Monthly Archives: September 2009

Sen. Schumer Pushes For Public Option

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) calls out Republicans for the way they have been attacking Democrats about Medicare and then makes a case for including a public option in the Senate Finance committee’s health care bill. The amendment is defeated 10-12. Continue Reading →

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MN Agreement:Raise Revenue-Cut Spending

Former Minnesota Governors and legislative leaders agree that Minnesota has to raise revenue to solve its structural budget problem. Former Governor and Congressman Al Quie (R) and Former MN House Speaker and Congressman Martin Sabo talk about how there should be no political divide on what the goal is: a balanced budget that needs more revenue and less spending. Current Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson-Kelliher and Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller talk about how they will move forward on turning that recommendation into action. Continue Reading →

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Reestablishing American Leadership For The World

Transcript:This week, I joined leaders from around the world at the United Nations and the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh. Today, I can report on what we achieved—a new commitment to meet common challenges, and real progress in advancing America’s national security and economic prosperity.  
As I said at the U.N., over the past nine months my administration has renewed American leadership, and pursued a new era of engagement in which we call upon all nations to live up to their responsibilities. This week, our engagement produced tangible results in several areas.  
In Pittsburgh, the world’s major economies agreed to continue our effort to spur global demand to put our people back to work. Continue Reading →

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US Concerned Over Iran Hiding Nuke Info

Transcript:
 
PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Good morning.  We are here to announce that yesterday in Vienna, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France presented detailed evidence to the IAEA demonstrating that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qom for several years.  
Earlier this week, the Iranian government presented a letter to the IAEA that made reference to a new enrichment facility, years after they had started its construction. The existence of this facility underscores Iran’s continuing unwillingness to meet its obligations under U.N. Security Council resolutions and IAEA requirements.  We expect the IAEA to immediately investigate this disturbing information, and to report to the IAEA Board of Governors.  
Now, Iran’s decision to build yet another nuclear facility without notifying the IAEA represents a direct challenge to the basic compact at the center of the non-proliferation regime.  These rules are clear:  All nations have the right to peaceful nuclear energy; those nations with nuclear weapons must move towards disarmament; those nations without nuclear weapons must forsake them.  That compact has largely held for decades, keeping the world far safer and more secure.  And that compact depends on all nations living up to their responsibilities.  
This site deepens a growing concern that Iran is refusing to live up to those international responsibilities, including specifically revealing all nuclear-related activities.  As the international community knows, this is not the first time that Iran has concealed information about its nuclear program.  Iran has a right to peaceful nuclear power that meets the energy needs of its people.  But the size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program.  Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow — endangering the global non-proliferation regime, denying its own people access to the opportunity they deserve, and threatening the stability and security of the region and the world. Continue Reading →

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Death Panels? Malarky!

Vice President Joe Biden talks with seniors in Silver Spring, Maryland. He joked about having to disabuse his own mother of myths being spread around about “death panels” and reduced Medicare benefits, getting laughs at the line: “I said, ‘Mom, I’m trying to kill you,” before explaining to her that it was a “bunch of malarkey.” Continue Reading →

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VP Biden Calms Seniors Medicare Fears

At a town hall meeting with seniors in Silver Spring, MD, Vice President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discuss the release of a new report, “Health Insurance Reform and Medicare: Making Medicare Stronger for America’s Seniors.” The Vice President says: “Nobody is going to mess with your benefits. All we do is make it better for people on Medicare.”  
The new report out of HHS addresses some of the common questions American seniors have about health insurance reform: How will reducing subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans affect me? How will health insurance reform make my care more affordable? Continue Reading →

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Obama:”Time To Move Forward” With Israeli-Palestinian Peace

TRANSCRIPT
 
THE PRESIDENT: Please be seated, members of the delegations. I have just concluded frank and productive bilateral meetings with both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas. And I want to thank them both for appearing here today. I am now looking forward to this opportunity to hold the first meeting among the three of us since we took office. As I said throughout my campaign and at the beginning of my administration, the United States is committed to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Continue Reading →

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Obama Addresses United Nations For First Time-Full Video

TRANSCRIPT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to address you for the first time as the 44th President of the United States. (Applause.) I come before you humbled by the responsibility that the American people have placed upon me, mindful of the enormous challenges of our moment in history, and determined to act boldly and collectively on behalf of justice and prosperity at home and abroad. I have been in office for just nine months — though some days it seems a lot longer. I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world. Continue Reading →

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President Obama on Innovation and Sustainable Growth

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you!  Hello, Hudson Valley!  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  Everybody, please have a seat. Thank you.  Thank you very much.  What a wonderful reception.  It is great to be here.  Thanks for whoever organized the weather.  (Laughter.) 
 
I want to, first of all, say thank you to Jill Biden, who  has been a teacher for almost three decades and she’s spent most of that time in community colleges.  She understands, as all of you do, the power of these institutions to prepare students for 21st century jobs, and to prepare America for a 21st century global economy.  And that’s what’s happening right here at Hudson Valley Community College.  So give yourselves a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  
 
We’ve got some special guests here that I want to acknowledge, in addition to Jill.  First of all, a wonderful man, the governor of the great state of New York — David Paterson is in the house.  (Applause.)  Your shy and retiring Attorney General — Andrew Cuomo is in the house.  (Applause.)  Andrew is doing great work enforcing the laws that need to be enforced.  
I want to thank the Comptroller — Thomas DiNapoli is in the house.  (Applause.)  Speaker Sheldon Silver is in the house.  (Applause.)  The Democratic Conference Leader, State Senator John Sampson.  (Applause.)  Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings.  (Applause.) We’ve got three outstanding members of Congress who are just doing great work every single day — Maurice Hinchey, Paul Tonko, Scott Murphy — please give them a big round of applause.  (Applause.)
 
The President of Hudson Valley Community College, Andrew Matonak, is in the house.  (Applause.)  Did I pronounce that right, Andrew?  And Joe Sarubbi, Executive Director of TEC-SMART, who did a — gave me a wonderful tour — (applause.)
 
Now, you may ask, why are we here at Hudson Valley?  We’re here because this is a place where anyone with the desire to take their career to a new level or start a new career altogether has the opportunity to pursue that dream.  This is a place where people of all ages and backgrounds — even in the face of obstacles, even in the face of very difficult personal challenges — can take a chance on a brighter future for themselves and for their family. 
 
I was just talking to the Mayor of Troy, who was — we were in a room, and he was saying how he had studied calculus in the room where we were taking a picture.  And I had to inform him I didn’t take calculus.  (Laughter.)  But he was testimony, he was an example of what you can do because of an institution like this.  
 
And I know that here in Troy, you want and need that chance after so many years of hard times.  Communities like this one were once the heart of America’s manufacturing strength.  But over the last few decades, you’ve borne the brunt of a changing economy which has seen many manufacturing plants close in the face of global competition.  So while all of America has been gripped by the current economic crisis, folks in Troy and upstate New York have been dealing with what amounts to almost a permanent recession for years:  an economic downturn that’s driven more and more young people from their hometowns.  
I also know that while a lot of people have come here promising better news, that news has been hard to come by, despite the determined efforts of leaders who are here today and many who are not.  Part of the reason is that while people in this city work hard to meet their responsibilities, I have to confess that some in Washington haven’t always lived up to theirs. 
 
For too long, as old divisions and special interests reigned, Washington has shown neither the inclination, nor the ability, to tackle our toughest challenges.  Meanwhile, businesses were saddled with ever-rising health care costs; the economy was weakened by ever-growing dependence on foreign oil; our investment in cutting-edge research declined; our schools fell further short; growth focused on short-term gains and fueled by debt and reckless risk, which led to a cycle of precipitous booms and painful busts.  
And meanwhile, too many in Washington stood by and let it happen.  Now, after so many years of failing to act, there are those who now suggest that there’s really not much the government can or should do to make a difference; that what we’ve seen in places like Troy is inevitable; that somehow, the parts of our country that helped us lead in the last century don’t have what it takes to help us lead in this one.  And I’m here to tell you that that is just flat out wrong.  What we have here in this community is talented people, entrepreneurs, world-class learning institutions.  (Applause.)  The ingredients are right here for growth and success and a better future. 
 
These young people are testimony to it.  You are proving that right here in the Hudson Valley.  Students here are training full time while working part time at GE Energy in Schenectady, becoming a new generation of American leaders in a new generation of American manufacturing.  IBM is partnered with the University at Albany; their partnership in nanotechnology is helping students train in the industries in which America has the potential to lead.  Rensselaer is partnering not only with this institution but with businesses throughout the Tech Valley.  And early next year, Hudson Valley Community College’s state-of-the-art TEC-SMART training facility is set to open side-by-side with Global Foundry’s coming state-of-the-art semiconductor plant.  (Applause.)  
 
So we know that Upstate New York can succeed, just like we know that there are pockets in the Midwest that used to be hubs of manufacturing — they’re now retooling; they’re reinventing themselves.  We know that can happen.  We know that in the global economy — where there’s no room for error and there’s certainly no room for wasted potential — America needs you to succeed. 
 
So as we emerge from this current economic crisis, our great challenge will be to ensure that we don’t just drift into the future, accepting less for our children, accepting less for America.  We have to choose instead what past generations have done:  to shape a brighter future through hard work and innovation.  That’s how we’ll not only recover, but that’s how we’ll also build stronger than before:  strong enough to compete in the global economy; strong enough to avoid the cycles of boom and bust that have wreaked so much havoc; strong enough to create and support the jobs of the future in the industries of the future. Continue Reading →

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UN Listens To Obama On Climate Change

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you very much.  Good morning.  I want to thank the Secretary General for organizing this summit, and all the leaders who are participating.  That so many of us are here today is a recognition that the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing.  Our generation’s response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it — boldly, swiftly, and together — we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe. No nation, however large or small, wealthy or poor, can escape the impact of climate change.  Rising sea levels threaten every coastline.  More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent.  More frequent droughts and crop failures breed hunger and conflict in places where hunger and conflict already thrive. On shrinking islands, families are already being forced to flee their homes as climate refugees.  The security and stability of each nation and all peoples — our prosperity, our health, and our safety — are in jeopardy.  And the time we have to reverse this tide is running out. And yet, we can reverse it.  John F. Kennedy once observed that “Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man.”  It is true that for too many years, mankind has been slow to respond or even recognize the magnitude of the climate threat. It is true of my own country, as well.  We recognize that.  But this is a new day.  It is a new era.  And I am proud to say that the United States has done more to promote clean energy and reduce carbon pollution in the last eight months than at any other time in our history. Continue Reading →

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Myth Buster: Eliminating Waste in Medicare Will Not Affect Benefits

Video from the White House. Mike Hash of the White House Office of Health Reform gets into deeper detail on how reform would eliminate wasteful subsidies to insurance companies in the Medicare Advantage program, without hurting benefits or care and leaving the trust fund intact. To the contrary, it will strengthen Medicare’s long-term stability and save seniors money. Continue Reading →

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The UpTake cleans up well.

 
The UpTake’s core staff gathered for UpTake co-founder and video ninja Chuck Olsen’s wedding.  
Front, from l-r: Jennifer Whigham, Noah Kunin, Mike McIntee
Back, from l-r:  Chuck Olsen, Chris Dykstra, Jason Barnett Continue Reading →

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Obama Promotes Tougher Rules To Protect Consumers

 
Leaders of the world’s largest economies will gather next week in Pittsburgh for the second time this year. The first meeting of the G-20 nations in April came at the height of the global financial crisis – a crisis that required unprecedented international cooperation to jumpstart the world’s economies and help break the downward spiral that enveloped all our nations.  
At next week’s summit, we’ll have, in effect, a five-month checkup to review the steps each nation has taken – separately and together – to break the back of this economic crisis. And the good news is that we’ve made real progress since last time we met – here at home and around the world.  
In February, we enacted a Recovery Act, providing relief to Americans who need it, preventing layoffs, and putting Americans back to work. Continue Reading →

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Yup, Margaret Anderson Kelliher Is From The Country

Critics of Minnesota House Speaker and candidate for Governor Margaret Anderson Kelliher have accused her of being “urban”. She may live in the metro area now, but she had deep farm roots. At the Anderson family farm in southern Minnesota, she is challenged by The UpTake’s Grace Kelly (also a former farm girl) to drive a tractor.  
By Grace Kelly
 
Margaret Anderson Kelliher grew up on a dairy farm near Mankato. The Anderson family farm is now a crop farm, growing corn and soy beans. Continue Reading →

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Obama Awards Medal Of Honor To Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti

THE PRESIDENT: Please be seated. Good afternoon, and welcome to the White House. Of all the privileges serving as President, there’s no greater honor than serving as Commander-in-Chief of the finest military that the world has ever known. And of all the military decorations that a President and a nation can bestow, there is none higher than the Medal of Honor. It has been nearly 150 years since our nation first presented this medal for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Continue Reading →

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“Stronger, Smarter, and Swifter” Europe Missile Defenses”

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  As Commander-in-Chief, I’m committed to doing everything in my power to advance our national security.  And that includes strengthening our defenses against any and all threats to our people, our troops, and our friends and allies around the world. One of those threats is the danger posed by ballistic missiles.  As I said during the campaign, President Bush was right that Iran’s ballistic missile program poses a significant threat.  And that’s why I’m committed to deploying strong missile defense systems which are adaptable to the threats of the 21st century. The best way to responsibly advance our security and the security of our allies is to deploy a missile defense system that best responds to the threats that we face and that utilizes technology that is both proven and cost-effective. In keeping with that commitment, and a congressionally mandated review, I ordered a comprehensive assessment of our missile defense program in Europe.  And after an extensive process, I have approved the unanimous recommendations of my Secretary of Defense and my Joint Chiefs of Staff to strengthen America’s defenses against ballistic missile attack. This new approach will provide capabilities sooner, build on proven systems, and offer greater defenses against the threat of missile attack than the 2007 European missile defense program. Continue Reading →

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