Read the transcript provided by the White House, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »
Read the transcript provided by the White House, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »
President Obama will be in Southern California on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Air Force One is due to arrive from Phoenix at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, and the president is scheduled to tape his appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in Burbank.
Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, wrote a blog post Monday noting an Associated Press report that late-night comics have been having a field day with Obama in the first half of this year. “We’re all for jokes, but with a ‘new normal’ of stagnant wages, rising costs, and persistently high joblessness, there’s little funny about the president’s handling of the economy,” he wrote.
President Obama will spend the night in Los Angeles and then go to Camp Pendleton in San Diego County on Wednesday to visit with military families and deliver remarks to troops, before returning to LAX to head back to Washington.
President Barack Obama today welcomed the San Francisco Giants to the White House to honor their 2012 World Series win.
Mayor Ed Lee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were on hand for the event, too. No mention was made of the Giants’ current position at the bottom of the NL West division.
Read the president’s full remarks, after the jump…
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A soldier from Antioch will become the fifth living recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, the White House announced today.
President Barack Obama on Aug. 26 will award U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry, recognizing his courage 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 Oct. 3, 2009.
Here’s how the incident was described when Carter received the USO’s most prestigious leadership honor, the George Van Cleave Military Leadership Award, in 2011:
When his fellow soldiers and a nearby combat outpost came under attack from a battalion-sized enemy force, Carter, a specialist at the time, ran repeatedly through heavy enemy fire to bring critical ammunition to his position.
Armed only with only an M4 carbine, he beat back the assault force for several hours. Despite being wounded, he disregarded his own personal safety to assist a critically wounded comrade. He administered first aid and carried the wounded soldier through withering enemy fire. Throughout the battle, Carter exposed himself to the enemy no fewer than six times as he crossed treacherous ground where eight fellow soldiers were killed.
Carter grew up in Spokane, Wash., but now calls Antioch home; he’s married to Shannon Carter and they have three children, Jayden Young, Madison Carter and Sehara Carter.
He enlisted in the Army in January 2008 as a cavalry scout, and after training at Ft Knox, Kentucky, he was assigned to 3-61 Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, where he deployed to Afghanistan from May 2009 to May 2010. In October 2010 he was assigned as a Stryker gunner with 8-1 Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He completed a second deployment to Afghanistan in October 2012, and now is stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., assigned to the 7th Infantry Division.
His other military decorations include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal, Navy Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon w/Numeral 2, Army Service Ribbon, Oversea Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, the Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge and Air Assault Badge.
The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.
The U.S. Senate today confirmed a former Oakland resident, and the brother-in-law of California’s attorney general, as third-in-command at the U.S. Department of Justice.
“As a key member of the department’s senior management team, he has led with integrity, acting always in the best interests of the American people and in accordance with the finest traditions of public service,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a news release. “I applaud his confirmation by the U.S. Senate today, and look forward to continuing to work with him as Associate Attorney General – a role in which he has excelled, in an acting capacity, for more than a year.”
President Obama nominated West to this post last September, but he has served as the acting associate attorney general since March 2012; before that he had been the assistant attorney general in charge of the department’s civil division since April 2009.
Earlier, he’d been a special assistant to the deputy attorney general from 1993 to 1994; a federal prosecutor in San Francisco from 1994 to 1999; a special assistant attorney general at the California Department of Justice from 1999 to 2001; and then a litigation partner at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco.
I first met West when he was a delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and he later became a prominent fundraiser for Obama’s first presidential campaign. His wife, Maya Harris, is vice president for democracy, rights and justice at the Ford Foundation, and sister to California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
West, 47, now oversees the department’s civil litigating sections (the Antitrust Division, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Tax Division); grant-making components (the Office of Justice Programs, Office on Violence Against Women, and Office of Community Oriented Policing Services); and other sections including the Community Relations Service, Executive Office of U.S. Trustees, Office of Information Policy and Foreign Settlement Claims Commission. He’s also co-chair of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico; vice chair of the steering committee of the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force; and the federal government’s chief Freedom of Information Act officer.
He’s a graduate of Harvard College, where he served as publisher of the Harvard Political Review, and of Stanford Law School, where he was president of the Stanford Law Review.
The White House today announced its Summer 2013 interns, and as usual, several either hail from the Bay Area or have attended school here:
Interns work in one of several White House departments, including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Chief of Staff, the Office of Communications, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Administration, the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Office of Presidential Personnel, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the White House Counsel, and the Office of White House Fellows.
“I’m pleased that today I had the opportunity to discuss the goals of the CBC’s Poverty and the Economy Task Force, which I co-chair, during our meeting at the White House,” Lee, D-Oakland, said in a news release issued after the meeting. “President Obama was receptive and positive about our work, and was very clear that addressing poverty and opportunity is a high priority for his administration.
“I’m looking forward to working with the President on a wide range of critical issues that touch all of us, regardless of region, race, or economic status; issues like immigration, voting rights, the protection of our environment, as well as poverty and creating good jobs,” Lee added.
Lee was an early and ardent supporter of Obama’s campaigns and sees eye-to-eye with him on most issues, but not all; she has criticized his stances on issues including drone warfare, the timeline for withdrawing from Afghanistan, and his inclusion of the chained CPI – a cost index used to help calculate cost-of-living adjustments for benefit levels – in his 2014 budget proposal.
President Barack Obama, preparing to discuss Obamacare and his administration’s controversial intelligence-gathering programs, strode to the podium at San Jose’s Fairmont Hotel this morning, greeted the crowd of reporters – and paused.
“I think there’s only one problem, and that is that my remarks are not sitting here,” he said, smiling and gesturing to the podium before calling offstage, “People!”
“By Friday afternoon, things get a little challenged,” he said, drawing laughter; a moment later, an aide handed him his notes. “Oh, somebody is tripping. Folks are sweating back there right now.”
Again, here’s the pool report I just filed to the White House:
From the Palo Alto event, POTUS’ motorcade made its way back out to Highway 101 South, to Oregon Expressway, to Page Mill Road, to Interstate 280 North, to Alpine Road, to Los Trancos Road. Finally, it proceeded up the vineyard-lined private drive to the palatial home of venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, a cofounder of Sun Microsystems, and his wife, Neeru. POTUS arrived at 7:32 p.m. Pacific Time.
Reporters were ushered into the house at 7:54 p.m. as Khosla addressed the crowd of only a few dozen who’d paid $32,400 each for this DSCC fundraising dinner. Khosla said he met Obama while he was a senator and found him “amazingly adept” at energy issues. POTUS took the microphone at 7:56 p.m.
POTUS thanked the Khoslas “and these beasts” – their large, shaggy dogs – for hosting the event. “These two could eat Bo,” he said, gesturing toward the canines. He acknowledged the presence of DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
Obama again described his visit this morning to the Mooresville, N.C., middle school which has vastly improved its performance by moving to a laptop-based, high-tech teaching system. “The passion that young people now have for learning… because of that, the school has transformed itself.” The administration’s new goal is that within five years, all schools will have broadband and wireless access to transform the nation’s educational system “and save money in the process,” he said.
Silicon Valley knows of this transformation better than anywhere else, he said, and now the question is how to engage the rest of the nation, how to make sure everyone has access to the resources for success.
After an extraordinary economic crisis, things are getting better, he said. Referencing his meeting Friday with the president of China, “when you look at the challenges they face and the challenges we face, I’ll take our challenges any day of the week,” but we have to make our government work again.
Government has an important role to play from education to regulatory structure that encourages clean energy and protection of intellectual property, and if we get that part of it right, nothing can stop us, the president said.
“From my perspective, that’s what it means to be a Democrat… that’s what leads us to believe in this democratic ideal,” he said. “So in order for us to accomplish that, we’re going to need to have a Democratic Senate.”
Democrats have no monopoly on wisdom, he reiterated, and he’ll continue to reach out across the aisle in search of Republican cooperation. “But on too much of the big stuff, what we see coming out of the other party is an interest in winning elections or in obstruction, not enough interest in solving problems. Too often what we see is the notion that compromise is a dirty word. And sometimes what we see is the denial of science, around climate change for example.”
He remains optimistic, he said, because of the kids he saw in North Carolina and the businesses he sees in Silicon Valley. “But I’m going to need your help to make that happen… and if you’re willing to engage and be involved and stay committed… then I think we’ll succeed.”
POTUS finished speaking at 8:07 p.m. Reporters were ushered out before he started taking questions from the crowd.
Here’s the local pool report I’ve just filed to the White House:
Air Force One landed at 5:50 p.m. Pacific Time at Moffett Field in Mountain View. POTUS was greeted on the tarmac by Dr. S. Pete Worden, director of the NASA Ames Research Center; Lewis Braxton III, NASA Ames’ deputy director; Col. Steve Butow, USAF Air National Guard, commander of the 129th Rescue Wing; Mountain View Mayor John Inks; and Sunnyvale Mayor Tony Spitaleri.
The motorcade left at 6:01 p.m., heading north on Highway 101 to the University Avenue exit in Palo Alto, then winding into town to the home of Flipboard CEO Mike McCue and his wife Marci. Tickets for this reception to benefit the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee started at $2,500 per head and ranged up to $12,000 per person or $15,000 per couple. A long line of well-heeled guests wended through the garden and into the side door of the photo for photos with the president.
The McCue and the president strode out the home’s back door and to a podium on the back patio at 6:38 p.m.
McCue said Obama “absolutely understands what’s happening in Silicon Valley” and has “a holistic approach to the economy,” understanding that the economy and society are intertwined.
“It is good go be back in California, especially when the weather is this good,” the president said, thanking the McCues and acknowledging the presence of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., chairman of the DSCC.
Obama said he visited a school earlier Thursday in Mooresville, N.C., where the superintendent decided a few years ago to get rid of textbooks and replace them with a laptop for every student, starting in third grade. That and having teachers rethink the whole curriculum has made it a low-spending but high-performing district now.
“You could see these kids just excited about learning and wanting to keep learning well after the school day was done,” he said.
And so the new initiative is that in five years, all schools will have high-speed connections to all students can take advantage of these technologies. “One of the best things about this is, we don’t need a vote through Congress,” he said, drawing cheers from the crowd.
The economy is coming back, jobs are being created every month, the auto industry has recovered and financial markets are stabilizing, and so America is poised to make the 21st century its own, Obama said.
Whether it’s education, infrastructure, fiscal policies, “on all these issues, there’s a range of common-sense solutions available to us right now, and if we implement them, we’re going to leave an America behind for our kids and grandkids that is stronger and more prosperous than ever before,” he said. “We’ve got what we need in order to succeed.”
But “too often government is getting in the way of this process,” Obama said, though government must help play a role no matter how robust the private sector is. “There are some things we do better together… Often the private sector cannot or will not make those investments.”
“The reason that Washington is a problem is that right now, it’s broken – it’s not working the way it needs to,” he said.
Democrats “don’t have a monopoly on wisdom” but “we’re just not getting a lot of cooperation from the other side,” he said. There are some “glimmers of functionality,” like Bennet working with the Gang of 8 on immigration reform, but many other issues remain stymied.
Democrats believe in “a light touch” of regulations and taking care not to over-tax, but government must play its part nonetheless, he said. No other advanced nation lacks universal health care, he said, and so this must be made to happen here. And roadblocks like budget sequestration are freezing funds for important research that could move the economy forward. “We have a role to play.”
Climate change will be the most important choice this generation makes, and “we’re going to have to make some collective decisions about this,” he said. In the face of science that’s “irrefutable,” we have to balance clean energy and other means of carbon reduction with economic growth.
“Here’s the bottom line: I have never been more optimistic about America than I am right now,” Obama said, noting that people have remarked upon his gray hair and the difficulties of his job. Despite tough economic times, “we’re more inclusive, we’re more prosperous, we are less violent now than just about any time in human history, and that should give us hope.”
“But we’ve got to get this right, and the only way I’m going to be able to do that is if I’ve got people in Congress who share my optimism and share the sense that there are solutions out there and that compromise is not a dirty word,” he said, exhorting the crowd to be optimistic and stay engaged. “Ultimately our government represents us, and if we neglect it, it doesn’t work.”
POTUS finished speaking at 6:56 p.m. He worked the rope line briefly before returning to the car; motorcade departed for the fundraising dinner in Portola Valley at