U.S. Senator Barack Obama re-enacts being sworn-in by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 4, 2005. With him are his wife Michelle and their two daughters Malia and Sasha.
Senator Obama talks with his daughter Malia, 6, outside the U.S. Capitol after he was sworn in on January 4, 2005. Chicago Tribune photo by >> Pete Souza <<
Sasha almost not shaking hands with Cheney? One of the very great moments!
President Barack Obama talks on the phone with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France in the Oval Office, Saturday, July 23, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Nedra Pickler: President Barack Obama is enrolling some star power to promote health care. Obama stopped by a private White House meeting Monday with celebrities including singer Jennifer Hudson and actors Amy Poehler, Michael Cera and Kal Penn. The White House says the artists expressed interest in helping spread the word about the health insurance marketplaces opening Oct. 1.
The White House says Obama told the artists they could help reach young uninsured Americans who will be vital to his signature law’s success. Insurers need healthy young customers to help offset the costs of older, sicker consumers. The group also included representatives for Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys and Bon Jovi. Also in attendance were officials with internet video makers YouTube and Funny or Die, which are teaming up on promotions featuring comedians.
Washington Post: Oprah, Funny or Die and the Grammys want to promote Obamacare
What do Oprah, Funny or Die and the Grammys have in common? All three, it turns out, have volunteered to promote Obamacare.
Senior advisor Valerie Jarrett hosted a meeting Monday with a star-studded group of actors, musicians, writers and producers who have “expressed a personal interest in educating young people about the Affordable Care Act,” according to a White House official.
Young people are crucial to the Affordable Care Act’s success, and the White House estimates it needs 2.7 million of them to sign up for health coverage in 2014. With typically low health costs, it’s this demographic that Obama administration is relying on to keep premiums low on the new marketplaces.
A year ago: “The President hugs Stephanie Davies, who helped her friend, Allie Young, left, stay alive after she was shot during the movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colo. The President visited patients and family members affected by the shootings at the University of Colorado Hospital. Photo by Pete Souza, July 22, 2012
The Week Ahead:
3:0: The President meets with Secretary of State Kerry
7:25: Delivers remarks at an Organizing for Action event, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington, DC (Open Press)
8:10: Delivers remarks and answers questions at an Organizing for Action dinner, Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Print Pool for Remarks Only)
Tuesday: The President will welcome NCAA Champion Louisville Cardinals to the White House to honor the team and their 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship
Wednesday: He will travel to Galesburg, Illinois and Warrensburg, Missouri for events on the economy
Thursday: He will welcome President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam to the White House. In the afternoon, the President will travel to Jacksonville, Florida for an event on the economy. On Thursday evening, he will host an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan at the White House
Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.
Time: Drawing renewed attention to the economy, President Barack Obama will return this week to an Illinois college where he once spelled out a vision for an expanded and strengthened middle class as a freshman U.S. senator, long before the Great Recession would test his presidency.
The address Wednesday at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., will be the first in a new series of economic speeches that White House aides say Obama intends to deliver over the next several weeks ahead of key budget deadlines in the fall. A new fiscal year begins in October, and the government will soon hit its borrowing limit.
…. The president will also speak Wednesday at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo.
AP: Survey: Brighter U.S. Economic Outlook Boosts Hiring
Companies are increasingly confident the economy will grow at a modest pace over the next year and are hiring more, according to a survey of business economists.
Nearly one-third of the economists surveyed said their companies added jobs in the April-June quarter …. That’s the highest percentage in nearly two years. And 39 percent expect their firms will hire more in the next six months. That’s near the two-year high of 40 percent reached in the January-March quarter.
…. Optimism about future economic growth increased. Nearly three-quarters of the survey respondents forecast growth of 2.1 percent or more over the next 12 months. That’s up from two-thirds in the first quarter survey, released in April, and the most in a year.
ThinkProgress: No, Obamacare Won’t Raise Insurance Premiums In Indiana By 72 Percent
On Friday, the Indiana Department of Insurance announced that initial rates submitted by individual health plan providers for the state’s Obamacare insurance marketplace would cost 72 percent more than currently available plans …. Gov. Mike Pence’s (R) administration was quick to use the figures to criticize the health law….
The problem is, the Department of Insurance didn’t really release “data” in the plural — it released a single data point. The $570 per month figure is the average of all of the submitted rates, including cheaper plans with less benefits (so-called “Bronze” and “Silver” level plans) as well as the more generous and expensive “Gold” and “Platinum” level plans. That’s like saying the average cost of a car in an Indiana dealership is $100,000 because it sells $20,000 Fords, $60,000 BMWs, and $220,000 Lamborghinis — technically true, but highly misleading.
January 2009, the Inauguration ….. never saw that coming, eh Dick?
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will again administer the oath of office to President Barack Obama during his second inauguration this month, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced on Friday.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will take the oath officially on Sunday, Jan. 20 and again on Jan. 21 in a ceremonial swearing-in at the Capitol. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will be the fourth woman to administer the oath when she swears in the vice president, the committee said.
Saturday: The President has no public events scheduled
Sunday: The First Family will attend Christmas in Washington at the National Building Museum
Monday: The President will travel to Redford, Michigan for an event on the economy at the Daimler Detroit Diesel plant
Tuesday and Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Thursday: The President will host a Hanukkah reception at the White House
Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Business Insider: As negotiations on a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” enter the final three weeks, Republicans face a stark reality: The American public continues siding with President Barack Obama and Democrats on the issues crucial to any potential deal.
Polls taken over the past month have continually shown that a post-election bump for the President, combined with the relative unpopularity of Republicans, gives Obama a lot of leverage in the debate.
…. The kicker lies in the difference in approval ratings between Obama and Congressional Republicans. Obama’s approval rating hit an astounding 57 percent in Friday’s AP survey. Meanwhile, Congress has a 23 percent approval rating.
NYT: Fifty-eight years after it banned discrimination in public education, the Supreme Court has set the stage for the defining civil rights decision of this era — agreeing to hear two cases challenging laws that define marriage to exclude couples of the same sex. To us, and a growing number of Americans, the right course seems clear: that the justices continue the march toward real equality.
…. Public opinion is shifting on this issue as more people recognize the inherent wrong in a last bastion of official discrimination. The most important hearts and minds to be won at this point belong to the nine justices.
Washington Post: Former Florida governor Charlie Crist said late Friday night that he is now a Democrat.
The Republican governor-turned independent Senate candidate’s move was widely anticipated, especially in advance of a potential 2014 run for his old office. Crist endorsed President Obama for reelection this year and has aligned with Democrats over the last two years.