Entries in Obama (8)


US Veterans Targeted By Marketers in College Selection Process

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Post-9/11 GI Bill offers financial support for veterans' education, leading some marketers to target vets with deceptive advertising about college opportunities and President Obama to sign an executive order on Friday to curb those abuses.

Colleges have collected more than $4.4 billion under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported.

Reports of aggressive and deceptive targeting by educational institutions toward service members and veterans, particularly by for-profit career colleges, moved President Obama to sign the executive order, which requires colleges to provide more information to veterans such as the likelihood of military members completing a school's programs prior to enrolling.

On Thursday, the Student Veterans of America revoked the organization's charters at 26 for-profit institutions after finding that those school groups were not led by student veterans. All 445 chapters of the Student Veterans of America are led by student veterans.

The transition from a military to civilian lifestyle could create a culture shock for many veterans, especially on an academic campus. That's why speaking to a fellow veteran before enrolling in a school is so important.

Under the executive order, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Education Department's "Know Before You Owe" financial aid form will also be required to be made available to every college student participating in the Defense Department's tuition assistance program at nearly 2,000 schools. The form provides information about tuition and fees, estimated student loan debt upon graduation, graduation rates, among other information.

Libby Sander, reporter with The Chronicle of Higher Education, said the sheer amount of information targeted toward veterans pursuing higher education is a roadblock for those unfamiliar with the college selection process, especially the first generation of families to attend college.

"A lot of the veterans I spoke to were the first in their families to go to college and it's a big deal for them," Sander said. "They sometimes start the process with a feeling that they don't even know where to begin."

Sander explores the challenges and advantages of veterans in higher education in a three-part series in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Out of Uniform.

Sander interviewed Paul Szoldra, a senior at the University of Tampa, will be the first of his family to graduate from college. During his eight years at the United States Marine Corps, Szoldra also obtained a degree from the for-profit University of Phoenix.

"We're always marketed to by the for-profits," Szoldra told ABC News.

Szoldra said programs from for-profits, often online, could be an ideal "bridge" before getting an undergraduate degree.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Some Sponsors Rush Away From Limbaugh’s Show

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Four sponsors have severed ties with Rush Limbaugh’s radio show after the outspoken host called law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

LegalZoom, Quicken Loans, Sleep Number and The Sleep Train announced this week they were pulling all advertisements.

“We don’t condone negative comments directed toward any group. In response, we are currently pulling our ads from Rush with Rush Limbaugh,” Sleep Train wrote on Twitter.

Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown Law Student, was thrust into the spotlight this week after Limbaugh called her a “slut” for her stance on a new insurance mandate that requires employers to cover the cost of contraception.

“What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute,” Limbaugh said Wednesday.

The radio host’s comments caused customers to lobby advertisers to pull their money from the show or risk losing business.

The California-based Sleep Train has enjoyed a relationship with Limbaugh since it opened its first store in 1985.

Founder Dale Carlsen told the Sacramento Bee in 2006 that Limbaugh was introduced to him through an ad sales representative.

“The ad guy said, ‘Now he’s a little bit controversial, but he needs a bed, would you take care of him?’” Carlsen said. “I needed every sale that I could get at that time, so I said, ‘Yeah, bring him in and I’ll take care of him.’”

Not only did advertisers feel the heat, bit Limbaugh’s shot at Fluke has been drawn into presidential politics. President Obama called Fluke Friday to make sure she was okay, Fluke said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama and Romney Advisers Square Off on the Economy

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The chief architect of President Obama’s economic plan and Republican rival Mitt Romney’s top economic strategist squared off Sunday in a preview of the likely fall debate on the economy, challenging each other on whether the president’s policies have helped or hurt the economic recovery.

The monthly jobs report released Friday showed greater-than-expected growth, with 243,000 new jobs added in January, as the unemployment rate dipped to 8.3 percent. That powered the stock market to its highest closing level since the 2008 financial crisis.

Lawrence Summers, former director of President Obama’s National Economic Council, told ABC News on Sunday that he “was surprised by how favorable these numbers were.” He added that the report showed more promising signs than in the past year, crediting President Obama’s policies for the growth.

“If you look beneath the surface of this one, almost every indicator within it is favorable.” Summers said. “Employment is up. Labor force participation did not decline. This was unemployment reduction generated by more jobs.”

“A ton of this is coming from the president’s policies,” Summers added. “It’s coming from the program he put in place to contain what was a situation worse than the Great Depression in 2009 and the steps going forward that the president proposes are the right ones.”

Romney economic adviser Glenn Hubbard, currently dean of the Columbia Business School, said that while it was a good report, he noted that growth at the same level will be needed for two years to return to pre-recession levels. He said the president’s policies have not done enough, citing underemployment and fewer people looking for work.

“The question is, could we have done much better? And could we have done it in such a way that would have had better fiscal consequences?” Hubbard asked. “How do we grow faster and create jobs more? The president’s agenda is squarely against that.”

To continue growth, Summers pushed for Congress to follow President Obama’s call to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance extension through the year.

“This is no time for complacency,” Summers said. “That’s why every day that the Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut, every day that the Congress fails to extend the unemployment insurance is a day we’re taking more risk than we need to with this economy.”

Summers also said Republican calls to repeal new financial regulations were “dangerous and inappropriate.”

“Surely, this is the time when we need to protect the economy from the kind of mistakes that took place in the financial sector before,” Summers said.

Hubbard countered that “the jury’s still out” on whether not making the extensions would harm the economic recovery, instead calling for long-term reforms of entitlements and the tax code.

“I think there’s a serious debate over the payroll tax and the unemployment insurance benefits, but there also needs to be a serious debate on what we can do in tax policy, in health care, in regulation and financial reform to actually create jobs,” Hubbard said. “The administration’s been standing in the way.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Touts Auto Industry Recovery at DC Auto Show

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Hailing an economic recovery story that he hopes will propel him to re-election, President Obama declared Tuesday, “The U.S. auto industry is back.”

“When you look at all these cars, it is testimony to the outstanding work that’s been done by workers — American workers, American designers,” the president said in a surprise visit to the Washington Auto Show Tuesday afternoon.

While he did not mention Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney by name, Obama, who has made his efforts to rescue Chrysler and General Motors a key part of his campaign strategy, was quick to point out that some people opposed the auto industry bailout.

“It’s good to remember the fact that there were some folks who were willing to let this industry die,” Obama said. Romney has criticized the bailout, saying it “was the wrong way to go” and that the companies should have gone through bankruptcy instead.

Touring the latest electric and hybrid American-made models in the showroom Tuesday, the president, who is forbidden from driving by the Secret Service, was practically giddy to get behind the wheel.

“This is a classic here,” the president said with a grin as he sat in the driver’s seat of a bright blue Ford sports car. “This is what I needed in high school.”

“This was the first new car I ever bought,” a nostalgic Obama said as he surveyed a cherry red Jeep.

But it was the Corvette that really won the president over. “I got to get in the Corvette,” Obama said eagerly. “How fast does this thing go?”

“I had a friend who had a Corvette. He let me drive it one time. One time,” Obama said wistfully.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Debuts Cellphone Credit Card Swipe for Donations

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/​Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The campaign team that pioneered an iPhone app for volunteer recruitment and get-out-the-vote efforts for President Obama in 2008 is out with a new tool aimed at tapping into more cash in 2012: the Obama Victory Fund mobile phone credit card donations app, with swipe attachment.

The system, powered by the tech start-up Square, is being rolled out by a select group of Obama campaign staff at hundreds of field offices across the country this month, a campaign aide told ABC News.

Organizers equipped with the small, one-inch square attachment that plugs into a smartphone will be able to accept credit card swipes from donors, whose information will be automatically entered into the campaign’s database through the software interface downloaded on the phone.

"The idea is that if you’re at a house party or in daily interactions -- at a grocery store shopping -- and someone sees your Obama for America button and wants to talk to you about the campaign, you can ask for a donation and accept it right then and there," the aide said.

The tool will be made widely available this spring, when supporters will be able to download the free app in the Apple iTunes store and obtain the swipe attachment.

A campaign aide closely involved in development of the technology told ABC News that each “Square” costs about one cent when the campaign buys them in bulk. The mobile interface may eventually connect with the campaign’s grassroots fundraising pages online, which promote competition among small-dollar donors.

Square Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey, who also co-founded Twitter, told Bloomberg TV last summer that the tool has the potential to revolutionize business and politics.

"The tool you have in your pocket today – that mobile phone – you pair with one of our readers, and suddenly you can accept payments everywhere. And it’s a payment device that 90 percent of this country uses, and that’s transformational."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Says Republicans 'Did the Right Thing' to Pass Jobs Bill

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After weeks of publicly campaigning against Republicans for failing to act on portions of his $447 billion jobs bill, President Obama said Thursday they “did the right thing.”

On the eve of Veterans Day, the president praised Senate Republicans and Democrats for passing an element of his jobs bill that will offer companies tax incentives to hire unemployed and disabled veterans.

“Tomorrow, our nation will commemorate Veterans Day and honor the service and the sacrifice of all who have worn the uniform of the United States of America,” Obama said in a written statement. “No veteran who fought for our nation should have to fight for a job when they come home, and I urge the House to pass these tax credits as well so I can sign them into law.”

Thursday marks the first time a portion of the president’s American Jobs Act has gained approval and Obama, not surprisingly, urged lawmakers to “pass additional jobs proposals in the weeks ahead to help the millions of other Americans who are still looking for work.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Calls for Shared Responsibility at Chamber of Commerce

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Joking that he was just trying to be more “neighborly,” President Obama Monday spoke just a stone’s throw away from the White House at the Chamber of Commerce, hoping to repair some of the strained ties the administration and the business community.

“Maybe if we -- if we had brought over a fruitcake when I first moved in, we would have gotten off to a better start,’ Obama joked, “But I'm going to make up for it.

The president of course was visiting the Chamber of Commerce Monday, the first visit of his administration, was to help repair the relationship with big business. Noting that they have had some “pretty strong disagreements,” the president said that he is convinced that they can still work together.

“Whatever differences we may have, I know that all of us share a deep, abiding belief in this country, a belief in our people, a belief in the principles that have made America's economy the envy of the world,” the president said, “And we have to do this together; business and government, workers and CEOs, Democrats and Republicans."

The president said that in realistic terms pro-business and pro-labor are never going to be the closest of friends, but regardless there can be some common-ground found.

“The fact is, the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO don't agree on a whole lot. Tom Donohue and Richard Trumka are not Facebook friends,” Obama said, “but they agree on the need to build a 21st- century infrastructure.”

Departing from his prepared remarks, the president called for deficit reduction through dealing with entitlement spending.

“That's going to require both parties to work together, because those are some tough problems that we're going to have so solve. And I am eager to work with both parties and with the Chamber to take additional steps across the budget to put our nation on a sounder fiscal footing."

The president promised to remove those “outdated and unnecessary” and “burdensome” regulations. But -- he fiercely defended government regulations.

The president also used past examples of standards which had been proposed in the past, and deemed an “assault on business and free enterprise,” such as the early dug companies arguing the bill creating the FDA would destroy other sale of remedies in the U.S., and that auto executive predicated installing seat belts would bring the downfall of their industry.

The president said, like the financial crisis, the absence of regulations is often more dangerous than too much.

“We have to recognize that some commonsense regulations often will make sense for your businesses as well as your families as well as your neighbors as well as your coworkers."

He called on the American companies holding the $2 trillion on their balance sheets, to get off the sidelines and expand.

“We're in this together,” Obama said, “I just want to encourage you to get in the game.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Economy Growing But Recovery Still Muddled

Image Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The government released its first look at the Gross Domestic Product for the third quarter, showing the overall economy grew at a two percent seasonally-adjusted pace.  This is exactly what economists had predicted. 

GDP is the broadest measure of the nation's economic health, accounting for all the goods and services produced by this country.  Friday's report marks the fifth quarter in a row in which the economy has expanded.  The number is subject to revision. 

Economists say the report shows a second dip into the recession is unlikely but it also shows an economy that is muddling through the recovery. 

President Obama responded to the modest new economic growth numbers with another small business event, this time at a sheet metal company in Beltsville,  Maryland. The president showed off a new report from the Department of the Treasury that claims there are still more tax breaks that would help small and medium sized businesses like the company he was visiting, Stromberg Sheet Metal, take accelerated deductions for expansion and new hiring.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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