On the Q&A platform Quora today, Chief Technology Officer Todd Park answered a question about President Obama’s efforts to fuel innovation and entrepreneurship. Read Todd’s response below, or join the conversation on Quora.
Quora question: What efforts has President Obama made while in office to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation? I’m looking for specific examples of things the Administration has done to foster innovation in the US.
President Obama’s efforts to fuel innovation and entrepreneurship are wide-ranging and unprecedented. As Chief Technology Officer of the United States (a position created for the first time by President Obama), I see these efforts first-hand throughout the Administration—and as an entrepreneur who cofounded a company at age 24 and took it public ten years later, I have a special appreciation for how startups and innovation create jobs and prosperity across the country.
Let’s focus on three areas where the President’s leadership is making a huge impact: promoting high-growth entrepreneurship, helping accelerate technology breakthroughs, and investing in the “building blocks” of innovation. This is by no means a comprehensive list of every Administration effort to foster innovation across the United States, but every example below is specific, impactful, and well underway.
Dan PfeifferJuly 31, 2012 05:30 PM EDTShare This Post
Yesterday following his column, I sent the following email to Charles Krauthammer. Charles asked that I make the email public and I have agreed.
I take your criticism seriously and you are correct that you are owed an apology. There was clearly an internal confusion about the two busts and there was no intention to deceive. I clearly overshot the runway in my post. The point I was trying to make – under the belief that the Bust in the residence was the one previously in the Oval Office– was that this oft repeated talking point about the bust being a symbol of President Obama’s failure to appreciate the special relationship is false. The bust that was returned was returned as a matter of course with all the other artwork that had been loaned to President Bush for display in his Oval Office and not something that President Obama or his Administration chose to do. I still think this is an important point and one I wish I had communicated better.
A better understanding of the facts on my part and a couple of deep breaths at the outset would have prevented this situation. Having said all that, barring a miracle comeback from the Phillies I would like to see the Nats win a world series even if it comes after my apology
Phil Larson July 31, 2012 05:22 PM EDTShare This PostPresident Barack Obama addresses 2011 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipients in the East Room of the White House, July 31, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Today, the President met with a group of leading American scientists and engineers in the East Room of the White House to thank them for their research and encourage them to keep up the good work. Before meeting with the President, in an award ceremony today at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Science and Technology Advisor John Holdren conferred the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) to the 96 outstanding researchers.
Last week, President Obama announced this year’s winners of PECASE, an honor bestowed upon independent researchers in the early stages of their careers. PECASE recognizes and supports scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge and reflects the Obama Administration’s commitment to developing outstanding scientists and engineers that contribute to the growth and prosperity of our Nation.
“Discoveries in science and technology not only strengthen our economy, they inspire us as a people.” President Obama said. “The impressive accomplishments of today’s awardees so early in their careers promise even greater advances in the years ahead.”
Joe BidenJuly 31, 2012 03:01 PM EDTShare This Post
Ed. Note: This op-ed was first published by the McClatchy Newspapers.
I’ve spent a lot of years in Washington, and in the past, I had always found that even when partisanship was at its worst, there were still certain issues that rose above the normal course of politics. These days, unfortunately, even that precept is being challenged.
Protecting victims of domestic violence, an issue that has always enjoyed bipartisan support and should be well beyond debate, has become the center of one in Congress. And women across the nation are now at risk.
Let me explain what’s happening:
In 1994, I wrote the Violence Against Women Act, which established several critical new protections: first, it provides law enforcement with new tools to prosecute domestic violence crimes and put offenders behind bars. Second, it helps victims find safe places to stay so they don’t have to choose between living on the streets or living with someone who is hurting them. And third, it gives women a crisis hotline they can call when they need immediate help.
We’ve made a lot of progress as a nation since the act first became law. Annual rates of domestic violence have dropped by more than 60 percent. The national hotline has answered more than 2 million crisis calls, directing victims to life-saving assistance.
But make no mistake, this violence still happens every day.
We need to continue these programs and we need to add improvements. For example, we now know that new screening tools can help law enforcement and the courts reduce domestic violence homicide rates, helping them to step in before abuse becomes murder. Such tools might have saved Sarah Rosio, a 24-year-old Wisconsin woman who was strangled to death by her boyfriend after having been abused many times before her death. Two weeks before her death, Sarah was denied a protective order against her abuser. Sarah is gone now, tragically, but we can help others avoid her terrible fate.
To do so, Congress must make the protections in the Violence Against Women Act available to every person in this country who may ever need them. This simply cannot be up for debate in a civilized society like ours.
Every few years, the Violence Against Women Act needs to be reauthorized. And in the past, Congress has worked cooperatively to reauthorize, improve, and expand the reach of the law. Up until now.
Earlier this year, the Senate passed the bill, and they did it with both Democratic and Republican support. Unfortunately, the House did not follow this broadly bipartisan path; Republicans there passed a much weaker version of the bill. While the House bill contains some of the important provisions of the Senate bill, it lacks key improvements – like protecting more victims and requiring dating violence and sexual assault prevention programs on campus – and, in some cases, it actually rolls back current protections for victims of domestic violence.
Support for the Violence Against Women Act runs broad and deep. It includes law enforcement, prosecutors, victims’ advocates, faith groups, and Democrats and Republicans alike. So this should be easy – and beyond politics. Instead, the clock is now running out for the more than 23,000 women who call our national domestic abuse hotline every month and for all women who may one day be the victims of violence.
Congress should pass the bipartisan version approved by the U.S. Senate.
I know there are fundamental differences between Democrats and Republicans, and I don’t expect those to disappear. But on this issue of basic decency, where there remains so much agreement between us, Republicans and Democrats ought to leave politics at the water’s edge. Because women everywhere are counting on us, and they can’t wait any longer.
Secretary Kathleen SebeliusJuly 31, 2012 02:42 PM EDTShare This Post
Ed. Note: This article is a cross post from Healthcare.gov. On Wednesday, August 1st at 1:30 PM ET, Secretary Sebelius will participate in a live online discussion with WebMD. You can watch the conversation live at www.healthcare.gov/live.
Women deserve to have control over their health care. Aug. 1, 2012, ushers in a new day for women’s health when, for the first time ever, women will have access to eight new services at no out-of-pocket cost to keep them healthier and to catch potentially serious conditions at an earlier, more treatable stage. This benefit will take effect for millions of adult and adolescent women over the course of the next year—and it’s just one of many benefits of the health care law that let women and their doctors, not insurance companies, make decisions about a woman’s care.
When it comes to health, women are often the primary decision-maker for their families and the trusted source in circles of friends. Women often take care of their families first and put off their own health care needs. Too often, they have gone without preventive services, worrying about what even a $20 insurance copay would mean to their families’ budgets and choosing to pay for groceries or rent instead.
But now, thanks to the health care law, many women won’t have to make that choice.
Denis R. McDonough July 31, 2012 02:16 PM EDTShare This Post
As Americans, we draw strength from the fact that freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly are among first rights protected in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. And we are not alone in cherishing these rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that every person, in every corner of the globe, has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This includes the freedom of every person to change his or her religion or beliefs, and — either alone or in community with others, publicly or privately — to manifest his or her religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Yet far too many people, in far too many places around the world, still live without the protection of these fundamental freedoms. Yesterday, the Department of State released its annual report on the state of international religious freedom around the world, which documents that in nearly half of the world’s countries, governments either abuse religious minorities or fail to intervene in societal abuse. The report describes how, in many countries, individuals live under oppressive laws restricting their religious practice or attire, or in fear that they will be targeted by blasphemy, apostasy, and dissent laws. Repressive governments use these laws to curb their citizens’ religious freedom, and imprison them for their beliefs. This abuse concerns us not just because of what it means on a personal level for millions of individuals around the world, but also because religious freedom is a key feature of stable, secure and peaceful societies.
Colleen CurtisJuly 30, 2012 06:26 PM EDTShare This PostFirst Lady Michelle Obama hugs LeBron James following the USA vs. France men’s basketball game at Olympic Park during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, July 29, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)
First Lady Michelle Obama was in the stands on Saturday as Team USA scored its first gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In her unofficial capacity as First Fan, Mrs. Obama had the chance to cheer on swimmer Ryan Lochte as he won the men’s 400 meter individual medley.
That afternoon, the First Lady took in the tennis competition from Wimbledon, watching Serena Williams knock off Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-1 from a seat beside Oracene Price, Serena’s mom.On Sunday, the First Lady gave each member of Team USA – up to and including the coaches – a hug after they moved past France in the first round of the basketball competition.Mrs. Obama and the U.S. delegation, which included Olympians Dominique Dawes, Brandi Chastain, Grant Hill and Summer Sanders, and Paralympian Gabriel Diaz de Leon, also attended the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night.Before the Olympic Games began, the First Lady hosted Let’s Move! London at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in London, where 2,000 American and British children showed off their skills at at sports stations and got a chance to meet athletes, including David Beckham.
Three months ago, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act by a bipartisan vote of 68-31. The legislation that was passed incorporated important new protections, including bolstering campus safety and extending protections to our tribal, immigrant and LGBT communities. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives passed an ideological bill that not only excludes these at-risk populations but strips existing protections for vulnerable women. For weeks my colleagues and I have been urging the House to put ideology aside and pass the inclusive, bipartisan Senate-passed Violence Against Women Act. Every moment the House continues to delay is another moment vulnerable women are left without the resources and protections they deserve. These women should not be made to wait.
Now I need your help. It’s time for Speaker Boehner to stand up against an ideology that would deny women protections from violence because of political reasons. Tell him it’s time to provide new protections to millions of women by passing the inclusive, bipartisan Violence Against Women Act.
An Advanced Seminar on Mitt Romney’s Policy Positions
Don’t worry, Mitt Romney himself doesn’t run this school, so there won’t be any hazing. Romney University, a new project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, is your one-stop shop for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Mitt Romney’s policy positions.
We offer classes on Romneynomics, Romneycare, national security, LGBT issues, women’s health and economic wellness, and issues of concern to young people and Latinos. You can check out all of the offerings HERE. And we’ll be adding even more in the weeks ahead.
The report on Romney’s economic plan — the Bush strategy of enriching the wealthy at the expense of everyone else, only much worse — is required reading. You should definitely study up, but here’s a cheat sheet in the meantime.
Q: Who would benefit from Mitt Romney’s tax plan?
A: Only Mitt Romney and the very wealthiest Americans, along with huge corporations:
- Mitt Romney would give himself a $4.5 MILLION tax cut in just one year compared to the president’s plan and he’d save up to $12 MILLION in taxes on his mysterious $100 MILLION IRA and another $112 MILLION in estate taxes (p. 12).
- Millionaires would receive a $250,000 tax cut on top of the Bush tax cuts. The top 0.1 percent would receive an additional average tax cut of $725,000 (p.10).
- Corporations would receive a $1.1 TRILLION tax cut over the next ten years and would receive new incentives to ship American jobs overseas (pp. 10, 16).
Q: Who would pay the price for Mitt Romney’s enormous new tax cuts for the wealthy?
A: Everyone but the wealthiest Americans:
- Mitt Romney would raise taxes on 18 MILLION working and middle class families. Millions more middle class families could be hit with massive tax increase by Romney’s heretofore unspecified plans to “broaden the base” (p. 14).
- Because of the hidden middle-class tax increase in his plan, everyone from a single parent working a minimum wage job to a family with two kids (one in college) making $150,000 a year would see a tax increase under Mitt Romney (p. 15).
Q: Would Mitt Romney’s plan create jobs?
A: No. His plan doubles down on the Bush economics that created the worst job growth in decades:
- A conservative tally of his specific policy proposals shows Mitt Romney’s plan would cost the economy 360,000 jobs in 2013 alone (p. 39).
Q: Will Mitt Romney save Social Security and Medicare?
A: No. He wants to turn Medicare into a voucher program and his plan would require major cuts to Social Security and Medicare (p. 24).
Q: Would Mitt Romney’s spending plan reduce the deficit and debt?
A: No. His plan would explode the deficit and debt:
- Mitt Romney’s policies would result in nearly $10 TRILLION more debt than President Obama’s proposals (p.28).
- In 2016 alone, Mitt Romney’s policies would lead to a $1.5 TRILLION deficit.
- The specific fiscal policies in Romney’s plan would lead to a debt-to-GDP ratio of over 100 percent by 2020 (p. 28).
- Even if Romney also implements the spending cuts in the Ryan-Republican budget he has eagerly backed, his tax cuts would lead to a a debt-to-GDP ratio of 95 percent by 2020 (p. 28).
Check out all of the course offerings. There will be a test.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
Romney’s spokesman to reporters trying to ask Romney questions: “Kiss my ass!”
It’s official: Mitt Romney’s foreign trip was an utter disaster.
A Republican former Treasury Department official says Romney is “an Olympic-level athlete at the tax avoidance game.”
Republicans might not shut down the government over Planned Parenthood and clean air rules after all.
Romney’s opposition to incentives for wind energy could cost him Iowa.
POLL: Most Americans favor expanding Medicaid, as Obamacare calls for.
Former Ohio Governor: GOP’s tax cut ideology is “divorced from reality.”
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): Bain Investor Told Me That Mitt Romney ‘Didn’t Pay Any Taxes For 10 Years.’
Other recent Progress Reports
Jul 30, 2012: This Is Why Obamacare Matters
A Personal Story About the Importance of Obamacare In the back and forth of politics, it’s sometimes easy to forget why we fight so hard for progressive values each and every day. So today we wanted to share a personal story from one of our ThinkProgress colleagues, Ian Millhiser: About two years ago, my boss [...]
Jul 27, 2012: GOP Chooses Millionaires Over Military
Republicans to Blame for Impending Defense Cuts Earlier this week, Mitt Romney denounced the president’s “radical cuts” to the military. Republican Sens. John McCain (AZ), Kelly Ayotte (NH), and Lindsey Graham (SC) are launching a road show to attack the president for automatic defense spending cuts set to take effect January 1, 2013 — cuts [...]
Jul 26, 2012: A Gold Medal in Outsourcing
A Closer Look at Mitt Romney’s Olympics When the Olympics come to America, it’s rightfully a source of pride for all Americans. And Mitt Romney certainly likes to tout his experience running the 2002 Winter Olympics. He was so proud of the job he did, he became the first ever Olympic leader to personally commission his [...]
Jul 25, 2012: Checkmate on Middle Class Taxes
Will the GOP Set Middle Class Taxes Free? In an effort to avoid being blamed for holding middle class tax cuts hostage, Senate Republicans today caved and allowed the rarest of rarities: an actual up-or-down, majority vote on a bill. They gambled that Democrats didn’t have the votes to pass their plan — and they [...]
July 31, 2012
Today’s legal action challenges the Center for Biological Diversity‘s suit, filed last month with allies, to get the EPA to finally regulate toxic lead in hunting ammunition.
These outrageous attacks need to stop. Please make an emergency gift today and help us stand up to the NRA’s assault on wildlife.
As I’ve written to you over the past two weeks, millions of birds are needlessly poisoned every year by toxic lead ammo left in the wild, including bald eagles, swans and endangered California condors.
Under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act, the EPA has the authority to stop this lead-poisoning epidemic with common-sense solutions — but the NRA is using its muscle to throw up roadblocks to any new safeguards.
The NRA is bound and determined to keep the EPA from doing its job in protecting the millions of birds who die every year after being painfully poisoned by lead bullet fragments.
That’s why we need your urgent support now with a gift to our Condor Defense Fund. Help defend the EPA’s ability to regulate this deadly toxin and ensure not one more condor, swan or bald eagle is poisoned by lead bullets.
The Center has been working since 2004 to end the preventable lead poisoning of birds and reduce health risks for people eating lead-shot game.
Lead poisoning is the leading cause of death for America‘s ancient, critically endangered condors. Please make your gift today to stand up to the NRA and protect these extraordinary birds, along with other wildlife, threatened by lead poisoning.
We’ve faced this challenge before and know the NRA will stop at nothing to keep us from protecting endangered wildlife — so we’re in for a bare-knuckle fight.
Thank you for standing with us,
P.S. The best way to protect millions of birds and animals from lead poisoning is to stop the NRA’s attack in the courts and continue our work to end the needless deaths of condors and other wildlife once and for all by getting lead out of our environment. I hope you’ll consider a generous gift today.
data or technical information
Medicare’s payment rates for physicians’ services are scheduled to be reduced by 27 percent in 2013, CBO estimates, under the provisions of law known as Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) mechanism. The SGR mechanism consists of expenditure targets, which are established by applying a growth rate (calculated by formula) to spending for physicians’ services and certain related services in a base period, and annual adjustments to the payment rates, which are designed to bring spending in line with the expenditure targets over time.
As ordered reported by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on July 25, 2012
The bill would authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2013 for intelligence activities of the U.S. government. Since CBO does not provide estimates for classified programs, this estimate addresses only the unclassified portions of the bill. On that limited basis, and assuming appropriation of the authorized and estimated amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the unclassified provisions of the bill would cost $537 million over the 2013-2017 period.
As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on July 25, 2012
** H.R. 406, a bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to permit candidates for election for federal office to designate an individual who will be authorized to disburse funds of the authorized campaign committees of the candidate
As ordered reported by the Committee on House Administration on July 19, 2012
H.R. 406 would amend federal law to allow a candidate for federal office the option of granting an individual the responsibility of disbursing campaign funds in the event of the candidate’s death. Under current law, that role lies with the campaign treasurer. Under the bill, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) would be responsible for regulating such designations and registering information filed by candidates.
- Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling;
- Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence;
- Screening for gestational diabetes;
- DNA testing for high-risk strains of HPV;
- Counseling regarding sexually transmitted infections, including HIV;
- Screening for HIV;
- Contraceptive methods and counseling; and
- Well woman visits.
- August 1-7: Contraception
- August 8-14: Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence
- August 15-21: Maternal care (breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling)
- August 22-28: Health education (screening for gestational diabetes; DNA testing for high-risk strains of HPV; counseling regarding sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; and screening for HIV)
- August 29-31: Well woman visits