The MilitantNegro™ Potpourri


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President Obama Guidance & Schedule Sept. 20, 21, 2014 At Camp David

 

President Barack Obama is spending the weekend at Camp David.

 

On Saturday, the President has no public events scheduled and will remain overnight in Camp David with the First Family.

 

On Sunday, the President will return to the White House.  The arrival of Marine One at Joint Base Andrews and return to the White House will be covered by the in-town travel pool, and there are no public events scheduled.

 

US President Barack Obama holds his first Twitter Town Hall

 

Schedule for the Week of September 22, 2014

 

On Monday, the President will sign America’s Promise Summit Declaration at an event at the White House.

 

On Tuesday, the President and the First Lady will travel to New York City for the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). In the afternoon, the President will deliver remarks at the Climate Summit 2014. Afterward, the President will deliver remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative 2014 Annual Meeting. In the evening, the President will attend a DSCC event. Afterward, the President and First Lady will attend a reception for visiting Heads of State and Government. The President and First Lady will remain overnight in New York City.

 

On Wednesday, the President will address the United Nations General Assembly. The First Lady will also attend. In the afternoon, the President will meet with Sam Kutesa, President of the United Nations General Assembly. Afterward, the President will attend a luncheon hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Later in the afternoon, the President will chair a United Nations Security Council summit on foreign terrorist fighters. Afterward, the President will attend a meeting of the Open Government Partnership. The President and First Lady will remain overnight in New York City.

 

On Thursday, the President will deliver remarks at a United Nations meeting on the Ebola epidemic. In the afternoon, the President and First Lady will return to the White House.

 

On Friday, the President will deliver remarks at the Global Health Security Agenda Summit at the White House.

 

On Saturday, the President will deliver remarks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner in Washington, DC.

 

 

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Weekly Address: The World is United in the Fight Against ISIL

 

“We will use our air power. We will train and equip our partners. We will advise and we will assist. And we’ll lead a broad coalition of nations who have a stake in this fight. This isn’t America vs. ISIL. This is the people of that region vs. ISIL. It’s the world vs ISIL.” —President Obama

 

 

 

Mensaje De La Casa Blanca

 

 

 

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Remarks by The First Lady at a Reach Higher “Prep” Rally

 

Published on Sep 9, 2014

As part of her Reach Higher initiative, the First Lady joined Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on his “Partners in Progress” Back to School Bus Tour event at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta. In 1924, Booker T. Washington High School became the first public high school for African-Americans in the state of Georgia, and Dr. Martin L. King Jr. is among its graduates.

 

 

 

9/19/14: White House Press Briefing Featuring NSA Susan Rice

 

 

 

President Obama & Vice President Biden Speaks at the Launch of the “It’s On Us” Campaign

 

Published on Sep 19, 2014

On September 19, 2014 in the East Room of the White House, President Obama delivered remarks to help launch “It’s On Us,” a campaign to end campus sexual assault.

 

 

 

CNN: White House fence jumper arrested on air

 

Published on Aug 2, 2011

CNN’s John King is interrupted on his live show when the Secret Service arrests a man for jumping the White House fence.

 

 

 

West Wing Week 09/19/14 or, “You guys aren’t normally this quiet are you?””

 

Published on Sep 19, 2014

This week, the President celebrated the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, awarded the Medal of Honor to two American heroes, detailed U.S. efforts to combat the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa at the CDC in Atlanta, spoke to the troops at MacDill Air Force Base about our strategy against ISIL before returning to meet with the Ukraninan President. That’s September 12 to 19 or “You guys aren’t usually this quiet are you?”

 

 

 

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“FLORIDA MASS SHOOTING MUST BE A CALL TO ACTION,” SAYS EVERTYOWN FOR GUN SAFETY AFTER EIGHT PEOPLE ARE KILLED

 

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Tonight’s Murder-Suicide Mass Shooting Killing Six Children and Two Adults in Bell, FL was the 111th since 2009

 

See Everytown’s Full Analysis of Mass Shootings in America Here

 

In response to reports of a murder-suicide where it has been reported that a grandfather with a prior criminal record that should have prohibited him from possessing firearms killed six grandchildren ranging in age from 3 months to 10 years old and his daughter in Bell, FL, Everytown for Gun Safety calls on elected officials pass stronger gun laws. The shooter also reportedly previously killed one of his sons while in illegal possession of a firearm.

 

Employing a widely-used definition of mass shooting that is drawn from the FBI, a recent report from Everytown for Gun Safety provides a comprehensive analysis of incidents in which four or more people were murdered with guns since 2009. Among the findings is the fact that mass shootings have a disproportionate impact on women – whereas women make up only 13 percent of total gun homicide victims, they make up 51 percent of mass shooting victims.

 

STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT, EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this family, which is the latest ravaged by America’s gun violence epidemic. While details are still unfolding, one thing we know for sure is that the best way to prevent mass shootings is to keep dangerous people and domestic abusers from getting guns in the first place. At least 42 percent of mass shooting perpetrators possessed their guns illegally — as this man reportedly did — because they were felons, domestic abusers, or were otherwise prohibited under federal law from having guns. Our goal is saving lives from gun violence and as Americans we should all be able to agree that the way we’ll do that is through better gun laws.”

 

STATEMENT FROM SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER, MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“Like all of us watching this news unfold tonight, my heart breaks for the family and community that now must cope with the loss of six children and a mother today due to gun violence. The tragic story coming out of Bell, Florida, is yet another clarion call to action: gun violence is an American problem that can, and does, effect every town, every day. As Richard Martinez, father of a UCSB shooting victim, said, ‘We don’t have to live this way.’ Our leaders can and must do more — now — to prevent mass shootings in America. Let this horrific shooting result in tangible action, and not simply serve as another painful reminder of the gun violence epidemic that is ravaging our country.”

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND ABOUT THE BELL, FL SHOOTING:
  • A gunman, identified as Don Spirit, reportedly shot and killed his daughter and her six children before killing himself. Spirit was a convicted felon who shot and killed his son in a 2001 hunting accident.
  • The Gilchrest County Sheriff’s office received a 911 call from the gunman at around 4pm today. He made threats to himself and his family.
  • The shooting occurred in the gunman’s residence, but it’s unclear if the victims lived in the home as well.
  • Police had been called to the home in the past for a range of issues, but Sheriff Robert Schultz did not provide specifics. He did confirm that the gunman had a criminal record.
  • The children ranged in age from 3 months to about 10 years old. All the victims likely died before police arrived.
  • Bell is located in Gilchrist County, about 30 miles west of Gainesville. The town has a population of about 350 people
ABOUT EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY

Everytown for Gun Safety is a movement of Americans fighting for common-sense policies that will reduce gun violence and save lives. Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than two million supporters including moms, mayors, survivors, and everyday Americans who are fighting for reforms that respect the Second Amendment and protect people. At the core of Everytown are Mayors Against Illegal Guns, founded in 2006 by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots movement of American mothers founded on the day after Newtown. Learn more atwww.everytown.org and follow us @Everytown

ABOUT MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA

Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to change laws regarding drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to build support for common-sense gun reforms. The nonpartisan grassroots movement of American mothers is demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. Since its inception after the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting, Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and is part of Everytown for Gun Safety along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than two million supporters including moms, mayors, survivors, and everyday Americans who are fighting for reforms that respect the Second Amendment and protect people. For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction or on Twitter at @MomsDemand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Last 24™


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First Lady Michelle Obama visits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

 

Published on Sep 17, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama visits patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Wednesday September 17, 2014.

 

 

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President Obama’s statements on ISIS at MacDill AFB – FULL SPEECH

 

Published on Sep 17, 2014

At MacDill, President Obama reaffirms U.S. combat position.
(AP) TAMPA – Underscoring the multiple challenges facing his administration, President Barack Obama consulted with military officials Wednesday at MacDill Air Force Base about the U.S. counterterrorism campaign against Islamic State militants.

 

Obama met with top officers at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, which oversees U.S. military efforts in the Middle East. Accompanying him were his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Obama was to address Central Command troops, providing him another opportunity to make a case for the air strike campaign he wants to carry out against Islamic State.

 

The President also spoke to troops after meeting with military brass, thanking them for their service.

 

“You play a central role in our combat and counterterrorism efforts,” Obama told the MacDill troops. “Your work is as vital as ever. In an uncertain world, full of breathtaking change, the one constant is American leadership.
“It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists, including the group in Iraq and Syria known as ISIS.”

 

The president says the fight against the Islamic State group cannot be America’s alone and will require a broad coalition.

 

He says some nations will assist the U.S. with airstrikes and others will help train forces.

 

On Tuesday, the top U.S. military officer said American ground troops may be needed to battle the militants if Obama’s current strategy fails.

 

His meeting with top U.S. commanders comes amid newly raised doubts about the ability of the United States to rely on Iraqi forces, Kurds and Syrian opposition fighters to carry out a ground fight against the Islamic State militants and whether U.S. troops might have to play a combat role.

 

It also comes as Congress prepared to vote on Obama’s request for authority to equip and train Syrian opposition fighters whom the administration deems as moderates in the Syrian civil war.

 

Lawmakers in both parties have raised worries that the U.S. might be unable to find enough Syrian rebels who could be trusted to confront the Islamic State or that their numbers would be sufficient against the extremists.

 

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, raised new doubts about Iraq’s role in the fight, telling a small group of reporters traveling with him to Paris that about half of Iraq’s army is incapable of being an effective partner with the U.S. to push the Islamic State back in western and northern Iraq. He said the other half needs to be partially rebuilt with U.S. training and additional equipment.

 

Dempsey told senators Tuesday that if it became necessary for U.S. military advisers to accompany Iraqi troops into combat he might “go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of ground forces.”

 

The White House, however, remained firm about Obama’s view. “What he’s been very specific and precise about is that he will not deploy ground troops in a combat role into Iraq or Syria,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in response to Dempsey’s comments.

 

 

 

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President Obama Talks with First-Graders at Tinker Elementary School

 

Published on Sep 17, 2014

On September 17, 2014, President Obama dropped by a first grade class at Tinker Elementary School in Tampa, Florida.

 

 

 

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Dr. Jill Biden at the International Congress on Vocational & Professional Education & Training

 

Published on Sep 16, 2014

In Winterthur, Switzerland, Dr. Jill Biden speaks on the Obama-Biden Administration’s commitment to higher education and job-training programs to ensure American workers have the skills they need to succeed in the global economy.

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks on Ebola

 

Published on Sep 16, 2014

Speaking at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, President Obama provides an update on the U.S. plan to help combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. September 16, 2014.

 

 

 

We the Geeks: Miss America

 

Streamed live on Sep 17, 2014

Join us Wednesday, September 17th at 3:00 p.m. ET for a special #WeTheGeeks to highlight women and girls in STEM fields with the +Miss America Organization. Hear from the Miss America STEM scholarship winners as they share their stories from crowns to classrooms, personal role models, and advice for the next generation of women in #STEM  → http://wh.gov/ilixP

Got a question? Post it right here on Google+ or tweet it with #WeTheGeeks .

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks at the Congressional Picnic

 

Published on Sep 17, 2014

Preside Obama addresses Members of Congress at the Congressional Picnic at the White House on September 17, 2014.

 

 

 

Invictus Games Dinner

 

Published on Sep 12, 2014

At the Naval Observatory, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden host a dinner for the athletes headed to the Invictus Games in London.

 

 

 

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5 Things to Know: The President Lays Out the U.S. Plan to Degrade and Destroy ISIL

 

 

 

President Obama travelled to Tampa, Florida to speak to service men and women at MacDill Air Force Base about the U.S. strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, a terrorist organization that is killing innocent, unarmed civilians  in both Iraq and Syria. ISIL, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State, is also responsible for the brutal murders of American journalists Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff.

 

“In a world where technology provides a small group of killers with the ability to do terrible harm, it is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists,” he told servicemembers. To effectively do so, the U.S. will execute a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy that will empower the international community and local leaders to decimate these terrorists.

 


“If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

 

Read More

 

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Today Is Constitution Day. Here’s What That Means:

 

On September 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed and adopted the Constitution at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. What exactly does that mean?

 

We’ve got the facts for you, courtesy of the Constitution page at WhiteHouse.gov.

 

What did the Constitution aim to do?

 

As drafted, the Constitution’s purpose was to create a government that had enough power to act on a national level, but without so much power that individuals’ fundamental rights would be at risk.

 

The Constitution accomplished this, in part, by separating the government’s power into three branches, and then including checks and balances on each of those separate powers to make sure no single branch would gain supremacy. Each branch’s powers are spelled out in the Constitution, and the powers not assigned to them are reserved for the states.

 

This was all no coincidence — it was based largely on the experience that the Constitutional delegates had previously had with the King of England and his powerful Parliament.

 

Read More

 

ViolBord

 

Michelle Obama: Malia is driving

 

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WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama disclosed on Wednesday that daughter Malia, who turned 16 on July 4, “just started driving.”

 

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama and the first lady said Malia, their oldest daughter, would be taking driving lessons.  Mrs. Obama said Malia was actually driving during a conversation she had with young patients at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

 

“I think in many ways I’m like any working mom,” Mrs. Obama told the children.

 

“I’ve got to make sure that I do my job and that I try to do it well, but I’ve got to make sure my girls are good.  They’re going to school and I’ve got an open house to go to tomorrow night, and I’ve got to make sure that — Malia just started driving — whew!  I know, that’s scary.  I’ve got to hang out with my husband.  He needs attention, too.  So it’s all a balance, just like your parents.  It’s the same thing.  So you just learn that rhythm.  You got to do it and you’ve got to do it all well.”

 

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U.S. Companies Leading to Reduce Emissions of HFC Climate Pollutants

 

We the Geeks: Miss America

 

New Data Show Early Progress in Expanding Coverage, with More Gains to Come

 

Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance in the United States in 2013

 

A Look Back at Lehman Brothers and Where We Stand Six Years After the Financial Crisis

 

Opening the People’s House

 

Our Comprehensive Response at the Border, By the Numbers

 

Welcoming the Third Class of Presidential Innovation Fellows

 

Here’s What a Medal of Honor Presentation at the White House Looks Like:

 

 

 

Growing Our Economy and Strengthening Our Financial System

 

Dr. Jill Biden Cheers on Team USA at the Invictus Games in London

 

Continuing the Conversation: VAWA at 20

 

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Speeches and Remarks/Statements and Releases

 

Notice to Congress — Terrorism

 

Message from the President on the Extradition Treaty between the US and Chile

 

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

 

Readout of the President’s Meeting with General John Allen, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and Ambassador Brett McGurk, Deputy Special Presidential Envoy

 

Readout of National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice’s Meeting with National Security Office Director Kim Kwan-Jin of the Republic of Korea

 

Statement by the President

 

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Partners with Private Sector on New Commitments to Slash Emissions of Potent Greenhouse Gases

 

FACT SHEET: U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

 

Presidential Nominations and Withdrawal Sent to the Senate

 

Remarks by the President at MacDill Air Force Base

 

Remarks by the President on the Ebola Outbreak

 

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Dr. Jill Biden at the International Congress on Vocational and Professional Education and Training

 

Remarks by the President at Presentation of the Medal of Honor to Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins and Specialist Four Donald Sloat

 

Remarks by the President at a DSCC Event

 

Remarks by the President at the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary Event

 

It's Raining Videos™

It’s Raining Videos™

 

Reaction To Women Abusing Men In Public

 

 

 

WWYD? – Women Being Violently Abused By Their Boyfriends In Public!

 

 

 

WWYD? – Beaten Woman Enters The Diner With Her Physically Abusive Boyfriend..Where’s The Mace??

 

 

 

WWYD? – A White Preppy & Ghetto Boyfriend Attacking/Abusing His Girlfriend In Public!!

 

 

 

Interracial Couple Arguing: Would You Intervene?

 

 

 

What would you do – Domestic violence – Boyfriend abusing his girlfriend in public

 

 

 

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The MilitantNegro Potpourri™


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Charles Barkley on Peterson: ‘We all spanked our kids’…BUT we didn’t ALL break the skin Charles, or leave bruises. Remember your ad that you’re no role model? You are right, so shut the hell up.

Charles Barkley on NFL Today with Jim Rome | LIVE 9-14-14

Charles Barkley defended Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and shared sentiments on former Ravens running back Ray Rice’s case during an interview with Jim Rome onThe NFL Today Show Sunday.

Barkley expressed optimism on Rice’s case, hoping that his mistake would help raise awareness on domestic violence. Rome then asked the former NBA player for his thoughts on Peterson’s indictment for child abuse.

Barkley said that he understands the outrage towards the football player but added that if child abuse charges were formalized against Peterson, “every black parent in the South is going to be in jail.”

Rome vehemently disagreed with Barkley’s thoughts, saying, “It doesn’t matter where you’re from: Right is right and wrong is wrong.”

“I don’t believe that because, listen, we spank kids in the South,” Barkley replied. “I think the question about did Adrian Peterson go overboard…. Every black parent in my neighborhood in the South would be in trouble or in jail under those circumstances.”

Rome maintained that there is a big difference between child discipline and child abuse, to which Barkley said this was acceptable, saying that he went through pretty much the same thing when he was a child.

“I’ve had many welts on my legs. I’ve gotten beat with switches,” Barkley said. “But as far as being from the South, we all spanked our kids.”

He also added that he and his brothers were constantly spanked growing up.

He then ended the conversation by saying that people need to really be careful in teaching other parents how to discipline their children.

Peterson is alleged to have beat his son with a tree branch last May in Texas, after the boy pushed one of his children. He was recently indicted by a grand jury for reckless or negligent injury to a child, concluding that the use of a switch to repeatedly hit his son was a form of unreasonable discipline.

The incident left his four-year-old son with several bruises and open wounds, which were documented in photographs.

If found guilty, Peterson could face $10,000 in fines and two years in prison.

Asking this dumbass his opinion of most anything not related to eating or saying stupid shit, is like asking Ike Turner his thoughts on domestic abuse. EPIC Failure Jim Rome.

ViolBord

Posted By: Everytown for Gun Safety (campaign leader)

Friends –

Volunteers from Everytown and Moms Demand Action are getting ready to deliver petition signatures to Kroger-owned stores across the country.

The company’s execs hope we’ll just go away, but you and I know better. 

Together we’re going to raise the volume on this campaign and demand that Kroger change its dangerous policy that lets customers openly carry loaded guns in its stores. We’ve almost reached our first round goal of 250,000 signatures — and once we do, we’ll deliver the petitions to Kroger.

Can you help us reach our goal by adding your name to the Groceries, Not Guns petition today?

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More than 150,000 people have already signed the petition asking Kroger to stop allowing the open carry of guns in their stores. The message is simple: We deserve to feel safe where we shop and dine.

Sign the petition for safer stores — and we’ll deliver it once we reach our goal of 250,000 signatures.

We’re going to keep the pressure on Kroger until they join the list of major companies with Gun Sense, like Starbucks, Panera, Chipotle, Target and more who’ve stopped letting people openly carry guns in stores.

Thanks for adding your name,

Shannon Watts
Founder
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

ViolBord

Today’s White House Schedule

All times are Eastern Time (ET)

9:15 AM: The President meets with Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL General John Allen and Deputy Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk; The Vice President also attends.

12:20 PM: The President arrives Joint Base Andrews.

12:25 AM: The President departs Joint Base Andrews.

1:30 PM: The Vice President delivers remarks at a conference marking the 40th Anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation WATCH LIVE.

1:55 PM: The President arrives Atlanta, Georgia.

2:35 PM: The President participates in a briefing at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

3:25 PM: The President meets with Emory University doctors and healthcare professionals.

4:05 PM: The President delivers remarks WATCH LIVE.

5:35 PM: The President departs Atlanta, Georgia.

6:50 PM: The President arrives Tampa, Florida.

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The White House Week Ahead

On Tuesday, the President will travel to Atlanta, GA to visit the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he will receive a briefing on the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, discuss the U.S. response and thank the scientists, doctors and health care workers helping those affected by disease at home and around the world. The President will also receive an updated on the respiratory illness reported in several states in the Midwest.

In the evening, the President will travel to Tampa, FL, where he will remain overnight.

On Wednesday, the President will visit U.S. Central Command at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL.  CENTCOM’s area of responsibility includes 20 countries in the Middle East and Central and South Asia, including Iraq and Syria. The President will receive a briefing from his top commanders at CENTCOM, and thank the men and women who will partner with others in the region to carry out the President’s strategy to degrade and defeat ISIL.

In the afternoon, he will return to Washington, DC.

In the evening, the President will host a picnic for Members of Congress at the White House.

On Thursday morning the President will participate in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony in the Oval Office. At this event, the President will receive the credentials from foreign Ambassadors recently posted in Washington. The presentation of credentials is a traditional ceremony that marks the formal beginning of an Ambassador’s service in Washington.

In the afternoon, the President will host President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine at the White House. The visit will highlight the United States’ firm commitment to stand with Ukraine as it pursues liberal democracy, stability, and prosperity. President Obama looks forward to discussing with President Poroshenko efforts to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine as well as our continued support for Ukraine’s struggle to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In the evening, the President will attend a DNC event in Washington, DC.

On Friday, the President will participate in an event with the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, DC.

ViolBord

Racism Does NOT Exist In A Post Racial AmeriKKKa….

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1. Was Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson justified in shooting Michael Brown?
Whites: Yes (62%)
Blacks: No (65%)

2. Who is most responsible for the violence in Ferguson after Michael Brown’s death?
46 percent of whites blame organized street gangs for the looting and chaos that gripped Ferguson for days after the shooting. Blacks blame law enforcement and community activists, both with 27 percent. Only 7 percent of whites said law enforcement was to blame.

3. Was Michael Brown targeted by Officer Darren Wilson because of his race?
Whites: No (77 %)
Blacks: Yes (64%)

4. Should Officer Darren Wilson be arrested and charged with a crime?
Whites: No (72%)
Blacks: Yes (71%)

5. Can Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch fairly prosecute the criminal case against Officer Darren Wilson?
Whites: Yes (71%)
Blacks: No (60%)

Is any one surprised that the county prosecutor, Attorney McCulloch, has been reelected to his post for decades by the county’s majority-white voting base, while black community leaders have organized protests, boycotts and a highway shutdown to get him thrown off the case? What #Ferguson residents need to do is get off their lazy asses AND VOTE ON “NO”vember 4th, Beat ‘Em With The Ballot Box.

6. Do police target black people because of their race?
White: No (61%)
Black: Yes (70%)

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Read this entire study at Ferguson Public Opinion

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The Amazing ObamaCARES News Buried Inside A 283-Page Medicare Report.


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The amazing news buried inside a 283-page Medicare report

 

From VOX.com  By 

 

This is arguably the most unexpected piece of news in the new Medicare Trustees report: the government’s hospital insurance program might be spending less money to cover more beneficiaries than it did a year ago.

 

Tele-consultation between the neurology department in Besancon hospital, France and A&E in Dole hospital, France. Dole hospital doesn't have a neurology department which makes detecting a CVA a difficult task. Telemedicine allows A&E doctors at Dole

 

Medicare’s hospital insurance program — known to wonks as Medicare Part A — spent $266.8 billion covering 50.3 million people in 2012. In 2013, the the same program spent $266.2 billion to cover 51.9 million people. These figures come from Table II B.1 in the 2012 and 2013 reports.

 

Medicare’s hospital insurance program is gigantic; it spends more money in a given year than the entire state of Wisconsin. In that context, $600 million is not much more than a rounding error. And some senior administration officials I spoke with cautioned against reading too much into these particular figures; receipts for services rendered in 2013, for example, might trickle after the year has ended.

 

But what’s definitely clear — and what’s driving this trend — is that Medicare is spending significantly less per person than they did two years ago. And this report expects that trend to continue for another two years going forward.

 

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By 2015, the Medicare Trustees’ Report projects that the program will spend less per person on hospital care than it did in 2008. This doesn’t happen much in health care: not just slower growth, but the actual dollar amount spent on a given type of care dropping.

 

These figures only represent the hospital insurance part of Medicare (this is Medicare Part A). The government insurance program has separate programs for doctor visits (Medicare Part B) and prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D).

 

But even when you look at the overall picture, it generally looks pretty good: per-person Medicare spending has grown by an average of 0.8 percent since 2009. That’s a lot slower than the rest of the economy, which has grown at an average 3.1 percent rate. Between 2012 and 2013, it was even slower: Medicare’s per person costs stayed exactly the same.

 

As Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell put it at a press briefing today, “that is a growth rate of 0 percent.”

 

As to why this is happening, that’s the big question. There has been an overall slowdown in health care spending, some of which is likely due to the recession: when people have less money to spend, they don’t buy as many medical services.

 

But Medicare beneficiaries should be somewhat insulated from the economy. They don’t lose insurance coverage during economic downturns, for example, as many who lose their jobs do. Many live on a more fixed income, too.

 

Its certainly possible that the overall economic climate might have impacted seniors’ decisions about health care. And its possible the health care law, and its changes to the Medicare system (this report estimates there are 165 of them) have had an impact as well.

 

The Affordable Care Act, for example, penalizes preventable readmissions — times when seniors turn up at the hospital a second time after something goes wrong during their first visit. Readmissions have been falling pretty steadily for the last few years, and those reductions could be showing up in the lower per-person spending.

 

readmission_rates

 

 

Last, the downward shift in hospital spending could just reflect larger trends in how doctors deliver medicine. As new innovations happen, procedures that used to be more invasive — and require a hospital stay — improve, become easier and shift into an inpatient setting, or can be treated with prescription drugs. You see that change below, with hospital care, since the early 1980s, becoming a slightly smaller portion of the country’s overall medical bill.

 

healthcare3

 

(California Healthcare Foundation)

 

Overall, this report suggests a pretty positive trend for Medicare spending — it just doesn’t totally explain the forces that are driving it.

 

CARD 6 OF 15 LAUNCH CARDS

How much of health-care spending is wasteful?

A lot: about one-third of all health-care spending — $785 billion — goes to things that aren’t making us any healthier, according to a massive Institute of Medicine study published in 2012.

 

Most of the waste comes from the way the United States delivers medical care, with a fragmented system that delivers a lot of care that isn’t needed. The IOM estimates that we spend about $210 billion on unnecessary care, with doctors delivering care that isn’t recommended by medical guidelines. Unnecessary care can be harmful to patients, too, especially when it involves surgical procedures that didn’t need to happen.

 

Administrative costs are another huge driver of wasteful spending in the United States. Every doctor typically takes in payments from numerous health insurers, and need to employ lots of billing staff to handle the deluge of paperwork. The average doctor in the United States spends $82,975 dealing with insurers each year.

 

Last but not least, the American health-care system tends to have much higher prices than other countries. Most developed countries have some form of government rate-setting in health care, where bureaucrats set a specific price for any given medical treatment. The United States doesn’t have that — and also has thousands of health insurance plans, each negotiating their own price with doctors and hospitals. This helps explain why an appendectomy costs $8,156, on average, here — and $4,498 in the Netherlands.

 

 

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An Interview With The President: Barack Obama Talks To The Economist.


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obama

 

AS HE prepares to host a summit in Washington, DC, that will bring together leaders from across Africa, how does Barack Obama see the continent’s future (see article)? Does he feel let down by Vladimir Putin? Could he have designed a more elegant health-care law? And why don’t more business leaders admit that they have lunch with him?

 

In his cabin aboard Air Force One, returning to Washington from Kansas City, where he had been speaking about economic policy, the president talked with John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of The Economist, and Edward Carr, our foreign editor. The prompt for the interview was the Africa summit, but the conversation ranged widely through the emerging world, China and Russia and the principles underlying his foreign policy. It ended with a lengthy riposte to those, including The Economist, who have criticised the White House for its treatment of business. Mr Obama was unusually relaxed and contemplative, buoyed by the recent economic numbers and looking towards his legacy as well as the mid-term elections and his wrangles with Congress.

 

Because the interview took place on board a plane with three people hunched round a microphone, the sound quality is less than perfect. You can listen to edited highlights of the president’s thoughts on Africa, Russia,China, multilateralism and American business, or listen to the full interview here. A full transcript, lightly edited for clarity, is available below.

 

Barack Obama talks to The Economist

 

Published on Aug 2, 2014

An interview with the president. The Economist’s editor-in-chief and foreign editor talked to Barack Obama aboard Air Force One on August 1st, 2014 as he returned to Washington from Kansas City. The conversation ranged widely through the emerging world, China and Russia and the principles underlying his foreign policy. It ended with a lengthy riposte to those, including The Economist, who have criticised the White House for its treatment of business. You can listen to the full interview here or view the transcript via our website: The Economist.

 

 

 

The Economist: Our starting point, on Africa, is we think Africa is the next big emerging opportunity. You don’t have to convince us at all that the narrative has changed, that this is a completely new thing. And we’ve been writing about that a lot. But it strikes me that in Africa you have an opportunity. You have Lagos, an amazing place, full of entrepreneurs, but you also have northern Nigeria, where you’ve got threats aplenty. I look back at American foreign policy in the past—at emerging Asia. Asia came out, but America really guided it—Kissinger went to China, he helped move it. Do you think America is up for Africa? Do you think America is able to guide it through the next period?

 

Barack Obama: I think America is not going to do it alone, but I think America can be central in moving Africa into the next stage of growth and integrating it into the world economy in a way in which it’s benefitting the people of Africa and it’s not just a source of natural resources.

 

And there are a couple of reasons why I think America can be central in this process. First of all, American companies continue to be an enormous force in the global economy, and in talking to US companies, there is a real recognition of opportunity there. Secondly, I do think that the American traditions of transparency, accountability, rule of law, property rights are ingredients that are critical to unlocking Africa’s future. Third, America was, and continues to be, an economy based on ideas, and as we move deeper into the 21st century, our emphasis on developing human capital is something that Africa very much wants and we’re good at it.

 

And finally, what’s fascinating about African development is the opportunities that they have to leapfrog certain technologies and skip certain phases of development, and we are very good at the technologies that allow countries to potentially leapfrog development. So a classic example being in the telecommunications sector. We invented smartphones and there are smartphones everywhere in Africa.

 

The Economist: They’re very good at doing mobile money, though, aren’t they? They’re much better at banking than—

 

Mr Obama: Well, when we were out the last time—I started in Senegal during my tour, and talking to small farmers about how they’re now getting weather reports, market reports, information on the latest seed technologies, all through their smartphone—those are the kinds of things that we excel at. And to meet a woman who started off with a small plot, who’s able to leverage that into a thriving—still small, but profitable operation, those are the kinds of things that I think we can do better than just about anybody else.

 

The Economist: Your second point about what the US has to bring in, in terms of governance—of course, one of the big factors in Africa and the economy’s emergence has been Chinese investment. And they bring a different model. They don’t have governence. Is that something that—on the other hand, is that a problem for you? Is that something that you need to confront, or is—actually, at this stage, just the capital and the foreign direct investment all that really matters?

 

Mr Obama: My view is the more the merrier. When I was in Africa, the question of China often came up, and my attitude was every country that sees investment opportunities and is willing to partner with African countries should be welcomed. The caution is to make sure that African governments negotiate a good deal with whoever they’re partnering with. And that is true whether it’s the United States; that’s true whether it’s China.

 

And I do think that China has certain capacity, for example, to build infrastructure in Africa that’s critical. They’ve got a lot of capital and they may be less constrained than the United States is fiscally in helping roads get built and bridges and ports. On the other hand, China obviously has a need for natural resources that colours their investments in a way that’s less true for the United States.

 

And so my advice to African leaders is to make sure that if, in fact, China is putting in roads and bridges, number one, that they’re hiring African workers; number two, that the roads don’t just lead from the mine to the port to Shanghai, but that there’s an ability for the African governments to shape how this infrastructure is going to benefit them in the long term.

 

And one of the interesting things we talked about at what was then a G8 summit—the one in Northern Ireland—was how the G7 countries could assist African governments who do have natural resources to build in transparency mechanisms that ensured any infrastructure and any architecture for extraction, in fact, redounded to the benefit of the populations.

 

The Economist: The other advantage the Chinese have is they don’t have Congress. Well, they have a congress but it’s somehow more compliant, to use your word this morning. We could both agree that one of the great things would be to have more free trade in Africa if you could push people. But you face the danger that Congress may give up on the Export-Import Bank and may also get in the way of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). These could frustrate your policy.

 

Mr Obama: There’s no doubt that—

 

The Economist: You’d rather be a dictator. (Laughter.)

 

Mr Obama: Let’s just make sure that we note that that was not my quote. (Laughter.)

 

There is no doubt that a thread has emerged in the Republican Party of anti-globalisation that runs contrary to the party’s traditional support for free trade. How the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) became targets for Tea Party wrath is a little strange to me. But I do think there remains a consensus within the American business community that ultimately we benefit from trade. I am confident that we can get AGOA reauthorised and refined, given the lessons learned from the first round of AGOA. And the truth is that the amount of trade between the United States and Africa is so small relative to our overall economy that in no way should it be perceived as a threat.

 

I am more concerned about the prospect, for example, that Ex-Im was not reauthorised because I think it will hurt US companies. I’m less concerned about its impact on Africa because I guarantee you that there will be German companies and Chinese companies and Indian companies who rush to fill that void. So when you’re talking about a continent with six of the ten fastest-growing economies, we would be cutting off our nose to spite our face to not be engaged and not to encourage strong trade relations. And the business community understands that.

 

Now, one thing that I want to make sure we emphasise, that multilateral institutions emphasise, and that African governments emphasise is not just trade with the advanced economies but intra-African trade. It is easier now to send a shipment of goods from Nairobi to Amsterdam than it is to send those goods to many parts of Africa. And that is an impediment to trade.

 

You mentioned Asia as a model. Part of what Asia was able to do was not simply open up markets to the West for cheaper goods, it was also able to foster homegrown businesses in Asia with regional markets that gave an opportunity for businesses to get better, to develop better products, to in some ways avoid competition on the global scale right away. Essentially, you can operate off-Broadway before you open the show on Broadway.

 

And so the more we can do to also encourage intra-African trade, the better. And we’re experimenting with that with the East Africa Trade Initiative that we are helping Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and other countries move forward on—synchronising their regulatory schemes, reducing some of the bureaucracy and paperwork between borders, planning for joint infrastructure, planning for joint power generation.

 

We’re really excited about Power Africa as a potential transformative effort—the idea that we can double the amount of electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, which can transform everything from businesses to schools.

 

And there are a whole bunch of different models for generating power. In some cases, particularly in rural areas, if we’re building a small power plant, the key is going to be making sure that Kenya and Tanzania, for example, have some sort of cooperative agreement, so that like the Tennessee Valley Authority, it’s helping a region and you’ve got enough customers to justify the economics of the investment. That’s the kind of effort that, again, I think America can play a unique role in.

 

The Economist: The other bit where it could play a unique role is security. I mean, you are the main provider. I’ve seen a couple of European leaders recently who’ve said that they think that you see African security as their area, as their backyard, they should be dealing with it. Is that fair or is that the wrong way to depict it? That you would be prepared to expend blood and treasure to help create this new Africa in the same way as America did for Asia?

 

Mr Obama: It’s interesting. The US security presence is always a source of ambivalence everywhere in the world. If we’re not there, people think we’re neglecting them. If we’re there, then they think we’re militarising a region. Right now I think we got it about right. Our theory is that we very much need to partner with African countries, first and foremost, and regional African organisations.

 

And one of the main topics in the summit will be finding ways to strengthen peacekeeping and conflict-resolution efforts by Africans. There are certain countries that carry a very heavy load when it comes to peacekeeping and conflict resolution. And for us to engage in the African Union and ECOWAS to find ways to improve their capabilities so that they are able to police their own neighbourhood can make a huge difference.

 

We also think that we need to have a much more intentional, explicit plan for NATO to engage with African countries and regional organisations, not because the United States is not prepared to invest in security efforts in Africa, but rather to ensure that we are not perceived as trying to dominate the continent. Rather, we want to make sure that we’re seen as a reliable partner. And there are some advantages to some European countries with historical ties being engaged and taking advantage of relationships—

 

The Economist: So France might be able to—

 

Mr Obama: France—the Francophone countries—obviously is going to be able to do certain things better than we can. And one of the things we want to make sure of, though, is that when the average African thinks about US engagement in Africa, I don’t want them to think that our only interest is avoiding terrorists from spilling out into the world stage. Rather, we want them to see the partnership as comprehensive, and security being one part of our broader agenda.

 

The Economist: Can I push you a bit on that—using Africa as an example for a thing about general foreign policy? You worked really hard on this idea of getting responsible powers to work together. And I suppose as you look back, you might say the two problems you’ve had are, first, dealing with people who aren’t rational or are extremely difficult to deal with—like Mr Putin—or secondly, the problem is allies who aren’t prepared to put stuff in. And South Africa would seem to be emblematic of other new emerging powers. You’ve got South Africa, you’ve got Indonesia, you’ve got India. A lot of things you’ve tried to get them to back, they haven’t. And why do you think that is? Is that a phase they’re going through? What’s changing?

 

Mr Obama: Well, look, there’s no doubt that a robust, interventionist foreign policy on behalf of certain principles, ideals or international rules is not a tradition that most countries embrace. And in the 20th century and in the early stages of the 21st century, the United States continues to be the one indispensable power that is willing to spend blood and treasure on that. And part of my job has been to try to persuade countries that the United States will always shoulder a greater burden than others, but we still cannot do it alone given the complexity and
interconnectedness of today’s world.

 

So when it comes to South Africa, we recognise a suspicion they may have about meddling too much in the affairs of Zimbabwe, for example. But my argument to them would be, ultimately, as a key regional power, if they fail to invest in the kind of international order or regional order that helps ordinary Zimbabweans thrive, then they’re going to have an immigration problem—which they already do. That, in turn, is going to put more pressure on them and their economies. And ultimately, those chickens will come home to roost.

 

I think there’s a recognition that that may be the case, but I think there’s still a worry on the part of many regional powers that if they are too meddlesome then they’re also exposing themselves to criticism from the outside. And so there’s a little bit of a north-south, traditional, non-aligned culture that dates back 20, 30 years that may take some time and may require a new generation of leadership to discard so that they can move forward in a more effective way.

 

The Economist: It’s kind of depressing, because you don’t see those powers, not even regionally, but globally, standing up to clear abuses and unravelling of the norms. And, in fact, you see countries like China creating a BRICS bank, for instance—institutions that seem to be parallel with the system—and potentially putting pressure on the system rather than adding to it and strengthening it. Now, China you can understand. But India, Brazil, South Africa—those are countries that really belong in the system, that benefit from the system.

 

Mr Obama: Well, this is why I say there may be some generational shifts that need to take place. I mean, if you think about a Brazil, an India, a South Africa, much of the leadership in those governments came of age when those countries had very different attitudes towards the global economic system. To their credit, they have made incredible adjustments. If you think about somebody like former Prime Minister Singh of India really dragging this massive, incredibly complicated but incredibly innovative society kicking and screaming into the world marketplace, and below him, though, you’ve got an entire bureaucracy that was trained in thinking that—

 

The Economist: By the British? (Laughter.)

 

Mr Obama:—well, but also that may have been schooled by economists who were experts on dependency theory but not necessarily on how are we going to unleash innovation.

 

The Economist: What’s their incentive to learn?

 

Mr Obama: So there will be time I think for that to happen. Their incentive is that—is what you just identified—they benefit from the global system.

 

I mean, ironically, today, if India, Brazil, Indonesia—these emerging countries are to succeed and to absorb very young populations that are seeing what’s possible through the internet and have ambitions of the sort that their parents and grandparents never had, the only way to meet those expectations is to dive head first into a global system that is organised, that is fair, that is transparent. And that means that these emerging powers have to be partners in underwriting that order.

 

Another way of thinking about it is, is that the post-World War II order was necessarily a creation of the United States. There had been times where the United States took advantage of that post-World War II order to extend the reach of its companies and to extend the reach of its products, but now it really belongs to everybody. It’s an ecosystem that’s been built for everyone.

 

And when we look at something like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for example, yes, we think it’s good for the United States, but we also think it’s good for a country like Vietnam who, in the absence of these kinds of rules, is going to have a very difficult time negotiating with its giant neighbour and getting decent terms of trade. We think it’s going to be good for a country like Malaysia that has an interest in maintaining navigation and freedom of movement in the South China Sea.

 

And I do think that what’s happening in the ASEAN countries and their concerns about the Chinese posture on maritime issues is instructive. You’ve seen many of those countries say, we want great relations with China, we don’t want to have to choose between China and the United States; on the other hand, we don’t want to be bullied just because we’re small.

 

The Economist: Because that is the key issue, whether China ends up inside that system or challenging it. That’s the really big issue of our times, I think.

 

Mr Obama: It is. And I think it’s important for the United States and Europe to continue to welcome China as a full partner in these international norms. It’s important for us to recognise that there are going to be times where there are tensions and conflicts. But I think those are manageable.

 

And it’s my belief that as China shifts its economy away from simply being the low-cost manufacturer of the world to wanting to move up the value chain, then suddenly issues like protecting intellectual property become more relevant to their companies, not just to US companies.

 

One thing I will say about China, though, is you also have to be pretty firm with them, because they will push as hard as they can until they meet resistance. They’re not sentimental, and they are not interested in abstractions. And so simple appeals to international norms are insufficient. There have to be mechanisms both to be tough with them when we think that they’re breaching international norms, but also to show them the potential benefits over the long term. And what is true for China then becomes an analogy for many of the other emerging markets.

 

The Economist: What about the people who are just outright difficult? Russia being the obvious example at the moment. You tried to “reset” with Russia. Angela Merkel spent the whole time telephoning Vladimir Putin. To what extent do you feel let down almost personally by what’s happened?

 

Mr Obama: I don’t feel let down. We had a very productive relationship with President Medvedev. We got a lot of things done that we needed to get done. Russia I think has always had a Janus-like quality, both looking east and west, and I think President Putin represents a deep strain in Russia that is probably harmful to Russia over the long term, but in the short term can be politically popular at home and very troublesome abroad.

 

But I do think it’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything. Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking. And so we have to respond with resolve in what are effectively regional challenges that Russia presents. We have to make sure that they don’t escalate where suddenly nuclear weapons are back in the discussion of foreign policy. And as long as we do that, then I think history is on our side.

Anything on the US economy? I noticed the occasional cover story saying how unfriendly to business we are.

 

The Economist: Yes, tell us about that. We see a lot of business people and they do complain about regulation.

 

Mr Obama: They always complain about regulation. That’s their job. Let’s look at the track record. Let’s look at the facts. Since I have come into office, there’s almost no economic metric by which you couldn’t say that the US economy is better and that corporate bottom lines are better. None.

 

So if, in fact, our policies have produced a record stock market, record corporate profits, 52 months of consecutive job growth, 10m new jobs, the deficit being cut by more than half, an energy sector that’s booming, a clean-energy sector that’s booming, a reduction of carbon pollution greater than the Europeans or any other country, a housing market that has bounced back, and an unemployment rate that is now lower than it was pre-Lehman—I think you’d have to say that we’ve managed the economy pretty well and business has done okay.

 

There are always going to be areas where business does not want to be regulated because regulations are inconvenient.

 

The Economist: When you look at things like Dodd-Frank and health-care reform—both of which we supported in principle—that they could have been much simpler?

 

Mr Obama: Of course. This goes back to the old adage of Churchill—democracy is the worst form of government except for all the alternatives. (Laughter.) It’s messy.

 

And so could we have designed a far more elegant health-care law? Of course. Would I have greatly preferred a blank canvas in which to design financial regulations post-2008 and consolidated agencies and simplified oversight? Absolutely. But the truth of the matter is, is that we saved the financial system. It continues to be extraordinarily profitable. And essentially, what we did was to provide an additional cushion so that if and when people make bad decisions with large sums of money—which they inevitably do—the risks to the system are reduced.

 

And on health care, as messy as the whole process has been, here’s what I know—that we have millions of people [insured] who didn’t have insurance before, and health-care inflation is the lowest it’s been in 50 years, for four consecutive years, corresponding to when we passed the law.

 

So my belief is that if, in fact, we can see a reduction in some of the political temperature around Obamacare or around Dodd-Frank, then it’s an iterative process. We can go back at it and further refine it, learn lessons from things that aren’t working as well, make it simpler, make it better. That does require, though, an attitude on the part of Congress, as well as on the part of the business community, that says you don’t just get 100% of what you want.

 

The business community does have broader responsibilities to the system as a whole. And although the general view today is that the only responsibility that a corporate CEO has is to his shareholders, I think the American people generally sense—

 

The Economist: Do you really think that’s true? Because when I talk to corporate CEOs, that’s one of their complaints. If you ask for a complaint about the White House, they’ll say it is the attitude. Every CEO nowadays is involved in nine different social responsibility things—it’s ingrained in most public—

 

Mr Obama: Well, I think—here’s what’s interesting. There’s a huge gap between the professed values and visions of corporate CEOs and how their lobbyists operate in Washington. And I’ve said this to various CEOs. When they come and they have lunch with me—which they do more often than they probably care to admit (laughter)—and they’ll say, you know what, we really care about the environment, and we really care about education, and we really care about getting immigration reform done—then my challenge to them consistently is, is your lobbyist working as hard on those issues as he or she is on preserving that tax break that you’ve got? And if the answer is no, then you don’t care about it as much as you say.

 

Now, to their credit, I think on an issue like immigration reform, for example, companies did step up. And what they’re discovering is the problem is not the regulatory zealotry of the Obama administration; what they’re discovering is the dysfunction of a Republican Party that knows we need immigration reform, knows that it would actually be good for its long-term prospects, but is captive to the nativist elements in its party.

 

And the same I think goes for a whole range of other issues like climate change, for example. There aren’t any corporate CEOs that you talk to at least outside of maybe—no, I will include CEOs of the fossil-fuel industries—who are still denying that climate change is a factor. What they want is some certainty around the regulations so that they can start planning. Given the capital investments that they have to make, they’re looking at 20-, 30-year investments. They’ve got to know now are we pricing carbon? Are we serious about this? But none of them are engaging in some of the nonsense that you’re hearing out of the climate-change denialists. Denialists?

 

Eric Schultz (deputy press secretary): Deniers.

 

The Economist: Deniers.

 

Mr Obama: Deniers—thank you.

 

The Economist: Denialists sounds better. (laughter.)

 

Mr Obama: It does have more of a ring to it.

 

So the point, though, is that I would take the complaints of the corporate community with a grain of salt. If you look at what our policies have been, they have generally been friendly towards business, while at the same time recognising there are certain core interests—fiscal interests, environmental interests, interests in maintaining stability of the financial system—where, yes, we’re placing constraints on them. It probably cuts into certain profit centres in their businesses. I understand why they would be frustrated by it, but the flip side of it is that they’d be even more unhappy if the global financial system unravels. Nobody has more of a stake in it than them.

 

Last point I’ll make on this: If you look at what’s happened over the last four or five years, the folks who don’t have a right to complain are the folks at the top. Where we have made less progress than I would like, and is my obsession since I came into office and will continue to be my obsession until I leave office and afterwards, is the broader trend of an increasingly bifurcated economy where those at the top are getting a larger and larger share of GDP, increased productivity, corporate profits, and middle-class and working-class families are stuck. Their wages and incomes are stagnant. They’ve been stagnant for almost two decades now. This is not a phenomenon unique to the United States, but it is global.

 

And this to me is the big challenge: How do we preserve the incredible dynamism of the capitalist system while making sure that the distribution of wealth and incomes and goods and services in that system is broadly based, is widely spread?

 

And the reason I’m concerned about this is not in any way a punitive notion. Oftentimes, you’ll hear some hedge-fund manager say, ‘Oh, he’s just trying to stir class resentment’. No. Feel free to keep your house in the Hamptons and your corporate jet, etc. I’m not concerned about how you’re living. I am concerned about making sure that we have a system in which the ordinary person who is working hard and is being responsible can get ahead and are seeing modest improvements in their life prospects, if not for themselves, then certainly for the next generation.

 

And I believe that that’s the big challenge, not just for the United States, but that’s the big challenge for everybody.

 

And we got to go because we’re all parked. Alright?

 

The Economist: Thank you.

 

Mr Obama: That was a good conversation. I enjoyed it.

 

 

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