WASHINGTON— In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that the United States succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share, and engages in fair play. This is why the President nominated Richard Cordray to lead a new consumer-watchdog agency designed to protect families from being taken advantage of, but Republicans in Congress have blocked the nomination. They have also stood in the way of a balanced plan to extend the payroll tax cut for working families – and the President made clear he believes that elected officials should not go home for the holidays until they’ve done what is right for the American people and for the economy by extending this tax cut.
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From the White House blog
Today, Americans from across the country are making plans to quit smoking as part of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout. And this morning, we released a video from President Obama congratulating everyone who is participating in this important event and underscoring our Administration’s commitment to fighting tobacco use:
President Obama and his Administration are committed to doing all we can to stop kids from smoking and reducing the number of Americans who smoke. And for those of you who are making the commitment to quit, you are not alone and we have resources to help you succeed. You can visit HHS.gov today to connect with a smoking cessation expert via IM or phone, use the online step-by-step quit guide, or sign up for SmokefreeTXT a texted based smoking cessation program. And under the Affordable Care Act insurance companies are required to cover recommended preventive services, including tobacco cessation counseling without charging you an extra penny out of your own pocket.
We are also continuing our efforts to protect young people from starting smoking in the first place.
President Obama was proud to sign the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act which gives us new tools to help young people stop smoking before they start. New prevention efforts include addressing marketing practices aimed at children like banning fruit and candy flavored cigarettes and working with states to keep tobacco out of the hands of kids by increasing enforcement at the retail level. And the law calls for graphic warning labels that make the danger of smoking abundantly clear. Big tobacco companies are trying to stand in the way of these commonsense measures to protect our kids, but we’re confident their attempts will ultimately fail.
Sadly, we’ve seen too many friends, families and communities suffer needlessly, and suffer tremendously, from tobacco-related death, disease and disability. We have a clear path to ending the tobacco epidemic and it is a battle we can – and must – win. The prosperity and health of our country depends on it….
I don’t remember if past Presidents or First Ladies have ever passed out Trick-or-Treats at the White House before, but I suppose having children of their own small enough to enjoy the Halloween festivity is a good enough reason for doing so, especially since the children enjoying themselves are from military families.
The following was posted at the White House Blog and includes the recipes for the in-house made treats that were passed out by President Obama and his wife Michelle:
Last night, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcome area students and the children of military families to the White House for trick-or-treating.
Check out the video of the President and First Lady handing out cookies, White House M&M’s and dried fruit mix to trick-or-treaters at the North Portico of the White House.
The White House and the surrounding grounds are decorated in celebration of Halloween. As the trick-or-treaters made their way across the North Lawn to the North Portico they were entertained by the Marine Band playing Halloween music and spooked by in-costume actors from Washington-area theatres, brought together by theatreWashington.
Check out the White House Halloween recipes below.
The White House Sweet Dough Butter Cookie Recipe
1 lb Sugar 1 tsp Vanilla
2 lbs Butter 1 tsp Salt
3 Eggs 3 lbs All Purpose Flour
Mix the butter and sugar till soft and well beaten. Then add eggs, vanilla, salt and half the flour. Beat on slow speed till mixed, then add the rest of the flour and mix until incorporated.
Push flat onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate overnight. Roll out to one quarter inch thick and cut out cookie shapes with cookie cutter.
Bake at 350F for 14 minutes and then allow to cool.
Make Your Own Dried Fruit Mix
Dried Apples Dried Pineapple
Dried Apricots Dried Papayas
Dried Pears Dried Cherries
Dried Blueberries Banana Chips
Combine ingredients and serve.
>On Father’s Day weekend, President Obama reflects on his experience as a parent and discusses the challenges and necessity of being a good father.
Take a look at fatherhood.gov
>WASHINGTON – In his weekly address, President Obama spoke to the American people about how the government is partnering with the private sector to make sure workers have the skills and training they need in this economy. This past Wednesday, he announced commitments by the private sector, colleges, and the National Association of Manufacturers that will make it possible for half a million community college students to get a manufacturing credential that has the industry’s stamp of approval. And on Monday, he will travel to North Carolina to meet with his Jobs Council to work on the steps the government can take to spur private sector hiring in the short-term and ensure our workers have the skills and training they need.
Posted at The White House Blog by Stephanie Cutter on January 31, 2011
Today, a judge in Florida issued a decision in a case filed by 25 Republican Attorneys General and Governors striking down the Affordable Care Act. This ruling is well out of the mainstream of judicial opinion. Twelve federal judges have already dismissed challenges to the constitutionality of the health reform law, and two judges – in the Eastern District of Michigan and Western District of Virginia – have upheld the law. In one other case, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia issued a very narrow ruling on the constitutionality of the health reform law’s “individual responsibility” provision and upheld the rest of the law.
Today’s ruling – issued by Judge Vinson in the Northern District of Florida – is a plain case of judicial overreaching. The judge’s decision contradicts decades of Supreme Court precedent that support the considered judgment of the democratically elected branches of government that the Act’s “individual responsibility” provision is necessary to prevent billions of dollars of cost-shifting every year by individuals without insurance who cannot pay for the health care they obtain. And the judge declared that the entire law is null and void even though the only provision he found unconstitutional was the “individual responsibility” provision. This decision is at odds with decades of established Supreme Court law, which has consistently found that courts have a constitutional obligation to preserve as a much of a statute as can be preserved. As a result, the judge’s decision puts all of the new benefits, cost savings and patient protections that were included in the law at risk.
Under today’s view of the law, seniors will pay higher prices for their prescription drugs and small businesses will pay higher taxes because small business tax credits would be eliminated. And the new provisions that prevent insurance companies from denying, capping or limiting your care would be wiped away.
We don’t believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld and we are confident that the Affordable Care Act will ultimately be declared constitutional by the courts.
History and the facts are on our side. Similar legal challenges to major new laws — including the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act — were all filed and all failed. And contrary to what opponents argue the new law falls well within Congress’s power to regulate economic activity under the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the General Welfare Clause.
Those who claim that the “individual responsibility” provision exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce because it penalizes “inactivity” are simply wrong. Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are actively making an economic decision that impacts all of us. People who make an economic decision to forego health insurance do not opt out of the health care market. As Congress found, every year millions of people without insurance obtain health care they cannot pay for, shifting tens of billions of dollars in added cost onto those who have insurance and onto taxpayers. There can be no doubt that this activity substantially affects interstate commerce, and Congress has the power to regulate it.
The Affordable Care Act, through the individual responsibility requirement, will require everyone, if they can afford it, to carry some form of health insurance since everyone at some point in time participates in the health care system, and incur costs that must be paid for. For the 83% of Americans who have coverage and who are already taking responsibility for their health care, their insurance premiums will decrease over time. Many of those who are currently struggling to pay for insurance will get a new tax credit. Only those who are able to pay for health insurance will be responsible for obtaining it. Because most people would voluntarily purchase coverage as it becomes more affordable and the policy exempts those for whom purchase would cause a financial hardship, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that only 1 percent of all Americans would pay a penalty for not having health insurance in 2016….