President Barack Obama Oval Office listens to Valerie Jarrett during a meeting with senior staff in the Oval Office on Aug. 13, 2009. From left; White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Jarrett, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Assistant to the President Mona Sutphen. Seated at far right is Alyssa Mastromonaco, Director of Scheduling. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama addresses an audience of armed forces at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. President Obama thanked the troops for their service and marked the end of the combat mission in Afghanistan. ahead of the upcoming holidays
President Barack Obama returns a salute as he steps off Marine One helicopter upon his return on the South Lawn of the White House
First Lady Michelle Obama reads “Twas the night before Christmas” to patients, families, and staff at Children’s National Health System in Washington
WH.gov: ….. Staff Sergeant Carter will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a cavalry scout with Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on October 3, 2009.
He will be the fifth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Staff Sergeant Carter grew up in Spokane, Washington and claims Antioch, California as his home of record. He is married to Shannon Carter and they have three children; Jayden Young, Madison Carter and Sehara Carter.
11:30: President Obama meets with faith leaders to discuss the March on Washington and how civil rights and equality are closely tied to voting rights and closing the gap on education, unemployment, and access to health care
2:10: President Obama awards Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor
3:0 (changed from 12:30): Jay Carney briefs the press
4:15: President Obama meets with 2013 Urban Debate National Tournament Champions
The Week Ahead:
Tuesday: The President will host a reception at the White House in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Wednesday: The President will deliver remarks at the Let Freedom Ring ceremony on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Thursday: Attends meetings at the White House.
Friday: The President will welcome President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia, President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania, and President Andris Berzins of Latvia to the White House.
NPR: Pain, Loss And Tears Come With Medal Of Honor
The Army staff sergeant who Monday afternoon will receive the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony has mixed emotions.
“I would never tell any soldier or service member, ‘Hey, go out and get the Medal of Honor’, because of the amount of pain and loss and tears that has to be shed in order to receive it,” Staff Sergeant Ty Michael Carter tells Morning Edition host Renee Montagne.
Carter, 33, is being given the nation’s highest military honor for his actions during a 2009 firefight in Afghanistan….
Carter says he’s honored to be recognized for his bravery. But, he adds: “Even though this award is an awesome honor and a great privilege, in order to get such a prestigious award, you have to be in a situation where your soldiers, your family, your brothers, are suffering and dying around you. And then, you just did everything you could to save lives or prevent further loss.”
Time: U.S. Moves Forces Toward Syria, Inquiry Continues
U.S. intelligence officials sought Saturday to determine whether Syria’s government unleashed a deadly chemical weapons attack on its people. At the same time, the Obama administration prepared for a possible military response by moving naval forces closer to Syria.
Meeting on the issue Saturday with his national security team, President Barack Obama received a detailed review of the range of options he has requested for the U.S. and its international partners to respond if the fact-finding process concludes that Syrian President Bashar Assad engaged in deadly chemical warfare, the White House said.
At the same time, Obama has emphasized that quick intervention in the years-old Syrian civil war was problematic because of the international considerations that should precede a military strike.
Obama discussed the situation in Syria by telephone with British Prime Minister David Cameron, the White House said.
AP: Controversial Texas Voter ID Law Likely Enforced Next Week
Unless a federal judge intervenes, the South Texas city of Edinburg could be the first to enforce a new voter ID law next week, and lawyers will likely use the special election to gather evidence to strengthen lawsuits to block it in the future.
While the U.S. Justice Department and several civil rights groups have filed federal lawsuits to block the requirement that voters produce a state-issued photo ID, no one as of Friday had asked for a restraining order to stop enforcement of the law. That means it will be in effect when early voting in the city’s special election begins Wednesday.
Allowing Texas to enforce the law could be part of a larger legal strategy to defeat it in the long run…..
President Barack Obama talks with Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Jack Lew, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, before making a statement to the press in the State Dining Room of the White House, Jan. 9, 2012. The President announced Daley’s resignation and that Lew will serve as his next chief of staff. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Mark Kelly leans on the shoulder of his wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, at a memorial vigil remembering the victims and survivors of the shooting that wounded Giffords, 12 others and killed six one year ago Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
NYT: The sun had fallen and a crowd had gathered on a chilly Sunday night on the mall at the University of Arizona, for the last event of a weekend commemorating the first anniversary of the mass shooting here one year ago. The vigil began with the Pledge of the Allegiance.
Reuters: Welcome to an unlikely beacon of hope for the global auto industry – Detroit.
Executives arriving this week for the Detroit auto show find a U.S. car market that has morphed from meltdown three years ago to a safe haven as concerns grow about the stability of other big economies, from Europe to China.
Analysts and executives expect 2012 U.S. auto sales to grow 4 percent to 9 percent, the third consecutive annual gain….
12:30: First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver remarks at a DNC luncheon in Richmond.
2:45: Mrs Obama will announce a major commitment by the country’s top medical colleges and universities to create a new generation of doctors, medical schools, and research facilities to ensure that veterans, service men and women receive the medical care that they deserve.
Prior to this announcement, the First Lady will tour the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center’s Polytrauma Unit to visit wounded warriors and veterans receiving in-patient treatment.
5:15 PM: Mrs. Obama will deliver remarks at a DNC reception
Friday, January 13:
Morning: Mrs Obama will join the cast of Nickelodeon’s iCarly at a special screening of “iMeet The First Lady,” a new episode featuring the First Lady that honors America’s military children.
At the final event of the tour, Miranda Cosgrove and the iCarly cast will be joined by Mrs. Obama at Hayfield Secondary School, a school with a large number of military children. They will screen the episode, participate in iCarly’s “Random Dancing” and answer questions from the students.
Mrs. Obama will also appear in a Joining Forces PSA produced by Nickelodeon that will debut immediately following the airing of “iMeet the First Lady” on the 16th.”
Charles Pierce (Esquire): MANCHESTER, N.H. – Just got back to town in time to feel the entire race pivot underneath my feet. Of course, this is just a naked ploy by the Gingrich campaign to sew up the critical Unemployable Dude With A Snowmobile vote, which is not a constituency lightly overlooked in this state, although in South Carolina, political observers say, it is replaced by the Unemployable Dude With A Mullet And A Truck vote ….
CBS: The nominating process may officially be underway, but Republicans have yet to enthusiastically embrace a potential nominee for president – and despite the late date, most would like to see other candidates enter the race, according to a new CBS News poll.
The survey finds that 58 percent of Republican primary voters want more presidential choices, while just 37 percent say they are satisfied with the current field. The percentage of Republican primary voters that wants more choices has increased 12 percentage points since October.
58%?! I think that’s what you call an ‘enthusiasm gap’.
Charles P. Pierce (Esquire): And, suddenly, the dogwhistles have turned into air-raid sirens .. I think, maybe, it’s time for the nation to rise up and point out to the Republican party that, root and branch, it is a racist embarrassment to democracy and a blight on this nation that all the world can see…..
….there is a steady, noxious river of bile flowing through the entire Republican party, and through the conservative “movement” that empowers it …
… No, Rick, I don’t believe for a moment you meant to say something else and it came out “Blah people,” you Bible-banging coward. Nobody’s talking in code any more. It’s right out front there, for all the world to see. How dare these people? How dare their evil souls?
Steve Benen: …. As someone who was less than thrilled when Daley got the job, I’m not exactly sorry to hear the news. What’s more, I’ve liked Lew, and have no doubt he’ll be excellent in this role.
My larger concern is that Lew is a great OMB chief, and getting the Senate to confirm his replacement, whomever that may be, is going to be exceedingly unpleasant.
Regardless, I’m rather pleased with the news. The White House has been largely on the right track lately – payroll fight, mercury emissions, CFPB recess appointments, etc. – and Lew seems likely to help keep it that way.
President Barack Obama announces the change of his chief of staff at the State Dinning Room of the White House as his outgoing chief of staff William Daley and replacement Jacob Lew look on.
Sun Times: White House chief of staff Bill Daley, whose resignation was announced by President Obama on Monday, will be a co-chair of his 2012 re-election campaign, based in Chicago.
“He’s got a ton of political experience, knowledge and contacts and we look forward to leveraging those assets and working closely together to re-elect the President this year,” a member of the Obama team told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Washington Post: …. Rick Perry, whose bid for the White House depends heavily on support from religious conservatives, finds himself confronting an issue that is a flash point for that part of his base: his attempt to order schoolgirls to take a vaccine that would protect them against a sexually transmitted virus.
The uproar over the Gardasil vaccine – manufactured by Merck, a major Perry campaign donor – knocked the candidate off-stride during a Republican debate Monday night ….
Perry bristled at accusations from Michele Bachmann that he had pushed the vaccine in 2007 at the bidding of Merck, a Perry donor that also employed a former aide to the governor as a lobbyist.
“It was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them,” Perry said. “I raise about $30 million. And if you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended.”
But campaign disclosure records portray a much deeper financial connection with Merck than Perry’s remarks suggest.
His gubernatorial campaigns, for example, have received nearly $30,000 from the drugmaker since 2000, most of that before he issued his vaccine mandate, which was overturned by the Texas legislature.
Merck and its subsidiaries have also given more than $380,000 to the Republican Governors Association (RGA) since 2006, the year that Perry began to play a prominent role in the Washington-based group…
Perry served as chairman of the RGA in 2008 and again this year, until he decided to run for president. The group also ranks among the governor’s biggest donors, giving his campaign at least $4 million over the past five years….
…. One of Perry’s closest confidantes, his former chief of staff Mike Toomey, was then working as an Austin-based lobbyist for Merck, which was in the midst of a multimillion-dollar campaign to persuade states to make the vaccine mandatory.
Toomey, who has declined requests for comment, has since helped found Make Us Great Again, a pro-Perry super PAC that can accept unlimited donations from corporations and wealthy donors. The group plans to raise as much as $55 million to help Perry compete for the GOP nomination, according to media reports.