Campaign Headlines June 12, 2013: President Barack Obama Campaigns for Ed Markey in Massachusetts Senate Run

CAMPAIGN BUZZ

Campaign_Headlines

CAMPAIGN HEADLINES….

Obama Stumps for Ed Markey in Massachusetts Senate Run

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-12-13

The Guardian via Getty Images

Seven months after winning re-election, President Obama is back on the campaign trail. This time, he’s lending his political prowess to stump for Senate hopeful Rep. Ed Markey….READ MORE

Advertisements

Full Text Obama Presidency June 12, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech at Ed Markey for Senate Rally, Boston, Massachusetts

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President at Markey for Senate Rally — Boston, MA

Source: WH, 6-12-13

Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center
Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts

1:27 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Boston!  (Applause.)  It is great to be back in Boston.  (Applause.)  Good to be back in Massachusetts.  (Applause.)  And, most of all, it is great to be here with the next senator from Massachusetts — Ed Markey.  (Applause.)

First of all, I want to thank Ed for that great introduction.  (Applause.)  Because I am here with my great friends from Boston, because I’m here to campaign on behalf of somebody who will be an outstanding member of the United States Senate, I am not going to talk trash about the hockey game.  (Laughter.)  I’m not going to say anything about the outstanding qualities of the Chicago Blackhawks.  (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE:  Boooo —

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m not going to say anything.  I’m not going to do it.  (Laughter.)  Because I don’t want to make you all feel bad.  (Laughter.)  I want you to feel good.

Part of the reason you should feel good is not only do you have an outstanding congressional delegation, you also have a great Governor — my good friend, Deval Patrick.  (Applause.)   You’ve got one of the finest mayors in the United States of America — we love Tom Menino.  (Applause.)  I was just backstage talking to Tom, and he doesn’t just inspire Boston and make it a better place, he inspires the country.  And we’re grateful for his lifetime of service.

The last time I saw Tom, the last time I saw a lot of you was for the memorial service honoring the victims of the Marathon bombing.  So this morning, before I came here, I wanted to spend some time with some Bostonians, so we stopped by Charlie’s Sandwich Shop — (applause) — and I got a burger and fries.  And we were saying hi to everybody and hugging folks, and Ed was with me.  And one of the people I met in the shop just by happenstance was a young man whose family had been injured by the bombing.  And he was with a nurse who had been at Mass General the day those folks got brought in.  And she was on her day off.  But I gave her a big hug and I reminded her of how much what she did had meant to so many people all throughout the city and she was an example of the spirit of Boston during a very difficult time.
And I asked people, how is the city doing?  And they said, you know, we’re bouncing back.  Boylston Street may be open again.  Life may be back to normal in a lot of ways.  But we know there’s still too many middle-class families that aren’t seeing their hard work rewarded, too many young people who are looking for work and can’t find it, too many Americans who feel like the rungs on the ladder of opportunity have grown farther and farther apart.  And that’s why Ed and I are focused on building the true engine of long-term economic growth — and that is a rising, thriving middle class.  (Applause.)

And every day I wake up, I ask three questions:  How do I make America a magnet for good jobs?  How do we make sure our workers earn the skills and education they need for those jobs?  How do we make sure those jobs are paying a decent living?  And the answer to that is, government can’t do it by itself.  Obviously, the private sector is the driver of our economy.  It’s the engine of our growth.

But when people say the whole problem is government, they don’t understand government can help by establishing smart priorities, by making smart choices, by investing in American manufacturing so we’re bringing more of our jobs back from overseas — (applause) — investing in our roads and our bridges and our ports to make sure that we are staying competitive all around the world; educating our children from the earliest years, keeping them safe from gun violence; rethinking our high schools, making college more affordable — (applause) — making sure we stay at the cutting edge in science and technology; securing our energy future; addressing climate change.  There are some things that government can do that will help middle-class families, and that’s what Ed Markey is committed to doing.  (Applause.)

We can do all this.  We have all the plans.  We have all the policies.  We have solutions to our challenges.  We have all the ingredients for success.  This is not only the greatest nation on Earth in the past, this is going to be the greatest nation on Earth for the foreseeable future.  There’s no country on Earth that would not gladly trade places with the United States.  But what’s holding us back right now is inaction in Washington, gridlock in Washington — too many folks in Washington who are putting the next election ahead of the next generation.  (Applause.)

Now, Boston, I want you to know I’ve run my last campaign.  Michelle is very happy about that.  (Laughter.)  So my only concern is making sure that we advance the interests of the broadest number of Americans and we leave our children a stronger, safer, more prosperous country than the one we inherited.  That’s all I care about.  (Applause.)  And that means I’m willing to work with anybody — I’ll work with Republicans, Democrats, independents — anybody who wants to make progress. I’m ready to get going.  I want to work with them.  (Applause.)

So, for example, right now on immigration, we’ve got a good bipartisan bill moving through the Senate that strengthens our borders and reforms the system so that everybody is playing by the same rules — reform that will allow us to continue to attract talent from all around the world, the best and the brightest.  And whenever Republicans are ready to work with me, I’m ready to work with them.  (Applause.)  I want to govern not just politic.  (Applause.)

And I notice on gun violence, there are a lot of Republicans out there who recognize that we need some common-sense gun safety measures.  Some Republicans may be rethinking the stances that they took in the past.  That’s the good news.  We want to encourage that.  But the fact of the matter is that a whole bunch of Republicans out there are not interested in getting things done.  They think compromise is a dirty word.  They think the problem we’ve got is just working people who join unions — that that’s what holding us back.  They think environmental regulations are what’s holding us back.  They think that we’re spending, I guess, too much money on science and research and technology.

And because of those attitudes, we’ve got to have some Democrats like Ed Markey, who will stand up and do the right thing.  That’s what we need.  (Applause.)

Ed mentioned that the idea of being a Democrat — look, I don’t believe that any single party has a monopoly on wisdom.  My favorite President is a guy from Illinois who founded the Republican Party, effectively — Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican President.  (Applause.)  But what does make me a Democrat is the basic idea that in this country, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter who you love, you should be able to get ahead if you’re willing to work hard and act responsibly.  (Applause.)

You should be able to buy a home and send your kids to college, and save a little bit for retirement, make sure your kids get a good education, not go bankrupt when you get sick.  Most Americans aren’t asking for a lot.  They know they’ve got to take care of themselves.  They just want to make sure that if they’re working hard, they can get ahead.  That’s the essence of what it means to be a Democrat.

And that’s why we’ve got to have folks like Ed Markey, who are going to help keep weapons of war off the streets and out of our schools; make it harder for criminals to get a gun in their hands.

That’s why we’ve got to have a Democrat who is going to make sure that we implement the Affordable Care Act — because in a nation this wealthy, nobody should have to go without affordable, accessible health care.  They don’t have to do it in Massachusetts.  They shouldn’t have to do it anywhere else.  (Applause.)  It’s the right thing to do, and we need Ed Markey to make sure that it gets implemented.  (Applause.)

We’re fighting to make sure that when it comes to women’s health, no employer or insurance company or politician gets to decide your health care.  Women should make decisions about their health care, not some politician in Washington.  (Applause.)

We need somebody who is going to be supportive of the Consumer Financial Protection Board that Elizabeth Warren and I started talking about even before I was elected President and that we’ve now implemented to make sure you’re not getting cheated by unscrupulous financial practices.  We need somebody who is going to support that robustly.  That’s what Ed is going to do.

We don’t need politicians who are going to roll back these rights.  We need somebody like Ed Markey who is going to fight to secure them, no matter how many times the Republicans in Washington want to refight the old battles.

Do you know that the House Republicans have held nearly 40 votes to repeal Obamacare?  They did another one just two weeks ago because they figured that they were a couple new representatives that hadn’t had a chance to vote against Obamacare.  That’s not a productive thing to do, people.

This law is going to mean big things for the economic security of middle-class families.  We should be spending time figuring out how to spread the word that if you don’t have health insurance, you can now get it.

We need a senator from Massachusetts who will help me, work with me, to deal with climate change in an honest, realistic way. (Applause.)  Ed has been fighting this battle for decades.  If we want our children and our grandchildren to live in the same beautiful planet, the same abundance and natural glory that we have enjoyed in our lives, we’ve got to double down on our investment in science and basic research.  We can’t just develop the energy sources of the past.  We’ve got to develop the energy sources of the future.

We’ve got the tools and the capabilities to make huge strides.  We’ve already doubled the production of clean energy.  We’ve already doubled fuel-efficiency standards on cars.  We’ve got to keep on going forward, not backwards.  And that’s what Ed Markey is going to help us do.  (Applause.)

We’ve ended a war in Iraq; we’re winding down the war in Afghanistan responsibly.  Now we’re going to have to take care of our veterans and keep Americans safe.  And I will keep working with the other side of the aisle on these issues.  But I want somebody like Ed Markey who every single day is going to be fighting on behalf of our veterans, going to be fighting on behalf of our first responders.

These budget battles we have in Washington, they have implications for whether or not we’re helping cities and states fund their firefighters, fund their police officers.  And everybody here in Boston knows how much those first responders mean to us when a crisis has hit.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got to make sure we’re there for them.  (Applause.)

So, look, here’s the bottom line.  We’ve gone through some tough times over these last few years and so many of you put your faith in me in 2008 and 2012 — (applause) — the folks here in Massachusetts were very kind to me back in 2004, when nobody could pronounce my name.  (Laughter.)

And every single day, I think about all of you.  I look out on the faces in this crowd — some of you I know, some of you have knocked on doors for me, some of you poured your heart and soul into our efforts.

But here’s the thing that I think all of us understand — the job of rebuilding America, the job of making sure our kids have a great education, the job of making sure everybody has health care, the job of making sure that financial institutions treat everybody fairly, the job of making sure our veterans have the care that they need, the job of making sure we have a bright energy future, the job of preserving our environment, the job of making sure we stay on the cutting-edge when it comes to innovation — that job is not mine alone.  I can’t do it by myself.  I’ve got to have folks with me who care as passionately about these things as I do.  (Applause.)  I’ve got to have folks in the United States Senate who are willing to stand up for working people just like I have.  I need folks in the United States Senate who, every day, are waking up thinking about the people who sent them there, and trying to figure out how do I make sure that they are getting a brighter future.

That’s who Ed Markey is.  I need Ed Markey in the United States Senate.  (Applause.)

So this election is going to come down to turnout.  We’ve got a whole lot of Democrats in this state and a whole lot of Obama voters, but you can’t just turnout during a presidential election.  You’ve got to turn out in this election.  You can’t think, oh, I did my work in 2012.  You’ve got some work to do right now in 2013.  (Applause.)  You can’t just pat your back and say, well, I knocked on some doors back in November.  I need you knocking on some doors right now in June.  (Applause.)

And if you work with the same focus and the same passion — if you are knocking on some doors and making some phone calls, if you’re talking to your friends and you’re talking to your neighbors — if you’re talking to cousin Jimmy who doesn’t always vote unless you give him a phone call — if you are making sure that people know Ed Markey’s remarkable record in Congress, then I guarantee you he will be the next United States senator from Massachusetts.  (Applause.)  He’ll join Elizabeth Warren.  He’ll carry on the legacy of Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.  He will be my partner, and we will continue the march forward on behalf of not just this generation, but future generations.

Thank you.  Let’s get to work.  God bless you.

END
1:51 P.M. EDT

Political Musings June 12, 2013: National Security Agency’s dragnet classified data collection: National security necessity or Orwellian proportion privacy invasion?

POLITICAL MUSINGS

Pol_Musings

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

National Security Agency’s dragnet classified data collection: National security necessity or Orwellian proportion privacy invasion?

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program.

The Obama Administration can add a fourth burgeoning scandal to their second term woes. Last Wednesday June 5, 2013, the Washington Post and the London, UK paper the Guardian revealed the National Security Agency (NSA) along with FBI had been the monitoring all phone and internet records in the United States. The story took an added twist on Sunday, June 9 when Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor responsible for leaking documents from the surveillance program to the press came forward. Now the focus is on two fronts, the violations of rights to privacy in exchange for national security, and the legal fate of the whistleblower.

When the story broke, news headlines first focused on Verizon releasing information relating to all their customers landline and mobile phone calls because of a special and secretive court order.  The data collection focuses on the metadata; telephone numbers, call lengths, locations, and call frequency for all calls within the country and calls abroad dialed within the United States. There have been repeated assurances that the phone calls themselves were not recorded. However, the public was soon informed that the government’s collection was far broader and included internet and social media sites including Yahoo, Google and Facebook.

The administration has justified the data surveillance by stating it is important to national security and has thwarted terrorist attacks in the past. A White House official speaking to ABC News stated the program was “a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the United States,” but complies “with the Constitution and laws of the United States and appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties.”

The government position is that this revelation to the general public would hinder their ability to protect the public from terrorism.  Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper released a statement which an excerpt read “The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”

President Barack Obama speaking in California on Friday, June 7 attempted to reassure the public that their phone calls were not being recorded, “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls. They are not looking at people’s names, and they’re not looking at content.  But by sifting through this so-called metadata, they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism,” Obama said.

The phone and internet surveillance program known as PRISM has popular support in Congress and there seems there might not be grand scale opposition in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. Chair of the Intelligence Committee Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-CA stated that the records collection was a part of the 2001 Patriot Act and said “It’s called protecting America…. I understand privacy…. we want to protect people’s private rights and that is why this is carefully done.”

President Obamas also made it clear on Friday that although the program was a secret to the public, but there was bipartisan support and knowledge of the data collection program from Congress. “The programs that have been discussed over the last couple days in the press are secret in the sense that they’re classified, but they’re not secret in the sense that when it comes to telephone calls, every member of Congress has been briefed on this program,” Obama stated.  The President continued “The relevant intelligence committees are fully briefed on these programs.  These are programs that have been authorized by broad, bipartisan majorities repeatedly since 2006.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican agreed with Obama in an interview on Tuesday morning, June 11with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “He’s a traitor,” Boehner declared about Snowden’s press leak. Boehner continued; “The disclosure of this information puts Americans at risk.  It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are.  And it’s a giant violation of the law.”

Americans and human rights activists are left pondering can the widespread invasion of privacy sacrificed by the government be justified even for national security, even to prevent a widespread and catastrophic terror attack? The answer was no to Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor who leaked the documents on the PRISM program on the widespread data collection and privacy intrusion.

Snowden first contacted the media in January getting the wheels in motions for the big reveal. Living and working in Hawaii, Snowden took sick leave from his job and then left for Hong Kong, where he was staying at the time the leaks about the NSA was made public last week up until the disclosure Sunday, June 9 that he was the whistleblower.

In his interview with the Guardian Snowden claimed; “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”

As the US government looks into charging Snowden, he has been fired from his contracting job at Booz Allen, and the conversation has veered to countries that would give him asylum. Snowden supporters have created a petition on the White House’s We the People web site stating that “Edward Snowden is a national hero”  and are asking that there be a “full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed.” As of late Tuesday night, June 11 there are 58,299 signatures, with 41,701 needed for the 100,000 required for a review.

Human rights groups are standing firmly against the data collection, the head of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called the data collection program Orwellian. On Tuesday the ACLU filed a suit in federal court against the Obama Administration challenging the constitutionality of the data collection program.

If there is partisan support for the program there is also bipartisan opposition, former Vice President Al Gore a Democrat, wrote on Twitter “In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?” While a Republican and Libertarian in Congress such as Senator Rand Paul said it “represents an outrageous abuse of power.”  “It is an extraordinary invasion of privacy…. I also believe that trolling through millions of phone records hampers the legitimate protection of our security,” Paul said on Fox News.

Despite the so-called broad bipartisan support, two bills have been introduced to curb data collection since details of the NSA programs appeared in the media. On Friday June 7, Senator Paul introduced a bill; the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act, which would make it necessary to obtain a warrant prior to a data search. On Tuesday June 11, eight senators in a bipartisan effort introduced a bill to end and declassify secretive data collection laws. The heavily democratic supported bill has among its ranks Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Republicans Mike Lee, Utah and Dean Heller, Nev.

At this time the public opinions seems more unclear, two conflicting polls released on Monday, June 10 from the Washington Post-Pew Research Center and Tuesday, June 11 from CBS News.

The Washington Post-Pew Research Center seems to find Americans looking favorably on the data collection. According to the poll 56 percent find it “acceptable,” and 41 percent find it “unacceptable” for the government to monitor phone data. When it came to expanding government monitoring internet activity the results differed; 52 percent did not believe it should be expanded versus 45 percent who support collection expansion.

According the CBS News poll 6 in 10 disapproved of the phone data collection program, however Americans strongly approve by three-quarters that terrorist suspects should be monitored and the internet data of foreigners. Still 53 to 40 percent believe this program helps discover terrorists.

Whatever the political fallout will be for the Obama administration and the legal outcome for Snowden there is no doubt that Snowden will be put down among the ranks of the major whistleblowers in American history.

Political Headlines June 11, 2013: ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Obama Administration Over NSA Surveillance Program

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

ACLU sues over NSA surveillance program

Source: Washington Post, 6-11-13

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of the U.S. government’s surveillance program that collects from U.S. phone companies the call records of tens of millions of Americans….READ MORE

Political Headlines June 11, 2013: Senate Moves Forward on Immigration Reform Bill Debate with a Vote of 82 to 15

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Senate Moves Forward on Immigration Bill

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-11-13

The Senate’s landmark immigration bill passed a key procedural test on Tuesday, the first step on a long road toward it becoming law.

The Senate voted on an overwhelming, bipartisan basis — 82-15 — to limit debate on the motion to proceed to the bill. That means the Senate debate on the bill will officially begin. Now, senators can give floor speeches and offer amendments to the legislation….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency June 11, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech on Immigration Reform

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS


OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President on Immigration Reform

Source: WH, 6-11-13 

East Room

10:38 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning, everybody.  Welcome to the White House.  It is a pleasure to have so many distinguished Americans today from so many different walks of life.  We’ve got Democrats and Republicans; we’ve got labor and business leaders up on stage; we have law enforcement and clergy — Americans who don’t see eye-to-eye on every issue, in fact, in some cases, don’t see eye-to-eye on just about any issue — (laughter) — but who are today standing united in support of the legislation that is front and center in Congress this week — a bipartisan bill to fix our broken immigration system.

And I have to say — please give Tolu another round of applause.  (Applause.)  It takes a lot of courage to do what Tolu did — to step out of the shadows, to share her story, and to hope that, despite the risks, she could make a difference.  But Tolu I think is representative of so many DREAMers out there who have worked so hard — and I’ve had a chance to meet so many of them who’ve been willing to give a face to the undocumented and have inspired a movement across America.  And with each step, they’ve reminded us — time and again — what this debate is all about.  This is not an abstract debate.  This is about incredible young people who understand themselves to be Americans, who have done everything right but have still been hampered in achieving their American Dream.

And they remind us that we’re a nation of immigrants.  Throughout our history, the promise we found in those who come from every corner of the globe has always been one of our greatest strengths.  It’s kept our workforce vibrant and dynamic.  It’s kept our businesses on the cutting edge.  It’s helped build the greatest economic engine that the world has ever known.

When I speak to other world leaders, one of the biggest advantages we have economically is our demographics.  We’re constantly replenishing ourselves with talent from across the globe.  No other country can match that history.  And what was true years ago is still true today — who’s beeping over there?  (Laughter.)  You’re feeling kind of self-conscious, aren’t you?  (Laughter.)  It’s okay.

In recent years, one in four of America’s new small business owners were immigrants.  One in four high-tech startups in America were founded by immigrants.  Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were started by a first- or second-generation American. Think about that — almost half of the Fortune 500 companies when they were started were started by first- or second-generation immigrants.  So immigration isn’t just part of our national character.  It is a driving force in our economy that creates jobs and prosperity for all of our citizens.

Now, here’s the thing.  Over the past two decades, our immigration system hasn’t kept pace with changing times and hasn’t matched up with our most cherished values.

Right now, our immigration system invites the best and the brightest from all over the world to come and study at our top universities, and then once they finish — once they’ve gotten the training they need to build a new invention or create a new business — our system too often tells them to go back home so that other countries can reap the benefits, the new jobs, the new businesses, the new industries.  That’s not smart.  But that’s the broken system we have today.

Right now, our immigration system keeps families apart for years at a time.  Even for folks who, technically, under the legal immigration system, should be eligible to become citizens but it is so long and so cumbersome, so byzantine, that families end up being separated for years.  Because of a backlog in visas, people who come here legally — who are ready to give it their all to earn their place in America — end up waiting for years to join their loved ones here in the United States.  It’s not right. But that’s the broken system we have today.

Right now, our immigration system has no credible way of dealing with the 11 million men and women who are in this country illegally.  And, yes, they broke the rules; they didn’t wait their turn.  They shouldn’t be let off easy.  They shouldn’t be allowed to game the system.  But at the same time, the vast majority of these individuals aren’t looking for any trouble.  They’re just looking to provide for their families, contribute to their communities.

They’re our neighbors.  We know their kids.  Too often, they’re forced to do what they do in a shadow economy where shady employers can exploit them by paying less than the minimum wage, making them work without overtime, not giving them any benefits. That pushes down standards for all workers.  It’s bad for everybody.  Because all the businesses that do play by the rules, that hire people legally, that pay them fairly — they’re at a competitive disadvantage.  American workers end up being at a competitive disadvantage.  It’s not fair.  But that’s the broken system that we have today.

Now, over the past four years, we’ve tried to patch up some of the worst cracks in the system.  We made border security a top priority.  Today, we have twice as many border patrol agents as we did in 2004.  We have more boots on the ground along our southern border than at any time in our history.  And in part, by using technology more effectively, illegal crossings are near their lowest level in decades.

We focused our enforcement efforts on criminals who are here illegally and who are endangering our communities.  And today, deportation of criminals is at its highest level ever.

And having put border security in place, having refocused on those who could do our communities harm, we also then took up the cause of the DREAMers, young people like Tolu who were brought to this country as children.  We said that if you’re able to meet some basic criteria, like pursuing a higher education, then we’ll consider offering you the chance to come out of the shadows so you can continue to work here, and study here, and contribute to our communities legally.

So my administration has done what we can on our own.  And we’ve got members of my administration here who’ve done outstanding work over the past few years to try to close up some of the gaps that exist in the system.  But the system is still broken.  And to truly deal with this issue, Congress needs to act.  And that moment is now.

This week, the Senate will consider a common-sense, bipartisan bill that is the best chance we’ve had in years to fix our broken immigration system.  It will build on what we’ve done and continue to strengthen our borders.  It will make sure that businesses and workers are all playing by the same set of rules, and it includes tough penalties for those who don’t.  It’s fair for middle-class families, by making sure that those who are brought into the system pay their fair share in taxes and for services.  And it’s fair for those who try to immigrate legally by stopping those who try to skip the line.  It’s the right thing to do.

Now, this bill isn’t perfect.  It’s a compromise.  And going forward, nobody is going to get everything that they want — not Democrats, not Republicans, not me.  But this is a bill that’s largely consistent with the principles that I and the people on this stage have laid out for common-sense reform.

First of all, if passed, this bill would be the biggest commitment to border security in our nation’s history.  It would put another $6.5 billion — on top of what we’re already spending — towards stronger, smarter security along our borders.  It would increase criminal penalties against smugglers and traffickers.  It would finally give every employer a reliable way to check that every person they’re hiring is here legally.  And it would hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers.  So it strengthens border security, but also enforcement within our borders.

I know there’s a lot of talk right now about border security, so let me repeat — today, illegal crossings are near their lowest level in decades.  And if passed, the Senate bill as currently written and as hitting the floor would put in place the toughest border enforcement plan that America has ever seen.  So nobody is taking border enforcement lightly.  That’s part of this bill.

Number two, this bill would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are in this country illegally.  So that pathway is arduous.  You’ve got to pass background checks.  You’ve got to learn English.  You’ve got to pay taxes and a penalty.  And then you’ve got to go to the back of the line behind everybody who’s done things the right way and have tried to come here legally.

So this won’t be a quick process.  It will take at least 13 years before the vast majority of these individuals are able to even apply for citizenship.  So this is no cakewalk.  But it’s the only way we can make sure that everyone who’s here is playing by the same rules as ordinary families — paying taxes and getting their own health insurance.

That’s why, for immigration reform to work, it must be clear from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship.  If we’re asking everybody to play by the same rules, you got to give people a sense of certainty that they go through all these sacrifices, do all this, that there’s at the end of the horizon, the opportunity — not the guarantee, but the opportunity — to be part of this American family.  And by the way, a majority of Americans support this idea.

Number three, this bill would modernize the legal immigration system so that, alongside training American workers for the jobs of tomorrow, we’re also attracting the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers from around the world who will ultimately grow our economy.  And this bill would help make sure that our people don’t have to wait years before their loved ones are able to join them here in America.

So that’s what immigration reform looks like:  Smarter enforcement; a pathway to earned citizenship; improvements to our legal system.  They’re all common-sense steps.  They’ve got bipartisan support.  They’ve got the support of a broad cross-section of leaders from every walk of life.  So there’s no reason Congress can’t get this done by the end of the summer.

Remember, the process that led to this bill was open and inclusive.  For months, the bipartisan Gang of Eight looked at every issue, reconciled competing ideas, built a compromise that works.  Then the Judiciary Committee held numerous hearings.  More than a hundred amendments were added, often with bipartisan support.  The good news is every day that goes by, more and more Republicans and Democrats are coming out to support this common-sense immigration reform bill.

And I’m sure the bill will go through a few more changes in the weeks to come.  But this much is clear:  If you genuinely believe we need to fix our broken immigration system, there’s no good reason to stand in the way of this bill.  A lot of people — Democrats and Republicans — have done a lot of good work on this bill.  So if you’re serious about actually fixing the system, then this is the vehicle to do it.

If you’re not serious about it, if you think that a broken system is the best America can do, then I guess it might make sense to try to block it.  But if you’re actually serious and sincere about fixing a broken system, this is the vehicle to do it.  And now is the time to get it done.  There is no good reason to play procedural games or engage in obstruction just to block the best chance we’ve had in years to address this problem in a way that’s fair to middle-class families, to business owners, to legal immigrants.

And there’s no good reason to undo the progress we’ve already made — especially when it comes to extreme steps like stripping protections from DREAMers that my administration has provided, or asking law enforcement to treat them the same way they treat violent criminals.  That’s not who we are.

We owe it to America to do better.  We owe it to the DREAMers to do better.  We owe it to the young people like Tolu and Diego Sanchez, who’s with us here today.  Where’s Diego?  Right here.  Diego came here from Argentina with his parents when he was just a kid, and growing up, America was his home.  This is where he went to school.  This is where he made friends.  This is where he built a life.  You ask Diego and he’ll tell you he feels American in every way — except one; on paper.

In high school, Diego found out that he was undocumented.  Think about that.  With all the stuff you’re already dealing with in high school — (laughter) — and suddenly, oh, man, really?  (Laughter.)  So he had done everything right — stayed out of trouble, excelled in class, contributed to his community — feeling hopeful about his future, and suddenly he finds out he’s got to live in fear of deportation. Watching his friends get their licenses knowing he couldn’t get one himself.  Seeing his classmates apply for summer jobs knowing he couldn’t do that either.

When Diego heard that we were going to offer a chance for folks like him to emerge from the shadows, he went and signed up. All he wanted, he said, was a chance to, “live a normal life” and to “contribute to the country I love.”  And Diego, this year, was approved for deferred action.  A few weeks ago, he graduated from St. Thomas University, where he was student body president and “Student of the Year.”  (Applause.)

So now he’s set his sights higher — master’s degree and then law school so he can pursue a career in public policy, help America shape its future.  Why wouldn’t we want to do the right thing by Diego?  What rationale is there out there that wouldn’t want to make sure Diego achieves his dreams?  Because if he does, that helps us all achieve our dreams.

So in the weeks to come, you’ll hear some opponents of immigration reform try to gin up fear and create division and spread the same old rumors and untruths that we’ve heard before. And when that happens, I want you to think about Tolu.  I want you to think about Diego.  And I want you to think about your own parents and your own grandparents and your own great grandparents, and all the men and women and children who came here.  The notion that somehow those who came through Ellis Island had all their papers right — (laughter) — had checked every box and followed procedures as they were getting on that boat — they were looking for a better life just like these families.  And they want to earn their way into the American story.

And if you’re willing to stand with them — and if you’re willing to stand with all these outstanding leaders up here — then now is the time to make your voice heard.  You need to call and email and tweet your senators and tell them, don’t kick this problem down the road.  Come together.  Work together.  Do your job not only to fix a broken immigration system once and for all, but to leave something better for all the generations to come, to make sure we continue to be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.  Do the right thing.

Thanks.  God bless you.  God bless America.

END
11:02 A.M. EDT

Full Text Political Transcripts June 11, 2013: House Speaker John Boehner’s Interview with George Stephanopoulos on NSA Leak, Immigration Reform And More on ABC News’ Good Morning America — Transcript

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Transcript: Exclusive Interview With House Speaker John Boehner on NSA Leak, Immigration Reform And More

Source: ABC News, 6-11-13

RELATED: John Boehner Talks NSA Leaks, IRS Scandal and Immigration With George Stephanopoulos

PHOTO: George Stephanopoulos interviews House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in New York, June 10, 2013.

George Stephanopoulos interviews House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in New York, June 10, 2013. (ABC News)

House Speaker John Boehner sat down with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America” to discuss the NSA leak, immigration reform, the IRS scandal and much more.

Here is the full transcript of the interview:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Speaker, thank you for doin’ this. Let’s talk first about these– revelations about the National Security Agency. Edward Snowden has come forward, said he brought the documents into the public eye. His supporters say he’s– a whistle-blowing patriot. His critics say he’s betrayed the country, broken the law. Where do you stand?

JOHN BOEHNER: He’s a traitor. The president outlined last week that these were important national security programs to help keep Americans safe, and give us tools– to fight the terrorist threat th– that we face. The president also outlined that there are appropriate safeguards in place– to make sure that– there’s– there’s no– snooping, if you will– on Americans– here at home. But– the disclosure of this information– puts Americans at risk. It shows– our adversaries what our capabilities are. And– it’s a giant violation of the law….READ MORE

On This Day in History June 11, 1963…. 50th Anniversary: President John F. Kennedy Gives Televised Speech on Civil Rights to the Nation

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

HISTORY, NEWS & POLITICS

HISTORY & POLITICAL HEADLINES

50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s Civil Rights Address

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program.

kennedycrban.jpg

John F. Kennedy delivering the Civil Rights Address (Wikimedia Commons)

On This Day in History June 11, 1963…. President John F. Kennedy gave a televised speech on civil rights to the nation from the White House oval office paving the way for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

It was a busy day for the civil rights movement; Alabama Governor and strong segregationist George Wallace in his “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door” physically prevented two African American students; Vivian Malone and James Hood, from registering at the University of Alabama despite a court order the United States District Court of the Northern District of Alabama. President Kennedy was forced to send the US National Guard to end the conflict, and ensure the students could enter the university building and register.

Hours later, in the early morning of June 12th, African American civil rights activist and leader Medgar Evers was killed in Mississippi. He was shot in the back while entering into his home after returning from a meeting with NAACP lawyers. Evers was shot by Byron De La Beckwith, who belonged to the White Citizens’ Council, a segregationist group. Although first arrested on June 21, 1963 for Evers’ murder, it took until 1994 for De La Beckwith to be convicted of the crime. Also in the north, Boston city school officials began a ten year battle with the NAACP over segregation the same evening as President Kennedy’s speech.

It was against this turmoil in the nation over civil rights that President Kennedy called and booked time on all three major networks for him to speak to the nation at 8 PM EDT on civil rights and the situation in Alabama.

In a hastily drafted speech by Ted Sorensen and revised by Kennedy. The President told Americans that segregation is a “moral issue” that is wrong. Kennedy stated; “We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution. The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.” President Kennedy accomplished two points in his speech, the introduction of civil rights legislation, and the beginning of significant comprehensive school desegregation.

Kennedy pleaded to the American people that civil rights is the responsibility of all citizens; “It is not enough to pin the blame on others, to say this is a problem of one section of the country or another, or deplore the fact that we face. A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all… Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right as well as reality.”

Kennedy specifically emphasized the lack of action since the Supreme Court’s decision in 1954 in the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education which ended the legality of the separate but equal system. Kennedy lamented; “Too many Negro children entering segregated grade schools at the time of the Supreme Court’s decision 9 years ago will enter segregated high schools this fall, having suffered a loss which can never be restored. The lack of an adequate education denies the Negro a chance to get a decent job. The orderly implementation of the Supreme Court decision, therefore, cannot be left solely to those who may not have the economic resources to carry the legal action or who may be subject to harassment.”

In his speech, President Kennedy began an active pursuit of Congressional legislation that would end segregation, stating; “Next week I shall ask the Congress of the United States to act, to make a commitment it has not fully made in this century to the proposition that race has no place in American life or law…. I am, therefore, asking the Congress to enact legislation giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public–hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments.”

Kennedy also introduced the pursuit of the vote for all African Americans stating; “Other features will be also requested, including greater protection for the right to vote. But legislation, I repeat, cannot solve this problem alone. It must be solved in the homes of every American in every community across our country.” With his speech that night, Kennedy was pushing in motion not only the Civil Rights Act, but the subsequent Voting Rights Act passed two years later in 1965 which guaranteed the vote to all Americans.

Kennedy concluded his speech with a request of support from the American public for his sweeping and necessary proposals based on Constitutional rights for all Americans; “Therefore, I am asking for your help in making it easier for us to move ahead and to provide the kind of equality of treatment which we would want ourselves; to give a chance for every child to be educated to the limit of his talents…. This is what we are talking about and this is a matter which concerns this country and what it stands for, and in meeting it I ask the support of all our citizens.”

Kennedy submitted a civil rights bill to Congress the next week on June 19, which historian Robert Dallek in his biography of President Kennedy, An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963 described as “the most far-reaching civil rights bill in the country’s history.” The law would guarantee the right to vote for all with the minimum of a sixth grade education, and end discrimination in all public and commercial facilities establishments and accommodations. Kennedy also requested that the attorney general be granted expanded powers to implement school desegregation, asked to end job discrimination and create job training opportunities and a “community relations service.” Kennedy used the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments of the Constitution to justify the contents of his proposed bill. President Kennedy continued pushing Congress to pass civil rights legislation with bipartisan support until his assassination five months later in November 1963.

The leader of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. approved of President Kennedy’s speech and described it as ‘the most sweeping and forthright ever presented by an American president’.” King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” on August 28th, over two months later during the March on Washington would eclipse Kennedy’s speech as the most relevant to advancing civil rights.

However civil rights would become central to Kennedy’s legacy, and without the President taking initial action with this speech and laying out his bold vision and plan to make a civil rights a reality for all Americans, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would never would have passed and signed into law on July 2, 1964.

IN THE NEWS

The Day President Kennedy Embraced Civil Rights—and the Story Behind It

Source: The Atlantic, 6-11-13

50 years ago today, the president gave his now-famous Civil Rights Address. But it was Martin Luther King Jr. and the Birmingham protesters who deserved the credit.

“Can you believe that white man not only stepped up to the plate, he hit it over the fence!” That was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s private verdict on President John F. Kennedy’s famous Civil Rights Address, delivered fifty years ago on June 11, 1963….READ MORE

John F. Kennedy’s Civil Rights Speech Remembered On 50th Anniversary

Source: Huffington Post, 6-11-13

On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy gave his Civil Rights Address, calling for the legislation that later became the Civil Rights Act Of 1964….READ MORE

Watch: JFK’s civil rights speech, 50 years ago

Source: MSNBC, 6-11-13

Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy spoke to the nation after a day of racial turmoil in the state of Alabama….READ MORE

HISTORIANS’ COMMENTS

Peniel E. Joseph: Kennedy’s Finest Moment

Source: NYT, 6-12-13

JUNE 11, 1963, may not be a widely recognized date these days, but it might have been the single most important day in civil rights history….

But the most important event was one that almost didn’t happen: a hastily arranged speech that evening by President John F. Kennedy….READ MORE

Tufts Professor Recalls Momentous, Overlooked JFK Speech From 50 Years Ago

Download

Source: NPR Boston WBUR, 6-11-13

When Americans are sent to Vietnam or West Berlin, we do not ask for whites only. It ought to be possible, therefore, for American students of any color to attend any public institution they select without having to be backed up by troops. It ought to be possible for American consumers of any color to receive equal service in places of public accommodations.

Fifty years ago Tuesday, President John F. Kennedy addressed the nation in a televised speech sometimes called one of the best of his presidency. But that speech would be overshadowed by other events of June 11, 1963, and of the early hours of the next day.

WBUR’s All Things Considered host Sacha Pfeiffer spoke with Peniel Joseph, a history professor and founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University, about this date 50 years ago, which he calls the most significant date in civil rights history….READ MORE

QUOTES

Radio and Television Report to the American People on Civil Rights

June 11, 1963

Source: Presidency, UCSB

audio

Good evening, my fellow citizens:This afternoon, following a series of threats and defiant statements, the presence of Alabama National Guardsmen was required on the University of Alabama to carry out the final and unequivocal order of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Alabama. That order called for the admission of two clearly qualified young Alabama residents who happened to have been born Negro.

That they were admitted peacefully on the campus is due in good measure to the conduct of the students of the University of Alabama, who met their responsibilities in a constructive way.

I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was rounded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.

Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. And when Americans are sent to Viet-Nam or West Berlin, we do not ask for whites only. It ought to be possible, therefore, for American students of any color to attend any public institution they select without having to be backed up by troops.

It ought to be possible for American consumers of any color to receive equal service in places of public accommodation, such as hotels and restaurants and theaters and retail stores, without being forced to resort to demonstrations in the street, and it ought to be possible for American citizens of any color to register and to vote in a free election without interference or fear of reprisal.

It ought to be possible, in short, for every American to enjoy the privileges of being American without regard to his race or his color. In short, every American ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated. But this is not the case.

The Negro baby born in America today, regardless of the section of the Nation in which he is born, has about one-half as much chance of completing a high school as a white baby born in the same place on the same day, one-third as much chance of completing college, one-third as much chance of becoming a professional man, twice as much chance of becoming unemployed, about one-seventh as much chance of earning $10,000 a year, a life expectancy which is 7 years shorter, and the prospects of earning only half as much.

This is not a sectional issue. Difficulties over segregation and discrimination exist in every city, in every State of the Union, producing in many cities a rising tide of discontent that threatens the public safety. Nor is this a partisan issue. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics. This is not even a legal or legislative issue alone. It is better to settle these matters in the courts than on the streets, and new laws are needed at every level, but law alone cannot make men see right.

We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution.

The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?

One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free. They are not yet freed from the bonds of injustice. They are not yet freed from social and economic oppression. And this Nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.

We preach freedom around the world, and we mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at home, but are we to say to the world, and much more importantly, to each other that this is a land of the free except for the Negroes; that we have no second-class citizens except Negroes; that we have no class or cast system, no ghettoes, no master race except with respect to Negroes?

Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its promise. The events in Birmingham and elsewhere have so increased the cries for equality that no city or State or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them.

The fires of frustration and discord are burning in every city, North and South, where legal remedies are not at hand. Redress is sought in the streets, in demonstrations, parades, and protests which create tensions and threaten violence and threaten lives.

We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and as a people. It cannot be met by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk. It is a time to act in the Congress, in your State and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives.

It is not enough to pin the blame on others, to say this is a problem of one section of the country or another, or deplore the fact that we face. A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all.

Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right as well as reality.

Next week I shall ask the Congress of the United States to act, to make a commitment it has not fully made in this century to the proposition that race has no place in American life or law. The Federal judiciary has upheld that proposition in a series of forthright cases. The executive branch has adopted that proposition in the conduct of its affairs, including the employment of Federal personnel, the use of Federal facilities, and the sale of federally financed housing.

But there are other necessary measures which only the Congress can provide, and they must be provided at this session. The old code of equity law under which we live commands for every wrong a remedy, but in too many communities, in too many parts of the country, wrongs are inflicted on Negro citizens and there are no remedies at law. Unless the Congress acts, their only remedy is in the street.

I am, therefore, asking the Congress to enact legislation giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public–hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments.

This seems to me to be an elementary right. Its denial is an arbitrary indignity that no American in 1963 should have to endure, but many do.

I have recently met with scores of business leaders urging them to take voluntary action to end this discrimination and I have been encouraged by their response, and in the last 2 weeks over 75 cities have seen progress made in desegregating these kinds of facilities. But many are unwilling to act alone, and for this reason, nationwide legislation is needed if we are to move this problem from the streets to the courts.

I am also asking Congress to authorize the Federal Government to participate more fully in lawsuits designed to end segregation in public education. We have succeeded in persuading many districts to de-segregate voluntarily. Dozens have admitted Negroes without violence. Today a Negro is attending a State-supported institution in every one of our 50 States, but the pace is very slow.

Too many Negro children entering segregated grade schools at the time of the Supreme Court’s decision 9 years ago will enter segregated high schools this fall, having suffered a loss which can never be restored. The lack of an adequate education denies the Negro a chance to get a decent job.

The orderly implementation of the Supreme Court decision, therefore, cannot be left solely to those who may not have the economic resources to carry the legal action or who may be subject to harassment.

Other features will be also requested, including greater protection for the right to vote. But legislation, I repeat, cannot solve this problem alone. It must be solved in the homes of every American in every community across our country.

In this respect, I want to pay tribute to those citizens North and South who have been working in their communities to make life better for all. They are acting not out of a sense of legal duty but out of a sense of human decency.

Like our soldiers and sailors in all parts of the world they are meeting freedom’s challenge on the firing line, and I salute them for their honor and their courage.

My fellow Americans, this is a problem which faces us all–in every city of the North as well as the South. Today there are Negroes unemployed, two or three times as many compared to whites, inadequate in education, moving into the large cities, unable to find work, young people particularly out of work without hope, denied equal rights, denied the opportunity to eat at a restaurant or lunch counter or go to a movie theater, denied the right to a decent education, denied almost today the right to attend a State university even though qualified. It seems to me that these are matters which concern us all, not merely Presidents or Congressmen or Governors, but every citizen of the United States.

This is one country. It has become one country because all of us and all the people who came here had an equal chance to develop their talents.

We cannot say to 10 percent of the population that you can’t have that right; that your children can’t have the chance to develop whatever talents they have; that the only way that they are going to get their rights is to go into the streets and demonstrate. I think we owe them and we owe ourselves a better country than that.

Therefore, I am asking for your help in making it easier for us to move ahead and to provide the kind of equality of treatment which we would want ourselves; to give a chance for every child to be educated to the limit of his talents.

As I have said before, not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or an equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.

We have a right to expect that the Negro community will be responsible, will uphold the law, but they have a right to expect that the law will be fair, that the Constitution will be color blind, as Justice Harlan said at the turn of the century.

This is what we are talking about and this is a matter which concerns this country and what it stands for, and in meeting it I ask the support of all our citizens.
Thank you very much.

Delivered from the President’s office at 8 p.m.

Citation: John F. Kennedy: “Radio and Television Report to the American People on Civil Rights,” June 11, 1963. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=9271.

Political Headlines June 10, 2013: President Barack Obama Nominates Jason Furman to Lead Council of Economic Advisers

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Taps Furman to Lead Council of Economic Advisers

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-10-13

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama on Monday nominated longtime economic adviser Jason Furman as chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, calling him “one of the most brilliant economic minds of his generation.”

“When the stakes are highest, there’s no one I’d rather turn to for straightforward, unvarnished advice that helps me to do my job,” the president said as he stood alongside Furman at a White House ceremony….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency June 10, 2013: President Barack Obama Nominates Jason Furman as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Nominates Jason Furman as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers

Source: WH, 6-10-13

President Barack Obama announces his intent to nominate Jason FurmanPresident Barack Obama announces his intent to nominate Jason Furman, Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, left, as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to succeed current CEA Chairman Alan Krueger, right, in the State Dining Room of the White House, June 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

This afternoon, President Obama nominated Jason Furman to replace Alan Krueger as the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Furman, 42, will bring a vast amount of economic experience to the role. In 2009, he joined the Obama administration as an Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council….READ MORE

Remarks by the President Nominating Jason Furman as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers

Source: WH, 6-10-13 

State Dining Room

2:14 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, all of you.  It’s now been nearly five years since an economic crisis and a punishing recession came together to cost far too many Americans their jobs, and their homes, and the sense of security that they had built up over time.  And by the time I took office, my team and I were facing bubbles that had burst; markets that had cratered; bank after bank on the verge of collapse.  And the heartbeat of American manufacturing, our auto industry, was flatlining.  And all this meant that hundreds of thousands of Americans were losing their jobs each month. So this was a scary time. And nobody had any idea where the bottom would be.

Four and a half years later, our businesses have created nearly 7 million new jobs over the past 36 months.  The American auto industry has come roaring back.  We’re producing more of our own energy, we’re consuming less that we import from other countries.  Our deficits are shrinking rapidly.  The cost of health care is slowing.  The housing market is rebounding.  People’s retirement savings are growing.  The wealth that was lost from that recession has now been recovered.

All of this progress is a testament to the grit and resolve of the American people, most of all.  But it’s also due in some measurable way to the incredible dedication of the men and women who helped to engineer America’s response.  And two of those people are standing next to me, two very smart economists:  Alan Krueger and Jason Furman.

Today, I can announce that Alan is heading back to teach his beloved students at Michelle’s alma mater — Princeton University.  When they get together all they can talk about is Princeton and they’re all very proud, and those of us who didn’t go to Princeton have to put up with it.  (Laughter.)  And I’m proud to say that Jason Furman has agreed to replace Alan as the Chairman of my Council of Economic Advisers.

During the crisis, Alan stepped in initially to help engineer our response as Assistant Secretary and chief economist at the Treasury Department.  He was so good that we then had to beg him to come back, extend his tour, to serve as the Chairman of my Council of Economic Advisers, where he’s been the driving force behind actions that we’ve taken to help restart the flow of lending to small businesses, and create new jobs, and arm workers with the skills they need to fill them, to reduce income inequality, to rebuild our aging infrastructure, and to bring down our deficits in a responsible way.

And Alan is driven by the basic bargain at the heart of our economy — the idea that hard work should be rewarded.  He’s motivated by the principle that no one who works full-time in the greatest nation on Earth should have to raise their families in poverty or below poverty levels.  His commitment to a rising, thriving middle class shines through in his often passionate presentations and — at least for an economist they’re passionate.  (Laughter.)  And in the policies that he’s pushed, and I know this will continue to be a focus of his research.

Alan’s wife and son are here today, and I know that they’re all looking forward to having Alan back.  (Laughter.)  And now that Alan has some free time, he can return to another burning passion of his — “Rockonomics.”  The economics of rock and roll.  This is something that Alan actually cares about — seriously, on Wednesday he’s giving a speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  He’s got a t-shirt under his suit — (laughter) — with a big tongue sticking out.  (Laughter.)  Don’t show it.  (Laughter and applause.)

So Alan has become one of my most trusted advisors.  He’s become a wonderful friend.  I’m sad to see him go.  But I know that he will continue to do outstanding work and, fortunately, he’ll still be available for us to consult with him periodically because he’s a constant font of good ideas about how we can further help the American people.  So thank you very much, Alan, for all the good work that you’ve done.  (Applause.)

I’m also proud to nominate another outstanding economist to take his place.  Jason Furman is one of the most brilliant economic minds of his generation, don’t take my word for it — you can talk to other economists who know a lot more than I do about it.  He’s won the respect and admiration from his peers across the political spectrum.  His Ph.D. thesis advisor, Greg Mankiw, chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush.  Nobel Prize Winner Joe Stiglitz, on the other side of the economic spectrum, hired Jason to work for the CEA under President Clinton.

After leaving President Clinton’s White House, Jason finished his Ph.D. in economics, quickly acquired a reputation as a world-class scholar and researcher.  But public service kept calling, and Jason kept answering that call because he believes deeply in it.  So from working at the World Bank on issues of inequality and international finance to developing new proposals to strengthen our health and retirement programs, he helped to shape some of our most important economic policy debates.

And when I asked him to join my team in 2008, even though his baby daughter — that’s right — (laughter) — you were this big — had just been born, he agreed to serve once again.  And over the last five years I’ve come to trust not only his head, but also his heart, because Jason never forgets who it is that we’re fighting for:  middle-class families, folks who are working hard to climb their way into the middle class, the next generation.

And when the stakes are highest, there’s no one I’d rather turn to for straightforward, unvarnished advice that helps me to do my job.  He understands all sides of an argument, not just one side of it.  He’s worked tirelessly on just about every major economic challenge of the past four and a half years, from averting a second depression, to fighting for tax cuts that help millions of working families make ends meet, to creating new incentives for businesses to hire, to reducing our deficits in a balanced way that benefits the middle class.

And so, Eve, Jason’s wife, who is an accomplished writer herself, has put up with a lot of hours with Jason away.  Henry and Louisa, who are here, they’ve made a lot of sacrifices so that their husband and dad could be here working for the American people.  So I appreciate you guys for sharing daddy.  (Laughter.)  Just a little bit longer.  (Laughter.)  And the reason it’s important is because while we’ve cleared away the rubble of crisis and laid a new foundation for growth, our work is nowhere near done.

Even though the economy is growing, too many middle-class families still feel like they’re working harder and harder and can’t get ahead.  Inequality is still growing in our society.  Too many young people aren’t sure whether they’ll be able to match the living standards of their parents.  We have too many kids in poverty in this country still.

There are some basic steps that we can take to strengthen the position of working people in this country, to help our economy grow faster, to make sure that it’s more competitive.  And some of that requires political will.  Some of it requires an abiding passion for making sure everybody in this country has a fair shot.  But it also requires good economists.  I know it’s called a dismal science, but I don’t find it that dismal.  (Laughter.)  I think it’s actually pretty interesting.  Alan and Jason appreciate that.  (Laughter.)  So sometimes the rest of my staff thinks, oh, Obama is getting together with his economists and they’re going to have a wonkfest for the next hour.  (Laughter.)

But this stuff matters.  It’s not just numbers on a page.  It makes a difference in terms of whether or not people get a chance at life, and also, how do we optimize opportunity and make sure that it — we don’t have a contradiction between an efficient, growing, free-market economy, and one in which everybody gets a fair shot and where we’re caring for the vulnerable and the disabled and folks in our society who need help.

So a growing economy that creates good middle-class jobs, that rewards hard work and responsibility, that’s our North Star.  Jason shares that focus.  I know Alan shares that passion.  And Jason’s new role as the Chairman of the Economic — Council of Economic Advisors, he’ll be working with some of our country’s leading economists, including Jim Stock, who has joined us.  And I’m relying on them to provide analysis and recommendations with just one thing in mind: What’s going to do the most good for the most people in this country — not what’s best for a political party, not what’s best for a special interest.  I don’t have another election.  It’s not what’s best for me — what’s best for our middle class, and everybody who is working hard to get there.  That’s what the American people deserve.

So I would urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Jason Furman. And I want to, again, thank Alan for his outstanding service.  I want to thank Jason and his family for continuing to serve the country they love.  And for all the economists in the room, thank you for the occasionally under-appreciated work that you do.  (Laughter.)

Thank you.  (Applause.)

END
2:25 P.M EDT

Political Headlines June 10, 2013: Hillary Clinton Joins Twitter, Posts First Tweet

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Hillary Clinton Joins Twitter, Posts First Tweet

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-10-13

ABC / Martin H. Simon

Hillary Clinton has officially joined Twitter.

After years of holding out, @HillaryClinton is in fact the former first lady turned Secretary of State. Or in her own words: “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency June 10, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech on the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

It’s Been 50 Years Since the Equal Pay Act

Source: WH, 6-10-13

President Barack Obama delivers remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act (June 10, 2013)President Barack Obama delivers remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, in the East Room of the White House, June 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

It’s been 50 years since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, but its goals today stand unrealized. In 2013, full-time working women still make less than men on average.

This morning, President Obama spoke at an event to mark the anniversary….READ MORE

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Source: WH, 6-10-13

President Obama Speaks on the Equal Pay Act

President Obama Speaks on the Equal Pay Act

Today, we marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Equal Pay Act with an event at the White House hosted by President Obama, the release of an important report from the National Equal Pay Task Force on the last fifty years since the Act was signed, a new web page with resources and information for women to make sure they’re paid equally, and a new video that gives an overview of our progress in equal pay.

On June 10, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, a milestone piece of legislation that requires men and women receive equal pay for equal work. However, fifty years later, women are still only earning approximately 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, and even less for women of color, so we are far from ready to declare victory.

To mark today’s anniversary, President Obama spoke at the event attended by leaders in the government, private sector and civil society who are all committed to  building a 21st century workplace….READ MORE

Remarks by the President on the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act

Source: WH, 6-10-13 

East Room

11:53 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you, everybody.  Everybody have a seat.  Welcome to the White House.  It is wonderful to see all of you.  Thank you, Joe, for that kind introduction.  Thank you, Valerie, for the great leadership you’ve shown on this.  And to all of you — business leaders and advocates, members of Congress, who are here, members of my administration — I am so glad that all of you could be here to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.

When you think about it, we’re not just celebrating a law.  We’re honoring the heroes who made that law possible — the fierce determination of Americans who saw a wrong and worked to right it.  There were women who were sick and tired of being sick and tired — (laughter) — of seeing the same jobs advertised with different pay scales.  Women who were tired of being treated like second-class workers.  Women like Dorothy Height and Congresswoman Edna Kelly — (applause) — and Esther Peterson, all who pushed to make the Equal Pay Act a reality.

And, today, we recognize the work of those brave women.  But until equal pay truly is a reality, we’re also here to recommit ourselves to the work that remains to be done.

Fifty years ago today, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, right here in the White House.  He said it was basic to our democracy.  It’s the idea that all of us are created equal.  And as I said in my inaugural address this year, our journey to equality is not complete until our wives, our mothers, our daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.

The day that the bill was signed into law, women earned 59 cents for every dollar a man earned on average.  Today, it’s about 77 cents.  So it was 59 and now it’s 77 cents.  It’s even less, by the way, if you’re an African American or a Latina.  So I guess that’s progress, but does anybody here think that’s good enough?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  I assume everybody thinks we can do better.

AUDIENCE:  Yes!

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We can.

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, we can.  (Laughter and applause.)

Over the course of her career, a working woman with a college degree will earn on average hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a man who does the same work.  Now, that’s wrong.  I don’t want that for Malia and Sasha.  I don’t want that for your daughters.  I don’t want that to be an example that any child growing up ends up accepting as somehow the norm.  I want every child to grow up knowing that a woman’s hard work is valued and rewarded just as much as any man’s.

Now, what’s important to realize also, though, is this is not just an issue of fairness.  This is a family issue.  This is a middle-class issue.  This is an economic issue.  Just last week, a report confirmed what we already know:  that women are increasingly the breadwinners for American families.  Women are now the primary source of income for nearly 40 percent of American families.  Forty percent — almost half.

That’s not something to panic about, or to be afraid about  -– that’s a sign of the progress and the strides that we’ve made.  But what it does mean is that when more women are bringing home the bacon, they shouldn’t just be getting a little bit of bacon.  (Laughter.)  If they’re bringing home more of the income and that income is less than a fair share, that means that families have less to get by on for childcare or health care, or gas or groceries.  It makes it harder for middle-class families to save and retire.  It leaves small businesses with customers who have less money in their pockets — which is not good for the economy.  That’s not a good example to set for our sons and daughters, but it’s also not a good recipe for long-term, stable economic growth.

So to anyone who says 77 cents on the dollar sounds pretty close to equal, I say, you’re math is bad.  (Laughter.)  You wouldn’t like it if your vote only counted in three out of four elections.  (Laughter.)  You wouldn’t like it if your daughters or sons went to school but they only got taught three out of four days a week, or four out of five days a week.  You wouldn’t like it if you were forced to work every fourth day without pay.  Men would be complaining about that.  (Laughter.)  They wouldn’t think that was equal or fair.

So this is the 21st century.  It’s time to close that gap.  That’s why the first bill I signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  (Applause.)

That’s why, as Valerie mentioned, I created the first-ever White House Council on Women and Girls, which is working to close that gap.  (Applause.)  And Valerie’s council — this council is doing a great job in bringing the experiences of women into our federal policies as well.

It’s why I established a National Equal Pay Task Force to help crack down on violations of equal pay laws, which, by the way, they’re doing at a record rate.  And, through education and outreach, they’re also helping employers develop tools to comply with the nation’s equal pay laws on their own.  And that’s why, earlier this year, I signed a presidential memorandum directing the federal government to close that gap for good for its employees.  (Applause.)  We have to set an example.

It’s also why we’re using the latest technology to help workers get the information they need to figure out if they’re underpaid.  And thanks to innovators like Rachel and Laquitta, who are up here, we can now say, “There’s an app for that.”  (Laughter.)

But as long as this gap persists, we’re going to have more work to do.  And now is the time to keep up the work that all those trailblazers started 50 years ago.

Now is the time for Congress to step up and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act so women have better tools to fight for equal pay for equal work.  (Applause.)

Now is the time for us to encourage more young women to pursue math and science education.  Now is the time for us to hire more STEM teachers so all our children are prepared for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of tomorrow.

Now is the time to make sure businesses offer men and women the flexibility to be good employees and good parents.  And I really want to commend Deloitte and SumAll, and the CEOs who are with us here today, they are creating exactly the kinds of innovative workplaces that help hard-working Americans thrive, and they’re committed to pay equity.  And so when you have a chance to talk to Joe, say thank you.  And the CEOs who are out there, if you want a first-class company that is tapping into the talents and resources of all your employees, make sure that you’re putting in place systems so that they all feel like they’re being treated fairly and equally.  It’s a simple principle and it’s a powerful one.

And now is the time to make sure that we are putting in place a minimum wage that you can live on — (applause) — because 60 percent of those making the minimum wage are women.

If we do all this — and this will be part of our broader agenda to create good jobs and to strengthen middle-class security, to keep rebuilding an economy that works for everybody, that gives every American the chance to get ahead, no matter who you are or what you look like, or what your last name is and who you love.

That’s what I’m going to keep on fighting for.  That’s what you’re going to keep on fighting for.  And we have all of you and your predecessors to thank for the incredible progress this country has made in eliminating the barriers and injustices that might keep our daughters from enjoying the same rights, same chances, and same freedoms as our sons.  I’m proud of you.

Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

END
12:02 P.M. EDT

Political Headlines June 10, 2013: NSA Leaker Edward Snowden a ‘National Hero’ on White House Petition

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

NSA Leaker a ‘National Hero’ on White House Petition

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-10-13

petitions.whitehouse.gov

Within hours of Edward Snowden’s revealing that he was the source of the National Security Agency surveillance leak last week, thousands of people had signed a petition on the White House website asking for a “full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed.”….READ MORE

Political Headlines June 10, 2013: Edward Snowden Claims to Be Source of Leaked NSA Documents

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Edward Snowden Claims to Be Source of Leaked NSA Documents

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-10-13

The Guardian via Getty Images

The source of a series of top secret leaks from the National Security Agency has stepped out of the shadows and identified himself as ex-CIA technical assistant Edward Snowden, saying he was standing up against the U.S. government’s “horrifying” surveillance capabilities.

“I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded,” the 29-year-old told the British newspaper The Guardian, which broke the news in a series of headline-grabbing articles on NSA surveillance late last week.  “That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines June 9, 2013: Sens. John McCain, Dianne Feinstein and Obama Chief of Staff on Surprise Trip to Gitmo

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

McCain, Feinstein and Obama Chief of Staff on Surprise Trip to Gitmo

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-9-13

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., traveled to the federal detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Sunday with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency June 08, 2013: President Barack Obama & People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping’s Remarks After Bilateral Meeting

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by President Obama and President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China After Bilateral Meeting

Source: WH, 6-8-13 

President Barack Obama walks with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China on the grounds of the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif., June 8, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Sunnylands Retreat
Rancho Mirage, California

8:09 P.M. PDT

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Everybody ready?  Well, I know we’re a little behind, but that’s mainly because President Xi and I had a very constructive conversation on a whole range of strategic issues, from North Korea to cyberspace to international institutions.  And I’m very much looking forward to continuing the conversation, not only tonight at dinner but also tomorrow.

But I thought we’d take a quick break just to take a question from both the U.S. and Chinese press.  So what I’ll do is I’ll start with Julie Pace and then President Xi can call on a Chinese counterpart.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  How damaging has Chinese cyber-hacking been to the U.S.?  And did you warn your counterpart about any specific consequences if those actions continue?  And also, while there are obviously differences between China’s alleged actions and your government’s surveillance programs, do you think that the new NSA revelations undermine your position on these issues at all during these talks?

And President Xi, did —

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Why don’t you let the interpreter —

Q    And President Xi, did you acknowledge in your talks with President Obama that China has been launching cyber attacks against the U.S.?  Do you also believe that the U.S. is launching similar attacks against China?  And if so, can you tell us what any of the targets may have been?  Thank you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, Julie, first of all, we haven’t had, yet, in-depth discussions about the cybersecurity issue.  We’re speaking at the 40,000-foot level, and we’ll have more intensive discussions during this evening’s dinner.

What both President Xi and I recognize is that because of these incredible advances in technology, that the issue of cybersecurity and the need for rules and common approaches to cybersecurity are going to be increasingly important as part of bilateral relationships and multilateral relationships.

In some ways, these are uncharted waters and you don’t have the kinds of protocols that have governed military issues, for example, and arms issues, where nations have a lot of experience in trying to negotiate what’s acceptable and what’s not.  And it’s critical, as two of the largest economies and military powers in the world, that China and the United States arrive at a firm understanding of how we work together on these issues.

But I think it’s important, Julie, to get to the second part of your question, to distinguish between the deep concerns we have as a government around theft of intellectual property or hacking into systems that might disrupt those systems — whether it’s our financial systems, our critical infrastructure and so forth — versus some of the issues that have been raised around NSA programs.

When it comes to those cybersecurity issues like hacking or theft, those are not issues that are unique to the U.S.-China relationship.  Those are issues that are of international concern.  Oftentimes it’s non-state actors who are engaging in these issues as well.  And we’re going to have to work very hard to build a system of defenses and protections, both in the private sector and in the public sector, even as we negotiate with other countries around setting up common rules of the road.

And as China continues in its development process and more of its economy is based on research and innovation and entrepreneurship, they’re going to have similar concerns, which is why I believe we can work together on this rather than at cross-purposes.

Now, the NSA program, as I discussed this morning, is a very limited issue, but it does have broad implications for our society because you’ve got a lot of data out there, a lot of communications that are in cyberspace.  And how we deal with both identifying potential terrorists or criminals, how the private sector deals with potential theft, and how the federal government, state governments, local governments and the private sector coordinate to keep out some of these malicious forces while still preserving the openness and the incredible power of the Internet and the web and these new telecommunications systems — that’s a complicated and important piece of business.  But it’s different from these issues of theft and hacking.

And every government is then inevitably going to be involved in these issues, just like big companies are going to be involved in these issues.  I mean, you’ve got private companies that have a lot more data and a lot more details about people’s emails and telephone calls than the federal government does.  And if we’re called upon not only to make sure that we’re anticipating terrorist communications but we’re also called upon to work with the private sector to prevent theft out of ATMs, et cetera, then we’re going to have to find ways to deal with this big data in ways that are consistent with our values; in ways that protect people’s privacy, that ensure oversight, and strike the right balance.

And as I indicated this morning, that’s a conversation that I welcome having.

PRESIDENT XI:  (As interpreted.)  As President Obama said, in our meeting this afternoon we just briefly touched upon the issue of cybersecurity.  And the Chinese government is firm in upholding cybersecurity and we have major concerns about cybersecurity.

In the few days before President Obama and I meet today, I note sharp increased media coverage of the issue of cybersecurity.  This might give people the sense or feeling that cybersecurity as a threat mainly comes from China or that the issue of cybersecurity is the biggest problem in the China-U.S. relationship.

The application of new technology is a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, it will drive progress in ensuring better material and cultural life for the people.  On the other hand, it might create some problems for regulators and it might infringe upon the rights of states, enterprises, societies and individuals.

We need to pay close attention to this issue and study ways to effectively resolve this issue.  And this matter can actually be an area for China and the United States to work together with each other in a pragmatic way.  And I’m happy to learn that within the context of the China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogue, a working group has been established to discuss cybersecurity issues.  So this is an issue that the two sides will continue to discuss.

By conducting good-faith cooperation we can remove misgivings and make information security and cybersecurity a positive area of cooperation between China and the U.S.  Because China and the United States both have a need and both share a concern, and China is a victim of cyber attacks and we hope that earnest measures can be taken to resolve this matter.

Thank you.

Q    I’m with China Central Television and my question for President Xi is, what are the main issues that were discussed in the longer-than-expected meeting this afternoon?  And what are the major areas of consensus that have emerged from the discussion?  And last year, when you were visiting the United States, you raised the concept of the two sides working together to explore what you call a new model of major country relationship, something that is unprecedented in the relationship and that can inspire future generations.  And after this concept was raised, there has been much discussion and comment on it, both in China and the United States and in the world more broadly.  So did you have further discussion on this issue in your meeting this afternoon?

And my question for President Obama is, what will the United States do to contribute to the building of a new model of major country relationship between China and the U.S.?

PRESIDENT XI:  (As interpreted.)  In the first meeting that I’ve had with President Obama this afternoon, we had an in-depth, sincere and candid discussion on the domestic and foreign policies of China and the United States, on our joint work to build a new model of major country relationship, and our international and regional issues of mutual interest.  And the President and I reached important consensus on these issues.

I stated very clearly to President Obama that China will be firmly committed to the path of peaceful development and China will be firm in deepening reform and opening up the country wider to the world.  China will work hard to realize the Chinese dream of the great national renewal and will work hard to push forward the noble cause of peace and development for all mankind.

By the Chinese dream, we seek to have economic prosperity, national renewal and people’s well-being.  The Chinese dream is about cooperation, development, peace and win-win, and it is connected to the American Dream and the beautiful dreams people in other countries may have.

President Obama and I both believe that in the age of economic globalization and facing the objective need of countries sticking together in the face of difficulties, China and the United States must find a new path — one that is different from the inevitable confrontation and conflict between the major countries of the past.  And that is to say the two sides must work together to build a new model of major country relationship based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation for the benefit of the Chinese and American peoples, and people elsewhere in the world.

The international community looks to China and the United States to deliver this.  When China and the United States work together, we can be an anchor for world stability and the propeller of world peace.

I stand ready to work with President Obama to expand on all levels of exchanges between the two sides.  I look forward to maintaining close communication with the President through mutual visits, bilateral meetings, exchange of letters and phone calls. And I invited President Obama to come to China at an appropriate time for a similar meeting like this.  And we look forward to visiting each other country.

At the same time, the two sides will work hard to make progress in the various bilateral mechanisms, such as the strategic and economic dialogue and the high-level consultation on people-to-people exchange.  Also, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Minister of National Defense will both make visits to the United States within the year.

Our two sides should also step up exchanges and cooperation in economy and trade, energy, environment, people-to-people, and cultural fields, as well as at the sub-national level, so that we can deepen the shared interests of the two countries and expand them to all areas.

We should also improve and strengthen the military-to-military relationship between the two countries and promote the building of a new model of military relationship between the two sides.  The two sides should also improve coordination microeconomic policies so that by strengthening cooperation, we can contribute to our respective development at home, and promote strong, sustainable and balanced economic growth in the Asia Pacific region and the world at large.

And I’m confident in our joint effort to build a new model of major country relationship.  I believe success hinges on the human effort.  Firstly, both sides have the political will to build this relationship.  Secondly, our cooperation in the last 40 years provides a good foundation for us to build on.  Thirdly, between China and the United States, there are over 90 intergovernmental mechanisms which provide the institutional underpinning for our efforts.

Fourth, there is strong public support for this kind of relationship between China and the United States.  There are 220 pairs of sister provinces, states and cities between China and the U.S.  There are 190,000 Chinese students in the United States, and 20,000 American students in China.

And 5th, there is enormous scope for future cooperation between China and the U.S.

Of course, this endeavor is unprecedented and one that will inspire future generations.  So we need to deepen our mutual understanding, strengthen our mutual trust, further develop our cooperation and manage our differences so that we can avoid the traditional path of inevitable confrontation between major countries and really embark on a new path.

The Chinese nation and American nation are great nations, and the Chinese people and American people are great peoples.  As long as we stand high and look far, as long as we make specific progress and accumulate them over time, as long as we maintain confidence and determination, as long as we have wisdom and patience, I’m confident that we will succeed in achieving this historical mission.

I’m sorry for going too long.  Thank you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, I think President Xi summarized very well the scope of our conversations.  We spoke about some very specific issues — for example, President Xi mentioned the importance of military-to-military communications.  In the past, we’ve had high-level diplomatic communications about economic and strategic issues, but we haven’t always had as effective communications between our militaries.  And at a time when there’s so much activity around the world, it’s very important that we each understand our strategic objectives at the military as well as the political levels.  So that’s an example of concrete progress that can advance this new model of relations between the United States and China.

So we’ll be taking steps to institutionalize and regularize such discussions.  But more broadly, I think President Xi identified the essence of our discussions in which we shared our respective visions for our countries’ futures and agreed that we’re more likely to achieve our objectives of prosperity and security of our people if we are working together cooperatively, rather than engaged in conflict.

And I emphasized my firm belief to President Xi that it is very much in the interest of the United States for China to continue its peaceful rise, because if China is successful, that helps to drive the world economy and it puts China in the position to work with us as equal partners in dealing with many of the global challenges that no single nation can address by itself.

So, for example, neither country by itself can deal with the challenge of climate change.  That’s an issue that we’ll have to deal with together.  China as the largest country, as it continues to develop, will be a larger and larger carbon emitter unless we find new mechanisms for green growth.  The United States, we have the largest carbon footprint per capita in the world; we’ve got to bring down our carbon levels in order to accommodate continued growth.  And so that will translate then into opportunities for specific work around green technologies and research and development, and interactions between our scientists so that we can, together, help advance the goal of a sustainable planet, even as we continue to grow and develop.

We’ve got a lot of work to do to take these broad understandings down to the level of specifics, and that will require further discussions not only today and tomorrow, but for weeks, months, years to come.  But what I’m very encouraged about is that both President Xi and myself recognize we have a unique opportunity to take the U.S.-China relationship to a new level.  And I am absolutely committed to making sure that we don’t miss that opportunity.

Thank you very much, everybody.

END
8:47 P.M. PDT

Campaign Headlines June 8, 2013: Newark Mayor Cory Booker Formally Announces Senate Bid

CAMPAIGN BUZZ

Campaign_Headlines

CAMPAIGN HEADLINES….

Newark Mayor Cory Booker Formally Announces Senate Bid

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-8-13

Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced on Saturday that he will seek the Senate seat made vacant when Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., died earlier this week.

“I’m here today to officially announce my candidacy to be New Jersey’s next United States senator,” Booker said in a news conference. “Democracy is not a spectator sport, but now as much as in any time, we must bring people together. We must actually get into the complicated difficult messy arena and take on the difficult challenges, work in uncommon ways with conviction and courage.”…READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency June 8, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address: Fixing the Immigration System — Time to Pass Commonsense Immigration Reform

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

President Obama’s Weekly Address: Fixing the Immigration System

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-8-13

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages

President Barack Obama urged congress to work together to reform The United States’ “broken immigration system,” in his weekly address.

The president began by saying that, for a country that describes itself as a “nation of immigrants,” America’s immigration system is woefully out-of-date and has “actually harmed our economy and threatened our security.”…READ MORE

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Time to Pass Commonsense Immigration Reform

Source: WH, 6-8-13

In this week’s address, President Obama said that the United States Senate will soon take action to fix our broken immigration system with a commonsense bill. The President urged the Senate to act quickly to pass this bill so that we can continue to live up to our traditions as a nation of laws, and also a nation of immigrants.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

Remarks of President Barack Obama
The Weekly Address
Mooresville, North Carolina
June 8, 2013

Source: WH, 6-8-13

Hi, everybody.  In the next few days, America will take an important step towards fixing our broken immigration system.  The entire United States Senate will begin debating a commonsense immigration reform bill that has bipartisan support.

See, we define ourselves as a nation of immigrants.  The promise we find in those who come from every corner of the globe has always been one of our greatest strengths.  It’s kept our workforce vibrant and dynamic.  It’s kept our businesses on the cutting edge.  And it’s helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.

But for years, our out-of-date immigration system has actually harmed our economy and threatened our security.

Now, over the past four years, we’ve taken steps to try and patch up some of the worst cracks in the system.

We strengthened security on the southern border by putting more boots on the ground than at any time in our history.  And, in part, by using technology more effectively – today, illegal crossings are near their lowest level in decades.

We focused enforcement efforts on criminals who are here illegally – who endanger our communities – and today, we deport more criminals than ever before.

And we took up the cause of “Dreamers,” the young people who were brought to this country as children.  We said that if they’re able to meet certain criteria, we’d consider offering them the chance to come out of the shadows so they can continue to work here, and study here, and contribute to our communities legally.

But if we’re going to truly fix a broken system, we need Congress to act in a comprehensive way.  And that’s why what’s happening next week is so important.

The bill before the Senate isn’t perfect.  It’s a compromise.  Nobody will get everything they want – not Democrats, not Republicans, not me.  But it is a bill that’s largely consistent with the principles I’ve repeatedly laid out for commonsense immigration reform.

This bill would continue to strengthen security at our borders, increase criminal penalties against smugglers and traffickers, and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers.  If enacted, it would represent the most ambitious enforcement plan in recent memory.

This bill would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are in this country illegally – a pathway that includes passing a background check, learning English, paying taxes and a penalty, and then going to the back of the line behind everyone who’s playing by the rules and trying to come here legally.

This bill would modernize the legal immigration system so that, alongside training American workers for the jobs of tomorrow, we’re also attracting highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will grow our economy.  And so that our people don’t have to wait years before their loved ones are able to join them in this country we love.

That’s what immigration reform looks like.  Smarter enforcement.  A pathway to earned citizenship.  Improvements to the legal immigration system.   They’re all commonsense steps.  They’ve got broad support – from Republicans and Democrats, CEOs and labor leaders, law enforcement and clergy.  So there is no reason that Congress can’t work together to send a bill to my desk by the end of the summer.

We know the opponents of reform are going to do everything they can to prevent that.  They’ll try to stoke fear and create division.  They’ll try to play politics with an issue that the vast majority of Americans want addressed.  And if they succeed, we will lose this chance to finally fix an immigration system that is badly broken.

So if you agree that now is the time for commonsense reform, reach out to your Representatives.  Tell them we have to get this done so that everyone is playing by the same rules.  Tell them we have the power to do this in a way that lives up to our traditions as a nation of laws, and a nation of immigrants.

In the end, that’s what this is all about.  Men and women who want nothing more than the chance to earn their way into the American story, just like so many of our ancestors did.  Throughout our history, that has only made us stronger.  And it’s how we’ll make sure that America’s best days always lie ahead.

Thanks.  And have a great weekend.

Political Headlines June 8, 2013: GOP Weekly Address: Indiana Rep. Luke Messer on Student Loans

GOP Address: Indiana Rep. Luke Messer on Student Loans

Source: WH, 6-8-13

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

In this week’s GOP address, Indiana Rep. Luke Messer spoke of the importance of preventing a rate hike for federal student loans.

“What makes this country great is that my story is not exceptional,” he continued. “Every year, millions of American students see their career dreams begin with the help of federal student financial aid.”

“Unfortunately,” he said, “in just three weeks, on July 1st, interest rates on many federal student loans are set to double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines June 7, 2013: Senator Rand Paul Bill Would Curb NSA on Phone Records Surveillance

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Rand Paul Bill Would Curb NSA on Phone Records

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-7-13

United States Senate

Responding to the recent disclosure that the federal government has secretly obtained the phone records of millions of Americans, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced legislation Friday to require agencies to obtain a warrant before searching such data.

The “Fourth Amendment Restoration Act,” which can be read in full here, is designed “to stop the National Security Agency from spying on citizens of the United States and for other purposes” and would require a warrant with probable cause before government investigators could proceed with a search.

In a statement the senator said the revelation “represents an outrageous abuse of power.”…READ MORE

Political Headlines June 7, 2013: President Barack Obama Calls Surveillance Programs Legal and Limited — ‘Nobody Is Listening to Your Telephone Calls’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama: ‘Nobody Is Listening to Your Telephone Calls’

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-7-13

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” the president told reporters in his first public comments since the programs were disclosed.

“They are not looking at people’s names, and they’re not looking at content.  But by sifting through this so-called metadata, they may identify potential leads with respect to folks who might engage in terrorism,” he said….READ MORE

Obama Calls Surveillance Programs Legal and Limited

Source: NYT, 6-7-13

President Obama on Friday defended government efforts to gather telephone and Internet data, and sought to reassure Americans that his administration was not listening in on their calls….READ MORE

 

 

Political Headlines June 7, 2013: Frank Lautenberg and Senate Link to WWII Laid to Rest

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Frank Lautenberg and Senate Link to WWII Laid to Rest

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-7-13

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the last World War II veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, has been laid to rest.

Lautenberg was buried Friday morning at Arlington National Cemetery, as rain fell on umbrella-covered mourners who said goodbye not only to the late New Jersey Democrat, but to an era that has passed along with him….READ MORE

Political Headlines June 7, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech Goes Missing from Teleprompter in Embarrassing Moment of the Day

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama’s Remarks Go Missing in Embarrassing Moment of the Day

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-7-13

Win McNamee/Getty Images

When President Obama stepped up to the podium Friday morning, the cameras were rolling, the stage was perfectly set and reporters were eagerly awaiting his remarks on health care. But something was missing.

“There’s only one problem, and that is that my remarks are not sitting here,” Obama said, as he looked at the barren podium. “People!

“By Friday afternoon, things can get a little challenged,” he quipped….READ MORE

Political Headlines June 6, 2013: President Barack Obama Announces Broadband-for-Schools Project at North Carolina Middle School

POLITICAL HEADLINES

https://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Announces Broadband-for-Schools Project at NC Middle School

Source: ABC News Radio, 6-6-13

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama on Thursday called for wider access to high-speed Internet in schools, prodding the Federal Communications Commission to work toward an aggressive goal that he first proposed in 2008.

“In a country where we expect free WiFi with our coffee, why shouldn’t we have it in our schools?” Obama asked during a visit to Mooresville Middle School outside of Charlotte, N.C….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency June 6, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech at Mooresville Middle School, Mooresville, North Carolina About Bringing America’s Students into the Digital Age & Technology

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Bringing America’s Students into the Digital Age

Source: WH, 6-6-13

President Barack Obama views student projects created on laptops during a tour at Mooresville Middle SchoolPresident Barack Obama views student projects created on laptops during a tour at Mooresville Middle School in Mooresville, N.C., June 6, 2013 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Update: Read President Obama’s remarks in Mooresville here

Today, in Mooresville, North Carolina the President is announcing a bold and transformative education initiative to breathe life into the classroom of the 21st century. The goal of the President’s ConnectED initiative is to bring high-speed Internet connections to 99 percent of America’s students – which he is calling on the FCC to do within five years….READ MORE

Remarks by the President at Mooresville Middle School — Mooresville, NC

Source: WH, 6-6-13

Mooresville, North Carolina

3:03 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  (Applause.)  Hello, Mooresville!  (Applause.)  Hello, Mooresville.  It is good to be back in North Carolina.  (Applause.)  Now, first of all, I want to thank my staff for being smart enough to schedule a visit right before school lets out.  (Laughter.)  Because that means everybody is in a good mood.  (Laughter.)  However, Principal Tulbert told me that if I wanted to visit, I had to follow school rules.  And since we just recited the Pledge of Allegiance, let me say that, “It’s always a great day to be a Red Imp.”  (Applause.)  I gather some of you are going to be Blue Devils next year.  (Applause.)  Being an Imp is okay, but I guess being a Devil — (laughter.)

I want to thank Maureen for the wonderful introduction, but more importantly, for the great work that she and all the staff at this school are doing.  I could not be more impressed with the teachers and the administrators.  So give it up for them.  Students, clap for your teachers.  (Applause.)  You may not realize how lucky you are to have great, dedicated teachers, but as a parent, I realize how important that is.  And so we can’t thank them enough.

I want to make sure everybody knows that we’ve got one of the finest Secretaries of Education we’ve ever had in Arne Duncan, who’s here.  (Applause.)  Your Mayor, Miles Atkins, is in the house.  (Applause.)  And Superintendent Edwards is here, who’s doing such great work.  So give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  So I want to thank you for inviting me here today.  I know it’s a little warm in here, as it always is in a school gym.  But I was spending a lot of time talking to the students, and they were showing me such incredible work that I got kind of carried away.

I’ve come here to Mooresville to announce an important step that we’re taking to grow our economy and to reignite the engine that powers our economy — and that’s a rising and thriving middle class where everybody has opportunity.

Over the past four and a half years, we have been fighting back from the worst recession since the Great Depression, which cost millions of Americans their jobs and their homes and the sense of security that they’ve worked so hard to build.  And North Carolina got hit worse than a lot of states.

But thanks to the grit and the determination of the American people, folks are starting to come back.  Our businesses have created nearly 7 million new jobs over the past 38 months; 530 [thousand] of those jobs are new manufacturing jobs that help us sell goods made in America all around the world.  We’re producing more of our own energy.  We’re consuming less energy from other countries.  The housing market and the stock markets are rebounding.  Our deficit is shrinking.  People’s retirement savings are growing.  The American auto industry has come roaring back.

So we’re getting traction.  The gears to the economy are turning.  We’re starting to make progress.  But we’ve got to build on that progress.  Because while the economy is growing, there’s still a lot of families out there who feel like they’re working harder and harder but can’t get ahead.  And the middle class has to be prospering — not just folks at the very top.  That’s got to be our focus:  a growing economy — (applause) — we’ve got to have a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs.  That’s got to be the North Star that guides all of our efforts.

Now, what that means — I said this in my State of the Union address — every day, we’ve got to ask ourselves three questions as a nation.  Number one, how do we make America a magnet for good jobs?  Number two, how do we make sure our workers, our people, have the skills and education they need to do those jobs?  And then, number three, how do we make sure that those jobs pay well so that hard work leads to a decent living?

But the reason I’m here today is because you are helping to answer that second question:  How do we make sure Americans have the chance to earn the best skills and education possible?  That’s why I came to Mooresville.  Because at a moment when the rest of the world is trying to out-educate us, we’ve got to make sure that our young people — all you guys — have every tool that you need to go as far as your talents and your dreams and your ambitions and your hard work will take you.  (Applause.)

So that’s the spirit that’s reflected in the motto of your school district — “every child, every day.”  It’s that fundamental belief that no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, every child can learn.  Every child can succeed.  Every child, every day, deserves that chance.  We’ve got an obligation to give every young person that chance.  (Applause.)

And that means making sure we’ve got the best teachers and giving those teachers support and paying them what they deserve.  (Applause.)  Yes.  All the teachers say, amen.

AUDIENCE:  Amen!

THE PRESIDENT:  It requires parents who are more active and involved.  Parents, school is not a passive thing where you just dump off your kids, they come back and somehow automatically they learn.  You’ve got to be involved in the education process.  It requires smarter schools that are safer places to learn.  And in an age when the world’s information is a just click away, it demands that we bring our schools and libraries into the 21st century.  We can’t be stuck in the 19th century when we’re living in a 21st century economy.

And that’s why, today, we’re going to take a new step to make sure that virtually every child in America’s classrooms has access to the fastest Internet and the most cutting-edge learning tools.  And that step will better prepare our children for the jobs and challenges of the future and it will provide them a surer path into the middle class.  And, as a consequence, it will mean a stronger, more secure economy for all of us.

Specifically, today, I am directing the Federal Communications Commission, which is the FCC, to begin a process that will connect 99 percent of America’s students to high-speed broadband Internet within five years.  Within five years we’re going to get it done.  (Applause.)

Now, those of you here at Mooresville understand why this is important, but I’m speaking to a larger audience, so I want to explain why this is important.  Today, the average American school has about the same bandwidth as the average American home, even though obviously there are 200 times as many people at school as there are at home.  Only around 20 percent of our students have access to true high-speed Internet in their classroom.  By comparison, South Korea has 100 percent of its kids with high-speed Internet.  We’ve got 20 percent; South Korea 100 percent.  In countries where — in a country where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, why shouldn’t we have it in our schools?  Right?  (Applause.)  Why wouldn’t we have it available for our children’s education?

So the good news is, here in Mooresville, you’ve committed yourself to this cause.  Starting in the third grade, as all of you know because you’ve lived through it, every student in the district gets a laptop and high-speed, wireless Internet in the classroom.

And I just saw the ways that it’s changing how you learn.  You don’t just write papers and take tests.  You’re working together on videos and presentations and movies and poetry.  Your high school Spanish class might Skype with students in Barcelona or Buenos Aires.  One student proudly said, “We’re able to work on more projects and homework outside of class.”  Now that’s not normally something teenagers brag about.  (Laughter.)  But that’s exactly the attitude that’s going to help you succeed and help your country succeed.

And as I was learning in talking to some of the teachers here, it’s helping the teachers, too.  Because if a student is falling behind, a teacher is seeing it in real time.

Did somebody fall down?  One thing you guys got to do, by the way — bend your knees a little bit when you’re standing.  If you stand up straight — I’m just giving you a tip so you don’t faint — (laughter) — which happens all the time, and it’s really embarrassing.  (Laughter.)  But if you already did, you should sit down.

But it gives teachers the ability to see in real time what students need help, who is falling behind, and then offer extra help.  If you’ve already mastered a lesson, you can move on to the next one.  So as one teacher said, “The thing I’m most proud of is not the technology, it’s the relationships I can build with the students that I teach.”

Now, here at this school, this has only been going on for a few years.  But so far, the results have been remarkable.  Graduation rates are up.  Last year, out of 115 school districts in North Carolina, you ranked in the bottom 10 in the amount of money you spend per student, but you ranked number two in student achievement.  Number two.  (Applause.)  So you’re spending less money getting better outcomes.  And around the country, educators have started to take notice.  So many people want to see this school for themselves that there’s a waiting list for tours all the way into 2014.

But here’s the thing:  As special as what you’ve done is, I don’t want this success to be restricted to one school or one school district.  There is no reason why we can’t replicate the success you’ve found here.  And imagine what that will mean for our country.

Imagine a young girl growing up on a farm in a rural area who can now take an AP biology or AP physics class, even if her school is too small to offer it.  Imagine a young boy with a chronic illness that means he can’t go to school, but now he can join his classmates via Skype or FaceTime and fully participate in what’s going on.

Imagine educators spending fewer hours teaching to a test, more time helping kids learn in new and innovative ways.  Imagine more businesses starting here and hiring here in this area, in North Carolina, because they know for a fact that we’ve committed ourselves to equipping all of our kids with better skills and education than any place else on Earth.  That’s what we need.  (Applause.)

So over the next five years, we’re going to partner with private companies to put people to work laying fiber optic cables to our schools and setting up wireless connections in our schools with speeds 10 to 100 times faster than what most schools have today.  We’re going to work with states to give teachers who want to use these technologies in the classroom the professional development that they need, because I was talking to Ms. Tulbert and she said, for all the teachers here, it took some adaptation to get used to these new technologies.

Once all these classrooms are wired for superfast Internet, that means a big new market for private innovation — America’s companies who created the computers and smartphones and tablets that we all use —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s okay.  This happens.  They’ll be all right.  Just give them a little space.  That’s why we’ve got the medics here.  They’ll be okay.

Oh, teachers give me some tips here.  I’ve lost their attention.  (Laughter.)  All right, everybody.  Right over here.

So what we’re going to be able to do is to get companies to compete to create affordable digital devices designed specifically to these new connected classrooms.  I want to see a tablet that’s the same price as a textbook.  (Applause.)  I want to see more apps that can be instantly updated with academic content the day it’s available, so you don’t have old, outdated textbooks with student names still in them from years ago.  These are the tools that our children deserve.

And there’s no reason we can’t do all this.  If you think about the history of America, we united a continent by rail.  We stretched a network of highways from sea to shining sea.  We brought light to dark and remote areas.  We connected the world through the Internet, through our imagination.  All these projects created jobs.  All these projects grew our economy.  They also unified the country and they are unifying the world.  And this project we’re talking about today can do the same thing.  I am determined to see it through on behalf of our kids.  (Applause.)

And for those of you who follow politics in Washington, here’s the best news — none of this requires an act of Congress.  (Applause.)  We can and we will get started right away.  Yes, we can.  (Applause.)  Look, there are all kinds of things I do need Congress to do, and I want to work with them everywhere I can.  But where we’ve got an opportunity to just go ahead and do something that’s going to help our young people, help our teachers, help our education system, help this economy, help our middle class, help to create jobs, we’ve just got to go ahead and do it.  (Applause.)  This is something we have to do for the sake of our kids and our future.

But there are other things that I’m going to be working with Congress to do that will improve our education system on behalf of our kids and our future.  Because if we can bring our kids and our schools into the digital age, you can’t tell me we can’t start improving our early-childhood education system and making high-quality preschool available to every child in America.  (Applause.)

You can’t tell me that we can’t find the wherewithal to hire even more good teachers in science and math and technology and engineering.

You can’t tell me that we can’t rethink and redesign our high schools, or partner with colleges and businesses to put our young people on the path of jobs — not just today’s jobs, but tomorrow’s jobs.

We can make sure that middle-class families aren’t priced out of a college education.  We can make sure that interest rates on federal student loans don’t double for students and parents at the end of this month.  (Applause.)  I want to work with Democrats and Republicans to keep those rates low.

How many students here expect to go to college?  I expect all of them to raise their hand.  (Applause.)  So we’ve got to make sure that college is affordable for every young person, and that’s going to require some help from Congress.

But we have to give every child, every day, the shot at success that they deserve.  Every day.  (Applause.)  FDR once said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”  And as long as I’m President, I’m going to keep fighting with everything I’ve got to build a better future for our young people and to give them a chance to build their own future.  That’s how we’re going to strengthen our middle class.  That’s how we’ll secure America’s future for generations to come.  That’s what I’m going to fight for as President of the United States.  That’s why I’m so proud of all of you here at Mooresville.

Congratulations, everybody.  Have a great summer.  God bless you.  God bless America.

END
3:22 P.M. EDT

%d bloggers like this: