White House Schedule – August 8, 2014
Later in the morning, the President will meet with Secretary of Labor Perez. This meeting in the Roosevelt Room is closed press.
In the afternoon, the President will meet with Secretary of Commerce Pritzker. This meeting in the Roosevelt Room closed press.
White House Schedule – August 8th, 2014
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday August 8th, 2014
DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
FRIDAY AUGUST 8th, 2014
Friday, August 8th 2014 All Times ET
10:00 AM: The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.
11:30 AM: The President will meet with Secretary of Labor Perez, The Roosevelt Room.
12:10 PM: The President will meet with Secretary of Commerce Pritzker, The Roosevelt Room.
The White House, White House Streaming Live
Chart of the Week: Number of Americans Applying for Unemployment Benefits Lowest Since 2006
August 08, 2014
10:13 AM EDT
The economy is getting stronger thanks to the grit and resilience of American workers. Last month, total job growth exceeded 200,000 for the sixth straight month, the first time that’s happened since 1997. In fact, our private sector has added 9.9 million jobs for the last 53 straight months, the longest streak on record.
As the economy moves forward, the number of people who are applying for unemployment insurance is dropping. Just this week, the four-week moving average of initial claims for unemployment benefits hit their lowest level since 2006. And while this series can be volatile from week to week, a look at the longer-term picture shows the progress we have made. Take a look at where that number was during the Great Recession — and where we are now:
This chart shows that the four-week moving average of initial claims — a more accurate measure of unemployment claims than week-to-week data — has fallen to 293,500, the lowest level since February of 2006.
While we are making progress, there is still more work to do. President Obama’s priority continues to be restoring economic security for the middle class — and those working their way up to the middle class — to ensure that every hardworking American has the opportunity to get ahead. The President is committed to working with Congress to continue this momentum, but he won’t wait on Congress to do his job and invest in America’s economic growth.
Check out how the President is using his pen and his phone to create new manufacturing jobs, expand job training, make college more affordable, support equal pay and work flexibility, and strengthen security for America’s middle class.
What Did Barack Do Today™: Signed H.R. 3230, The Veterans’ Access To Care through Choice, Accountability, And Transparency Act Of 2014.
Statements and Releases
U.S. launches first airstrikes in Iraq
US Airstrike Begins: 2 F/A-18 drops 500lb Laser-guided Bombs on ISIS near Erbil, Iraq
Published on Aug 8, 2014
URGENT – Iraq US Airstrike ISIS Details
BREAKING NEWS (CNN) — Two American F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a “mobile artillery piece” used by ISIS at about 6:45 a.m. ET, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said. ISIS was using the artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Irbil, Iraq, where U.S. personnel are located, he said. The commander of U.S. Central Command made the decision to strike under authorization granted him by President Barack Obama, Kirby said.
US Carries Out Airstrike Against ISIS in Iraq
The United States carried out an airstrike against ISIS militants in Iraq today, targeting artillery, the Pentagon’s press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
Kirby said two F/A 18 fighter jets dropped 500 pound laser guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish province. He said the artillery was being “used against Kurdish forces defending Erbil, near US personnel.”
The strike comes one day after President Obama authorized airstrikes in Iraq if necessary.
“We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq,” Obama said.
Obama said there will be no U.S. troops on the ground.
“I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. And so even as we support Iraqis, as they take the flight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq,” Obama said.
It has been nearly three years since U.S. forces left Iraq, three years since Obama announced the war there was over. The last convoy of U.S. soldiers left Iraq in December 2011.
Administration officials believe the Iraqis are best-suited to deal with the threat of ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, over the long term.
“We’re laying down a marker here that even though [ISIS] is not penetrating Erbil, just their presence on the periphery, and the potential threat they pose, could lead us to take action if the targets present themselves,” an official told ABC News.
U.S. forces are conducting a difficult and dangerous humanitarian mission, with three U.S. Air Force cargo jets escorted by two F-18 fighter jets dropping critical supplies. In a race to stop a catastrophe, thousands of families who fled to the top of a mountain in Sinjar now face a worrisome predicament, battling blistering heat, pleading that there is no water or bread. Nearly 20 children have already died.
They are trapped 3,000 feet up with no escape.
Down below, ISIS terrorists have taken over their homes, warning of a slaughter if they return.
The U.S. aircraft dropped 5,300 gallons of water and 8,000 ready-to-eat meals.
Senior administration officials said air drops and humanitarian aid will continue “as we see need,” and the administration expects that need to continue.
The White House believes any action would be consistent with international law, because U.S. input was requested by the Iraqi government. Additionally, the administration believes that the president has the legal authority under the Constitution to act to protect U.S. citizens.
At this point, the United States is not evacuating Americans from Erbil, confident that the consulate is safe, administration officials said.
The Pentagon says two U.S. fighter jets dropped bombs on Islamic militants in Iraq towing artillery outside Irbil near U.S. personnel.
Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says two F/A-18 jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it.
President Barack Obama authorized such airstrikes Thursday when the Islamic state militant group advanced on Irbil, in northeaster Iraq, where U.S. military trainers are stationed.
Earlier Thursday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. military has enough intelligence to clearly single out Islamic militants.
Hagel also said that more than 60 of 72 bundles of food and water airdropped onto the mountain reached the Iraqi religious minorities stranded there.
Police officer recorded criticizing Obama resigns
A central New Jersey police officer who was videotaped making disparaging comments about President Barack Obama and the Constitution has resigned.
Part-time Officer Richard Recine was called to the Helmetta town hall Monday because resident Steve Wronko was seen videotaping inside. Wronko insisted he had a constitutional right to make the recording.
On the tape, the officer says Obama has “decimated” the Constitution and “if he doesn’t follow the Constitution, we don’t have to.”
Recine told Bridgewater’s Courier News on Thursday it was a “stupid statement” and he was being sarcastic.
The 59-year-old Recine is a Democrat. He earned an hourly wage while collecting a $79,000 pension after retiring from the Franklin Police Department in 2006.
Martha’s Vineyard prepares for Obamas’ summer vacation
President Barack Obama and his family are heading to the wealthy island resort of Martha’s Vineyard for a three-week vacation starting Saturday, a near-annual ritual that islanders say is a boon to local businesses even if it comes with added hassles for vacationers during what’s typically the busiest tourist month of the year.
At Big Al’s, a sports memorabilia store in Oak Bluffs, owner Alex McClusky prominently displays “I vacationed with Obama” T-shirts he’s sold since the family’s first visit in 2008.
“The visits have been great for business,” he said. “He’s brought more people down because people want to see him.”
Island businesses capitalize on that.
Mad Martha’s ice cream shop will roll out an Obama-themed flavor in its three locations, as it has in previous years, said owner Patti Roberts. “Barack My World” features coffee ice cream with caramel swirl and macadamia nuts.
At Nancy’s, a popular Oak Bluffs restaurant serving fried clams, lobster rolls and other New England summer staples, owner Joseph Moujabber said he hopes the Obamas’ visit boosts a season that’s been slower than he would have liked.
“It’s nice to have him. Every time he comes to the island, he comes here,” Moujabber said during a lull in an otherwise busy lunchtime this week.
Regular summer residents, many of whom acknowledged they were Obama supporters, said they’ve come to accept the hassles.
“I don’t begrudge them the 10 minutes that I have to wait if they are coming through an intersection or if I can’t get a reservation at a restaurant,” said Lawrence Aber, a New York University professor who has vacationed on the island nearly every year since he and his wife honeymooned here nearly 40 years ago.
Residents and businesses on the island in the heavily Democratic state brush aside criticism Obama has faced for taking a prolonged vacation while the nation faces a number of intractable challenges.
“There’s always going to be a crisis,” Roberts said this week as she opened up the Mad Martha’s on Vineyard Haven’s main street. “It’s not like he’s turning off everything. We’re not a political forum here. We’re here to sell ice cream and make people smile. That’s what vacation should be.”
Some short-term vacationers, though, were less than enthused about the prospect of spending their limited time on the island navigating detours or sitting in traffic.
On Oak Bluffs’ rolling town green overlooking Nantucket Sound, Cara Pearson said she planned her visit in hopes of missing the president altogether. She leaves the day after the Obamas arrive.
“I imagine it would be a little chaotic here,” said Pearson, who works in Washington and said she’s well-acquainted with the presidential motorcade. “It’s just an island. Everything would be gridlocked.”
In Chilmark, on the western part of the island where the Obamas have stayed in and around nearly every summer, residents are breathing a sigh of relief that the president picked a less conspicuous vacation spot than before.
This year, the Obamas are renting a seven-bedroom, 8,100-square-foot house along the island’s Vineyard Sound side, far off the main roads.
Said Chilmark Town Selectman Warren Doty, “They’ll just be another quiet summer visitor.”
PHILIP MARCELO, Associated Press
Small security breach: Toddler squeezes through White House fence.
It’s usually someone jumping over the White House fence that causes Secret Service agents patrolling the grounds to scramble.
But on Thursday night, a toddler passing through slats in the gate caught the eyes of the gun-toting officers who are charged with protecting the president.
Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan says the child was returned to his parents. Neither the boy nor his parents were identified.
Donovan joked that agents were going to wait until the toddler learned to talk to question him about the incident, but says he instead was given a “timeout” and was returned to his parents.
From ASSOCIATED PRESS
Reuters: New Medicaid enrollments top 7 million under Obamacare
More than seven million Americans have gained health coverage through government programs including Medicaid since enrollment in Obamacare health insurance was launched October 1, the U.S. administration said on Friday.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said 7.2 million new participants in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by June brought overall Medicaid enrollment to 66 million people.
The enrollees include uninsured Americans who gained coverage through traditional Medicaid, as well as a special Medicaid expansion in 26 of the 50 U.S. states under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
…. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that 10.3 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage through the marketplaces and Medicaid, resulting in a 5.2 percentage point drop in the U.S. uninsured rate since last September.