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Reposted from Animal Nuz by nomandates


The executive announcements today altogether will cut carbon pollution by nearly 300 million metric tons through 2030 – equivalent to taking more than 60 million cars off the road for one year – and will save homes and businesses more than $10 billion on their energy bills...



Today, the White House is announcing a series of executive actions that will create jobs, reduce carbon pollution, and improve energy efficiency. These actions reinforce American leadership in innovating and deploying clean energy and cutting energy waste.

Building a Skilled Solar Workforce:  To continue to build a skilled solar workforce, DOE’s Solar Instructor Training Network is launching a veterans’ job training pilot project at up to three military bases this fall. The pilot project will connect a talented Veteran population with DOE’s extensive network of more than 400 community college-based solar training institutions. The network will assist at least 50,000 highly-qualified new solar installers to enter the industry by 2020.

USDA Awards Loans and Grants for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency Improvements: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack is announcing USDA is investing $68 million in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide, including 240 solar projects. The funding is being provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which offers financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements.

Improving Appliance Efficiency: DOE is issuing a proposed energy efficiency conservation standard for commercial unitary air conditioners, which are commonly used for space conditioning in commercial and industrial buildings. If finalized as proposed, this standard will save 11.7 quads of energy over the lifetime of units shipped over 30 years. That is equivalent to more than half of all the residential energy used in one year, making this potentially the largest energy savings estimated for any efficiency standard issued by DOE to date.  If finalized, it would also help cut carbon pollution by more than 60 million metric tons, and could save consumers nearly $10 billion on their energy bills through 2030. This year, DOE has issued seven final energy conservation standards, and when combined with the final rules already issued under this Administration, they will get us more than two-thirds of the way to achieving the President's goal of reducing carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030.

Strengthening Building Codes: In May 2014, DOE preliminarily affirmed that industry’s latest commercial building code – the ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 - 2013 – provides more energy savings than the previous Standard. Today, DOE is issuing the final determination for this action. Additionally, DOE is issuing a preliminary determination that the latest residential building code – the 2015 IECC – provides at least the same energy savings as the 2012 version. The updated ANSI/ASHRAE/IES code will help states and the Federal government save money and energy on building operations and cut emissions by 230 million metric tons of CO2 through 2030. Improved codes for residential and commercial buildings have already saved U.S. homes and businesses $44 billion on their energy bills, and today’s action builds off of this progress.

Federal Programs Supporting Clean Energy and Efficiency in Affordable Housing: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Community Planning and Development (CDP) office is affirming that under current guidelines, Section 108 funding can be used for clean energy and energy efficiency projects. To support local communities in utilizing this and other funding, HUD is creating a renewable energy toolkit for use by Community Planning and Development grantees.  The toolkit will provide program compliance information, tools, and capacity to integrate renewable energy components such as solar photovoltaic, solar hot water, and cogeneration in an efficient, cost-effective, and impactful way by using CPD funds, such as the Community Development Block Grant Section 108 program.  The toolkit will be finalized and available for use in early 2015.

Prioritizing Energy Efficiency in Service Projects to Reduce Poverty: This month, the Corporation for National and Community Service will release their AmeriCorps VISTA Program Guidance, which directs the development of new VISTA projects and outlines the national programming priorities for the VISTA program for the fiscal year. For the first time, energy efficiency and climate resilience will be two of the factors used when selecting anti-poverty service projects in low-income communities.

Improving Access to Federal Resources: DOE is launching Solar Powering America, available at, a one stop shop that will provide access to a wide range of Federal resources to drive solar deployment. The website will also be used to highlight and track private sector commitments to install distributed solar.

Leveraging Financing Tools to Deploy Solar: The growth of solar has been fueled in part by access to innovative financing tools. Today, DOE is releasing an updated Guide to Federal Financing for Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Deployment. This guide will highlight financing programs located in various Federal agencies, such as the Treasury, HUD, and USDA, which can be used for energy efficiency and clean energy projects.

Highlighting Progress on Solar in Schools: A SunShot Initiative partner, The Solar Foundation, is releasing a report exploring how U.S. schools are choosing solar to lower their energy costs and lower their carbon footprint. The report found that thousands of schools already are cutting their energy bills by choosing solar – using savings to pay for teachers and textbooks – and estimates that more than 70,000 additional schools could do the same. In fact, in 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program honored more than 40 schools and districts across the nation for drastically reducing their energy use through conservation behaviors and the use of on-site renewables, including solar.

Releasing New Reports Showing the Declining Price of Solar: DOE and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are releasing three new studies showing that the cost of solar energy continues to fall across all sectors, which indicates that initiatives targeting soft costs are starting to work. In 2013 alone, the installed price of commercial and residential solar declined by more than 12 percent.

Convening Key Players to Drive Investments in Solar: The White House will host a roundtable discussion in October on how to facilitate increased capital flows into the solar market through measures such as the collection of performance data and the standardization of contracts and risk assessment tools. The meeting will bring together senior advisors from the White House and DOE, solar developers, investors, ratings agencies, and other relevant experts.

Cutting Solar Soft Costs with Innovation:  DOE's SunShot Catalyst business plan competition is now open and accepting applications through November 7, 2014. This prize challenge makes it faster and easier for American innovators to launch cutting-edge solar companies, while tackling time-sensitive market challenges like soft costs. Learn more and submit your video pitch at

Driving Federal Procurement of Solar:  In April, the Administration launched a Capital Solar Challenge, directing Federal agencies, military installations, and Federally-subsidized complexes to identify opportunities to deploy solar energy at Federal locations across the National Capital Region. As part of the Capital Solar Challenge’s private sector outreach, the General Services Administration (GSA) will host an Industry Day on October 23, in Washington D.C. to perform market research and answer developers and investors questions about GSA’s procurement approach. The GSA Contracting Officer and Leadership will be present to discuss the Agency’s strategy for deploying solar in the National Capital Region and for using solar to help meet Federal renewable energy goals with industry.

Increasing Energy Productivity: Just yesterday, Secretary Moniz announced that DOE, the Council on Competitiveness, and the Alliance to Save Energy are teaming up to launch Accelerate Energy Productivity 2030, an initiative supporting the President’s goal to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030. Private sector, state, and local leaders can join energy productivity dialogues, endorse the goal, and share best practices for capturing the economic benefits of improved energy productivity. Accelerate Energy Productivity 2030 will create a national roadmap to grow our economy while reducing our energy costs. Learn more at
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Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 05:09 AM PDT

July White House Photo Diary

by bsegel

Reposted from Bob's Blog by nomandates

July 2014

Celebrating another month of incredible work from the White House Photographers. A look inside the White House for the month of July. All photographs were taken by the White House Photography staff lead by Pete Souza.

Bo, the Obama family dog, waits to greet President Barack Obama at the door in the Outer Oval Office, July 15, 2014.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and staff watch the U.S. soccer team vs Belgium in World Cup action in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium, July 1, 2014.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 02:07 PM PDT

WI-Gov: Control should be local

by Mary Burke

Reposted from Mary Burke by nomandates

Our beloved home is truly both an urban and a rural state. More than 1.5 million Wisconsinites – over a quarter of our population – live in rural communities. Wisconsin is home to thriving and vibrant rural areas, rich with valuable natural resources, a proud agricultural heritage, and uniquely Wisconsin culture.

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Reposted from Animal Nuz by nomandates

I first got the news from a tweet from Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas):

Today, #TeamWendy launched the most expansive voter protection program that Texas has ever seen. #TexasVotes
A quick search brought me to her campaign blog, where I found this:
Here in Texas, we’re used to being the biggest and the best.  So when it comes to voter turnout, we shouldn’t settle for anything less.  But in 2012 almost half of all eligible voters just stayed home.

Instead of encouraging participation, Texas Republicans want to silence Texas voices. They’ve passed laws to try to stomp out grassroots voter registration activities. They’ve unfairly limited what forms of photo ID Texans can show before voting.  Now, they even want to repeal the historic Voting Rights Act.

Texas Democrats, led by Wendy Davis, want to hear what you have to say.  We want more eligible Texans to vote, not fewer.  We believe in government that is “by the people” and “for the people” — and understand that we can only get there when our voting system is free, fair, and accessible.    

Plus, it’s just wrong for insiders to manipulate election laws for their own political gain.  

For all of these reasons, we’re partnering with Battleground Texas and the Texas Democratic Party to create the most expansive voter protection agenda that Texas has ever seen.  We’re committed to registering and educating voters, promoting opportunities to vote early, and organizing a robust volunteer system to protect every valid vote cast at the polls.  

Facilitating Voter Registration:  Our tireless volunteers are registering large numbers of eligible Texas voters this year. All staff and volunteers receive comprehensive training on the voter registration rules before they go out into the field, as well as ongoing guidance. All the while, through constant communication with county officials, we make sure that our registration activities are in strict compliance with state law — while being incredibly effective.

Educating Voters:  We are working hard to educate voters on the rules of successfully casting a ballot — including voter ID requirements.  With local leaders, we are identifying the best ways to reach voters who need help and assisting them in obtaining acceptable ID.

Promoting Early Voting:  We’re encouraging voters who are eligible to do so to cast their ballots early by mail — which they can do beginning in early September.  In October, we’ll closely monitor the in-person early voting period.

Protecting the Vote on Election Day:  On Election Day, we’ll have thousands of volunteers at polling places across the state.  We’ll ensure that there is a Democratic election judge or alternate judge, working alongside their Republican counterpart, to ensure the fair conduct of the election in each precinct.  We’ll also have poll watchers guarding against possible voter suppression or intimidation.  Outside the polls, our election monitors will answer voters’ questions and look out for problems like long lines and voter harassment.  And, we’ll run eight command centers across the state where lawyers and election law experts will be prepared to address the issues that come up — even if it means going to court.
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Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 04:04 AM PDT

May White House Photo Diary

by bsegel

Reposted from Bob's Blog by nomandates

May 2014

Celebrating another month of incredible work from the White House Photographers. A look inside the White House for the month of May. All photographs were taken by the White House Photography staff lead by Pete Souza.

President Barack Obama eavesdrops as Aidan Lamothe, the 2014 March of Dimes Ambassador, whispers to his mother that he had wished to see both the President and Bo, the Obama family dog, during his visit in the Oval Office, May 1, 2014.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany tour the Kitchen Garden with Executive Chef Cris Comerford on the South Grounds of the White House, May 2, 2014.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Sat May 03, 2014 at 04:41 PM PDT

April White House Photo Diary

by bsegel

Reposted from Bob's Blog by nomandates

April 2014

Celebrating another month of incredible work from the White House Photographers. A look inside the White House for the month of April. All photographs were taken by the White House Photography staff lead by Pete Souza.

President Barack Obama visits with patrons during a stop for lunch at Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich., April 2, 2014.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama gives a signing pen to Jacob Miller, brother of Gabriella Miller, after signing H.R. 2019, the "Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act", in the Oval Office, April 3, 2014. The law ends taxpayer contributions to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and diverts the money in that fund to pay for research into pediatric cancer through the National Institutes of Health.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Reposted from Daily Kos by JanF
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Tomorrow, Jan. 20, is the federal holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is hard for me to believe that we now have an entire generation who has grown up in the United States with this holiday on the calendar, not remembering a time when it was not marked or celebrated. A generation that has grown up learning about Dr. King and his life and work—in children's books, and classroom projects, and now there is a government sponsored Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, whose website mentions in passing, "After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." though his actual birth date was Jan 15, 1929. The details of that long struggle are important, as is who we had to struggle against.

For those of us who are older, who grew up during the time when Dr. King was still alive, who were part of the civil rights movement, who remember his assassination and the push to establish a holiday in his name—first in states, and then the drive for a federal holiday—we have also the memories of those naysayers, who didn't want to allow it to happen.  

We have long memories, and will not forget, or shove under the rug the names and opinions of those racists who rejected Dr. King and fought back against our movement—even though some resisters have lately changed their tune and pay lip-service to his memory, or attempt to whitewash his ideology, and use his image for their own purposes. Let us refuse today, tomorrow, and into the future to accept historical revisionism.

Follow me below the fold for the history.

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Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:40 PM PDT

What Obama Secretly Did in Newtown

by ericlewis0

Reposted from Animal Nuz by nomandates

I find this story highly apropos in the wake of the senseless tragedy at Fort Hood.

After the jump is an excerpt from the book,The President's Devotional by Joshua Dubois, the former head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

He's recounting the Sunday, two days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He had gotten word the day before that the President wanted to meet with the families of the victims.

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Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 09:41 AM PST

December White House Photo Diary

by bsegel

Reposted from Bob's Blog by nomandates

December 2013

Celebrating another month of incredible work from the White House Photographers. A look inside the White House for the month of December. All photographs were taken by the White House Photography staff lead by Pete Souza.

Dec. 25, 2013
"When little kids are around, you never know what will happen." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Dec. 25, 2013
"When little kids are around, you never know what will happen. On Christmas Day, the President and First Lady were greeting almost 600 active duty troops and their families at Marine Corps Base Hawaii Kaneohe (known locally as K-Bay). This youngster gave the President a look, which he returned."

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

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Sun Dec 01, 2013 at 09:31 AM PST

November White House Photo Diary

by bsegel

Reposted from Bob's Blog by nomandates

November 2013

Celebrating another month of incredible work from the White House Photographers. A look inside the White House for the month of November. All photographs were taken by the White House Photography staff lead by Pete Souza.

Honestly, this is one of the best months in awhile, they took some great shots this month.

President Barack Obama is reflected in a glass table during a meeting in the Oval Office, Nov. 4, 2013.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 09:06 AM PST

I just got elected, and so can you

by GwenM

Reposted from GwenM by nomandates
My #1 supporter and me
More and Better Democrats, right?  Where are the More and Better Democrats we seek?  

My story below the squiggle....

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Reposted from TrueBlueMajority by nomandates

will be shown during Chris Hayes' show on Wednesday, August 28, the exact day of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Samer put up a diary encouraging people to DVR it, and I want to echo Samer's request.

There will be more famous people than I analyzing the speech on Wednesday night.

But what started out as a long comment on Samer's diary has turned into a standalone piece in case I am working late Wednesday and miss the conversation here.

I would just like to point out a few things for people who may be getting ready to see the speech in its entirety for the first time.

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