Posts Tagged ‘defense


The President’s Day

President Obama meets with Afghan President Ghani in the Oval Office. This marks the first meeting between the two presidents at the White House following the 2014 presidential election, which produced the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan’s history







U.S. President Obama speaks at a joint news conference at the White House in Washington


Boston Globe: US To Slow Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. will slow its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, maintaining 9,800 troops in the country through the end of 2015 instead of cutting the number by about half as originally planned. ‘‘Afghanistan remains a very dangerous place,’’ Obama said in explaining his decision at a press conference after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s first visit to the White House since his election six months ago.

Obama added that the size of the U.S. troop presence for 2016 will be decided later this year. Ghani had asked Obama to slow the withdrawal because Afghan security forces are bracing for a tough spring fighting season and are also contending with Islamic State fighters looking to recruit on their soil. The original plan was to cut the U.S. force to 5,500 by the end of this year. ‘‘This visit is an opportunity to begin a new chapter between our two nations,’’ Obama said after meeting with Ghani in the Oval Office.

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Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice listen during the press conference

Barack Obama

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry greets Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah prior to joint news conference at the White House in Washington

Secretary of State John Kerry greets Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah

U.S. President Obama reacts to comment by Afghanistan President Ghani during joint news conference at the White House in Washington

U.S. President Obama and Afghanistan President Ghani depart a joint news conference at the White House in Washington


The President And First Lady’s Day


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announce a new government-wide coordinated strategy to help millions of girls around the world attend and stay school called “Let Girls Learn” in the East Room of the White House. Saying that she will focus on this program beyond her time in the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama will soon travel to Japan and Cambodia to promote the new initiative.





White House: Working Together To Open The Doors Of Education For Girls Around The World

To educate a girl is to build a healthier family, a stronger community, and a brighter future. Unfortunately today, 62 million girls around the world are not in school. Half of them are adolescents. We know that countries with more girls in secondary school tend to have lower maternal mortality rates, lower infant mortality rates, lower rates of HIV/AIDS, and better child nutrition. But too often, a girl who could change her world for the better is locked out of that future by the circumstances of her birth or the customs of her community. We know that a girl with an education can shape her own destiny, lift up her family, and transform her community.

That is why President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be championing our efforts to help adolescent girls around the globe attend and complete school through the Let Girls Learn initiative, which will build upon the public engagement campaign the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched last summer. Let Girls Learn is a government-wide effort that will leverage the investments we have made and success we have achieved in global primary school, and expand them to help adolescent girls complete their education. A key part of Let Girls Learn will be to encourage and support community-led solutions to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing their education.

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President Barack Obama embraces Peace Corps volunteer Charlene Espinoza









First Lady Michelle Obama playfully takes a bow as she is introduced by President Barack Obama




Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama playfully gestures as President Barack Obama makes a joke

First lady Michelle Obama smiles at U.S. President Barack Obama during the announcement of the  "Let Girls Learn" initiative at the White House in Washington





President Barack Obama makes a statement after meeting with the Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and US Army General Martin Dempsey in the Oval Office. President Obama gave remarks on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address given during a joint meeting of the United States Congress.




The President’s Day


President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel embrace during a farewell ceremony for Hagel at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia. Hagel is stepping down once his replacement, Ashton Carter, has been confirmed.













U.S. President Barack Obama hugs outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia,




Obama and Biden arrive at the armed services farewell in honor of Hagel in Virginia

U.S. President Obama and Vice President Biden attend a farewell ceremony for Defense Secretary Hagel at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia





The President’s Day


President Barack Obama shares a laugh with Ashton Carter, his nominee for defense secretary, during the announcement in the Roosevelt Room of the White House






President Barack Obama greets former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft







President Barack Obama meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office at the White House. President Obama and King Abdullah II discussed regional issues and the ongoing fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)







President Barack Obama delivers brief remarks to reporters before meeting with a group of newly elected governors in the Oval Office at the White House and said the group would talk about issues where the states and the White House have common ground.




(L-R): Governor-elect Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Governor-elect Bruce Rauner of Illinois, Governor-elect Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Governor-elect Greg Abbott of Texas, Governor-elect Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, Governor-elect Larry Hogan of Maryland and Gov. Bill Walker




Rise and Shine



1:45 EDT: The President departs the White House

2:50 CT: Arrives Chicago

3:50 CT: Meets with community leaders to discuss immigration reform; Copernicus Community Center, Chicago

4:35 CT: Delivers remarks on immigration reform; Copernicus Community Center, Chicago

6:25 CT: Departs Chicago

9:20 EDT: Arrives White House


Nerdy prepared a beautiful post yesterday on the President’s day, but we held off because of events in Ferguson. So, here it is:





President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden applaud Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel for his years of service as he announces his resignation in the State Dining Room of the White House



Stevie Wonder is greeted by President Barack Obama after receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a White House ceremony. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors


Actress Marlo Thomas




Golfer Charles Sifford


Ethel Kennedy


Journalist Tom Brokaw


Congressman John Dingell


Author Isabel Allende


Congressman Abner Mikva


Writer, curator, and activist Suzan Harjo


Robert Battle, the Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recieves a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama on behalf of dancer Alvin Ailey


Actress Meryl Streep


Stevie Wonder smiles while showing off his Presidential Medal of Freedom


Professor Mildred Dresselhaus








Rise and Shine

First Lady Michelle Obama walks with children past the official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room, Nov. 30, 2011. Mrs. Obama welcomed military families to the White House for for the first viewing of the 2011 holiday decorations. (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


The President has no public events scheduled this weekend



America’s Voice: President And First Lady Visit “Fast For Families” On The National Mall

On day 18, “Fast for Families” welcomed the visit of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. SEIU’s Eliseo Medina, NAKASEC’s Dae Joong Yoon, DREAMer and Mi Familia Vota’s Cristian Avila, FIRM‘s Rudy Lopez and Sojourner‘s Lisa Sharon Harper, along with 22 other advocates fasting in solidarity, met with the President and First Lady in a private session at the “Fast for Families” tent where both listened closely to the fasters’ personal stories.

The President said that this fast and their sacrifice are receiving immense attention. He expressed great concern over their health, urging them as well to continue to pray over their decision on the time they intend to fast. During their meeting, the President also held the shoe of an immigrant who perished in the desert trying to seek a better life, which the fasters hold in reverence as a symbol of why they are fasting to underscore the plight and suffering of immigrants.

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Colbert King: Obamacare — A Question Of Morality

…. the Affordable Care Act is viewed more kindly by the congregation at First Baptist Church, located a few miles from the shadow of the Capitol, than by those within the governmental structure.

…. The Rev. Frank D. Tucker, who has been First Baptist’s pastor for nearly 38 years, used Sunday morning’s service to address Obamacare in terms its critics do not.

He announced that First Baptist, working with the city’s health-care exchange, DC Health Link, would host a health insurance enrollment fair on Saturday. He issued an emotional call to his congregation, young and old, to enroll in the program, resorting to language associated with the battle to win the right to vote.

Tucker noted the decades of unsuccessful efforts by several presidents to extend medical care to all Americans, including those living in dire circumstances beyond their control. Not sugar-coating the problems that President Obama has encountered in bringing about health-care reform, Tucker hammered at the obligation of the uninsured to enroll in the insurance program that Obama and other health-reform advocates have worked so hard to create. The Obama administration and its congressional supporters, Tucker observed, have been opposed every step of the way, taking a beating from people in Congress and around the country. Don’t let their sacrifices be in vain by sitting on your hands, he contended. Get enrolled, he declared.

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SmartyPants: An Activist White House

I’ve been following Fast for Families on twitter since day one. Unlike a lot of “keyboard activists,” these folks are showing their courage and commitment by putting it all on the line. I watched as union, faith and civil rights leaders visited these fasters in a show of solidarity. And then something interesting started happening. Gawd, I LOVE this President!!!!! Think about the last time we saw a POTUS provide this kind of support for an activist movement. I’ll give you a hint…never.

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Paul Krugman: Obamacare’s Secret Success

The law establishing Obamacare was officially titled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And the “affordable” bit wasn’t just about subsidizing premiums. It was also supposed to be about “bending the curve” — slowing the seemingly inexorable rise in health costs. Much of the Beltway establishment scoffed at the promise of cost savings.

So, how’s it going? The health exchanges are off to a famously rocky start, but many, though by no means all, of the cost-control measures have already kicked in. Has the curve been bent? The answer, amazingly, is yes. In fact, the slowdown in health costs has been dramatic.

Since 2010, when the act was passed, real health spending per capita — that is, total spending adjusted for overall inflation and population growth — has risen less than a third as rapidly as its long-term average. Real spending per Medicare recipient hasn’t risen at all; real spending per Medicaid beneficiary has actually fallen slightly.

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CBS Denver: Judge: Sheriffs Can’t Sue Colorado Over Gun Laws

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Colorado sheriffs suing the state over new firearm restrictions don’t have standing to proceed with the case as a group, but the legal battle is far from over. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger in Denver doesn’t stop the lawsuit because 21 other plaintiffs who are suing do have standing. The court will still consider whether universal background checks and a ban on ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds are constitutional, the judge said.

“If individual sheriffs wish to protect individual rights or interests they may do so … however, the sheriffs have confused their individual rights and interests with those of the county sheriff’s office,” Krieger said. The remaining plaintiffs include individuals and various gun groups. The laws that took effect July 1 were among a package of gun control legislation passed in response to mass shootings last year at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

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Nicole Winfield: Pope Ramps Up Charity Office To Be Near Poor, Sick

Pope Francis has ramped up the Vatican’s charity work, sending his chief alms-giver and a contingent of Swiss guards onto the streets of Rome at night to do what he usually can’t do: comfort the poor and the homeless. A few times a week, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski takes a few off-duty guards with him in his modest white Fiat to make the rounds at Rome’s train stations, where charities offer makeshift soup kitchens that feed 400-500 people a night. Often they bring the leftovers from the Vatican mess halls to share.

“Aside from their vitality, they know at least four languages,” Krajewski said of the guards in an interview Friday with The Associated Press. “Above all, poor people need to be listened to.” He can’t do that so easily now that he’s pope, so he has tapped Krajewski to be his envoy, doling out small morsels of charity every day: sending a 200 euro ($260) check to a woman whose wallet was stolen, visiting a family whose child is dying.

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Henry Blodget: Sorry, Folks, Rich People Actually Don’t ‘Create The Jobs’

“Rich people create the jobs.” Specifically, by starting and directing America’s companies, rich entrepreneurs and investors create the jobs that sustain everyone else. This statement is usually invoked to justify cutting taxes on entrepreneurs and investors. This argument ignores the fact that taxes on entrepreneurs and investors are already historically low.

Entrepreneurs and investors like me actually don’t create the jobs — not sustainable ones, anyway. What creates a company’s jobs, Hanauer explains, is a healthy economic ecosystem surrounding the company, which starts with the company’s customers. The customers of most companies are ultimately American’s gigantic middle class — the hundreds of millions of Americans who currently take home a much smaller share of the national income than they did 30 years ago

If that $9+ million had gone to 9,000 families instead of Hanauer, it would almost certainly have been pumped right back into the economy via consumption (i.e., demand). And, in so doing, it would have created more jobs. Hanauer estimates that, if most American families were taking home the same share of the national income that they were taking home 30 years ago, every family would have another $10,000 of disposable income to spend. So, if nothing else, it’s time we stopped perpetuating the fiction that “rich people create the jobs.” Rich people don’t create the jobs. Our economy creates jobs.

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Washington Post: Obama To Issue A New Statement Of U.S. National Security Strategy

President Obama will formally present a new national security strategy early next year, identifying his foreign policy priorities for the remainder of his time in office, the White House said Friday. The new policy document will be the second of Obama’s administration and will likely update the previous one, released in May 2010, in several important areas. Those include policies for fighting the next phase of the war against al-Qaeda, the shift of national security resources to Asia and a plan to manage declining defense budgets amid fiscal strain.

The National Security Strategy document falls under a 1986 law requiring the president to present Congress with an annual strategic statement. Most administrations have been inconsistent in meeting that obligation. George W. Bush, for example, issued only two during his eight years in office. Obama’s first National Security Strategy ran 52 pages and set out a course for ending the U.S. military involvement in Iraq. Although the strategy asserted America’s central role in the world, it also warned that “when we overuse our military might, or fail to invest in or deploy complementary tools, or act without partners, then our military is overstretched.”

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On This Day:

Rep. Emanuel Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., gestures to President Obama and a U.S. Secret Service agent after the President dropped by a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 30, 2010. The Congressman knows the agent (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks with former President Jimmy Carter who was attending a meeting in National Security Advisor Tom Donilon’s office in the White House, Nov. 30, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Wilkes Barre/Scranton International Airport, November 30, 2011 in Avoca, Pennsylvania

First Lady Michelle Obama meets with members of the board of Partnership for a Healthier America, an organization working to end childhood obesity, at the Omni Hotel in Washington, D.C., Nov. 30, 2011 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama tours the Rodon Group, a manufacturer of toys in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, November 30, 2012

President Obama greets the audience after speaking at the Rodon Group, a manufacturer of toys in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, November 30, 2012







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