Barack Hussein Obama Takes A Seat With “The Leads” Jake Tapper, For CNN.


By Jueseppi B.





CNN Big Moments in January Promo


Published on Jan 31, 2014

A promo featuring some highlights from the biggest interviews on CNN in January.




From CNN:




CNN Exclusive: President Obama says he’s not recalibrating ambitions


By Jake Tapper and Chelsea J. Carter, CNN


Waukesha, Wisconsin (CNN) — Once, Barack Obama spoke of what he wanted for his presidency in terms of healing a nation divided. “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal,” he said.


Today, Obama is talking about executive orders and executive actions — with a pen or phone — if a divided Congress won’t or can’t act on an agenda he laid out this week in his State of the Union address.




But in an exclusive interview airing Friday on CNN, the President insists he has not recalibrated his ambitions.


“In no way are my expectations diminished or my ambitions diminished. But what is obviously true is we’ve got a divided government right now,” Obama said.


“The House Republicans, in particular, have had difficulty rallying around any agenda, much less mine. And in that kind of environment, what I don’t want is the American people to think that the only way for us to make big change is through legislation. We’ve all got to work together to continue to provide an opportunity for the next generation.”


Just days after his address to the nation, where he blended hopeful calls for a unified approach with declarations of presidential independence through executive orders, he sounded less than confident that Congress would come around.


“I think there are some issues where it’s going to be tough for them to move forward, and I am going to continue to reach out to them and say here are my best ideas, I want to hear yours,” the President said during the interview conducted in Waukesha, Wisconsin.


“But, as I said in the State of the Union, I can’t wait. And the American people, more importantly, cannot wait.”


Among the actions the President has taken is securing commitments from some of the nation’s largest companies for a plan to boost hiring of the long-term unemployed.


“What we have done is to gather together 300 companies, just to start with, including, some of the top 50 companies in the country, companies like Wal-mart, and Apple, Ford and others, to say let’s establish best practices,” Obama said.


“Because they’ve been unemployed … so long, folks are looking at that gap in the resume and they’re weeding them out before these folks even get a chance for an interview.”


In a wide-ranging interview that touched on everything from security at the Winter Olympics to the legalization of pot, here is what else the President had to say:


‘The imperial presidency?’

Since the President announced 12 areas where he would take executive actions — from raising the minimum wage for federal workers to creating a “starter” retirement savings account — that would bypass Congress, he has been under fire from a number of Congressional Republicans.


Sen. Ted Cruz described the actions as “the imperial presidency,” and House Republicans have threatened to rein in the President’s use of executive actions.


“I don’t think that’s very serious,” Obama said, adding that every president engages in executive actions.


CNN Exclusive: Obama’s diminished expectations?


Published on Jan 31, 2014

President Barack Obama gives his first interview since the State of the Union to CNN’s Jake Tapper.



He said his administration has been disciplined, taking such actions sparingly.


“We make sure we’re doing it within the authority that we have under the statute,” Obama said. “But I am not going to make an apology for saying that if I can help middle class families and folks who are working hard to try to get in the middle class do a little bit better, then I’m going to do it.”


“It’s a tough argument for the other side to make that not only are they willing to not do anything, but they also want me not to do anything.”


And that he said would only make the low opinion Americans have of Congress even lower.



‘Not going to prejudge

The one area where Obama says he believes he can work with Republicans is on the subject of immigration and the path to citizenship, a cornerstone issue for Democrats.


Obama: GOP made progress on immigration


Published on Jan 31, 2014

President Obama discusses immigration reform in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.




The major sticking point between Democrats and Republicans will likely be whether or not the estimated 11 million undocumented workers in this country be given a path to citizenship. Obama refused to say whether he would veto a bill that did not contain such a provision; it is likely that House Republicans would not pass any bill that included a path to citizenship.


“I’m not going to prejudge what gets to my desk,” he said.


On Thursday, House Republicans released a one-page document that outlined what they called the standards of immigration reform, which calls for legal status, but not citizenship.




“I think the principle that we don’t want two classes of people in America is a principle that a lot of people agree with, not just me and not just Democrats. But I am encouraged by what Speaker (John) Boehner has said,” Obama said.


“… I genuinely believe that Speaker Boehner and a number of House Republicans, folks like Paul Ryan, really do want to get a serious immigration reform bill done. And keep in mind that the Senate bill and the legislation that I’ve supported already calls for a very long process of earning citizenship. You had to pay fines. You had to learn English. You had to pay back taxes. And you had to go to the back of the line. And at the end of that, you could get citizenship.”



The marijuana experiment

When it was pointed out that the President’s remarks to The New Yorker magazine about marijuana — which he described as a bad habit but not any worse for a person than alcohol — contradict the administration’s official policy on marijuana, Obama stood by his views.


Exclusive: Obama talks about pot


Published on Jan 31, 2014

President Barack Obama talks to CNN’s Jake Tapper about marijuana legalization in an exclusive interview.




The President declined to say whether he would support removing marijuana as a “Schedule One” narcotic, a classification that includes heroin and ecstasy.


“I stand by my belief based on the scientific evidence that marijuana for casual users, individual users, is subject to abuse, just like alcohol is and should be treated as a public health problem and challenge,” he said.


Obama said his main concern is the criminalization of marijuana use.


“My concern is when you end up having very heavy criminal penalties for individual users that have been applied unevenly and, in some cases, with a racial disparity,” he said.


“I think that is a problem. We’re going to see what happens in the experiments in Colorado and Washington. The Department of Justice under Eric Holder has said that we are going to continue to enforce federal laws.”


At the same time, the President said the federal government doesn’t have the resources to police whether somebody is “smoking a joint on the corner.”


Rather, he said, the government was working to make sure that drug traffickers and the spillover of violence from the drug trade are not “creeping out of this experiment that is taking place.”


Obama offered what he described as a “cautionary note” for those who see legalization of marijuana as a panacea.


“I think they have to ask themselves some tough questions, too. Because if we start having a situation where big corporations with lots of resources and distribution and marketing arms are suddenly going out there, peddling marijuana, then the levels of abuse that may take place are going to be higher,” he said.



‘Win back confidence’

Obama did not suggest that he was disappointed with National Intelligence Director James Clapper for not being honest in his testimony before Congress last year about the mass surveillance programs that were revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.


Clapper later justified his untrue answer by saying it was the “least untruthful” one he could give. “Least untruthful” was not exactly a term Obama used on the campaign trail.


So did he have concerns about what Clapper said?


“I think that Jim Clapper himself would acknowledge, and has acknowledged, that he should have been more careful about how he responded,” Obama said.


“His concern was that he had a classified program that he couldn’t talk about, and he was in an open hearing in which he was asked, he was prompted to disclose a program, and so he felt he was caught between a rock and a hard place.”


The President acknowledged that the leaks, including details about the wide-ranging use of the surveillance programs, damaged the confidence of Americans as well as other nations.


“It’s going to take some time” to win back that confidence, he said. “It’s going to take some work, partly because the technology has just moved so quickly that discussions that needed to be had didn’t happen fast enough.”



Russia understands ‘the stakes here’

Neither the President, his wife nor his daughters will be attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.


Asked what he would tell close friends who asked if they should attend amid security concerns, he said: “I’d tell them that I believe Sochi is safe and that there are always some risks in these large international gatherings.”


Obama on Olympics: I’d tell friends to go


Published on Jan 31, 2014

President Obama tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that the 2014 Olympics held in Sochi, Russia will be safe.



Much has been made about Russia’s ability to keep the athletes, coaches and spectators safe in a region where terror threats are very real.


“The Russian authorities understand the stakes here. They understand that there are potential threats that are out there, and we are coordinating with them,” he said.


“We’ve looked at their plans. I think we have a good sense of the security that they are putting in place to protect not only the athletes themselves, but also visitors there.”


In large settings like the Olympics, there is always some risk, Obama said.


“I don’t want to completely discount those. But as we’ve seen here in the United States, at the Boston Marathon, there were some risks if you have lone wolves or small cells of folks who are trying to do some damage,” he said.


That said, the President encouraged Americans traveling to the Olympics to register with the U.S. State Department and read the material posted on its web site about “prudent measures” people should take.



‘In harms way

During his State of the Union address, the President brought many to tears with a tribute to Army Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, a veteran who was on his 10th deployment when he was injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.


Remsburg, who is now disabled, was sitting with first lady Michelle Obama when he was given a prolonged standing ovation.


Obama had met Remsburg before he deployed, before he was wounded.


As commander-in-chief, Obama said he meets what he describes as “amazing” service members who make up the country’s all-volunteer military.


“But it also means only 1% of the American people are in harms way, and their families are the ones bearing that burden,” Obama said. “Which means that when we make decisions about war, it is that much more important for lawmakers and the president to understand that there are consequences to this.”


Jake Tapper reported from Waukesha, Wisconsin; and Chelsea J. Carter wrote from Atlanta.



Barack After Dark™: West Wing Week. The White House Blog Post. Happy Lunar New Year.


By Jueseppi B.





Adam Garber
Adam Garber

January 31, 2014
06:05 PM EST


This anniversary episode, hosted by the President, coincides with this year’s State of the Union Address. We’ll take you behind the scenes and on the road to speak directly with Americans like you about your lives and your families, and how together we can make sure that every American who works and studies hard has a real chance to get ahead.




Friday, January 24th

  • The President participated in pre-State of the Union preparations.


Tuesday, January 28th


Wednesday, January 29th

  • The President toured the Costco in Lanham, Marylandand spoke on the company’s leadership on employee pay.
  • Later that day, the President toured the US Steel Irvin Plant in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania to speak on making hard work pay off for every single American.


Thursday, January 30th

  • The President toured the General Electric gas engines factory and discussed the rebounding of the U.S. manufacturing sector in Waukesha, Wisconsin
  • Then, the President delivered a speech on educational opportunity at McGavock High School



Daphne Kwok
January 31, 2014
10:06 AM EST


Today, the White House released a video message from President Obama welcoming in the Lunar New Year.




Echoing the President’s message, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs send our abundant best wishes to all those celebrating the Lunar New Year.


2014 is the Year of the Horse.  The horse is a great and strong symbol. Many associate this symbol with “swift success” for all facets of one’s life.   We wish that everyone fulfills his or her potential and achieves success in 2014.  In his State of the Union address, the President declared 2014 to be a year of action so it seems only fitting that it is also the Year of the Horse.


Read More



Kori Schulman
Kori Schulman

January 31, 2014
11:12 AM EST


Update: The live Hangout has concluded. You can watch the full video below, or right here.


President Obama’s going on a road trip today, and we want you come along for the ride.



After the President delivered his State of the Union Address, he traveled the country to talk about how we’re going to ensure opportunity for all. And over the past week, people from all over have submitted their video questions about the address.


Today, January 31, he’ll meet with some of those folks as part of a virtual road trip on Google+. The road trip will begin on the West Coast, then the President will hop on to a Hangout in the Midwest, and end back East.


It all happens today at 2 p.m. ET — don’t miss it. Watch the Hangout Road Trip live on, the White House Google+ page, and at




  • Lindsay Holst
    Lindsay Holst

    January 31, 2014
    03:25 PM EST


    In September 2009, the President announced that—for the first time in history—White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in October 2013. Today’s release also includes visitor records generated prior to September 16, 2009 that were requested by members of the public in December 2013 pursuant to the White House voluntary disclosure policy. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to over 3.44 million—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.




Todd Solomon
January 31, 2014
06:04 PM EST


Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the Department of Transportation’s Fast Lane blog. See the original post here.


In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama said that, “The best measure of opportunity is access to a good job,” and at the Department of Transportation, we couldn’t agree more strongly.


That’s why we work around the clock and through the calendar to ensure that American transportation connects people and communities more safely, reliably, and conveniently every day. Because we know that every minute you’re stuck in highway traffic is a minute you can’t be with your family after work, and every bus that is out of service for maintenance on your transit route is a challenge to your ability to get to work on time.




This week, two innovative examples of how we’re working to keep the American people connected to opportunity went into service, and we’re proud to share them with you. Austin, Texas, celebrated the grand opening of the first of two new MetroRapid bus rapid transit (BRT) lines. And in Mississippi, the new Choctaw Regional Maintenance Facility for transit vehicles opened its doors. Both projects connect their communities to opportunity by improving residents’ access to jobs, and both projects were funded in part by our Federal Transit Administration.


Austin’s Route 801 BRT line will connect several neighborhoods with major business, medical, education, and entertainment hubs along a 21-mile corridor in one of America’s fastest-growing cities. With several Fortune 500 companies and the University of Texas flagship campus making their home in the Lone Star State’s capital city, the MetroRapid BRT line expects to see daily ridership of 20,000 passengers. And each of those riders can expect greater comfort, convenient stations, and traffic signals prioritized to give the BRT vehicles more green lights along the way.


Connecting people more efficiently with jobs and education while making their daily commute a more comfortable experience, andtaking cars off already crowded roads? We call that a clear win for everyone in the growing Austin community.


Improving access to work, school, and elsewhere for approximately 10,000 members of the Mississippi Band of the Choctaw Indians and other area residents is the goal of the new Choctaw Regional Maintenance Facility. Choctaw Transit’s fleet of 40 vehicles provides service for area residents to two different community colleges, medical facilities, and other key destinations in Meridian, Jackson, and neighboring counties. For many — including dozens of dialysis patients — Choctaw Transit is an absolute lifeline.


Keeping Mississippi’s rural and tribal communities connected to critical medical services, jobs, and education means keeping those vehicles in good working order, and the new maintenance facility now makes it easier for Choctaw Transit’s mechanics to do just that.


In his blog post yesterday, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that as President Obama works to strengthen the middle class and empower all those hoping to join it, “Our entire Department is standing with him in that effort.”


And — whether it’s transit projects like Austin’s BRT service and Choctaw Transit’s new maintenance facility, or a repaired highway that makes it easier for commercial truck drivers to deliver the goods — when DOT stands with our Secretary and the President to connect all Americans to opportunity, we stand tall.


Statements and Releases


FACT SHEET: Opportunity For All – The President’s Call to Action to Give the Long-Term Unemployed a Fair Shot


BfSsLCcCcAA_bnA 140128-gop-freaks-out-over-obama-executive-orders-for-no-reason-whatsoever podcasts_WestWingWeek cropped-b4peace-header enoughisenough2 (1)

President Barack Hussein Obama: Giving The Long-Term Unemployed A Fair Shot


By Jueseppi B.

Barack & Joey B. stand with PG&E apprentice electrician Erick Varela, a U.S. Army combat infantryman in Iraq who was previously homeless, as he introduces The President.

Barack & Joey B. stand with PG&E apprentice electrician Erick Varela, a U.S. Army combat infantryman in Iraq who was previously homeless, as he introduces The President.


Remarks by the President on Giving the Long-Term Unemployed a Fair Shot


Published on Jan 31, 2014 East Room. January 31, 2014.




Remarks by the President on Long-Term


East Room


11:39 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Everybody, please have a seat.


President Barack Obama arrives with PG&E apprentice electrician Erick Varela, a U.S. Army combat infantryman in Iraq who was previously homeless and unemployed after leaving the military and Vice President Joe Biden, to the East Room of the White House, to speak about helping the long-term unemployed.

President Barack Obama arrives with PG&E apprentice electrician Erick Varela, a U.S. Army combat infantryman in Iraq who was previously homeless and unemployed after leaving the military and Vice President Joe Biden, to the East Room of the White House, to speak about helping the long-term unemployed.

Well, first of all, let me just thank Erick for being here, for sharing his story, for his service to our country.  I hope that listening to Erick here, everybody recognizes what a great success story this is, but also the notion that somebody with this kind of skill and talent was having difficulty finding a job indicates the challenge that we face.  And I want to thank all of you, business leaders, and philanthropists, elected officials, all levels and members of my Cabinet and the administration, not only for coming but for committing to more success stories for people like Erick, making sure that everybody in this country who wants to work has a chance to get ahead and not just get a paycheck, but also the dignity and the structure that a job provides people.

On Tuesday, I delivered my State of the Union address.  And I said what while the economy is getting stronger — and businesses like yours have created more than 8 million new jobs over the past four years, our unemployment rate is lower than it’s been in over five years — we all know we’ve still got a lot more to do to build an economy where everybody who is willing to work hard and take responsibility can get ahead.  We’ve got to do more to restore opportunity for every American.



And the opportunity agenda I laid out begins with doing everything we can to create new jobs here in America — jobs in construction and manufacturing; jobs in American innovation and American energy.  There are steps we can take to streamline our tax code, to incentivize companies to invest here.  There are things that we can do to make sure that we are continuing to lead the world in innovation and basic research.  We’ve got a whole lot of infrastructure we can build that could put people to work right away.  We’ve got a couple trillion dollars’ worth of deferred maintenance in America, and the ramifications of us taking that on would be significant.  So we’ve got to grow faster and put more shoulders behind the wheel of expanding economic growth.



Step two is making sure that every American has the skills to fill those jobs.  Step three, we’ve got to guarantee every child access to a world-class education, from early childhood to college to a career.  (Applause.)  And step four, we’ve got to make sure that hard work pays off — with wages you can live on, savings you can retire on, health insurance that’s there for you when you need it.

Today, we’re here to focus on that second point: connecting more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs, so that folks who are out of work can apply the skills that they’ve already got.  And getting people back on the job faster is one of our top priorities.  But I have to confess, last month, Congress made that harder by letting unemployment insurance expire for more than a million people.  And each week that Congress fails to restore that insurance, roughly 72,000 Americans will join the ranks of the long-term unemployed who have also lost their economic lifeline.



And for our fellow Americans who have been laid off, through no fault of their own, unemployment insurance is often the only source of income they’ve got to support their families while they look for a new job.  So when Erick was out of work, it’s a lot harder to look for work if you can’t put gas in the gas tank, if you’re worried about whether there’s food on the table for your kid.  If Mom isn’t making the rent and paying her phone bill, it’s a lot harder for her to follow up with a potential employer.  Unemployment insurance provides that extra bit of security so that losing your livelihood doesn’t mean you lose everything that you’ve worked so hard to build.  And that’s true whether you’ve been out of work for one month or six months.

But folks who have been unemployed the longest often have the toughest time getting back to work.  It’s a cruel Catch-22  -– the longer you’re unemployed, the more unemployable you may seem.  Now, this is an illusion, but it’s one that unfortunately we know statistically is happening out there.  According to one study, if you’ve been out of work eight months, you’re likely to get called back for an interview only about half as often as if you’ve been out of work one month — even with the identical résumé.  So we are here tonight to say that’s not right — because we know there are folks like Erick, all across this country, who have enormous skills, enormous talents, enormous capacity.  But they need a chance.

I invited Misty DeMars to my speech on Tuesday night.  A mother of two young boys, she’d been steadily employed since she was a teenager, put herself through college, had never collected unemployment benefits, never depended on the federal government — extraordinarily impressive young woman.  When she lost her job to budget cuts, she couldn’t find another, she turned to unemployment insurance to make sure she and her husband could keep the new home they had just spent their life savings to buy.  And as I said on Tuesday, she wrote to me and said, “I’m confident I’ll find a job.  I will pay my taxes.  I will raise our kids in the home that we purchased in a community that we love.  Please give us this chance.”  And I thought that spoke for so many Americans out there — just give us this chance.



They’re our neighbors, they’re our friends — young and old; black, white; men, women; PhDs and GEDs.  The interesting thing, by the way, is statistically the long-term unemployed are oftentimes slightly better educated, in some cases better qualified than folks who just lost their job.  Just because you’ve been out of work for a while does not mean that you are not a hard worker.  It just means you had bad luck or you were in the wrong industry, or you lived in a region of the country that’s catching up a little slower than others in the recovery.

And I’ve heard from too many of these folks who show up early — they will outwork anybody.  They fill out 100 applications, 200 applications.  They’re sending out résumés, still finding time to volunteer in their community, or helping out at church.  Sometimes they have more experience and education and skill than newly unemployed Americans.  They just need that chance.

Somebody will look past that stretch of unemployment, put it in the context of the fact that we went through the worst financial and economic crisis in our lifetimes, which created a group of folks who were unemployed longer than normal.  They just need employers to realize it doesn’t reflect at all on their abilities or their value.  It just means they’ve been dealing with the aftermath of this really tough job market, and all they need is a fair shot.  And with that shot, an out-of-work young person can get the critical experience he needs to improve his employment prospects for the rest of his life.  With that shot, someone with decades of experience could get back in the game and show a younger worker the ropes.  We can give them that shot.  And that’s what today is all about.



And we really don’t have an alternative, because giving up on the unemployed will create a drag on our economy that we cannot tolerate.  Giving up on any American is something America cannot do.  And Erick I think made an important point during his early remarks.  Oftentimes folks, no matter how skilled you are, how confident you are, you get discouraged.  And that affects people’s physical health.  It affects their mental health.  And over time, you can have a negative feedback where it becomes harder and harder for folks to get back in the game because they’re just getting so many discouraging messages.  And that can have long-term impact, particularly if it’s early on in a young person’s career.

So while Congress decides whether or not it’s going to extend unemployment insurance for these Americans, we’re going to go ahead and act.  We know what works, and we’re going to go ahead and see what we can do without additional legislation to make some serious dents in the long-term unemployment problem.

We know what works for employers and employees alike.  I spoke on Tuesday about Andra Rush, the head of Detroit Manufacturing Systems.  She was with us at the State of the Union, sitting with the First Lady.  When she was staffing up her new factory, she worked with the local American Jobs Centers — federally funded — to hire people who were out of the job but ready to work.  On average, they’d been unemployed for 18 months.  Today, she says, they are some of her best employees.

Greg Merrity is here today.  Greg has been working in sales for 30 years.  When he lost his job in December 2011, for the first time in his life he found himself struggling to capitalize on decades of work experience.  After months of sending out résumés, pounding the pavement, Greg’s unemployment insurance ran out.  And he began, like Erick described, to start feeling hopeless and start feeling useless.  And last year, he got hooked up with an organization called Skills for Chicagoland’s Future –- which actually got its start thanks in part to the great work of Penny Pritzker, our Secretary of Commerce, as well as my former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel.

And so this intermediary trains folks like Greg with the skills they need to get placed right away in one of the local companies.  And just two weeks after enrolling, Greg was back on the job, helping people get signed up for the health insurance they need.  And Greg said, “SCF made me feel relevant again -– like I have something to offer.”

So today, more than 80 of the nation’s largest businesses, over 200 small- and medium-sized businesses are announcing their commitment to a set of Best Practices, like Greg and Misty and Erick can access, and feel as if they can have a partner in getting back on the job and making the contributions that we know they can make.  And so I want to thank all the companies who have made this commitment.  (Applause.)

With the support of Andrew Liveris and Ursula Burns, chairing the Business Council, and Randall Stephenson at the Business Roundtable, as well as the Society for Human Resource Management, we’ve engaged employers of all sizes, all around the country -– including many who are here today –- to commit to a set of inclusive hiring policies –- from making sure recruiting and screening practices don’t disadvantage folks who have been out of work, to establishing an open-door policy that actively encourages all qualified applicants.

And, of course, it’s only right that the federal government lead by example.  So today, I am directing every federal agency to make sure we are evaluating candidates on the level, without regard to their unemployment history.  Because every job applicant deserves a fair shot.

And I just had a chance to meet with some of the CEOs who are making these commitments.  Some of them are already participating with what’s going on in Chicago.  And they had some great ideas about what they know works.

For example, one of the things that we’re going to have to examine is the impact of credit histories on the long-term unemployed.  If you’ve been out of work for 18 months, you may have missed some bills.  That can’t be a barrier then for you getting to work so you can pay your bills.  But unfortunately, we’re setting up some, in some cases, perverse incentives and barriers.  But in some cases what I heard from the CEOs is it was just a matter of let’s pay attention to this.  Let’s see if we’re doing everything we can to look at every candidate on the merits.

And I was really grateful to all of them for stepping up in this way.  And I’m confident that as a consequence of this initiative we’re going to see some progress all across the country.

Going back to Greg, his life was turned around because of a partnership that really cares — not just because he got a fair shot, but because he had advocates who helped him earn the skills he needed to land a job that made sense for him.  And so that’s why we’re excited to have programs like Chicagoland’s Future and Platform 2 Employment, and many others that are represented in this room.  As important as it is for the businesses to make these commitments, it’s great to have these intermediaries and nonprofits who are also able to show success, even with folks who have been out of work for a long, long time.



And my administration is going to partner with the business community and the nonprofit sector.  I’ve asked Joe Biden to lead an across-the-board reform of all our training programs, working with Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, to make sure that our job training programs have a single mission:  train Americans with the skills employers need, and then match them to the good jobs that need to be filled right now.  That’s what we have to prioritize.  (Applause.)

And today I’m announcing that the Department of Labor is going to put forward $150 million in a Ready to Work Partnership competition to support more partnerships that we know work –- innovative collaborations between local governments, major employers, nonprofits all designed to help workers get the skills they need and build bridges to the jobs that require them.

So even though our economy is getting stronger, it’s not going to be enough until those gains translate into better opportunities for ordinary folks like Erick who have the skills, have the desire, just need a chance.  We’re going to keep on knocking down barriers to re-employment so more of the nearly 4 million long-term unemployed Americans can regain the stability and security that a good job brings their families — and, by the way, so that they have more money to spend on local businesses, which will lift the entire economy up and create a virtuous cycle instead of a negative one.

We’re going to keep encouraging employers to welcome all applicants.  You never know who is going to have the next great idea to grow your business.  We’re going to keep building new ladders of opportunity for every American to climb into the middle class.  It’s good for our economy, but it’s also good for our people.

We are stronger, as I said on Tuesday, when America fields a full team.  So I just want to thank all the businesses here for your commitments; all the nonprofits here for the work that you’re already doing on the ground.  We are going to scale this up.  We are going to make this happen.  Most of all, I want to thank Erick and some of the other folks who have experienced success — because as I told Erick before we came out here, when folks see him doing well, that gives them hope, and it reminds us that we can’t afford to let such incredible talent be wasting away.  We’ve got to get those folks back in the game, and that’s what I’m committed to doing and I know Joe is, as well.



So thank you very much.  I’m now going to sign our new federal commitment.  I appreciate you.  And after this I think you guys still have some more work to do.  (Applause.)

11:57 A.M. EST


President Barack Obama signs a memorandum directing the federal government not to discriminate against those long-term unemployed workers in its own hiring practices

President Barack Obama signs a memorandum directing the federal government not to discriminate against those long-term unemployed workers in its own hiring practices


Don Thompson, President and CEO, McDonald’s Corporation, Greg Brown, Chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions, Inc., Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama, Anne Zimmerman, President, Zimmerman & Co., CPAs, Inc. & Zimcom Internet Solutions, Gene Sperling, and Joe Echevarria, CEO, Deloitte LLP, gather in the State Dining Room of the White House

Don Thompson, President and CEO, McDonald’s Corporation, Greg Brown, Chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions, Inc., Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama, Anne Zimmerman, President, Zimmerman & Co., CPAs, Inc. & Zimcom Internet Solutions, Gene Sperling, and Joe Echevarria, CEO, Deloitte LLP, gather in the State Dining Room of the White House


And while Barack holds down the House in D.C., our amazing First Lady is hitting the fundraising trail in San Fran. with Representative Nancy Pelosi & friends.

And while Barack holds down the House in D.C., our amazing First Lady is hitting the fundraising trail in San Fran with Representative Nancy Pelosi & friends.


cropped-b4peace-header obamabottomheader

How To Move On (intro.)

Originally posted on Jessie Jeanine:

I received another email recently and it pulled at my heart-strings in such a way that I wept. Another beautiful soul with so many questions… another survivor looking for answers…


While trying to respond to this email, I realized that I have yet to directly answer some things or put them to paper. It made me wonder if perhaps that is why I also struggle with trying to help people via email. It seems I do well to comfort and ease your pain in person and sure, I can write and speak about my stories now, but how do I teach that to other people? How do I articulate the process that has helped me move on in life in order to help others do the same? Why do I get hung up on this part of things? After all, I am a writer!

Then I felt an old familiar…

View original 379 more words

How To Move On (intro. cont.)

Originally posted on Jessie Jeanine:

(As a continuation of thepreviouspost,
because it was getting too long again
and my thoughts run in all directions…)

As I think about it, my struggle in answering some emails may be where I could improve as a speaker too. When I get invited somewhere, I do not have a plan. There is no blueprint of my story put together and I have no specific direction in mind when I speak. I think that’s why I am more comfortable in settings which allow for two-way dialogue. You can be assured that I will recount different aspects of my story, but the lessons and how it ends all depends upon the interaction which takes place, and what type of group I’m speaking with. Whether its leaders of an organization, a congregation, a board of elders, psychologist and therapists, a suicide ward in the hospital, troubled teens at the boys…

View original 299 more words


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 280,107 other followers

%d bloggers like this: