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Monthly Archives: September 2011
Here’s what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov:
LinkedIn Town Hall: On Monday, President Obama participated in a live Town Hall meeting with LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, out in Silicon Valley, California. Taking questions from the audience and online submissions, the President talked about the American Jobs Act and how it will create jobs and boost the overall economy.
Ending Violence Against Women: Vice President Biden travelled to New York City Tuesday to sit down with the women of The View. The main topic of discussion was his campaign to end violence against women and his current initiative to reduce domestic abuse among younger Americans. The Vice President told the ladies that the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 is his proudest legislative achievement, and that it has decreased domestic violence by over 50% since being signed into law.
‘Set your Sights High’: The President welcomed students back to school in his third annual Back-to-School speech at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. Admitting that he was not a perfect student himself, he explained that doing well in school carries weight beyond college admissions. “Because you’re not just kids. You’re this country’s future. You’re young leaders. And whether we fall behind or race ahead as a nation is going to depend in large part on you.”
President Barack Obama shakes hands with students after delivering his third annual Back-to-School speech at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. Sept. 28, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Micahel Strautmanis, his wife and their three children
Every single day, I am proud and awed to be working for our President. But, some days simply take the cake. Just a few short months ago, I had a couple of those days. On April 1st, President Obama issued the first ever Presidential Proclamation to mark World Autism Awareness Day. Later that month, I had another special moment when Valerie Jarrett and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the President and his administration fully supported reauthorization of the Combating Autism Act (CAA). As a father of a child on the autism spectrum, these were extraordinarily meaningful moments to me.
Today, President Obama signed into law the reauthorization of the CAA. I was once again reminded of the honor that it is to be working for a President who gets it — he knows that persons on the autism spectrum are at the heart of this issue.
Nearly one percent of American children are on the Autism Spectrum, and this reauthorization continues important investments in research, early detection and support and services for both children and adults. Without it, critical research would have been severely hindered and in some cases halted. Millions of persons on the Autism Spectrum would have been deprived of the potential breakthroughs resulting from valuable research, and of the chance to live independent and productive lives.
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President Obama today welcomed Army General Martin Dempsey as the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as he honored the outgoing Chairman, Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, and thanked him for his four years of extraordinary service in that role and his four decades in uniform.
The President was attending the "Change of Office" Staff Ceremony, where he paid tribute to Mullen’s illustrious career and highlighted many of his accomplishments in office, saying that “our military is stronger and our nation is more secure because of the service that you have rendered.”
Today, we have renewed American leadership in the world. We’ve strengthened our alliances, including NATO. We’re leading again in Asia. And we forged a new treaty with Russia to reduce our nuclear arsenals. And every American can be grateful to Admiral Mullen — as am I — for his critical role in each of these achievements, which will enhance our national security for decades to come.
Today, we see the remarkable achievements of our 9/11 generation of service members. They’ve given Iraqis a chance to determine their own future. They’ve pushed the Taliban out of their Afghan strongholds and finally put al Qaeda on the path to defeat. Meanwhile, our forces have responded to sudden crises with compassion, as in Haiti, and with precision, as in Libya. And it will be long remembered that our troops met these tests on Admiral Mullen’s watch and under his leadership.
The President also discussed the news that Anwar al-Awlaki — a leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — was killed in Yemen this morning, calling it “a major blow to al Qaeda's most active operational affiliate.”
The death of al-Awlaki marks another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates. Furthermore, this success is a tribute to our intelligence community, and to the efforts of Yemen and its security forces, who have worked closely with the United States over the course of several years.
Awlaki and his organization have been directly responsible for the deaths of many Yemeni citizens. His hateful ideology — and targeting of innocent civilians — has been rejected by the vast majority of Muslims, and people of all faiths. And he has met his demise because the government and the people of Yemen have joined the international community in a common effort against Al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula remains a dangerous — though weakened — terrorist organization. And going forward, we will remain vigilant against any threats to the United States, or our allies and partners. But make no mistake: This is further proof that al Qaeda and its affiliates will find no safe haven anywhere in the world.
Working with Yemen and our other allies and partners, we will be determined, we will be deliberate, we will be relentless, we will be resolute in our commitment to destroy terrorist networks that aim to kill Americans, and to build a world in which people everywhere can live in greater peace, prosperity and security.
Vice President Joe Biden appears on The View, in New York City, NY. Sep. 27, 2011. (Official White House by David Lienemann)
On September 27, 2011, Vice President Joe Biden appeared on The View to discuss the work he has done to end violence against women and his current initiative to reduce youth violence.
Since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, a bill the Vice President refers to as his proudest legislative achievement, rates of domestic violence have dropped by over 50%. However, rates of violence against young women continue to remain alarmingly high, with 16-24 year olds experiencing the highest rates of rape, sexual assault and dating violence.
Vice President Joe Biden gives a speech on the American Jobs Act at the Alexandria Police Department in Alexandria, VA, September 29, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Biden made a short hop across the Potomac yesterday to the Alexandria Police Department in Alexandria, Virginia where he delivered remarks on how the American Jobs Act would help keep police officers and first responders on the beat in northern Virginia and across the country.
Alexandria is just one of thousands of communities where police forces have taken a hit due to budget cutbacks. Thanks to an $800,000 Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant announced on Wednesday, the Alexandria Police Department will be able to put four out of nine of the officers they lost back on patrol. The American Jobs Act, as Vice President Biden said, would fund an additional $4 billion in COPS grants – like the one awarded to Alexandria – that would support the hiring, re-hiring and retention of officers in departments nationwide.
Vice President Biden went on to describe cities like Flint, Michigan, where two thirds of the police force has been laid off in the last 3 years, and Cleveland, Ohio, where the police academy graduated a class of 100 officers – all of whom had to turn in their badge and gun right after graduation because there were no positions available.
“We need to help these departments,” said the Vice President. “When you cut forces, and you cut them significantly, it not only diminishes public safety, it diminishes your ability to stay safe.”
Republican Senator from Louisiana David Vitter spoke with the Morning Majority about the Obama administration’s focus on green jobs versus oil jobs. The Senator also spoke on the killing of US-born Al Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Alwaki.
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Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President announced reforms to No Child Left Behind, traveled to California to hold a town hall on job growth at LinkedIn, spoke on what the American Jobs Act could mean for America's schools and gave his third annual Back To School address.
For Immediate Release
Vice President Biden met today with Prime Minister Nasir Al-Muhammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah of Kuwait at the White House. They discussed a range of regional, political and security matters, including the changes underway in the region as a result of the Arab Spring, and the importance of resolving outstanding issues between Kuwait and Iraq. Noting that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait, the Prime Minister and Vice President stressed the enduring ties between our two countries, and expressed their appreciation for the strength of the bilateral relationship. The Vice President also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the security of the region and of our partners.