Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Online Fax on Consumer Rankings.com

The goal of an cyberspace facsimile machine or online fax is to transmit data as rapidly and with efficiency as possible. But consumers who expend hours or a long time researching the best cyberspace facsimile machine software often find that they're trifling instead of saving time. To streamline the operation, we've compiled a speedy guide to choosing the right cyberspace facsimile machine software, so that consumers could stop searching and start up enjoying their online fax.

Once shopping at for any product, almost consumers believe cost to be noncrucial causal factor. Because cyberspace telefaxes require a every month investing instead of a one-time fee, price is often an even more significant consideration. Besides the project every month fees, many internet facsimile machine inspection and repair* impose obscured fees upon their buyers. Consequently, those who are shopping at for an machine-accessible fax service should make a point to understand client reviews and the small print on their contract so that hidden fees are clarified. Hidden fees could let in charges for pages or proceedings used above the contractual limit or for facsimile machine storage. Consumers should also be aware that some companies impose a start up fee with the opening of each online fax account.

Cost, however, shouldn't make up the only causal factor when choosing an internet facsimile machine. Consumers should also turn over which cyberspace fax software system will be ready to hand, easy to use and reliable. Consumers should look at that while a lot of cyberspace fax suppliers offer 24/7 technical support, more or less offer limited client service. Users, specially Consumer-Rankings.com those who telefax ofttimes could also would like to check that their internet telefax software package will have enough storehouse electrical capacity to save their crucial written document*. Likewise, completely consumers should enroll on a prestigious online telefax company that doesn't break up on a regular basis or suffer from defective information transmits. Reading user reviews makes up a practical and effective formula for users to familiarise themselves on their cyberspace facsimile machine software package options before making a final judgment.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why Nintendo Will Never Be Great Again

I grew up as a Nintendo kid. The day Nintendo's (NTDOY) 8-bit console hit the market was the day I handed over my old Atari and ColecoVision systems. The gameplay was rudimentary in retrospect, but I didn't care as I guided Mario and Link through their rendered worlds.

The games and graphics ultimately got better. The stakes grew higher. Nintendo survived the onslaught of disc-based consoles. Even today, the Wii is the only one among the three major consoles to not play DVDs. It didn't matter at first, as Nintendo's whimsical motion-based controller overcame what the platform lacked in specs.

It matters now, though.

Shares of Nintendo hit a five-year low this summer, wiping away any gains made during the Wii era and through the last couple of handheld DS introductions. Net revenue fell by more than half in Nintendo's latest quarter, with a steep operating loss to boot.

Nintendo went on to shave its full-year fiscal profit target by 82% this summer, after announcing a 32% price cut on the 3DS portable gaming device that it had introduced in March. All this came on the heels of a 25% price cut on its Wii console back in May.

How optimistic can anyone be for next year's Wii U rollout when Nintendo can't move its gadgetry even at fire-sale prices?
The funk is real, and it's not getting better.

Mario Brothers

Wii Will Rock You

We're now a week away from a Nintendo event in Tokyo, where the Japanese gaming giant is expected to showcase upcoming 3DS games and perhaps even new 3DS peripherals. Some bloggers have posited that a radical redesign is in the works, but that's largely wishful thinking. Besides, it's not as if Nintendo is a makeover away from revisiting its glory years.

Consumers have moved on, even if Nintendo has yet to realize why it wasn't given a forwarding address. Nintendo can be clueless.

In an interview with video game website Kotaku last year, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime dismissed the threat of Apple's (AAPL) App Store and the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone lines it feeds.

"If our games represent a range between snacks of entertainment and full meals depending on the type of game, [Apple's] aren't even a mouthful, in terms of the gaming experience you get," Fils-Aime said.

He also suggested that the platform isn't a viable profit platform for developers because there are so many free games available and the premium downloads are too cheap.

Well, there were fewer than 100 million devices running Apple's iOS platform at the time. There are more than 200 million iOS devices now. Google's (GOOG) Android is also taking off, at least on the smartphone front.

It doesn't matter if developers don't like swapping a handful of games being sold at $30 for a ton of them at $0.99. It's the consumers calling for free -- or nearly free -- casual games that can be played on Facebook or on a smartphone.
Nintendo just isn't where the gamers are.

Paying the Price for Aiming Young

Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT) have cornered the diehard gamer market, and that hasn't been exactly a picnic, either. However, Nintendo's emphasis on low-tech titles that appeal to younger gamers, retro purists, and multigenerational families playing together is at the very heart of the App and Android games that continue to flood the market.


If you don't think that gamers are warming up to Nintendo-less apps, check out GameStop (GME).

"Did you know that GameStop now buys your old iPod, iPhone and iPad devices," reads GameStop's website. "Trade them in at GameStop for in-store credit."

It's not just about buying back iOS gear, GameStop is likely to begin selling it, too. Apple-watcher 9to5Mac is reporting that GameStop recently told dealers at a trade show that it's about to begin offering iPads, iPods, and iPhones through its stores.

Nintendo is in a quandary. Will it simply settle for thinner and thinner slices of the gaming pie, or will it go the Sega route and begin licensing its proprietary games and characters on rival platforms? The former is a recipe for a slow-death casserole. The latter simply speeds up the process, but with a little more licensing revenue on the way out.

Don't Let a Lifetime of Saving Be Ruined by Bad Planning

Tom Binns officially retired 15 years ago. It took a lifetime of saving -- careful planning at every step and short-term sacrifices to achieve long-term goals -- for him to finally reach that milestone of financial freedom. Still, even though his 9-to-5 earning years are now a memory, new financial responsibilities are ever present.

As many retirees have discovered, even if you've saved enough to live comfortably, the golden years don't buy you a reprieve from money worries. In fact, being retired can make you even more vulnerable to fiscal strife if you're not prepared. According to a survey done by TD AMERITRADE, 57% of baby boomers will help their children out financially while putting their own retirement savings at risk.

A couple of years ago, for example, Binns' son was laid off from a manufacturing job. Since then he hasn't been able to find employment with the same level of pay and benefits. So Binns helps out with his son's expenses -- including those associated with caring for an autistic granddaughter. What's more, Binns also pays for the care of his mother, 97, who is in assisted living.

"This wasn't part of my retirement plan but was dealt with under 'planning for the unforeseen,'" Binns says.

The Best Laid Plans...

Anyone can make a plan and stick to it, but when life throws a curveball, it's hard to not lose your footing. Binns, a self-described Southern boy from Tennessee, has been able to handle life's financial curveballs better than most.

The 73-year-old said he has a genetic trait of frugality in him, and he developed a flexible financial plan that allowed him to retire -- on time -- despite the death of his wife, job losses, salary cuts, and caring for others.

"There are a lot of twists and turns that will affect your retirement funding. Job loss, recessions, birth of children, unexpected uninsured calamities, divorce, illness, death of a spouse, lawsuits, relocation expenses, dot-com meltdowns, housing bubbles, inflation, stagflation, and on and on," Binns says. "You can't plan for all of them, but you must be aware of their possibility."

Five Pillars

Binns' saving practices may be a little on the extreme side (he sold eggs and milk from his farm to his own family -- granted, at a discount). But his idea that retirement would bring him freedom is pretty typical.

For Binns, work was simply a means to make money to retire. Mapping out a plan to maximize his earnings every step of the way was how to achieve his goal. He based his strategy around five basic guidelines -- rules that can help steer anyone toward a successful retirement.

1. Invest in yourself. "The decision to pay myself first was the best investment decision I ever made," Binns says. "It's a guaranteed way to accumulate wealth as opposed to accumulating things."

Much like an athlete spends countless hours in the gym, Binns invested in himself. A portion of every paycheck would go back into his 403(b) plan. He remembers back when he earned $325 a month and would immediately take $50 of it to put toward retirement savings.

According to a Fidelity Investments study cited by 401k Planning, employees who continued to contribute to their 401(k) plan over the past 10 years have seen their retirement account balances more than triple, even accounting for the bear market in 2008 and early 2009.

2. Live below your means whenever possible. In a credit-driven society, it's all too easy to spend beyond your means and accumulate debt. The financial meltdown of 2008 was due in part to people (including those who work on Wall Street) taking on costs beyond what they could handle.

Binns made a point to live well within his means. "I resisted raising our standard of living by getting a more expensive car or house and only gradually replaced hand-me-down furniture," Binns says. "We sometimes had some very creative meal planning when we had to delay a trip to the grocery. Through it all, we never felt deprived of anything. You have to remember that this was before cellphones, Internet, cable TV, $4 coffee, computers, BlackBerrys, iPads, iPods, GPSes, and all the other things we can't live without now. "

Avoiding debt kept his family's finances from being thrown off-kilter. For example, when his son was born, their salaries were cut in half for a while. "I took up some of the slack by teaching night classes at a prison and teaching a GED course at night. It's amazing how a loss of income can be adjusted for if you have minimal debt," he says.

3. Plan for the unexpected. It's difficult to plan for The Great Unknowns in life, but Binns knew hardships would arise at some point, so he created a just-in-case emergency fund.

Binns says it helped him when his first wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It also means that he is prepared to help out his elderly mother. "My dad didn't leave her much, and she has been making it on a small pension and Social Security, which doesn't come close to covering her expenses. She is coming to the end of her resources as we pay more and more to keep her safe and comfortable. When her money runs out, I am prepared to take up the slack. "

4. Be an investor, not a gambler. Investing has been an evolving process for Binns. "I saw inflation and recession and 'stagflation' but just kept on looking for investments to put salary increases into. I took profits from time to time (and a few losses), but I was always looking for something else to invest in rather than toys to buy."
That said, not all of Binns' investment decisions were winners. "My worst financial decision was to get a $50,000 home equity loan and put it all in Intel (INTC) stock," he says. "That was not investing; it was gambling."

He also learned the hard way not to blindly follow "hot tips." "I lost a small percentage of my net worth by listening to some hype from my friends who knew some 'sure-fire winners' back before the dot-com meltdown," he says. He got off lucky, compared to a friend of his who ignored Binns' pleas not to put every penny he had into one stock. "He had to go back to work at the age of 70."

5. Never stop being a student. While there is no one-size-fits-all investment strategy, there is one thing that all investors need in their plan: knowledge. Without it you will shortchange your future, Binns says.

Many people have seen their savings trickle down to nothing because they have not read up before investing. The best approach is to invest in something they understand. More importantly, Binns says, know the rates, the risks, and especially what it costs to make each investment.

"Study investing as much as possible so you can take care of things that otherwise would require a fee from somebody," Binns says. "One thing that will increase your retirement nest egg is to avoid fees and commissions as much as possible. Everything taken out lessens the final value of your investments. You want to fund your own retirement, not the person's who is taking the fees and commissions."

Let's Get This Party Started: Mass Retailers Gear Up for Fashion's Night Out

Step aside, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger and Marc Jacobs. Mass retailers -- from Macy's to QVC -- are grabbing a piece of the Fashion Week spotlight.

On Thursday night, New York City will transform into one big after-hours shopping party for Fashion's Night Out, a whirlwind of festive, quirky store events where shoppers can rub elbows with celebrities and designers, drink, dance, undergo makeovers, and scoop up product giveaways to kick off New York Fashion Week.

Although the runway shows where designers will unveil their Spring 2012 collections are the main attraction in the Big Apple this week and next, retailers are increasingly using Fashion's Night Out -- now in its third year -- as a venue to assert their fashion cred not only in New York, but nationwide.

"National retailers are using the notoriety and reach [of Fashion Week] to show that they are tuned in to what's cutting edge," Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail leasing, marketing and sales division of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, tells DailyFinance. "Participating in FNO gives them the platform."

"This is fashion for the masses, says Consolo, who is also known as "the queen of retail." "Everyone across the nation and beyond can shop and be part of the movement. We are a country of shopaholics [and] FNO is the biggest and best fashion party of the year."

Fashion's Night Out, conceived by iconic Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, plays as both a love letter from the fashion industry to itself, and an opportunity for us regular folk to be a part of the in crowd -- even if just for one night.

"The simple genius of Anna's idea is that consumers are social creatures, and if everyone else is out shopping, then the logical conclusion is that it must be in vogue -- sorry -- couldn't resist!" Susan Scafidi, professor and academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School, tells DailyFinance. "Throw in a label magically coming to life in the form of designers' personal appearances, exclusive merchandise, music, and free drinks, and you've got a potent commercial cocktail."

Live, From Macy's and QVC, It's Fashion's Night Out!

Macy's (M) is bringing its FNO festivities to a national audience for the first time on macys.com by live-streaming the event from the seat of the action at its flagship store in Manhattan's Herald Square.

There, shoppers can schmooze with Tommy Hilfiger in the men's department, take in a concert from singer Joss Stone and get makeup tips from Bobbi Brown.

Macy's is also holding FNO events at select Macy's stores in Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, among other cities.

Meanwhile, shopping channel QVC (LINTA) will transform its televised self into a brick-and-mortar merchant on FNO with a "multimedia shopping experience" in New York's Soho neighborhood that it will broadcast live.

The party will showcase QVC's latest lines, including Wildlife by Heidi Klum and the Kris Jenner Fashion Kollection. Shoppers can also pick up fashion and beauty tips from QVC designers.

Missoni and 'Mocktails'

With or without the Fashion Week halo, Target

(TGT) is one retailer that has been burnishing its style cred for years.

And for FNO, the nation's only mass merchant couturier has launched a Missoni pop-up store in Midtown Manhattan, featuring its new limited-edition collection from the Italian fashion house, known for its zigzag patterns.

The shop features "Little Marina," a 25-foot-tall doll decked out in Missoni knitwear that will be operated by puppeteers.

The Missoni for Target apparel and home collection hits stores nationwide this month, adding another high-end name to a long list of exclusive designer partnerships that includes Jean Paul Gaultier, Isaac Mizrahi and Zac Posen.

J.C. Penney (JCP) has set out to bring a "fun and light hearted" spirit to its FNO events this year, April Dinwoodie, divisional vice president of brand communications and publicity, tells DailyFinance. The retailer is urging shoppers to bring a fashion "miss" from their closet to its store at the Manhattan Mall and trade it in for a fashion "must."

Shoppers will get an early preview of the retailer's "must have" fall apparel and accessories -- items that have been hand-picked by fashion editors at People magazine's StyleWatch. DJ Chachi will spin some tunes, while shoppers are treated to "miss for a must mocktails," and can apply to win J.C. Penney gift cards.

Fashion Where You Wouldn't Expect It

Even Stationery chain PAPYRUS is getting into the act. Yes, you heard right. What does stationery have to do with fashion?

"We are excited to present our fashion aesthetic as it relates to paper as a fashion statement," Dominique Schurman, CEO of PAPYRUS's parent company, Schurman Retail Group, tells DailyFinance.

"We have partnered with Rami Kashou of Project Runway, the students of Pratt Institute's School of Art and Design in New York, as well as with our own internal design team to develop a gallery of couture gowns made exclusively with stationery, wrapping papers, cards, ribbons and trims from the PAPYRUS stores."


The gowns will be worn by models at fashion shows during Fashion Week at PAPYRUS's Orange County, California, store in South Coast Plaza and its Soho store in New York.

"These gowns are truly works of art and the capture the amazing, unique quality of how paper can become incredibly fashionable," Schurman says.

During Fashion Week,the retailer is also launching NIQUEA.D, its new collection of jewelry, accessories, home décor and high-end greeting cards and stationery.

"We will be unveiling 30 boutiques within some of our PAPYRUS stores, a perfect fit for the occasion of FNO," Schurman says.

Obama Unveils Key Jobs Package to Jumpstart Economy

President Barack Obama is proposing an ambitious, $447 billion jobs plan to Congress whose key feature is a sizable 2012 payroll tax cut for workers and employers. The package represents Obama's response to stubbornly high unemployment and a weak economic recovery.

The president is unveiling his plan to a joint session of Congress.

In its size, the plan matches the top annual spending of the stimulus bill that Congress approved in 2009. That $825 billion plan was spent over three years. Most of the new package would be spent in 2012.

Obama's proposal calls for cutting payroll taxes form the current 4.2 percent to 3.1 percent for workers, and from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent for businesses. Businesses also would get an additional payroll tax holiday for new hires.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Is a College Degree Worth the Price? Census Bureau Has the Answer

The combination of the high and ever-rising price tag for a college education and the less-than-promising job prospects for new grads are fueling a hot debate about the value of a bachelor's degree: Is it actually worth the money?

Well, a new study from the Census Bureau, Education and Synthetic Work-Life Earnings Estimates, answers that question with a resounding yes. According to the study, education levels had more effect on earnings over a 40-year span in the workforce than any other demographic factor such as race or gender. The estimated impact on annual earnings between a person with a professional degree versus one without a high school diploma was about $72,000 a year. By comparison, the gap between men and women was just $13,000 -- less than a fifth as much -- reports the Census Bureau.

Certain folks do benefit more from higher education than others. For example, according to the study, non-Hispanic white males, Asian males and Asian females record bigger salary gains than others from higher levels of education over the course of a career. White men with professional degrees overall career earnings are more than double what Hispanic females with the same piece of paper make -- averaging about $2.4 million more.

The Census Bureau isn't saying that race, gender, citizenship, English-speaking ability or geographical location don't matter -- they do. But none of them packs the salary punch that education does.

"This analysis shows that there is a clear and well-defined relationship between education and earnings," said Tiffany Julian, an analyst in the Census Bureau's Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, in a prepared statement. "The overall economic value of educational attainment in this report supports the belief that higher levels of education are well-established paths to better jobs and higher earnings."

The study had a few other goodies to chew on, which the Bureau highlighted in its press release:

Overall, white males had higher earnings than any other group at every education level, with the exception of those with a master's degree, which was topped by Asian males, and those with a professional degree, where Asian males were not significantly different from white males. ...

In general, women in the most economically advantaged race groups usually earn less than men in the most disadvantaged race groups. For example, a white female with master's degree is expected to earn $2.4 million over a 40-year work-life. In comparison, a Hispanic male with a master's degree is expected to earn $2.8 million. ...

For Asian, black and Hispanic groups whose highest education completed is high school, the difference between each group's work-life earnings was not large compared with the differences between these groups when they had higher levels of education. ...

Language spoken at home had an effect on earnings: those who spoke a language at home other than English saw a decrease in annual earnings after considering all other factors. Even those who speak English "very well" saw a decrease of $989 in annual earnings compared with English-only speakers.

When your mother told you, "Don't be a fool, go to school," as usual, she knew what she was talking about.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Most 20-Somethings Are Pessimistic About Their Financial Futures

These days, 20-somethings aren't just the young and the restless -- they're the young and the anxious. According to The PNC Financial Services Group's Financial Independence Survey, that demographic is full of financial fears.

The numbers are none too optimistic -- less youthful swagger and more stagger. Only 23% of those in their 20s consider themselves financially independent, just 30% have gotten a job in their chosen field, according to the survey, and 40% rely on two or more sources of income, whether that means multiple jobs or withdrawals from the Bank of Mom and Dad.

Though 26% overall said they feel they are right on target financially, and another 25% felt they are ahead of where they expected to be, nearly half said they aren't where they want to be or where they thought they would be.

They're not so sure about the future either, and the older they get, the less sure they become: 26% of 22- and 23-year-olds said they are optimistic about their financial futures, compared to just 14% of 28- and 29-year-olds. Only 5% of 20 and 21-year-olds said they have "no idea" when they'll be financially independent, if ever, but fully 20% of those ages 28 and 29 gave that response. As for retirement, a mere two out of 10 are confident they'll have enough money to live comfortably when they are ready to stop working.

It's Not As Bad As They Think

Still, Todd Barnhart, a senior vice president at PNC Bank (PNC) told DailyFinance that 20-somethings have more cause for optimism: "You can do it," is his message to them. "While becoming financially independent may be a longer road than anticipated, it is not completely out of reach."

"As 20-somethings reach their 30s, we see the level of uncertainty about financial independence rise significantly. While I know 30 may seem ancient to Millennials, the truth is, that time is still on their side, so it's important to remember not to panic and to continue planning for the future," says Barnhart.

Patience and persistence will go a long way. "Don't beat yourself up for not meeting your own expectations. Try to think positively about your financial goals," said Barnhart in a prepared statement. He offered these four guidelines for young people.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Obama says Congress should stop 'political circus'

WASHINGTON -Struggling to fix the sickly economy, President Barack Obama planned to appeal to Congress Thursday night to support nearly $450 billion in tax reductions and new federal spending, including deeper payroll tax cuts to keep more cash in the pockets of dispirited Americans. He urged Congress to stop what he called a "political circus" and quickly pass legislation to promote new hiring.

In excerpts released by the White House ahead of the president's speech to a joint session of Congress, Obama said the U.S faces a weighty question: whether elected officials will meet their responsibilities the same way regular Americans do.

"We can help," he said. "We can make a difference."

Congressional officials said the president would ask lawmakers to give a Social Security payroll tax cut to employers as well as workers as he looks for ways to cut into a national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.

At the same time, Obama was expected to ask lawmakers to approve new money to build schools and demolish vacant housing and to help states to hire teachers and police.

The officials provided the details on condition of anonymity because the president had not yet delivered his speech.

Obama's furious push on employment, his latest stab at the defining issue of his presidency, aimed to shore up his chances of keeping his own job next year. He must stem eroding confidence in his leadership as the public mood darkens and Republican presidential challengers assail his record.

Obama was expected to announce a program of tax cuts, construction spending, unemployment aid and money for states. Besides the payroll tax, the core elements include expanding jobless benefits for those who can't find work month after month.

The president was to promise a way to pay for the plans without sinking the nation deeper in debt.

In the best case, such a package could provide help that people would feel in their daily lives. It would boost consumer and investor confidence and spur hiring.

Yet even that might not help the recovery enough to assuage the millions of unemployed, let alone satisfy voters.

And that's assuming Obama gets what he asks from Capitol Hill. His plan would require approval by a Congress that is deeply divided, with many House Republicans strongly opposed to his efforts.

To pay for his plan, Obama will challenge a new debt panel in Congress to go beyond its charge of identifying $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, so the extra savings could offset the cost of short-term stimulus ideas. That panel met for a first time Thursday, members expressing determination but facing a demanding assignment.

Obama was expected to propose paying for some of his jobs initiatives by closing corporate tax loopholes and increasing taxes on wealthier Americans, measures he failed to win during summer negotiations over increasing the nation's debt ceiling.

Offsetting some costs of his economic plan with new tax revenue is likely to meet stiff resistance from Republicans. But the White House has argued that the public has supported a mix of spending cuts and revenue as a way to avoid higher deficits. White House Chief of Staff William Daley said before the speech that wealthy Americans "ought to pay a little more."

The American public is weary of talk and wary of promises that help is on the way.

About 14 million people are unemployed. There is just one job opening available for every four job seekers, on average, in the richest nation on earth.

In one striking sign of discontent, nearly 80 percent of people think the country is headed in the wrong direction. That's about the same level of pessimism as when Obama took office. It reflects both persistently high unemployment and disgust with Washington infighting.

No incumbent president in recent history has won re-election with the unemployment rate anywhere near the current level, 9.1 percent.

Writ large, Thursday night was about more than a speech or plan, suggesting whether the nation's leaders can agree on any ways to help a nation in economic peril.

Some Republican leaders, under their own pressure from constituents to get results, offered signs of compromise before Obama spoke.

"The American people want us to find common ground, and I'm going to be looking for it," House Speaker John Boehner told reporters.

The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, wasn't so upbeat. He cast Obama's expected ideas as retreads, saying: "This isn't a jobs plan. It's a re-election plan."

Obama chose not just to give a speech but to convene Congress, allowing him to challenge House Republicans on their own turf. The strategy is to appeal to the lawmakers in front of him to pass a deal — and to try to show the voters watching at home, particularly independents, that he isn't the one to blame for inaction.

Republicans had no interest in lining up a formal response to Obama. At least a few of them were staying away altogether.

"Every time somebody skins their knee, his reaction is to hold a big speech," said Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., who planned to be back in his suburban Chicago district meeting with small-business owners. "He's cheapened the very notion of a joint session of Congress."

Boehner encouraged members of his party to attend.

The coming weeks could be the only window for bipartisan action on jobs before the 2012 presidential campaign swallows everything.

Obama took office in the midst of recession that began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, costing America a staggering 7.5 million jobs. Even though many voters are spreading blame around, Obama owns the economy now and his political strategy of putting the onus on Congress holds risk.

If nothing comes of his jobs program and he tries to blame Congress, he will still be the most identifiable target for voter ire.

White House officials said Obama would formally send his plan — coined by the administration as the American Jobs Act — to Congress next week. The Democratic House leader, Nancy Pelosi, lobbied leaders of her caucus to push for legislative hearings and votes quickly.

Before he spoke, Obama got a tough preview from a member of his own party, Rep. Maxine Waters of California. She has been pressing Obama to pay more heed to the plight of black Americans, whose unemployment rate stands at 16.7 percent.

"There are roughly 3 million African Americans out of work today, a number nearly equal to the entire population of Iowa," Waters said. "I would suggest that if the entire population of Iowa, a key state on the electoral map and a place that served as a stop on the president's jobs bus tour were unemployed, they would be mentioned in the president's speech."—

Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn, Julie Pace, Christopher S. Rugaber, Larry Margasak and Ken Thomas contributed to this report.