Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The White House released the following excerpts from President Obama's State of the Union address:

We face big and difficult challenges. And what the American people hope - what they deserve - is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences; to overcome the numbing weight of our politics. For while the people who sent us here have different backgrounds and different stories and different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same. The aspirations they hold are shared. A job that pays the bill. A chance to get ahead. Most of all, the ability to give their children a better life.

You know what else they share? They share a stubborn resilience in the face of adversity. After one of the most difficult years in our history, they remain busy building cars and teaching kids; starting businesses and going back to school. They are coaching little league and helping their neighbors. As one woman wrote to me, "We are strained but hopeful, struggling but encouraged.

"It is because of this spirit - this great decency and great strength - that I have never been more hopeful about America's future than I am tonight. Despite our hardships, our union is strong. We do not give up. We do not quit. We don't allow fear or division to break our spirit. In this new decade, it's time the American people get a government that matches their decency; that embodies their strength. And tonight, I'd like to talk about how together, we can deliver on that promise.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Exam: Remember that regardless of the grade you NEED to get on the exam, the grade you DO get shows up on your report card!

Martha Coakley saying that Curt Schilling is a Yankees fan would be something like a Wisconsin politician saying that Brett Favre is a Vikings fan...OK never mind...bad example.

Go study for the exam.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

On January, 18, 2010, people of all ages and backgrounds will come together to improve lives, bridge social barriers, and move our nation closer to the “Beloved Community” that Dr. King envisioned.

Dr. Martin Luther King devoted his life’s work to causes of equality and social justice. He taught that through nonviolence and service to one another, problems such as hunger and homelessness, prejudice and discrimination can be overcome.

Dr. King’s teachings can continue to guide us in addressing our nation’s most pressing needs---poverty, economic insecurity, job loss and education.

Volunteer with Americans across the nation on the 2010 King Day of Service and make a real difference in your community.

Analysis: Should the Democrats' hair be on fire as they think about losing the senate seat in MA?

You should go to this (with your parents' permission).


In response to the present global economic downturn, the Waukesha Plowshare Center and Carroll University are hosting a forum on SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2010. The event will be held at the Carroll University Campus Center from 9:00am-noon, with six panelists addressing various aspects of our economy today. The purpose of the forum is to explore with students and the wider community the root causes of poverty and the growing disparity between the “haves and have-nots”. Discussion will also include models and projects which are restoring the social fabric by allocating resources in ways that serve the needs of all.

Pre-Forum Films will be shown on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2010 at 4:00-6:00 PM and repeated at 7:00 to 9:00 PM in the Stackner Ballroom of the Campus Center, Carroll University.

Dr. David Korten, president and founder of the People Centered Development Forum, will discuss via the Internet, “Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth”. Dr. Korten serves on the boards of Yes! Magazine as well as on the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. He is also an associate of the International Forum on Globalization, a member of the Club of Rome and co-chair of the New Economy Working Group. Dr. Korten has worked extensively with Asian leaders building civil society organizations to function as a strategic catalyst for positive national and global change.

Will Allen from Milwaukee’s Growing Power, Inc., will speak on a new agricultural model to access high quality, healthy and affordable food for all people, especially for people who live in the inner city. Growing Power is a nationwide non-profit organization which teaches innovative methods of agriculture to people from around the world at their greenhouse and training center in Milwaukee. Will Allen received the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award in 2008 and was honored by President Bill Clinton at the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Conference.

Several other speakers will participate in this forum. They include Alice Foley, co-founder of the Plowshare Center; Bernie Juno, Executive Director of the Waukesha Hebron House of Hospitality; Dr. David Block, Carroll University Environmental Scientist; and Dr. Rich Coon; Sociologist from Carroll University. Issues addressed will include the fair trade model and how it is promoting economic justice; local poverty and the impact of the economic downturn; a positive example from East Africa; growth-based capitalism and its affect on the environment; and projects which are transforming lives by offering jobs and opportunities.

The forum is free of charge and all are welcome to attend.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Opinion: Are lobbyists good, bad, or it depends. EXPLAIN.

China's lobbying efforts yield new influence, openness on Capitol Hill

By John PomfretSaturday, January 9, 2010
Ten years ago, U.S. lawmakers publicly accused the China Ocean Shipping Co. of being a front for espionage and blocked plans to expand its Long Beach, Calif., port terminal over fears that Chinese spies would use it to snoop on the United States.

By last year, Congress was seeing the state-owned Chinese behemoth in a far kinder light. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) authored a resolution applauding the company for employing thousands of Americans and helping keep the waters of Alaska clean. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.) hailed the firm on the House floor, calling its chief executive "a people's ambassador" to the United States after it rescued Boston's port -- and thousands of jobs -- when a European shipping line moved out.

The congressional about-face illustrates a dramatic increase in China's influence on Capitol Hill, where for years its lobbying muscle never matched its ballooning importance in world affairs. Members of Congress, lobbyists and other observers said China's new prominence is largely the result of Beijing's increasingly sophisticated efforts to influence events at the center of U.S. power -- and a growing realization among U.S. lawmakers that China has become a critical economic player across America.

Although many Americans still view China with deep suspicion because of its communist system and human rights record, the results of Beijing's image-and-influence campaign are clear. Members of Congress "are starting to understand that the Chinese are not communist but that the Chinese are Chinese," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). China is Oregon's biggest export market after Canada.

"China is an overarching backdrop to almost everything that I am involved with," said the seven-term congressman, adding that on matters as diverse as the U.S. economy, climate change and energy policy, "China is something that no one can ignore."

For years, as China steadily rose to global economic and political heights, it all but ignored the U.S. Congress, with outreach to American lawmakers left to friends in the business community. But now China has launched a multimillion-dollar lobbying effort so effective that it is challenging the heralded efforts of nemesis Taiwan.

A decade ago, U.S. politicians of all stripes routinely subjected China to attacks. Now acts of benevolence are more likely -- such as a resolution commemorating the 2,560th birthday of Chinese philosopher Confucius, which the House overwhelmingly approved in October.

"There was originally this kind of anti-communist view of China," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who in 1979 became the first U.S. mayor to visit China when she ran San Francisco. "That's changing. . . . China is a socialist country but one that is increasingly becoming capitalistic."

The new openness toward China is often subtle and not shared by all. But an undeniable evolution is taking place, congressional staffers and analysts said, as members of Congress, many with increasing numbers of large and small businesses in their districts that depend on trade with China, are now far more likely to kill or water down measures opposed by Beijing.

While China maintains a huge trade surplus with the United States, U.S. exports to China have surged in recent years. In 2008, according to the U.S.-China Business Council, exports to China grew in 85 percent of congressional districts. China is now the third-biggest market for U.S. goods, after Canada and Mexico.

"People in Congress are not stupid," said Minxin Pei, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College. "A few years ago, China-bashing was costless. Now they will get phone calls from worried CEOs. China is creating jobs in their congressional districts."

Zhou Wenzhong, China's avuncular ambassador, has visited about 100 senators and representatives in their districts during his four-year-old tenure in Washington. But he said it wasn't simply lobbying and shoe-leather efforts that have helped China's image in Congress.


RIP Mrs. Biden...

Vice President Biden's mother died Friday in Wilmington, Del., the White House said. She was 92.

"My mother, Catherine Eugenia 'Jean' Finnegan Biden, passed away peacefully today at our home in Wilmington, Delaware, surrounded by her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and many loved ones," the vice president said in a statement released by the White House. "

At 92, she was the center of our family and taught all of her children that family is to be treasured, loyalty is paramount and faith will guide you through the tough times.

"She believed in us, and because of that, we believed in ourselves.

"Together with my father, her husband of 61 years who passed away in 2002, we learned the dignity of hard work and that you are defined by your sense of honor. Her strength, which was immeasurable, will live on in all of us."

Jean Biden gained national attention with a handful of campaign appearances with her son during the 2008 presidential race. She underwent hip surgery last March after falling at her Wilmington home.

Vice President Biden returned home to Wilmington on Thursday to join family members at his mother's bedside, the White House said.

Jean Biden is survived by three sons and a daughter, as well as numerous grandchildren. Her husband, Joseph R. Sr., died in 2002.

From ABC News:

"...We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama,” Giuliani said.