Tuesday, May 31, 2011

GREAT news for people with pre-existing conditions !
As the GOP works diligently to decrease/take away life sustaining health care coverage for all including seniors....The President is working diligently for close to 40% REDUCTION in rates !
Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan
to Offer Much Lower Premiums

WASHINGTON -- The government announced Tuesday that it will lower premiums and ease eligibility requirements for its fledgling health insurance program for people shut out from the private health insurance market because of pre-existing conditions. Premiums will fall by as much as 40 percent in some states.

The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, run by the Department of Health and Human Services in 23 states and by state governments in the rest, offers relatively affordable coverage for people who've been uninsured for at least six months because of conditions like diabetes or heart disease. The plan launched last summer as one of the first components of the health care reform signed into law by President Obama in March 2010.

"This program changes lives, and in many cases saves lives," HHS director Kathleen Sebelius said on a Tuesday conference call with reporters.

Yet only 18,000 Americans have signed up for the PCIP. Officials initially said it would reach hundreds of thousands by the time the program is phased out in 2014, when it will become illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against the sick.

To boost enrollment, Sebelius said monthly premiums, which vary by age and region, will drop in 17 of the states where HHS runs the program starting in July. In Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia, premiums will plummet by 40 percent. Come July, people older than 55 who enroll in the Virginia PCIP's standard plan will have to pay $297 a month, a steep drop from the current $498 monthly premium.

Sebelius also said PCIP applicants will no longer have to brandish rejection letters from insurance companies to prove they have pre-existing conditions. Instead, a doctor's note will suffice.

It's not clear if any changes will occur in states where the federal government doesn't administer the program. Richard Popper, director of the HHS Office of Insurance Programs, noted that the HHS would be "issuing a guidance letter to all the 27 state-run PCIPs encouraging them to take a look at the premiums that they charge and the benefit packages, as well as the eligibility rules, allowing them to consider making adjustments similar to what we’re doing in the federally-run pool." (read rest of article)

There IS a HUGE Difference !
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Monday, May 30, 2011


President Honors
" America's guardi
ans "


ARLINGTON, Va. - President Barack Obama honored America's fallen service members, and called on Americans to remember their sacrifice.

In a Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery Monday, Mr. Obama expressed the honor and solemn responsibility he feels serving as commander in chief of "one of the finest fighting forces the world has ever known."

He paid tribute to service members who lost their lives in service: "Venerable warriors who lay here and across this country and around the globe. Each of them adds honor to what it means to be a soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and Coast Guardsman. Each is a link in an unbroken chain that stretches back to the earliest days of our republic.

"And on this day, we memorialize them all. We memorialize our first patriots, blacksmiths, farmers, slaves and freed men who never knew the independence they won with their lives. We memorialize the armies of men - and women disguised as men - black and white, who fell in apple orchards and corn fields in a war that saved our union. ...

"The patriots we memorialize today sacrificed not only all they had but all they would ever know. They gave of themselves until they had nothing more to give. It's natural when we lose someone we care about to ask why it had to be them. 'Why my son? Why my sister? Why my friend? Why not me?' These are questions that cannot be answered by us.

"But on this day we remember that it is on our behalf that they gave their lives. We remember it is their courage, their unselfishness, their devotion to duty that has sustained this country through all its trials, and will sustain it through all the trials to come.

"We remember that the blessings we enjoy as Americans came at a dear cost. Our presence in a free society bears testimony to their enduring legacy. Our nation owes a debt to its fallen heroes that we can never fully repay. But we can honor their sacrifice, and we must. We must honor it in our own lives by holding their memories close to our hearts, and heeding the example they set.

"And we must honor it as a nation by keeping our sacred trust with all who wear America's uniform and the families who love them - by never giving up the search for those who have gone missing under our country's flag or held as prisoners of war, by serving our patriots as well as they serve us, from the moment they enter the military to the moment they leave it, to the moment they are laid to rest. That is how we can honor the sacrifice of those we've lost. That is our obligation to American's guardians."

Earlier, the president laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

The ceremonies also include a U.S. Marine Band concert at the Memorial Amphitheater. (Read more)

We Salute Our Heroes

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Our 1st Lady 'Wows' UK in White

WATCH: President's Speech at UK state dinner

LONDON -- Queen Elizabeth II has used her speech at a state dinner honoring Barack and Michelle Obama to celebrate common bonds between the United States and Britain that she says go beyond military and diplomatic ties.

The queen opened the lavish state dinner at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday by recalling fond memories of her earlier meetings with the Obamas. And she said that the U.S. and Britain in most cases see world problems in the same light.

The queen said the U.S.-U.K relationship is – in her words – "tried, tested and, yes, special."

So Proud of Our President
and 1st Lady

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

WATCH: President's Weekly Address

President Calls on Congress to

Having just given the commencement address at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, which has made inspiring progress in recent years, the President says Congress must reform No Child Left Behind to help all our schools thrive.

WATCH: Reforming " No Child Left Behind " this year

We have one
BUSY President !

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Regarding the Jealous, Destructive, Ignorance of Cornel West, Tavis Smiley and Others

By Greg Jones

National Director

Blacks4Barack Org.

Our biggest foe moving ahead is not the right-wing nor the Tea Baggers. Our biggest battle will be from the folks supposedly on our side who love to preface their statements with " I supported Obama....BUT...." This includes the pro-lefties....the whacky so-called Progressives (many of whom generate donations through being anti-Obama)...then there's the 'super Blacks' like Cornel West, Tavis Smiley and others...all of whom feel a need to 'teach Obama a lesson' through their whining and de-energizing of support. In the November midterms we should have learned the power of de-energizing, as we experienced the biggest beat-down in modern day political history....NOT because the Right ran such competent campaigns....but simply because Dems DID NOT show up to vote. As some justify the ignorance and self-destructiveness of these types....while labeling others as uninformed...please be aware that in 2012 there are a number of Senate seats up for grabs. With the already announced retirements of a number of Dem Senators, combined with the possible Dem de-energizing from the self-destructives like West, whacky Progressives and the like...the FACT is....we could definitely lose the Senate in 2012 (just as we lost the House and multiple states in the midterms). And I must also remind all that the loss of many states like Ohio and others will make winning the Presidential re-election a major uphill battle regardless who or how incompetent the republican candidate is...due to the electoral map (votes)....therefore ALL self-destructive, de-energizing, ignorant rhetoric needs to be addressed, labeled as such and SHUT DOWN.....or we could all wake up....in shock...the day after the next election saying in unison.....How'd THAT happen ? The Time is NOW....to WAKE UP !

Also....if all of these 'super Blacks' were actually sincere about seeing the needs of Black America being addressed (which there are many)...they would be (and would have ALWAYS been) focusing their attention/efforts to the Congressional Black Caucus, which is the group of Black politicians in D.C. created over 40 years ago under the auspices that THEY would create legislation needed to address Black needs. But what exactly have THEY done ? Absolutely NOTHING ! Since we did not elect a dictator, it is important to remember that true change comes through the legislative process, meaning Congresspeople and Senators drafting and passing bills that address our needs and concerns. The President DOES NOT write legislation....he simply passes or vetoes bills already passed by the Congress. So MOST times when we hear the whiny phrase...." Obama should...."....the FACT is....9 times out of 10....OBAMA CAN'T ! That's NOT how the process works (civics 101). So for those who ARE sincere and DO want to see TRUE changes implemented for a Better Tomorrow for ALL...time to place your focus on the correct target....which is the legislators....the Senators/Congresspeople....the CBC (for Black issues). In other words....West, Smiley, Pro-lefties, whacky 're'-gressives and company should ALL place the blame where the blame is truly due...because when they don't....they simply expose themselves as ignorant to the process (of which we'll gladly help to educate them) or just another Obama-hater...of which they WILL be exposed.

The Way to Combat Ignorance

is Through UNITY !

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President Lays Out Vision for Middle East

Includes Israel Returning



Office of the Press Secretary


May 19, 2011

FACT SHEET: “A Moment of Opportunity” in the Middle East and North Africa

“So we face an historic opportunity. We have embraced the chance to show that America values the dignity of the street vendor in Tunisia more than the raw power of the dictator. There must be no doubt that the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination and opportunity. Yes, there will be perils that accompany this moment of promise. But after decades of accepting the world as it is in the region, we have a chance to pursue the world as it should be.”

President Barack Obama

May 19, 2011 Washington, DC

Today, recognizing the irreversible changes that have taken place in the Middle East and North Africa in recent months, President Obama announced a new approach to promoting democratic reform, economic development, and peace and security across the region.

Aligning Our Interests and Our Values: The President reaffirmed his commitment to a set of core principles that have guided the U.S. response to events in the Middle East and North Africa for the past six months. First, the United States opposes the use of violence and repression against the people of the region. Second, we support a set of universal rights including free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly and association; equality for men and women under the rule of law; the right to practice your religion without fear of violence or discrimination; and the right to choose your own leaders through democratic elections. Third, we support political and economic change in the Middle East and North Africa that can meet the legitimate aspirations of the people throughout the region.

Our support for these principles is a top priority and central to the pursuit of other interests in the region. The U.S. will marshal all our diplomatic, economic, and strategic tools to support these principles. The status quo is not fair, nor stable. And it can no longer secure the core interests of the United States. Ultimately, our values and our interests will be better advanced by a region that is more democratic and prosperous.

Promoting Democratic Reform: It will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region and to support transitions to democracy. Real and durable democratic change in Tunisia and Egypt could have a transformative effect on the region and beyond. We will support free and fair elections, a vibrant civil society, basic rights to speak your mind and access information, and strong democratic institutions in both nations. We will empower women as drivers of peace and prosperity, supporting their right to run for office and meaningfully participate in decision-making because, around the world, history shows that countries are more prosperous and peaceful when women are more empowered. And we will deliver an economic program that reinforces our strong support for the transitions that are now underway.

The United States will also stand up for human rights and democracy in those countries where transitions have yet to take place. We will make the case to our partners that reform is in our shared interest. We will be a strong voice for democratic reform - a message we will deliver consistently, at high-levels, and across the U.S. government. We will strengthen and protect advocates for reform. Our message to governments in the region will be simple and clear: if you take the risks that reform entails, you will have the support and partnership of the United States.

A New Chapter of American Diplomacy: As the U.S. continues to work with governments, we will broaden and elevate our engagement with the people of the region. Building on our efforts since Cairo, our engagement will reach beyond elites and extend beyond capitals, cultivating reformist voices both inside and outside government. We will engage with and listen to those that will shape the future, particularly young people and women. Across the region, we will provide assistance to legitimate and independent groups, including some not officially recognized by governments. And we will expand and deepen our ties with entrepreneurs, and our cooperation on science and technology. We will engage, too, with all groups that reject violence, support democratic practices, and respect the rights of minorities, even if we don’t agree with them. Using the same connective technologies that helped power the protests, we will connect and listen to the people of the region and factor the concerns of all these individuals and groups into our policy choices.

Making this strategic shift in our own approach will not always be easy. It demands that we renew and reshape our partnerships with governments in the region, and forge a deeper connection to a new generation that is desperate for a new beginning. President Obama will issue a Presidential Directive in the coming weeks to direct his Cabinet and national security team to put this new approach into action.

The United States is already putting this approach into practice across the region:

· Bahrain: The United States is committed to Bahrain’s security. However, we believe that reform is the only path to enduring stability in Bahrain and that both sides must compromise to forge a just future for all Bahrainis. The only way forward is for the government and opposition to engage in a dialogue. The government must create the conditions for dialogue, and the opposition must participate to forge a just future for all Bahrainis.

· Egypt: The United States supports an orderly, peaceful, and legitimate transition to a representative and responsive government committed to democratic principles in Egypt. It is important to empower positive models, and Egypt is critical as the largest Arab country and an enduring partner of the United States. We are encouraged by some of the steps that the interim government has taken on the political front, and we support a fully transparent and inclusive process moving forward. The U.S. is working with the international community to identify ways to stabilize Egypt’s economy in the short-term and promote economic policies for the medium and long-term that will help ensure economic prosperity accompanies the transition.

· Jordan: The United States is committed to our long-standing partnership with Jordan – a regional leader on political and economic reform. We recognize the government’s efforts to respond to the legitimate demands of citizens through the National Dialogue Committee, and urge Jordan’s leadership to seize this opportunity to advance meaningful reforms. U.S economic assistance supports Jordan’s economic growth and development and promotes political, economic, and social reforms though programs in judicial reform, education, public health, job creation, and youth empowerment. We are also working with non-governmental partners is Jordan to cultivate a vibrant civil society. The United States also remains committed to Jordan’s security and continues to provide security assistance aimed at, among other things, modernizing the Jordanian military and enhancing border security.

· Libya: The United States led an international effort to intervene in Libya to stop a massacre – joining with with our allies at the UN Security Council to pass a historic resolution that authorized a no-fly zone and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people. At the start of the air campaign, the President pledged to the American people that U.S. military action would be limited in duration and scope and that we would ultimately transition from a U.S. to a coalition lead. The President has made good on that pledge. Now that we have transitioned to a NATO lead, we will continue to play an important role in the international community’s effort to put pressure on Col. Qaddafi and to protect innocent civilians that his regime continues to attack. The President has made clear, Qaddafi has lost the confidence of the Libyan people and he must go. At the same time, the United States is engaging and assisting the Transitional National Council, a legitimate and credible interlocutor, which is committed to an inclusive, democratic political transition in Libya. We are also working to address humanitarian needs in Libya and along its borders.

· Morocco: The United States supports Morocco’s efforts to promote ongoing democratic development through constitutional, judicial, and political reforms. We recognize the Moroccan government’s efforts to respond the demands of its citizens and we urge the government to implement these crucial reforms. We are working with the people and the government of Morocco to support their efforts to consolidate the rule of law, protect human rights, improve governance, empower youth, and works towards meaningful constitutional reform. This includes a robust dialogue on human rights and political freedom.

· Syria: The United States condemns the Syrian government’s murder and mass arrests of its people. We have imposed additional sanctions on the regime, including on President Assad and his inner circle. We stand by the Syrian people who have shown their courage in demanding dignity and a transition to democracy. President Assad now has a choice: he can lead that transition, or get out of the way.

· Tunisia: The United States is committed to supporting the Tunisian people as they build the stronger democratic foundations needed for long-term stability and broad-based economic growth. We welcome the significant steps that have been taken to advance the democratic transition, and will support Tunisians inside and outside of government as they hold democratic elections, craft a new constitution, and implement a broad-based reform agenda. We will support a new partnership between Tunisian civil society groups and technology companies in order to get more information, communications capacity available broadly throughout society.

· Yemen: The United States supports the aspirations of the Yemeni people for a more stable, unified, and prosperous nation, and we are committed to assisting them in this courageous pursuit. We are also committed to assisting Yemen to eradicate the security threat from al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula. President Saleh needs to follow through on his commitment to transfer power. We support a peaceful and orderly transfer of power that begins immediately.

Supporting Economic Development: To ensure that democratic change is reinforced by increasing economic opportunity, the President laid out a new economic vision for the region to support nations that commit to transition to democracy. We will also focus on rooting out corruption and other barriers to progress. Our efforts will create incentives for nations to pursue a path to democracy and modern economies and will also help tap the enormous potential of the region’s young people. Our approach is based around four key pillars – support for economic policy formulation, support for economic stability, support for economic modernization, and the development of a framework for trade integration and investment.

· Support for Better Economic Management: We will offer concrete support to foster improved economic policy formulation and management alongside our democratization efforts. We will focus not only on promoting economic fundamentals, but also transparency and the prevention of corruption. We will use our bilateral programs to support economic reform preparations, including outreach and technical assistance from our governments, universities, and think tanks to regional governments that have embraced reform, individuals, and NGOs. We will mobilize the knowledge and expertise of international financial institutions to support home grown reforms that increase accountability.

· Support for Economic Stability: Egypt and Tunisia have begun their transitions. Their economic outlooks were positive before recent events, but they are now facing a series of economic dislocations.

o Galvanizing Financial Support: We are galvanizing financial support from international financial institutions and Egypt and Tunisia’s regional partners to help meet near term financial needs.

o Turning the Debts of the Past Into Investments in the Future: The United States will relieve Egypt of up to $1 billion in debt by designing a debt swap arrangement, and swap it in a way that allows Egypt to invest these resources in creating jobs and fostering entrepreneurship.

· Support for Economic Modernization: We realize that the modernization of the economies in Middle East and North Africa will require a stronger private sector. To address that, we are committed to working with our international counterparts to support a reorientation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to support countries in the region. The Bank played a crucial role in supporting democratization and economic transition in Central and Eastern Europe and can make a great contribution in Middle East and North Africa as well. We also seek to establish Egyptian-American and Tunisian-American Enterprise Funds to stimulate private sector investment, to promote projects and procedures that support competitive markets, and to encourage public/private partnerships. And as Secretary Clinton announced in Cairo, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will provide up to $2 billion dollars in financial support for private sectors throughout the MENA region.

· Develop a Framework for Trade Integration and Investment: The United States will launch a comprehensive Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative in the Middle East and North Africa. We will work with the European Union as we launch step-by-step initiatives that will facilitate more robust trade within the region, build on existing agreements to promote greater integration with U.S. and European markets, and open the door for those countries who adopt high standards of reform and trade liberalization to construct a regional trade arrangement.

(For more detail, see the Economic Support for the Middle East and North Africa Fact Sheet, see: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/05/18/factsheet-economic-support-middle-east-and-north-africa)

Promoting Peace and Security: Even as we change our policy approach in response to political and economic changes in region, the United States maintains its commitment to pursue peace and stability in the region. We remain committed to our non-proliferation agenda in the region and worldwide and continue to demand that Iran meets its international obligation to halt its nuclear weapons program. Our counterterrorism agenda is as robust as ever, as evidenced by the recent takedown of Osama bin Laden. We will continue to take the fight to al Qa`ida and its affiliates wherever they are.

The Broad Outlines of Middle East Peace: The President seeks to shape an environment in which negotiations can restart when the parties are ready. He intends to do this laying out principles on territorial borders and security.

On territory, the boundaries of Israel and the Palestinian state should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps. On security the Palestinian state must be non-militarized, and the full and phased withdrawal of Israeli forces would be geared to the ability of Palestinian security forces and other arrangements as agreed to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; stop the infiltration of weapons; and provide effective border security. The duration of this transition period must be agreed, and may vary for different areas like borders. But it must be sufficient to demonstrate the effectiveness and credibility of security arrangements. Once Palestinians can be confident in the outlines of their state, and Israelis are confident that the new Palestinian state will not imperil its security, the parties will be in a position to grapple with the core issues of refugees and Jerusalem.

Ultimately, it is up to Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them, nor can endless delay make the problem go away. But what America and the international community can do is state frankly what everyone knows: a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.

Ending the Combat Mission in Iraq, Building a Strategic Partnership: President Obama kept his commitment to responsibly end our combat mission in Iraq, bringing home 100,000 troops and transitioning to a full Iraqi lead for security in the country. Consistent with the 2008 Security Agreement, the United States intends to withdraw our remaining troops by the end of the year, while our civilians strengthen an enduring partnership with the Iraqi people and government in economic, diplomatic, cultural, and security fields.

Surged in Afghanistan: The strategy in Afghanistan is working. With the addition of 30,000 U.S. forces, nearly 10,000 coalition forces, and almost 1000 civilians, the surge is achieving its intended effect. We have arrested the Taliban’s momentum and placed the insurgency under significant military pressure. Increasingly, our collective efforts are focused intensely on providing trainers and funding for Afghan National Security Forces to support their assuming lead security responsibility, significantly growing the Afghan Security Forces to nearly 300,000. Even as we begin to reduce our U.S. combat forces this July, and increasingly focus on advising and assisting the Afghan security forces, we are working toward completion of a renewed partnership agreement with the Afghans that will affirm our enduring commitment to stability in Afghanistan. Finally, we are equally committed to an Afghan-led political process toward a peaceful resolution.

Focused on Al Qa`ida: We have applied unprecedented pressure to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qa`ida and its adherents. We have disrupted plots at home, and increased military, intelligence, and diplomatic support to expand the capacity of our partners from Pakistan to Yemen; from Southeast Asia to Somalia. Over half of Al Qa`ida’s top leadership has been killed or captured, including, most recently, Al Qa`ida’s leader, Osama bin Laden. As the President noted in announcing Bin Laden’s death to the American people, his demise does not mark the end of our effort, as al-Qa`ida remains intent on and capable of striking the United States and our partners.

Political Change in the Middle East and North Africa: The United States has demonstrated with its response to the political change in the Middle East and North Africa that promoting representative, responsive governance is a core tenet of U.S. foreign policy and directly contributes to our counterterrorism goals. Governments that place the will of their people first and encourage peaceful change through their policies, systems, and actions directly contradict the al-Qa`ida ideology, which at its core advocates for violent change and dismisses the right of the people to choose how they will be governed. Effective governance reduces the traction and space for al-Qa`ida, limiting its resonance and contributing to what it most fears—irrelevance.

Standing Up for Universal Rights in Iran: The Administration has strongly condemned Iran’s violent repression at home and will continue to call on the government of Iran to allow the Iranian people the universal right to peacefully assemble and communicate. Just as we hold Iran accountable for its defiance of its international obligations on the nuclear program, we will continue to take actions to hold the Iranian government accountable for its gross human rights violations, including by designating Iranian officials and entities engaged in such violations. We will continue to provide capacity building training and new media tools to help Iranian citizens and civil society make their voices heard in calling for greater freedoms, transparency, and rule of law from their government.


FINALLY....a President willing to stand up to Israel.

Be Prepared for an Onslaught of Hatred and Venom

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

WATCH: President's Weekly Address

President Obama Announces New Plans to Increase Responsible Domestic Oil Production

WASHINGTON – In this week’s address, President Obama laid out his strategy to continue to expand responsible and safe domestic oil production, leveraging existing authorities as part of his long-term plan to reduce our reliance on foreign oil. He is directing the Department of the Interior to conduct annual lease sales in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve – while respecting sensitive areas, to speed up the evaluation of oil and gas resources in the mid and south Atlantic, and to create new incentives for industry to develop their unused leases both on and offshore. Also, to give companies more time to meet higher safety standard for exploration and drilling, the administration is extending drilling leases in areas of the Gulf of Mexico that were impacted by the temporary moratorium, as well as certain leases off the coast of Alaska. And, he is establishing a new interagency working group to ensure that Arctic development projects meet health, safety and environmental standards. The past few months, rising gas prices have put an added strain on American families. While there are no quick fixes to the problem, these are steps, along with eliminating taxpayer subsidies for oil companies and rooting out fraud and manipulation in the markets, that are worth taking.

WATCH: President's Weekly Address

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

President Obama on Fixing Our
Broken Immigration System

From THE WHITE HOUSE: In a debate where the participants on all sides are too often portrayed as caricatures, the President sought to break through the stalemate by reminding us all that it is a debate about real people. Speaking in El Paso, Texas, he talked about the graduates from 181 countries at Miami Dade Community College, who erupted with applause as the American flag came out before the President’s commencement address there recently. He talked about a Marine who came from Papua New Guinea and deployed to Iraq three times – when asked about becoming an American citizen, he said, “I might as well. I love this country already.”

He was also up front about the legitimate frustrations that American citizens, including those who immigrated legally, can feel:

Others avoid immigration laws by overstaying their visas. Regardless of how they came, the overwhelming majority of these folks are just trying to earn a living and provide for their families. (Applause.) But we have to acknowledge they’ve broken the rules. They’ve cut in front of the line. And what is also true is that the presence of so many illegal immigrants makes a mockery of all those who are trying to immigrate legally.

Perhaps his central argument for fixing an immigration system that we all know is broken, however, was that it’s an integral part of America winning the future and creating a stronger economy for our kids:

So one way to strengthen the middle class in America is to reform the immigration system so that there is no longer a massive underground economy that exploits a cheap source of labor while depressing wages for everybody else. I want incomes for middle-class families to rise again. (Applause.) I want prosperity in this country to be widely shared. (Applause.) I want everybody to be able to reach that American dream. And that’s why immigration reform is an economic imperative. It’s an economic imperative. (Applause.)

And reform will also help to make America more competitive in the global economy. Today, we provide students from around the world with visas to get engineering and computer science degrees at our top universities. (Applause.)

But then our laws discourage them from using those skills to start a business or a new industry here in the United States. Instead of training entrepreneurs to stay here, we train them to create jobs for our competition. That makes no sense. In a global marketplace, we need all the talent we can attract, all the talent we can get to stay here to start businesses -- not just to benefit those individuals, but because their contribution will benefit all Americans.

Look at Intel, look at Google, look at Yahoo, look at eBay. All those great American companies, all the jobs they’ve created, everything that has helped us take leadership in the high-tech industry, every one of those was founded by, guess who, an immigrant. (Applause.)

So we don’t want the next Intel or the next Google to be created in China or India. We want those companies and jobs to take root here. (Applause.) Bill Gates gets this. He knows a little something about the high-tech industry. He said, “The United States will find it far more difficult to maintain its competitive edge if it excludes those who are able and willing to help us compete.”

So immigration is not just the right thing to do. It’s smart for our economy. It’s smart for our economy. (Applause.) And it’s for this reason that businesses all across America are demanding that Washington finally meet its responsibilities to solve the immigration problem. Everybody recognizes the system is broken. The question is, will we finally summon the political will to do something about it? And that’s why we’re here at the border today.

The President also spoke about another piece of legislation that has been stalled in the stalemate over all things immigration-related -- the DREAM Act:

And we should stop punishing innocent young people for the actions of their parents. (Applause.) We should stop denying them the chance to earn an education or serve in the military. And that’s why we need to pass the DREAM Act. (Applause.) Now, we passed the DREAM Act through the House last year when Democrats were in control. But even though it received a majority of votes in the Senate, it was blocked when several Republicans who had previously supported the DREAM Act voted no.

That was a tremendous disappointment to get so close and then see politics get in the way. And as I gave that commencement at Miami Dade, it broke my heart knowing that a number of those promising, bright students -- young people who worked so hard and who speak about what’s best in America -- are at risk of facing the agony of deportation. These are kids who grew up in this country. They love this country. They know no other place to call home. The idea that we’d punish them is cruel. It makes no sense. We’re a better nation than that. (Applause.)

So we’re going to keep fighting for the DREAM Act. We’re going to keep up the fight for reform. (Applause.) And that’s where you come in. I’m going to do my part to lead a constructive and civil debate on these issues. And we’ve already had a series of meetings about this at the White House in recent weeks. We’ve got leaders here and around the country helping to move the debate forward.

But this change ultimately has to be driven by you, the American people. You’ve got to help push for comprehensive reform, and you’ve got to identify what steps we can take right now -- like the DREAM Act, like visa reform -- areas where we can find common ground among Democrats and Republicans and begin to fix what’s broken.

WATCH: Building a 21st Century Immigration System

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wishing a very HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all our Warriors who are Moms. The Future of America is in the hands of We The People. The TIME IS NOW to work through UNITY toward a Better Tomorrow....particularly for Our Youth.

There's MUCH Work Ahead !

Friday, May 6, 2011

President's Solemn Visit to
Ground Zero

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) carries a wreath with New York Police Department officer Stephanie Moses (4th L), New York Fire Department firefighter Joseph Lapointe (5th R) and Port Authority Police Department officer John Adorno (4th R) during a wreath laying ceremony at Ground Zero on May 5, 2011 in New York City. Obama also visited a New York Fire Department firehouse and met with families of victims of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001during his visit to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A crowd waits for President Barack Obama to make an appearance at the fire station for Engine 54 Ladder 4 Battalion 9 in New York Thursday, May 5, 2011. President Obama came to New York to visit with the firefighters and to visit ground zero after announcing that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1. (AP Photo/Andrew Burton)

Monday, May 2, 2011

WATCH: President's Speech:

President Obama Gives Orde
r, Bin Laden is Killed,
White House Time Line

(ABC) In 2009, intelligence officials identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operate – but they were still unable to pinpoint precisely where.

In August 2010 came a big break. Intelligence identified a compound that aroused their suspicion – eight times larger than other homes in the area, built in 2005, on a property valued at $1 million. But access to the compound was severely restricted, with elaborate security and 12 to 18 foot walls topped with barbed wire. Incongruently, the compound has no phone service or televisions. The main building had few windows and a seven foot wall for privacy. Residents burned their trash.

Intelligence officials concluded that unit was “custom built” to hide someone. A third family was identified as living there – and the size and makeup matched the bin Laden family members most likely with him. The location and design of compound were consistent with what experts expected his hideout might look like. Their final conculsion: there was a strong probability that this was bin Laden’s hideout.

While he publicly downplayed the importance of capturing or killing bin Laden, on June 2, 2009 President Obama had signed a memo to the director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, stating “in order to ensure that we have expanded every effort, I direct you to provide me within 30 days a detailed operation plan for locating and bringing to justice Usama Bin Ladin…”

Beginning in September of 2010 the CIA began to work with the president on a set of assessments that led him to believe that in fact it was possible that bin Laden may be located at that compound. The president was was told it contained “a key al Qaeda facilitator appeared to be harboring a high-value target.”

The president directed action to be taken “as soon as he concluded that the intelligence case was sufficient.”

By mid February, though a series of “intensive” meetings at the White House and with the president, administration officials determined there was a “sound intelligence basis” for pursuing this “in an aggressive way” developing course of action in pursuit of bin Laden at this location. By the middle of March the president began a series of national security meetings that he chaired to pursue again the intelligence that had been developed and a course of action.

The president chaired no fewer than five national security council meetings on this topic – on March 14th, March 29th, April 12th, April 19th and April 28th.

“When a case had been made that this was a critical target we began to prepare this mission in conjunction with the US military,” a senior administration official said.

At 8:20am on Friday, April 29th in the Diplomatic Room, President Obama met with National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, White House chief of staff William Daley, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan and deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough and gave the order for the operation.

Officials said only a very small group of people knew about the operation beforehand. “That was for one reason and one reason alone, we believed that it was essential to the security of the operation and our personal,” an official said. “Only a very small group of people inside our own government knew about this operation in advanced.” Shortly after the raid, U.S. officials contacted senior Pakistani officials to brief them on the results of the raid. They also contacted a number of close partners and allies in the world.

Officials say the administration is ensuring bin Laden’s body is being “handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition.”

“In the wake of this operation there may be a heighted threat to the homeland and to U.S. systems and facilities abroad,” an official cautioned. “Al Qaeda operatives and sympathizers may try to respond violently to avenge Bin Laden’s death and other terrorist leaders may try to accelerate their efforts to strike the United States. But the United States is taking every possible precaution to protect Americans here at home and overseas.”

Asked if U.S. officials are hearing of specific threats against specific targets, the officials said, “no.”

The State Dept. has sent guidance to embassies worldwide and a travel advisory has been issued for Pakistan.

Watch: President's Speech, Bin Laden is Dead

Press Briefing by Senior Administration Officials
on Killing of Bin Laden

and Thank You to Our Special Forces

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

(video) MUST WATCH !
President Chumps Trump;

Takes on Birthers/Media at 2011
White House Correspondents

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama exercised his revenge Saturday after weeks of attacks from his would-be Republican challenger Donald Trump, joking that the billionaire businessman could bring change to the White House, transforming it from a stately mansion into a tacky casino with a whirlpool in the garden.

With Trump in attendance, Obama used the White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner to mock the reality TV star's presidential ambitions. The president said Trump has shown the acumen of a future president, from firing Gary Busey on a recent episode of "Celebrity Apprentice" to focusing so much time on conspiracy theories about Obama's birthplace.

After a week when Obama released his long-form Hawaii birth certificate, he said Trump could now focus on the serious issues, from whether the moon landing actually happened to "where are Biggie and Tupac?"

"No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than 'the Donald,'" Obama said, referring to Trump's claims the same day that he was responsible for solving the issue.

For Trump's decision to fire actor Busey instead of rock singer Meat Loaf from his TV show earlier this month, Obama quipped: "These are the types of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir."

Trump chuckled at some of the earlier jokes, but was clearly less amused as comedian Seth Meyers picked up where Obama left off.

"Donald Trump often talks about running as a Republican, which is surprising," said the Saturday Night Live actor, entrusted with providing some of the comedy for the evening. "I just assumed he was running as a joke."

WATCH: President Chumps Trump

Trump stared icily at Meyers as he continued to criticize the real estate tycoon.

The two men found themselves in the same room after an intense week of attacks from Trump, who has piggybacked on the birther conspiracies and even Obama's refusal to release his university grades to raise the profile of his possible presidential bid.

And the birth certificate was clearly the key punchline for the evening, which typically offers the president a chance to show off his humorous side and a town consumed by politics and partisanship to enjoy a light-hearted affair.

Obama's presentation started after the wrestler Hulk Hogan's patriotic anthem, "Real American," played. Images of Americana from Mount Rushmore to Uncle Sam were shown on the screen, alongside his birth certificate. And then he offered to show his live birth video, which turned out to be a clip from the Disney film, "The Lion King."

On the serious side, Obama took time to thank the troops for their service overseas and noted that the people of the South, especially Alabama, have suffered heart-wrenching losses.

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