Where In The World Is Barack™ Today? At HIS House. #RaiseTheWage. The Magic Of Peter Souza In Video.


By Jueseppi B.




White House Schedule – April 30, 2014


Wednesday, April 30 2014 All Times ET


In the afternoon, the President will deliver remarks on the importance of Congress passing legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10, helping to ensure that no American who works full time has to raise a family in poverty. The President’s remarks in the East Room are open press.




Remarks by the President on Raising the Minimum Wage


East Room

3:02 P.M. EDT



THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  Please have a seat.  Good afternoon.




THE PRESIDENT:  Aloha.  (Laughter.)  Got a Hawaiian guy here.


After 14 months since I’ve called on Congress to reward the hard work of millions of Americans like the ones who we have here today to raise the federal minimum wage, we saw this morning a majority of senators saying “yes,” but almost every Republican saying “no” to giving America a raise.


They blocked a bill –- sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman George Miller, who is right here in front.  (Applause.)  A bill that would have gradually raised the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.  By preventing even a vote on this bill, they prevented a raise for 28 million hardworking Americans.   They said no to helping millions work their way out of poverty — and keep in mind, this bill would have done so without any new taxes, or spending, or bureaucracy.  They told Americans like the ones who are here today that “you’re on your own” -– without even looking them in the eye.


We know these Americans.  We depend on them.  The workers who’d benefit from a minimum wage increase often work full-time, often in physically demanding jobs.  They average 35 years of age.  Most low-paying jobs are held by women.  But because Republicans in Congress said “no” to even allowing a vote on the floor of the Senate, these folks are going to have to wait for the raise they deserve.


Now the good news is outside of Washington folks aren’t waiting.  While Republicans have been deciding whether to even allow a minimum wage bill to even come up for a vote, you’ve seen 10 states and the District of Columbia go ahead and raise theirs.  (Applause.)  Yesterday, the Hawaii legislature voted to raise their minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.  Maryland did the same thing earlier this month -– and I know we’ve got some Maryland state legislators here today.  Thanks for the good work.  (Applause.)


So the actions that have been taken in just four states — Maryland, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Hawaii -– means that over a million workers will see a raise.  What’s more, we’ve seen big companies like The Gap, and small businesses — from a pizza joint in St. Louis to an ice cream parlor in Florida — increasingly choosing to raise wages for their employees because they know it’s good business.  They know that it means employees are more likely to stay on the job, less turnover.  It means that they’re going to be more productive, and customers see the difference.  That’s one of the reasons I issued an executive order requiring employees on new federal contracts to be paid a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour.  (Applause.)


So Americans have been way out in front of Congress on this issue.  In fact, about three in four Americans support raising the minimum wage.  And that’s because we believe that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.  That’s a basic principle.  (Applause.)  And at a time when those at the top are doing better than ever, while millions of Americans are working harder and harder just to get by, that three out of four Americans understands that America deserves a raise.


A few months ago, I got a letter from a woman named Sheila Artis.  And Sheila lives in Lilburn, Georgia and at the time she was working two jobs — making $8 an hour at each job.  As Sheila wrote, “I do not have days off, I have hours off.”  But she kept going to work every day because she wanted to be able to afford college tuition for her daughter.  And so she wrote to me and said, “I do not want a pot of gold.  All I want is to pay for college and pay my bills in full every month.”  That’s all she’s looking for.  Doesn’t expect to get wealthy, just wants to be able to pay the bills at the end of every month, be able to act responsibly, meet her responsibilities based on her own hard work.


People like Sheila deserve a fair shot.  So far Republicans in Congress disagree.  In fact, some of them want to scrap the minimum wage entirely.  One House Republican said, “It’s outlived its usefulness.  I’d vote to repeal the minimum wage.”  A Senate Republican said he doesn’t think the minimum wage helps the middle class.


This is a very simple issue.  Either you’re in favor of raising wages for hardworking Americans, or you’re not.  Either you want to grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up so that prosperity is broad-based, or you think that top-down economics is the way to go.


Republicans in Congress have found the time to vote more than 50 times to undermine or repeal the health care bill for millions of working families.  Earlier this month, they voted for a budget that would give the wealthiest Americans a massive tax cut while forcing deep cuts to investments that help middle-class families.  But they won’t raise wages for millions of working families when three-quarters of Americans support it?  That makes no sense.  And on top of that, they’ve blocked our efforts to make sure women receive equal pay for equal work.  They’ve stood in the way as we’ve fought to extend unemployment insurance for parents who need a little help supporting their families while they’re out looking for work.  Republicans have failed to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and they’ve increasingly failed to do anything when it comes to helping people who work hard get ahead.


If there’s any good news here, it’s that Republicans in Congress don’t get the last word on this or any issue — you do, the American people, the voters.  (Applause.)  Change is happening, whether Republicans in Congress like it or not. And so my message to the American people is this:  Do not get discouraged by a vote like the one we saw this morning.  Get fired up.  Get organized.  Make your voices heard.  (Applause.)  And rest assured, I’m going to keep working with you and Leader Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress who are here today to raise wages for hardworking Americans.  It’s the right thing to do.  (Applause.)


If your member of Congress doesn’t support raising the minimum wage, you’ve got to let them know they’re out of step, and that if they keep putting politics ahead of working Americans, you’ll put them out of office.  Tell them to reconsider.  Tell them it’s time for $10.10.  You can tweet at them — use hashtag #1010Means.  Let them know how raising the minimum wage would help you, or your family, or somebody that you know.  And while you’re at it, tell them to restore unemployment insurance for Americans who are trying to support their families right now while they look for work.  (Applause.)  Extending this lifeline of unemployment insurance would actually strengthen the economy and create jobs, and give millions of Americans across the country a sense of hope.


In the meantime, I’m going to keep offering my support to every business owner, and mayor, and governor, and county official, and legislator, and organization that’s working to give America a raise.  Because change does not come from Washington, it comes to Washington from all the folks out there who are working hard.  Americans want the people they send here to set aside the old political arguments and move this country forward.  With enough determination and enough persistence, the American people will ultimately win out.


So thank you, God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)


3:11 P.M. EDT



President Obama Speaks on the Minimum Wage



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12:15 PM: The Vice President delivers remarks at the Atlantic Council‘s special tribute to NATO and the European Union, Atlantic Council.


1:00 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, The Brady Press Briefing Room.


3:10 PM: The President delivers remarks on the minimum wage, The East Room.







Senate GOP Blocks Dems’ Minimum Wage Boost


Published on Apr 30, 2014

Senate Republicans blocked an election-year Democratic bill on Wednesday that would boost the federal minimum wage, handing a defeat to President Barack Obama on a vote that is sure to reverberate in this year’s congressional elections. (April 30)




@BarackObama Sign the petition: Be a part of the fight to raise the federal minimum wage. http://ofa.bo/scm

Sign the petition: Be a part of the fight to raise the federal minimum wage. http://ofa.bo/scm



The President’s Trip To Asia: Photos By Mr. Peter Souza 


President Obama’s fifth trip to Asia during his time in office will underscore a continued focus on the Asia-Pacific region and commitment to his vision of rebalancing to the world’s largest emerging region. The President’s visit to Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines will focus on our major priorities in the region: modernizing our alliances; supporting democratic development; advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and commercial ties; investing in regional institutions; and deepening cultural and people-to-people ties.




Vice President Biden Speaks on Preventing Campus Sexual Assault


Published on Apr 30, 2014

Vice President Biden delivers remarks at an event releasing the first report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. April 29, 2014.




Michelle Obama – Girl Power Tag!


Published on Apr 29, 2014

The amazing Michelle Obama talks Girl Power! Find out what the first lady thinks of Girl Power! #17girlpower

We tag these powerful girls!!





What They’re Saying: New Steps to Protect Students from Sexual Assault


One in five college-aged women is sexually assaulted in college – most often by someone she knows. The Obama Administration is committed to putting an end to this violence, which is why today, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault released its first-ever report and announced a series of actions to help address the problem and make sure victims know they are not alone.


In addition to helping schools identify the scope of the problem, prevent sexual assault on campus, and respond when a student is assaulted, today’s announcements will also help strengthen federal enforcement efforts and improve and improve government communication with survivors, parents, school administrators, and the public.

To make enforcement data and other sexual assault resources accessible to students and schools, the task force launched a new website, www.NotAlone.gov. On the site, students can learn about their rights, search enforcement data, and read about how to file a complaint. Schools and advocates can find federal guidance on legal obligations, the best research, and relevant legislation.

See what organizations and elected leaders from around the country are saying about today’s announcements.

Read More


1 is 2 Many PSA: 60 Second


Published on Apr 29, 2014

President Obama, Vice President Biden, Daniel Craig, Benicio Del Toro, Dulé Hill, Seth Meyers and Steve Carell on putting an end to sexual assault. http://www.whitehouse.gov/1is2many





Carney: Oklahoma Execution Not Done Humanely


Published on Apr 30, 2014

White House spokesman Jay Carney says a botched execution of a death row inmate in Oklahoma fell short of the humane standards required when the death penalty is carried out. (April 30)




Carney Says President Agrees With Sterling Ban


Published on Apr 30, 2014

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said President Barack Obama agreed with the NBA’s ban of Donald Sterling, calling it “the right thing.” (April 30)




News Wrap: Man opens fire at FedEx near Atlanta


Published on Apr 29, 2014

In our news wrap Tuesday, a package handler opened fire at a FedEx sorting center outside Atlanta, wounding six people before taking his own life. Police said the man had explosives, but did not use them. Also, for the third day in a row, violent weather wrought death and destruction in some southern states. Tornadoes have killed at least 33 people since Sunday.





Statements and Releases – April 30, 2014


Remarks by the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden at Joining Forces Impact Pledge Announcement


Op-Ed by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden in MilitaryTimes.com



Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Europe in June 2014

As part of the United States’ ongoing consultations with our allies, President Obama will travel to Poland, Belgium, and France in June 2014.  While in Warsaw, the President will hold bilateral meetings and join other world leaders in commemorating the Polish Day of Freedom, marking the 25th anniversary of Poland’s emergence from Communism.  From Poland, the President will travel to Brussels for the June 4-5 G-7 Leaders’ Summit, which was moved to Brussels after the G-7 Leaders agreed to cancel the G-8 Summit in Sochi due to Russia’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea.  The Leaders will discuss their broad shared economic, security, and development agenda and follow up on their March 24 discussion in The Hague on the situation in Ukraine.  The President then will continue on to France to participate in commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  The President appreciates the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families, and he looks forward to honoring them, along with the contributions of all the Allies.  Further details will be provided at a later time.



Statement by the President

The Hawaii Legislature did the right thing for their workers by taking action to increase their state’s minimum wage to $10.10.  I commend the state legislature and look forward to Governor Abercrombie signing the bill into law soon. Hawaii joins a large and growing coalition of states, cities, counties and businesses that have given their citizens and employees the raise they deserve. This important step in Hawaii is yet another sign that the American people support raising the minimum wage, and I urge Republicans in Congress to follow Hawaii’s lead and lift wages for 28 million Americans. With a Senate vote on this crucial issue planned for today, it’s time for Republicans in Congress to listen to the majority of Americans who say it’s time to give America a raise.




SATURDAY: White House Correspondents’ Dinner with President Obama & @joelmchale – LIVE 6pm ET on C-SPAN

SATURDAY: White House Correspondents’ Dinner with President Obama & @joelmchale – LIVE 6pm ET on C-SPAN


Could Oprah Be Part Of A Group Seeking Ownership Of Donald Sterling's L.A.Clippers?

Could Oprah Be Part Of A Group Seeking Ownership Of Donald Sterling’s L.A.Clippers?




freedom of speech



Featured Image -- 66547


Link to "8 Ways We Can Do Better for Survivors of Sexual Abuse"




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Next Battle: The “NO”vember 4th, 2014 Mid-Term Elections.


By Jueseppi B.



The 2014 United States elections will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested in this election along with 38 state and territorial governorships, 46 state legislatures (except LouisianaMississippiNew Jersey and Virginia), four territorial legislatures and numerous state and local races.



2014 United States elections
Midterm elections
Election day November 4
Senate elections
Seats contested 33 seats of Class II
and various mid-term vacancies

English: 2014 Map

English: 2014 Map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Map of the 2014 Senate races
Light red: Retiring Republican
Dark red: Incumbent Republican
Light blue: Retiring Democrat
Dark blue: Incumbent Democrat
Gray: no election
House elections
Seats contested All 435 seats to the 114th Congress
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested 38

English: Color coded map for the 2014 U.S. gub...

English: Color coded map for the 2014 U.S. gubernatorial races (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Map of the 2014 gubernatorial races
Light red: Term-limited or Retiring Republican
Dark red: Incumbent Republican
Light blue: Term-limited or Retiring Democrat
Dark blue: Incumbent Democrat
Green: Incumbent Independent
Gray: no election



Congressional elections


Senate elections…. All seats in Senate Class II will be up for election. Additionally, special elections will be held to fill vacancies in the other two Senate Classes.


Senate Class II 

Class 2 consists of:


States with a Class 2 senator: AlabamaAlaskaArkansasColoradoDelawareGeorgiaIdahoIllinoisIowaKansasKentuckyLouisiana,MaineMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMontanaNebraskaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNorth Carolina,OklahomaOregonRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasVirginiaWest Virginia, and Wyoming.



House of Representatives elections


All 435 voting seats in the United States House of Representatives will be up for election. Additionally, elections will be held to select the delegates for the District of Columbia and four of the five U.S. territories. The only seat in the House not up for election will be the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, who serves a four-year term.


On March 11, there was a special election for Florida’s 13th congressional district.



Gubernatorial elections


Elections will be held for the governorships of thirty-six of the fifty U.S. States and threeU.S. territories. Special elections may be held for vacancies in the other states and territories.




The 2014 Midterms are coming. Less than 7 months away. Get registered, get your voter ID. Get educated on new voting rules in YOUR State, county, districts.


The Mid Term Elections Are 7 Months Away. Here Is ALL You Need To Know For Voter Registration. Get Links, Facts, Phone Numbers & Mailing Information To Get Registered AND Learn New Voter I.D. Laws In YOUR State.

Mid Term Election Day November 4th, 2014…7 Months Away. Get Prepared. Barack That Vote!




Voter Registration





Registration Deadline: Voter registration is closed for the ten (10) days before an election


Party Affiliation: No party registration required for primary voting




Age: Must be 18 years old


Citizenship: Must be a United States Citizen


Residency: Must be a resident of your state


Mental Competency: Have not been legally declared “mentally incompetent” by a court


Felony Convictions: Have not been convicted of a disqualifying felony (or have rights restored)


ID Requirements: Driver’s license number or Social Security number





Online: http://www.sos.state.  your state here /elections/GetRegForm.aspx



In person
– Local County Board of Registrars
– Driver’s licensing office
– County and select municipal public libraries
– Department of Human Resources
– WIC Program, Department of Public Health
– Medicaid Agency
– Department of Rehabilitation Services
– Public 4-year universities
– Select private 4-year universities


By mail/ in writing : Must write/phone your local elections office







Check Status of Your Voter Registration


The NAACP has once again teamed up with the National Urban League to sponsor the National Voter Empowerment Hotline at 1-866-MyVote1 (1-866-698-6831).





Who can vote absentee


   – Will be absent from the county on election day
– Is ill or has a physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place
– Is a registered Alabama voter living outside the county, such as a member of the armed forces, a voter employed outside the United States, a college student, or a spouse or child of such a person
– Is an appointed election officer or poll watcher at a polling place other than his or her regular polling place
– Works a required shift, 10-hours or more, that coincides with polling hours



Other absentee voter qualifications: Business/MedicalEmergency Voting application can be made after the absentee deadline but no later than 5 PM on the day before the election, if the voter is required by an employer under unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on election day for an emergency business trip, or has a medical emergency requiring treatment from a licensed physician.






Absentee Voting Information for U.S. Citizens Abroad



Get Your Absentee Ballot Now! 



Federal Voting Assistance Program – Home – To Vote Absentee


In person: Visit the local absentee election manager(usually the Circuit Clerk) to request and absentee ballot.



By mail: Link to address/contact info – County election offices



Military and oversees voting: http://www.sos.state. your state here us/elections/MilitaryOverseas.aspx



Emergency Voting: For medical or business emergencies; must apply no later than 5pm the night before the election



Other absentee ballot information:The absentee ballot application must be returned to the Absentee Election Manager by the voter in person (or by the voter’s designee in the case of medical emergency voting) or by U.S. Mail.  No absentee ballot application may be mailed in the same envelope as another voter’s absentee ballot application.




Location and time: An absentee ballot returned by mail must be postmarked no later than the day prior to the election and received by the Absentee Election Manager no later than noon on election day. If hand-delivered, the ballot must be in the office of the Absentee Election Manager by the close of business (but no later than 5 p.m.) on the day prior to the election.


Other absentee ballot submission information: An absentee ballot cannot be counted unless the affidavit is  notarized or has the signature of two witnesses. If the absentee ballot application is approved, the Absentee Election Manager forwards the ballot by U.S. mail or personally hands the absentee ballot to the voter (or to a designee in the case of emergency voting).




Early Voting States


Absentee and Early Voting


Early Voting and Absentee Voting

Deciding how to vote: http://www.votesmart.org


Time off to vote: Employees can take time off to vote in any election for which the employee is qualified and registered to vote, unless the employee’s work hours commence at least two hours after the polls open or end at least one hour before the polls close. The employer may determine what hours are available for the employee to vote.


Polling Place: https://myinfo. your state here votes.gov/

ID Requirements: Photo ID or HAVA approved ID


How to Vote: Paper ballots + Optical scan voting equipment Link to Sample Ballots


Problems with voting: HAVA Voter Complaint Form


Verifying provisional ballot status: https://myinfo. your state here votes.gov/


Verifying absentee ballot status: https://myinfo. your state here .gov/



One Common Ground, Philipsburg, MT 59858 Hotline: 888-Vote-Smart (888-868-3762)



2014 U.S. Senate Midterm Election Races


Georgia, Iowa, New Mexico, and Virginia. We moved Iowa from “Democrat Hold” to “Tossup.”


We currently rate six races in the “Tossup” category (AK, CO, KY, LA, MI, IA), five Democrat seats and one GOP seat, with an additional five seats already projected as “GOP Takeaways” (AR, MT, NC, SD, WV). Republicans need a net six takeaways to regain control of the Senate. Polls and projections on the thirty-five 2014 U.S. Senate Midterm Election races. Get the latest information on the Senate contests here.


The Democrats have a five-seat majority (55-45) when you include the two “Independents” who caucus with them. That means Republicans will have to net gain six seats to retake control of the U.S. Senate (If it is 50-50 with the two Independents voting with the Democrats, it would remain in Democratic control because the Vice-President would cast the tie-breaking vote). There are 35 races, 21 of them seats currently held by Democrats, and 14 by Republicans.


The 35 races (including special elections) are listed in the table here:

Polls and Projections



2014 United States elections


U.S. Senate


U.S. House










Do your part






022412-politics-redistricting-voting-rights BkNzOYLCUAA1V9g





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House Passes $1.1 Trillion Bipartisan Spending Measure…But The Bill Excludes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Benefits AND SNAP.


By Jueseppi B.



House Passes $1.1 Trillion Bipartisan Spending Measure…Excluded are the benefit programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps.


The House passed a $1.1 trillion bipartisan spending bill to finance the U.S. government through Sept. 30, a turnaround from the Tea Party-fueled discord that caused a 16-day partial shutdown in October.


The Senate will start considering the measure today with the goal of sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature as soon as possible. The administration supports it.


Three months ago, Tea Party Republicans’ refusal to fund Obama’s 2010 health-care law led to a government shutdown that proved disastrous for the party in public-opinion polls. This time, Republicans agreed to finance the health-care law while Democrats accepted far less spending than they had proposed.


“In this agreement, no one gets everything they want,” Representative Nita Lowey of New York, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said in an interview at the Capitol yesterday. “It’s a good bill, a solid bill.”


The bill swept through the House on a 359-67 vote and was on track for a big Senate vote by week’s end. Republicans voted for the bill by a 2 1/2-1 margin, and just three Democrats were opposed.


The measure funds virtually every agency of government and contains compromises on almost every one of its 1,582 pages. It covers the one-third of government spending subject to annual decisions by Congress and the White House, programs that have absorbed the brunt of budget cuts racked up since Republicans reclaimed control of the House three years ago.


Excluded are the giant benefit programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps that run on autopilot and are increasingly driving the government deeper into debt.


This above statement is n outright lie perpetrated by dumbasses. Social Security funds itself by workers paying into the assistance program from the very first job they hold, until retirement.


Tea party Republicans, chastened after sparking a 16-day partial shutdown of the government in October in a kamikaze attempt to derail President Barack Obama’s health care law, appeared resigned to the bill.


“I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of opposition,” one tea party leader, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said before the vote. “The die has been cast for the next year on budget fights.”


To buy time for the Senate debate, Congress on Wednesday sent President Barack Obama a three-day funding bill in time to avert a scheduled shutdown at midnight. The Senate cleared that measure by an 86-14 vote and Obama quickly signed it into law.


The bill increases core agency spending by $26 billion over the fiscal 2013 year, after last year’s automatic spending cuts took them to $986 billion. But it’s $31 billion less than Congress passed last March before automatic cuts known as sequestration took effect.


The Pentagon faces a tight squeeze even as it avoids what would have been another $20 billion wave of automatic cuts. The Pentagon’s core budget is basically frozen at $487 billion after most accounts absorbed an 8 percent automatic cut last year. Adding $6 billion to Obama’s war request provides some relief to readiness accounts, however, though active duty troop levels would still be cut by 40,000 to 1.36 million. It includes $85 billion for overseas military operations, a slight cut from last year.


The bill includes war funding on top of $1.01 trillion for government operations, an amount lawmakers agreed on in December as part of a two-year budget. While many Tea Party Republicans in the House opposed that plan, Speaker John Boehner criticized Republican-allied groups that campaigned against the budget deal.


We are able to fund war, but unable to fund the sick, starving, and unemployed in America. Simply dumbass.


Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington-based advocacy group that opposes government waste, said a person would have to read the bill at more than a page a minute, without sleep, to understand the entire measure in time for the vote.


“While we’re happy Congress is finally getting its work done -– albeit more than three months late — this is not how legislation that is funding all of government should be done,” Steve Ellis, vice president for Taxpayers for Common Sense, said in an e-mail.


House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, told the Rules Committee Jan. 14 that he hoped the rush was a one-year-only event.


“I only wish we could consider each and every bill in this package separately, but unfortunately, the timing gives us one shot and one shot only to get it done,” Rogers said.


Lawmakers have said a more regular appropriations cycle will reduce the threat of shutdowns and provide certainty to businesses and investors.


NASA, the FBI and the Border Patrol all won spending increases at the expense of cuts to the Transportation Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service and foreign aid. There’s money to repair the iconic cast iron dome of the U.S. Capitol, full funding for food aid for low-income pregnant women and their children, and a $150 million increase over 2013 for high-priority transportation infrastructure projects. Army Corps of Engineers construction accounts get a more than $300 million hike over Obama’s request for flood control, shoreline protection and environmental restoration and other projects.


The bill fills out the budget agreement sealed last month by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the heads of the House and Senate Budget Committees. Murray and Ryan left it to the chairmen of Congress’ appropriations committees, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., to work out the details.


This bill is great….if you are not A Student. A Veteran. A Senior Citizen. On Unemployment Insurance while job searching. A Mother on SNAP. In other words, if you are the 99% of Americans, you are fucked.




Happy Bipartisan Spending Bill Day.

Happy Bipartisan Spending Bill Day.



Back To Being President: President Obama’s Bilateral Meeting With Prime Minister Letta of Italy


By Jueseppi B.




President Obama’s Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Letta of Italy

October 17, 2013 | 11:45 |Public Domain


In a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, President Obama and Prime Minister Enrico Letta of Italy highlight the strength of the U.S.-Italy relationship and discuss promoting economic growth and new jobs, their support for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, cooperation within NATO, shared challenges in North Africa and the Middle East and other issues.




Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Letta of Italy after Bilateral Meeting


Oval Office


12:32 P.M. EDT


THE PRESIDENT:  Well, it’s wonderful to welcome Prime Minister Letta to the Oval Office.  We have had a chance to get to know each other over the last several international summits that we’ve attended, and I couldn’t be more impressed with the Prime Minister’s integrity, thoughtfulness, and leadership.


I want to congratulate him on having won a vote of confidence and passing a budget.  I think it’s clear that Italy is moving in the right direction in stabilizing its finances and embarking on reforms that will make it more competitive.  And we spent a lot of our time discussing the importance of European growth, that with high unemployment — particularly youth unemployment — and the challenges that have been created since 2008, as well as the challenges within the eurozone, I think it’s important for all of us to coordinate.  And the United States obviously is not part of Europe, but we have a great interest in Europe because if Europe is doing well, that means that we’re doing well also.


So we discussed how we could partner on a strong growth agenda.  Part of that growth agenda is the Transatlantic Partnership agreement[Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership], the trade agreement that we’re trying to shape between the European Union and the United States.  We’ve had several meetings already on that, and I know Prime Minister Letta is a strong proponent of expanding what is already a very important trade relationship between the United States and Europe.  So given the fact that he will be ascending to the presidency of the European Commission, it’s a great opportunity for his leadership to assert itself during those negotiations.


We also talked about our security cooperation, and Italy has been an outstanding partner.  A NATO ally on issues ranging from Libya to Syria, to counterterrorism efforts, consistently Italy has been a strong partner, and obviously it’s been an outstanding host to our men and women who serve in the region.  And so we very much thank the Italian people as well as the Prime Minister for their strong support there.


On Libya, we agreed that we want to continue to work with other international partners to strengthen the security capacity of the Libyan government.  There’s enormous potential and hope for the Libyan people, but what they need now is a government that is representative and inclusive, and can provide the basic security as well as the basic services that will help the Libyan people achieve that potential.  And I think that we both share an interest in finding ways in which we can help the Libyans move forward.


With respect to Syria, we have been pleased to see not only the U.N. resolution, but also now the concrete efforts to get chemical weapons out of Syria.  And Italy has been very supportive of that effort.  And we both believe that it’s important to build off that success — or at least that good start — to also talk about the humanitarian suffering that the Syrian people are experiencing.  Italy has been a contributor to the humanitarian efforts there, and we want to partner with them to find ways to not only relieve the suffering, but also to implement a political transition that can allow people to return to their homes and end the killing that’s been taking place there.


And we had a chance to talk about Afghanistan.  Italian troops have been extraordinary in their sacrifice and their efforts in helping to create an Afghanistan that is secure and safe for the Afghan people.  We very much appreciate it.  We talked about how well our militaries coordinate with each other and the genuine partnership that has been created.  And we both reaffirmed our commitment to make sure that when we end combat activities in Afghanistan at the end of 2014 that we are in a position to leave behind an Afghanistan that has a strong professional security service and a government that is meeting its obligations to all its people, including all ethnic groups and women and others who have started to see greater opportunities and greater freedoms over the past several years.


And again I want to say to the Italian people, and to Prime Minister Letta, in particular, we’re grateful for your friendship.  I think everybody understands the closeness between Italy and the United States is not just because of a friendship between leaders, but also because of the incredible history and the people-to-people relations between our two countries.  Italian Americans in this country have helped to make America what it is and in every aspect of life, and that bond is one that will never go away and hopefully will continue to be strengthened during the time that you and I have the chance to work together. I’m sure it will be.


The last point I want to make is that the Prime Minister is from Tuscany, from Pisa, and he has extended an invitation to me to come visit and eat some very good food.  (Laughter.)  I don’t know whether I’m going to be able to take as much time as I want while I’m still President, but Michelle and I, having been to Tuscany before I was President and seeing how spectacular and wonderful it is, I told the Prime Minister that he will not have to twist my arm to try to get me to come to Tuscany again sometime in the near future.

So thank you very much.


PRIME MINISTER LETTA:  Thank you very much.  Of course, the invitation to Tuscany is for now, for the future, for whenever you want — Florence, Pisa, Sienna.


First of all, I congratulated President Obama, for yesterday’s success is his success, but it is also our success, because yesterday’s decision was very important for the stability in the markets in the world, in Europe and in Italy, first of all.  We need stability because we have such a big debt, so we need to have low interest rates.


Yesterday, we had the lowest interest rates in Italy since two years ago.  That was for us a very important achievement, a demonstration of the fact that we are in the right path.  And we have to continue that, and to continue on this path we need to have an alliance — alliance of growth, first of all.


Next year, Italy will be President of the European Council. In the second semester, we will start the new European legislature.  The present European legislature is linked to the word austerity.  Austerity without growth — it’s a big problem for us.  This is why we passed, in Italy, a budget with the budget under control, with the debt decreasing, the deficits decreasing, public spending decreasing, and the level of taxes on families and entrepreneurs decreasing for the first time since many years.


So it’s very important to continue on having the budget under control, but we need to push growth.  This is why the European legislature that will start with the Italian presidency of the European Council will be a legislature based, first of all, on growth.  And of course, T-TIP is one of the most important achievements.  My dream will be to sign this agreement, both, together, before the end of next year — before the end of the Italian presidency next year.


It is important we have to fight against protectionism.  Both in the G8 and the G20 meetings, we have very important common positions in fighting against fiscal evasion, fiscal avoidance, fiscal havens, against protectionism, and T-TIP is so important.


For the Mediterranean concern, I tried to present to President Obama all our concerns about the situation, the migration problems, of course the mission, the humanitarian military mission that Italy raised in these very days — Mare Nostrum — because we don’t want to have Mediterranean as a Death Sea.  The Mediterranean has to be a sea of life.


And of course, we have a problem of failed states in Africa. We have to help them, and first of all Libya, of course.  We have to work together on Syria to apply the resolution as soon as possible.  And we want to have Geneva II as soon as possible, too.  And of course, there, our work will be all together.  And so I will thank President Obama’s words on Afghanistan, of course.  Our joint commitment is very important for the stabilization of the area.


So I am very glad for the words I listened, but I’m very glad for yesterday’s result.  It’s very important for our future. Our future will be a future of friendship, cooperation, and next legislature, next European legislature will be — has to be a legislature of growth.  And we, the Italians, we will work very hard in reaching this goal because growth and, first of all, jobs for youth is my mission, our mission, and we will work together on that.


PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you again.


12:44 P.M. EDT


Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta arrives at White House for meeting with President Obama - @PeterAlexander

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta arrives at White House for meeting with President Obama – @PeterAlexander

n a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, President Obama and Prime Minister Enrico Letta of Italy highlight the strength of the U.S.-Italy relationship and discuss promoting economic growth and new jobs

n a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, President Obama and Prime Minister Enrico Letta of Italy highlight the strength of the U.S.-Italy relationship and discuss promoting economic growth and new jobs




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Welcome Back…..Now Lets Get To Work. Full Video & Transcript Of Morning Statement By Barack.


By Jueseppi B.

Winter Storm



The Government Shutdown Is Over

Last night, President Obama signed legislation to reopen our government and pay our bills.


Biden, White House Welcome Federal Workers


Published on Oct 17, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden greeted workers returning to the Environmental Protection Agency with hugs, handshakes and muffins. Over at the White House, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough did the honors of welcoming employees back to work. (Oct. 17)




President Obama Speaks on Reopening the Government


Published on Oct 17, 2013

In a statement from the White House Press Briefing Room, President Obama says that because Democrats and responsible Republicans came together, the first government shutdown in 17 years is now over and the first default in more than 200 years will not happen. October 17, 2013.




Statement by the OMB Director

Statement from Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Director of the Office of Management and Budget

“Now that the bill has passed the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, the President plans to sign it tonight and employees should expect to return to work in the morning. Employees should be checking the news and OPM’s website for further updates.”


WH Chief of Staff Denis McDonough greets workers at EEOB on morning of gov't reopen via @AP

WH Chief of Staff Denis McDonough greets workers at EEOB on morning of gov’t reopen via @AP



Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. welcomes back EPA employees.

Joseph Robinette “Joe” Biden, Jr. welcomes back EPA employees.

Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. is glad to welcome back federal employees.

Joseph Robinette “Joe” Biden, Jr. is glad to welcome back federal employees.


Remarks by the President on the Reopening of the Government


Remarks by the President on the Reopening of the Government

State Dining Room


11:00 A.M. EDT


THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  Please have a seat.


Well, last night, I signed legislation to reopen our government and pay America’s bills.  Because Democrats and responsible Republicans came together, the first government shutdown in 17 years is now over.  The first default in more than 200 years will not happen.  These twin threats to our economy have now been lifted.  And I want to thank those Democrats and Republicans for getting together and ultimately getting this job done.


Now, there’s been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown.  But let’s be clear:  There are no winners here.  These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy.  We don’t know yet the full scope of the damage, but every analyst out there believes it slowed our growth.


We know that families have gone without paychecks or services they depend on.  We know that potential homebuyers have gotten fewer mortgages, and small business loans have been put on hold.  We know that consumers have cut back on spending, and that half of all CEOs say that the shutdown and the threat of shutdown set back their plans to hire over the next six months.  We know that just the threat of default — of America not paying all the bills that we owe on time — increased our borrowing costs, which adds to our deficit.


And, of course, we know that the American people’s frustration with what goes on in this town has never been higher. That’s not a surprise that the American people are completely fed up with Washington.  At a moment when our economic recovery demands more jobs, more momentum, we’ve got yet another self-inflicted crisis that set our economy back.  And for what?


There was no economic rationale for all of this.  Over the past four years, our economy has been growing, our businesses have been creating jobs, and our deficits have been cut in half. We hear some members who pushed for the shutdown say they were doing it to save the American economy — but nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises.


And you don’t have to take my word for it.  The agency that put America’s credit rating on watch the other day explicitly cited all of this, saying that our economy “remains more dynamic and resilient” than other advanced economies, and that the only thing putting us at risk is — and I’m quoting here — “repeated brinksmanship.”  That’s what the credit rating agency said.  That wasn’t a political statement; that was an analysis of what’s hurting our economy by people whose job it is to analyze these things.


That also happens to be the view of our diplomats who’ve been hearing from their counterparts internationally.  Some of the same folks who pushed for the shutdown and threatened default claim their actions were needed to get America back on the right track, to make sure we’re strong.  But probably nothing has done more damage to America’s credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle that we’ve seen these past several weeks.  It’s encouraged our enemies.  It’s emboldened our competitors.  And it’s depressed our friends who look to us for steady leadership.


Now, the good news is we’ll bounce back from this.  We always do.  America is the bedrock of the global economy for a reason.  We are the indispensable nation that the rest of the world looks to as the safest and most reliable place to invest — something that’s made it easier for generations of Americans to invest in their own futures.  We have earned that responsibility over more than two centuries because of the dynamism of our economy and our entrepreneurs, the productivity of our workers, but also because we keep our word and we meet our obligations.  That’s what full faith and credit means — you can count on us.

And today, I want our people and our businesses and the rest of the world to know that the full faith and credit of the United States remains unquestioned.


But to all my friends in Congress, understand that how business is done in this town has to change.  Because we’ve all got a lot of work to do on behalf of the American people — and that includes the hard work of regaining their trust.  Our system of self-government doesn’t function without it.  And now that the government is reopened, and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do, and that’s grow this economy; create good jobs; strengthen the middle class; educate our kids; lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul.  That’s why we’re here.  That should be our focus.


Now, that won’t be easy.  We all know that we have divided government right now.  There’s a lot of noise out there, and the pressure from the extremes affect how a lot of members of Congress see the day-to-day work that’s supposed to be done here. And let’s face it, the American people don’t see every issue the same way.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t make progress.  And when we disagree, we don’t have to suggest that the other side doesn’t love this country or believe in free enterprise, or all the other rhetoric that seems to get worse every single year.  If we disagree on something, we can move on and focus on the things we agree on, and get some stuff done.


Let me be specific about three places where I believe we can make progress right now.  First, in the coming days and weeks, we should sit down and pursue a balanced approach to a responsible budget, a budget that grows our economy faster and shrinks our long-term deficits further.


At the beginning of this year, that’s what both Democrats and Republicans committed to doing.  The Senate passed a budget; House passed a budget; they were supposed to come together and negotiate.  And had one side not decided to pursue a strategy of brinksmanship, each side could have gotten together and figured out, how do we shape a budget that provides certainty to businesses and people who rely on government, provides certainty to investors in our economy, and we’d be growing faster right now.


Now, the good news is the legislation I signed yesterday now requires Congress to do exactly that — what it could have been doing all along.


And we shouldn’t approach this process of creating a budget as an ideological exercise — just cutting for the sake of cutting.  The issue is not growth versus fiscal responsibility — we need both.  We need a budget that deals with the issues that most Americans are focused on:  creating more good jobs that pay better wages.


And remember, the deficit is getting smaller, not bigger.  It’s going down faster than it has in the last 50 years. The challenges we have right now are not short-term deficits; it’s the long-term obligations that we have around things like Medicare and Social Security.  We want to make sure those are there for future generations.


So the key now is a budget that cuts out the things that we don’t need, closes corporate tax loopholes that don’t help create jobs, and frees up resources for the things that do help us grow — like education and infrastructure and research.  And these things historically have not been partisan.  And this shouldn’t be as difficult as it’s been in past years because we already spend less than we did a few years ago.  Our deficits are half of what they were a few years ago.  The debt problems we have now are long term, and we can address them without shortchanging our kids, or shortchanging our grandkids, or weakening the security that current generations have earned from their hard work.


So that’s number one.  Number two, we should finish fixing the job of — let me say that again.  Number two, we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system.


There’s already a broad coalition across America that’s behind this effort of comprehensive immigration reform — from business leaders to faith leaders to law enforcement.  In fact, the Senate has already passed a bill with strong bipartisan support that would make the biggest commitment to border security in our history; would modernize our legal immigration system; make sure everyone plays by the same rules, makes sure that folks who came here illegally have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, meet their responsibilities.  That bill has already passed the Senate. And economists estimate that if that bill becomes law, our economy would be 5 percent larger two decades from now.  That’s $1.4 trillion in new economic growth.


The majority of Americans think this is the right thing to do.  And it’s sitting there waiting for the House to pass it.  Now, if the House has ideas on how to improve the Senate bill, let’s hear them.  Let’s start the negotiations.  But let’s not leave this problem to keep festering for another year, or two years, or three years.  This can and should get done by the end of this year.


Number three, we should pass a farm bill, one that American farmers and ranchers can depend on; one that protects vulnerable children and adults in times of need; one that gives rural communities opportunities to grow and the long-term certainty that they deserve.


Again, the Senate has already passed a solid bipartisan bill.  It’s got support from Democrats and Republicans.  It’s sitting in the House waiting for passage.  If House Republicans have ideas that they think would improve the farm bill, let’s see them.  Let’s negotiate.  What are we waiting for?  Let’s get this done.


So, passing a budget; immigration reform; farm bill.  Those are three specific things that would make a huge difference in our economy right now.  And we could get them done by the end of the year if our focus is on what’s good for the American people. And that’s just the big stuff.  There are all kinds of other things that we could be doing that don’t get as much attention.


I understand we will not suddenly agree on everything now that the cloud of crisis has passed.  Democrats and Republicans are far apart on a lot of issues.  And I recognize there are folks on the other side who think that my policies are misguided — that’s putting it mildly.  That’s okay.  That’s democracy.  That’s how it works.  We can debate those differences vigorously, passionately, in good faith, through the normal democratic process.


And sometimes, we’ll be just too far apart to forge an agreement.  But that should not hold back our efforts in areas where we do agree.  We shouldn’t fail to act on areas that we do agree or could agree just because we don’t think it’s good politics; just because the extremes in our party don’t like the word “compromise.”


I will look for willing partners wherever I can to get important work done.  And there’s no good reason why we can’t govern responsibly, despite our differences, without lurching from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis.  In fact, one of the things that I hope all of us have learned these past few weeks is that it turns out smart, effective government is important.  It matters.  I think the American people during this shutdown had a chance to get some idea of all the things, large and small, that government does that make a difference in people’s lives.


We hear all the time about how government is the problem.  Well, it turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways.  Not only does it keep us strong through our military and our law enforcement, it plays a vital role in caring for our seniors and our veterans, educating our kids, making sure our workers are trained for the jobs that are being created, arming our businesses with the best science and technology so they can compete with companies from other countries.  It plays a key role in keeping our food and our toys and our workplaces safe.  It helps folks rebuild after a storm.  It conserves our natural resources.  It finances startups.  It helps to sell our products overseas.  It provides security to our diplomats abroad.


So let’s work together to make government work better, instead of treating it like an enemy or purposely making it work worse.  That’s not what the founders of this nation envisioned when they gave us the gift of self-government.  You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position.  Go out there and win an election.  Push to change it. But don’t break it.  Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building.  That’s not being faithful to what this country is about.


And that brings me to one last point.  I’ve got a simple message for all the dedicated and patriotic federal workers who’ve either worked without pay or been forced off the job without pay these past few weeks, including most of my own staff: Thank you.  Thanks for your service.  Welcome back.  What you do is important.  It matters.


You defend our country overseas.  You deliver benefits to our troops who’ve earned them when they come home.  You guard our borders.  You protect our civil rights.  You help businesses grow and gain footholds in overseas markets.  You protect the air we breathe and the water our children drink.  And you push the boundaries of science and space, and you guide hundreds of thousands of people each day through the glories of this country. Thank you.  What you do is important.  And don’t let anybody else tell you different.  Especially the young people who come to this city to serve — believe that it matters.  Well, you know what, you’re right.  It does.


And those of us who have the privilege to serve this country have an obligation to do our job as best we can.  We come from different parties, but we are Americans first.  And that’s why disagreement cannot mean dysfunction.  It can’t degenerate into hatred.  The American people’s hopes and dreams are what matters, not ours.  Our obligations are to them.  Our regard for them compels us all, Democrats and Republicans, to cooperate, and compromise, and act in the best interests of our nation –- one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.


Thanks very much.


11:20 A.M. EDT











Rep. John Boehner Sworn-In As Speaker Of The House



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