By Jueseppi B.
November 22, 2013
06:20 PM EST
West Wing Week 11/22/13 or, “A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!”
November 22, 2013 | 5:47 |Public Domain
Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and beyond! This week, the Vice President traveled to Houston and Panama, the President honored the legacy of John F. Kennedy, this year’s Medal of Freedom Winners and Nobel Laureates, and attended the Wall Street Journal‘s CEO Summit. That’s November 15th to 21st or “A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama!”
Honoring the Medal of Freedom Recipients: On Wednesday, President Obama honored 16 Medal of Freedom recipientsduring a ceremony in the East Room.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom was established 50 years ago by President John F. Kennedy and is our nation’s highest civilian honor. This year’s recipients include sports champions, scientists, activists, musicians, journalists and public servants. “These are the men and women who in their extraordinary lives remind us all of the beauty of the human spirit, the values that define us as Americans, the potential that lives inside of all of us,” President Obama said.
Tribute to President John F. Kennedy: President Obama, former President Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton traveled to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the eternal flame, in honor of President Kennedy’s life and legacy.
150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address: One hundred and fifty years ago on Tuesday, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address from Gettysburg, PA. To mark the occasion, President Obama handwrote an essay in tribute to Lincoln’s historic speech for an exhibit at the Lincoln Presidential Library. Make sure to read President Obama’s essay here.
Filibuster Rule Change: President Obama spoke from the White House Press Briefing Room on Thursday about the Senate’s procedural change that guarantees all of the President’s judicial and executive branch nominees – except Supreme Court nominees – can be confirmed with a simple up-or-down vote. In his remarks, the President stated his support for the change.
All too often, we’ve seen a single senator or a handful of senators choose to abuse arcane procedural tactics to unilaterally block bipartisan compromises, or to prevent well-qualified, patriotic Americans from filling critical positions of public service in our system of government.
The President also spoke about why this change is especially important right now. “It’s no longer used in a responsible way to govern. It’s rather used as a reckless and relentless tool to grind all business to a halt,” he said. Read his full remarks here.
Wall Street Journal CEO Council Meeting: The President spoke at the annual Wall Street Journal CEO Council meetingbefore sitting down for a question and answer session. President Obama discussed a wide range of issues including immigration, education and the Affordable Care Act.
Vice President in Panama: Vice President Biden traveled to Panama on Monday to tour the Panama Canal expansion project, which is set to open in 2015. The project will double the capacity of the Panama Canal and allow for larger ships. The Vice President also met with the President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, and conducted a wreath-laying ceremony at Corozal American Cemetery and Memorial to honor U.S. military members who died in service to their country.
November 22nd, 2013: Photo of the Day
WASHINGTON–President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle will host a state dinner next Feb. 11 for French President Hollande and his partner, (“la compagne” du président) Valérie Trierweiler.
The last state dinner was in March, 2012 for British Prime Minister Cameron. A planned October State Dinner for Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff was scratched after she canceled a visit to Washington to show her outrage over the U.S. NSA spying on Brazil.
From the White House: “The United States and France are close friends and allies, including through NATO, and our countries have worked together to support democracy, liberty, and freedom at home and abroad for more than two centuries. During the visit, we will discuss opportunities to further strengthen the U.S.-France security and economic partnership.”
WASHINGTON–President Barack Obama tapped Chicago pal Anita Blanchard, a physician who is on the City of Chicago’s Landmarks Commission, to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.
Blanchard, who is also close to first lady Michelle, is an obstetrician and gynecologist. She delivered the First Couple daughters, Malia and Sasha. Blanchard is the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program Director at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Her husband is Marty Nesbitt, a close friend of the president and first lady who was the treasurer of the Obama 2012 re-election campaign.
Bio from the White House: “Dr. Anita K. Blanchard is the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program Director at the University of Chicago Medical Center, a position she has held since 2004. She is also an Associate Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology. Dr. Blanchard is a board member of the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, and a Founding board member of the Society for Specialists in General Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is also a member of the City of Chicago Landmarks Commission, the City of Chicago Advisory Council on Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Photography Committee. Dr. Blanchard received a B.A. in Neurobiology and Physiology from Northwestern University and an M.D. from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago.”
Statements and Releases
Michelle and I look forward to welcoming President Hollande and Valérie Trierweiler on a state visit to the United States, to include a state dinner at the White House on February 11, 2014. The United States and France are close friends and allies, including through NATO, and our countries have worked together to support democracy, liberty, and freedom at home and abroad for more than two centuries. During the visit, we will discuss opportunities to further strengthen the U.S.-France security and economic partnership.
Joint Statement on the Inaugural Meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Working Group on Threats to and in the Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the Context of International Security
November 22, 2013
First Lady Michelle Obama by Alexei Hay for Ladies Home Journal Dec 2013/Jan 2014
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