The Death Of Michael Brown: Some Racist Racial History From “The Show-Me Racism State.”


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Absolutely mind-boggling, don’t you agree? In this day and age, a stone-age mindset is allowed to exist in America. The Land Of The Racist And The Home Of The Cowardly.

 

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The President’s Day In California.


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President Obama: The full interview

 

President Barack Obama discusses a wide range of subjects in an exclusive interview with CNBC‘s Steve Liesman. On the docket: Tax inversions, Washington inaction, the stock market and dealing with Russia.

 

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Barack Obama to CNBC – ” FAA Israel Decision Not Based on Politics “

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

7-24-14 – ( CNBC ) – At the very end of an interview with CNBC’s Steve Liesman Thursday, President Barack Obama addressed the accusations, from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and others, that the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to ban U.S. flights from landing in Israel for 48 hours was politically motivated. Obama called the move “purely technical,” saying the United States does not make “decisions when it comes to airline safety” based on “politics” or “even our strong alliance with Israel.”

 

He elaborated:

“The initial ban that was imposed by the FAA was based on Israel needing to show us that in fact it was safe for commercial airlines to fly in. They worked through a checklist of concerns and mitigation measures that needed to be taken. Having completed those, and convinced the FAA, we moved forward. And by the way, the European governments in terms of the regulating their airlines, did the exact same thing. So I think what happened here was in light of some scary moments a couple of days ago, the FAA took some prudent action. But it also engaged with Israel and Israel was able to answer those questions.”

 
After the FAA announced the ban on Tuesday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg swiftly flew to Tel Aviv on an El Al plane to demonstrate just how safe it was to land at that airport. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly confronted Secretary of State John Kerry about the ban during a phone call that day.

 

The concern for Israel and its allies was that Hamas would view the ban as a victory, possibly emboldening its rocket campaign. Those fears were given credence when a Hamas spokesperson admitted that Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport was, in fact, a target for the rocket strikes.

 

 

See the full interview here.

 

 

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President Obama Delivers Remarks on the Economy in Los Angeles

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

President Barack Obama delivers remarks about the economy at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in Los Angeles, California.

 

 

 

Pres Obama and Crowd Brilliantly Destroy Repeat Heckler Who Calls Him “Antichrist”

 

 

 

President Obama in LA: “You are why I ran for President in the first place.”

 

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Los Angeles Trade and Technical CollegePresident Barack Obama delivers remarks at Los Angeles Trade and Technical College in Los Angeles, Calif. July 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

 

This afternoon, President Obama addressed an excited and energized crowd under sunny skies at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.

 

In his remarks, the President said that he was excited to be back in L.A., where he spent a few “good years” in college — and quickly explained what he was there to talk about.

 

“I’m here because I am listening to Kati’s story,” the President said. Kati Koster wrote a letter to the President a couple years ago about the effect of student loans. Kati introduced the President — and the President sat down with Kati and three other Americans earlier in the day at Canter’s Deli, to chat about the issues that matter to them.

 

I’m listening to Americans all across the country, everybody who works their tail off, is doing the right thing, who believes in the American Dream, just wants a chance to build a decent life for themselves and their family. You are why I ran for President in the first place.

 

And we’ve made a lot of progress since the President took office. Months before the President was sworn into office, the economy tanked, millions of Americans lost their jobs, some of them lost their homes, and almost everyone suddenly was much less certain about America’s future.

 

 

But we’ve bounced back.

 

Today, our businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs over the past 52 months. The unemployment rate is at its lowest point since September of 2008. And this past year, we saw one of the fastest drops in nearly 30 years in the unemployment rate. The decisions we made not only to rescue the economy, rescue the auto industry, but to rebuild it on a new foundation — those decisions are paying off.

 

We’re more energy independent. We’re the world’s number-one oil and gas producer. We’ve done more to reduce our carbon footprint than any other country over the past eight years. Our high school graduation rate is at a record high. More young people are going to college than ever before. And millions more Americans now have quality, affordable health care.

 

“None of this was an accident,” the President declared. “It’s thanks to your resilience and resolve that America has recovered faster and come farther than almost any other advanced country on Earth.”

 

 

“We’ve recovered faster, we’ve gone farther than almost any country on Earth since the economic crisis.”

 

The President also visited Los Angeles Trade-Technical College to focus on one thing in particular: training more Americans for the types of jobs that we’re creating in the 21st century.

 

Right now, there are more job openings in America than any time since 2007. That doesn’t always make headlines, it’s not sexy so the news doesn’t report it, but it’s a big deal. And the job training programs can help folks who fell on hard times in the recession, help them find a solid path back to the middle class.

 

“Americans are the best workers in the world — if we’re given a chance,” the President said. He then called on all of us to work together to help more Americans to learn the skills that the 21st-century economy needs.

 

Earlier this week, President Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which makes our federal training program more geared toward high-quality jobs that are in demand today. The President stressed that we should be doing things like this more often — that Congress should be taking efforts to strengthen the middle class and help create more opportunities for all Americans.

 

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Los Angeles Trade and Technical CollegePresident Barack Obama delivers remarks at Los Angeles Trade and Technical College in Los Angeles, Calif. July 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

 

But there’s one specific issue where the President suggested Democrats and Republicans could come together — a type of corporate tax loophole called an “inversion.”

 

“Even as corporate profits are higher than ever,” the President said, “there’s a small but growing group of big corporations that are fleeing the country to get out of paying taxes.”

 

Corporations don’t want to give up the perks of doing business in the United States — the best universities, a strong economy, the best military — they’re just not trying to pay for those perks. “So they’re technically renouncing their U.S. citizenship,” he said. “They’re declaring they’re based someplace else even though most of their operations are here.”

 

It damages the country’s finances. It adds to the deficit. It makes it harder to invest in things like job training that help keep America growing. It sticks you with the tab to make up for what they’re stashing offshore through their evasive tax policies.

 

The President pointed out that a nurse or a construction worker or a teacher doesn’t get to pick the tax rate that they have to pay — so neither should these companies.

 

But the good news is that we’re able to do something about this. In this year’s budget, the President proposed closing these “unpatriotic tax loopholes for good.”

 

 

“You shouldn’t get to call yourself an American company only when you want a handout from American taxpayers.”

 

And the President stressed that has wasn’t interested in punishing these companies for what they’ve done — he’s simply interested in an economic patriotism where everyone in this country contributes their fair share.

 

Instead of tax breaks for millionaires, let’s give tax breaks to families to help on child care or college. Let’s stop rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas; give tax breaks to companies that are bringing jobs back to the United States. Let’s put America back to work rebuilding roads and bridges and airports. Let’s make sure the next generation of good manufacturing is happening right here in Los Angeles, and in Wisconsin, and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

The President noted that the hardest thing to do in politics is to change the status quo. There’s an entire industry in Washington that feeds off of people staying cynical.

 

Cynicism is fashionable these days. But I got to tell you, cynicism didn’t put a man on the moon. Cynicism did not create the opportunity for all our citizens to vote. Cynicism has never won a war, or cured a disease, or started a business, or fed young minds.

 

I believe in optimism. I believe in hope.

 

“Cynicism is a choice, and hope is a better choice,” the President said. “And if we can work together, I promise you there’s no holding America back.”

 

Barack’s Day In Cali

 

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President Obama Surprises Canter’s Deli With Surprise Visit

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

 President Obama made a surprise visit at Canter’s Deli on Thursday greeting the crowd and workers. He got tea and pastries to go. No corned beef!? Amy Johnson reports.

 

 

 

Obama Admits His Basketball Shot Is ‘Broke’

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

(ABC) President Obama‘s basketball game isn’t what it used to be, he revealed during a surprise stop for lunch at Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles today.
After shaking hands with the people behind the counter at this family-owned landmark, the president talked a little basketball with two older gentleman sitting in a booth.
Asked about his game, Obama told them “My shot’s broken… My elbow keeps going out.”
Rubbing his shoulder, he told them he probably makes about 80 percent of his shots (free throws, not in a game).

 

 
“I get that chicken wing,” he said motioning with his elbow. “I’m just getting old.”

 

The president made his way to a booth in the back where he sat with four people who wrote him letters, part of his effort to “meet with folks from across the country to listen to their stories, struggles, and successes, as well as the issues in their lives that matter most,” according to the White House.

 

 

 

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10:35 PM: The President arrives Joint Base Andrews, Joint Base Andrews.

 

10:50 PM: The President arrives the White House, South Lawn.

 

 

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On Friday, the President and the Vice President will welcome President Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala, President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras, and President Salvador Sanchez Ceren of El Salvador to the White House. The four leaders and Vice President Biden will discuss how to reinforce our ongoing collaboration to stem the flow of undocumented migrants from Central America to Mexico and the United States.

 

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It’s Raining Videos™ During The Twitter Storm™


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It's Raining Videos™

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US concerned over use of Russian rockets

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

The Atlas V rocket is heavily used by the US for defense and reconnaissance projects, and relies on a Russian-made engine. Many are coming to view this, however, as a national security liability. As the relations between the US and Russia continue to sour, renewed calls are coming from Washington to revamp the defense industry to use more American-made parts. RT’s Manila Chan learns more about the topic by speaking with Marco Caceres, director of space studies for the Teal Group.

 

 

 

American Flags Replaced With White Flags On The Brooklyn Bridge

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

“Who swapped out two big American flags flying over the Brooklyn Bridge towers with Old Glories that had been bleached white? And, more important, why?

 

But a more pressing concern was how did the overnight caper happen right under the noses of the NYPD on one of the city’s most heavily guarded and constantly watched landmarks?”

 

 

 

VP Joe Biden denounces laws restricting voting rights annual NAACP convention

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Vice President Biden spoke out against voting restrictions during his speech at the annual NAACP convention in Las Vegas on Wednesday. – LoneWolf & The Three Muskadoggies “Please…. Remember Our Homeless, Hospitalized & Disabled Veterans & Fallen Heroes! Thank You….America!”

 

 

 

Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S. (July 23)

 

 

Governor Jan Brewer should be strapped into the death machine of choose to test it, before humans are executed.

 

 

PBS News Hour Full Episode | Wednesday, July 23, 2014

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Wednesday on the NewsHour, Secretary of State John Kerry shuttled between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, attempting to broker a cease-fire. Also: a look at the Georgia race that will help decide who controls the Senate, what a fly’s brain can tell us about our own minds, stricter rules for trains carrying crude oil and the fate of the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls, missing for 100 days.

 

 

 

Is Israeli Public Opinion Turning After 700 Palestinian Deaths?

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Israel-based TRNN correspondent Lia Tarachansky reports on the mood in Israel in the wake of a rising Palestinian death toll

 

 

 

Breakdown, breakup, breakthrough – The gift of tough times: Tara Igoe at TEDxLaJolla

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Tara Igoe (pron. I-go) loves to learn and grow and believes her life’s purpose is to have the courage to face herself, follow her truth, and operate from love not fear – no pressure, Tara. When she is not pondering her existence, Tara is a tenured communications expert and personal/professional development coach and has worked with top companies, nonprofit organizations as well as leading experts in personal development, medicine, sports, and fitness. Tara is also a skilled comedic performer, speaker and storyteller who has appeared at top comedy and improv venues including The Comedy Store, The Improv, and Upright Citizens Brigade. She loves shares her expertise, personal stories and insights to help herself and others.

 

 

 

Bloomberg Goes Off on Blitzer for ‘Insulting’ Israel Question

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

CNN Wolf Blitzer Interviews former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg over his decision to travel to Israel in protest of the FAA ban on travel from all U.S. carriers: “Don’t be ridiculous! Why would you think that? It’s an outrage to accuse one of our agencies—-by asking the question, you’re implying our government does things for political reasons, and maybe everyone once in a while they do it, but it’s your job to prove it. Just the allegation against our government, I personally take as an offense.”

 

 

Does Michael Bloomberg believe himself to be relevant and vital to the discussion of Israeli Zionist murders versus Hamas murders?

 

 

RT stringer Graham Phillips goes missing in Ukraine

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

British national and RT freelance journalist Graham Phillips is missing in Eastern Ukraine along with a colleague from ANNA News. The last contact with Phillips was reportedly near the airport in Donetsk around 11 PM local time, and ANNA News told RT they believe the Ukrainian military may have Graham and their own journalist in custody. RT’s Irina Galushko has more details on the situation.

 

 

 

 

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It’s Raining Videos™


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FAA suspends U.S. flights to Israel

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel for what he says will show people the area is safe.

 

 

Hit Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu and Israel Zionist where it matters most, in the pocketbook.

 

 

Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging the Federal Aviation Administration to “reverse course” and permit U.S. airlines to fly to Israel. Bloomberg boarded a flight to Tel Aviv on El Al Airlines Tuesday night. (July 23)

 

 

Mr. Bloomberg is a classic example of a dumbass. Would he himself fly into Israel?

 

 

American air carriers Suspend Service to Israel, Flight Diverted to Paris

 

Published on Jul 22, 2014

American air carriers suspended service after reports that a rocket that struck near Israel's main airport.

 

 

Good thing nobody actually listens to dumbasses such as Michael Bloomberg.

 

 

Raw: Secretary of State Kerry in Israel

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel on Wednesday. He is trying to push for a ceasefire to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas. (July 23)

 

 

 

CrossTalk: MH17 Spin

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Washington has a mountain of evidence but isn’t disclosing it. What is Washington hiding? Will the investigation show something the West doesn’t want to see? And do we hear a drumbeat of war?
CrossTalking with Vladimir Suchan, Eric Kraus and Eric Draitser.

 

 

 

It’s Official, Kim Jong-un Is A Crybaby. This Viral Video Is Hilarious!

 

Published on Jul 22, 2014

“A video from China has gone viral on YouTube, but the country has been asked to take the content down because the North Korean dictator it mocked was apparently offended.

 

Kim Jong-un has asked China to stop the spread of the satirical video that shows him breakdancing, running, getting pranked by President Barack Obama and holding hands with Osama bin Laden while frolicking through a field, all set to catchy music.

 

North Korean officials say the video “seriously compromises Kim’s dignity and authority,” South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo daily news site reports.” *

 

 

 

Rula Jebreal discusses the media’s bias for Israel

 

Published on Jul 22, 2014

Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal called MSNBC’s coverage of the conflict in Gaza “disgustingly biased.

 

 

 

Pres Obama’s UN Ambassador Teaches Republican Warmongers a Lesson in Diplomacy

 

 

 

PBS News Hour Full Episode | Tuesday, July 22, 2014

 

Published on Jul 22, 2014

Tuesday on the NewsHour, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes discusses U.S. efforts toward a Mideast cease-fire and the MH17 investigation. Also: the EU weighs additional Russian sanctions, a traditional public school shares ideas and a roof with two charter schools, examining conflicting federal court rulings on the health care law and the 9/11 commission considers new challenges.

 

 

 

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TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For Monday The 30th Of June: Veterans Affairs Secretary. President Michelle Bachelet Of Chile. LGBT Pride Month. Hobby Lobby Case.


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President Barack Obama has a busy Monday: He will nominate a new Veterans Affairs secretary, meet with President Michelle Bachelet of Chile and in the evening attend a reception to observe LGBT Pride Month. Not on the schedule but what the White House is bracing for: the Supreme Court ruling on the Hobby Lobby case dealing with contraception and the Affordable Care Act.

 

White House Schedule – June 30, 2014

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY June 30th, 2014

 

THE WHITE HOUSE GUIDANCE & SCHEDULE
MONDAY June 30th, 2014

 

 

In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

 

Later in the morning, the President will hold a bilateral meeting with President Michelle Bachelet of Chile; the Vice President will also attend. There will be a pool spray at the top of the meeting. The visit will highlight our close relationship with Chile and our strong partnership with the Bachelet Administration on advancing peace and global security, social inclusion, and free trade.  The President looks forward to consulting with President Bachelet on UN Security Council matters, other multilateral and regional issues, and ongoing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as well as on expanding educational exchanges and deepening our collaboration in the areas of energy, science, and technology.

 

In the afternoon, the President will make a personnel announcement at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The President’s remarks will be pooled press.

 

In the evening, the President will host a reception to observe LGBT Pride Month; the First Lady will also attend. There will be pool press coverage of the President’s remarks in the East Room.

 

 

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Monday, June 30 2014  All Times ET

 

10:00 AM: THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.

 

 

10:55 AM: THE PRESIDENT holds a bilateral meeting with President Michelle Bachelet of Chile; THE VICE PRESIDENT also attends, Oval Office.

 

 

11:30 AM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest, Brady Press Briefing Room.

 

 

12:30 PM: The Vice President and Secretary of State John Kerry host a lunch in honor of President Bachelet, Department of State.

 

 

4:30 PM: THE PRESIDENT makes a personnel announcement, he will nominate a new Veterans Affairs secretary: Proctor & Gamble chief executive Bob McDonald. The Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

 

5:25 PM: THE PRESIDENT hosts a reception to observe LGBT Pride Month, East Room.

 

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Bob McDonald, former P&G chief, to be Obama’s nominee to lead Veterans Affairs

 

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BY JULIET EILPERIN Washington Post:

 

President Obama on Monday will nominate Bob McDonald, a West Point graduate who served as chief executive of Procter & Gamble, to take over as head of the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, according to White House officials.

 

The un­or­tho­dox pick of a retired corporate executive whose former company makes iconic household products such as Tide detergent and Charmin toilet paper — rather than a former military general — underscores the serious management problems facing the agency charged with serving more than 8 million veterans a year. On Friday, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors submitted a report to the president finding “significant and chronic system failures” and a “corrosive culture” at the Veterans Health Administration, which has come under fire for record-keeping that was skewed in an effort to cover up the long waits imposed on former troops seeking medical care.

 

In recent years, the job of VA secretary has been filled by retired generals, medical professionals or politicians. McDonald’s background is a significant departure, though he and his wife have deep family ties to the military. McDonald graduated in the top 2 percent of his class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and served in the Army for five years, achieving the rank of captain in the 82nd Airborne Division before taking an entry-level job at P&G. He is the son of an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II, and his wife’s father was shot down over Europe and survived harsh treatment as a prisoner of war.

 

“The choice suggests a real focus on customer satisfaction, as opposed to what you might get from a retired general or medical leader,” said Phillip Carter, who follows veterans issues for the Center for a New American Security. “It is probably a wise choice given the concerns right now of veterans.”

 

Procter & Gamble chief McDonald looks on at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York

 

Retired Maj. Gen. James “Spider” Marks, who served as a cadet with McDonald at West Point, described him as “an incredibly gifted guy” who stood out among his classmates for his intensity and commitment. Marks, who now serves as an executive dean at the University of Phoenix, said that during the recession, when McDonald was under pressure as P&G’s chief executive, he had to be “delivering numbers every day” but also took steps to cultivate senior managers who could steer the firm through the fiscal crisis.

 

“Bob was providing an immediate return on investment but simultaneously putting things in place for the future,” he said, adding that McDonald lived up to the line in the cadet’s prayer: “Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half-truth when the whole can be won.”

 

VA “is a business. He’s not afraid to make the hard calls,” Marks said, adding that McDonald was a rugby player in college who always treated his classmates well but spared nothing on the field. “When he joined the scrum, you felt it.”

How McDonald relates to the younger population of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan — smaller in numbers compared with the overall group of veterans but powerful politically — will be critical if he is confirmed.

 

McDonald has maintained his Army ties over the years as a major supporter of the U.S. Military Academy and as a life member of the U.S. Army Ranger Association and the 75th Ranger Regiment Association. He is also a member of the West Point Association of Graduates, and he established the McDonald Cadet Leadership Conference at the academy to address emerging global issues.

 

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Paul Rieckhoff, chief executive of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), said he had mixed feelings about the choice. “He’s got a good military record and a history of running a large bureaucracy, but no medical background,” he said. “Hopefully he’ll be meeting with us more regularly than the White House. This was not a pick that was socialized with the veterans community.”

 

Rieckhoff said that among his biggest concerns was that McDonald has not been involved with the most recent U.S. wars. “He doesn’t come from our generation. He never served in Iraq or Afghanistan. He’s going to have to work very hard to get up to speed on our issues,” he said. Rieckhoff and IAVA have been very critical of Obama and former VA secretary Eric K. Shinseki for not meeting more regularly with the veterans community before and during the current crisis. “The White House and Shinseki were surprised by this stuff because they didn’t listen to the veterans community,” he said.

 

Jim McNerney, who is chairman of Boeing and served on P&G’s board when McDonald headed the company, said in a statement Sunday that McDonald is “an outstanding choice for this critically important position.”

 

“Prior to retirement, he navigated Procter & Gamble through the difficult post-financial-crisis years, where he expanded business in developing markets and made substantial progress improving the efficiency of the company’s internal operations,” McNerney said.

 

Xerox chief Ursula Burns, on whose board McDonald sits as a member of its audit and compensation committees, said in a statement that his experience “managing and leading a global corporation was especially helpful during a multi-billion dollar acquisition we made in 2010, doubling our workforce and shifting our business considerably.”

McDonald stepped down from his post at P&G in May 2013 amid some controversy. Analysts reported at the time that large investors and some employees were losing confidence in his ability to expand the company in the face of increasing global competition.

 

The Wall Street Journal and other business publications also reported that McDonald had come under fire over the time he spent serving on an array of corporate boards.

 

Still, he has won plaudits from many of his fellow corporate executives and has experience running a global consumer-products firm with more than 120,000 employees and sales in more than 180 countries.

 

During McDonald’s tenure, P&G was recognized multiple times for its leadership development, including twice being named the best company for leaders by Chief Executive Magazine and being named No. 1 in Hay Group’s annual Best Companies for Leadership study, which analyzes more than 2,200 firms around the world.

 

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The White House has yet to select a new head for the Veterans Health Administration, which remains a priority, but top officials were particularly intent on finding a replacement for Shinseki, who resigned as VA secretary a month ago.

 

It wasn’t immediately clear Sunday when the White House would formally send McDonald’s nomination to Capitol Hill. Congress is on recess this week and returns next Monday for the rest of July before a five-week summer break, leaving little time for a confirmation hearing and a vote by the full Senate before lawmakers leave on Aug. 1. The two key committee chairmen issued cautious statements Sunday.

“The VA needs significantly improved transparency and accountability and it needs an increased number of doctors, nurses and other medical staff so that all eligible veterans get high-quality health care in a timely manner,” said Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.).

 

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said that if McDonald is confirmed, he will inherit an agency “under a specter of corruption.”

 

“The only way McDonald can set the department up for long term success is to take the opposite approach of some other VA senior leaders,” Miller said in his statement. “That means focusing on solving problems instead of downplaying or hiding them.”

 

Even if McDonald is confirmed quickly, the agency will remain under intense scrutiny. The House and the Senate are negotiating legislation that would make it easier to fire senior VA officials, while the FBI has opened an investigation into whether VA hospital administrators knowingly lied about wait times for veterans in order to receive performance bonuses.

 

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who followed McDonald in the same 82nd Airborne infantry company, said in a statement that he knows McDonald “to be a man who cared for his fellow men and women in uniform when we served together in the 82nd Airborne Division. Bob’s business acumen, coupled with his dedication and love of our nation’s military and veteran community make his a truly great choice for the tough challenges we have at VA.”

Greg Jaffe, Stephanie McCrummen, Josh Hicks and Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.

 

 

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Statements and Releases

 

Letter from the President — Efforts to Address the Humanitarian Situation in the Rio Grande Valley Areas of Our Nation’s Southwest Border

Dear Mr. Speaker:    (Senator Reid:)  (Senator McConnell:)
(Representative Pelosi:)

I am writing to update you on my Administration’s efforts to address the urgent humanitarian situation in the Río Grande Valley areas of our Nation’s Southwest border, and to request that the Congress support the new tools and resources we need to implement a unified, comprehensive Federal Government response.

While overall apprehensions across our entire border have only slightly increased during this time period and remain at near historic lows, we have seen a significant rise in apprehensions and processing of children and individuals from Central America who are crossing into the United States in the Río Grande Valley areas of the Southwest border.  The individuals who embark upon this perilous journey are subject to violent crime, abuse, and extortion as they rely on dangerous human smuggling networks to transport them through Central America and Mexico.

My Administration continues to address this urgent humanitarian situation with an aggressive, unified, and coordinated Federal response on both sides of the border.  Earlier this month, I directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate this Government-wide response.  This includes fulfilling our legal and moral obligation to make sure we appropriately care for unaccompanied children who are apprehended, while taking aggressive steps to surge resources to our Southwest border to deter both adults and children from this dangerous journey, increase capacity for enforcement and removal proceedings, and quickly return unlawful migrants to their home countries.

Specifically, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and DHS are deploying additional enforcement resources — including immigration judges, Immigration and Customs Enforcement  attorneys, and asylum officers — to focus on individuals and adults traveling with children from Central America and entering without authorization across the Southwest border.  Part of this surge will include detention of adults traveling with children, as well as expanded use of the Alternatives to Detention program, to avoid a more significant humanitarian situation.

 

The DHS is working to secure additional space that satisfies applicable legal and humanitarian standards for detention of adults with children.  This surge of resources will mean that cases are processed fairly and as quickly as possible, ensuring the protection of asylum seekers and refugees while enabling the prompt removal of individuals who do not qualify for asylum or other forms of relief from removal.  Finally, to attack the criminal organizations and smuggling rings that are exploiting these individuals, we are surging law enforcement task forces in cooperation with our international partners, with a focus on stepped-up interdiction and prosecution.

To address the root causes of migration and stem the flow of adults and unaccompanied children into the United States, we are also working closely with our Mexican and Central American partners.  Two weeks ago, at my direction, the Vice President convened leaders from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as well as Mexico, to discuss our shared responsibility for promoting security, and agree on concrete ways that we can work together to stem the flow of migrants taking the dangerous trip to the United States.  These countries committed to working together and with the United States to address the immediate humanitarian crisis as well as the long-term challenges.  On Tuesday, Secretary Kerry will meet with the leaders of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to follow up on the items agreed to in the Vice President’s trip, and next week, Secretary Johnson will travel to Guatemala.

 

I also spoke with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto about our shared responsibility to promote security in both our countries and the region.  As part of this effort, the United States committed foreign assistance resources to improve capacity of these countries to receive and reintegrate returned individuals and address the underlying security and economic issues that cause migration.  This funding will enable El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to improve their existing repatriation processes and increase the capacity of these governments and nongovernmental organizations to provide expanded services to returned migrants.  Additional resources will support community policing and law enforcement efforts to combat gang violence and strengthen citizen security in some of the most violent communities in these countries.

Finally, we are working with our Central American partners, nongovernmental organizations, and other influential voices to send a clear message to potential migrants so that they understand the significant dangers of this journey and what they will experience in the United States.  These public information campaigns make clear that recently arriving individuals and children will be placed into removal proceedings, and are not eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process and earned citizenship provisions that are part of comprehensive immigration reform currently under consideration in the Congress.  The Vice President made this clear in his public and private events on June 20, I addressed this last week in an interview, and we will continue to use multiple channels to counteract the misinformation that is being spread by smugglers.

While we are working across all of these channels, to execute a fully effective Government-wide strategy as the influx of migrants continues, we are eager to work with the Congress to ensure that we have the legal authorities to maximize the impact of our efforts.  Initially, we believe this may include:

• providing the DHS Secretary additional authority to exercise discretion in processing the return and removal of unaccompanied minor children from non-contiguous countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador; and

• increasing penalties for those who smuggle vulnerable migrants, like children.

In addition, we will request congressional action on emergency supplemental appropriations legislation to support:

• an aggressive deterrence strategy focused on the removal and repatriation of recent border crossers;

• a sustained border security surge through enhanced domestic enforcement, including interdiction and prosecution of criminal networks;

• a significant increase in immigration judges, reassigning them to adjudicate cases of recent border crossers, and establishing corresponding facilities to expedite the processing of cases involving those who crossed the border in recent weeks;

• a stepped up effort to work with our Central American partners to repatriate and reintegrate migrants returned to their countries, address the root causes of migration, and communicate the realities of these dangerous journeys; and

• the resources necessary to appropriately detain, process, and care for children and adults.
My Administration will be submitting a formal detailed request when the Congress returns from recess, and I look forward to working with you to address this urgent situation as expeditiously as possible.

 

Sincerely,

BARACK OBAMA

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Remarks by President Obama and President Michelle Bachelet of Chile Before Bilateral Meeting

 

Oval Office

11:05 A.M. EDT

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, I want to welcome back to the Oval Office President Bachelet.  She is my second favorite Michelle.  (Laughter.)  And I’m very much pleased to see her again.  We had the opportunity to work together when I first came into office.  Since that time, President Bachelet has been extraordinarily busy doing excellent work at the United Nations, particularly around women — an issue that the United States has been very supportive of.  And we’re very proud of the work that she did there.

 

She’s now back in office, and it gives us an opportunity to just strengthen further the outstanding relationship between the United States and Chile.

 

Let me say, first of all, congratulations to the Chilean National Football Team for an outstanding showing at the World Cup.  I know it was a tough loss, but it also showed the incredible skill and talent of the Chilean team.  This is as well, I think, as it’s ever done against a very tough Brazilian team on their home turf.  And so congratulations to them.  We play — coming up, we’ve got a tough match as well.  So I want to wish the U.S. team a lot of luck in the game to come.

 

The basis for Chile’s and the United States’ strong bilateral relationship includes the fact that we have a free trade agreement that has greatly expanded commerce in both countries and has created jobs in both countries.

 

We have excellent cooperation when it comes to a wide range of issues — energy, education, people-to-people relations.  Chile has been a model of democracy in Latin America.  It’s been able to consistently transition from center-left governments to center-right governments, but always respectful of democratic traditions.  Obviously, those traditions were hard-won, and President Bachelet knows as well as anybody how difficult it was to bring about democracy.  And now, the fact that Chile across the political spectrum respects and fights for the democratic process makes it a great model for the entire hemisphere.

 

Today, we’re going to have an opportunity to discuss how we can deepen those relationships even further.  I know that education, for example, is an issue that is at the top of President Bachelet’s agenda.  It’s something that’s at the top of my agenda here in the United States.  For us to be able to strengthen student exchanges and compare mechanisms and ideas for how we can build skills of young people in both countries is something that we’ll spend some time on.

 

We’re both very interested in energy and how we can transition to a clean energy economy.  And we’ll be announcing some collaborations, including the facilitation of a construction of a major solar plant inside of Chile that can help meet their energy needs.

 

We’ll talk about regional issues.  Obviously, we’ve seen great progress in democratization throughout the region, in part because of Chile’s leadership, but there are obviously still some hotspots that we have to try to address, as well as issues of security in areas like Central America and the Caribbean.  And I’ll be very interested in hearing President Bachelet’s views.

 

And we’ll discuss international issues.  Chile, with its seat on the United Nations Security Council, can serve as a leader on a wide range of issues, from peacekeeping to conflict resolution, to important issues like climate change.  And we have great confidence that in that role Chile will continue to be a positive force for good around the world.

 

So I just want to say thank you for not only the friendship with President Bachelet, but more broadly, our friendship with the Chilean people.  And President Bachelet’s predecessor, he and I had an excellent relationship; she and I have had an excellent relationship.  I think that indicates that it really goes beyond any particular party.  I’m confident that my replacement after I’m gone will have an excellent relationship, because it’s based on common values and a strong respect in both countries for the value of the U.S.-Chilean relationship.

 

So, welcome, and I look forward to an excellent conversation.

 

PRESIDENT BACHELET:  Thank you, President Obama.  I want to, first of all, thank you for the invitation to visit you and your country.  And, of course, we are looking forward to enhance our cooperation in many different areas.

 

As you just mentioned, Chile and the U.S. have had a very strong and mature relation for so many years, and we want to make it deeper and to enhance them in different areas.  Of course, this will be a great opportunity, as you said, to discuss some of the regional and international issues, given the fact that we’re also sitting at the Security Council.  But also, we will be able to in the bilateral dimension be able to increase our cooperation in areas that are very sensible, and for the U.S. and for Chile, such as you mentioned, education, energy, science and technology, people-to-people relation.

 

We already have, as you know, a very good — I mean, not only the bilateral way, we also have a very good Chile-California and Chile-Massachusetts programs.  We have been working very strongly and we will continue on that path.

 

And we are really interested — this year, I think we are commemorating 10 years of the free trade agreement from the U.S. and Chile.  And the U.S. is our, I would say, our most important foreign investor.  We want to continue that path, and of course, we will have also the possibility of having activities with the Chamber of Commerce and others because we really want to make our relations in all dimensions — political, economical, social, et cetera — stronger and stronger every day.

 

So I’m very happy to be here with you again, and I’m sure this will be a great meeting.

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you.

 

END
11:12 A.M. EDT

 

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