Year Two Day 203 Obama Administration August 11, 2010 - History

Year Two Day 203 Obama Administration August 11, 2010 - History

9:30AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing

Oval Office

Closed Press

10:30AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors

Oval Office

11:00AM THE PRESIDENT meets with his national security team on Iraq

Situation Room The Vice President

Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State

Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense

Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff

General James Jones, National Security Advisor

Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

Leon Panetta, Director, Central Intelligence Agency

Jack Lew, Deputy Secretary of State

General James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Lt Gen John Allen (via videoconference), Acting Commander of Central Command

Jeff Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Asian Affairs

Ambassador Chris Hill (via videoconference), Ambassador to Iraq

Michele Flournoy, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

General Ray Odierno (via videoconference), Commander USF-I

Gary Grindler, Acting Deputy Attorney General

Rob Nabors, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget

Erica Barks-Ruggles, Deputy to the U. S. Representative to the United Nations

12:45PM THE PRESIDENT has lunch with THE VICE PRESIDENT

Private Dining Room

2:50PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks and signs the Manufacturing Enhancement Act

East Room

3:45PM THE PRESIDENT meets with Secretary of the Navy Mabus

Oval Office

5:00PM THE PRESIDENT meets with Secretary of State Clinton

Oval Office


Today With President Barack Obama

In mid-January, pollsters for the Washington Post and ABC News asked a representative sampling of Americans the following question: “Obama has been president for about three years. Would you say he has accomplished a great deal during that time, a good amount, not very much, or little or nothing?”

When the poll’s results were released on January 18, even the most seasoned White House staffers, who know the president faces a tough battle for reelection, must have spit up their coffee: more than half the respondents󈠄 percent—said the president has accomplished “not very much” or “little or nothing.”

It is often said that there are no right or wrong answers in opinion polling, but in this case, there is an empirically right answer—one chosen by only 12 percent of the poll’s respondents. The answer is that Obama has accomplished “a great deal.”

Measured in sheer legislative tonnage, what Obama got done in his first two years is stunning. Health care reform. The takeover and turnaround of the auto industry. The biggest economic stimulus in history. Sweeping new regulations of Wall Street. A tough new set of consumer protections on the credit card industry. A vast expansion of national service. Net neutrality. The greatest increase in wilderness protection in fifteen years. A revolutionary reform to student aid Read in full.

1. Passed Health Care Reform: After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010). It will cover 32 million uninsured Americans beginning in 2014 and mandates a suite of experimental measures to cut health care cost growth, the number one cause of America’s long-term fiscal problems.

2. Passed the Stimulus: Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside. Twelve months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing, and it has continued to do so for twenty-three straight months, creating a total of nearly 3.7 million new private-sector jobs.

3. Passed Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010) to re-regulate the financial sector after its practices caused the Great Recession. The new law tightens capital requirements on large banks and other financial institutions, requires derivatives to be sold on clearinghouses and exchanges, mandates that large banks provide “living wills” to avoid chaotic bankruptcies, limits their ability to trade with customers’ money for their own profit, and creates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (now headed by Richard Cordray) to crack down on abusive lending products and companies.


Today With President Barack Obama

Obama said he will present Shimon Peres with the Presidential Medal of Freedom this spring.
Obama made it clear that the US will always support Israel.
He also said "Iran's leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision." The only way to solve this problem is for Iran to forsake nuclear weapons. "Given their history, there is no guarantee they will make the right choice," he said. "As President and Commander in Chief, I have a deeply held preference for peace over war." He said "I will only use force when the time and circumstances demand it."
Everyone prefers to resolve the problem diplomatically, he said. "Having said that, Iran's leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United States, just as they should not doubt Israel's sovereign right to make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security needs." He said all the talk of war lately has only helped Iran. "Over the last few weeks, such talk has only benefited the Iranian government, by driving up the price of oil, which they depend on to fund their nuclear program. For the sake of Israel’s security, America’s security, and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster." Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is blustering and setting his hair afire.


Obama, Bush, and the Geneva Conventions

Today, 12 August, is the 61st anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the international treaties designed to protect soldiers and civilians during armed conflicts. The treaties became the focus of international attention in 2002 when the Bush administration controversially concluded that al Qaeda and the Taliban were not entitled to their protections. President Obama has reaffirmed America’s "commitment" to the Geneva Conventions but has not been specific about how the Conventions apply to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees. To re-assert U.S. leadership with respect to the laws of war, the Obama administration should announce that the United States accepts specific provisions of the Conventions and engage other countries to develop new rules where the Geneva Conventions do not apply.

The 1949 Geneva Conventions consist of four separate treaties originally signed by 59 countries in Geneva, Switzerland. In light of the horrific experiences of World War II, the first three agreements revised previous treaties dating from 1864, 1906, and 1929 that provided humanitarian protections for sick or wounded soldiers on land, sailors at sea, and prisoners of war. The fourth agreement, added in 1949, establishes protections for civilians in conflict zones. The best known of the agreements is the Third Geneva Convention, which provides detailed articles of protection for those who qualify as Prisoners of War (POWs).

The Geneva Conventions apply to conflicts between the 194 countries that are now party to them. Since 1949, three Additional Protocols have been added to the Conventions to provide further protections in light of changes in modern warfare. The United States has long objected to certain provisions in the First Protocol, although it has stated its support for others. President Reagan submitted the Second Protocol to the Senate in 1987, but the Senate has not acted on it. The Bush administration was a driving force behind (and signed and ratified) the Third Protocol, which created an alternative protective symbol (a Red Diamond) for countries (primarily Israel) that do not use the Red Cross or Red Crescent.

Together, the four 1949 Conventions and the three protocols form the bedrock of the international laws of war.

The United States applied the Geneva Conventions in the Korean, Vietnam, and first Gulf Wars. After the September 11 attacks, however, President Bush concluded that the Conventions did not apply to the United States conflict with al Qaeda because al Qaeda was not a party to the Conventions. He also determined that while Afghanistan was a party to the Conventions, the Taliban were not entitled to POW protections. The Bush administration’s refusal to apply the Geneva Conventions (and certain provisions in human rights treaties) was condemned by U.S. allies and human rights groups as an effort to place al Qaeda and Taliban detainees into a "legal black hole." In its second term, the Bush administration made significant efforts to clarify the legal rules applicable to detention and engage U.S. allies in discussions on international legal issues. But the administration still resisted application of the Geneva Conventions.

In 2006, the Supreme Court rejected the Bush administration’s arguments and held that even if the Geneva Conventions did not apply in their entirety, at least one provision — Common Article 3, which prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees — applies to the conflict between the United States and al Qaeda.

President Obama entered office pledging to "restore" U.S. respect for international law. He immediately banned coercive interrogation methods and rescinded the Bush administration’s strained interpretations of Common Article 3. Last December, Obama reaffirmed the U.S. "commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions" in his Nobel Prize remarks. These statements have helped improve America’s image internationally. But the Obama administration has yet to apply the Geneva Conventions as a legal framework differently than the Bush administration. The administration continues to hold hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban detainees as enemy combatants in Guantanamo and Afghanistan but has not determined that they are POWs under the Third Convention or civilian "protected persons" under the Fourth Convention.

The Obama administration has been studying for nearly twenty months whether to give additional Geneva protections to these detainees. Although al Qaeda detainees clearly are not entitled to POW status, the administration should agree to be bound by Article 75 of the First Protocol to the Conventions, which specifies minimum protections for detained persons, such as the right to be told the reasons for one’s detention. The administration should also urge the Senate to approve the Second Protocol to the Conventions, which spells out rules for internal wars such as in Afghanistan today. Applying these provisions from the First and Second Protocols would demonstrate the U.S. commitment to holding detainees under an internationally recognized set of rules.

For more than a hundred years, the United States has been a respected leader in developing the international laws of war. The Bush administration stumbled by straining to avoid application of the Geneva Conventions as a whole and refusing to adopt even the minimum international standards set forth in Common Article 3 and Article 75. But it is true that the Conventions, and even the Additional Protocols, do not provide clear guidance for countries engaged in conflicts with terrorist groups like al Qaeda, such as who qualifies as a combatant and what legal process should be given. The Obama administration should continue to engage our allies in dialogue about which existing rules of international humanitarian and human rights law apply and where additional rules should be developed. The administration should use its considerable political capital in the international community to clarify and expand the international law applicable to modern warfare.

John B. Bellinger III is a partner with the Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter and an adjunct senior fellow in International and National Security Law at the Council on Foreign Relations. As the legal adviser for Department of State from 2005 to 2009, he headed the U.S. delegation for the negotiation of the Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions.

Today, 12 August, is the 61st anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the international treaties designed to protect soldiers and civilians during armed conflicts. The treaties became the focus of international attention in 2002 when the Bush administration controversially concluded that al Qaeda and the Taliban were not entitled to their protections. President Obama has reaffirmed America’s "commitment" to the Geneva Conventions but has not been specific about how the Conventions apply to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees. To re-assert U.S. leadership with respect to the laws of war, the Obama administration should announce that the United States accepts specific provisions of the Conventions and engage other countries to develop new rules where the Geneva Conventions do not apply.

The 1949 Geneva Conventions consist of four separate treaties originally signed by 59 countries in Geneva, Switzerland. In light of the horrific experiences of World War II, the first three agreements revised previous treaties dating from 1864, 1906, and 1929 that provided humanitarian protections for sick or wounded soldiers on land, sailors at sea, and prisoners of war. The fourth agreement, added in 1949, establishes protections for civilians in conflict zones. The best known of the agreements is the Third Geneva Convention, which provides detailed articles of protection for those who qualify as Prisoners of War (POWs).

The Geneva Conventions apply to conflicts between the 194 countries that are now party to them. Since 1949, three Additional Protocols have been added to the Conventions to provide further protections in light of changes in modern warfare. The United States has long objected to certain provisions in the First Protocol, although it has stated its support for others. President Reagan submitted the Second Protocol to the Senate in 1987, but the Senate has not acted on it. The Bush administration was a driving force behind (and signed and ratified) the Third Protocol, which created an alternative protective symbol (a Red Diamond) for countries (primarily Israel) that do not use the Red Cross or Red Crescent.

Together, the four 1949 Conventions and the three protocols form the bedrock of the international laws of war.

The United States applied the Geneva Conventions in the Korean, Vietnam, and first Gulf Wars. After the September 11 attacks, however, President Bush concluded that the Conventions did not apply to the United States conflict with al Qaeda because al Qaeda was not a party to the Conventions. He also determined that while Afghanistan was a party to the Conventions, the Taliban were not entitled to POW protections. The Bush administration’s refusal to apply the Geneva Conventions (and certain provisions in human rights treaties) was condemned by U.S. allies and human rights groups as an effort to place al Qaeda and Taliban detainees into a "legal black hole." In its second term, the Bush administration made significant efforts to clarify the legal rules applicable to detention and engage U.S. allies in discussions on international legal issues. But the administration still resisted application of the Geneva Conventions.

In 2006, the Supreme Court rejected the Bush administration’s arguments and held that even if the Geneva Conventions did not apply in their entirety, at least one provision — Common Article 3, which prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees — applies to the conflict between the United States and al Qaeda.

President Obama entered office pledging to "restore" U.S. respect for international law. He immediately banned coercive interrogation methods and rescinded the Bush administration’s strained interpretations of Common Article 3. Last December, Obama reaffirmed the U.S. "commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions" in his Nobel Prize remarks. These statements have helped improve America’s image internationally. But the Obama administration has yet to apply the Geneva Conventions as a legal framework differently than the Bush administration. The administration continues to hold hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban detainees as enemy combatants in Guantanamo and Afghanistan but has not determined that they are POWs under the Third Convention or civilian "protected persons" under the Fourth Convention.

The Obama administration has been studying for nearly twenty months whether to give additional Geneva protections to these detainees. Although al Qaeda detainees clearly are not entitled to POW status, the administration should agree to be bound by Article 75 of the First Protocol to the Conventions, which specifies minimum protections for detained persons, such as the right to be told the reasons for one’s detention. The administration should also urge the Senate to approve the Second Protocol to the Conventions, which spells out rules for internal wars such as in Afghanistan today. Applying these provisions from the First and Second Protocols would demonstrate the U.S. commitment to holding detainees under an internationally recognized set of rules.

For more than a hundred years, the United States has been a respected leader in developing the international laws of war. The Bush administration stumbled by straining to avoid application of the Geneva Conventions as a whole and refusing to adopt even the minimum international standards set forth in Common Article 3 and Article 75. But it is true that the Conventions, and even the Additional Protocols, do not provide clear guidance for countries engaged in conflicts with terrorist groups like al Qaeda, such as who qualifies as a combatant and what legal process should be given. The Obama administration should continue to engage our allies in dialogue about which existing rules of international humanitarian and human rights law apply and where additional rules should be developed. The administration should use its considerable political capital in the international community to clarify and expand the international law applicable to modern warfare.


Kim Clement – The False Prophet

Quoted from Elijah List Website, where the false prophets and false teachers gather, let God’s children be discerning and steer clear from the so called preachers in Elijah List, and focus on God and what God says.

The False Prophecy of Kim Clement at Elijah List

THE MIDDLE EAST

God says, “There is a sway in the political arena a change in your political world. Enough of this discussion about Jeremiah Wright.” God said, “This makes no difference. It is a spirit that has endeavored to rock and sway the people and to divide them.” God said, “I will sway it next week. Yes, I will, and because of Pennsylvania , I will raise up the man I want,” says the Lord, “to rule and to reign and to declare victory in the Middle East .”

We declare victory in the Middle East tonight. We declare victory in America tonight.

For the Spirit of God says, “Hear, oh people of Zion . Those who have been afraid in Zion, those who have been afraid in this nation–fear not! For your news media has intimidated you, and therefore, it is My turn. Next week, I will arise. I will change everything.”

“I’M TALKING ABOUT OBAMA”

For they have unfairly spoken against an African man, and I’m not talking about Jeremiah Wright I’m talking about Obama. For God said, “ Even though you may think this or that, there is an element of righteousness inside of him to reach out for Jesus . Therefore, I will sway it next week,” says the Spirit of God, “and I will cause My man, My power–to exalt in the White House what is necessary to declare victory. For this time, I shall rise up and I shall make known who I am in a way that I have never done it in this nation,” says the Lord .

“Do NOT SAY IT IS THIS ONE OR IT IS THAT ONE”

For the Spirit of God says, “Do not say, ‘Is it this one or is it that one?’ Hear me out. I am raising up My mantle, My voice. This nation shall be awakened to a spiritual activity that has been dead for 42 years . Listen to Me,” says the Lord. “I will take over in a way and in a fashion that will bring a force of spiritual unity in this nation for the first time. You can believe it or not. I will take white and I will take African, and I will bring a unity in the Church between the two of them,” says the Spirit of God.

This night in America and in this next week, God has informed us to “watch” as He unfolds and reveals things so you will know that your nation has not been set aside for division and discord but a time in the Church where African-American, where white or Caucasian, where Hispanic and every race in this nation under the spiritual guidance of the Spirit within a midst of war and division–will bring them to a place of unity.

“IT SHALL NOT BE BLACK, IT SHALL NOT BE WHITE, IT SHALL NOT BE HISPANIC”

And God said, “Where one race stood on the steps and covered the fields with million-men marches and Jesus proclamations, there shall be one of the greatest gatherings at the Capitol that you have ever seen,” says the Spirit of God. “ This time it shall not be black, it shall not be white, it shall not be Hispanic, it shall not be from this or that belief, but there shall be a unified sound. Two years from now, where they will hear the sounds of faith and unity and within this next reign, there will be laws that will be changed in favor of the most High God. Not because of Democrat, not because of Republican, but because of spiritual unity and intervention. I will bring you out of what they call ‘a recession’ into your highest economy that you’ve ever had in your next four years,” says the Spirit of God. “Do not think it impossible, for it shall be so.”

“The gatekeepers (I am speaking of) of this nation are the spiritual leaders–the Apostles and the Prophets, the Teachers, the Evangelists, the Pastors”

“For the gatekeepers of this nation are not the Mayors nor the Senators. The gatekeepers of this nation are not the Congressmen or the Congresswomen. Yes, they are gatekeepers but the gatekeepers (I am speaking of) of this nation are the spiritual leaders–the Apostles and the Prophets, the Teachers, the Evangelists, the Pastors that I’ve raised up . And there shall be a sound of unity that will call from Heaven the manifestation of God as it has never been in this nation. Get ready for your sons and your daughters who will prophesy just like Joel said in the last days. In the last days your sons and your daughters, they shall be prophets and prophetesses and your old men shall dream dreams. Your young men shall have visions. This is that time,” says the Lord of hosts.

“LET NOT YOUR OPINION CLOUD YOUR SPIRITUAL MIND”

“ Let not your opinion cloud your spiritual mind. You say, ‘What are you saying?'” The Spirit of God says, “Call them not denominations, rather abominations , for I am not speaking of these that have built walls. I’m speaking of the true warriors that shall sway the political field that will sway the justice. It shall be more than a million gathered more than a million gathered!” And God said, “They shall say, ‘Washington, what is this? This is a sound that we have never heard before.'”

“I WILL TAKE THE OIL CRISIS AND BRING IT TO AN END”

And God said, “I will take the entire Northeast and I will shake it and the double portion that I promised upon the Elisha generation shall be released. Do not say we are in recession, for I will take the oil crisis and bring it to an end, and the rapidity of it shall take place because of the unity of the saints and the unity of the gatekeepers. Get ready, for what you have seen on the television regarding Jeremiah Wright and everybody else is not for evil, but for good. I will turn it around and bring unity in My house,” says the Lord of Hosts.

“YOUR PRESENT PRESIDENT WILL NOT LEAVE HIS OFFICE OR HIS TERM IN SHAME”

“Your present President will not leave his office or his term in shame. There will be a very precise vindication of numerous things that were scorned, that were mocked by men, that thought they knew but understood nothing. And when the baton is handed over,” God said, “there shall be no fear in the nation.” Now take that and be secure.

I speak not as a politician tonight. I speak to you as a prophetic voice. Not tolerated, but celebrated by the people. Stand firm, you and your house will serve the Lord. And as the prophet Joel said in the last days, your sons and your daughters… sons and daughters are being raised up to prophesy and to have visions. Old men to dream the dreams. That mantle has been cast upon the Church. Therefore, I would say your time of acceleration has reached its peak. You’re taking off!

Kim Clement
Prophetic Image Expressions
Email: [email protected]

Above underlined, are points of contention against Soundness in Doctrines in God’s Words. Should God be swayed from this week or the next, that God should be like man? Moreover, throughout history, God raised leaders (from Moses to King Saul), God has always been a theocracy, he allows a King in King Saul, and later King David a man after His own heart. I believe God instituted the government, but biblical principles call for us to pray for a righteous government and the leaders who love God, but such endorsement reflects the opposite of biblical principle.

Second, this unity in voice stands consistent with the demonic ecumenical movement starting in America. I am for unity but not for the sake of compromising the faith in Christ and in God alone. Not Obama who is a muslim, that if Kim Clement says seeks God, which God is Obama seeking?

Only those raised up by Kim Clement are the gatekeepers that will awake the Spiritual atmosphere of America? Such pride and arrogance. Only God should raise up leaders, who is Kim Clement to assume the authority to do so? Unless God commission like Elijah, and Elisha, can anyone be like Elijah?

America is doomed to go down the road of the biggest financial meltdown, for years of their wickedness and iniquities of Greed, Pride, Murder in the millions of Abortions, the mistreatment of Aliens among their midst, the outright injustice in the land, forsaking the God of the Bible and replacing it, occult, paganism, atheism, and among these, leaders who proclaim Christianity, but denying the power of the Cross – the hypocrisy the leaders of America and many other spiritual leaders in America who have turned away from God to their gods of materialism, and idolatry.

For your information, this false prophecy was given in April. Has the Financial crisis been averted? NO . Shall we see that this false prophecy shall be tested in its authenticity?


U.S. marks 3rd-largest, single-day debt increase

The nation’s debt leapt $166 billion in a single day last week, the third-largest increase in U.S. history, and it comes at a time when Congress is balking over higher spending and debt has become a key policy battleground.

The one-day increase for June 30 totaled $165,931,038,264.30 - bigger than the entire annual deficit for fiscal year 2007 and larger than the $140 billion in savings the new health care bill will produce over its first 10 years. The figure works out to nearly $1,500 for every U.S. household, or more than 10 times the median daily household income.

Daily debt calculations jump and fall, and big shifts are common. But all three of the biggest one-day debt increases have occurred under the tenure of President Obama, and all of the top six have been in the past two years - an indication of just how quickly the pace of deficit spending has risen under Mr. Obama and President George W. Bush.

“What matters is the overall trend line, and the overall trend line is shooting up,” said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan deficit watchdog group, who said it is one more reason for a fiscal wake-up call.

Fears over red ink have stalled key parts of Mr. Obama’s agenda in Congress in recent weeks, including his push for another round of stimulus spending. Just last week, House Democrats had to use a tricky parliamentary tactic to pass an emergency war-spending bill, aid for teachers and new spending caps.

On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office said the government has recorded a $1 trillion deficit for the first nine months of fiscal 2010, which began Oct. 1. That’s slightly down from 2009’s record $1.1 trillion deficit at this point.

CBO said revenues are doing slightly better this year than last year, while spending is down about $73 billion, mainly because the government made giant payments last year to bail out Wall Street, but did not have similar expenses this year. Other spending is higher, including unemployment benefits, which have jumped nearly 50 percent.

Deficits are the difference between what the government raises in revenue versus what it spends each year, while debt is the accumulation of those deficits over many years.

The Treasury Department calculates the country’s debt position each day, and big rises and falls are not unusual. In fact, since hitting $13.203 trillion on June 30, the figure has since slipped $25 billion to settle at $13.178 trillion as of Tuesday, the latest day for which figures are available.

June 30 is always a major day for new debt, since debt held by one part of the government to another - for example, IOUs to the Social Security trust fund - are rolled over, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of the Public Debt said.

All told, this June 30, the government reported issuing $760 billion in new debts and redeeming $594 billion, for a new net debt of $166 billion that day.

White House officials said that big a jump is not the norm and that Mr. Obama has worked with the hand he was dealt by Mr. Bush. He has had to push spending to try to jump-start the economy and create jobs, even as he has also pledged to work in the long term to reduce annual deficits and bring the debt under control.

The budget he submitted to Congress earlier this year calls for a mix of tax increases and spending reductions, including a freeze on non-security discretionary spending, that would reduce deficits by $1 trillion over the next decade.

Mr. Obama has also named a bipartisan commission to recommend major changes that could help reduce the deficit to about 3 percent of gross domestic product, and stabilize the debt held by the public - a somewhat different figure than total debt - at about 60 percent of GDP, which the administration argues are more sustainable levels.

Testifying to that commission last week, CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf said to reach the sustainable debt goal the government will have to raise taxes by 25 percent, cut spending by 20 percent or do some combination of the two.

“That would require, for example, roughly a one-half increase in personal income tax revenue. On the other hand, if the change came entirely from spending … that would represent, for example, the near elimination of all government programs except for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and national defense,” he said.

The White House said CBO’s scenario doesn’t take into account some of Mr. Obama’s proposals, such as long-term cuts in spending resulting from the new health care law.

Still, Mr. Bixby, the deficit watchdog, said the size of the numbers CBO laid out to the commission shows the tough choices that await Congress. He said the solution will have to be a combination of revenue increases and changes to major programs such as Social Security and Medicare, which are growing at a faster rate than the economy as a whole.

Total public debt includes two pots of money. One is normal government debt in the form of Treasury bills and bonds held by consumers, while the other is intragovernmental holdings, or money one part of the government borrows from another agency. That includes money borrowed from the Social Security trust funds.

Some analysts say the key measure is not the total public debt, but the debt in the hands of consumers. That figure stood at $8.628 trillion on Tuesday.


&ldquoEvery day, the people I meet inspire me, every day they make me proud, every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on Earth. Serving as your first lady is an honor and a privilege.&rdquo

&ldquoWhen I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don't invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.&rdquo

&ldquoOne of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals.&rdquo

&ldquoI have the privilege of working on the issues that I choose and the issues that I feel most passionate about.&rdquo

&ldquoThese are the moments that define us—not the day you get the promotion, not the day you win teacher of the year, but the times that force you to claw and scratch and fight just to get through the day the moments when you get knocked down and you're wondering whether it's even worth it to get back up. Those are the times when you've got to ask yourself, who am I going to be?&rdquo

&ldquoThat's what's always made this country great—embracing the diversity of experience and opinion that surrounds us everywhere we go.&rdquo

&ldquoThe only difference between me and every other woman that I know is that my challenges are publicized, and I'm doing this juggling in front of cameras.&rdquo

&ldquoWe should always have three friends in our lives—one who walks ahead who we look up to and we follow one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journeys and then, one who we reach back for and we bring along after we've cleared the way.&rdquo

&ldquoPeople told me, 'You can do it all. Just stay the course, get your education and you can raise a child, stay thin, be in shape, love your man, look good and raise healthy children.' That was a lie.&rdquo

&ldquoExercise is really important to me—it's therapeutic. So if I'm ever feeling tense or stressed or like I'm about to have a meltdown, I'll put on my iPod and head to the gym or out on a bike ride along Lake Michigan with the girls.&rdquo

&ldquoIt would be hard for me to edit myself and still be me.&rdquo

&ldquoWe learned about dignity and decency—that how hard you work matters more than how much you make . that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself.&rdquo

&ldquoAs women, we must stand up for ourselves. As women, we must stand up for reach other. As women, we must stand up for justice for all.&rdquo


A look at the history of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion

One of Joe Biden's first actions once he becomes U.S. president Wednesday could be to slam the door — yet again — on Canada's politically fraught Keystone XL pipeline expansion, sources confirmed to CBC News on Sunday.

Here is a look back at the history of the controversial project:

July 2008: TC Energy — then called TransCanada — and ConocoPhillips, joint owners of the Keystone pipeline, propose a major extension to the network. The expansion, dubbed Keystone XL, would carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of oilsands bitumen from Alberta to Texas.

2009: As the U.S. State Department wades through comments based on an environmental assessment of the project, TransCanada starts visiting landowners potentially affected by the pipeline. Opposition emerges in Nebraska.

June 2009: TransCanada announces it will buy ConocoPhillips's stake in Keystone.

March 2010: The National Energy Board approves TransCanada's application for Keystone XL, though the OK comes with 22 conditions regarding safety, environmental protection and landowner rights.

April 2010: The U.S. State Department releases a draft environmental impact statement saying Keystone XL would have a limited effect on the environment.

June-July 2010: Opposition to Keystone XL begins mounting in the United States. Legislators write to then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton calling for greater environmental oversight scientists begin speaking out against the project the Environmental Protection Agency questions the need for the pipeline extension.

July 2010: The State Department extends its review of Keystone, saying federal agencies need more time to weigh in before a final environmental impact assessment can be released.

March 2011: The State Department announces a further delay in its environmental assessment.

Aug. 26, 2011: The State Department releases its final environmental assessment, which reiterates that the pipeline would have a limited environmental impact.

August-September 2011: Protesters stage a two-week campaign of civil disobedience at the White House to speak out against Keystone XL. Police arrest approximately 1,000 people, including actors Margot Kidder and Daryl Hannah as well as Canadian activist Naomi Klein.

Sept. 26, 2011: At a demonstration on Parliament Hill, police arrest 117 of 400 protesters.

Nov. 10, 2011: The State Department says TransCanada must reroute Keystone XL to avoid an ecologically sensitive region of Nebraska.

Nov. 14, 2011: TransCanada agrees to reroute the line.

December 2011: U.S. legislators pass a bill with a provision saying then-U.S. President Barack Obama must make a decision on the pipeline's future in the next 60 days.

Jan. 18, 2012: Obama rejects Keystone, saying the timeline imposed by the December bill did not leave enough time to review the new route. Obama said TransCanada was free to submit another application.

Feb. 27, 2012: TransCanada says it will build the southern leg of Keystone XL, from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf Coast, as a separate project with a price tag of $2.3 billion. This is not subject to presidential permission, since it did not cross an international border.

April 18, 2012: TransCanada submits a new route to officials in Nebraska for approval.

May 4, 2012: TransCanada files a new application with the State Department for the northern part of Keystone XL.

Jan. 22, 2013: Then-Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman approves TransCanada's proposed new route for Keystone XL, sending the project back to the State Department for review.

January 2013: Pipeline opponents file a lawsuit against the Nebraska government claiming the state law used to review the new route is unconstitutional.

Jan. 31, 2014: The State Department says in a report that Keystone XL would produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than transporting oil to the Gulf of Mexico by rail.

Feb. 19, 2014: A Nebraska judge rules that the law that allowed the governor to approve Keystone XL over the objections of landowners was unconstitutional. Nebraska said it would appeal.

April 18, 2014: The State Department suspends the regulatory process indefinitely, citing uncertainty about the court case in Nebraska.

Nov. 4, 2014: TransCanada says the costs of Keystone XL have grown to $8 billion US from $5.4 billion US.

November-December 2014: Midterm elections turn control of the U.S. Congress over to Republicans, who say they'll make acceptance of Keystone XL a top priority. But Obama adopts an increasingly negative tone.

Jan. 9, 2015: At the Nebraska Supreme Court, by the narrowest of margins, a panel of seven judges strikes down the lower-court decision.

Jan. 29, 2015: The U.S. Senate approves a bill to build Keystone XL, but the White House says Obama would veto it.

Feb. 24, 2015: Obama vetoes the bill.

June 30, 2015: TransCanada writes to then-secretary of state John Kerry and other U.S. officials saying the State Department should include recent climate change policy announcements by the Alberta and federal governments in its review of Keystone XL.

Nov. 2, 2015: TransCanada asks the U.S. government to temporarily suspend its application.

Nov. 4, 2015: The U.S. government rejects that request.

Nov. 6, 2015: The Obama administration rejects TransCanada's application to build the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada CEO Russ Girling says he is disappointed, but continues to believe the project is in the best interests of both Canada and the U.S.

Jan. 6, 2016: TransCanada files notice to launch a claim under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement, alleging the U.S. government breached its legal commitments under NAFTA. The company also files a lawsuit in U.S. Federal Court in Texas arguing that Obama exceeded his powers by denying construction of the project.

May 26, 2016: Republican presidential contender Donald Trump says he would approve Keystone XL if elected, a pledge he repeats several times during the campaign.

Nov. 8, 2016: Trump is elected president.

Jan. 24, 2017: Trump signs an executive order that he says approves Keystone XL, but suggests the U.S. intends to renegotiate the terms of the project. He also signs an order requiring American pipelines to be built with U.S. steel.

Nov. 9, 2018: A U.S. federal judge blocks the pipeline's construction to allow more time to study the potential environmental impact.

March 29, 2019: Trump issues a new presidential permit in an effort to speed up development of the pipeline

May 3, 2019: TransCanada changes its name to TC Energy.

March 31, 2020: Alberta agrees to invest $1.5 billion in Keystone XL, followed by a $6 billion loan guarantee in 2021.

April 7, 2020: Construction begins, despite calls from Indigenous groups and environmentalists to pause their efforts.

May 18, 2020: Biden, then the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, vows to scrap Keystone XL if elected, but doesn't set out a timeline for doing so.


President Obama pardons a turkey or two

WASHINGTON - In a year the Obama administration has prioritized reforming the criminal justice system, President Barack Obama granted a pair of pardons Wednesday that spared two from near certain death.

At a White House ceremony, the president saved Honest and Abe, both 18-week old, 40-pound turkeys, from the slaughterhouse.

"Abe is now a free bird," President Obama said before waving his hand over the red, white and blue bird. "He is TOTUS - the turkey of the United States." Honest did not attend the ceremony. The president said he was in an undisclosed location, serving as a reserve turkey in case Abe could not fulfill his duties.

The president questioned whether Honest and Abe had rededicated their lives to being good turkey citizens, but went ahead with the pardons anyway.

"America is after all a country of second chances, and this turkey has earned a second chance to live out his life comfortably," Mr. Obama said.

The first daughters, Sasha and Malia, joined Mr. Obama in the Rose Garden. He thanked the two girls for joining him.

"They do this solely because it makes me feel good -- not because they actually think that this is something I should be doing. And, you know, as you get older, you appreciate when your kids indulge you like this," he said.

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As the president waved his hand over Abe to confer the pardon, the fowl ran afoul of the commander-in-chief, gobbling as the president began to speak. "Don't interrupt," scolded the president.

Honest and Abe, both from California, will live out their remaining days on a 1,000-acre plot in Leesburg, Virginia.

The turkey pardon is an annual White House tradition that dates back to the George H. W. Bush Administration. But the tradition of the National Turkey Federation giving a turkey to the President started in 1947. Some of those birds, it's thought, were eaten. President Truman took at least one of his turkeys home to Missouri and his 25 relatives.

Fifteen years later, President John F. Kennedy decided to return his turkey to the California farm where it was raised. "We'll just let this one grow," he said at a photo op.

Though previous presidents held receiving ceremonies, it was not until 1989, at a Rose Garden signing of the Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, that President George H. W. Bush announced that the special guest would receive a "pardon."

"Not this guy -- he's granted a Presidential pardon as of right now -- and allow him to live out his days on a children's farm not far from here," he said.

In the 16 years since, the tradition has been a source of Thanksgiving humor and unpredictability.

In 1998, the turkey had to be chased around the Rose Garden by its handler in order to be put on the podium.

"I must say, of all the years I've been here this is the most adventurous turkey we've ever had," President Bill Clinton joked.

In 2001, President George W. Bush picked a bit of a fight. He patted the bird on its head and had to jerk his hand away when it pecked back at him.


Year Two Day 203 Obama Administration August 11, 2010 - History

ABC broke into its daytime lineup May 9, 2012, to announce a historic shift: the president of the United States declaring his personal support for gay marriage.

"I've been going through an evolution on this issue," President Barack Obama told ABC News.

While the president has consistently supported civil rights for gay couples — peppering his comments with specifics such as hospital visitation, transfer of property and Social Security benefits — his discussion of marriage has differed. He’s called same-sex marriage unstrategic, against his religious beliefs, and something that should be in the hands of churches rather than government.

In 2008, he said: "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."

On Wednesday, by contrast, he said: "I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."

PolitiFact’s Flip-O-Meter rates politicians' consistency on particular topics from No Flip to Full Flop. The meter is not intended to pass judgment on their decisions to change their minds. It’s just gauging whether they did.

How does the president’s "evolution" on marriage rate?

POLITICO and others have tracked Obama’s statements on same-sex marriage since 1996. Here’s our recap.

Full circle

Obama was in favor of same-sex marriage before he was against it — and before he was for it again.

In 1996, as he ran for Illinois state Senate, Chicago’s Outlines gay newspaper asked candidates to fill out a questionnaire. Tracy Baim, the co-founder and publisher of Outlines, dug up a copy of the questionnaire in 2009, cataloging the president-elect’s shift.

He had written on the 1996 questionnaire, "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages."

Just two years later, on another Outlines questionnaire, Obama wasn’t so sure. Did he favor legalizing same-sex marriage? "Undecided." Would he support a bill to repeal Illinois legislation prohibiting same-sex marriage? "Undecided." Would he co-sponsor it? "Undecided."

Later years offered greater clarity — and a shift from 1996. Civil unions? Yes. Gay marriage? No.

As Obama sought a U.S. Senate seat in 2004, he told the Windy City Times, "I am a fierce supporter of domestic-partnership and civil-union laws. I am not a supporter of gay marriage as it has been thrown about, primarily just as a strategic issue. I think that marriage, in the minds of a lot of voters, has a religious connotation. . "

He described his hesitation to endorse same-sex marriage as strategic and political.

"What I'm saying is that strategically, I think we can get civil unions passed. … I think that to the extent that we can get the rights, I'm less concerned about the name. … Republicans are going to use a particular language that has all sorts of connotations in the broader culture as a wedge issue, to prevent us moving forward, in securing those rights, then I don't want to play their game."

When he wrote his 2006 memoir, The Audacity of Hope, he offered a religious explanation for his definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. But he left the door open for yet another shift.

"I believe that American society can choose to carve out a special place for the union of a man and a woman as the unit of child rearing most common to every culture. …" he said. "(But) it is my obligation not only as an elected official in a pluralistic society, but also as a Christian, to remain open to the possibility that my unwillingness to support gay marriage is misguided, just as I cannot claim infallibility in my support of abortion rights. I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God that Jesus' call to love one another might demand a different conclusion and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history."

He said his doubts didn't make him a bad Christian — but human, limited in his understanding of God’s purpose and therefore "prone to sin."

"When I read the Bible, I do so with the belief that it is not a static text but the Living Word and that I must continually be open to new revelations — whether they come from a lesbian friend or a doctor opposed to abortion."

Still, in a 2007 Democratic primary debate sponsored by a gay rights group and a gay-oriented cable TV channel, he spoke instead about his support for civil unions with "all the benefits that are available for a legally sanctioned marriage" — but not for legal recognition of "marriage" between same-sex couples. It should be up to religious denominations to determine whether they wanted to recognize that as marriage or not, he said.

In August 2008, he told Southern California megachurch Pastor Rick Warren his definition of marriage: "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix."

He later added: "I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions."

In November 2008, he said much the same thing to a rather different audience: MTV.

"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."

By October 2010, almost two years into his presidency, he acknowledged his views were evolving. But he wasn’t prepared to reverse himself, he said.

He told a group of liberal bloggers, "I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage. But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine."

He offered an explanation that would presage his 2012 shift: "I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today."

A year and a half later, he announced the result of that wrestling and thinking.

Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts asked him on Wednesday, "Mr. President, are you still opposed to same-sex marriage?"

Well, you know, I have to tell you, as I've said, I've been going through an evolution on this issue. I've always been adamant that — gay and lesbian — Americans should be treated fairly and equally. And that's why in addition to everything we've done in this administration, rolling back Don't Ask, Don't Tell — so that, you know, outstanding Americans can serve our country. Whether it's no longer defending the Defense Against Marriage Act, which tried to federalize what has historically been state law.

I've stood on the side of broader equality for the LGBT community. And I had hesitated on gay marriage — in part, because I thought civil unions would be sufficient. That that was something that would give people hospital visitation rights and other elements that we take for granted. And I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, you know, the word marriage was something that evokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs, and so forth.