larson said, and "we just want to let him know that his Caucus is prepared to stand behind him" if Congress fails to pass a long-term deal.

"We have to have a fail-safe mechanism," Larson said. "We believe that fail-safe mechanism is the 14th Amendment and the president of the United States."

Section 4 of the 14th Amendment states: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” Essentially, Democrats are arguing that since the "public debt" cannot be questioned, then the debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.

Democratic Senators have been eying this option since late June. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), an attorney, predicted at that time the the constitutional option may get "a pretty strong second look as a way of saying, 'Is there some way to save us from ourselves?' (read rest of article)

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

President Addresses Nation
Regarding Debt C
eiling StalemateWith eight days until our nation faces an unprecedented financial crisis, the President addressed the nation on the consequences the stalemate in Congress could have on the stability of our economy.

Here are some key passages from his remarks

The debate right now isn’t about whether we need to make tough choices. Democrats and Republicans agree on the amount of deficit reduction we need. The debate is about how it should be done. Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask a corporate jet owner or the oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get. How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries? How can we slash funding for education and clean energy before we ask people like me to give up tax breaks we don’t need and didn’t ask for?

He also warned that we could be facing a "deep economic crisis"

Republican House members have essentially said that the only way they’ll vote to prevent America’s first-ever default is if the rest of us agree to their deep, spending cuts-only approach.

If that happens, and we default, we would not have enough money to pay all of our bills – bills that include monthly Social Security checks, veterans’ benefits, and the government contracts we’ve signed with thousands of businesses.

For the first time in history, our country’s Triple A credit rating would be downgraded, leaving investors around the world to wonder whether the United States is still a good bet. Interest rates would skyrocket on credit cards, on mortgages and on car loans, which amounts to a huge tax hike on the American people. We would risk sparking a deep economic crisis – this one caused almost entirely by Washington.

The President stressed the need for a bipartisan solution and reminded Washington that compromise is not "a dirty word." He spoke to the frustrations ordinary Americans feel with the political process.

They’re fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word. They work all day long, many of them scraping by, just to put food on the table. And when these Americans come home at night, bone-tired, and turn on the news, all they see is the same partisan three-ring circus here in Washington. They see leaders who can’t seem to come together and do what it takes to make life just a little bit better for ordinary Americans. They are offended by that. And they should be.

He also reminded Americans that history celebrates leaders who "put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union."

We remember the Americans who put country above self, and set personal grievances aside for the greater good. We remember the Americans who held this country together during its most difficult hours; who put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union.

That’s who we remember. That’s who we need to be right now. The entire world is watching. So let’s seize this moment to show why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth – not just because we can still keep our word and meet our obligations, but because we can still come together as one nation.

WATCH: President Addresses Nation

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Friday, July 15, 2011

President Obama Stresses Debt Urgency

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Friday Congress has a "unique opportunity to do something big" and stabilize the U.S. economy for decades by cutting deficits even as it raises the national debt limit ahead of a critical Aug. 2 deadline. But, he declared, "We're running out of time."

Obama said he was ready to make tough decisions — such as on Medicare costs — and challenged Republicans to do the same. He attempted to turn the Republicans' opposition to any tax increases back against them, warning starkly that failure to raise the debt ceiling would mean "effectively a tax increase for everybody" if the government defaults, sending up interest rates.

Still, Obama said that "it's hard to do a big package" in deadlocked Washington, acknowledging Republicans are opposed to any new tax revenue as part of a deficit-cutting deal.

"If they show me a serious plan I'm ready to move," he said.

The president spoke at the White House Friday after five days straight of meetings with congressional leaders failed to yield compromise, and amid increasingly urgent warnings from credit agencies and the financial sector about the risks of failing to raise the government's borrowing limit.

Administration officials and private economists say that if the U.S. fails to raise its borrowing limit and begins to stop paying its bills as a result, the fragile U.S. economy could be cast into a crisis that would reverberate around the globe. Democratic and Republican congressional leaders agree on the need to avert that outcome, but that hasn't been enough to get Republicans to agree to the tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy sought by Obama — or to convince Obama and Democrats to sign onto the steep entitlement cuts without new revenue that Republicans favor.

The president spoke at his third news conference in two weeks on an issue that is increasingly consuming Washington and his presidency.

The president said he was ready to make tough decisions such as restructuring Medicare so that very wealthy recipients would have to pay slightly more. He said he had stressed to Republicans that anything they looked at should not affect current beneficiaries, and he said providers such as drug companies could be targeted for cuts.

On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans in the House emerged from closed-door meetings to reiterate their hardened stances. Republicans announced plans to call a vote next week on a balanced budget constitutional amendment that would force the government to balance its books.

Obama dismissed the idea, saying, "We don't need a constitutional amendment to do that. What we need to do is do our jobs."

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Obama Administration Launches

" Strong Cities, Strong Communities "

New Initiative to Support Local Economic Growth

By Althea Dixon

Blacks4Barack Org.

White House Correspondent

Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes said that after listening to the feedback from leaders across the country, the Administration came up with a plan to partner with the leaders to build Strong Cities, Strong Communities!

This is an innovative pilot project designed to help stimulate and strengthen economic growth on the local level by eliminating red tape and the usual barriers with a more effective use of federal resources.

Communities around the nation will be eligible to compete for grant monies that are designed to perk up local community economic planning that will be innovative in stimulating empowerment, vision and participation of citizens in the well fare and development of the areas where they live.

Strong Cities Strong Communities (SC2) channels the resources of the federal government to help empower cities with their local aspirations to strengthen their neighborhoods by using these strategic methods:

Providing assistance and support – working with local communities to find ground up, not top down solutions:

Providing on the ground technical assistance and planning resources tailored to local governments’ needs and helping them use the federal funds they already receive more efficiently and effectively; and Partnering for growth:

Developing critical partnerships with key local and regional stakeholders that encompass not only municipal and state governments, but also new partnerships with the business community, non-profits, anchor institutions, faith-based institutions, and other public, private, and philanthropic leaders.

There are four components to the SC2 Pilot: Community assistance teams that will work directly with cities to support mayors in selected cities around the nation. SC2 Fellowship Program will train, select and place those that will assist with implementation. SC2 Planning Challenge to help additional cities develop economic blueprints to be able to take advantage of the grant competition opportunities.

SC2 pilot cities were selected on the basis of economic need, strong local leadership and collaboration, potential for economic growth, geographic diversity, and the ability to test the SC2 model across a range of environments. Federal assessment teams spent time on the ground working directly with mayors and other local officials to determine needs, opportunities and gather input for the pilot initiative.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Time to remind the Repubs of their midterm promise by asking loudly....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

President Extends Foreclosure

Programs for Unemployed

From Bloomberg:

Unemployed homeowners with mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration or participating in a federal foreclosure prevention program will be given up to a year of forbearance on mortgage payments, the Obama Administration announced today.

Banks must increase the amount of time delinquent homeowners who are looking for work can gain relief from paying their mortgage from three or four months to at least 12 months, U.S. housing regulators said. Unemployment is a top reason borrowers fall into arrears.

A few months is “inadequate for the majority of unemployed borrowers,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said. Sixty percent of the unemployed have been out of work for more than three months and 45 percent have been out of work for more than six, he said in a written statement.

The new rules apply to lenders who sell FHA-guaranteed mortgages and servicers participating in the administration’s Making Home Affordable foreclosure-prevention program.

The unpaid payments are added to the cost of the loan and must be repaid with interest.

Donovan said he hoped the announcement would prompt all loan servicers, including government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to extend longer forbearance to the unemployed. “Our hope is that this will have broader effects,” Donovan said in a conference call.

“What we’re trying to do here is set the right standard,” Treasury Assistant Secretary Tim Massad said on the call.

President Barack Obama yesterday said the administration is putting pressure on banks to modify more loans.

“The continuing decline in the housing market is something that hasn’t bottomed out as quickly as we expected, and so that’s continued to be a big drag on the economy,” Obama said during a Twitter town hall forum.

The Labor Department today reported that initial jobless claims fell by 14,000 to 418,000 in the week ended July 2.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Tom Joyner Finally Realizes Tavis Smiley and Cornell West are Nothing But OBAMA HATERS !

My New D-Word for Tavis and Cornel

By: Tom Joyner

Before I get to Mark Halperin, let me give you a little background.

They say that if you’re angry with someone, you should write a letter, get all the mean stuff out, and then tear it up or delete it. When you’re a little more calm, you write another letter or confront the person face to face.

About a month ago, I wrote a blog about Tavis Smiley and decided to table it because I said some things I didn’t want to publish. You’re probably thinking I went too hard him, but no. In reality, I hadn’t gone hard enough - and I knew it. I said I

’d wait until something pissed me off so bad that I would have the words harsh enough to express what I was really feeling about him and his side piece - I mean side kick - Cornel West.

Well, yesterday, when Mark Halperin - a well-respected journalist, employed by a well-respected magazine and a contributor to a well-respected news network - had the audacity to call the president of the United States a dick, that was all I needed.

While I am appalled at Halperin’s statement, I hav

e no expectations of him as a man and know nothing about his character. I am appalled, however, that as editor-at-large of Time magazine, he is responsible for among other things, deciding what stories will be covered in that publication. As the person in charge of political content, it is upsetting to know that he probably has not been objective in his dealings with material I and so many people look forward to (until now) reading each week. Needless to say, I’ve cancelled my subscription to Time magazine and hope you will too.

But I’m even more disgusted with Smiley and West, two brothers who I did have expectations of - and thought I knew. These two have done much worse than what Halperin has done because they set the tone for it, opened the door to it, and must take much of the blame for creating a climate that would make a white, professional journalist feel comfortable verbally and vulgarly attacking the first black president of the United States.

When you think you know a person, when you’ve given a person a forum to present his views, when you’ve had a hand in a person’s success, you want to believe that he is the same person he always was.

Remember THAT Tavis - the one who could take any complicated political story that had an impact on black America and “break it down” for us every Tuesday and Thursday in less than five minutes. The one who coined the phrase "radio advocacy" and alerted us any time anyone - from a private business owner to a politician to a corporate giant - even thought about doing black folks wrong. The Tavis that loved black people so much that he would sometimes, during his commentaries, be moved to tears. Where is that guy? You know, the guy that would have been telling me, "Fly Jock, Halperin has got to go." For a while, I thought he was still with us, even though people around me (and many of you) tried to convince me otherwise. “Tavis is a hater." "Tavis is only about himself." "Tavis is jealous of the president." I wouldn’t believe any of it. I had so much respect for him before his primary goal became selling books, and, later, selling out.

As we approach the Fourth of July weekend, one that celebrates our freedoms, including freedom of speech, I wish someone would use that as a defense of what Tavis, Cornel and Mark Halperin have said against our president. When dangerous words incite and brew up hatred and violence, there is a line. And these three crossed it.

In case you believe I think Tavis and Cornel called the president an offensive name, I don’t. I think they did something even worse. Any black people with any sense know that racists on the job, at school, at church or on the bus wait for opportunities to feel comfortable enough to spew their evil thoughts. If a black person tells a racist joke in front of a racist or laughs at one, it won’t be long before the racist begins to fire off a couple of his own. Mark Halperin and others are no different. They hate the president because he is black, and Tavis and Cornel, by not having the sense to not give them the opening they waited for, went all in. And this is what we get.

So, yes, MSNBC, fire Mark Halperin. I hope he never works again. I’ve already fired Tavis and Cornel. There’s nothing either can ever do for me or with me again.

I’ve got a new D-word for the two of them: Done.

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Friday, July 1, 2011

President to Hold First

Twitter Town Hall July 6th


Office of the Press Secretary


July 1, 2011

President Obama to Participate in the First Ever Twitter Town Hall at the White House

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama will participate in the first ever Twitter Town Hall at the White House on Wednesday, July 6 in the East Room. Twitter co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey will moderate a conversation between President Obama and Americans across the country about the economy and jobs.

Twitter users can submit questions using the hashtag #AskObama. More information from Twitter can be found at the event’s homepage:


2:00 PM ET

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