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Obama:”no more taxpayer-funded bailouts — period.”

President Obama praises Congress for passing a financial reform package that brings new accountability to Wall Street and helps provide economic security to individuals, families and businesses. Key quote:Because of this reform, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes. ; There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts — period.  

Because of reform, the kind of complex, backroom deals that helped trigger this financial crisis will finally be brought into the light of day.  And from now on, shareholders and other executives can know that shareholders will have greater say on the pay of CEOs, so that they can reward success instead of failure, and help change the perverse incentives that encouraged so much reckless risk-taking in the past. 
 
In short, Wall Street reform will bring greater security to folks on Main Street — to families who are looking to buy their first home or send their kids to college; to taxpayers who shouldn’t have to pay for somebody else’s mistakes or irresponsibility; to small businesses, community banks and credit unions who play by the rules; to shareholders and investors who want to see their companies grow and thrive. Continue Reading →

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Obama Cutting Red Tape For US Vets “Long Overdue”

Key quote from President Obama:But for years, many veterans with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome) who have tried to seek benefits – veterans of today’s wars and earlier wars – have often found themselves stymied. They’ve been required to produce evidence proving that a specific event caused their PTSD. And that practice has kept the vast majority of those with PTSD who served in non-combat roles, but who still waged war, from getting the care they need.  
Well, I don’t think our troops on the battlefield should have to take notes to keep for a claims application. And I’ve met enough veterans to know that you don’t have to engage in a firefight to endure the trauma of war. Continue Reading →

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Obama At Sen. Byrd’s Memorial – Full Video

Above: President Obama speaks at the memorial for Senator Robert Byrd (D- West Virginia)
Below: Full video of memorial including remarks by Vice President Biden:

  THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  To Mona and Marjorie, and to Senator Byrd’s entire family, including those adorable great granddaughters that I had a chance to meet — Michelle and I offer you our deepest sympathies. To Senator Byrd’s friends, including the Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader, the Republican Leader, President Clinton, Vice President Biden, Vicki Kennedy, Nick Rahall and all the previous speakers; Senator Rockefeller for the outstanding work that you’ve done for the state of West Virginia; to his larger family — the people of West Virginia — I want you all to know that all America shares your loss.  May we all find comfort in a verse of Scripture that reminds me of our dear friend:  “The time of my departure has come.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
 
It’s interesting that you’ve heard that passage from several speakers now, because it embodies somebody who knew how to run a good and long race, and somebody who knew how to keep the faith — with his state, with his family, with his country and his Constitution.  
Years from now, when I think of the man we memorialize today, I’ll remember him as he was when I came to know him, his white hair full like a mane, his gait steadied with a cane.  
Determined to make the most of every last breath, the distinguished gentleman from West Virginia could be found at his desk until the very end, doing the people’s business, delivering soul-stirring speeches, a hint of the Appalachians in his voice, stabbing the air with his finger, fiery as ever, years into his 10th decade.  
He was a Senate icon.  He was a Party leader.  He was an elder statesman.  And he was my friend.  That’s how I’ll remember him. Continue Reading →

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Obama: GOP Holding Relief “Hostage”

Transcript:
This week, I spent some time in Racine, Wisconsin, talking with folks who are doing their best to cope with the aftermath of a brutal recession.  
And while I was there, a young woman asked me a question I hear all the time: “What are we doing as a nation to bring jobs back to this country?”
 
Well, on Friday, we learned that after 22 straight months of job loss, our economy has now created jobs in the private sector for 6 months in a row.  That’s a positive sign.  But the truth is, the recession from which we’re emerging has left us in a hole that’s about 8 million jobs deep.  And as I’ve said from the day I took office, it’s going to take months, even years, to dig our way out – and it’s going to require an all-hands-on-deck effort.  
In the short term, we’re fighting to speed up this recovery and keep the economy growing by all means possible.  That means extending unemployment insurance for workers who lost their job.  That means getting small businesses the loans they need to keep their doors open and hire new workers.  And that means sending relief to states so they don’t have to lay off thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers. 
 
Still, at a time when millions of Americans feel a deep sense of urgency in their own lives, Republican leaders in Washington just don’t get it.  While a majority of Senators support taking these steps to help the American people, some are playing the same old Washington games and using their power to hold this relief hostage – a move that only ends up holding back our recovery.  It doesn’t make sense.  
But I promised those folks in Wisconsin – and I promise all of you – that we won’t back down.  We’re going to keep fighting to advance our recovery.  And we’re going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America.  
That’s one of the reasons why we’re accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy and doubling our use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power – steps that have the potential to create whole new industries and hundreds of thousands of new jobs in America. Continue Reading →

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US Striking At The Heart Of Iran’s Nuclear Program

President Obama signs the Iran Sanctions Act, saying that the Iranian government has failed to meet its obligations under Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and reiterating that the United States stands with the Iranian people as they pursue universal rights. Key quote from President Obama:
Consistent with the Security Council mandate, this legislation strengthens existing sanctions, authorizes new ones and supports our multilateral diplomatic strategy to address Iran’s nuclear program. It makes it harder for the Iranian government to purchase refined petroleum and the goods, services and materials to modernize Iran’s oil and natural gas sector. It makes it harder for the Revolutionary Guards and banks that support Iran’s nuclear programs and terrorism to engage in international finance. It says to companies seeking procurement contracts with the United States government -— if you want to do business with us, you first have to certify that you’re not doing prohibited business with Iran. Continue Reading →

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Obama Outlines Immigration Reform (full video)

At American University today, President Obama outlines a roadmap for immigration reform that includes holding businesses, illegal immigrants responsible and fixing the broken legal immigration system.Twitter log by Susan Maricle
09:15:41;00Obama: We can face our problems with determination or consign our families/children to a less secure future.09:17:32;00Obama on #immigration: “This administration will not just kick the can down the road” ;09:18:39;00Obama: We have always defined ourselves as a nation of #immigrants. Einstein, Tesla, Carnegie are among them.09:20:19;00Obama: we reap incredible economic rewards because we are a magnet for the best/brightest around the world #immigration 09:22:09;00#Immigrants have helped to build/defend country, bring youth to our workforce. Obama09:23:36;00Every wave of #immigration, though, comes with challenges. Especially during economic upheaval. It is up to us to fix the system: Obama.09:24:31;00An estimated 11 mil undocumented #immigrants in US. Continue Reading →

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Don’t Listen To This! – Kagan & Feinstein On Guns

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan draws laughter when Senator Dianne Feinstein asks if they can have a “heart to heart” in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a live TV audience. Kagan “Just you and me” Feinstein “Just you and me and nobody else” (laughter) Another Senator (Leahy?) “Don’t anybody in the room listen” Continue Reading →

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Kagen’s One Pledge:Impartiality, Hard Work

Before the US Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan says in her opening statement:”I will make no pledges this week other than this one: That if confirmed, I will remember and abide by all these lessons. I will listen hard to every party before the court and to each of my colleagues. I will work hard and I will do my best to consider every case impartially, modestly, with commitment to principle and in accordance with law.” Continue Reading →

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US Senator Robert Byrd’s Final Days: Longest Serving Congressman Dies At 92

US Senator Robert C. Byrd died this morning at age 92.  The West Virginia Democrat was the longest serving member of Congress in US History. His Senate website reports Senator Byrd died peacefully at approximately 3 a.m. at Inova Fairfax Hospital. This is video from Senator Byrd’s final hearing as chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. The video from April 13 shows he is frail, but still fiery and has a sense of humor. Continue Reading →

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US-UK World Cup Beer Bet Payoff

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron settle a World Cup bet and speak to the media after meeting at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada. Transcript:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: All right, everybody set up? Careful. Don’t hurt each other.PRIME MINISTER CAMERON: — upsetting the beer, so work together here. (Laughter.) PRESIDENT OBMAA: Let me begin by saying that the last conversation I had with David Cameron was before the — well, I guess it wasn’t the last one, but a recent conversation was before the match between the United States and England at the World Cup. Continue Reading →

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Peace Or War On Presidential Seal?

Is it true the eagle on the Presidential seal faces the olive branches in times of peace and the arrows in times of war? White House Oval Office Operations guy Brian Mosteller explains why there are two Presidential seals. Continue Reading →

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Obama: Verge Of Victory For Financial Reform

Transcript:
 
This weekend, I’m traveling to Toronto to meet with members of the G20. There, I hope we can build on the progress we made at last year’s G20 summits by coordinating our global financial reform efforts to make sure a crisis like the one from which we are still recovering never happens again. We’ve made great progress toward passing such reform here at home. As I speak, we are on the cusp of enacting the toughest financial reforms since the Great Depression.  
I don’t have to tell you why these reforms are so important. Continue Reading →

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