A mishmash worth $2000 :)

Hi guys,

I don’t remember exactly when we launched our own fundraising page, but it wasn’t that long ago and I’m so proud that we’re already touched the $2000 target. Next goal: $3000. :)

With this, here’s a lengthy Saturday mishmash.

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Weekly Address:

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Some really good stuff to read:

Roger Cohen (NYT):

On the eve of an election year, with Jewish donors and fund-raisers already restive over his approach to Israel, President Obama made a brave speech telling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “the dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation” and urging him to accept Israeli borders at or close to the 1967 lines.
The president got 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008. Perhaps those words will cost him some of those votes — although sentiment toward Israel among American Jews is slowly shifting. But true friends are critical friends. And the American and Israeli national interest do not lie in the poisonous Israeli-Palestinian status quo.

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Peter Beinart (The Daily Beast):

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The real difference between Obama and Bush is that Obama actually is what Bush said he was: a moral universalist.

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By embracing all—rather than only some—of the Arab spring, Obama also powerfully distanced himself from Benjamin Netanyahu, a man who supports Arab democracy so long as it never impairs his ability to forestall Palestinian democracy. Obama put himself on the side of Palestinian democracy, too.

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Still Obama allied America with those Arabs and Iranians thirsting for freedom, and he did so in a subtle but remarkable way. He invoked, as he so often does, the civil-rights movement. Not World War II, where American power served the cause of freedom. Not the Cold War, where American power did as well, at least in Europe. But the civil-rights movement: where an oppressed people struggling for freedom confronted American power, and won. It’s a more subversive analogy than we generally acknowledge, and one that should make everyone battling oppression in the Middle East—in Sana, Damascus, Cairo, Tehran, and Ramallah, too—smile.

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Juan Cole:

President Obama’s major policy address on the Middle East got many things right. He pointed to al-Qaeda and terrorism, which targets civilians, as a dead end. He sided rhetorically with the grassroots movements for greater democracy in the region. He condemned outright the longstanding regimes, like that of Hosni Mubarak, that had been US allies, which ruled through sordid police states. He pledged US support for democracy movements. He avoided hypocrisy by condemning US allies such as the king of Bahrain and President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen for repressing their own movements. He acknowledged the importance of ending the Palestinian people’s long sojourn in the wilderness of statelessness. He pointed to the constraining by corrupt elites of the economic and educational opportunities of young people in the Middle East as among the central discontents leading to the Arab Spring. He underlined the importance of women’s rights, and rights for minorities such as Christians and Shiites.

The courage of Obama’s speech should be recognized.

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A bolder speech would have announced that the US would be moving its naval base from Bahrain because we refuse to be in bed with a repressive sectarian monarchy. It would have supported the push for Palestinian statehood at the UN as a wedge against the Likud Party’s intransigence. And it would have mentioned democratization in Riyadh along with the other capitals that were mentioned.

Still and all, it was a fine speech, a courageous speech because it challenged US allies as much as it did US foes, and it put the US on the side of Bourguiba Avenue and Tahrir Square and Benghazi and Deraa and Taizz. That is the side of history on which the US needs to stand. As a set of ideals, it was a big stride in the right direction. As practical policy, it is hard to see how it would be implemented effectively (upbraiding Israel and Bahrain slightly won’t change those crises). But, well, at least Washington is finally not standing in the way of the people in the region.

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Michael Tomasky:

Bibi Netanyahu could have reacted any number of ways to Barack Obama’s mention of the “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.” Let’s say, actually, four ways: embrace, circumspection, suspicion, tantrum. That he chose the last tells us a lot about the man’s shortcomings and (lack of) political instincts. All political is local, and Netanyahu undoubtedly scored points with his Likud base back home. But he has a base here in America too, and I think he misjudged that base badly.

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His behavior these last 48 hours has verged on, if not been, petulant. A foreign leader (no less one of a state whose existence depends on the United States) isn’t supposed to talk like that to a president. Add to the bargain: Obama’s a stronger president now on foreign affairs than he was in 2009, partly because of the bin Laden coup and partly because the speech was generally well received across the American political spectrum.

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Things just feels better when David Plouffe is around:

When Barack Obama traveled to Texas this month to talk immigration, David Plouffe, his top message guru, decided to stay home and watch Twitter instead. While Obama spoke, Plouffe sat before two flat-screen televisions in the White House complex. One showed live footage of Obama in El Paso. The other flickered with a lightning-quick vertical ticker tape of people tweeting with the #immigration hashtag, reacting line by line to the President in real time. “I find it useful,” Plouffe says, “to see what’s penetrating.”

When Obama went off script to joke that Republicans would soon demand a border moat filled with alligators, a blur of Twitter messages showed people sending the quote to friends and followers, signaling a messaging victory of sorts. “It’s kind of the next evolution,” Plouffe explains. “Remember back in 2008, you’d have the presidential debate, and then most of the networks would have some sort of dial going up and down. That seems very Jurassic Park–like compared to this.”

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Interesting NYT story about the progress in Afghanistan:

Afghanistan’s military and police have become increasingly reliable and effective

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I really can’t wait to see PBO in Ireland. The place is going crazy!

O’bama fever strikes tiny Irish village

(CBS News) MONEYGALL, IRELAND – CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports it’s easy to spot the village of Moneygall in the rolling hills of central Ireland. It’s the one where the flags are flying, and where every surface in the place has been given a fresh coat of paint.
It’s the on where they’ve written a new song as a tribute to their new favorite American president, Barack Obama.

Mr. Obama’s visit to this village of 300 people next week may be the most anticipated in this corner of Ireland apart from the Second Coming.

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But when church records were first revealed the link four years ago, an Irish Barack Obama was incomprehensible here.

“I’ve been calling him ‘Abracadabra’ because I didn’t know how to pronounce his name,” resident Carey Wilde said in 2007.

In an interview this week, Wilde said she’s learned his name since. “I did indeed, and grown to love him.”

Everybody’s grown to love him in Moneygall – especially Henry Healy. “He’s going to find everyone crawling out of his family tree to meet him when he arrives.”

The celebration of Irish roots is a time-honored tradition in American politics. Sooner or later, all American presidents seem to end up in Ireland. Maybe it’s those 40 million or so Irish-American votes. But maybe it’s because the Obama connection was so unexpected, that he has been so warmly embraced.

At Ollie Hayes’ pub, they’re expecting him. “If he’s coming to Moneygall, he’s coming in here,” Hayes says.

It’s not the party they’re worried about. It’s the morning after.

Sinead Culliton says it’s “so huge, there might be the anti-climax after.” Laughing, she said she’s worried about a “post-Obama stress disorder.”

There’s a cure for that here in Moneygall.

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President Obama Thanks the Intelligence Community:

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Finally: This is such a great quotes from Michelle Obama:

Here’s the thing about my husband: even in the toughest moments, when it seems like all is lost, Barack Obama never loses sight of the end goal. He never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise, even if it comes from some of his best supporters. He just keeps moving forward.

And in those moments when we’re all sweating it, when we’re worried that the bill won’t pass or the negotiation will fall through, Barack always reminds me that we’re playing a long game here. He reminds me that change is slow—it doesn’t happen overnight.

If we keep showing up, if we keep fighting the good fight and doing what we know is right, then eventually we will get there.

We always have.

Thursday morning mishmash

Hi guys, happy St. Patrick’s Day.

1. Today’s schedule:

8:30 AM

VPB hosts a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in honor of Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

9:00 AM  
10:00 AM

PBO receives the presidential daily briefing.

10:30 AM

PBO and VPB meet with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

11:00 AM  
11:05 AM

PBO and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny will deliver statements to the press; Biden also attends.

12:00 PM

PBO and VPB and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny attend a St. Patrick’s Day lunch.

12:30 PM

Carney briefs the press.

1:00 PM  
2:00 PM  
3:00 PM  
4:00 PM  
5:00 PM  
6:00 PM

VPB and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis participate in a conference call with labor leaders.

7:00 PM  
7:05 PM

Barack and Michelle Obama host a St. Patrick’s Day reception; Biden also attends.

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2. Recovery!

Initial jobless claims drop to 385,000 last week

 Four-week moving average is at lowest level in 2 1/2 years.

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3. Competence!

More Than 99 Percent of TARP Disbursements to Banks Now Recovered

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4. President Obama’s remarks during the DNC event last night:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Everybody, have a seat, have a seat. (Applause.) You’re making me blush. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

THE PRESIDENT: I love you back! (Applause.)

It is — boy, it is nice to see so many friends in a room. (Laughter.) I live in Washington, so that doesn’t always happen. (Laughter.) But when you gather up so many folks who helped get me where I am today — I am reminded of that story of Abraham Lincoln when he was President. Back then anybody could have — he had office hours. And he’d let people come in and meet with him. And somebody insisted on coming to see him, barged through the door, said to his personal assistant, “I need to see the President. I’m the one who got him elected.” And none of you have done that, of course. (Laughter.)

So the assistant goes in, mentions this to Lincoln. Lincoln looks at his watch — he’s got a little bit of time. He says, “Oh, bring the guy in.” He says, “Sir, I understand you’re the person responsible for getting me elected.” He says, “That’s right.” He says, “Well, I forgive you.” (Laughter.) So I forgive all of you. (Laughter.)

I want to acknowledge obviously somebody who has done extraordinary work. This is the person who not only has fought for the things we care about, first as a mayor, then as a governor, most recently as DNC chair — he’s also somebody who was the first elected official to endorse me outside of Illinois when I announced for President of the United States. And he did so in the capital of the Old Confederacy, at a time when very few people thought I was going to win. So, clearly, he was term-limited — (laughter) — but nevertheless, it took a lot of courage. (Laughter.) And so I just want to say how much I appreciate my dear, dear friend, Tim Kaine. (Applause.)

I also just want to say a few things about David Plouffe. Somehow he figured out how to get a two-year sabbatical after the election, and as a consequence, has earned the enmity of all the rest of my staff, because he’s now strolled in all fresh and perky. (Laughter.) And he’s got a smile on his face every day. The rest of us are — got those bags under our eyes. And he’s like, “Boy, this is fun!” (Laughter.)

But not only did he engineer what may have been one of the finest presidential campaigns in American history, but even in the few months that he has now been in the White House, we’ve already seen just the enormous focus and energy and wisdom that he brings to the task of trying to make America adapt to the 21st century and be successful for generations to come. And so I’m just so proud to have David Plouffe here, and I want everybody to give him a big round of applause. (Applause.)

Now, as David mentioned, obviously the last two years have been extraordinary and historic. And the American people have gone through as tough a time as they have certainly in my lifetime and in the lifetime of most of us here. When we put together the campaign in 2008, we all understood that America was at a turning point. We understood that the wheels of history were turning more and more rapidly, and that the old ways of doing business weren’t going to be sufficient to make us competitive, to make sure that the American Dream lived for the next generation.

And so our campaign was geared towards the notion that there are time-tested values that bind us together as Americans — a belief in hard work and individual initiative and the free market, but also community, looking out for one another, embracing diversity — and that our task was to make sure that we worked hard to seize this moment and make sure that our institutions, our politics, our government were all working to ensure that these values that date back to our founding would be renewed and live for this generation and the next.

And that meant that we had to make sure that our schools were educating our kids not only to be outstanding workers and entrepreneurs, but also outstanding citizens. We had to make sure that we rebuilt America so that we could compete in this new century. We had to make sure that we had an energy policy that would not only protect the planet but also free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil.

We had to make sure that in a nation as wealthy as ours, we were able to deliver a health care program that made sure nobody went bankrupt just because they went sick. We had to make sure that the ideals of equality and justice for all people — regardless of race and religion and sexual orientation — that those were lived out each and every day.

And we haven’t finished that task, but we have made extraordinary progress over these last two years. It’s been tough. There have been times where we had to make some very difficult decisions. And obviously, what we didn’t anticipate was the depth of the recession in which we would try to — we would have to try to make some of these changes. But when you look back at the track record of work that we’ve done over the last two years, I think that it’s fair to say the promise that we made to the American people has been kept, that we have delivered on change that we can believe in. (Applause.)

But we aren’t finished. We’ve got more work to do. Now, obviously, 2012 is coming up, and everybody here is interested in politics and electoral votes and strategy, and I’m sure each one of you have a campaign plan — (laughter) — that you’ll be handing off to Messina and Patrick Gaspard before you leave here tonight. And there will be time for campaigning and there will be time for politics. But I guess what I want to really emphasize to all of you today is that I’ve always been a firm believer that good policy was good politics. And I’ve always been a good — I’ve always been a believer that what made 2008 special was we didn’t tack to the varying political winds; we didn’t make decisions about where we stood on issues simply based on political expediency. Our goal was to make progress for the country.

And I think that the American people sensed that. Even when they disagreed with us, I think they sensed that our real objective here was to make sure that we had a government that was worthy of the decency and goodness of the American people.

And I don’t want us ever to lose that spirit. I don’t want us ever to look back and say, you know what, we said things that we didn’t believe in, or we pursued policies that weren’t the best possible policies for the country, just because it made for smart and convenient politics.

Because ultimately the one thing about being in this job, in addition to getting a lot of gray hair — (laughter) — in addition to consistently being so proud of all the hard work of people in the White House who make huge sacrifices for their families — or make huge sacrifices to be with their families, because it’s such a challenging job, whether they’re in the National Security Council or on our economic team — in addition to revering even more the role of our military and keeping America secure, because as Commander-in-Chief, I have the opportunity to deal with everybody from the newest private to the highest general, and you constantly are amazed by the sacrifices and extraordinary devotion that our military shows each and every day — the one thing that has consistently been reinforced for me as President of the United States is the basic goodness of the American people.

They’re distracted sometimes. They’re busy. They’re worrying about making sure their kids get to school on time, and making sure that their businesses stay open, and trying to figure out how to pay the mortgage, and worried about high gas prices — and so they’re not following every in and out of the debates in Washington. But deep down there is a set of core values and core principles that are good and are right. And when we tap into that, there’s nothing that can stop America. When we tap into that, only good things can happen.

And so my job as President, the job of my administration, and your job as my closest supporters, is to constantly find ways that we can tap into that goodness, and constantly find ways that, through our policies and through our — the issues that we promote, that we’re bringing people together to solve problems.

Now, David mentioned on health care, that means that over the next couple of years we’re going to have to make sure that we implement health care in a way that makes us proud and shows the American people that it’s delivering for them, and it’s providing them relief from the incredible costs of health care.

It means that on energy, despite the progress that we’ve made, for example, increasing fuel efficiency standards and making sure that we’re promoting green energy like never before, that we keep pushing to find ways to free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil, and make sure that America is the capital of clean energy for decades to come.

It means that on education, we can’t just stop with the incredible work that Arne Duncan has done with Race to the Top; we’ve got to reform No Child Left Behind to make sure that not only is no child left behind, but every child gets ahead. And that means that we’re going to have to — (applause.) That means we’re going to have to work hard this year and the next to try to forge a bipartisan consensus on how we recruit incredible new teachers and get them in the classroom, and reinvigorate our schools across the country, and make sure that higher education continues to be affordable.

It means on infrastructure we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got a lot of crumbling roads and bridges and high-speed rail to build, and broadband lines to lay, that can put hundreds of thousands of people all across America to work and make sure that we’re laying the foundation for long-term economic growth.

It means that we’re going to have to work on the deficit in a serious way — not to score political points, not trying to take an expedient way out of what are going to be some very tough decisions, but rather embracing those tough decisions and saying there’s a way that our government can live within its means, even as we’re investing in those things that we need to win the future.

We’ve made incredible progress when it comes to issues like “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but we’re still going to have work to do to make sure that this is a more equal and more just society. We’ve still got work to do on immigration reform. We’ve got a system that is broken right now, and as tough as that issue is, I am confident that we can be a nation of law and a nation of immigrants.

And then we’ve got foreign policy. We’re at a moment in a time where obviously all of us are heartbroken by the images of what’s happening in Japan, and we’re reminded of how American leadership is critical to our closest allies. Even if those allies are themselves economically advanced and powerful, there are moments where they need our help, and we’re bound together by a common humanity.

But we also have the convulsions in the Middle East that offer the prospect of incredible change and offer enormous opportunities so that our children could live in a more peaceful world. But we’re going to have to take advantage of them. We’ve ended combat operations in Iraq, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do to bring the Afghan war to an honorable end in a way that is safe and secure. And we’re going to have to continue to be vigilant on dealing with terrorism even as we are protective of our civil liberties.

So we’ve got enormous challenges ahead. And the one thing, I guess, I want to say to all of you is that as tough as these times have been, what’s amazing is the resilience that the American people have shown through as tumultuous a time that I remember in my lifetime. That’s part of America as well — not only their goodness, but also their strength and their resilience.

And that’s what we want to represent when we’re out there talking to our friends and neighbors and our coworkers. As 2012 unfolds, I expect that we’re going to have a lot of questions and there are going to be vigorous debates, but I don’t want us to lose sight of the huge opportunities we have to seize the moment and make sure that America is not just changed, but is changed for the better.

There are times where Michelle reminds me that I volunteered for this job — (laughter) — because she looks at me and I looked tired. But I’m telling you, I am having an extraordinary time, because there aren’t many moments in our lives where we know that we’re making a difference. And this is one of those moments.

Everybody here is incredibly accomplished. Everybody here has achieved in their respective fields extraordinary things. I know many of your families, and you’ve got beautiful kids that you couldn’t be prouder of. So all of us have things that we’re proud of. But I tell you what, this is something that is a truly worthy endeavor, trying to make this country as good as it can be.

And so the main message I have for all of you is thank you. I appreciate all the hard work that you put in to help me become President. I appreciate your counsel. I appreciate your advice. I appreciate the fact that you’re rooting for me and some of you are praying for me, and some of you make me laugh when I see you and give me encouragement. And, yes, I appreciate all the excellent policy advice that you give me, as well. (Laughter.)

And my hope is that the same spirit that helped change this country in 2008, that that spirit is still in each and every one of you. Obviously the first time around it’s like lightning in a bottle. There’s something special about it, because you’re defying the odds. And as time passes, you start taking it for granted that a guy named Barack Hussein Obama is President of the United States. (Laughter and applause.) It’s not — but we should never take it for granted. And I hope that over the next couple of years, as we’re seeing a lot of you as I travel around the country, I hope that all of you still feel that sense of excitement and that sense of possibility, because we still have so much more to do.

Last point I’m actually going to make is I hope that as we go forward, even though the politics in this country can be tough — and I’m sure that some of you are like Michelle and at some point had to just stop watching cable TV because it was getting too frustrating — I also want you to remember that as important as our political labels are — Democrat and Republican — as many tough fights as we’re going to have, part of what made 2008 special is we brought the country together, reminding everybody that there’s a lot more that we have in common than separates us, and that the contest between Democrats and Republicans is much less important than the contest to make America what it can be.

I know that sometimes people may get frustrated and think, you know what, Obama is being too nice and we need to get in there and take it to them. (Laughter.) And there will be times where that’s important. But I also think it’s important for us not to lose that spirit that animated us early on, which was to say that we don’t want to just fight the same old battles over and over again. It’s important for us to make sure that we are actually doing the work of changing our politics even as we are changing our policies.

And that’s tough. It makes our job a little bit harder sometimes. But I think it’s absolutely important if we’re going to achieve our goals.

So, thank you, everybody. God bless you. I’m proud of you. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. (Applause.)

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For the third time, First Lady Michelle Obama replanted the White House garden on the South Lawn with elementary students from local DC schools.

Yea, Plouffe is in the house

I’m pretty sure that this is a first for a White House:

David Plouffe: What I’m Hearing from You Through Advise the Advisor

….Last week, I kicked off the new Advise the Advisor series on WhiteHouse.gov and asked for your ideas, comments and questions about how American innovation is affecting your communities and what we can do to remove obstacles to innovation.

Since then, thousands of you submitted comments and ideas over the course of the week. A team of people here at the White House reviewed every single submission.

We’ll post a more comprehensive analysis of your feedback in the coming days, but in the meantime, I want to highlight and respond to a couple of the common themes that we found in reading your feedback. 

Education is the Key to Innovation

Many of you told me that one of the biggest obstacles to innovation is lack of high-quality education.

Tony from Wisconsin said:

Education is the key to innovation and manufacturing superiority.  We must prepare all age groups…for the challenges this year and this decade.

Tony, the President couldn’t agree with you more.  In fact, President Obama spoke about this earlier this week at Parkville Middle School outside of Baltimore. In his FY2012 Budget proposal, the President has called for critical investments in our children’s future – like training 100,000 new math and science teachers over the next ten years, expanding the Race to the Top education reform initiative, and making college more affordable for America’s students and families by helping 9 million students through the Pell grant program and permanently extending the American Opportunity Tax Credit that provides up to $10,000 of tuition tax credits over four years.

We Need High-Speed Internet

Many of you, particularly those living in rural areas, told me that the lack of affordable access to high-speed Internet was slowing the pace of innovation in your community.

James from Maryland said:

The single greatest thing we can do is connect rural America to the rest of the world via high speed Internet to allow the flow of information, and new business structures to grow 60 and 70 years ago it was roads and bridges that were the vital infrastructure, today it is that connection to information, a simple dial up makes it impossible or at least extremely difficult to find out basic information.

James is right, access to high-speed Internet is critical in the 21st century.  Last week, President Obama launched the National Wireless Initiative – a plan to expand wireless coverage to 98% of Americans so that small businesses can sell their products anywhere in the world and individuals can access the information and ideas they need to compete in the 21st century economy. As part of this initiative, the Administration will invest in research and development of emerging wireless technologies and applications so our nation stays at the cutting edge of internet technology. And we will establish a national wireless network for our public safety agencies.

All told, by more effectively utilizing spectrum, the President’s wireless initiative will make these investments while also reduce the budget deficit by nearly $10 billion. Check out the White House White Board video with Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors to learn more about it.

Government Can Be an Obstacle to Innovation

Another common theme was that government itself can be an obstacle to innovation.  Many respondents felt that too much government regulation stifled businesses and innovators and that the patent process and intellectual property laws are broken.

Gene from California said:

The largest obstacle to continued innovation is not a secret; it is government intrusion into every aspect of American business. Startup companies are limited to those who have lots of capital to pay for legal advice. The average person cannot start a business on his own today. There are just too many regulations to get a loan. Too many hoops to get a license to operate that business and too much paper work to continue to employ workers.

In his State of the Union Address, the President called for a government-wide review of regulations to find and fix those regulations that place unnecessary burdens on businesses.  Indeed, in his Budget, the President put forward a set of common sense reforms to our patent system that will make it easier for innovators to move ideas to market and foster growth.

But there are some commonsense measures that are necessary to protect the health, wellbeing and safety of the American people. So while we work to eliminate those regulations that unnecessarily stand in the way of America’s entrepreneurs and job creators, we have to enforce safeguards like the Clean Air Act that protects the air we breathe, quality standards that ensure that our food is safe to eat, and guidelines that guarantee our water is safe to drink.

Enthusiasm for Clean Energy Innovation

Many of you told me that clean energy innovation and energy efficiency was already shaping your communities.

Julie from Iowa said:

I live in Iowa.  Recently I had to drive from Sioux City to Cedar Rapids.  It’s been about 5 years since I’ve made the trip.  While cruising down the interstate I was amazed at how the landscape had changed.  Windmills – hundreds of windmills.  It was almost majestic.  I also noted all the semi’s cruising down the highway with windmill parts.

President Obama is committed to helping to jumpstart a new clean energy economy here in the United State because the nation that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. The President’s FY2012 Budget proposal calls for America to produce 80% of our electricity from clean energy sources by 2035 and increases investments in renewable energy research and development.  Meeting that target will position the United States as a global leader in developing and manufacturing cutting-edge clean energy technologies. It will ensure continued growth in the renewable energy sector, building on the progress made in recent years. And it will spur innovation and investment in our nation’s energy infrastructure, catalyzing economic growth and creating American jobs.

You can learn more about the investments we’re making in clean energy and energy efficiency here.

Obstacles to Innovation

I also heard a lot about some of the obstacles to innovation that many people see in their own communities, and that’s great feedback as we think about our policies to promote innovation going forward.

Ron from Illinois said:

Innovation does not affect my community because it doesn’t exist here.  The reason it does not exist is strictly because of the obstacles.  While decisions made in Washington may sound good or look good on paper, it has no bearing on my community.

Ron – that’s fair concern.  I know that especially during these tough economic times, it can be difficult to see progress.

The President’s plan to win the future by out-innovating, out-educating and out-building the rest of the world will bring innovation to parts of the country that can sometimes be left behind – whether that’s bringing high speed wireless to 98% of the country and bringing high speed rail 80% of Americans, or helping industries of the future like clean energy get a foothold in rural America.

We’re working to lay the groundwork for economic growth and innovation by rebuilding America’s infrastructure to ensure that America is the best place to do business in the world, reforming our education system to ensure that today’s students are well equipped for the jobs of tomorrow, and streamlining regulations to remove burdens on job creation. But government can’t do it alone.  We need businesses to step up and invest in America as well. In his speech at the Chamber of Commerce last week, the President spoke to business leaders about our shared responsibility to rebuild the American economy, calling on the business community to make investments in America that will pay dividends for both the American economy and their bottom lines.

I’ve passed along a portion of the ideas we received to Gene Sperling and his colleagues at the National Economic Council for further review and in the days and weeks ahead I hope to review even more of your feedback and incorporate the best ideas into my own advice to President Obama.  We’re also planning for the next round of Advise the Advisor — stay tuned for more on that.

David Plouffe is a Senior Advisor to the President