Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Facebook Supporter: Bau Kahar Mustain

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Name: : Bau Kahar Mustain
Issue: : Conservation Lake Tempe Indonesia
Thoughts: : Humanism Care charity for Lake Tempe Conservation Begining I need Mr.President United State support my Programs.Thank you
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Breaking News: Court declares Franken the winner of Minnesota Senate race

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From CNN

Minnesota's Supreme Court has dismissed former Sen. Norm Coleman's challenge to the state's November election results and declared Democratic challenger Al Franken the winner.

The court's unanimous, unsigned opinion declared that Franken "received the highest number of votes legally cast" and is entitled "to receive the certificate of election as United States senator from the state of Minnesota."

If the ruling brings an end to seven months of challenges by Coleman, Franken would become the 60th member of the Senate Democratic caucus, a move that gives the party a filibuster-proof majority in the chamber, at least on paper.

The former "Saturday Night Live" writer and performer had declared victory in the disputed race after a recount ended in January, but Coleman, a Republican who had been seeking a second six-year term, went to court to challenge those results.

Coleman led Franken on election night by a margin of 206 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast. The margin was narrow enough to trigger a recount, however, and that process ended in January with Franken leading by 225 votes.

Coleman still could attempt to take the challenge to federal courts. But Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, told CNN on Sunday that he would sign Franken's election certificate if the state Supreme Court declared him the winner.

Improving Energy Efficiency

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Amidst the tremedous progress being made in Congress on legislation to create a clean energy economy, today the President led by example and did his part here in the Executive branch. The President and Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today several innovative actions that will promote energy efficiency while saving Americans billions of dollars annually. This announcement highlights the fact that clean energy not only makes environmental sense, but it also makes smart economic sense. The President explained that this is why the administration has put energy at the forefront of our economic recovery, working to build a new, clean energy economy for the future:

So we've gotten a lot done on the energy front over the last six months. But even as we're changing the ways we're producing energy, we're also changing the ways we use energy. In fact, one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to make our economy stronger and cleaner is to make our economy more energy efficient. And that's something that Secretary Chu is working every single day to work through.

This announcement, which takes effect in 2012, includes major changes to energy conservation standards for household and commercial lighting. It mainly focuses on General Service Fluorescent Lamps, commonly found in residential and commercial builds, and Incandescent Reflector Lamps, commonly found in recessed and track lighting. Although these changes may not sound exciting, the President explained, the effects will be substantial:

The first step we're taking sets new efficiency standards on fluorescent and incandescent lighting. Now I know light bulbs may not seem sexy, but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses. Between 2012 and 2042, these new standards will save consumers up to $4 billion a year, conserve enough electricity to power every home in America for 10 months, reduce emissions equal to the amount produced by 166 million cars each year, and eliminate the need for as many as 14 coal-fired power plants.

The President and Secretary Chu also announced that $346 million from the Recovery Act will go towards accelerating the development and use of energy efficient technologies in new and existing commercial and residential buildings. Improving building efficiency will not only create jobs, but it will also be a crucial step in reducing carbon emissions:

And if we want to make our economy run more efficiently, we've also got to make our homes and businesses run more efficiently. And that's why we're also speeding up a $346 million investment under the Recovery Act to expand and accelerate the development, deployment, and use of energy-efficient technologies in residential and commercial buildings, which consume almost 40 percent of the energy we use and contribute to almost 40 percent of the carbon pollution we produce.

We're talking about technologies that are available right now or will soon be available -- from lighting to windows, heating to cooling, smart sensors and controls. By adopting these technologies in our homes and businesses, we can make our buildings up to 80 percent more energy efficient -- or with additions like solar panels on the roof or geothermal power from underground, even transform them into zero-energy buildings that actually produce as much energy as they consume.

If you’d like to learn more about today’s announcement and how it will improve energy efficiency, you can read the White House fact sheet.

Open Thread - Post from OFA Blog

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By Christopher Hass


"The first step we're taking sets new efficiency standards on fluorescent and incandescent lighting. Now I know light bulbs may not seem sexy, but this simple action holds enormous promise because 7 percent of all the energy consumed in America is used to light our homes and our businesses. Between 2012 and 2042, these new standards will save consumers up to $4 billion a year, conserve enough electricity to power every home in America for 10 months, reduce emissions equal to the amount produced by 166 million cars each year, and eliminate the need for as many as 14 coal-fired power plants."

Whose Paying for Health Care Reform

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Two questions that kept popping up during the health care service events in Connecticut this past weekend were "How is the President going to pay for this new health care reform?" and "Who will pay for it?" I was encouraged to find that 90% of the people I spoke with realize that doing nothing is not an option. But there is worry and concern on where the money to fix our broken system will come from.

We are already paying for health care, and dearly. We pay for procedures that are unnecessary. We are charged exorbitant fees for emergency room and hospital stays. We pay marked up rates for hospital supplies. Take a look at an itemized bill and see how much a box of tissues cost (makes you want to bring your own). These items are purchased in bulk at wholesale rates. The larger the quantity, the lower the wholesale unit price. Hospitals often charge the patient/consumer for these items at two to three times their retail value, and more. This is true for more than just boxes of tissues. It seems that any item that is provided by a hospital to the patient/consumer goes through a price markup that is higher than the retail value.

And who pays for those "goody bags" when a new born mother leaves the hospital? Something in my gut tells me the new born mother's health care provider is paying for that "gift."

Granted, these items noted above cannot be "shared" by patients, but that still does not justify the price hike. These costs are then paid for by the health care providers, who then in turn raise their rates. Obviously, the hospital is making a profit from charging these items to the patient/consumer. This is permissible in a free-market society.

So what do we as patient/consumers do? Do we brown bag for our hospital stays? That is to say, bring our own "goody bags" with our own tissues, lotion, plastic surgical gloves, cotton balls, tongue pressers, our own aspirin, etc. imagine telling your dentist, "Wait. Use my surgical gloves. I got them on sale at the local dollar store." While that might make good press to have people "brown bag" their hospital supplies for a day, it is highly impractical, since most trips to the hospital are not planned. Nevertheless, the gnawing feeling of being "taken in" remains.

It would be great if our lawmakers could take a look at hospital pricing in the same manner as was most recently done with credit card interest fees. We have to look at how we are charging the patient/consumer from all angles.

It is great to see that our administration is making headway on cutting costs and eliminating waste within our current system. Most recently, the US Dept. of Health and Human Services brought charges against various groups, involving $82 million dollars of Medicare/Medicaid fraud.
Turning up the HEAT to Stop Medicare and Medicaid Fraud
Most health care providers are doing the right thing and providing care with integrity. But sadly, due to the illegal actions of a small but active group of heath care fraud perpetrators, billions of dollars are stolen from taxpayers each year. Medicare fraud schemes have grown bolder and more elaborate, resulting in billions of dollars in false billings and fraud schemes which are robbing Medicare and Medicaid blind and leaving our most vulnerable citizens at risk ...
Some schemes that have been uncovered include:
Miami Physician Sentenced to 97 Months in Prison for Role in $10 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme

Eight Miami-Area Residents Charged in $22 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme Involving Home Health Care Agencies

Medicare Fraud Strike Force Operations Lead to Charges Against 53 Doctors, Health Care Executives and Beneficiaries for More Than $50 Million in Alleged False Billing in Detroit
No doubt, these efforts of our current administration will save us billions of dollars and allow us to spend money wisely.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Join the National Online Discussion on Health Care Reform

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On Wednesday, President Obama will hold another online town hall, this time focused on health care reform. From WhiteHouse.gov:

This online town hall will be a little different than the last one. This time around, we are engaging online networks outside of WhiteHouse.gov, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

You can get started today by watching the President's video and posting your 20-30 second video response here:




Later this afternoon, Nancy-Ann DeParle will be hosting a live-streamed, online chat to discuss health care reform. You can take part using the White House Facebook live chat feature, starting at 5:00 PM Eastern.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Powerful Stories

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A few weeks ago, President Obama asked you to share your personal story about how the health care crisis has affected you and the ones you love. Hundreds of thousands of stories poured in from every corner of the country. The President and I have read through many of them ourselves -- and now I'm encouraging you to do so as well.

Read these powerful, personal stories from people in your area and around the country.

Read these powerful stories

And after you do, please forward this note on to as many people as you can.

For folks who don't yet understand why health care reform is such an urgent priority, these stories make the case far better than any statistics ever could.

For those who support health care reform but haven't yet found the time to join our campaign, these stories provide more motivation than any speech any politician could ever give.

So please read these stories, pass this note on to everyone in your address book, and help us show everyone in America why fixing our broken health care system is a necessity that just can't wait:

http://healthcare.barackobama.com/stories

Thank you,

Vice President Joe Biden

National Health Care Day of Service in Hartford a Total Success

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Organizing for Connecticut volunteers team up with Goya Foods and Hartford's Hispanic Health Council to promote health and wellness in the heart of Hartford's Latino community and market place, La Plaza Del Mercado, on Saturday afternoon, June 27th.

Throughout the day, over 300 neighborhood residents stopped by to obtain samples of traditional Spanish foods that were organic and low in sodium content. "I tried these new food items at home and there's no difference in the taste," commented Hilsa Morgan, a volunteer from Vernon CT. Hilsa shared why she had driven all the way from Vernon to Hartford on such a beautiful day to volunteer saying that,
"I was talking to the event organizer a couple of weeks ago about how people, especially women, in the Latino community die so young and so often from diabetes, obesity, cancer and about our starchy diet. I am Puerto Rican and I cook the same way. I talked about today with my husband, who is a chef. He called Goya Foods and they were delighted to donate samples of their new line of low sodium, organic foods. I really feel good about doing this and helping my community to eat healthier for a better life.
Margarita Valdez helped to pass out food samples and said, "When I heard about this event, I wanted to come and learn more about eating better. I eat Goya foods all the time. I think it is great that the company is doing this." Margarita stated that she thinks President Obama is taking the right approach with health care by encouraging each person to take better care of themselves. "I just got health care insurance," Margarita stated. "I was without it for a long time and I hope that the President will be able to get health care reform accomplished this year."

The Hispanic Health Council set up a table and, as residents stopped to pick up food samples, Yizza Galdamez (HHC) talked with them about the importance of a healthy and balanced diet, coupled with regular exercise. Yizza had on hand a wealth of information packets in English and Spanish on the various HC health care initiatives. She stated that she was so excited about this activity and wants to continue to work together in this way for the Latino community. She too is hopeful that President Obama will be able to pass his health care reform plan stating that,
"One of the concerns that frustrates me with our current system is that I come in contact with people who are working, trying to improve the quality of their life be denied health care coverage because of the fact that they have a small, part-time job. They do not earn enough to pay for private health care and, because they have even just a small job, they are disqualified to receive public health assistance."
Yizza also stated that she was happy to see volunteers from the community get involved.

In addition to the materials that HHC had on hand, OFC volunteers brought along fliers highlighting President Obama's health care plan in English and Spanish, sharing the fliers and talking about health care reform with neighborhood residents. "It is important for people to know what the facts are," stated Amy Martin, a volunteer fluent in both Spanish and English. "I believe that our doing days of service is also very important," she continued. "It shows we are not just about politics, we actually care about the community and are willing to help."

In the spirit of service, OFC is donating the left over packages of rice and seasonings and the cans of beans to a local homeless shelter. OFC and HHC will continue to work on various health care service projects in the Latino community over the next few months.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

National Health Care Day Of Service: From Obama HQ Blog

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by OFA BloggerSaturday June 27 2009 02:07:40 PM

The National Health Care Day of Service is today, and volunteers across the country are taking place in thousands of events designed to raise visibility for health care reform in their communities. These health care service projects give volunteers a chance to make an impact in their own communities and improve the lives of their neighbors in the short term -- and they are just one step forward in the larger fight for long term, comprehensive health care reform.

Shonda from Greensboro, North Carolina, is making an impact on her community. Her National Health Care Day of Service event this Sunday will provide materials to local parents about State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). She is expecting about 70 people to attend, including families she met at schools, churches, day cares and summer camps.

The Family Fair is being held at the Greensboro Public Library. The focus of the fair is providing information and applications for SCHIP to families in need. There will be tables with SCHIP information and applications, as well as food and entertainment for the kids. Two guest speakers, whose families are enrolled in SCHIP, are set to speak at the fair. Shonda has even arranged for a Spanish translator. Despite her busy schedule, Shonda is passionate about the impact of her community service.

"We are really trying to make a difference and help out as much as we can," Shonda explained. "Even with our personal lives and schedules, we find ways to make it work."

Meanwhile Pat from Chesapeake, Virginia, is planning a similar event. This Saturday, Pat will provide SCHIP information and applications to customers at local businesses, such as shopping malls and grocery stores. He is expecting a diverse crowd of around 30 volunteers to help him. The group will include health care professionals, educators, and people who are struggling with their own health care.

These are two of the many of events taking place today, and with more events scheduled tomorrow as well. There may still be time to find a service event in your area this weekend. If you attended an event, let us know how it went in the comments below.

Facebook Supporter: Oliver Kronshage

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Name: : Oliver Kronshage
Issue: : President Manager
Thoughts: : Hello Barack Obama
Please send she back HOME
MRS. Angela Merkel is STUPID she dont understand was is happend in the World.She dont understand why the new ENERGY is comming .She is so stupid!! Can you know she?? I not!
Millions of People here in Europa meen she is stupid. She is not the new Energy
Love and Lights
Oliver Kronshage
President Manager and new Enery Coach
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Obama scoffs at Ahmadinejad's demand for apology

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From HuffingtonPost - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20090626/us-obama/

President Barack Obama's criticism of Iran escalated Friday into an unusually personal war of words. To Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's demand he apologize for meddling, Obama shot back that the regime should "think carefully" about answers owed to protesters it has arrested, bludgeoned and killed.

"The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous," Obama said. "We see it and we condemn it."

The president spoke at an East Room news conference capping his third set of meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of several European leaders who spoke out more forcefully, more quickly than Obama on the unrest in Iran that followed the disputed June 12 elections.

"We will not forget," Merkel said.

Turning to Iraq, where a deadline for U.S. combat troops to leave all cities was just four days away, Obama offered no support for allowing a spate of recent violence to push back the withdrawal. "If you look at the overall trend, despite some of these high-profile bombings, Iraq's security situation has continued to dramatically improve," Obama said.

Of bigger concern than the violence, Obama said, is the lack of movement on laws to share oil revenues and other matters that keep Iraq deeply fractured along sectarian lines. He called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step up his leadership.

Merkel's visit happened to coincide with the day that a sweeping global warming bill came up for a vote in the House amid contentious partisan sniping about its effect on jobs and consumer costs. With the vote still hours away and the outcome in doubt, Obama and Merkel, who has made climate change a top priority, presented the rare sight of an American president and a visiting foreign leader together urging the U.S. Congress to act.


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Obama scoffs at Ahmadinejad's demand for apology
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JENNIFER LOVEN | June 27, 2009 12:36 AM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's criticism of Iran escalated Friday into an unusually personal war of words. To Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's demand he apologize for meddling, Obama shot back that the regime should "think carefully" about answers owed to protesters it has arrested, bludgeoned and killed.

"The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous," Obama said. "We see it and we condemn it."

The president spoke at an East Room news conference capping his third set of meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of several European leaders who spoke out more forcefully, more quickly than Obama on the unrest in Iran that followed the disputed June 12 elections.

"We will not forget," Merkel said.

Turning to Iraq, where a deadline for U.S. combat troops to leave all cities was just four days away, Obama offered no support for allowing a spate of recent violence to push back the withdrawal. "If you look at the overall trend, despite some of these high-profile bombings, Iraq's security situation has continued to dramatically improve," Obama said.

Of bigger concern than the violence, Obama said, is the lack of movement on laws to share oil revenues and other matters that keep Iraq deeply fractured along sectarian lines. He called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step up his leadership.

Merkel's visit happened to coincide with the day that a sweeping global warming bill came up for a vote in the House amid contentious partisan sniping about its effect on jobs and consumer costs. With the vote still hours away and the outcome in doubt, Obama and Merkel, who has made climate change a top priority, presented the rare sight of an American president and a visiting foreign leader together urging the U.S. Congress to act.
Story continues below

Obama said he had been "very blunt and frank" with Merkel that it will take significant time to turn the U.S. into a world leader on climate change but that the "critical" bill before the House was a good start.

Merkel sympathized with the difficulty of approving such legislation, which would impose the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas pollution and force a shift to cleaner energy sources. "I know what's at stake, when you talk about reduction targets, how tricky that is," Merkel said.

In Iran, the government proclaimed the incumbent hardline president, Ahmadinejad, the landslide winner of the June 12 voting over opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, prompting widespread protests followed by a brutal state-led crackdown.

Ahmadinejad told Obama Thursday to "show your repentance" for criticizing Tehran's response.

"I don't take Mr. Ahmadinejad's statements seriously about apologies, particularly given the fact that the United States has gone out of its way not to interfere with the election process in Iran," Obama responded sternly.

"I would suggest that Mr. Ahmadinejad think carefully about the obligations he owes to his own people," he added. "And he might want to consider looking at the families of those who've been beaten or shot or detained. And, you know, that's where I think Mr. Ahmadinejad and others need to answer their questions."

It was Obama's first direct criticism of any of Iran's leaders. Even more, it was coupled with his first specific boost for Mousavi. "Mousavi has shown to have captured the imagination or the spirit of forces within Iran that were interested in opening up," Obama said.

The remark sought to clarify what many view as Obama's biggest misstep _ saying last week in a television interview that there may not be much difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. But it appeared to swing over to an outright endorsement of Mousavi, though White House press secretary Robert Gibbs denied it was meant that way.

Obama also said for the first time that his offer to loosen the decades-old U.S. diplomatic freeze with Iran through direct talks is now in question.

"There is no doubt that any direct dialogue or diplomacy with Iran is going to be affected by the events of the last several weeks," Obama said, without elaborating.

Gibbs said Obama was "more stating the obvious" that no talks are possible while developments are still unfolding. And Obama said that an existing system of multilateral talks with Iran over its suspected goal of building a nuclear bomb, involving nations including the U.S., Europe, China and Russia, must continue.

"The clock is ticking. Iran is developing a nuclear capacity at a fairly rapid clip," he said.

Merkel agreed there must be no letup among nations trying to stop Iran's nuclear development, which Tehran insists is aimed at providing only electric power, not weapons. She said "we have to bring Russia and China alongside," referring to the two nations most historically unwilling to get tough with Iran over the nuclear standoff.

Weekly Address: Opening the Door to a Clean Energy Economy

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The President praises historic energy legislation passed by the House of Representatives. The legislation will help America create green jobs, ensure clean air for our children, move towards energy independence and combat climate change.

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama praised the House of Representatives for passing the energy bill on Friday evening. This historic piece of legislation will not just lessen our dependence on foreign oil, but also spark a clean energy transformation in our economy that will create millions of new American jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced. Clean energy and the jobs it creates are critical to building a new foundation for our economy.



Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
June 27, 2009

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a historic piece of legislation that will open the door to a clean energy economy and a better future for America.

For more than three decades, we have talked about our dependence on foreign oil. And for more than three decades, we have seen that dependence grow. We have seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security. We have seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet. And most of all, we have seen other countries realize a critical truth: the nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy.

Now is the time for the United States of America to realize this too. Now is the time for us to lead.

The energy bill that passed the House will finally create a set of incentives that will spark a clean energy transformation in our economy. It will spur the development of low carbon sources of energy – everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safer nuclear energy and cleaner coal. It will spur new energy savings, like the efficient windows and other materials that reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. And most importantly, it will make possible the creation of millions of new jobs.

Make no mistake: this is a jobs bill. We’re already seeing why this is true in the clean energy investments we’re making through the Recovery Act. In California, 3000 people will be employed to build a new solar plant that will create 1000 permanent jobs. In Michigan, investment in wind turbines and wind technology is expected to create over 2,600 jobs. In Florida, three new solar projects are expected to employ 1400 people.

The list goes on and on, but the point is this: this legislation will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. That will lead to the creation of new businesses and entire new industries. And that will lead to American jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced. I have often talked about the need to build a new foundation for economic growth so that we do not return to the endless cycle of bubble and bust that led us to this recession. Clean energy and the jobs it creates will be absolutely critical to this new foundation.

This legislation has also been written carefully to address the concerns that many have expressed in the past. Instead of increasing the deficit, it is paid for by the polluters who currently emit dangerous carbon emissions. It provides assistance to businesses and families as they make the gradual transition to clean energy technologies. It gives rural communities and farmers the opportunity to participate in climate solutions and generate new income. And above all, it will protect consumers from the costs of this transition, so that in a decade, the price to the average American will be just about a postage stamp a day.

Because this legislation is so balanced and sensible, it has already attracted a remarkable coalition of consumer and environmental groups; labor and business leaders; Democrats and Republicans. And I want to thank every Member of Congress who put politics aside to support this bill on Friday.

Now my call to every Senator, as well as to every American, is this: We cannot be afraid of the future. And we must not be prisoners of the past. Don’t believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth. It’s just not true.

We have been talking about energy for decades. But there is no longer a disagreement over whether our dependence on foreign oil is endangering our security. It is. There is no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy. It’s happening. And there is no longer a question about whether the jobs and industries of the 21st century will be centered around clean, renewable energy. The question is, which country will create these jobs and these industries? I want that answer to be the United States of America. And I believe that the American people and the men and women they sent to Congress share that view. So I want to congratulate the House for passing this bill, and I want to urge the Senate to take this opportunity to come together and meet our obligations – to our constituents, to our children, to God’s creation, and to future generations.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Facebook Supporter: hazel

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Name: : hazel
Issue: : 2012
Thoughts: : YES WE CAN
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Recovery in Action: Summer Jobs for Youth

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Yesterday the Vice President expressed his pride that all 55 states and territories have already obligated half of their highway funding, an achievement sure to benefit the nation's economy. But judging by the stories submitted to Whitehouse.gov/recovery/share/, another achievement of the Recovery Act — providing summer jobs for America’s youth — is touching families even more directly.

From Streamwood, Illinois, Jessie reported that the Recovery Act provided summer employment for his two children, and from Louisville, Mississippi, Angela shared that her 19 and 17 year olds found summer jobs created by the Recovery Act. From Oklahoma City, Kyle explained how the Recovery Act has helped foster youth:

I work with foster youth who are about to exit state custody. These young people, historically, have a harder time finding a job, maintaining stable housing and graduating from high school. As the job market worsens, so do their outcomes. Recently, however, a push to employ foster youth using recovery dollars has made a big difference. Our local Workforce Board in OKC has found employment for nearly all the youth we refer. The jobs go beyond fast food and retail. Youth are able to get into their interested fields.

Throughout the summer, the White House will continue to gather stories like these from the public to publicize the results of the Recovery Act. To share your story, go to Whitehouse.gov/recovery/share/.

A Historic Energy Bill

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Today the House is slated to vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. Yesterday the President weighed in heavily on the importance of passing this bill:



THE PRESIDENT: Hey, guys. Good afternoon. Right now, the House of Representatives is moving towards a vote of historic proportions on a piece of legislation that will open the door to a new clean energy economy.

For more than three decades, we've talked about our dependence on foreign oil. And for more than three decades, we've seen that dependence grow. We've seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security. We've seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet. And most of all, we've seen that others countries realize a critical truth: The nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy.

Now is the time for the United States of America to realize this, as well. Now is the time for us to lead. The energy bill before the House will finally create a set of incentives that will spark a clean energy transformation of our economy. It will spur the development of low-carbon sources of energy -- everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safe nuclear energy and cleaner coal. It will spur new energy savings like the efficient windows and other materials that reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer.

And most importantly, it will make possible the creation of millions of new jobs. Now, make no mistake -- this is a jobs bill. We're already seeing why this is true in the clean energy investments we're making through the Recovery Act. In California, 3,000 people will be employed to build a new solar plant that will create 1,000 jobs. In Michigan, investments in wind turbines and wind technology is expected to create over, 2,600 jobs. In Florida, three new solar projects are expected to employ 1,400 people.

The list goes on and on, but the point is this: This legislation will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. That will lead to the creation of new businesses and entire new industries. And that will lead to American jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced.

I've often talked about the need to build a new foundation for economic growth so that we don't return to the endless cycle of bubble and bust that has led us into this deep recession. Clean energy and the jobs it creates will be absolutely critical to that new foundation.

This legislation has also been written carefully to address the concerns that many have expressed in the past. Instead of increasing the deficit, it's paid for by the polluters who currently emit dangerous carbon emissions. It provides assistance to businesses and families as they make the gradual transition to clean energy technologies. It gives rural communities and farmers the opportunity to participate in climate solutions and generate new income. And above all, it will protect consumers from the costs of this transition so that in a decade, the price to the average American will be about the same as a postage stamp per day.

Because this legislation is so balanced and sensible, it's already attracted a remarkable coalition of consumer and environmental groups, labor and business leaders, Democrats and Republicans.

Now I urge every member of Congress -- Democrat and Republican -- to come together to support this legislation. I can't stress enough the importance of this vote. I know this is going to be a close vote, in part because of the misinformation that's out there that suggests there's somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and our economic growth. But my call to those members of Congress who are still on the fence, as well as to the American people, is this: We cannot be afraid of the future, and we can't be prisoners of the past. We've been talking about this issue for decades, and now is the time to finally act.

There's no disagreement over whether our dependence on foreign oil is endangering our security; we know it is. There's no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy; it's happening. And there's no longer a question about whether the jobs and the industries of the 21st century will be centered around clean, renewable energy. The only question is, which country will create these jobs and these industries? And I want that answer to be the United States of America. And I believe that the American people and the men and women they sent to Congress share that view.

So let's take this opportunity to come together and meet our obligations -- to our constituents, to our children, to God's creation, and to future generations. Thank you very much.

The Power of Unity: Connecticut's New Energy

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There is an amazing energy that is building in Connecticut. The energy is the power of unity -- many in body / one in mind. Time and again during this past legislative session, ordinary citizens united together to bring about change in our state. In the town of Waterbury, citizens and elected officials rallied together, unanimously passing SB 3 to prevent the world's largest garbage dump from being built in the heart of the town's most populated area. Similar efforts statewide won continued funding of matters concerning charter schools. It was our united voice that brought about the strong passage of two critical health care bills, SustiNet and Connecticut Partnership bills. And in the town of East Hartford, high school students rallied with parents and teachers, and students from middle and elementary schools to put back the funding in the city budget for sports, arts and gifted/talented programs -- and they won.

This kind of actual proof shows us that when we unite together, we can accomplish anything.

On Sunday, June 23rd, over 200 citizens and elected officials came out and rallied at the State Capitol to save medicaid services. “We’re here to ask our leaders to remember the people behind the budget cuts,” Brenda Kelley, AARP state director, said Tuesday. “One in eight people in the state of Connecticut depend on Medicaid.” (full article)

On Tuesday, June 24th, once again Connecticut citizens and elected officials lead by the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care united their voices and first held a vigil outside of the State Capitol that was followed by a march to the Governor's mansion, seeking access to quality affordable health care -- with a strong public option -- for all.

Late in the evening of June 24th and on June 25th, Connecticut citizens joined with thousands of people from across the country and rallied at the nation's capitol calling for health care reform. "Harry's dead and Louise has got diabetes," Gerald McEntee, international president of the AFSCME, told the thousands at the rally, sponsored by the organization Health Care For America Now. He was referencing the infamous television commercial, funded by the Health Insurance Association of America, that had a hand in killing President Clinton's attempt at health care reform in the 1990's." (See full article.)

The battle is not over and there is still much work to be done.

We must continue to stand with President Obama and each other in a united voice and call members of Congress to let them know that quality, affordable health care with a strong public option is in the best interest of all of America's citizens. Our united voice brought us this far and it will carry us to victory. Everyone is being encouraged to call members of Congress today to keep the momentum going.

Call Congress and let them know that we strongly support President Obama's three principles for health care reform in 2009. Namely:
Congress must pass a plan that reduces costs, guarantees choice – including the choice of a public insurance option – and ensures quality care for every American.
It gets better. This weekend, Connecticut citizens are participating in the President's National Health Care Day of Service. What a great way to end the week. Click here to find an event near you.

The President and Health Care Reform on Prime Time TV

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Last night, President Obama played host to ABC News and a 164 Americans from around the country at a special prime time White House in prime. The hour long program was dedicated to answering tough questions and concerns on the President’s proposals to reduce health care costs and provide quality health care for all Americans. The conversation then continued for an additional hour on Nightline, where the President discussed how the choice of a public option will affect you and your family.

We'll have more on last night's event later on, but you can watch clips from the program on ABC's website.

President Obama on the Importance of Passing Historic Energy Bill

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In advance of an expected vote in the House of Representatives on historic energy legislation, the President will deliver remarks from the White House lawn.

You can watch a live stream of the President's remarks at WhiteHouse.gov/live.

UPDATED: From the Associated Press:

President Barack Obama is pressing again for passage of legislation that would confront the problem of global warming head-on.

Speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House, Obama said Washington must not miss the opportunity to work on cleaning the air and at the same time creating new "green" energy jobs. He called the measure "a jobs bill" and said the country for far too long has been too reliant on energy from fossil fuels.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act creates a framework of clean energy incentives that will spur the development of new technologies, and has the potential to create millions of new, good green jobs. The vote in the House is expected to be close, and could take place within the next 24 hours.

If you have a moment, you can use our online tool to contact your representative and ask him or her or support the American Clean Energy and Security Act. And after you've made your call, let us know whether or not your representative is committed to supporting this legislation.

Tonight: Help Create a Clean Energy Economy

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OFA Political Director Addisu Demissie just sent out the following update to the President's message on the American Clean Energy and Security Act:

Any minute now, Congress will vote on historic climate change legislation that will transform the way we use and produce energy in America.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act creates a framework of clean energy incentives that will spur the development of new technologies -- innovations that have the potential to create millions of new, good green jobs that can't be shipped overseas.

But its passage out of the House is in jeopardy -- will you make a call today to ensure that it passes?

Click here to find your representative's number.

Make a call for clean energy

And after you've made your call, let us know whether or not your representative committed to supporting this legislation.

Making sure this bill passes the House is an important first step towards a comprehensive energy policy that breaks our dependence on foreign oil, reduces dangerous carbon pollution, and will help create millions of new, green jobs here at home.

Call your representative today, and help ensure that this crucial legislation passes.

Then let us know how the call went, so we can keep track of where your representative stands:

http://my.barackobama.com/energycall

Thank you,

Addisu

Addisu Demissie
Political Director
Organizing for America

"Now is the time to finally act"

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Yesterday, President Obama urged the House of Representatives to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act -- a bill that is expected to come to a vote later today. In his remarks, he explained:

Right now, the House of Representatives is moving towards a vote of historic proportions on a piece of legislation that will open the door to a new clean energy economy.

For more than three decades, we've talked about our dependence on foreign oil. And for more than three decades, we've seen that dependence grow. We've seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security. We've seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet. And most of all, we've seen that others countries realize a critical truth: The nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy.

Now is the time for the United States of America to realize this, as well. Now is the time for us to lead. The energy bill before the House will finally create a set of incentives that will spark a clean energy transformation of our economy. It will spur the development of low-carbon sources of energy -- everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safe nuclear energy and cleaner coal. It will spur new energy savings like the efficient windows and other materials that reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer.

And most importantly, it will make possible the creation of millions of new jobs.

...I've often talked about the need to build a new foundation for economic growth so that we don't return to the endless cycle of bubble and bust that has led us into this deep recession. Clean energy and the jobs it creates will be absolutely critical to that new foundation.

...I know this is going to be a close vote, in part because of the misinformation that's out there that suggests there's somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and our economic growth. But my call to those members of Congress who are still on the fence, as well as to the American people, is this: We cannot be afraid of the future, and we can't be prisoners of the past. We've been talking about this issue for decades, and now is the time to finally act.

There is still time to contact your representative in the House, and ask him or her to support the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

Goya Foods and Hartford's Hispanic Healthcare Council Support Pres. Obama's National Health Care Day of Service

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On Saturday, June 27, 2009, Organizing for Connecticut (OFC) in support of Organizing for America (OFA), will be one of many organizations around the country who are hosting community service events designed to educate the public on the importance of health care reform, and to take responsibility for one’s own health. In support of President Obama’s prevention/nutrition and wellness approach to health care reform, OFC has joined with OFA, Goya Foods and the Hispanic Health Council to host a nutrition and wellness fair at La Plaza Del Mercado Market, 704 Park Street (corner of Babcock and Park Streets) Hartford, from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

“This is the first of several health care service events being planned that will take place over the next 81 days,” stated Thea Montanez, OFC state health care coordinator. “Health care reform is an important issue for all Americans, especially for the 32% of the Latino community under the age of 65 that are currently uninsured.”

Montanez stated that she chose the Hispanic community to launch this effort because it is the largest ethnic community in Connecticut. “Ethnic communities, whether black or brown, often have the highest rates of disease associated with diet and life style. We love rich foods that are high in calories, fat/transfats and sodium.” Montanez stated. She added that, “Studies have found this is especially true among Latina women. The leading cause of death for Latina women is heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Research studies have shown that a balanced diet and regular exercise can prevent many health related issues, including heart disease and cancer.”

Goya Foods, Co-Sponsor, will be providing free samples of its low sodium and organic food products. Rice and beans is a staple of the Hispanic diet. The company now offers organic low sodium beans, organic rice, Adobo Light and other food items. Goya Foods is also featuring several light and healthy recipes on it's web site. Founded in 1936 by Don Prudencio Unanue and his wife Carolina, the Goya story is as much about the importance of family as it is about achieving the American dream. Goya was started in a small storefront in Lower Manhattan, New York, catering to local Hispanic families by distributing Spanish foods such as olives, olive oil and sardines. Driven by the belief that there was a growing consumer market for high-quality, fresh-tasting, Latino foods, the Unanues infused their personal philosophy throughout the company. This commitment to excellence is the cornerstone of Goya's popular credo, "If it's Goya, it has to be good". The result of this simple, yet deeply resonant pledge is the evolution of Goya Foods into a leader in the Latin American food industry, with operations spanning the globe. By providing traditional Latino foods that are produced organically and low in sodium content, consumers can enjoy familiar foods that promote a healthy diet.

The Hispanic Health Council (HHC), also a Co-Sponsor, will be providing tips and valuable information on exercise and diet, as well as services available in the community. Established in 1978 in response to the health care crisis in the Puerto Rican community, HHC is a community-based, non-profit organization located in Hartford. HHC integrates public advocacy, high-level community-based research and research-based service to provide outstanding care to the poor and underserved. To carry out this charge, the organization has established six Centers of Excellence in Hartford: Center for Community Health Research, Center for Risk Reduction, Center for Youth and Families, Center for Women and Children, Center for Community Nutrition, and Center for Creative Marketing and Design.

The President's health care initiative is critical in for all Americans. Many underserved communities suffer from a lack of access to quality, affordable health care. In Connecticut, although the Latino community comprises only nine percent (9%) of the state's population, this community makes up 40% of the uninsured in Connecticut. In addition, fifty-seven percent (57%) of the state's Latino population are obese. When compared to non-Latino whites in the state, connecticut Latinos have a sixty percent (60%) higher mortality rate due to diabetes. Each year the state loses approximately $1.64 billion as a result of preventable illness among the uninsured. (See A Profile OF
Latino Health in Connecticut: The Case for Change in Policy & Practice
, by HHC and Latino Policy Inst.)

President Obama and Mrs. Obama have reached out to all Americans to engage in healthier diets and lifestyles by launching the National Health Care Day of Service. The First Lady’s Victory Garden and her efforts to educate youth to eat healthy have inspired Montanez to do the same in Connecticut starting with her own community. While this event focuses on the Latino community, all are welcome to come and get inspired to engage in a healthier diet and exercise.

This event is free and is open to the general public for all ages.

Click here to sign up for this event, as well as get a list of neighbors to call to come out and enjoy an afternoon of healthy food, fun and family.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health Care Reform: Asked and Answered

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The President held a forum at the White House yesterday, where he discussed the pressing need for health care reform, and fielded questions and concerns from some of the 164 audience members. The audience represented a diverse array of health care stakeholders -- including doctors, nurses, insurance company executives, small business owners, as well as patients from across the country. If you weren’t able to watch it last night, you can go to ABC’s website to watch "Prescription for America" in its entirety.
The President tackled a variety of questions, talking at length about costs, choice, and effective treatment. Health care reform is a complex problem – people have been talking about it since Harry Truman – with no simple solution. The President called for a "uniquely American" solution that will allow us to control costs and provide quality care while preserving choice. The President emphasized that this reform is needed now because the status quo is unacceptable, and a show of hands from the audience showed unanimous agreement with him:
Understand that the status quo is untenable, which is why you saw, even though we've got Republicans, Democrats, independents, people from all parts of the health care sector represented here, everybody understands we can't keep doing what we're doing. It is bankrupting families. I get letters every single day from people who've worked hard and don't have health insurance. It is bankrupting businesses who are frustrated that they can't provide the same kind of insurance that they used to provide to their employees. And it's bankrupting our government at the state and federal levels
Nobody disputes that costs are unsustainable, and the President explained they will only continue to rise without reform:
The average family has seen their premiums double in the last nine years. Costs for families are going up three times faster than wages. So if you're happy with your health care right now -- and many people are happy with their health care right now -- the problem is, 10 years from now, you're not going to be happy because it's going to cost twice as much or three times as much as it does right now. Out-of-pocket expenses have gone up 62 percent. Businesses increasingly are having to cut back on health care or -- if you talk to ordinary workers, they're seeing this all the time -- employers even if they don't want to are having to pass on costs to others.
So unfortunately whatever it is that we're doing right now isn't working, Diane. What we see is great examples of outstanding care, businesses that are working with their employees on prevention, but it's not spreading through the system. And unfortunately government, whether you like it or not, is going to already be involved. We pay for Medicare, we pay for Medicaid. There are a whole host of rules, both at the state and federal level, governing how health care is administered.
And so the key is for us to try to figure out how do we take that involvement not to completely replace what we have but to build on what works and stop doing what doesn't work. And I think that we can do that through a serious health care reform initiative.
The President underscored the need to identify best practices – he used the Mayo Clinic as an example. The Mayo Clinic has top quality care and is one-third less expensive than average, while some of the most expensive places have worse health outcomes. By duplicating these best practices across the system, we can achieve the best possible care while controlling costs. The President explained that driving down costs is essential to being able to expand coverage:
Now, what I've said is that if we are smart, we should be able to design a system in which people still have choices of doctors and choices of plans that make sure that the necessary treatment is provided, but we don't have a huge amount of waste in the system, that we are providing adequate coverage for all people, and that we are driving down costs over the long term.
If we don't drive down costs then we're not going to be able to achieve all those other things. And I think that on the issue that's already been raised by the two doctors, the issue of evidence-based care, I have great confidence that doctors are going to always want to do the right thing for their patients if they've got good information and if their payment incentives are not such that it actually costs them money to provide the appropriate care.
And right now what we have is a situation because doctors are paid fee-for-service and there are all sorts of rules governing how they operate; as a consequence oftentimes it is harder for them, more expensive for them to do what is appropriate. And we should change those incentive structures.
The President pointed out that a reform plan must also work with insurance companies to modify policies and curb costs:
So if you're happy with your plan, as I said, you keep it. Now, there are some restrictions we want to place on insurers. Pre-existing conditions is a tool that has prevented a lot of people from either not being able to get insurance or, if they lose their job, they can't find insurance. We think those policies should end. So there are going to be some areas where we want to regulate the insurers a little more.
Now, in exchange, they're going to have a bigger customer pool. And so we think that they may not make as much profit on every single person that they provide coverage to. On the other hand, overall, I think they can still be profitable.
In terms of cost, understand that the system is already out of whack in terms of costs as it is. So if we do nothing, costs are going to keep on going up 6, 7, 8 percent per year, and government, businesses, and families are all going to find themselves either losing their health care or paying a lot more out of pocket. That's going to happen if we do nothing.
What I've said is, let's change the system so that our overall cost curve starts going down by investing in a range of things -- prevention, health IT, et cetera. We will have some upfront costs and the estimates, as Charlie said, have been anywhere from a trillion to $2 trillion. But what we've said is, what my administration has said, what I've said, is that whatever it is that we do, we pay for. So it doesn't add to our deficit.
He again emphasized how a public option can work while maintaining, and improving, a competitive private insurance market:
But what we've said is that we can set up a public option in which they're collecting premiums just like any private insurer, that doctors are reimbursed at a fair rate, but because administrative costs are lower, we are able to keep private insurers honest in terms of the growth of costs of premiums and deductibles and so forth.
Now, you'll always hear folks say that the free market can do it better; government can't run anything. And what I say is, well, if that's the case, nobody is going to choose the public option. So the private insurers, who I think are very confident that they're providing a good service and a good product to their customers, should feel confident that they can compete with just one other option.
A lot of the objection to the public option idea is not practical, it's ideological. People don't like the idea of government being involved. But keep in mind that the two areas where government is involved -- are involved in health care -- Medicare and the VA -- actually, there's pretty high satisfaction among the people who participate.
For the President, there is no issue for which change is more urgent and necessary, and despite decades of frustrated attempts at reform, the President made clear he believes the time is now:
But the one thing I'm absolutely confident about is that whenever this country has met a significant challenge to our long-term well-being, that we ultimately rise up and meet it. And this is one of those moments where the stars are aligned. We've got insurers who are interested, doctors who are interested, nurses, patients, AARP is here and they've seen some of the potential benefits, we're actually going to be filling the "doughnut hole," drug companies have said that they'd be willing to reduce the costs for seniors for prescription drugs as part of health care reform.
But we have to have the courage and the willingness to cooperate and compromise in order to make this happen. And if we do, it's not going to be a completely smooth ride, there are going to be times over the next couple months where we think health care is dead, it's not going to happen. But if we keep our eye on the prize, and we recognize that America has always been up to these big challenges, and we can't afford not to act, then I'm absolutely convinced that we can get it done this time.

The President & Health Care Reform - Prime Time TV

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Don’t miss the President in a special television event on health care reform tonight, airing at 10:00 PM on the East coast on ABC -- watch clips as they become available on ABC's website. In an hour dedicated to answering tough questions and concerns on the President’s proposals to reduce health care costs and provide quality health care for all Americans while ensuring choice, tune in for a unique opportunity to see how a public option will affect you and your family.

During yesterday's news conference, the President answered a number of questions about his health care plan. Watch the clip below from his press conference where the President responds to a question from ABC's Jake Tapper with a discussion of how a public plan will help keep private insurance companies honest.

The President's Opening Remarks on Iran, with Persian Translation

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The President discusses Iran during his opening remarks at the Press Conference today at the White House:



Transcript in English:

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Good afternoon, everybody. Today, I want to start by addressing three issues, and then I'll take your questions.

First, I'd like to say a few words about the situation in Iran. The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days. I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost.

I've made it clear that the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not interfering with Iran's affairs. But we must also bear witness to the courage and the dignity of the Iranian people, and to a remarkable opening within Iranian society. And we deplore the violence against innocent civilians anywhere that it takes place.

The Iranian people are trying to have a debate about their future. Some in Iran -- some in the Iranian government, in particular, are trying to avoid that debate by accusing the United States and others in the West of instigating protests over the election. These accusations are patently false. They're an obvious attempt to distract people from what is truly taking place within Iran's borders. This tired strategy of using old tensions to scapegoat other countries won't work anymore in Iran. This is not about the United States or the West; this is about the people of Iran, and the future that they -- and only they -- will choose.

The Iranian people can speak for themselves. That's precisely what's happened in the last few days. In 2009, no iron fist is strong enough to shut off the world from bearing witness to peaceful protests [sic] of justice. Despite the Iranian government's efforts to expel journalists and isolate itself, powerful images and poignant words have made their way to us through cell phones and computers, and so we've watched what the Iranian people are doing.

This is what we've witnessed. We've seen the timeless dignity of tens of thousands of Iranians marching in silence. We've seen people of all ages risk everything to insist that their votes are counted and that their voices are heard. Above all, we've seen courageous women stand up to the brutality and threats, and we've experienced the searing image of a woman bleeding to death on the streets. While this loss is raw and extraordinarily painful, we also know this: Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people have a universal right to assembly and free speech. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect those rights and heed the will of its own people. It must govern through consent and not coercion. That's what Iran's own people are calling for, and the Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government.

Transcript in Persian:

Persian translation

And finally, read an Arabic translation as well (pdf).

Changing Obama'12 Facebook Account

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Team Obama'12 sent out this email

We encourage our supporters to visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Barack-Obama-2012/60689801043 because we can only have 5000 friends on facebook profiles.

But if you visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Barack-Obama-2012/60689801043 now, you can be a supporter and that page is much more interactive.

Please send this message to all the friends on facebook profile, and all your friends

Thanks
Team Obama'12

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Serving together; A message from the First Lady, Michelle Obama.

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Friend --

National and community service has been a cornerstone of my life, as I know it has been for many Americans. And with the daily struggles now confronting so many families, it's especially important for us to reach out to one another and offer a helping hand.

I've just launched United We Serve, a national initiative to tackle our toughest problems by working hand-in-hand in communities across the country. We aim to make a real difference right now and bring more and more Americans into a tradition of life-long service to make an even greater difference down the road.

I'd like to invite you to be a part of it by joining Organizing for America's National Health Care Day of Service this weekend. You can join up with other local OFA supporters to help improve health care services in your community and make a difference as we work to reform America's health care system.





Sign up now to participate in a National Health Care Day of Service event this Saturday, June 27th.
http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/hcserviceattend/




There's an old Thomas Edison quote I've always liked: "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." It's no secret that our country faces some enormous challenges right now, and meeting them will take a lot of hard work. But in that work lies an equally great opportunity -- a chance to serve. And I do believe the chance to serve is a precious gift indeed.

Service has played a transformative role in my life -- bringing me tremendous joy and helping me find the path that led to where I am today. As a parent, I believe service is a great way to demonstrate values and to teach our children firsthand what it means to commit to a purpose beyond ourselves.

It should be a part of everyone's life. From the moment someone can walk to the day they leave this planet, service should be a part of how we give back, how we say thank you, how we express our gratitude for the lives that we've been given.

So I'm deeply honored for this chance to support our United We Serve initiative and Organizing for America, and I hope you'll be able to participate this weekend. Please sign up now to volunteer at a local event:

http://my.barackobama.com/hcserviceattend

Thank you,

First Lady Michelle Obama

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Voices For Change: Pres. Obama's Stance On Iran

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Nona Hillard

President Obama must use caution, prior to interfering in Iranian politics! His administration does not want to jeopardize the safety of young revolutionaries in their honorable quest for freedom! My president will not be bated in harming innocent lives! The Iranian’s must fight their battles; overt influence by America will lend to further suffering. America wishes Iranian people success, as they unclench their fist.
Islam allhem

Ali Mohmoud

i absolutely agree with you we can not interfere with iran affair but you have moral responsibility to act upon there action by holding them responsible for the killing of civilians through the united nation and by not recognizing their government democracy surely the should be ashamed to call them self Muslim cheating and rigging the election and lying and try to oppress the truth by crackdown but democracy will always prevail people make government not the other way around

Rob Strunk

Good job on staying low and out of foreign affairs regarding the decision to let them find a solution for their government issues!
- Rob McLean, Va.

Carolyn Botto Lombard

Dear Mr. President,

I agree with your decision to stay out of the Iran mess. I don't know why we and other people feel it's up to the americans to save the planet. I think we need to focus on North Korea getting ready to blow us off the face of the earth, because I really feel they can do it. I also feel that Alqueda is getting stronger and they will be back. I think we should get out of Iraq, and we really need to focus on our own country. We have enough with people having very little values, since we no longer recognize God as our father!!! We are no longer a christian country and God will make sure that he doesn't get involved with our mess because we have made it clear that we don't want him. I believe in God and believe this country was built on God's values and I know that my family and I will be with God someday, so I'm happy!!!!
Carolyn

Voices For Change: Joan Frisina-Bowles

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Please help us drowning in student loan debt watch PBS special on our plight.
Honorable Mr. President and Vice President PLEASE help us get something done with the student loan debt. Like myself, many of us have been deceived during the process and our interest has quadrupled our loan payments. We were not told the truth, we did not know what was happening to our loans, and there was no ability to communicate with anyone on our situation until recently. You can't pay a bill that keeps compounding interest faster than you make raises and money. As a social worker I have helped many people, ( and warned them against student loans) and now it is vital that we the people are heard. You said we would always be heard, I do believe you, but noone is listening to us right now. We need to have some remedies. IBR is a start, and so is passing HR 2492. We need to be heard and our voice isn't being heard by Congress. Please watch the PBS special from the weekend of the 18th. It tells the truth. Salli Mae, the Dept of Ed want to deny the truth. I have experienced the same thing, and I will pay this debt until I die. For me, going back to college at age 44, as a displaced homemaker, was a big mistake. I am part of the educated middle class, drowning in debt. I have had no raises in 3 years. Cuts abound in Maine, and I have no more overtime or extra bonuses. Social Workers are working harder than ever, and we love our jobs, but the money can't pay back our loans. Read studentloan justice.org and studentloanforgiveness webb sites. Please hear us. Millions of us are telling our horror stories with the loan debacle, and it truly was and still is. This agency needs to be monitored by your new agency. I am sad when I see us reaching out to other countries in principle and saying freedom and rights count, well I don't think that we have had our rights addressed, and I blame the governments practices of deception who aligned itself with the Dept of Ed and the loan industry, until the truth came out -- thanks to the internet. President Obama, we know you have a lot to do... but this financial crisis for student loan borrowers is part of the depression problem, and we are in a depression. I can't retire because of this loan, and I am taknig a young persons job because of it. But, as an overeducated, poor baby-boomer, I have no choice to survive. Please do something more. We need at least part of the loans forgiven. We don't want a free-ride. We just want to pay what is fair, not 4-5 times more than the iniutial loan. We were taken and the process did not allow us to fix it, and the lenders took advantage of our lack of power and voice. God Bless, I kniow you are a man of honor and you are trying to help this country. I agree and back you 95% of the time... but the student loan issues needs to be addressed... and we the people need to be heard as is our right. Thanks, Joan Frisina-Bowles, Benton, Maine.

Voices For Change: Michael St Laurent

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Smoking Bill
President Obama !
I am also a lifetime smoker. I started when I was 11 years old, back than I would walk into the store and buy them at 11 years old on my way to school. I have tried many times to quit so I know what you have also gone through. My daughters were so proud of me when I quit for 6 months, and both cried when i started up again. I felt so bad because I let them down. My oldest daughter now smokes. Thank you for signing the new smoking bill, hopefully they will lower the nicotine that will help it easier for everybody to kick the habit.

Thank you
Michael St Laurent

Chains in Command

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Ed. Note: The Middle Class Task Force is meeting today on the future of American manufacturing in Perrysburg, Ohio.

When we think about manufacturing in America, most of us probably picture a big factory churning out cars or refrigerators. But there’s another side to manufacturing in America: the supply chains that provide these end-users with the inputs they need to make the final product.
In fact, there are more workers at the suppliers for big companies that make cars, or appliances, or wind turbines than there are at the factory that actually puts the thing together. In the case of autos, suppliers employ 3-4 times the number of workers at the big factory at the end of the line.
So supply chains are a big deal, and when the big factories hit hard times, the pain is amplified through this chain of suppliers. These are often good jobs too, so this is an important issue for the Middle Class Task Force.
The good news here is that, while some segments of the manufacturing industry, like autos, are contracting, others, like wind and solar production, are expanding. And these folks need supply chains too.
And while these manufacturing subsectors have been doing relatively well for a while, their growth is being accelerated by the Recovery Act, which helps to generate some pretty hefty demand for products like renewable energy, advanced battery technology, smart grid components, and advanced medical devices.
So we’re in that space where crisis equals opportunity, but we need to make sure that suppliers have the information they need to make the necessary transition. They don’t always know what these new, growing industries are, what kinds of parts they need, and whether those parts are a good fit for the equipment and the skilled workforce the suppliers already have.
Another problem is that, even with the right equipment, suppliers can’t turn on a dime. They’ll often need to retool existing equipment (e.g., they might still make transmissions/gearboxes, but for a turbine instead of a car) and perhaps even learn whole new technologies.
That’s where the Commerce Department’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership and its National Innovation Marketplace (NIM) come in. The task force and our friends at Commerce see the NIM as a great solution to this problem, but it’s really just a pilot project now. As we’ll announce today in Perrysburg, Ohio, we plan to bring it up to scale.
The NIM helps manufacturers figure out what new products they can make and whom they can sell them to. It helps connect suppliers, who have often depended on one customer for years or decades, to large manufacturers in new industries who can become their customers of the future.
These suppliers have valuable, advanced equipment and some of the most skilled manufacturing workforces in the world. In some cases, all they need is information. In other cases, they might need to craft a new business plan, involving new capital, new tools, and new technologies. Oftentimes their workers will need new skills.
This isn’t a huge, new, expensive program, but it doesn’t have to be, because once we help manufacturers get the information they need, they’ll be able to take advantage of new opportunities and thrive in new industries. By helping our manufacturers make that shift, from aging industries into vibrant, growing manufacturing subsectors, this program will help put them on a self-sustaining path, building strong supply chains to support the new economy and creating good jobs along the way.

Jared Bernstein is Executive Director of the Middle Class Task Force and the Vice President's Chief Economist

Open Thread: Rolling Up Your Sleeves - From Obama HQ Blog

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By Christopher Hass


Remarks of First Lady on United We Serve


President Obama has said that the challenges we face are unprecedented, and that we need to build a new foundation for economic growth in America. The Administration has begun this work with dramatic new investments in education, health care and clean energy, but we cannot do this alone here in Washington.

Economic recovery is as much about what you're doing in your communities as what we're doing here in Washington - and it's going to take all of us, working together.

Today marks the kickoff of United We Serve, the administration's nationwide summer of service initiative. With the knowledge that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when given the proper tools, this initiative aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations and encourage people like you and me to develop our own "do-it-yourself" service projects.

And you can do all this online at Serve.gov. In fact, just think of Serve.gov as your online resource for service. It makes it easy to not only find volunteer opportunities in your community - but it also helps you create and promote your own service projects. So if you have a great volunteer idea - like a book drive for a local school or cleaning up a neighborhood park - the tools on Serve.gov help you turn that great idea into a successful service project.

You may know that service has been my life's work in many ways. It's near and dear to my heart. Earlier in my career, I helped start a wonderful service organization in Chicago that helped young people pursue careers in public service. I've never been happier in my life than when I was working to build that organization. You see, there's a feeling that you get when you help somebody else achieve their goals - the fulfillment of putting your faith into action and feeling that you're part of something bigger than yourself and doing your part for the greater good.

And while for many of us, it may seem impossible to squeeze even more time out of the day and do more - because we all have busy lives - this summer, the President and I are asking you to make time and do your part. And I promise you won't regret it.

So, wherever your interests lie - whether it's working with young people or caring for the sick and elderly in our hospitals, or helping to make the homes in your neighborhood more energy efficient - or any other issue, the most important thing is for you to get involved.

So log on to Serve.gov and let's work together to build a new foundation for America. As the President says, America's new foundation will be built one community at a time - and that starts with you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Message to the Congress of the United States, 6-22-09

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Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the Western Balkans emergency is to continue in effect beyond June 26, 2009.

The crisis constituted by the actions of persons engaged in, or assisting, sponsoring, or supporting (i) extremist violence in the Republic of Macedonia and elsewhere in the Western Balkans region, or (ii) acts obstructing implementation of the Dayton Accords in Bosnia or United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of June 10, 1999, in Kosovo, that led to the declaration of a national emergency on June 26, 2001, in Executive Order 13219, and to amendment of that order in Executive Order 13304 of May 28, 2003, has not been resolved. The acts of extremist violence and obstructionist activity outlined in Executive Order 13219, as amended, are hostile to U.S. interests and pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to the Western Balkans and maintain in force the sanctions to respond to this threat.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
June 22, 2009.

Voices For Change: Shaun Morrison

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Reform HealthCare

I fully support health care for everyone. I am not sure about the public part. I think that is just a new bureaucracy that we don't need. No one in this country should be allowed to die because they don't have health care.
Rather than a Public plan.........how about a "take all comers approach".
All employers with more than some number of employees must offer health insurance. All others can go to any health carrier and they must be taken. Those folks coverage would be paid for by public money. Offer a stop loss to the health carriers. The rates they would be allowed to charge companies would be held down because any catastrophic loss would have a stop loss of, say $500,000 and then the government would reimburse the health carrier. This would hold down the costs for businesses, large and small. Preventive medicine would be mandated. Incentives should be offered to people for stop smoking, weight loss, excercise programs etc.
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