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Hi, all.  Today's report features the following:

The President's remarks on New START ratification: "There is no higher national security priority for the lame duck session of Congress." Also key facts about the treaty and a report on the President's commitment to modernizing our nuclear deterrent.

GM IPO raises over $20 billion.  Center for Automotive Research: aid to GM and Chrysler saved over 1.1 million jobs in 2009 and 314,000 jobs this year.  Since emerging from bankruptcy, the auto industry has created over 75,000 new jobs.

CEA quarterly analysis: The Recovery Act has raised employment by 2.7 to 3.7 million jobs.

National Entrepreneurship Week: A look at three innovative companies that have benefited from the Recovery Act.

The First Lady attends Let's Move! events in New York and New Jersey.

West Wing Week, the White House's video retrospective.


From the White House, Nov. 18, 2010:

The START Treaty and National Security

President Obama calls ratifying the new START Treaty the national security imperative for the upcoming session of Congress as he drops by a meeting led by Vice President Joe Biden. November 18, 2010.

Remarks by the President at a Meeting on the New START Treaty


I want to begin by thanking the incredible leaders who are around this table, not only the Vice President and the Secretary of State, but also some of the most able statesmen from both parties that we’ve had in modern American history who are sitting around this table....

There is no higher national security priority for the lame duck session of Congress [than New START ratification].  The stakes for American national security are clear, and they are high.  The New START treaty responsibly reduces the number of nuclear weapons and launchers that the United States and Russia deploy, while fully maintaining America’s nuclear deterrent.

If we ratify this treaty, we’re going to have a verification regime in place to track Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons, including U.S. inspectors on the ground.  If we don’t, then we don’t have a verification regime -– no inspectors, no insights into Russia’s strategic arsenal, no framework for cooperation between the world’s two nuclear superpowers.  As Ronald Reagan said, we have to trust, but we also have to verify.  In order for us to verify, we’ve got to have a treaty.

The New START treaty is also a cornerstone of our relations with Russia.  And this goes beyond nuclear security.  Russia has been fundamental to our efforts to put strong sanctions in place to put pressure on Iran to deal with its nuclear program.  It’s been critical in supporting our troops in Afghanistan through the Northern Distribution Network.  It’s been critical in working with us to secure all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world, and to enhance European security.

We cannot afford to gamble on our ability to verify Russia’s strategic nuclear arms.  And we can’t jeopardize the progress that we’ve made in securing vulnerable nuclear materials, or in maintaining a strong sanctions regime against Iran.  These are all national interests of the highest order....

We’ve taken the time to do this right.  To ensure that the treaty got a fair hearing, we submitted to the Senate last spring.  Because of the leadership of John Kerry and Dick Lugar, there have been 18 hearings on this subject.  There have been multiple briefings.  It has been fully and carefully vetted, and has the full endorsement of our nation’s military leadership.  Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Hoss Cartwright is here and will confirm that this is in our national security interests.

My administration is also prepared to go the extra mile to ensure that our remaining stockpile and nuclear infrastructure is modernized -- which I know is a key concern of many around this table and also many on Capitol Hill.  We’ve committed to invest $80 billion on the effort to modernize over the next decade.  And based on our consultations with Senator Kyl, we’ve agreed to request an additional $4.1 billion over the next five years.

So the key point here is this is not about politics -– it’s about national security.  This is not a matter that can be delayed.  Every month that goes by without a treaty means that we are not able to verify what’s going on on the ground in Russia.  And if we delay indefinitely, American leadership on nonproliferation and America’s national security will be weakened....

I would welcome the press to query the leadership here, people who have been national security advisors, secretaries of state, and key advisors -- defense secretaries for Democratic and Republican administrations, and they will confirm that this is the right thing to do....

Q Do you have the votes in the Senate?

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m confident that we should be able to get the votes.  Keep in mind that every President since Ronald Reagan has presented an arms treaty with Russia and been able to get ratification.  And for the most part, these treaties have been debated on the merits; the majority of them have passed overwhelmingly with bipartisan support.  There’s no reason that we shouldn’t be able to get that done this time as well.

Also present at the meeting: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator John Kerry; Senator Richard Lugar; former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, James Baker, and Henry Kissinger; former Secretaries of Defense William Cohen and William Perry; former National Security Advisor General Brent Scowcroft; Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Cartwright; and Senator Sam Nunn.

Office of the Press Secretary,  March 26, 2010:

Key Facts about the New START Treaty

Treaty Structure :  The New START Treaty is organized in three tiers of increasing level of detail.  The first tier is the Treaty text itself.  The second tier consists of a Protocol to the Treaty, which contains additional rights and obligations associated with Treaty provisions.  The basic rights and obligations are contained in these two documents.  The third tier consists of Technical Annexes to the Protocol.  All three tiers will be legally binding.  The Protocol and Annexes will be integral parts of the Treaty and thus submitted to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.

Strategic Offensive Reductions :  Under the Treaty, the U.S. and Russia will be limited to significantly fewer strategic arms within seven years from the date the Treaty enters into force.  Each Party has the flexibility to determine for itself the structure of its strategic forces within the aggregate limits of the Treaty.  These limits are based on a rigorous analysis conducted by Department of Defense planners in support of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review.

Aggregate limits :

• 1,550 warheads.  Warheads on deployed ICBMs and deployed SLBMs count toward this limit and each deployed heavy bomber equipped for nuclear armaments counts as one warhead toward this limit.

◦ This limit is 74% lower than the limit of the 1991 START Treaty and 30% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty.  

• A combined limit of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.

• A separate limit of 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped for nuclear armaments.  

◦ This limit is less than half the corresponding strategic nuclear delivery vehicle limit of the START Treaty.

Verification and Transparency :  The Treaty has a verification regime that combines the appropriate elements of the 1991 START Treaty with new elements tailored to the limitations of the Treaty.  Measures under the Treaty include on-site inspections and exhibitions, data exchanges and notifications related to strategic offensive arms and facilities covered by the Treaty, and provisions to facilitate the use of national technical means for treaty monitoring.   To increase confidence and transparency, the Treaty also provides for the exchange of telemetry.

Treaty Terms :  The Treaty’s duration will be ten years, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement.   The Parties may agree to extend the Treaty for a period of no more than five years.  The Treaty includes a withdrawal clause that is standard in arms control agreements.  The 2002 Moscow Treaty terminates upon entry into force of the New START Treaty.  The U.S. Senate and the Russian legislature must approve the Treaty before it can enter into force.

No Constraints on Missile Defense and Conventional Strike :  The Treaty does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.

Office of the Press Secretary, November 17, 2010:

Fact Sheet: An Enduring Commitment to the U.S. Nuclear Deterrent

President Obama has made an extraordinary commitment to ensure the modernization of our nuclear infrastructure, which had been neglected for years before he took office.  Today, the Administration once again demonstrates that commitment with the release of its plans to invest more than $85 billion over the next decade to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons complex that supports our deterrent.  This represents a $4.1 billion increase over the next five years relative to the plan provided to Congress in May.  This level of funding is unprecedented since the end of the Cold War.

In the five years preceding the start of this Administration, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) – charged with sustaining America’s aging nuclear complex and stockpile – lost 20 percent of its purchasing power.  As part of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the Administration made a commitment to modernize our nuclear arsenal and the complex that supports it.  To begin this effort, the President requested $7 billion for NNSA in fiscal year 2011 (FY 2011) – an increase of nearly 10 percent over the prior year.  

Today’s release of updated investment plans (in an update to the ‘Section 1251 Report to Congress’) shows this Administration’s commitment to requesting the funding needed to sustain and modernize the nuclear complex.  In particular, the Administration plans will:

• Add nearly $600 million in funding for FY 2012, resulting in a total planned FY 2012 budget request of $7.6 billion for NNSA weapons activities;

• Increase funding by $4.1 billion increase over the next five years relative to the plan provided to Congress in May – including an additional $340 million for the Uranium Processing Facility (Tennessee) and the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) facility (New Mexico); and

• Propose spending more than $85 billion for NNSA weapons activities over the next decade.

The above plans provide the best current estimate of costs for the nuclear weapons stockpile and infrastructure.  As the UPF and CMRR facilities are only at the 45 percent design level, the Administration recognizes that the costs could change over time.  At the present time, the range for the Total Project Cost for CMRR is $3.7 billion to $5.8 billion and the range for UPF is $4.2 billion to $6.5 billion.  The Administration is committed to requesting the funds necessary to ensure completion of these facilities.  The potential additional costs associated with these facilities are shown ... below.

[Planned Projections for Weapons Stockpile and Infrastructure Spending (then-year dollars) range from $6.4 billion in Fiscal Year 2010 to $9.4-9.8 billion in FY 2020].


President Obama on GM IPO

President Obama speaks to the media about General Motors' public stock offering and says that the company's recent success is an example of how tough choices on the economy are starting to pay off. November 18, 2010.

From the Office of the Press Secretary, Nov. 18, 2010:

Remarks by the President on General Motors


Hello, everybody.  Good afternoon.  Today, one of the toughest tales of the recession took another big step towards becoming a success story.
General Motors relaunched itself as a public company, cutting the government’s stake in the company by nearly half.  What’s more, American taxpayers are now positioned to recover more than my administration invested in GM.

And that’s a very good thing.  Last year, we told GM’s management and workers that if they made the tough decisions necessary to make themselves more competitive in the 21st century -- decisions requiring real leadership, fresh thinking and also some shared sacrifice –- then we would stand by them.  And because they did, the American auto industry -– an industry that’s been the proud symbol of America’s manufacturing might for a century; an industry that helped to build our middle class -– is once again on the rise.

Our automakers are in the midst of their strongest period of job growth in more than a decade.  Since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, the industry has created more than 75,000 new jobs.  For the first time in six years, Ford, GM and Chrysler are all operating at a profit.  In fact, last week, GM announced its best quarter in over 11 years.  And most importantly, American workers are back at the assembly line manufacturing the high-quality, fuel-efficient, American-made cars of tomorrow, capable of going toe to toe with any other manufacturer in the world.

Just two years ago, this seemed impossible.  In fact, there were plenty of doubters and naysayers who said it couldn’t be done, who were prepared to throw in the towel and read the American auto industry last rites.  Independent estimates suggested, however, that had we taken that step, had we given up, we would have lost more than 1 million jobs across all 50 states.  It would have also resulted in economic chaos, devastating communities across the country and costing governments tens of billions of dollars in additional social safety net benefits and lost revenue.

That wasn’t an acceptable option –- to throw up our hands and to quit.  That’s not what we do.  This is a country of optimistic and determined people who don’t give up when times are tough.  We do what’s necessary to move forward....

From the White House, Nov. 18, 2010:

White House White Board: The Rebirth of the American Auto Industry

In the fourth edition of White House White Board, Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, discusses the President's tough decisions on the American auto industry in light of the General Motors IPO.

Bloomberg, November 18, 2010:

Granholm Calls GM IPO Signal of Turnaround for U.S.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm discusses General Motors Co.'s initial public offering and business outlook. Granholm speaks from East Lansing, Michigan, with Erik Schatzker and Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack." GM returns to public trading [Nov. 18] following an IPO that raised more than $20 billion. [Video won’t embed.]

USAToday, November 18, 2010:

Obama: GM stock sale a success for his policy

.... more than 400 million GM (GM) shares traded hands during its debut on the Big Board ....

The Center for Automotive Research estimated that aid to GM and Chrysler saved more than 1.1 million jobs in 2009 and 314,000 jobs this year. The third Big Three automaker, Ford Motor Co., did not accept federal assistance and stayed out of bankruptcy....

Office of the Press Secretary, November 18, 2010:

President Obama, Vice President Biden to Visit Kokomo, IN

On Tuesday, November 23rd, President Obama and Vice President Biden will travel to Kokomo, Indiana, as part of their White House to Main Street tour.

In recent years, Kokomo has been hard-hit by devastating plant closing and layoffs, but with the help of the Recovery Act and the Administration’s auto restructuring plan, Kokomo is on the rebound today and unemployment has dropped by nearly 8 percentage points since mid-2009.  A new hybrid vehicle component manufacturing plant has opened with the help of an $89 million Recovery Act grant; newly-restructured Chrysler has invested $300 million to retool and modernize the Kokomo transmission plant, which has helped retain more than 1,000 workers at its Kokomo plants this year and Recovery Act community development funds have helped support a downtown revitalization that led to the opening of a dozen new businesses in the area.

President Obama last visited Kokomo in April 2008 where he discussed the importance of investing in infrastructure, manufacturing and clean energy to bring good jobs to places like Kokomo.

From comeback053, November 18, 2010:

President Obama: "Don't bet against the American worker.  Don't bet against the American people."


Office of the Press Secretary, November 18, 2010:

CEA Releases New Quarterly Analysis on Job and Economic Impact of the Recovery Act

WASHINGTON, DC – The Council of Economic Advisers today released its latest quarterly report on the economic impact of the Recovery Act.  The report shows that the Act played a key role in changing the trajectory of the economy.  Specifically, the Recovery Act added 2.7 percent to third quarter GDP growth and by some measures has exceeded the original goal of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010.

The report also shows that the third quarter was the biggest yet for public investment spending, with more than $33 billion outlaid for clean energy, transportation and other infrastructure projects.  According to CEA’s analysis, public investment spending was responsible for over 1 million jobs nationwide through the third quarter of 2010.

This is the fifth quarterly report the Council of Economic Advisers has submitted to Congress on the employment and economic impact of the Recovery Act.  The report can be viewed in full HERE.

The Council of Economic Advisers Fifth Quarterly Report on the Economic Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Key Findings

• As of the third quarter of 2010, the Recovery Act has raised employment by 2.7 to 3.7 million jobs.

• The Recovery Act has raised the level of GDP as of the second quarter of 2010 by 2.7 percent.

• Public investment spending increased significantly in the third quarter with more than $33 billion paid out to support projects in areas like health IT, building construction and transportation infrastructure.

• Public investment spending was responsible for more than 1 million jobs in the third quarter.

• Clean energy investments were responsible for nearly a quarter of the 1 million public investment jobs – or 224,500 clean energy jobs.

• Less than $20 billion of discretionary program funding remains "unobligated" – and the majority of those funds have already been awarded.

• Eight states – California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas – have now seen an impact of over 100,000 Recovery Act jobs.

From USDA Forest Service, October 27, 2010:

Restoring the Pine Valley, Utah Historic Guard Station with help from the Recovery Act

Built in 1935, the Pine Valley Guard Station on the Dixie National Forest in Utah is being repaired thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  About 100 people are estimated to be employed on a project like this, and 200-300 others are reported working on ARRA-funded projects in the area.  In addition, manufacturers and suppliers are contracted to.  The various jobs and services are described in the course of the video.


White House Blog, Nov. 18, 2010:

Entrepreneurs Fueling Innovation

Posted by Cathy Zoi, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy

Earlier this week, I witnessed the next chapter of America’s love affair with the automobile here in the nation’s capital.  I took part in a ribbon cutting at the first public curbside electric vehicle (EV) charging station, made possible by Coulomb Technologies.  It looks like a parking meter that Steve Jobs might design.  And plugging in for a charge is simple – easier than even pumping gas.  Soon brand new EVs – like the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt – will be able to power up at stations like this one whenever they need it.

From Coulomb Technologies, August 4, 2010:

Chevy Volt and ChargePoint® Networked Charging Stations

Demonstration of charging a Chevy Volt at the ChargePoint Level II EV charging station in San Jose.

As President Obama says, "The nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy."  The Recovery Act is the largest clean energy investment in American history, supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Entrepreneurs, just like Richard Lowenthal and Praveen Mandal whose Coulomb Technologies manufactured the charging station in DC, are making the cutting edge stuff that will power the cars of tomorrow.  Soon, more than 20,000 stations will be popping up nationally to charge new EVs.  Coulomb Technologies’ $15 million Recovery Act award will deploy 4,600 charging stations as part of this effort.

From Chevrolet, July 15, 2010:

President Obama Checks Out the Chevrolet Volt

The President and Gov. Granholm examine the Chevrolet Volt during his visit to Compact Power's new advanced battery factory in Holland, Michigan on July 15, 2010. The plant will build battery cells for electric vehicles including the Volt.

And entrepreneurs like Jonathan Wolfson of start-up Solazyme are developing technologies that will revolutionize the liquid fuels sector.  With support from a $21 million Recovery Act grant, Wolfson’s company is pioneering next generation algal biofuels.  The Navy has taken notice with plans to purchase 150,000 gallons of algae-based biofuel from Solazyme, helping the company scale-up production and reduce U.S. reliance on imported oil.

From Smart Planet CBS, July 19, 2010:

Growing the next 'green' fuel

Will algae fuel the car of tomorrow? Harrison Dillon, CTO of Solazyme is growing strains of algae to produce various kinds of renewable oils. He hopes that over the next few years, people will start consuming algae derived products like gasoline, household cleaners, and makeup without ever realizing it.

Here’s another one: Ely Sachs, co-founder of 1366 Technologies, helped land a $4 million ARPA-E award to advance a novel solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing process.  Funded by the Recovery Act, the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) solicits high-risk, high-reward ideas and funds a handful of potential game-changers.  The new 1366 Technologies process could reduce PV manufacturing capital costs by 90 percent and cut the cost of PV systems in half, making solar panels more affordable for homes and businesses.

From the Department of Energy, April 26, 2010:

Faces of the Recovery Act: 1366 Technologies

At 1366 Technologies, Ely Sachs and Frank van Mierlo are using ARPA-E Recovery Act funding to dramatically reduce the costs of solar panel production.

As we celebrate National Entrepreneurship Week, let’s celebrate the innovative spirit of America and its inventors and entrepreneurs.  Their imagination, smarts, and hard work will transform our energy system and ensure that America leads the 21st century global economy.  And these transformative changes are not years away, they’re already here.


From New York Daily News, November 18, 2010:

First Lady Michelle Obama encourages Harlem kids to get moving

First Lady Michelle Obama plays with kids at the Harlem Police Athletic League building and holds a press conference for her 'Let's Move' campaign., Nov. 18, 2010:

Michelle Obama drops into Harlem PAL center to do some pushups, squats and jumping jacks with kids

By Joanna Molloy and Frank Lombardi

First Lady Michelle Obama got a workout in Harlem Thursday when she dropped into a Police Athletic League center and led an exercise class for the kids....

"You are our future, that's why I spent so much time with you guys," the First Lady told the kids. "Turn off the TV, turn off the video games, put down the potato chips and the candy."

"She's terrific and a role model for all of you and all of us," said former Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau, longtime chairman of the city's PAL program....

From the Office of the First Lady, Nov. 18, 2010:

[The First Lady also visited Maple Avenue Elementary School in Newark, New Jersey.]

Remarks by the First Lady at "Let's Move!" Student Event

Mrs. OBAMA: Now, I have to tell you that spending time with young people like all of you is my absolute favorite thing that I do as First Lady.  It is my favorite thing -- because I love to hear your energy.  It fills me up.  So when I'm tired, I hear you guys screaming and you're shouting and you're ready to go, that pumps me up.  I'm excited to hear your imagination, because you guys say some of the most wonderful things.  You have some of the best observations.  It’s just exciting to talk to you.  I love hearing about what you’re learning in school and what you hope to be when you grow up -- because it keeps us focused on what’s really important, because everything we do in this country must be for you all.  So we want to know that you're taking it in and you're thinking about life, and you're making big plans, and as the President says, that you're dreaming big, huge, gigantic dreams.

In smart, passionate young people like all of you, we see the future of this country.  You all are it.  I see the discoveries that you’re going to make, and the businesses that you’re going to build.  In you, I see all the exciting books that you’ll write when you get older, and all the people that you’re going to help.  So you all inspire me.  And you just don't inspire me; you inspire the President and all leaders across the country.  So never doubt the power of your voices.

But I also know that in order for all of you guys to do all that we expect for you to do in the future, that you're going to need lots and lots of energy, right?  You got to be healthy if you're going to change the world, right?

STUDENTS:  Yes!....

MRS. OBAMA: But I want you to know that we are working hard in Washington to also help.  I’m working with senators and representatives in Congress.  So one of the things we need to get done is to pass the Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill.  I’m going to talk about that until that gets done.  It’s a law that will help us get healthier school breakfasts and lunches to many, many more kids across this country who right now don’t have access to nutritious food in schools.  And we hope to get that bill passed soon so that kids like all of you get the nutritious foods that they need.

But as you’ve seen here today, there’s also plenty that you all can do even if you’re not in Washington.  And you don’t need to be a President or a mayor or First Lady to do it.  You all can influence your families right now.  You can influence your schools and your communities right now.  You can do it by just setting an example.  That one young man said that he’s helped to talk some of his friends into making better choices.

So you can begin to be those role models in the lives of kids around you.  You can do that.  You don’t have to change the whole world at once.  You can change what happens to your friend who sits next to you in class.  You can change what happens in your own house.  You can help your grandparents think about cooking differently.  You can encourage your parents to exercise with you, maybe walk up the stairs.  That’s what we’re doing in our house.  We’ve sworn off the elevator.  So we walk up the stairs.  The kids don’t like it, but we’re doing it.  (Laughter.)....

• WEST WING WEEK, 11/19/10 •

From the White House, Nov. 19, 2010:

West Wing Week: 11/19/10 or "I Really Like this Guy"

Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Walk step by step with the President as he attends the G-20 in Seoul, Korea and the annual APEC meeting in Yokohama, Japan, awards the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, and the National Medals of Science and Technology, affirms the Administration's commitment to promoting equality in the work place at a meeting of women leaders in the Roosevelt Room, and more...

Originally posted to Kat 4 Obama on Fri Nov 19, 2010 at 08:44 AM PST.

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