President Barack Obama signs the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act; a job-training legislation which aims to help job seekers gain valuable employment skills, as guests and members of Congress look on at the White House
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Text of the President and Vice President’s remarks here
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In other important news today…
President Barack Obama meets with Apollo 11 astronauts Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission
President Barack Obama began a two-day visit to Minneapolis on Thursday sharing cheeseburgers with a local working mother and bringing a middle-class message tailor made to aid Democrats fearful of massive losses in the upcoming election. Obama said he shares the frustrations of people who went to college, work hard, and still struggle to buy homes, pay for child care, and dig out from student loan debt. “You are the reason I ran for office,” he told a crowd of about 350 people gathered for a town hall forum near Minnehaha Falls. In his early life, he said, “I was you guys … You are the ones I am thinking about every single day.”
Obama talked about progress his administration has made curbing greenhouse gases and making college more affordable, but devoted much of his time to touting the need for a higher minimum wage and equal pay and benefits for women. Those issues resonate strongly in Minnesota, where Gov. Mark Dayton (D) and a Democratic-controlled Legislature enacted the largest minimum wage increase in state history this year and approved a menu of economic protections for women in the workplace. “The idea that they would not be paid the same or not have the same opportunities … is infuriating,” Obama said of female workers. “If you are doing the same job, you should get the same salary. Period. Full stop.”
President Barack Obama signs a Presidential Memorandum directing Labor Secretary Tom Perez to modernize overtime protections. He is bypassing Congress and ordering changes in overtime rules so employers would required to pay millions more for extra time they put in on the job.
9:45 AM: President Obama and VP Biden meet with members of Congress
8:30 PM: President Obama departs the White House en route Stockholm, Swede
Wednesday: The President will arrive in Stockholm. While there, he will hold a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with Prime Minister Reinfeldt. He will then participate in an event honoring Raoul Wallenberg at the Great Synagogue in Stockholm and tour an expo featuring clean energy innovations at the Royal Institute of Technology. In the evening, he will take part in a dinner with Nordic Leaders.
Thursday: The President will hold a bilateral meeting with the King and Queen of Sweden. He will then depart Stockholm en route Saint Petersburg, Russia where he will attend the G-20 Summit.
Friday: Attends the G-20 Summit. Returns to Washington, DC on Friday evening.
ABC: Obama to Include LGBT Activists in Russia Meetings
President Obama will include members of Russian LGBT groups among the NGO leaders, democracy activists and human rights advocates he meets later this week when he is in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the G-20 summit, a U.S. official confirmed to ABC News.
It’s typical for visiting U.S. officials, including the president, to meet with civil society members here in Russia, something that always irks the Kremlin. But this appears to be the first time LGBT groups have been included in a presidential-level meeting.
…. It comes after a summer of international outrage over Russia’s new gay “propaganda” law, which outlaws even discussing homosexuality around minors. Violators could be fined and jailed. Foreigners face similar penalties plus deportation.
During an appearance on Jay Leno’s show last month, Obama was asked about the law and said he has “no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”
Rick Ungar (Forbes): Media Outlets Spitting Mad At Obama For Spoiling Their Plans To Cash In On War
Following the President’ surprise announcement that he would seek the advice and consent of Congress before launching an attack on Syria, it seemed that no matter where you landed on the cable news dial everyone was in a state of upset.
With visions of TV screens filled with ‘shock and awe’ dancing in their heads along with the blessed promise of the ratings that follow the hysteria of war—not to mention a sublime ending to the slow news agony of August that dogs all news show production staffs, writers and broadcasters (trust me,I know)—Obama had held out the football for Charlie Brown to kick and then pulled it away at the last minute.
And the media was pissed.
…. And then there were the pundits appearing on networks representing all sides of the political spectrum — including those who claim to play it ‘down the middle’ — who took to the airwaves to angrily argue that the President’s backing off an attack pending Congressional approval would weaken America in the eyes of the world.
Let me be more precise. Just shut your fking piehole. Forever. You useless walking, bloodstained pile of casual death.
…. Let us be clear. There is no blazing, murderous maw into which Joe Lieberman would not be willing to feed someone else’s child ….. The man could care less about the dead. He’d feed on them himself, if he could.
…. The working folk of America needed a champion – we needed a fierce advocate, if you will. And we elected one in 2008. If by some miracle of happenstance, President Obama didn’t have to work twice as hard to get half the recognition, even from “liberals” in the media, it would be patently obvious to everyone that the man presently occupying the Oval Office is the most worker-friendly president since Franklin Roosevelt. Barack Obama is a president who has more than kept his word to always make the best decision for people who work for a living.
…. a look at basically all of the president’s domestic policy – from bills that became law to bills that were blocked by Republicans, from legislation to administrative rulemaking – has been focused on one thing and one thing alone: helping America’s workers regain a footing in this economy. His job has not been easy, to put a severely mild point on it. But if on this labor day, we’re looking for a best friend of the American worker in government, the man behind the presidential seal is a pretty good pick.
President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday discussed the purported chemical weapons attack in Syria.
According to a White House readout of the phone call, both leaders “agreed that the use of chemical weapons is a serious violation of international norms and cannot be tolerated” while pledging to stay in close consultation on a potential response against the Assad regime in Syria.
Think Progress: Eleven Other Things American Workers Deserve (Besides A Day Off)
Labor Day is meant to celebrate the accomplishments of the American worker, who spends most days on an oil rig or in an office, on the assembly line or on the docks, making the American economy run. The holiday originated in 1894, after two dozen people were killed during the Pullman Strike, a railway workers’ boycott of low wages and high rent. From there, it became an American tradition, meant to honor the accomplishments of the people who make this nation run.
The battle is not yet won. Unions are on the decline, while income inequality is on the rise. Women still aren’t earning what men make. And many employees still aren’t free from discrimination at their jobs. Here are just eleven of the fights we’re still fighting for the American worker
Actor Robert De Niro defends President Barack Obama as a “good person” who’s “trying his best” for the country in the in the fall issue of Du Jour magazine:
Working as an actor his entire life means that De Niro sees everything through that lens. In describing his steadfast support for Barack Obama, he compares the president’s challenges to a filmmaker’s. “He’s a good person, period,” he says. “He’s trying his best. He’s going to do things that people feel are not right or violating one right or another. But at the end of the day, he represents, I think, the best of the type of people that I would like to see running the government. He has to play that game, the political game. They all do. They make statements they can’t honor because they’re impossible to honor. Once you get into that Washington machinery, you’ve just got to figure it out and swim against the current and grab onto this rock and that, and just try to maintain your course.”
“You know, it’s one thing to be a critic,” he continues. “It’s another thing to be directly involved. It’s like directing a movie and you edit the film and then someone will give you a suggestion: ‘You could do this, you could do that.’ You look and you say, ‘Yeah, but the reason I can’t do that is because I don’t have that shot, and if I use this shot that’s better here, it impacts on this one and it’s a story point.’ In other words, it can’t be done. You have to make these choices with the government, and you’re going to be criticized. If you took the time to explain it all to the public, they’d say, ‘OK, I get it.’ Can you explain to everybody? No. You just have to say, ‘I made this choice because I felt it was the right choice.’”
12:0: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at Century Village in Boca Raton, Fla (CNN)
1:0: Michelle Obama speaks at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls
3:05: VP Biden delivers remarks at a campaign event at Kings Point in Tamarac, Fla (CNN)
3:45: Michelle Obama speaks at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin (C-Span)
4:20: President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. (CBS and CNN)
6:05: President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at a private residence (Print Pool for Remarks Only)
8:25: President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. (Print Pool for Remarks Only)
Need to double-check some of these times, and will look for more links
Michael Tomasky: Fascinating series of tweets from the economist Justin Wolfers … the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its annual revisions of the jobs numbers … Result? They were only off by 386,000 jobs.
….. That, says Wolfers, equals 32,000 more jobs every month – every month, friends – than we knew. So the economy that year was adding an average of 194,000 jobs per month, not 162,000 ….. “The BLS benchmark revisions means that there has been a net jobs gain since Jan ’09. Romney can no longer talk about job losses under Obama.”
I would say this is rather big news. Meshes pretty nicely with this recent development that people are apparently feeling a little better about the economy, and becomes, I should think, a pretty good applause line for Obama to add into his speeches.
Washington Post: Voters in three critical swing states broadly oppose the far-reaching changes to Medicare associated with the Republican presidential ticket and, by big margins, prefer President Obama to handle the issue, according to new state polls by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
For seniors in Florida, Ohio and Virginia, Medicare rivals the economy as a top voting issue. And by majorities topping 70 percent, seniors say they prefer to keep Medicare as a program with guaranteed benefits, rather than moving to a system in which the government gives recipients fixed payments to buy coverage from private insurers or traditional Medicare, as Romney advocates.
… Generally, the more voters focus on Medicare, the more likely they are to support Obama’s bid for reelection.
The future of Medicare, the federal health program for the elderly and disabled, has become a flash point in the campaign since Romney’s selection last month of Rep. Paul Ryan…. Now, the challenges for Romney in the aftermath of the Ryan selection are becoming clear.
Michael Tomasky: On the Hardball set last night, Matthews told me that George W. Bush, on November 1, i.e. five days before the election, is giving a speech in…the Cayman Islands! It’s true.
What is he thinking? I guess he’s thinking first and foremost that he’s going to pocket $2 million or whatever it is they’re paying him (it’s an investment summit of some kind). But hasn’t he sort of noticed that overseas tax shelters in general and the Cayman Islands specifically have become campaign issues, and liabilities for the standard-bearer of his party?
It’s not even just about Romney; Bush may or may not give a crap about him. But it’s about Bush. This speech is, if the Democrats set it up properly, going to generate maybe two days of negative stories about the GOP and plutocracy that are going to include revisitations of the dismal Bush record. If he were going to make himself an issue in the campaign in such a public way, you’d think he might have decided to go visit veterans in a hospital or something.
Eugene Robinson: Conservative activist circles are abuzz with a new conspiracy theory: Polls showing President Obama with a growing lead over Mitt Romney are deliberately being skewed by the Liberal Mainstream Media so Republicans will be disheartened and stay home on Election Day.
This is denial and self-delusion but not of the harmless kind. It’s a false narrative that encourages the Republican Party to take the wrong lessons from this election, no matter the outcome.