A Brand New Day™: HuMpDaY Wednesday The 23rd Of October


By Jueseppi B.



White House Tweets – October 23, 2013






White House Schedule – October 23, 2013



In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.


Later, the President and the Vice President will meet for lunch in the Private Dining Room. This lunch is closed press.


In the afternoon, the President will welcome Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan to the White House. The Vice President will attend. The meeting will highlight the importance and resilience of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and provide an opportunity for us to strengthen cooperation on issues of mutual concern, such as energy, trade and economic development, regional stability, and countering violent extremism.  There will be a pool spray at the bottom of the meeting.


Later, the President and the Vice President will meet with Secretary of the Treasury Lew in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.



Wednesday, October 23 2013 All Times ET

8:15 AM: The Vice President meets with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan, Naval Observatory.



10:45 AM: The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.



11:30 AM: First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden host a tea with Mrs. Kalsoom Sharif.



12:00 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, Brady Briefing Room.



12:30 PM: The President and the Vice President meet for lunch, Private Dining Room.



2:10 PM: The President holds a bilateral meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif; the Vice President also attends, Oval Office.



4:15 PM: The President and the Vice President meet with Secretary of the Treasury Lew, Oval Office.



7:45 PM: The Vice President delivers remarks to the Kennedy Forum on community mental health, The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.





Next Up…

October 23, 2013 12:00 PM EDT

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

The White House



October 23, 2013 7:50 PM EDT

Vice President Biden Speaks at the Kennedy Forum Community Mental Health Gala

Audio Only

Boston, Massachusetts


Watch & Listen At White House LIVE!! Streaming



Statements and Releases


President Obama Signs Kansas Disaster Declaration


Readout of Vice President Biden’s Breakfast with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif


Statement by the President on the Anniversary of the Attack on the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon



The White House Blog


A Better Bargain for the Middle Class


Immigration and the Economy


White House Mobile Apps


The Employment Situation in September


Here’s What’s Being Done to Make HealthCare.gov Better


Economic Activity During the Government Shutdown and Debt Limit Brinksmanship


Training Clean Energy Leaders of the Future


Ohio Medicaid Expansion Will Provide Health Coverage for 270,000 Previously Uninsured Residents


You’re Invited: Join the White House Fall Garden Instagram Meetup


Watch: The President’s message for you from BarackObama.com

You’re probably hearing a lot about Obamacare’s website glitches, especially from health reform‘s opponents.


Let’s be clear about this — it’s absolutely frustrating to know that while hundreds of thousands of people have filled out applications for affordable coverage online, there are many who haven’t been able to because of technical problems.


That’s why President Obama recorded a personal message for OFA supporters — he wants to speak directly to you on where we go from here, and why he needs your support even more over the next five months.


Watch the President’s message for you — then join Team Obamacare to help make sure people know the facts about Obamacare.





President Obama recorded a quick video for OFA supporters on the first weeks of Obamacare and where we go from here. He’s counting on Team Obamacare to help.

Join the team.


Published on Oct 22, 2013

President Obama recorded a personal message for OFA supporters about Obamacare, the new online health insurance marketplace, and why he needs your support even more over the next five months.




The reality is that Obamacare is more than just a website — it’s a law that is already helping millions of Americans get better, more affordable coverage. And anyone looking to shop for coverage can do so in person or over the phone, as well.


And in spite of everything that’s happened in Washingtonover the past few weeks, one thing hasn’t changed:

Obamacare is still the law of the land.


Over the next five months, it’s going to be up to people like us to make sure folks know the facts about how to get covered, and how the law is already working for them and their loved ones.


Watch the President’s message just for you, then join Team Obamacare:




#GetCovered Because: There Are Four Ways To Sign Up For Health Care


Published on Oct 22, 2013

You can sign up for ObamaCare in four ways. Online at http://healthcare.gov, by mail, in person, or on the phone at 1800-315-2596.




ObamaCare: Jim DeMint‘s Heritage Foundation‘s Hypocrisy Mandate




The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare


Published on Jul 17, 2013

2014 is coming–are you ready for Obamacare? Join the YouToons as they walk through the basic changes in the way Americans will get health coverage and what it will cost starting in 2014, when major parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” go into effect. To download the video, please visit http://www.kff.org/health-reform/video/youtoons­-obamacare-video/




Texas judge slams Republicans in video announcing he’s now a Democrat


Judge Carlo Key


Judge Carlo Key Kicks The TeaTardedRepubliCANT Tea Party RepubliCANTS under the bus…..at the curb.



A Texas judge puts the blame squarely on Tea Party Republican rhetoric for his decision to run for re-election as a Democrat in a campaign video he released on Sunday.


“Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideologicalcharacter assassination,” Bexar County Judge Carlo Key says in the video, over shots of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other Republican lawmakers. “Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake, I have not left the Republican party. It left me.”
















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In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)


By Jueseppi B.




Texas judge slams Republicans in video announcing he’s now a Democrat


Judge Carlo Key


Judge Carlo Key Kicks The TeaTardedRepubliCANT Tea Party RepubliCANTS under the bus…..at the curb.




A Texas judge puts the blame squarely on Tea Party Republican rhetoric for his decision to run for re-election as a Democrat in a campaign video he released on Sunday.


“Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideological character assassination,” Bexar County Judge Carlo Key says in the video, over shots of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other Republican lawmakers. “Pragmatism and principle have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake, I have not left the Republican party. It left me.”


Press Briefing

October 22, 2013 | 01:01:46 |Public Domain



White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.


White House Tweets – October 22, 2013





Readout of Vice President Biden’s Meeting with Prime Minister Victor Ponta of Romania



Readout of the President’s Call with President Hollande of France

The President spoke today with President Hollande of France. The United States and France are allies and friends, and share a close working relationship on a wide range of issues, including security and intelligence. The President and President Hollande discussed recent disclosures in the press – some of which have distorted our activities and some of which raise legitimate questions for our friends and allies about how these capabilities are employed. The President made clear that the United States has begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share. The two Presidents agreed that we should continue to discuss these issues in diplomatic channels moving forward.  The two leaders also discussed the ongoing violence in Syria and the importance of a political solution to the crisis.

President Obama Speaks on the Affordable Care Act

October 21, 2013 | 44:11 |Public Domain


President Obama says that the health insurance that’s available to people through HealthCare.gov is high quality and affordable, and his Administration is working around the clock to address problems that make the site slow and difficult to use.


Remarks by the President on the Affordable Care Act

Rose Garden

11:33 A.M. EDT


THE PRESIDENT:  Everybody, have a seat.


MS. BAKER:  Hello.  My name is Janice Baker.  I have the privilege to say that I’m the first person in the state of Delaware to enroll for health insurance through the new marketplace.  (Applause.)  Like many consumers out there, it took me a number of frustrating attempts before I could apply for and select my plan.  I kept trying because I needed access to the new health care options.


I had applied to three private insurance companies only to be rejected due to preexisting health conditions.  I am too young for Medicare, but I’m too old not to have some health issues.  I was able to find a policy I am thrilled with, saving $150 a month, and much lower deductibles than my previous policy that I held through my small business.


I’m here today to encourage other people like me who needs access to quality, affordable insurance, and to tell them to have patience with such a new system.  Without this ability to get this insurance, I know that a single hospital stay could have bankrupted me and my business.


Thank you all.  And I am now honored to introduce the President of the United States.  (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT:  Great job.


MS. BAKER:  Thank you.  Thank you.


THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  Well, thank you, Janice.  And thanks to everybody here for coming on this beautiful day.  Welcome to the White House.


About three weeks ago, as the federal government shut down, the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces opened for business across the country.  Well, we’ve now gotten the government back open for the American people, and today I want to talk about how we’re going to get the marketplaces running at full steam, as well.  And I’m joined today by folks who have either benefited from the Affordable Care Act already, or who are helping their fellow citizens learn about what this law means for them and how they can get covered.


Of course, you’ve probably heard that HealthCare.gov –- the new website where people can apply for health insurance, and browse and buy affordable plans in most states –- hasn’t worked as smoothly as it was supposed to work.  And the number of people who have visited the site has been overwhelming, which has aggravated some of these underlying problems.


Despite all that, thousands of people are signing up and saving money as we speak.  Many Americans with a preexisting condition, like Janice, are discovering that they can finally get health insurance like everybody else.


So today, I want to speak to every American who’s looking to get affordable health insurance.  I want you to know what’s available to you and why it may be a good deal for you.  And for those who’ve had some problems with the website, I want to tell you what we’re doing to make it work better and how you can sign up to get covered in other ways.


But before I do that, let me remind everybody that the Affordable Care Act is not just a website.  It’s much more.  For the vast majority of Americans — for 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance through your employer or Medicare or Medicaid -– you don’t need to sign up for coverage through a website at all.  You’ve already got coverage.  What the Affordable Care Act does for you is to provide you with new benefits and protections that have been in place for some time.  You may not know it, but you’re already benefiting from these provisions in the law.


For example, because of the Affordable Care Act, young people like Jasmine Jennings, and Jessica Ugalde, and Ezra Salop, all of whom are here today, they’ve been able to stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 26.  Millions of other young people are currently benefiting from that part of the law.  (Applause.)  Another part of the Affordable Care Act is providing seniors with deeper discounts on their prescription medicine.  Billions of dollars have been saved by seniors already.  That’s part of the law.  It’s already in place.  It’s happening right now.


Already, because of the Affordable Care Act, preventive care like mammograms and birth control are free through your employers.  That’s part of this law.  (Applause.)  So there are a wide range of consumer protections and benefits that you already have if you’ve got health insurance.  You may not have noticed them, but you’ve got them, and they’re not going anywhere.  And they’re not dependent on a website.


Here’s another thing that the Affordable Care Act does.  In states where governors and legislatures have wisely allowed it, the Affordable Care Act provides the opportunity for many Americans to get covered under Medicaid for the first time.  So in Oregon, for example, that’s helped cut the number of uninsured people by 10 percent just in the last three weeks.  Think about that.  That’s 56,000 more Americans who now have health care.  (Applause.)  That doesn’t depend on a website.


Now, if you’re one of the 15 percent of Americans who don’t have health insurance — either because you can’t afford it or because your employer doesn’t offer it, or because you’re a small businessperson and you have to go out on the individual market and buy it on your own and it’s just too expensive — October 1st was an important date.  That’s when we opened the new marketplaces where people without health insurance, or who can’t afford health insurance, or who aren’t part of a group plan, can finally start getting affordable coverage.


And the idea is simple.  By enrolling in what we’re calling these marketplaces, you become part of a big group plan — as if you were working for a big employer — a statewide group plan that spreads risk between sick people and healthy people, between young and old, and then bargains on your behalf for the best deal on health care.  What we’ve done is essentially create a competition where there wasn’t competition before.  We created these big group plans, and now insurers are really interested in getting your business.  And so insurers have created new health care plans with more choices to be made available through these marketplaces.


And as a result of this choice and this competition, prices have come down.  When you add the new tax credits that many people are eligible for through the law, then the prices come down even further.  So one study shows that through new options created by the Affordable Care Act, nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans will find that they can get covered for less than $100 a month.  Think about that.  (Applause.)


Through the marketplaces, you can get health insurance for what may be the equivalent of your cell phone bill or your cable bill, and that’s a good deal.


So the fact is the product of the Affordable Care Act for people without health insurance is quality health insurance that’s affordable.  And that product is working.  It’s really good.  And it turns out there’s a massive demand for it.  So far, the national website, HealthCare.gov, has been visited nearly 20 million times.  Twenty million times.  (Applause.)  And there’s great demand at the state level as well, because there are a bunch of states that are running their own marketplaces.


We know that nearly one-third of the people applying in Connecticut and Maryland, for example, are under 35 years old.  They understand that they can get a good deal at low costs, have the security of health care, and this is not just for old folks like me — that everybody needs good quality health insurance.  And all told, more than half a million consumers across the country have successfully submitted applications through federal and state marketplaces.  And many of those applications aren’t just for individuals, it’s for their entire families.  So even more people are already looking to potentially take advantage of the high quality, affordable insurance that is provided through the Affordable Care Act.


So let me just recap here.  The product is good.  The health insurance that’s being provided is good.  It’s high quality and it’s affordable.  People can save money, significant money, by getting insurance that’s being provided through these marketplaces.  And we know that the demand is there.  People are rushing to see what’s available.  And those who have already had a chance to enroll are thrilled with the result.  Every day, people who were stuck with sky-high premiums because of preexisting conditions are getting affordable insurance for the first time, or finding, like Janice did, that they’re saving a lot of money.  Every day, women are finally buying coverage that doesn’t charge them higher premiums than men for the same care.  (Applause.)  Every day, people are discovering that new health insurance plans have to cover maternity care, mental health care, free preventive care.


So you just heard Janice’s story — she owns her own small business.  She recently became the first woman to enroll in coverage through Delaware’s exchange.  And it’s true, it took her a few tries, but it was worth it after being turned down for insurance three times due to minor preexisting conditions.  So now she’ll be covered, she’ll save 150 bucks a month, and she won’t have to worry that one illness or accident will cost her her business that she’s worked so hard to build.


And Janice is not alone.  I recently received a letter from a woman named Jessica Sanford in Washington State.  And here’s what she wrote:  “I am a single mom, no child support, self-employed, and I haven’t had insurance for 15 years because it’s too expensive.  My son has ADHD and requires regular doctor visits and his meds alone cost $250 per month.  I have had an ongoing tendinitis problem due to my line of work that I haven’t had treated.  Now, finally, we get to have coverage because of the ACA for $169 per month.  I was crying the other day when I signed up.  So much stress lifted.”


Now, that is not untypical for a lot of folks like Jessica who have been struggling without health insurance.  That’s what the Affordable Care Act is all about.  The point is, the essence of the law — the health insurance that’s available to people — is working just fine.  In some cases, actually, it’s exceeding expectations — the prices are lower than we expected, the choice is greater than we expected.


But the problem has been that the website that’s supposed to make it easy to apply for and purchase the insurance is not working the way it should for everybody.  And there’s no sugarcoating it.  The website has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process.  And I think it’s fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than I am — precisely because the product is good, I want the cash registers to work.  I want the checkout lines to be smooth.  So I want people to be able to get this great product.  And there’s no excuse for the problems, and these problems are getting fixed.


But while we’re working out the kinks in the system, I want everybody to understand the nature of the problem.  First of all, even with all the problems at HealthCare.gov, the website is still working for a lot of people — just not as quick or efficient or consistent as we want.  And although many of these folks have found that they had to wait longer than they wanted, once they complete the process they’re very happy with the deal that’s available to them, just like Janice’s.


Second, I want everybody to remember that we’re only three weeks into a six-month open enrollment period, when you can buy these new plans.  (Applause.)  Keep in mind the insurance doesn’t start until January 1st; that’s the earliest that the insurance can kick in.  No one who decides to purchase a plan has to pay their first premium until December 15th.  And unlike the day after Thanksgiving sales for the latest Playstation or flat-screen TVs, the insurance plans don’t run out.  They’re not going to sell out.  They’ll be available through the marketplace — (applause) — throughout the open enrollment period.  The prices that insurers have set will not change.  So everybody who wants insurance through the marketplace will get insurance, period.  (Applause.)  Everybody who wants insurance through the marketplace will get insurance.


Third, we are doing everything we can possibly do to get the websites working better, faster, sooner.  We’ve got people working overtime, 24/7, to boost capacity and address the problems.  Experts from some of America’s top private-sector tech companies who, by the way, have seen things like this happen before, they want it to work.  They’re reaching out.  They’re offering to send help.  We’ve had some of the best IT talent in the entire country join the team.  And we’re well into a “tech surge” to fix the problem.  And we are confident that we will get all the problems fixed.


Number four — while the website will ultimately be the easiest way to buy insurance through the marketplace, it isn’t the only way.  And I want to emphasize this.  Even as we redouble our efforts to get the site working as well as it’s supposed to, we’re also redoubling our efforts to make sure you can still buy the same quality, affordable insurance plans available on the marketplace the old-fashioned way — offline, either over the phone or in person.


And, by the way, there are a lot of people who want to take advantage of this who are more comfortable working on the phone anyway or in person.  So let me go through the specifics as to how you can do that if you’re having problems with the website or you just prefer dealing with a person.


Yesterday, we updated the website’s home page to offer more information about the other avenues to enroll in affordable health care until the online option works for everybody.  So you’ll find information about how to talk to a specialist who can help you apply over the phone or to receive a downloadable application you can fill out yourself and mail in.


We’ve also added more staff to the call centers where you can apply for insurance over the phone.  Those are already — they’ve been working.  But a lot of people have decided first to go to the website.  But keep in mind, these call centers are already up and running.  And you can get your questions answered by real people, 24 hours a day, in 150 different languages.  The phone number for these call centers is 1-800-318-2596.  I want to repeat that — 1-800-318-2596.  Wait times have averaged less than one minute so far on the call centers, although I admit that the wait times probably might go up a little bit now that I’ve read the number out loud on national television.  (Laughter.) 


But the point is the call centers are available.  You can talk to somebody directly and they can walk you through the application process.  And I guarantee you, if one thing is worth the wait, it’s the safety and security of health care that you can afford, or the amount of money that you can save by buying health insurance through the marketplaces.  (Applause.)


Once you get on the phone with a trained representative, it usually takes about 25 minutes for an individual to apply for coverage, about 45 minutes for a family.  Once you apply for coverage, you will be contacted by email or postal mail about your coverage status.


But you don’t have to just go through the phone.  You can also apply in person with the help of local navigators -– these are people specially trained to help you sign up for health care, and they exist all across the country, or you can go to community health centers and hospitals.  Just visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov to find out where in your area you can get help and apply for insurance in person.


And finally, if you’ve already tried to apply through the website and you’ve been stuck somewhere along the way, do not worry.  In the coming weeks, we will contact you directly, personally, with a concrete recommendation for how you can complete your application, shop for coverage, pick a plan that meets your needs, and get covered once and for all.


So here’s the bottom line.  The product, the health insurance is good.  The prices are good.  It is a good deal.  People don’t just want it; they’re showing up to buy it.  Nobody is madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working as well as it should, which means it’s going to get fixed.  (Laughter and applause.)


And in the meantime, you can bypass the website and apply by phone or in person.  So don’t let problems with the website deter you from signing up, or signing your family up, or showing your friends how to sign up, because it is worth it.  It will save you money.  If you don’t have health insurance, if you’ve got a preexisting condition, it will save you money and it will give you the security that your family needs.


In fact, even with the website issues, we’ve actually made the overall process of buying insurance through the marketplace a lot smoother and easier than the old way of buying insurance on your own.  Part of the challenge here is that a lot of people may not remember what it’s like to buy insurance the traditional way.


The way we’ve set it up, there are no more absurdly long application forms.  There’s no medical history questionnaire that goes on for pages and pages.  There’s no more getting denied because you’ve had a preexisting condition.  Instead of contacting a bunch of different insurers one at a time, which is what Janice and a lot of people who are shopping on the individual market for health insurance had to do, there’s one single place you can go shop and compare plans that have to compete for your business.  There’s one single phone number you can call for help.  And once the kinks in the website have been ironed out, it will be an even smoother and even easier.  But in the meantime, we will help you sign up — because consumers want to buy this product and insurance companies want to sell it to you.


Now, let me close by addressing some of the politics that have swirled around the Affordable Care Act.  I recognize that the Republican Party has made blocking the Affordable Care Act its signature policy idea.  Sometimes it seems to be the one thing that unifies the party these days.  (Laughter.)  In fact, they were willing to shut down the government and potentially harm the global economy to try to get it repealed.  And I’m sure that given the problems with the website so far, they’re going to be looking to go after it even harder.  And let’s admit it — with the website not working as well as it needs to work, that makes a lot of supporters nervous because they know how it’s been subject to so much attack, the Affordable Care Act generally.


But I just want to remind everybody, we did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a website.  That’s not what this was about.  (Applause.)  We waged this battle to make sure that millions of Americans in the wealthiest nation on Earth finally have the same chance to get the same security of affordable quality health care as anybody else.  That’s what this is about.  (Applause.)  And the Affordable Care Act has done that.


People can now get good insurance.  People with preexisting conditions can now afford insurance.  And if the launch of this website proves anything, it’s that people across the country don’t just need that security, they want that security.  They want it.  (Applause.)  And in the meantime — I’ve said many times — I’m willing to work with anyone on any idea to make this law perform even better.  But it’s time for folks to stop rooting for its failure, because hardworking, middle-class families are rooting for its success.  (Applause.)  And if the product is good, they’re willing to be patient.


I got a letter last week from a self-employed man named John Mier in Leetsdale, Pennsylvania.  He used the new marketplace to get himself and his wife covered and save a lot of money.  And here’s what he said, because it pretty much sums up my message today:  “Yes, the website really stank for the first week.”  (Laughter.)  “But instead of paying $1,600 per month for a group insurance plan, we have a plan that will only cost us $692 a month –- a savings of $900 per month.”  (Applause.)  John said that while he saw — when he saw what they’d be paying, he turned to his wife and told her, “We might just pull through.  We can afford this.”  And John eventually predicted that “the website will work like a champ.”


So John, he was frustrated by the website, but he’s feeling a little less frustrated once he found out that he was saving 900 bucks a month on his health insurance.  (Applause.)  And John is right, the website is going to get fixed and the law works.  That’s why we fought so hard to pass this law — to save folks like John money; to give people who don’t have health insurance the chance to get it for the first time; to lift from the American people the crushing burden of unaffordable health care; to free families from the pervasive fear that one illness — (on-stage participant becomes ill) — there you go, you are ok.  I’m right here.  I got you.  (Laughter.)  No, no — you’re okay.  This happens when I talk too long.  (Laughter.)  You’ll be okay.  Here, why don’t you go.  (Applause.)


Good catch, by the way, whoever was here.  (Laughter.)


But that’s always our goal, to free families from the pervasive fear that one illness or one injury might cost you everything that you dedicated a lifetime to build.  Our goal has always been to declare that in this country the security of health care is not a privilege for a fortunate few.  It’s a right for all to enjoy.  (Applause.)  That’s what the Affordable Care Act is all about.  That’s its promise.  And I intend to deliver on that promise.


Thank you very much, everybody.  God bless you.  (Applause.)



12:00 P.M. EDT



James H. Stock
October 22, 2013
05:16 PM EDT


The government shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship have had a substantial negative impact on the economy. A new report released today by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) attempts to estimate the actual impact of the shutdown and default brinksmanship on economic activity as measured by eight different daily or weekly economic indicators. Overall it finds that a range of eight economic indicators in what we call a “Weekly Economic Index” are consistent with a 0.25 percentage point reduction in the annualized GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter and a reduction of about 120,000 private sector jobs in the first two weeks of October (estimates use indicators available through October 12th). These estimates very likely understate the full economic effects of the episode because of its effects that continued, and will continue, past October 12th.


The shutdown directly affected the economy by withdrawing government services for a sixteen day period, which not only had direct impacts but also had a range of indirect effects on the private sector. For example the travel industry was hurt by the closing of national parks, businesses in oil and gas and other industries were hurt by the cessation of permits for oil and gas drilling, the housing industry was hurt by the cessation of IRS verifications for mortgage applications, and small businesses were hurt by the shutdown of Small Business Administration loan guarantees. In addition, a reduction in consumer confidence and an increase in uncertainty associated not just with the shutdown but also the brinksmanship over the debt limit affected consumer spending, investment and hiring decisions as well.


Read More



Rebecca Matulka and Matty Greene
October 22, 2013
11:14 AM EDT


Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Energy. You can see the original post here.





Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 wrapped up. Even though the sun has set at the Solar Decathlon village and students have gone home, their hard work is having a lasting effect on sustainable design and our nation’s clean energy leaders.


A two-year competition that challenges collegiate teams to build energy-efficient, solar-powered houses, the Solar Decathlon is a perfect example of how the Energy Department is training and inspiring the next generation of architects, engineers and entrepreneurs. Over the course of the competition, students gain hands-on experience in everything from fundraising and marketing to design and construction. Showcasing their houses to the general public allows students to get feedback on their designs and how they work in the real world — something that many of them would never get in the classroom.


Read More



White House Announces Public Tours


The Employment Situation in September


Ohio Medicaid Expansion Will Provide Health Coverage for 270,000 Previously Uninsured Residents


You’re Invited: Join the White House Fall Garden Instagram Meetup


Follow the Council of Economic Advisors @CEAChair & @CEABetsey on Twitter


Here’s What’s Being Done to Make HealthCare.gov Better



CNN on Obamacare




History Made: Lorraine Miller Appointed Interim NAACP President And CEO


Shut Down The Tea Party (TeaTardedRepubliCANTS) This “NO”vember 4th, 2014


Whats In A Name? Racism. Disrespect. Evil. Hatred.
















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Barack Speaks On Sequester Mess


By Jueseppi B.






President Obama Delivers Remarks on Sequester Cuts Mean Job Loss



Published on Mar 1, 2013

President Obama Delivers Remarks on Sequester Cuts Mean Job Loss
A fiscal deadline all but blown, President Barack Obama says he once again wants to seek a big fiscal deal that would raise taxes and trim billions from expensive and ever growing entitlement programs. But with automatic federal spending cuts ready to start taking their toll, the path toward that grand bargain Obama campaigned on last year has significantly narrowed.


The president has summoned the top bipartisan congressional leadership to the White House, a meeting designed to give all sides a chance to stake out their fiscal positions with a new threat of a government shutdown less than four weeks away. There were no expectations of a breakthrough.


But for Obama, Friday’s session would be his first opportunity to spell out his 10-year, $1.5 trillion deficit reduction plan in a face-to-face meeting with congressional allies and adversaries.


His chances are squeezed by anti-tax conservatives, by liberals unwilling to cut into Medicare and Social Security, and by a Republican leadership that has dug in against any new revenue after ceding to Obama’s demands two months ago for a higher tax rate for top income earners.


On Thursday, two ill-fated proposals aimed at blunting the blame over the cuts — one Democratic and the other Republican — failed to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate. Obama placed the responsibility on Republicans.


“They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class,” he said.







President Obama Speaks on the Impact of the Sequester


Published on Feb 26, 2013

President Obama highlights the devastating impact of automatic budget cuts on jobs and middle class families if Congressional Republicans fail to compromise to avert the sequester. February 26, 2013.







President Obama Speaks on the Sequester


Published on Feb 19, 2013

President Obama urges Congress to take action to avoid the automatic budget cuts scheduled to hit next Friday if lawmakers fail to find a path forward on balanced deficit reduction.


















Black History Moment: U.S. Congressman Bobby Lee Rush

By Jueseppi B.






Bobby Lee Rush (born November 23, 1946) is the U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 1st congressional district, serving since 1993. The district is located principally on the South Side of Chicago; a minority-majority district, with its population percentage being 65% African-American, higher than any other congressional district in the nation.


A member of the Democratic Party, he holds the distinction of being the only person to defeat President Barack Obama in an election, as he did in the 2000 Democratic primary for Illinois’ 1st congressional district.



Member of the

U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois‘s 1st district

Assumed office
January 3, 1993
Preceded by Charles Hayes
Personal details
Born Bobby Lee Rush
November 23, 1946 (age 66)
Albany, Georgia
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Carolyn Thomas
Residence Chicago, Illinois
Alma mater Roosevelt University (B.A.)
University of Illinois at Chicago

McCormick Theological Seminary


Occupation Civil Rights leader
Religion Christianity (Baptist)
Website rush.house.gov
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1963-1968




Hoodie For Trayvon Martin Gets Rep. Rush Kicked Off House Floor


Published on Mar 28, 2012

“On Capital Hill there’s also been reaction to the Trayvon Martin case. In fact his family went up there they had a moment of silence and then Bobby Rush decided to make a speech about this issue on the floor of the House and he wanted to quote the bible and he wanted to do it wearing a hoodie to make an important point. The Republicans didn’t want to let him do that…”






Early life, education, and activism

Rush was born on November 23, 1946 in Albany, Georgia during a time of racial tension, with just eight months after his birth, a white mob lynched an African-American couple just north of his home, an event now known as the Moore’s Ford Bridge Case. After his mother and father separated when he was 7, Rush, his siblings and their mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. In 1963 after dropping out of high school, Rush joined the U.S. Army. While stationed in Chicago in 1966, he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1968, he went AWOL from the Army and co-founded the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers. He later received an honorable discharge from the Army.


Throughout the 1960’s, Rush was involved in the civil-rights movement and worked in civil-disobedience campaigns in the Southern United States. After co-founding the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers in 1968, he served as its “defense minister”. After witnessing fellow Black Panther Fred Hampton being killed in a police raid, Rush made statements saying “We needed to arm ourselves” and referring to the police as “pigs”. Earlier that same year Rush stated the philosophy behind his membership in the Black Panthers saying, “Black people have been on the defensive for all these years.


The trend now is not to wait to be attacked. We advocate offensive violence against the power structure.” Despite the group’s engagement in violence, Rush nonetheless worked on several non-violent projects that built support for the Black Panthers in African-American communities, such as coordinating a medical clinic which offered sickle-cell anemia testing on an unprecedented scale.


Rush’s own apartment was raided in December 1969, where police discovered an unregistered pistol, rifle, shotgun, pistol ammunition, training manuals on explosives, booby traps, an assortment of communist literature, and a small amount of marijuana. Rush was imprisoned for six months in 1972 on a weapons charge, after carrying a pistol into a police station. In 1974 Rush left the Panthers, who were already in decline. “We started glorifying thuggery and drugs,” he told People. Rush, a deeply religious born-again Christian, went on to say that “I don’t repudiate any of my involvement in the Panther party—it was part of my maturing.” He subsequently resumed his education in the early 1990’s at the McCormick Seminary and received a master’s degree in theology.


In 1973, Rush earned his Bachelor of Arts with honors in liberal arts from Roosevelt University, and went on to earn his Master’s degree in political science from University of Illinois at Chicago in 1974, and in theological studies from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1978.




Chicago politics

Rush ran for a seat on the Chicago City Council in 1974, the first of several black militants who later sought political office, and was defeated. In the early 1980’s however, Chicago’s political life was transformed by the ascendancy of U.S. Representative Harold Washington, a noted orator and a charismatic figure who helped unite the city’s African-American community. Washington was elected Mayor of Chicago in 1983, the first African-American to ever hold the office. That same year, Rush was elected alderman from the Second Ward on Chicago’s South Side. He was a part of the pro-Harold Washington faction on the Council during the “Council Wars” that began in 1983 following Washington’s election as Mayor in a racially-polarized contest.


In 1999, Rush ran for Mayor of Chicago, but lost in the Democratic primary to incumbent Richard M. Daley.




U.S. House of Representatives



After redistricting, Rush decided to run in the newly redrawn Illinois’ 1st congressional district. He defeated incumbent U.S. Congressman Charles Hayes and six other candidates in the Democratic primary election. He won the general election with 83% of the vote. In the 2000 Democratic primary for the Illinois’ 1st congressional district, Rush was challenged by then-State SenatorBarack Obama. During the primary, Rush said, “Barack Obama went to Harvard and became an educated fool. Barack is a person who read about the civil-rights protests and thinks he knows all about it.” Rush claimed that Obama was not sufficiently rooted in Chicago’s black neighborhoods to represent constituents’ concerns. For his part, Obama said Rush was a part of “a politics that is rooted in the past” and said he himself could build bridges with whites to get things done. But while Obama did well in his own Hyde Park base, he didn’t get enough support from the surrounding black neighborhoods. Starting with just 10% name recognition, Obama went on to get only 30% of the vote, losing by a more than 2-to-1 margin despite winning among white voters; and Rush winning 61% overall. Rush went on to win the general election with 88% of the vote.


Rush has consistently won with high margins, winning above 80% in every election, with the exception being his first bid for re-election in 1994 and in 2012 after redistricting, with him still winning above 70% of the vote.





Bobby Rush has been considered a loyal Democrat during his tenure, in the 110th Congress, he voted with his party 97.8% of the time. Rush is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.




Rush initiated the Chicago Partnership for the Earned Income Tax Credit, an ongoing program designed to help low-income working Chicago resident to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, a federal income tax credits.




Rush sponsored the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act passed in 1999. The law temporarily addressed the nursing shortage by providing non-immigrant visas for qualified foreign nurses in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago and was reauthorized in 2005.


Rush sponsored the Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act, named for Melanie Blocker-Stokes, a Chicago native who jumped to her death from a 12th story window due to postpartum depression. The bill would provide for research on postpartum depression and psychosis and services for individuals suffering from these disorders.


The Children’s Health Act, passed in 2000 incorporated Rush’s Urban Asthma Reduction Act of 1999, amending the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant program and includes an integrated approach to asthma management.




Rush was very outspoken against the GOP No More Solyndras Bill that would override a guarantee by the Energy Department. The Energy Department guaranteed a federal loan contract with the Solyndras company to help with research and development. Rush made the comment that the No More Solyndras Bill would be better named as the “No More Innovation Bill”.




Rush introduced the “Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009″ on January 6, 2009. The bill would require all owners of handguns and semiautomatic firearms to register for a federal firearms license. All sales of the subject firearms would have to go through a licensed dealer. It would also make it a criminal act not to register as an owner of a firearm.



Darfur genocide

On July 15, 2004, Rush became the second sitting member of Congress, following Charles Rangel and preceding Joe Hoeffel, to be arrested for trespassing while protesting the genocide in Darfur and other violations of human rights in Sudan in front of the Sudanese Embassy.



Armed forces

On February 13, 2007, Rush opposed President George W. Bush‘s proposed 20,000 serviceman troop surge in Iraq. He said the presence of the troops in Iraq is the greatest catalyst of violence in Iraq, and advocated a political resolution of the Iraq situation. Towards the close of his speech, Rush stated that the troop surge would only serve to make the Iraqi situation more volatile.



Trayvon Martin

On March 28, 2012, Rush addressed the House while wearing a hoodie in honor of Trayvon Martin, a teenager who was shot in Florida, and spoke against racial profiling. As the House forbids its members from wearing hats, Rush was called out of order and escorted from the chamber.



Committee assignments



Personal life

Together Rush and his wife Carolyn have had 6 children. One of their sons, Huey, named after Black Panther leader Huey Newton, was murdered in Chicago at the age of 29.


In 2008, Rush had a rare type of malignant tumor removed from his salivary gland. Rush is a member of Iota Phi Theta. According to a DNA analysis, he is descended mainly, from people of Ghana.


Though a very close friend to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rush announced early on in the 2008 Democratic primaries that he would support Barack Obama. After Obama won the Presidency and vacated his Senate seat, Rush proposed that an African-American should be appointed to fill his seat.


During a press conference, Rush said, “With the resignation of President-elect Obama, we now have no African-Americans in the United States Senate, and we believe it will be a national disgrace to not have this seat filled by one of the many capable African-American Illinois politicians.” Rush said he did not support any one individual in particular for Senate, and was not interested in being appointed himself. 


On December 30, 2008, Governor Rod Blagojevich announced his appointment of Roland Burris, the former Attorney General of Illinois; Rush was present at the press conference and spoke in support of Burris.
















OFA: Organizing For America Becomes Organizing For Action. What Is It?

By Jueseppi B.








Obama supporters unite for ‘Organizing for Action’



Obama for America,” the non-profit group formed to help re-elect President Obama has changed its name to “Organizing for Action” and continues to work for issues important to the President.



According to the AP:

“Coming just days before Obama’s second inauguration, the move represents the first time a sitting president has ever transformed his presidential campaign operation into an outside group with the express purpose of promoting his agenda.”



From Global Post:


Obama for America, President Barack Obama’s campaign group, is turning itself into a nonprofit organization that will advocate for issues like immigration reform, climate change, gun control, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and middle class jobs, the Associated Press reported.


The new group will be called Organizing for Action, according to MSNBC. It will act independently of the DNC, which is where Democratic presidents traditionally have gone for support on policy issues.



From The Huffington Post:


President Barack Obama may have run the last campaign of his career, but his political organization is not going away. In an unprecedented step for the campaign of a sitting president, Obama for America is relaunching itself ahead of the president’s second inauguration as a social welfare nonprofit group called Organizing for Action.


First reported Thursday night by the Los Angeles Times and Politico, the new group will use the Obama campaign’s extensive collection of data and manpower to push the president’s agenda from outside the confines of the Democratic Party structure, while giving grassroots supporters a voice in deciding which issues the nonprofit will focus on.


Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager and the chair of Organizing for Action, explained the relaunch in an e-mail to staffers and donors, “It will be a supporter-driven organization, as we’ve always been, staying true to our core principles: ‘respect, empower, include.'”


“We’ll work on the key battles of our generation, train the next generation of grassroots organizers and leaders, and organize around local issues in our own communities,” Messina continued. “We’ll continue to support the President in creating jobs and growing the economy from the middle out, and in fighting for issues like immigration reform, climate change, balanced deficit reduction, and reducing gun violence.”


First Lady Michelle Obama emphasized the “supporter-driven” nature of the organization.




From The White House Blog:.




Our work didn’t end on Election Day.


Organizing for Action will support the legislative agenda we voted on, train the next generation of grassroots organizers and leaders, and organize around local issues in our communities.


Watch this video the First Lady recorded about the next step of this grassroots movement, and say you’re in:



The First Lady on the Launch of Organizing for Action





Van Jones on Organizing for Action (OFA)


Published on Jan 19, 2013

Van Jones explains the impact of Organizing for Action in the upcoming years.











BBAAuZdCEAABmlMToday, the First Family kicked off Inauguration weekend by participating in the National Day of Service, helping out with some school improvement projects at Burrville Elementary in Washington, DC.




p011913ps-0333President Barack Obama stains shelves during a National Day of Service school improvement project at Burrville Elementary School in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
















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