New York Times Bill Clinton Interview: Bill Clinton Says He Had It Worse Than Barack Obama, Yet “HE” Got Things Done.


 

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President Clinton in 1998. He and his aides have compared his effectiveness during his time in office versus President Obama’s. Credit J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

President Clinton in 1998. He and his aides have compared his effectiveness during his time in office versus President Obama’s. Credit J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

I will refrain from commenting on this garbage until the end of this New York Times piece…….

From The New York Times POLITICS:

 

Toxic Partisanship? Bill Clinton Says He Had It Worse, Yet Got Things Done

 

President Obama heads into midterm elections in which he may face crushing losses. He has been spurned by his own party, whose candidates do not even want to be seen with him. The president’s supporters say the toxic atmosphere in Washington has made it impossible for Mr. Obama to succeed.

But there is a counter view being offered by a former Democratic president that as far as personal attacks go, he, Bill Clinton, had it worse. “Nobody’s accused him of murder yet, as far as I know. I mean, it was pretty rough back then,” Mr. Clinton said last month in an interview aired by PBS, when asked about the partisan climate facing Mr. Obama.

Whatever Mr. Clinton’s motivations, his comments, which his former aides frequently refer to when the topic comes up, do not permit Mr. Obama to excuse his legislative setbacks by simply citing hyper-partisanship. As one former White House aide to Mr. Clinton put it: “They impeached our guy.”

The tumult of the Clinton years — including conspiracy theories about the death of Vincent W. Foster Jr., a deputy White House counsel and friend of the Clintons’ from Arkansas who committed suicide in 1993, the investigation into Whitewater, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and impeachment — has come back as Hillary Rodham Clinton inches toward a run for president in 2016.

 

When asked last month what the single biggest misconception about his presidency was, Mr. Clinton told Charlie Rose on PBS, “I think that most people underappreciate the level of extreme partisanship that took hold in ’94.”

Twenty years later, Mr. Clinton has devoted much of his energy to campaigning for Democrats who do not want to be associated with Mr. Obama. At frequent campaign stops across the country, the former president does not talk about who had it worse, but instead emphasizes that polarization and an inability to work together are the cause of the country’s problems.

“Every place in the world people take the time to work together, good things are happening,” Mr. Clinton said this week at a campaign stop in Hazard, Ky., for the Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. “Every place in the world where people spend all their time fighting each other and telling everybody how sorry they are, bad things happen.”

If Mr. Clinton does not explain on the campaign trail how bad things were for him, his Democratic supporters do.

“Everyone looks at Clinton in this hazy glow of, ‘He’s so wonderful,’ ” said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic strategist. “But when he was president, boy, were there a lot of people who went after him in a very personal, some would say dirty, way.”

Even Mr. Clinton’s old rival, Newt Gingrich, a former Republican speaker of the House, said people had a gauzy view of the Clinton years. “Everyone is doing the, ‘Gee, Newt and Bill got things done, why can’t Obama get anything done?’ routine,” Mr. Gingrich said. “Maybe it’s driving Bill nuts.”

The underlying implication is that Mr. Obama does not have it so rough. Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Clinton criticize the current president for being less able or willing than his Democratic predecessor to woo congressional Republicans.

 

Bill Clinton Talks About Partisanship

Mr. Clinton talked to Charlie Rose of PBS about the level of partisanship during his presidency compared with what President Obama is facing now.

Publish DateOctober 24, 2014. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

 

Trent Lott, the Mississippi Republican who served as Senate majority leader from 1996 to 2001, said Mr. Clinton was “affable” and “approachable,” even toward his political opponents.

“You could talk to him,” Mr. Lott said. “He was also willing to make a deal for the good of the country.” In contrast, he argued, Mr. Obama “has just walked away” — so if Mr. Clinton even tried to give the current president a pass, it “just won’t sell.”

Congressional Republicans, of course, have also refused to reach across the aisle and work with Mr. Obama the way they did in Mr. Lott’s era. The current Congress is on track to become one of the least legislatively productive in recent history. That is partly because Mr. Obama faces a far more polarized electorate than Mr. Clinton did.

Over the past 20 years, the number of Americans who hold extreme conservative or liberal views has doubled from 10 percent in 1994 to 21 percent in 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. And the middle ground has shrunk, with 39 percent of Americans taking a roughly equal number of liberal and conservative positions, compared with 49 percent in 1994.

Mr. Clinton often talks about this polarization and says that while the partisan gridlock is worse today, and the American electorate is less willing to hear arguments it disagrees with, the attacks he faced were more personal than those Mr. Obama has experienced.

In a 2012 interview with The New York Times, Mr. Clinton mentioned the “murder” conspiracy theory in the 1990s, and said of Mr. Obama’s tenure: “Nobody has tried to bankrupt him with bogus investigations, so it’s not quite as bad. But the political impasse has gone on longer.”

“I will certainly not contradict the president I worked for when he argues that it was even more personal then,” said William A. Galston, a former policy adviser to Mr. Clinton. “But the polarization of our official political institutions and our political parties has become even more acute than in the Clinton days,” he added.

Mr. Clinton in 1996 with the House speaker, Newt Gingrich, left, and the Senate majority leader, Trent Lott. CreditJoe Marquette/Associated Press

 

That argument absolves Mr. Clinton of his own part in the scandals of the 1990s, several historians said. “They’re different situations because there were criminal allegations” against Mr. Clinton, said Ken Gormley, the author of “The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr,”about the investigation led by Kenneth W. Starr.

President Obama has attracted a lot of attacks when it’s hard to point to something exactly he has done that warranted them,” Mr. Gormley added.

Some of the venom directed at Mr. Obama has a racial component that Mr. Clinton, a relatable white Southerner, never had to deal with, said Douglas G. Brinkley, a presidential historian and professor at Rice University. “The Clintons created huge problems of their own making,” Mr. Brinkley added, while “Obama’s problem is that he bullheadedly pushed Obamacare, and he happens to be African-American.”

“You can’t get more personal than questioning a person’s veracity for where he was born,” said Mr. Galston, the former Clinton aide, referring to the “birther” conspiracy theories about Mr. Obama’s birth certificate.

Mr. Clinton’s reminders about how bitter things were in Washington when he was in the White House might not be the best message as Mrs. Clinton eyes an attempt at getting back there, as president herself this time.

Senator Rand Paul, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, has already seized on the Lewinsky scandal as a way to remind voters that the Clinton years were not just “peace and prosperity,” as Mrs. Clinton often characterized her husband’s presidency during her 2008 presidential campaign.

Mr. Clinton is not the only president who weathered harsh attacks. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, called former President George W. Bush a “liar” and a “loser,” and protesters depicted him as Hitler.

“Every president probably thinks he had it worse than all his predecessors,” said Kenneth L. Khachigian, a Republican strategist who served as a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. “But,” he added, “those of us in the Nixon years would have gladly traded places with Bill Clinton’s White House.”

VOTE. “NO”vember 4th, 2014 is 13 Days Away. #RallyWomen


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If YOU decide to stay home and NOT vote on “NO”vember 4th, 2014, Then you have no right to complain, bitch or moan. Sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up.

 

 

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United States Elections, November 4th, 2014

 

Elections in the United States are being held throughout 2014, with the general elections scheduled for Tuesday, November 4, 2014. During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested; along with 38 state and territorial governor ships, 46 state legislatures (except Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia), four territorial legislatures and numerous state and local races.

 

2014 United States elections
Midterm elections
Election day November 4
Senate elections
Seats contested 33 seats of Class II
and various mid-term vacancies
Color coded map of 2014 Senate races
Map of the 2014 Senate races
Light red: Retiring Republican
Dark red: Incumbent Republican
Light blue: Retiring Democrat
Dark blue: Incumbent Democrat
Gray: no election
House elections
Seats contested All 435 seats to the 114th Congress
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested 38
Color coded map of 2014 Gubernatorial races
Map of the 2014 gubernatorial races
Light red: Term-limited or Retiring Republican
Dark red: Incumbent Republican
Light blue: Term-limited or Retiring Democrat
Dark blue: Incumbent Democrat
Green: Incumbent Independent
Gray: no election

 

Issues

One election-year dilemma that faces the Democrats is whether or not President Obama should approve the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline. Tom Steyer, and other environmentalists, are committed to making “climate change a top-tier issue” in the elections with opposition to Keystone XL as “a significant part of that effort.”

 

Other issues include the income gap, net neutrality, and the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as “Obamacare”).

 

According to the political commentator Stuart Rothenberg, the foreign policy crises plaguing the Middle East, Ukraine, and Russia are likely to dampen the public’s mood, hurting the Democratic Party’s chances in the federal elections of 2014

 

Federal elections

Congressional elections

 

Senate elections

All seats in Senate Class II will be up for election. Additionally, special elections will be held to fill vacancies in the other two Senate Classes.

 

House of Representatives elections

All 435 voting seats in the United States House of Representatives will be up for election. Additionally, elections will be held to select the delegates for the District of Columbia and four of the five U.S. territories. The only seat in the House not up for election will be the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, who serves a four-year term.

 

On March 11, there was a special election for Florida’s 13th congressional district.

 

State elections

Gubernatorial elections

Elections will be held for the governorships of 36 of the 50 U.S. states and three U.S. territories.

 

 

Local elections

Numerous elections will be held for officeholders in numerous cities, counties, school boards, special districts and others around the country.

 

Mayoral elections

Various major American cities will hold mayoral elections in 2014, including the following:

 

Mid Term Election Day, “NO”vember 4th, 2014, Is 60 Days Away. Are You Ready To VOTE?

 

Thirty states currently have laws in place requiring voters to show identification at the polls, (11 require photo ID,) according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and more look to be on the way.

 

Since the Supreme Court in June 2013, struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which required certain states to get approval from the federal government on any changes made to voting laws, strict photo ID requirements in Mississippi and Texas no longer face roadblocks, and will likely be implemented in the near future. Alabama, Arkansas, and Virginia will become photo ID states in 2014. And North Carolina’s newly-signed photo ID requirement will go into effect in 2016.

 

Protect YOUR right to vote. Be prepared. Have The RIGHT ID. Know YOUR States Requirements To Legally Vote.

 

Bet ‘Em With The Ballot Box. 

 

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All The Information You Need About The 2013 Mid Term Elections

 

Mid Term Election Day, “NO”vember 4th, 2014, Is 60 Days Away. Are You Ready To VOTE?

 

Next Battle: The “NO”vember 4th, 2014 Mid-Term Elections.

 

Mid Term Election Day November 4th, 2014…15 Months Away. Get Prepared. Barack That Vote!

 

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Sometimes: “Just An Image Says It All™”


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The Last 24™


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From Denver to Austin: “The Bear Is Loose” Again

 

 

President Barack Obama has lunch with Rebekah Erler at Matt's Bar in Minneapolis, Minn., June 26, 2014. Erler is a 36-year-old working wife and mother of two pre-school aged boys who had written the President a letter about economic difficulties. President Barack Obama has lunch with Rebekah Erler at Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis, Minn., June 26, 2014.Erler is a 36-year-old working wife and mother of two pre-school aged boys who had written the President a letter about economic difficulties. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) 

Going all the way back to the early days of the campaign, whenever President Obama shook off his schedule and busted out of the bubble, we would say “the Bear is loose.”

 

Lately, the Bear has been loose a lot, and this week will be no different. The President is hitting the road on a three-day swing to Colorado and Texas, where he will meet with Americans who’ve written him letters and whose stories – their challenges and successes – resonate with folks from across the country.

 

While congressional Republicans continue to block votes on important issues like equal pay and the minimum wage and undertake taxpayer-funded political stunts like Speaker Boehner’s plan to sue the President for doing his job, the President will continue to do everything in his power – with and without Congress – to create economic opportunity for all Americans.

 

The day after the State of the Union, a woman named Alex received a raise, allowing her to pay rent and afford groceries without worry. Alex’s boss was inspired by the President’s call and increased her wage right away. Earlier this year, Alex wrote the President to say “thank you.”

 

Tonight, the President will deliver his reply in person when he meets Alex for dinner in Denver. And tomorrow, she’ll introduce the President before his remarks in Denver.

 

On Thursday in Austin, TX, the President will highlight the actions his Administration has taken – more than 40 since January – to benefit hardworking Americans. From helping to create new manufacturing jobs, to expanding apprenticeships and job training, and from making student loan payments more affordable, to cutting carbon pollution, the President’s used his pen and phone on behalf of folks all across the country.

 

We’ve come a long way since President Obama took office. Thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, we’ve made progress and there’s reason to be optimistic. Last week, our latest jobs report showed that we’ve undergone the fastest job growth in the United States in the first half of the year since 1999, with five consecutive months of job growth over 200,000. Yet we know there’s still much more to do.

 

The President will continue to do his part – focusing on growing our economy from the middle out, not the top down. And he’ll continue to urge Republicans in Congress to join him in working for the folks he hears from every day – Americans like Alex, whom the leaders in Washington were sent to serve.

 

 

White House Schedule – July 8, 2014

 

In the morning, the President will meet with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the White House.  Ahead of the NATO summit in Wales this September, the President looks forward to discussing with the Secretary General the crisis in Ukraine and related reassurance measures for our NATO allies; improving allied defense investment; further work on bolstering NATO’s network of partners; and NATO’s post-2014 non-combat mission in Afghanistan.  The Secretary General’s visit underscores the vital importance the United States places on NATO as the cornerstone of our alliance with Europe.  The Vice President will also attend.  There will be a photojournalist spray at the top of this meeting in the Oval Office.

 

In the afternoon, the President and First Lady will host the Diplomatic Corps Reception in the East Room.  This event is closed press.

 

Later in the afternoon, the President will travel to Denver, Colorado.  The departure from the South Lawn and arrival at Denver International Airport are open press.

 

The President will remain overnight in Denver.

 

All times are Eastern Time (ET)

 

11:00 AM: The President meets with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen; the Vice President also attends

 

12:45 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest

 

2:00 PM: The President and the First Lady host the Diplomatic Corps Reception

 

4:20 PM: The President departs the White House

 

4:35 PM: The President departs Joint Base Andrews

 

7:55 PM: The President arrives Denver, Colorado

 

The President will remain overnight in Denver.

 

 

President Obama Shoots Pool With Gov. Hickenlooper

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A game of pool deserves a pint.

A game of pool deserves a pint.

 

 

 

 

 

The nerve of some asshole, like Rick Perry, to imagine The POTUSA needs to cow-tow to them.

The nerve of some assholes, like Rick Perry, to imagine The POTUSA needs to cow-tow to them.

 

 

RICK PERRY TO BARACK OBAMA: NO SHAKE, BUT YES TO MEETING

 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and President Barack Obama will meet in Texas on Wednesday to discuss the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, a governor’s spokeswoman said Tuesday.

 

“Gov. Perry is pleased that President Obama has accepted his invitation to discuss the humanitarian and national security crises along our southern border, and he looks forward to meeting with the president tomorrow,” spokeswoman Lucy Nashed wrote in an email to POLITICO. Nashed said that the meeting will be in Dallas.

 

White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed the meeting at Tuesday’s press briefing, saying that the administration is “pleased” that the two will have a chance to discuss the border situation on Wednesday.

 

The announcement comes after a back and forth this week between the governor and Obama, who will be in the state for two days this week.

 

Perry declined an official White House offer to greet President Barack Obama when he lands at Austin’s airport Wednesday.

 

“I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, but a quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion regarding the humanitarian and national security crises enveloping the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas,” Perry wrote in a letter on Monday to the president, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “I would instead offer to meet with you at any time during your visit to Texas for a substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue. With the appropriate notice, I am willing to change my schedule to facilitate this request.”

 

FUCK you Rick Perry. The only way you will ever occupy the Oval Office is on a White House Tour.

 

 

‘N*GGER’ OP-ED AUTHOR ON CNN: PEOPLE STILL ‘THINK OF OBAMA AS THE N*GGER’

 

Published on Jul 8, 2014

James Lincoln Collier, author of a controversial op-ed called “The N*gger in the White House,” appeared on CNN Monday to explain why he felt it necessary to title his pro-Obama piece in such an offensive manner. (CNN.7.7.2014)

 

 

 

7/8/14: White House Press Briefing

 

Published on Jul 8, 2014

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

Worse President Ever….What A Day

 

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Discussed the Summit with President Obama (NATO Secretary General’s Blog)

 

 

 

On the Road in the DRC – Dr. Mukwege & Panzi Hospital

 

Published on Jul 8, 2014

Bukavu is home to Panzi Hospital, which has cared for more than 19,000 victims of sexual and gender-based violence, a widespread problem in the DRC affecting millions of Congolese women and children.

 

Dr. Biden met with survivors, heard their stories, and saw firsthand the response services provided to them. She also met with U.S. government partners who are working to prevent and respond to this dire situation.

 

 

 

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Speeches and Remarks – July 8th, 2014

 

Remarks as Prepared by White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region Philip Gordon at the Ha’aretz Israel Conference for Peace

 

 

Statements and Releases – July8th, 2014

 

FACT SHEET: Emergency Supplemental Request to Address the Increase in Child and Adult Migration from Central America in the Rio Grande Valley Areas of the Southwest Border

 

Letter from the President — Regarding Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Request to Address the Increase in Child and Adult Migration from Central America in the Rio Grande Valley Areas of the Southwest Border; and Wildfire Suppression

 

Message to the Congress — Regarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo

 

President Obama Signs New York Disaster Declaration

 

Factsheet on the Democratic Republic of the Congo Executive Order

 

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

 

 

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President Obama Hosts the 2013 Presidents Cup Team

 

Published on Jun 24, 2014

President Obama welcomes the 2013 Presidents Cup Team to the White House and delivers remarks, June 24, 2014.

 

 

 

Working Families Summit: “Career Ladders and Leadership”

 

Published on Jun 23, 2014

Mika Brzezinski moderates the third plenary session at the
White House Summit on Working Families in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014.

 

 

 

Working Families Summit: “A 21st Century Economy that Works for Business and Workers”

 

Published on Jun 23, 2014

Claire Shipman and Katty Kay moderate the second plenary
session at the White House Summit on Working Families in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014.

 

 

 

PBS News Hour For Tuesday, June 24, 2014

 

 

 

SCOTUS Ruling Limits EPA Regulatory Power

 

Published on Jun 24, 2014

Pubic Justice Executive Director Paul Bland and EcoWatch founder Stefanie Spear explain why SCOTUS ruling is being claimed as victory by environmentalists and coal industry alike.

 

 

 

Inside Story – Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram?

 

Uploaded on Nov 8, 2011

After a wave of attacks hit Nigeria, Inside Story asks what motivates the Islamist group’s increasing violence in Africa’s most populous country.

 

 

 

Freedom Summer‘ leaders recall pivotal fight against racism

 

Published on Jun 24, 2014

A new documentary “Freedom Summer” looks back to the deeply segregated Mississippi of 1964, and the young people who came from around the country to lend a hand in the struggle against racism. For a look back at the moment, Gwen Ifill is joined by Freedom Summer coordinator Robert Moses, Freedom Summer volunteer Rita Schwerner Bender, as well as director of the film, Stanley Nelson.

 

 

 

The Road to Freedom Summer — Bob Moses on Reality Asserts Itself (5/8)

 

Published on Jun 23, 2014

Mr. Moses says one of the main ways we get to Freedom Summer is the assassination of Medgar Evers.

 

 

 

SD Republican Party votes to impeach Obama

 

Published on Jun 24, 2014

Impeaching President Barack Obama is a long-standing desire for many, but delegates for the South Dakota Republican Party decided to act instead of merely wish. In a 191-176 vote in favor of impeachment, delegates voiced their approval Saturday for removing from office the 44th president of the United States. Citing what the delegates claim are numerous violations of the oath of office, the resolution calls for Representatives in the House “to initiate impeachment proceedings.” RT’s Ameera David speaks with Robert Burgess, communications director for the South Dakota Republican Party, to learn more about the vote.

 

 

 

6/24/14: White House Press Briefing

 

Published on Jun 24, 2014

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

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Dan Pfeiffer: “POTUS Replies”

 

 

This morning, Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer sent the message below to the White House email list to share the story of Rebekah — a hardworking mom from Minneapolis who wrote the President to share her story, and will meet with him later this week.

Didn’t get the email? Be sure to sign up.


Hi, all –

Every day, the Office of Presidential Correspondence sorts through thousands of letters. Every night, President Obama reads ten of them. Some people write to share what his decisions mean in their daily lives, to talk about the economy, or to ask a question about a policy. Others just write in to say hello.

Each letter is a chance for President Obama to hear directly from folks across the country about the sorts of issues they face every day.

The President makes notes in the margins, and sits down to reply personally. He often sends the letters to the staff as reminder of what we are fighting for or to ask us to follow up on an issue raised in the letter. So when Rebekah, a hardworking mom from Minneapolis, wrote in to share how much harder it’s become to get ahead and do right by her family, you can bet the President set that letter aside for a reply.

But he’s not just doing that. He’s meeting Rebekah in person this Thursday to spend a day in her shoes. Watch President Obama tell her story, and find out why he’s traveling to her town.

 

When the President travels to Minnesota, he’ll launch the first in a series of “day-in-the-life” visits across the country this summer. He’ll spend a day with Rebekah — and he’ll meet with her family and community members to discuss the issues that matter to them, host a town hall, and talk about the steps we need to take as a country to help more Americans like Rebekah get ahead.

I know the President is excited to talk with her — and Americans like her. So all this summer, he’ll meet with folks who’ve written in to share what their lives are like. He’ll be hitting the road and traveling to communities across the country — sitting around diner booths and kitchen tables to talk about the issues that matter to them.

Rebekah’s story is representative of the experiences of millions of Americans: Even though our economy’s made a historic comeback, too many middle-class Americans are still stretched too thin, and there’s more work to do.

Make sure you see Rebekah’s story — and then tune in on Thursday as the President travels to Minnesota.

 

 

A Letter to the President: Rebekah

 

Published on Jun 23, 2014

The President reads a letter from Rebekah, a hardworking mom from Minneapolis who wrote to the President about what she sees, what she thinks needs changing, and her struggle to get ahead. The President chose to highlight Rebekah’s story because it is representative of the experiences of millions of Americans: While our economy’s made a comeback, too many Americans are still stretched too thin and the President knows there’s more work to do.

 

 

 

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Here’s What You Missed: The White House Summit on Working Families

 

 

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the White House Summit on Working Families, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the White House Summit on Working Families, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

Yesterday, the White House, in partnership with the Department of Labor and the Center for American Progress, hosted a Summit on Working Families with the aim of having a national conversation and set a concrete agenda to bring American workplaces into the 21st century.

 

That conversation brought together businesses, economists, labor leaders, legislators, advocates, and working citizens to talk through the very real issues facing the full spectrum of working families — from low-wage workers to executives.

 

And you didn’t have to be in Washington to participate join in. Americans across the country tuned in and raised their voices online.

 

As Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett noted yesterday: “This is a movement, not a moment.” So if you missed the event yesterday, you can still add your voice. Take a look at our recap of yesterday’s Summit, and if you’ve got a story tell — get involved.

 

Read More

 

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Senate Delays Hurting Our National Security

 

 

As the President’s National Security Advisor, I am focused every day on keeping our country secure and our citizens – at home and abroad – safe. But these goals are hindered and our stature abroad is weakened when we are not fielding a full team. That’s why I urge the Senate to let the President’s qualified ambassadorial nominees get to work on behalf of the American people.

Right now, 48 nominees for ambassador are pending and 26 are on the Executive Calendar and eligible for confirmation by the full Senate – 16 of whom are career Foreign Service Officers. Together, all ambassadorial nominees have been waiting an average of 161 days, while those on the Executive Calendar have been waiting an average of 262 days. This is simply too long.

These crucial posts are vacant and American interests are therefore underrepresented. The longer we wait to fill these roles the harder it becomes to maintain our effective American diplomacy.

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Consider:

  • Kuwait borders Iraq and is a vital strategic partner that requires the highest level engagement given the current situation. Yet our post there remains without an ambassador. Now more than ever, it is crucial that our ambassador to the State of Kuwait is confirmed.

 

  • In Africa, a quarter of our ambassadors are awaiting Senate confirmation. And in combating regional instability and serious challenges such as Boko Haram, key partners including Niger, Cameroon, and Mauritania – as well as our delegation to the African Union – need ambassadors in place now. And with the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit planned for later this summer, it’s crucial that we display our commitment to partnering with leaders from across the continent for the good of Africa and the United States.

 

  • ASEAN will play a crucial role in the East Asia Summit in November 2014, which the President will attend. Substantively and organizationally, we need an ambassador in place to lay the groundwork for a successful Summit. We need a leading voice in our seat at the ASEAN table as tensions in the region have escalated surrounding China’s actions in the South China Sea.

These are only a few of many reasons it is critical to our national security that America fields a full team in our global engagement. The qualified individuals nominated to serve our country need to be confirmed without delay and allowed to do their important work leading our complex and vital interagency teams that are working to protect American interests around the world.

While there is a potential path to confirmation without bipartisan support, our nation’s security is stronger when we act together, and so I call on all members of the Senate to agree to confirm these nominees today so we can get them in place now.

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Sylvia Mathews Burwell Sworn In as the New HHS Secretary

 

 

Vice President Joe Biden swears in Sylvia Matthews Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human ServicesVice President Joe Biden swears in Sylvia Mathews Burwell, as Secretary of Health and Human Services, with her husband Stephen holding the bible, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. June 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

 

This afternoon, the Vice President ceremonially swore in Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services.

On June 5, Secretary Burwell was confirmed by a strong, bipartisan majority of Senators. In a statement that day, President Obama commended the Senate and reiterated his support for Secretary Burwell as a proven manager:

 

I applaud the strong, bipartisan majority of Senators who today confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell as America’s next Secretary of Health and Human Services. Sylvia is a proven manager who knows how to deliver results, and over her career she has built deep relationships with Democrats and Republicans alike. I’m confident Sylvia’s unparalleled experience will serve her well in her new role as she works to ensure the safety of our food and drug supply, protect our nation from outbreaks or bioterror attacks, keep America at the forefront of medical research, and make sure every American has access to quality, affordable healthcare.

 


 

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Related Topics: Health Care

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President Obama Joins a Roundtable Discussion at the Working Families Summit

June 23, 2014 | 1:42 | Public Domain

 

President Obama participates in a roundtable discussion at the White House Summit on Working Families in Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

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Speeches and Remarks

Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice at the White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights

 

 

Dr. Jill Biden, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and U.S. Ambassador Catherine Russell to Travel to Africa

Dr. Jill Biden will travel to Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone from June 30 – July 7, 2014. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Catherine Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, will also travel with Dr. Biden.

 

During their travel, Dr. Biden, Administrator Shah, and Ambassador Russell will highlight how girls’ education and women’s participation in government, the economy, and civil society can accelerate economic development, improve health and educational outcomes, strengthen democratic governance, and foster peace and security. These themes will also be woven throughout the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit held in Washington, D.C. in early August.

 

Additional details about the trip are forthcoming.

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Statements and Releases

FACT SHEET: Advancing The Human Rights Of LGBT Persons Globally

Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice at the White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights

It’s great to be here, and particularly great to see such a wonderful collection of faith leaders, human rights activists, private sector representatives and colleagues in government all in one place.  Protecting and upholding human rights, especially for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters, is work to which we all are called, so thank you, thank you so much for joining us here today.

 

The inexhaustible pursuit of equality, the drive to expand opportunity, the unshakeable conviction that human dignity and human rights are the natural endowment of all humankind—these are qualities that are fundamental to our American character.  For many Americans, they are also essential to our personal story.  I would not be standing here today if those who came before me had not pried open doors that had long been shut to people who look like me.  So, I feel a responsibility and a personal passion to help others enjoy the same opportunities that I have been blessed to receive.  It’s what drives me as a public servant and as a mother, because I do not want my children, or anyone else’s, to have their life choices limited by how they look, who they worship, or whom they love.

 

Universal human rights are not bestowed by governments or powerful majorities, they are God’s gift and the birth right of all people.  They belong to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women as surely as they belong to anyone in the human family.  As President Obama has said so eloquently, “If we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

 

It offends our common humanity when men or women anywhere in the world are beaten or abused, or when individuals anywhere have their rights restricted because of who they are.  And, it doesn’t just harm those who are targeted.  It rends the bonds that knit society together.  Trust recedes; suspicion spreads.  Entire countries are deprived of vital contributions from citizens in minority groups.

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Presidential Actions

Presidential Memorandum — Delegation of Reporting Functions Specified in Section 1206(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

 

Presidential Memorandum — Enhancing Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Program

 

 

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