Students, from left, Gaby Dempsey, 12, Kate Murray, 13, and Mackenzie Grewell, 13, read in the Red Room of the White House after setting up their science fair exhibit, Feb. 6, 2012. The three girls, part of the Flying Monkeys First Lego League Team from Ames Middle School in Ames, Iowa, will participate in the second annual White House Science Fair with over 100 students from 45 states. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)
10:35 AM: PBO views science fair projects.
11:25 AM: PBO delivers remarks at the White House Science Fair.
Washington Post: President Obama will use the backdrop of a White House science fair Tuesday to highlight a nationwide shortage of math and science teachers and unveil a plan to invest $100 million to help train 100,000 new educators over the next decade.
Under his proposal, Obama will ask Congress for $80 million to support new Department of Education grants for colleges that provide innovative teacher-training programs. The president also is set to announce a $22 million commitment from private companies that will support the effort, according to White House officials.
We Will Not Play by Two Sets of Rules By Jim Messina
In 2010, the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case opened the door to a new wave of so-called Super PACs—non-candidate political committees that can receive and spend unlimited money from special interests. For the first time, these committees could accept money from corporations, not just wealthy individuals.
The decision has accelerated a dangerous trend toward a political system increasingly dominated by big-money interests with disproportionate power to spend freely to influence our elections and our government…..
As Ryan Lizza writes in the New Yorker: “Obama didn’t remake Washington. But his first two years stand as one of the most successful legislative periods in modern history. Among other achievements, he has saved the economy from depression, passed universal health care, and reformed Wall Street.”
So when are President Obama’s critics, people like Paul Krugman and Mitt Romney, going to offer President Obama an apology? Both have often loudly predicted that he made the economy worse and was putting America on the wrong economic path. Both are being proved wrong by the economic comeback we are in. I mention them not to pick on Krugman, who I respect or even on Romney (who I regard as a vapid twit bought and paid for by corporate interests) but to make a point: President Obama is going to have the last laugh on his critics, no matter what ideological spectrum they hail from.
Standing out from the crowd, the only member of the 21 APEC leaders to opt for colour ahead of default grey, Julia Gillard busily kept her red hair off her face during the forum’s ‘family photo’ that signalled the end of their two-day Hawaiian summit.
But her battle with the sea breeze that played across the group in the grounds of a luxury resort near Honolulu drew friendly support from Barack Obama, who mimicked her by patting his short-cropped pate.
“I have to worry about mine, too,” he joked, prompting mirth from those around him, with the leaders of Malaysia, South Korea and Japan instinctively patting their heads.
….. As they walked dutifully – if a little self-consciously – towards the podium for their photo shoot, Ms Gillard was heard to refer to the grass skirts, with Mr Obama replying that “the coconut bras” were “embarrassing enough”.
SMH: BARACK Obama walked in for the first session of the G20 in Cannes last week, stopped to talk to a few people, and then spied Julia Gillard. The President crossed the room, and the camera captured the warmth. It looked so much better than Kevin Rudd saluting George Bush at NATO in 2008.
…. They have struck up a rapport. In the Oval Office she gave him a Sherrin. Their visit to a Washington school went so well that the White House proposed they repeat the publicity moment in Canberra. Obama has described her as a “quick study”. He would admire, even envy, that she has got her carbon price through Parliament, because he would like to legislate a cap-and-trade scheme, but is stymied by the American political system.
US ambassador Jeff Bleich says there is “a great deal of agreement between the two of them – they tend to see the world the same way”. He points to their substantive policy agreement, the way they interact, their similar sense of humour.
SMH: ALMOST three quarters of Australian voters are happy with the US alliance, a far cry from the peak of the Iraq war.
With the US President, Barack Obama, to arrive in Australia tomorrow for a 26-hour visit, the latest Herald/Nielsen poll shows 71 per cent of voters feel the relationship is “about right”. Only 24 per cent feel it is too close, while just 3 per cent say it is “not close enough”.
…. The Herald last asked the question in a poll in June 2004, when the Iraq war was at its peak and the relationship between the then leaders, John Howard and George Bush, was a close one…. The poll then found 46 per cent felt the relationship was too close and 47 per cent felt it was about right. Like the current poll, 3 per cent felt it was not close enough.
President Obama (speaking at a fundraiser in New York Thursday night):
Democracy is messy and it’s tough, and our system is broken to a large degree. And that makes this election more important than 2008. 2008 put us in a position to do some extraordinary things and I can’t be prouder of what we did. But in 2008, I also think everybody figured, we get through this one election and then it’s all done. And then, after two and a half years, and it’s been tough and there have been setbacks, there are a lot of folks who suddenly feel deflated, this is hard, I’m not sure I believe in change. (Laughter.) They’ve still got the Obama poster but it’s all kind of frayed. (Laughter.) And Obama is grayer — (laughter) — he doesn’t seem as cool. (Laughter.)
But in some ways, that’s a healthy thing, because what that means is in 2012 … we realize this is about us. This is not about my election; it’s not about one person. It’s about competing visions about where we’re going to take the country. Are we going to have a country that’s inclusive? Are we going to have a country that gives opportunity to everybody? Are we going to have a country where everybody is sharing sacrifices but also sharing opportunities? Are we going to have a country in which what we project to the world is not just our military might, but it’s also our capacity to champion human rights and women’s rights and feed folks and help them become self-sufficient?
And those competing visions are going to be determined in this next election as much as they ever have before. And so I hope you guys aren’t tired because we’ve got a lot more work to do. And this is an ongoing project.