Political Headlines April 5, 2013: President Barack Obama Apologizes for ‘Best Looking’ Attorney General Comment to Kamala Harris

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Apologizes for ‘Best Looking’ Attorney General Comment

Source: ABC News Radio, 4-5-13

John Gurzinski/Getty Images

President Obama called California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Thursday night to apologize for referring to her as the “best looking” attorney general.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Friday that Obama told Harris he was sorry both for the joking remark and the distraction it caused.

“He called her to apologize for the distraction created by his comments, and they are old friends and good friends, and he did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general’s professional accomplishments and her capabilities,” Carney said….READ MORE

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Political Headlines April 5, 2013: President Barack Obama Hosts Faith Leaders at Easter Prayer Breakfast

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Hosts Faith Leaders at Easter Prayer Breakfast

Source: ABC News Radio, 4-5-13

 Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rounding out the week’s Easter celebrations, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden hosted faith leaders from across the country at a prayer breakfast in the East Room of the White House Friday morning.

“To all the pastors in the house, I hope you’ve enjoyed some well-deserved rest after a very busy Holy Week.  I see some chuckles, so maybe not,” the president told the crowd of approximately 135 people.  “Here at the White House, I’m pleased to say that we survived yet another Easter Egg Roll.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines April 5, 2013: White House Budget President Barack Obama will Unveil Nest Week to Include Social Security Cuts

White House Budget to Include Social Security Cuts

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

White House officials say the budget President Obama will unveil next week will include proposed cuts to Medicare — by increasing premiums for wealthier retirees — and Social Security — by reducing annual cost of living increases.

The proposals themselves are not new; they were part of the ill-fated offer Obama made to Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, during the December negotiations over the fiscal cliff, but they are now part of the official White House budget.  It’s a change that will open the president up to criticism from liberals and put pressure on Republicans to offer a response….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency April 5, 2013: President Barack Obama & Vice President Joe Biden’s Speeches at Easter Prayer Breakfast

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President and Vice President at Easter Prayer Breakfast

Source: WH, 4-5-13 

East Room

9:28 A.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you all for being here today.  And welcome to the White House, and a belated happy Easter — this time of the year when we celebrate renewal and we reflect on the faith that brings us together.

For me, the essence of my faith is tolerance:  not being judgmental about people of different faiths.  When I was in Rome a few weeks ago, Pope Francis spoke movingly in his homily about our commitments to each other, not just as people of faith, but, he went on to say, but as human beings.

I grew up in a tradition of Catholic social doctrine, and I was incredibly impressed by His Holiness’s homily, his sense of social justice.  But I believe his message reads something essential about all faiths, and that is ultimately we all believe that we have a responsibility to one another and we all are our brothers’ and our sisters’ keepers.

When it comes down to it, we all know that we’re connected by much more than divides us, although the focus is always on what divides us.  As we move forward as a nation, I do believe we’re going to be judged on how we answer that call — that call of moral responsibility, to whether we stand up for those who have the least among us, whether we act on their behalf.

And one of the things that I think at least the President and I believe has been the essence of this administration is the most animating principle of the administration has been just that:  to look out for the least among us.  Those are the values that I know that the President — and I personally know — the President holds extremely close to his heart.

So I’d like to introduce to you now, my friend, and our President, President Barack Obama.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Everybody, please have a seat.  Thank you.

Well, good morning, everybody.

AUDIENCE:  Good morning.

THE PRESIDENT:  Welcome, once again, to the White House.  It is always wonderful to see so many friends from all across the country.  I want to thank you for joining us today.  I want to thank everybody for their prayers, but, most importantly, I want to thank everybody for their good works through your ministries.  It’s making a difference in communities all across this nation, and we could not be more proud to often have a chance to work with you.

To all the pastors in the house, I hope you’ve enjoyed some well-deserved rest after a very busy Holy Week.  I see some chuckles, so maybe not.  (Laughter.)  Here at the White House, I’m pleased to say that we survived yet another Easter Egg Roll.  (Laughter.)

Now, if you’ve been to this breakfast before, you know that I always try to avoid preaching in front of people who do it for a living.  That’s sound advice.  So this morning, I’m just going to leave the sermon to others and offer maybe a few remarks as we mark this — the end of this Easter season.

In these sacred days, those of us as Christians remember the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for each of us –- how, in all His humility and His grace, He took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation.  And we recommit ourselves to following His example –- to loving the Lord our God with all our hearts and all our souls and with all our minds, and to loving our neighbors as ourselves.

That’s the eternal spirit of Easter.  And this year, I had — I think was particularly special for me because right before Easter I had a chance to feel that spirit during my trip to the Holy Land.  And I think so many of you here know there are few experiences more powerful or more humbling than visiting that sacred earth.

It brings Scripture to life.  It brings us closer to Christ.  It reminds us that our Savior, who suffered and died was resurrected, both fully God and also a man; a human being who lived, and walked, and felt joy and sorrow just like us.

And so for Christians to walk where He walked and see what He saw are blessed moments.  And while I had been to Jerusalem before, where Jesus healed the sick, and cured the blind, and embraced the least of these, I also had a chance to go to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.  And those of you who have been there know that entering the church is a remarkable experience, although it is a useful instruction to see how managing different sections of the church and different clergy — it feels familiar.  (Laughter.)  Let’s just put it that way.  (Laughter.)

And as I approached the Altar of the Nativity, as I neared the 14-pointed Silver Star that marks the spot where Christ was born, the Patriarch of Jerusalem welcomed me to, in his words, “the place where heaven and Earth met.”

And there, I had a chance to pray and reflect on Christ’s birth, and His life, His sacrifice, His Resurrection.  I thought about all the faithful pilgrims who for two thousand years have done the same thing — giving thanks for the fact that, as the book of Romans tells us, “just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

I thought of the poor and the sick who seek comfort, and the marginalized and the forsaken who seek solace, and the grateful who merely seek to offer thanks for the simple blessings of this life and the awesome glory of the next.  I thought of all who would travel to this place for centuries to come and the lives they might know.

And I was reminded that while our time on Earth is fleeting, He is eternal.  His life, His lessons live on in our hearts and, most importantly, in our actions.  When we tend to the sick, when we console those in pain, when we sacrifice for those in need, wherever and whenever we are there to give comfort and to guide and to love, then Christ is with us.

So this morning, let us pray that we’re worthy of His many blessings, that this nation is worthy of His many blessings.  Let us promise to keep in our hearts, in our souls, in our minds, on this day and on every day, the life and lessons of Christ, our Lord.

And with that, I’d like to ask Father Larry Snyder to deliver our opening prayer.

END
9:36 A.M. EDT

Political Headlines April 5, 2013: New Gallup Poll: More Now Disapprove than Approve of President Obama’s Job Performance

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

More Now Disapprove than Approve of Obama’s Job Performance

Source: ABC News Radio, 4-5-13

Following his reelection, President Obama enjoyed a surge in his approval rating, with 58 percent of Americans in a Gallup poll last December giving him good marks for the work he’s been doing.

As of now, 47 percent now approve of the president’s performance, with 48 percent saying they now disapprove of how he’s handling the nation’s affairs….READ MORE

Obama Job Approval

Source: Gallup.com, 4-4-13

Mar 25-30, 2013 – Updates Tuesdays at 1 p.m. ET; reflects one-week change

National Adults
48%
+1
Ages 18 to 29
59%
-1
Ages 30 to 49
47%

Ages 50 to 64
47%
+2
Ages 65+
40%

White
36%

Nonwhite
77%
+4
Black
95%
+11
Hispanic
64%
-2
Democrat
88%
+2
Independent
42%
-1
Republican
10%
-1

Complete demographic data

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