Monday, January 31, 2011

White House Press Briefing Jan. 31

Robert Gibbs answers the same question, rephrased, over and over again. His answer: It's not up to the U.S. to decide who's going to lead Egypt.

Startup America Launch

Background on Startup America.

Napolitano Outlines Super Bowl Security

Outgoing Axelrod Reflects

David Axelrod's last day at the White House was Jan. 29. He goes back to his wife and daughter Lauren:

Elizabeth Warren on the New Consumer Financial Protection Agency

Gibbs: U.S. Doesn't Determine Who's on Egypt's Ballot

There are a lot of people siding with the Egyptian people without even knowing the Egyptian people or what they want in their leaders. There are a lot of people who say the U.S. should call for Mubarak's resignation. In other words, there is a lot of noise out there, a lot of people with opinions that have no knowledge of Egypt or the Egyptian people. It's amateur hour. Our media seems to have been blindsided by the protests as well.
Saw this tweet by Marc Ambinder, which seems fitting: "Iraqify" = to impose a Western version of liberty on another country w/ little regard to the circumstances of the country.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Obama's Schedule Jan. 31, 2011

10:00 AM
The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press
11:10 AM
The President meets with senior advisors
Oval Office
Closed Press

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks on 60 Minutes Video

Part 1
Part 2
I wouldn't jump on Assange's bandwagon, but Steve Kroft did:

Obama Speaks to World Leaders on Egypt

Obama and his staff discussing Egypt 
From the White House: 
The President has made a number of calls to foreign leaders to discuss the ongoing situation in Egypt. On Saturday, January 29th, the President spoke to Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Today, he spoke to Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom. During his calls, the President reiterated his focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint; supporting universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech; and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people. The President asked each of the leaders that he spoke to for their assessment of the situation, and agreed to stay in close contact going forward.
Hillary Clinton speaks about Egypt on This Week: "People are not going to stand by any longer and not be given the opportunity to fulfill their own god-given potential."  Watch

New Chief of Staff Daley on Face the Nation

Obama's new chief of staff Bill Daley talks Egypt, jobs, budget cuts and more. Watch 

Obama Picks Jeff Zients to Reorganize Government

.....That is why the President has asked Jeffrey Zients, our nation’s first Chief Performance Officer (CPO), to lead our reorganization effort. Our first focus will be looking at trade and exports to see how we can better reform these functions to give American companies a leg up in the global economy.

For the past two years as CPO and Deputy Director for Management of OMB, Jeff has led our Accountable Government Initiative (AGI), the President’s initiative to make government more efficient and effective, open and responsive. On his watch, we have cut government waste, bringing down the amount of improper payments on our way of reducing them by $50 billion by 2012; starting to get rid of unused federal buildings and property; overhauled how IT is purchased and used, saving billions; and deployed the latest technologies to make it easier of people to get the information and services they need from their government.

Jeff’s years of private sector experience means that he brings a unique perspective to his job as CPO and to this new assignment. Having been a CEO, management consultant, and entrepreneur, Jeff has a deep understanding of business strategy, process reengineering and operational management. In fact, Jeff spent the majority of his career leading two companies that help corporations around the world improve their performance by adopting best management practices. Read more at the White House

Hillary Speaks on Egypt on Meet the Press Jan. 30

Broadcaster Al Jazeera has been banned in Cairo. David Gregory asks the same question in different ways: What are you going to do about it? and Do you still want Mubarak in power? At about the 8 minute mark, Hillary Clinton gets politely impatient with David. Mitch McConnell, perhaps for the first time ever, agreed with Hillary's remarks. The fact that McConnell doesn't take the opportunity to get political, means the problem in Egypt is serious. If a radical regime takes over in Egypt, then Egypt's peace with Israel is over.
For all the Egyptians that are protesting it looks like there are as many who are working against them by looting:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Egyptians Form Human Chain to Protect Cairo Museum

YOUNG Egyptians formed a human chain to protect a museum of priceless antiquities as Neighborhood Watch committees were organised to fend off looters.

Dozens of people on Saturday surrounded the Egyptian Museum in Cairo - which is home to the death mask of King Tutankhamun - where army tanks had been stationed, as anti-government protests swept the country for the fifth day running.

Egypt's opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, which has thrown its weight behind the protests, said it had recruited members to form Neighborhood Watch committees around Cairo to protect public and private establishments. "We have selected members to form [the] committees, and they will be stationed around the capital trying to protect property," Salah Abdelraouf said. Herald Sun
Obama administration is walking a fine line:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Obama Speaks on Ramping up Innovation

From where I sit, Americans seem more whiny, more entitled and less inclined to innovate than ever before. Looks like I have to move from where I'm sitting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Michelle Obama's Interview with Pentagon Channel on Military Readiness and Obesity

Obama Speaks on Protests in Egypt Video

Obama calls on the Egyptian government to refrain from violence. Obama spoke to Egyptian President Mubarak this evening:

Meanwhile, Mubarak calls for dialogue:

White House Press Briefing Jan. 28

White House Update on Protests in Egypt

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Hillary Clinton Calls on Egyptian Government and Protesters to Refrain from Violence

Obama's Healthcare Speech to Families USA Video

Obama spoke earlier today to Families USA, a healthcare advocate. Granny is safe, Obama said:

Egyptians Revolt Against Mubarak

The Egyptian government has cut Internet access to its citizens. Egypt is part of Africa, but culturally, it's Middle Eastern. (Read the State Department's background on Egypt). Egyptians want President Hosni Mubarak and his authoritarian government gone. During Obama's youtube interview yesterday, he said Egypt is an ally and is at peace with Israel, but it needs to move forward with political reform. Obama spoke to students at Cairo University June, 2009. Another Nobel Peace laureate is arrested:
Tens of thousands of Egyptians were in "open revolt" against the government Friday amid violent clashes in Cairo and reports they were in control of central areas of two major cities.
The government announced a military curfew due to begin at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) and sent troops onto the capital's streets.
Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei was put under house arrest in Cairo, Egyptian security officials said, just a day after the former U.N. nuclear watchdog had returned to the country to take part in pro-democracy protests. msnbc
The revolt is limited:
So far, despite everything, normal life is continuing in most parts of the country.

The vast majority of Egyptians are too busy scratching a living to join the protests. There is widespread anger and disillusionment with the government, but there are probably not more than a few thousand people actively expressing their anger. That will give some reassurance to the government. BBC

Al Jazeera is the news outlet to watch:

West Wing Week Jan. 28

West Wing Week comes out every Friday. It is a rundown of Obama's week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Obama's Schedule Jan. 28, 2011

9:30 AM
The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press
10:20 AM
The President addresses Families USA's 16th Annual Health Action Conference
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Open to pre-credentialed media
11:00 AM
The President and the Vice President receive the Economic Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press
11:30 AM
The President meets with senior advisors
Oval Office
Closed Press

Obama's Statement on David Kato Killed for Being Gay in Uganda

David Kato, a gay rights activist, was killed in Uganda for being gay. Apparently, the Ugandan government is considering executing gay people. Sadly, U.S. evangelical Christians groups in Uganda have made the situation worse for gay people. But not all evangelicals. Evangelical pastor Rick Warren has spoken out against the abhorrent and un-Christ-like treatment of gay people there. Obama:
I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato. In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work.

At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate. In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered. It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.

LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all.

What Caused the Financial Crisis?

The financial crisis commission conclusions have been published in book form, which is available at Amazon. The media is focused on the commission's dissenting opinions over who's to blame. I've always contended that if people refrained from buying homes they couldn't afford, the recession wouldn't have happened. Once people took the bait of teaser rates, adjustable rates, yadda, yaddda, it created a cycle of greed. For a long, long time, Americans have been really busy keeping up with the Joneses.

Sebelius Answers Healthcare Questions Video

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee and Deputy National Security advisor Denis McDonough answered questions today:

Arne Duncan Talks Education

Arne Duncan says schools should be community centers, open for up to 13 hours a day. He answers questions on funding, teacher pay, vo-tech... This should be required watching:

It's Obama Biden 2012

Joe Biden says he and Obama have a relationship built on trust -- he's got Obama's back and Obama has his.

More with Joe:

Michelle Obama on Oprah Jan. 27 Video

Find out how to help military families here.

White House Press Briefing Jan. 27, 2011

McDonough Answers Foreign Policy Questions

Austan Goolsbee Answers Questions on the Economy Video

A bunch of Obama staffers answered questions today, including Goolsbee:

Jay Carney to Replace Robert Gibbs as Press Secretary

Read Carney's profile here. Carney was once the D.C. bureau chief for Time magazine, when Time magazine mattered. He left time to work for VP Joe Biden. Now we'll see him giving the daily press briefings. From the Fix:
President Obama has chosen Jay Carney to serve as his new press secretary, replacing longtime loyalist Robert Gibbs who is leaving his post in mid February, according to a senior Administration official.

The White House will also name Office of Health Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle and current White House director of scheduling and Advance Alyssa Mastromonaco as deputy chiefs of staff.

Carney, who is currently communications director for Vice President Joe Biden, came to the White House in 2009 after a long career in journalism in which he served -- among other posts -- as Washington bureau chief of Time magazine. Read more at The Fix

Watch Obama's YouTube Interview Jan. 27

Reid Clinging to His Earmarks

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! That was the sound heard around the nation following Obama's State of the Union speech. Everyone found something to nitpick. Harry Reid is clinging to his earmarks:
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! That was the sound heard around the nation following Obama's State of the Union speech. Everyone found something to complain about. Harry Reid is clinging to his earmarks:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Obama's Schedule Jan. 27, 2011

I've added times when Obama's cabinet members and staffers answer questions.
All times are eastern:

9:45 AM
Obama and Biden receive the presidential daily briefing.

10:15 AM
Obama and Biden meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

11:00 AM
Obama meets with his national security team for his monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan; Biden, Secretary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder will be among the attendees.

11:30 AM
Open for Questions: the State of the Union and the Economy with Austan Goolsbee. Watch

12:45 PM
Obama and Biden meet for lunch.

1:00 PM
Open for Questions: the State of the Union and Foreign Policy with Denis McDonough. Watch

2:30 PM
Obama participates in a YouTube interview with Steve Grove. Watch

3:15 PM
Open for Questions: the State of the Union and Education with Secretary Arne Duncan. Watch

4:30 PM
Open for Questions: the State of the Union and Health Care with Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Watch

5:00 PM
Biden attends a reception for the Democratic National Committee.

Frick and Frack Rescue Hawk from Library of Congress

White House Intern Molly Swenson on American Idol

UPDATE Feb. 24: Molly didn't move on.

UPDATE Feb. 20: Molly, who was in room 4, is still in it.  A photo of Molly in the Rolling Stone.

UPDATE Feb. 17: Apparently, Molly made it through even though she wasn't on the show last night. Look for her tonight.

Well, I know who I'm rooting for:

Molly singing at Harvard:

Obama's Remarks at Orion Energy Systems in Wisconsin Video

Obama's Schedule in Wisconsin Jan. 26, 2011

9:00 AM
The President departs the White House en route Andrews Air Force Base
South Lawn
Pooled Press
9:30 AM
The President departs Andrews Air Force Base en route Green Bay, Wisconsin
Andrews Air Force Base
Travel Pool Coverage
11:35 AM
The President arrives in Green Bay, Wisconsin
Local Event Time: 
10:35 AM CST
Austin Straubel International Airport
Open Press
12:35 PM
The President tours Orion Energy Systems, Inc.
Local Event Time: 
11:35 AM CST
Inc., Manitowoc, Orion Energy Systems, Wisconsin
Travel Pool Coverage
1:00 PM
The President delivers remarks on the economy
Local Event Time: 
12:00 PM CST
Inc., Manitowoc, Orion Energy Systems, Wisconsin
Open Press Live stream 
1:30 PM
The President tours Skana Aluminum Company
Local Event Time: 
12:30 PM CST
Manitowoc, Skana Aluminum Company, Wisconsin
Travel Pool Coverage
2:50 PM
The President tours Tower Tech Systems, Inc.
Local Event Time: 
1:50 PM CST
Inc, Manitowoc, Tower Tech Systems, Wisconsin
Travel Pool Coverage
4:10 PM
The President departs Green Bay, Wisconsin
Local Event Time: 
3:10 PM CST
Austin Straubel International Airport
Open Press
6:00 PM
The President arrives at Andrews Air Force Base
Andrews Air Force Base
Travel Pool Coverage
6:15 PM
The President arrives at the White House
South Lawn
Open Press