Monday, October 31, 2011
According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world's largest source of drug abuse research - marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20's. Simply put, it is not a benign drug. Read the whole White House response to a petition to legalize marijuana
As the below average pack of GOP candidates flounder, Romney has largely escaped the media spotlight. Herman Cain denies this is true -- and it seems like a hit piece to me -- but where's the dirt on the guy who's going to be the republican nominee:
During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.Today, Cain chose to sing:
The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures. Politico
We all know that republicans have a neanderthal stance against immigration. Many in the party scapegoat immigrants for the nation's problems. But that isn't stopping republican groups from going after Latino groups:
At a time when the Republican presidential primary race has featured increasingly tough stances against illegal immigration, the independent groups have begun an aggressive program of outreach to Hispanics, hoping to offset Democratic gains among a critical voting bloc.
And they are planning to coordinate offensives in states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where money and organizing could pay dividends simultaneously in the presidential, Congressional and local legislative races. NYT
Today, Obama signs another executive order to remedy the shortage of prescription medications. Times are eastern.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
A firewall to stop Europe’s crisis spreading
By Barack Obama
When leaders of the largest economies meet next week in France, our citizens will be watching for the same sense of common purpose that allowed us to rescue the global economy two years ago from a financial crisis that was sparked by years of irresponsibility.
Because of the co-ordinated action the G20 took then, the global economy began to grow again. Emerging economies rebounded. In the US, we’ve had 19 straight months of private sector job growth and added more than 2.5m private sector jobs.
Still, progress has not come fast enough and today the global recovery remains fragile. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people are unemployed. Disruptions in oil supplies, the tragic earthquake in Japan, and Europe’s financial crisis have contributed to the slowdown. Emerging economies have begun to slow. Global demand is weakening.
Our challenge is clear. We must stay focused on the strong, sustainable and balanced growth that boosts global demand and creates jobs and opportunity for our people. This requires action in several areas.
First, as the world’s largest economy, the US will continue to lead. The single most effective thing we can do to get the global economy growing faster is to get the US economy growing faster. That’s why my highest priority is putting Americans back to work. It’s why I’ve proposed the American Jobs Act, which independent economists have said would create nearly 2m jobs, boost demand and increase US economic growth. It’s why I signed landmark trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to create jobs, keep us on track to double our exports and preserve American competitiveness.
At the same time, we’re building on the nearly $1,000bn in spending cuts agreed this summer. I’ve put forward a comprehensive and balanced plan to substantially reduce our deficit over the next few years in a way that does not hamper the current recovery and that lays the foundation for future growth.
Second, the crisis in Europe must be resolved as quickly as possible. This week, our European allies made important progress on a strategy to restore confidence in European financial markets, laying a critical foundation on which to build.
Given the scope of the challenge and the threat to the global economy, it is important for all of us that this strategy be implemented successfully – including building a credible firewall that prevents the crisis from spreading, strengthening European banks, charting a sustainable path for Greece and tackling the structural issues at the heart of the current crisis.
The European Union is America’s single largest economic partner and a critical anchor of the global economy. I am confident that Europe has the financial and economic capacity to meet this challenge, and the US will continue to support our European partners as they work to resolve this crisis.
Third, each nation must do its part to ensure that global growth is balanced and sustainable so we avoid slipping into old imbalances. For some countries, this means confronting their own fiscal challenges. For countries with large surpluses, it means taking additional steps to support growth. For export-oriented economies, it means working to boost domestic demand. A critical tool for accelerating that shift is greater flexibility in exchange rates, including exchange rates that are market-driven.
Avoiding old imbalances also means moving ahead with financial reforms that can help prevent another financial crisis. In the US, we’re implementing the strongest reforms since the Great Depression. Across the G20, we need to make sure banks maintain the capital they need to withstand shocks, and there needs to be greater oversight and transparency to avoid excessive risks, especially with regard to derivatives.
Finally, the G20 nations must deepen co-operation on the range of global challenges that affect our shared prosperity. We need to move ahead with our commitment to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels and transition to 21st-century clean-energy economies. As we promote the development that gives nations a path out of poverty, we can focus on the infrastructure, finance and good governance that unleash growth. Even as we work to save lives from the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa, we need to continue investing in the food security and agricultural productivity that make future famines less likely and communities more self-sufficient.
When we met in London two years ago, we knew that putting the global economy on the path to recovery would be neither easy nor quick. But together, we forged a response that pulled the global economy back from the brink of catastrophe. That’s the leadership we’ve demonstrated before. That’s the leadership we need now – to sustain economic recovery and put people back to work, in our own countries and around the world.
The writer is US president
Thursday, October 27, 2011
What's remarkable is the lack of remorse from Madoff's wife. Though I can sympathize with her, she doesn't seem to have any awareness of what her husband did, and what she did by playing along. For her, it's: these things were DONE to US, so we were going to kill ourselves. Perhaps the full video offers a different perspective. Madoff says he's a happy camper in prison.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Times are eastern.
Obama receives the presidential daily briefing.
Obama meets with Treasury Secretary Geithner.
Obama meets with senior advisers.
Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in Jacksonville, Fla.
Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Petr Necas of the Czech Republic.
Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee reception in Tampa, Fla.
Obama greets city and municipal leaders from across the country.
Obama has dinner with winners of a campaign contest.
Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee reception in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Here is the White House fact sheet on student loan debt. I wonder if Mitt Romney ever had a student loan. He doesn't seem the type of person who's ever had to struggle financially. But I don't know if that's true or not. It's just the air he gives off. Anyway, I'll look into that. Here is more on how Obama has gotten around Congress on student loan reform and how republicans would change that if given the opportunity. There is one big bummer to the new rules that begin in 2012 -- people with existing student loans won't be eligible for the new lower income-based payments of 10% instead of 15% of discretionary income and forgiveness after 20 years instead of 25 years of payment.
Here's a good explainer:
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Times are eastern.
Obama delivers remarks on college affordability in Denver. Live stream
Obama departs Denver, Colo., en route to Joint Base Andrews.
Obama arrives at Joint Base Andrews.
Obama arrives at the White House.
Millions of student loan borrowers will be eligible to lower their payments and consolidate their loans under a plan President Barack Obama intends to announce Wednesday, the White House said.
Obama will use his executive authority to provide student loan relief in two ways.
First, he will accelerate a measure passed by Congress that reduces the maximum repayment on student loans from 15 percent of discretionary income annually to 10 percent. The White House wants it to go into effect in 2012, instead of 2014. In addition, the White House says the remaining debt would be forgiven after 20 years, instead of 25. About 1.6 million borrowers could be affected. Read more from AP
Idiotic birthers. Rick Perry has now joined the birther club of fools.
A jury convicted a Georgia man Tuesday of a federal firearms charge in what authorities said was a plot to take over a Tennessee courthouse and force President Obama out of office.
Darren Wesley Huff, 41, was found guilty of carrying a firearm in interstate commerce with the intent to use it in a civil disorder. He was acquitted of using a firearm in relation to another felony. He faces up to five years in prison.
Huff was a part of a Georgia militia and the "birther" movement that disputes Mr. Obama's U.S. citizenship.
Hiring 8,000 Veterans in Three Years: The Community Health Center Veterans Hiring Challenge
Today, the Obama Administration challenged Community Health Centers to hire 8,000 veterans – approximately one veteran per health center site – over the next three years. The health reform law provides funding for community health centers to serve more Americans and hire more workers. Additionally, HHS will ask centers to start reporting on the number of veterans that they employ. The Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs will work together to connect veterans to the health clinics’ job openings. The National Association of Community Health Centers will also contribute to this effort and joined the Administration in announcing this Community Health Center Veterans Hiring Challenge.
Health centers improve the health of the nation and assure access to quality primary health care services at more than 8,000 service delivery sites around the country. They are also an integral source of local employment and economic growth in many underserved and low-income communities. Thanks in part to support from the Affordable Care Act, since the beginning of 2009, health centers across the country have added more than 18,600 new full-time positions in many of the nation’s most economically distressed communities. In 2010, they employed more than 131,000 staff, including veterans who serve as Physician Assistants, Administrators, Pharmacy Directors, outreach workers, eligibility assistance workers, and patient support staff and health center CEOs. Veterans who are committed to serving their country and their communities are well suited to serve in a number of capacities at community health centers. Read more at WH
From the White House:
On Friday, December 2, 2011, President Obama will host the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior. As part of President Obama’s ongoing outreach to the American people, this conference will provide leaders from the 565 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration. Each federally recognized tribe will be invited to send one representative to the conference. This will be the third White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the nation to nation relationship with Indian Country. Additional details about the conference will be released at a later date.
Yesterday from the White House:
President Obama called Egyptian Field Marshal Tantawi today to reaffirm the close partnership between the United States and Egypt and to underscore his full support for Egypt’s transition to democracy. The two leaders agreed that Egypt’s upcoming elections must be free and fair and be held in accordance with democratic standards. The President underscored that the United States supports a strong, peaceful, prosperous and democratic Egypt that responds to the aspirations of its people, and that the outcome of the election is for the Egyptian people to decide. He welcomed Egypt’s willingness to accept international election witnesses and urged that Egypt lift the emergency law and end military trials for civilians. The two leaders also discussed Egypt’s economic situation. The President emphasized his support for full funding by the Congress of the Administration’s request for assistance for Egypt, without conditions, and stressed his commitment to help Egypt secure international assistance to address its economic needs. The President and the Field Marshal also underscored their intention to continue to cooperate closely on counter-terrorism and regional security. They agreed to remain in close touch in the months ahead as Egypt moves forward with its transition to democracy.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Obama will not earn an advance for the book, and plans “to donate all net or after-tax author proceeds to a charity or charities to be named later.” Crown Publishing Group publisher Maya Mavjee made the announcement today. MB
The kicker is, Goldman Sachs backed out of a fundraiser to help the poor in New York because one of the honorees was Occupy Wall Street. I understand if Goldman didn't want to attend the dinner. At the very least, Goldman could've made the donation it pledged. But it opted to do the most childish and scummy thing. I suppose the company is just living up to its reputation.
Earlier this month, hundreds of New Yorkers received an unusual dinner invitation from the Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union.
The Credit Union, a small lender serving New York's poor, was holding a fund-raiser to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Among the chief sponsors listed on the invitation was Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Among the honorees: "Occupy Wall Street."
They might as well have asked Marie Antoinette to dig into her purse to support Madame Defarge's knitting business.
Shortly after the invitation was sent out, Goldman withdrew its name from the dinner. It also pulled the plug on its $5,000 funding pledge. WSJ