(CNSNews.com) – President Obama this week advocated his plans for federally subsidized student loans and his desire to keep college costs down at the University of Colorado, a school whose Women and Gender Studies program includes a course on “Disney’s Women and Girls,” and where the full cost for an on-campus in-state student this year was $26,877.

Obama Advocates Student Loan Plan at U. Offering Class on ‘Disney’s Women and Girls’



Speaking Tuesday at the Boulder, Colo. campus, one of three college campuses he visited over two days, the president pledged to push for more student financial assistance, to keep up with the increasing cost of college. But he also said colleges must play their part.

“We can’t keep on subsidizing skyrocketing tuition, or we’re just going to run out of money,” Obama said. “So what I said to colleges and universities is, you guys have to do your parts to keep costs down. And I’ve told Congress, steer federal aid to those schools that keep tuition affordable and provide good value and serve their students well.”

“We’ve put colleges on notice,” he continued. “If you can’t show us that you’re making every effort to keep tuition from going up, then funding from taxpayers will go down.”

At the same time, Obama promoted his administration’s decision to assume direct control of the federally subsidized student-loan program and called on Congress to act to stop an interest rate increase in student loans.

“Before I took office, we had a student loan system where tens of billions of taxpayer dollars were going to subsidize banks in the student loan program instead of going to students,” said Obama. “So we changed it.  We cut out the middleman.  We said, why do we need the banks?  They’re not taking a risk.  These are federally guaranteed loans; let’s give the money directly to students.”

There is something Congress needs “to do right now,” Obama said. “They have to prevent the interest rates on federal student loans from shooting up and shaking you down.”

He also called on Congress to double the number of work-study jobs in five years.

Obama did not address any causes for the increasing costs, or the question of whether a school’s allocation of resources to courses and programs is a factor.

Among the courses listed in the University of Colorado’s Women and Gender Studies course catalog is one dealing with the way women are depicted in Disney movies.

“It comes as no surprise that the mediated world in which we live is awash in Disney products. From theme parks to films to a television channel to a global media presence, Disney’s reach is extensive,” the course description says.

“Disney’s media products are, for the most part, uncritically accepted as good, clean entertainment and, most importantly, good for children. Indeed, Disney-branded productions are seen as a kind of media ‘safe haven,’ praised both for not pandering to the sex and violence crowd and for offering content that provides positive role models for young girls, introduces audiences to important moments in history, and offers culturally diverse characters.”

Disney's MeridaPrincess Merida, voiced by actress Kelly Macdonald, in a scene from the Disney animated feature “Brave.” (AP Photo/Disney-Pixar Animation)

“In this course we will examine these assumptions,” the description continues. “Working from the perspective of media literate consumers looking through a feminist lens, we will take a critical look at a representative sample of Disney’s animated films, paying particular attention to Disney’s representations of gender, race, class and sexual orientation. Too, we will examine some of the practices of the corporation itself in order to better understand the Disney phenomenon in its totality.”

The description says the course “[m]ay be repeated up to 6 total credit hours for different topics.”

Other courses available in the Women and Gender Studies program include “Femininities, Masculinities, Alternatives,” “Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Culture,” and “Sex, Power, Politics.”

President Obama spoke Wednesday on the campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where the Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies program offers courses including “Politics of Reproduction” (“debates over women’s reproductive experience, including its medicalization”) and “Queer Rhetoric” (“overview of queer theory and its application to different communicative situations including television, film, and everyday life; development of critical thinking skills in relation to cultural constructions of gender, sexuality, race, and other identity categories.”)

President Obama Continues Campaign and Advocates Student Loan Plan

Obama’s suggestions for keeping tuition down includes a proposal for states to spend more.

“Of course, public universities like this one also understand that states have to do their part, state legislators have to do their part in making higher education a priority,” Obama said in Colorado. “Last year, over 40 states cut their higher education spending. Not good. These budget cuts have been one of the biggest factors in your tuition going up. So we’re challenging states to take responsibility. We told them, if you can bring – find new ways to bring down costs of college, make it easier for students to graduate, we’ll help you do it.”

According to the College Board, the full cost for an in-state student to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder for this academic year and pay the tuition and fees, room and board and other costs was $26,877. The full cost for an out-of-state student was $48,055.

The full cost for an in-state student to attend the University of Iowa for this academic year and pay the tuition and fees, room and board, and other costs was $21,120, according to the College Board. The cost was $38,454 for an out-of-state student.

A University of Colorado spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

This article is a repost that was written by Fred Lucas, and you can find it on CNSNews.com


President Obama takes routes around congressional Republicans blocking his agenda, which Charlie Savage covers nicely in his article, “Shift On Executive Power Lets Obama Bypass Rivals”.

WASHINGTON — One Saturday last fall, President Obama interrupted a White House strategy meeting to raise an issue not on the agenda. He declared, aides recalled, that the administration needed to more aggressively use executive power to govern in the face of Congressional obstructionism.

“We had been attempting to highlight the inability of Congress to do anything,” recalled William M. Daley, who was the White House chief of staff at the time. “The president expressed frustration, saying we have got to scour everything and push the envelope in finding things we can do on our own.”

Shift On Executive Power Lets Obama Bypass Rivals

For Mr. Obama, that meeting was a turning point. As a senator and presidential candidate, he had criticized George W. Bush for flouting the role of Congress. And during his first two years in the White House, when Democrats controlled Congress, Mr. Obama largely worked through the legislative process to achieve his domestic policy goals.

But increasingly in recent months, the administration has been seeking ways to act without Congress. Branding its unilateral efforts “We Can’t Wait,” a slogan that aides said Mr. Obama coined at that strategy meeting, the White House has rolled out dozens of new policies — on creating jobs for veterans, preventing drug shortages, raising fuel economy standards, curbing domestic violence and more.

Each time, Mr. Obama has emphasized the fact that he is bypassing lawmakers. When he announced a cut in refinancing fees for federally insured mortgages last month, for example, he said: “If Congress refuses to act, I’ve said that I’ll continue to do everything in my power to act without them.”

Aides say many more such moves are coming. Not just a short-term shift in governing style and a re-election strategy, Mr. Obama’s increasingly assertive use of executive action could foreshadow pitched battles over the separation of powers in his second term, should he win and Republicans consolidate their power in Congress.

Many conservatives have denounced Mr. Obama’s new approach. But William G. Howell, a University of Chicago political science professor and author of “Power Without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action,” said Mr. Obama’s use of executive power to advance domestic policies that could not pass Congress was not new historically. Still, he said, because of Mr. Obama’s past as a critic of executive unilateralism, his transformation is remarkable.

“What is surprising is that he is coming around to responding to the incentives that are built into the institution of the presidency,” Mr. Howell said. “Even someone who has studied the Constitution and holds it in high regard — he, too, is going to exercise these unilateral powers because his long-term legacy and his standing in the polls crucially depend upon action.”

Mr. Obama has issued signing statements claiming a right to bypass a handful of constraints — rejecting as unconstitutional Congress’s attempt to prevent him from having White House “czars” on certain issues, for example. But for the most part, Mr. Obama’s increased unilateralism in domestic policy has relied on a different form of executive power than the sort that had led to heated debates during his predecessor’s administration: Mr. Bush’s frequent assertion of a right to override statutes on matters like surveillance and torture.

“Obama’s not saying he has the right to defy a Congressional statute,” said Richard H. Pildes, a New York University law professor. “But if the legislative path is blocked and he otherwise has the legal authority to issue an executive order on an issue, they are clearly much more willing to do that now than two years ago.”

The Obama administration started down this path soon after Republicans took over the House of Representatives last year. In February 2011, Mr. Obama directed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, against constitutional challenges. Previously, the administration had urged lawmakers to repeal it, but had defended their right to enact it.

In the following months, the administration increased efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions through environmental regulations, gave states waivers from federal mandates if they agreed to education overhauls, and refocused deportation policy in a way that in effect granted relief to some illegal immigrants brought to the country as children. Each step substituted for a faltered legislative proposal.

But those moves were isolated and cut against the administration’s broader political messaging strategy at the time: that Mr. Obama was trying to reach across the aisle to get things done. It was only after the summer, when negotiations over a deficit reduction deal broke down and House Republicans nearly failed to raise the nation’s borrowing limit, that Mr. Obama fully shifted course.

First, he proposed a jobs package and gave speeches urging lawmakers to “pass this bill” — knowing they would not. A few weeks later, at the policy and campaign strategy meeting in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, the president told aides that highlighting Congressional gridlock was not enough.

“He wanted to continue down the path of being bold with Congress and flexing our muscle a little bit, and showing a contrast to the American people of a Congress that was completely stuck,” said Nancy-Ann DeParle, a deputy chief of staff assigned to lead the effort to come up with ideas.

Ms. DeParle met twice a week with members of the domestic policy council to brainstorm. She met with cabinet secretaries in the fall, and again in February with their chiefs of staff. No one opposed doing more; the challenge was coming up with workable ideas, aides said.

The focus, said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, was “what we could do on our own to help the economy in areas Congress was failing to act,” so the list was not necessarily the highest priority actions, but instead steps that did not require legislation.

Republican lawmakers watched warily. One of Mr. Obama’s first “We Can’t Wait” announcements was the moving up of plans to ease terms on student loans. After Republican complaints that the executive branch had no authority to change the timing, it appeared to back off.

The sharpest legal criticism, however, came in January after Mr. Obama bypassed the Senate confirmation process to install four officials using his recess appointment powers, even though House Republicans had been forcing the Senate to hold “pro forma” sessions through its winter break to block such appointments.

Mr. Obama declared the sessions a sham, saying the Senate was really in the midst of a lengthy recess. His appointments are facing a legal challenge, and some liberals and many conservatives have warned that he set a dangerous precedent.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate Democratic leader, who essentially invented the pro forma session tactic late in Mr. Bush’s presidency, has not objected, however. Senate aides said Mr. Reid had told the White House that he would not oppose such appointments based on a memorandum from his counsel, Serena Hoy. She concluded that the longer the tactic went unchallenged, the harder it would be for any president to make recess appointments — a significant shift in the historic balance of power between the branches.

The White House counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, said the Obama administration’s legal team had begun examining the issue in early 2011 — including an internal Bush administration memo criticizing the notion that such sessions could block a president’s recess powers — and “seriously considered” making some appointments during Congress’s August break. But Mr. Obama decided to move ahead in January 2012, including installing Richard Cordray to head the new consumer financial protection bureau, after Senate Republicans blocked a confirmation vote.

“I refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer,” Mr. Obama declared, beneath a “We Can’t Wait” banner. “When Congress refuses to act and — as a result — hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them.”

The unilateralist strategy carries political risks. Mr. Obama cannot blame the Republicans when he adopts policies that liberals oppose, like when he overruled the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to strengthen antismog rules or decided not to sign an order banning discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation.

The approach also exposes Mr. Obama to accusations that he is concentrating too much power in the White House. Earlier this year, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, delivered a series of floor speeches accusing Mr. Obama of acting “more and more like a king that the Constitution was designed to replace” and imploring colleagues of both parties to push back against his “power grabs.”

But Democratic lawmakers have been largely quiet; many of them accuse Republicans of engaging in an unprecedented level of obstructionism and say that Mr. Obama has to do what he can to make the government work. The pattern adds to a bipartisan history in which lawmakers from presidents’ own parties have tended not to object to invocations of executive power.

For their part, Republicans appear to have largely acquiesced. Mr. Grassley said in an interview that his colleagues were reluctant to block even more bills and nominations in response to Mr. Obama’s “chutzpah,” lest they play into his effort to portray them as making Congress dysfunctional.

“Some of the most conservative people in our caucus would adamantly disagree with what Obama did on recess appointments, but they said it’s not a winner for us,” he said.

Mr. Obama’s new approach puts him in the company of his recent predecessors. Mr. Bush, for example, failed to persuade Congress to pass a bill allowing religiously affiliated groups to receive taxpayer grants — and then issued an executive order making the change.

President Bill Clinton increased White House involvement in agency rule making, using regulations and executive orders to show that he was getting things done despite opposition from a Republican Congress on matters like land conservation, gun control, tobacco advertising and treaties. (He was assisted by a White House lawyer, Elena Kagan, who later won tenure at Harvard based on scholarship analyzing such efforts and who is now on the Supreme Court.)

And both the Reagan and George Bush administrations increased their control over executive agencies to advance a deregulatory agenda, despite opposition from Democratic lawmakers, while also developing legal theories and tactics to increase executive power, like issuing signing statements more frequently.

The bipartisan history of executive aggrandizement in recent decades complicates Republican criticism. In February, two conservative advocacy groups — Crossroads GPS and the American Action Network — sponsored a symposium to discuss what they called “the unprecedented expansion of executive power during the past three years.” It reached an awkward moment during a talk with a former attorney general, Edwin Meese III, and a former White House counsel, C. Boyden Gray.

“It’s kind of ironic you have Boyden and me here because when we were with the executive branch, we were probably the principal proponents of executive power under President Reagan and then President George H. W. Bush,” Mr. Meese said, quickly adding that the presidential prerogatives they sought to protect, unlike Mr. Obama’s, were valid.

But Jack L. Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the George W. Bush administration, said the Obama administration’s pattern reflects how presidents usually behave, especially during divided government, and appears aggressive only in comparison to Mr. Obama’s having been “really skittish for the first two years” about executive power.

“This is what presidents do,” Mr. Goldsmith said. “It’s taken Obama two years to get there, but this has happened throughout history. You can’t be in that office with all its enormous responsibilities — when things don’t happen, you get blamed for it — and not exercise all the powers that have accrued to it over time.”

This story, “Shift on Executive Power Lets Obama Bypass Rivals,” first appeared in The New York Times.

This post is a repost that was written by Charlie Savage and you can find at The New York Times at MSN.com site.

Thank you for reading!

Ariel Sanchez


Obama wooing young voters with student loan focus


President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

Eager to energize young voters, President Barack Obama is depicting Republicans as obstacles to an affordable college education as he previews an argument he will make on university campuses next week in states crucial to his re-election.

“This is a question of values,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. “We cannot let America become a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of people struggle to get by.”

Obama wants Congress to extend a law that cut interest rates on a popular federal loan program for low- and middle-income undergraduates. If the law expires, the rates will double on July 1, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Obama blames Republicans for voting against new ways to make college more affordable for middle-class families. But it was House Democrats who cut interest rates on the school loans in 2007 and included an expiration provision that placed the looming increase in the middle of an election year.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Friday that more than 7 million students would be financially squeezed if rates were to rise, to the cost of an additional $1,000 on average.

Obama is visiting to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Colorado at Boulder on Tuesday and the University of Iowa on Wednesday. The three schools are in states Obama won in 2008 but are in play this year in his race against the likely Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

“In America, higher education cannot be a luxury,” Obama said. “It’s an economic imperative that every family must be able to afford.”

Obama continues wooing young voters with student loan focus

He argued that at a time of high joblessness, the rate of unemployment for Americans with a college degree is about half the national average. “It’s never been more important,” he said.

The courting of young voters will include an appearance on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” show, which will be taped while Obama is in North Carolina.

While Obama addressed education as his newest election-year theme, Republicans stuck to their criticism of Obama’s energy policies. Citing still high gasoline prices, Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said Obama is focusing on the wrong issues.

Blunt chided Obama and Senate Democrats in the GOP’s weekend address for pushing unsuccessfully for a tax increase on millionaires instead of focusing on consumer pain at the pump. He pressed Obama to drop his opposition to the Keystone XL Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, which the president blocked earlier this year. The administration says it is waiting for the pipeline developer, TransCanada, to submit a new route that avoids environmentally sensitive lands. The company unveiled a preferred route on Thursday.

“The Keystone pipeline is one common-sense step in the right direction to help put more people back to work, reduce prices at the pump and position our nation for greater energy security now and in the future,” Blunt said.

Obama address: www.whitehouse.gov

GOP address: www.youtube.com/gopweeklyaddress


This article is a repost which you can see the original and read more at  SFGate Home of the San Francisco Chronicle Overwhelming Student Loan Debt

Overwhelming Student Loan Debt

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You can get your focus off your loan, when you refocus on your NEW bank account, and tell President Barack Obama that he doesn’t have to woo you for your votes anymore.


States Asked to Apply for Unemployment Test Plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is looking for states that will experiment with unemployment insurance programs by letting people test a job while still receiving benefits.

The plan is a key feature of a payroll tax cut package that President Barack

Obamas Unemployment Plan?

Obamas Unemployment Plan?

Obama negotiated withcongressional Republicans in February.

The Labor Department will open the application process Thursday for 10 model projects across the country. Any state can apply for the “Bridge to Work” program.

The plan is modeled after a Georgia program called “Georgia Works.” Under the plan, workers who have lost jobs can be placed in other temporary jobs as trainees for short periods to retain their skills or gain new ones while receiving jobless assistance. About a third of the time, those workers wind up getting hired full-time.

A number of states are combining unemployment benefits with on-the-job training, including North Carolina, New Hampshire, Utah and Missouri.

A senior administration official said those states would be eligible to apply for the federal demonstration project. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the program before an administration announcement.

States that are chosen could get waivers from the federal government allowing them to tap their unemployment insurance accounts to pay for such costs as transportation for workers in temporary jobs.

The program has had mixed results in some states that have their own programs. Administration officials said they hope the waivers and assistance offered by the federal demonstration projects could help rectify any problems that have emerged.

Supporters of the programs say it helps workers retain or learn new skills and add new job references to their resumes. The plan passed with support from leading Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

It also is designed to answer critics of unemployment benefits who say the aid discourages some people from aggressively seeking work.

This article originally came from http://news.yahoo.com/states-asked-apply-unemployment-test-plan-125932074.html and is written by JIM KUHNHENN

So basically, you can keep working a temp job AND still be receiving unemployment checks? Huh..? Did i miss something here? When we’re running $1.3 trillion annual deficits, can we really afford to be so generous? Or just out right stupid?

Whats going on with the Job Plans Obama?

Should You Be Using “SEO Pressor Pluggin” Or any other plugin? or Should You Do your Own On Page Blog Optimization? Whats the difference?


There are a couple of things to consider before you answer this question for yourself.. Obviously the SEO Pressor Plugin is not the only one of it’s kind out there. Just in case you’re a newbie, there is a plethora of SEO Plugins in the market currently, as they’ve been popping up all over the place as the 3 letters SEO became a craze over the last few years.


Use SEO Pressor Plugin or Your Own On Page Optimization?

First of all you have to decide what it is you want. And what makes more sense for you. Think about, whats more important, and what you place more value on. If you just do a lot of small blog posts, and you don’t really care so much about over delivering on the actual content side, and you kinda just mass produce the articles to get quicker recognition from google then you might want the assistance that some SEO Plugins, like SEO Pressor has to offer. If you’re ok, with giving up some control to an automated process, then get the plugin.

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What the majority of people don’t know is that there is always a possibilty that some plugins become obsolete and useless, after Google comes on to them, and realizes that someone is just trying to cheat the algorithms. After that happens, it doesn’t take long for Google to start reformulating its algorithms, which it updates periodically.

Which leaves us with the bottom line for you and me; which is you have to learn SEO yourself, that way you plugin your own SEO. Once you do it over and over again, you will be able to optimize your article naturally, it should become second nature. Which is exactly what the Google crawlers are now looking for. Google is looking for a natural sounding articles. So you can’t just let a bot do all the work, without a human touch.

 To Use SEO Pressor Plugin or Not?

Empower Network Blogging System and Seo Pressor Plugin

Empower Network Blogging System and Seo Pressor Plugin

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