Daily Archives: April 29, 2010

SNL’s Seth Meyers Slams Arizona’s Immigration Law, Calls It ‘Fascist’

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President Obama Visits Missouri On Main Street Tour

Posted by: Audiegrl

Clean Energy Leadership from the White House to Main Street

President Barack Obama tours a farm with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, and Marcia Schachtsiek in Palmyra, Mo., April 28, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Carol Browner~Over the past two days, President Obama traveled to Iowa, Missouri and Illinois as part of his Main Street tour. He witnessed the hardships that Americans are facing from the economic crisis that plagues our nation. However, he also witnessed the possibilities and opportunities for growth that are happening all over the country, through investment in our clean energy economy.

After traveling throughout Iowa, touring a farm and holding a town hall meeting at a Community College, on Wednesday the President headed to Macon, Missouri. Macon is home to the POET Biorefinery, a plant that produces ethanol from crops grown right here in the United States.

President Barack Obama with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, tour the POET Biorefining Plant in Macon, Mo., April 28, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Families in Macon and Fort Madison, like many others across this nation, know all-too-well the hardships of this recession. But these towns, and many others across the country, are getting back to their feet – and we are doing all we can to help. Last year we made the largest investment in the clean energy economy in our nation’s history, which is expected to create more than 700,000 jobs by the end of 2012. These are jobs not just in providing the parts and technology to create power from the wind or fuels from the land, but in manufacturing solar panels, in building the wires and mechanics behind our smart meters, in creating next generation batteries – the list goes on.

Other nations realize that the country that leads the clean energy economy will be the country that leads the 21st century global economy. The President is dedicated to making the United States that country – and is inspired by the small towns across rural America that provide the backbone for this effort. Towns like Macon and Fort Madison can be models around this country, and I’m confident one day we’ll look back to these places as some of the engines of this new clean energy future.

As extraordinary the work that towns like Macon and Fort Madison are doing, these plants can’t solve all our energy challenges alone. But their work is a key part of a comprehensive strategy to move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels to one that relies on homegrown fuels and clean energy. And the President knows we can come together on this issue and pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation that will spur a new generation of clean energy industries, create good American jobs, and enhance our energy security.

Carol Browner is the Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.

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President Obama visits Peggy Sue’s Café

President Obama leaves Peggy Sue's Cafe in Monroe City, Mo., with his to-go order of a cheeseburger and fries. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

KTVO3~What would you do if you were enjoying your lunch and in walks the president of the United States?

Well that’s exactly what happened to diners at Peggy Sue’s Cafe in Monroe City.

President Obama made an unexpected stop for lunch a little after 11 Wednesday morning.

Staff was informed they would have a special guest for lunch several minutes prior to the president’s arrival.

Obama mingled with diners and ordered a cheeseburger and fries to go and even picked up the check for everyone at his table.

“I’m on a natural high, I have never felt like this before, I am so wound-up I thought I was just gonna get up and mow the yard today and I feel like I could conquer the world now. So it’s enthralling, it’s awesome,” said Peggy Sue’s Stepdaughter Kayla Klocke.

“I was late coming in and I came across like she did and it’s like ‘Stop! You can’t go!’ I’m like ‘I work here I need to get in,’ and they searched my purse and searched me and then let me in and they were like ‘he’s coming.’ I was like ‘oh my gosh,’” said Peggy Sue’s Café Waitress Jodie Clarkson.

Both women described the president as down to earth and very nice. They said he discussed farming, the military, insurance, and banking with customers.

“I didn’t really have a good impression of the president beforehand but I mean he’s down to earth, he seems like he’s interested especially in the farming industry and helping people, very appreciative of service members for sure there were some outside too that he went straight to them and shook their hands,” said Klocke.

After President Obama left Peggy Sue’s Cafe he crossed the street to speak to employees at an insurance agency.

Peggy Sue said as soon as the secret service sends her the pictures they took she will put them on the wall for everyone to see.

Quincy Herald Whig~President Barack Obama’s unexpected stop at a Monroe City cafe gave hundreds of people a chance to see him, shake hands, show support or show displeasure.

“He was very personable, very congenial,” said Joyce Anderson, office manager at See Real Estate, 216 Main, where the president also stopped.

Obama spent about an hour in town, posing for photos and listening to comments and sharing his views on health care, agriculture, crop insurance and jobs. Some questions were also directed to the Secretary of Agriculture.

“It was a very nice visit,” Beth Garner said.

She said she got to speak with the president for about 15 minutes, sharing her concerns about how health care reform will affect her and her neighbors.

“He sounded like he knew what he was talking about,” she said. “I told him I hope things work out the way he plans.”

Greg Cooper, co-owner of LaRue Insurance Agency, 216 N. Main, was most impressed by what he felt was a the president’s personal concern for the people’s problems.

After responding to his “how are you doing?” with talk of jobs and cutting costs, the closing of one factory and the local takeover of another, “we’re improving,” Cooper told the president.

“Yes, but how are you doing?” he said the president responded.

Lori Summers, 36, of Monroe City, chanted “Yes we can,” in an effort to attract the president’s attention. It worked, as the president stepped back to shake her hand after heading toward the motorcade.

“This is historic. Monroe City is a little town and this is amazing,” said Summers, an African-American who wore a shirt with the president’s picture on it.

Slideshow photos by Getty, AP and Reuters

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The Winds of Change ~ Cape Wind Farm Project Approved

Posted by: TheLCster

After Years Of Legal Battles, America’s First Offshore Wind Farm Is A Go

AP~The Obama administration has approved what would be the nation’s first offshore wind farm, off Cape Cod, inching the U.S. closer to harvesting an untapped domestic energy source – the steady breezes blowing along its vast coasts.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced his decision Wednesday in Boston, clearing the way for a 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind was in its ninth year of federal review, and Salazar stepped in early this year to bring what he called much-needed resolution to the bitterly contested proposal.

We are beginning a new direction in our nation’s energy future,” Salazar said.

Cape Wind says it can generate power by 2012 and aims to eventually supply three-quarters of the power on Cape Cod, which has about 225,000 residents. Cape Wind officials say it will provide green jobs and a reliable domestic energy source, while offshore wind advocates are hoping it can jump-start the U.S. industry.

America’s onshore wind industry is the world’s largest, but higher upfront costs, tougher technological challenges and environmental concerns have held back the development of offshore wind farms.

Denmark installed the world’s first offshore wind turbine 20 years ago. China has built its first commercial wind farm off Shanghai and plans several other projects.

The U.S. Department of Energy envisions offshore wind farms accounting for 4 percent of the country’s electric generating capacity by 2030.

The Cape Wind Fact Sheet, Project Site Map and the Secretary’s Response to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation are available here or here. More information on the project can be found here.

Seven Must-Know Facts About the Cape Wind Project

  • Cape Wind will be the country’s first offshore wind farm. The US Department Of Energy predicts that offshore wind farms alone will handle 4% of the country’s electricity generating capacity by 2030.
  • The project will be ready to generate power in 2012, and Cape Wind plans on supplying 75% of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Island’s power combined with the clean energy technology. At peak capacity, the project has the capability to meet 4% of the entire New England region’s power needs.
  • When announcing the approval of the offshore wind farm, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said, “With this decision we are beginning a new direction in our Nation’s energy future, ushering in America’s first offshore wind energy facility and opening a new chapter in the history of this region.”
  • The 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound will be no closer than 5 miles to land, and 14 miles away at its furthest. On a clear day, the turbines would only be a half-inch tall on the horizon when viewed from the nearest point of land. The number of turbines have been reduced from an original proposal of 170 to 130 to address concerns about harming views.
  • Cape Wind will create 600 – 1,000 construction jobs and 50 permanent wind power jobs.
  • The United Kingdom and Denmark are the leaders in offshore wind power, though many countries, like Germany, Norway, The Netherlands, and China, have invested in the renewable energy source as well. In 2007, Denmark (who built the first offshore wind farm decades ago) generated 19.7% of their electricity production from their combined wind power farms. That same year, 1.5% of electricity in the UK was generated by wind.
  • The green light for Cape Wind gives a lot of hope to the many other offshore wind farms being proposed in places like Texas, Delaware, and New Jersey. The Department Of The Interior writes, “the project would […..] be one of the largest greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in the nation, cutting carbon dioxide emissions from conventional power plants by 700,000 tons annually. That is equivalent to removing 175,000 cars from the road for a year.”

President Obama Visits Wind Turbine Blade Plant in Iowa

The President visits a Siemens wind turbine blade manufacturing plant in Fort Madison, IA on his White House to Main Street tour and speaks about how his Administrations investments in clean energy are creating jobs and new industries.

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Secretary Hillary Clinton Hosts A Breakfast for Women Entrepreneurs

Posted by: Audiegrl

Secretary Clinton hosts a Breakfast with Women Entrepreneurs Attending the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, at the Department of State.

A portion of Secretary Clinton’s remarks:

“Well, this project which we are so excited about is just one example of the ideas and the programs that we’ve announced over the last two days of the Entrepreneurship Summit. It’s what happens when we create networks and partnerships, when we share best practices and lessons learned, where we match the talents of people, particularly women, around the world with the opportunities that they can then seize for themselves.

So when you leave here today, I hope you will carry with you a renewed sense of possibility and a commitment to use your skill and energy to contribute to the growth and progress of your families, your communities, and your countries. Because I think – this is a biased statement, but (laughter) – I really believe that, together as women, we can and will help create a stronger, more stable, more secure, more prosperous, more peaceful world for ourselves and our children.”~Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary Clinton’s full remarks

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Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride Starts at White House

Posted by: BuellBoy

Dr. Jill Biden and her husband, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, arrive to start the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride on the South Lawn April 28, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden speak to participants in the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride on the South Lawn of the White House. The ride benefits the Wounded Warrior Projects efforts to provide rehabilitation for wounded soliders and to raise public awareness for the cause.

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The Obama’s and Mourners Attend Funeral and Unseen Footage: Dr. Dorothy I. Height with President Obama and First Lady Michelle at the White House

Posted by: Audiegrl

Dr. Dorothy I. Height, 1912 - 2010, RIP

Watch never-before-seen video of President Obama, First Lady Michelle and “the godmother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Dr. Dorothy Height, during a January intergenerational reflection on the civil rights movement at the White House. She recounts here her memories of meeting one 15 year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Height passed away on April 20, 2010 at the age of 98.

Also, please check out our memorial page to Dr. Height.

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Dorothy Height Funeral: President Obama Honors ‘Godmother’ Of Civil Rights Movement

President Barack Obama speaks at the funeral service of civil rights leader Dorothy Height April 29, 2010 in Washington, DC. Height led the National Council of Negro Women and marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)

AP~President Barack Obama on Thursday eulogized Dorothy Height as a history-making figure in the civil rights movement whose quiet perseverance produced gains in “a righteous cause.”

Speaking to hundreds of mourners in the stately Washington National Cathedral, Obama recounted Height’s commitment to the cause during decades of work, mostly behind the scenes while the movement’s male leaders earned more attention and fame.

“She never cared about who got the credit,” the president said. “What she cared about was the cause. The cause of justice, the cause of equality, the cause of opportunity, freedom’s cause.”

His 13-minute tribute often drew gentle laughter as Obama remembered Height’s doggedness and energy. Height, who died last week at age 98, led the National Council of Negro Women for decades and marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Height visited the Obama White House 21 times, the president said. He noted that she was determined to attend a meeting of African-American leaders on unemployment last winter even though she was in a wheelchair and a blizzard was approaching.

She wouldn’t allow “just a bunch of men” to control the meeting, Obama said. When Height’s attendance became impossible because cars could not reach her snow-choked driveway, he said, she still sent a message with her ideas.

Noting Height’s trademark attire, Obama said, “we loved those hats she wore like a crown. Regal.”

He cited her role in desegregating the YWCA and in leading the National Council of Negro Women with “vision and energy, vision and class.” He said her name should be associated with great leaders such as King and W.E.B. DuBois.

“She too deserves a place in our history books,” Obama said. “She too deserves a place of honor in America’s memory.”

He urged Americans to honor Height’s memory by serving their country and making it better. “We can all be drum majors for a righteous cause,” the president said.

Others were spoke at the service included poet and author Maya Angelou and former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman. Opera singer Denyce Graves performed for the audience, which included First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.


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Remembering Dr. Dorothy I. Height

Written by Valerie Jarrett

Dr. Dorothy Height with Oprah

Dr. Dorothy I. Height was grace personified. She displayed a quiet strength. She vigorously defended the Constitution and fought for equal rights, women’s rights, and human rights for citizens of our country and for people the world over.

Today we said our final goodbyes to this extraordinary woman, and the President of the United States paid tribute to her during the final service. It is more than fitting that this should be the case.

Even in what would be the final year of her life, Dr. Height pressed the National Council of Negro Women to stay in the fight for health care, to make sure that working families had the support they needed to survive during these challenging economic times, and to continue inspiring young girls and women to reach their highest aspirations. Dr. Height visited the White House 21 times since President Obama’s Inauguration. Indeed, when invited to the White House in February to meet with the President and a group of Civil Rights leaders, only the worst blizzard in Washington in 100 years could keep her away.

On another occasion, Dr. Height joined us on Martin Luther King Day when a group of African American seniors and young children met with the President and Mrs. Obama for a moment of reflection on the road traveled by African Americans in our country. She told us of the first time she met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a teenager and the promise he conveyed even then. Later the group joined the President in the Oval Office to review an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation hung that very day.

During Women’s History Month this year, President Obama recognized Dr. Height for her life’s work by including her in the proclamation declaring the annual celebration of the contributions women have made in shaping our democracy. She joined us at the White House for what would be one of her final visits to honor women from all walks of life, many of whom had been inspired by her noble acts.

I believe Dr. Height had what Dr. King called “long life and longevity” because she was selfless in her service and lived to uplift her neighbor, whether they lived next door or half way around the world. In one of her final interviews just over a month ago, Dr. Height was asked what advice she would offer to teenage girls trying to find their way. She offered a very basic yet profound charge: find a purpose.

Dr. Height’s purpose was to open doors that had been closed for far too long. Upon reflection on receiving the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004 when she was well into her nineties, and when many of us would have thought a good rest was long overdue, Dr. Height said, “I felt pleased and proud, but also challenged to see what more I could do.”

In her honor, we all should be willing to challenge ourselves to see what more we can do every single day.

Valerie Jarrett is Senior Advisor to the President.

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Special 44-D Tribute ~ Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Founding Matriarch of Civil Rights Movement, Dies at 98
“She was a dynamic woman with a resilient spirit, who was a role model for women and men of all faiths, races and perspectives. For her, it wasn’t about the many years of her life, but what she did with them”

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Filed under African-Americans, Civil Rights Movement, First Lady Michelle Obama, History, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

White House Correspondents’ Association is Distributing a Record $132,500 in Journalism Scholarships

Posted by: Audiegrl

The White House Correspondents’ Association is distributing a record $132,500 to eighteen (18) journalism student from five prestigious universities, and will honor the recipients at its annual scholarship luncheon on Friday, April 30th .

Since 1991, the WHCA has awarded nearly $360,000 in scholarship money to 42 graduating high school seniors and college-level students.   The success of this dinner allows members of the White House press corps to give back to the next generation of reporters.

This year, the students will be recognized at a noon-time luncheon at the Atlantic Media offices, 600 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W., to be followed by a panel titled: “Press & the Presidency: A Front Row Seat to History.”

Former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry will moderate the discussion with five veterans of the White House press corps:

  • Christina Bellantoni, Talking Points Memo
  • Ron Brownstein, National Journal/ Atlantic Media
  • Major Garrett, Fox News Channel
  • Savannah Guthrie, NBC News
  • Jennifer Loven, Associated Press

“This on-the-record forum will give these students a first-hand perspective on covering the presidency,” said Edwin Chen of Bloomberg News & President of WHCA.   “The session will also allow these new journalists to discuss how the press corps does its job in an era with new challenges of access, and at a time when our business is undergoing profound changes.”

The scholarships are targeted in different ways. Columbia University’s grant allows a student from the Middle East to study here and return home to share the best standards of American journalism in that crucial region. At Northwestern, our scholars must demonstrate interest in reporting on government affairs. And at Missouri, the WHCA scholarship program enables up to 10 students to attend its semester-long program in Washington.

Full list of this year’s scholarship recipients

Additional information about past winners

All photos of the 2009 dinner by Brendan Smialowski

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