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October 20, 2014
10:50 AM EDT
My partner, Ari Weinzweig, and I never subscribed to the conservative economic theory of Milton Friedman, that “the business of business is business.” To us, the right to conduct business is earned by being a good corporate citizen — by producing products and delivering services responsibly, hiring responsibly, generating profits responsibly, and finally, sharing profits with those who help produce them and with the wider community from which the revenues are drawn.
Tanya SomanaderOctober 18, 2014
06:00 AM EDT
President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. October 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
In this week’s address, the President discussed what the United States is doing to respond to Ebola, both here at home and abroad, and the key facts Americans need to know. There is no country better prepared to confront the challenge Ebola poses than the U.S. and although even one case here at home is too many, the country is not facing an outbreak of the disease. Our medical professionals tell us Ebola is difficult to catch, and is only transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is showing symptoms.
The President made clear that he and his entire Administration will continue to do everything possible to prevent further transmission of the disease domestically, and to contain and end the Ebola epidemic at its source in West Africa.
Josh EarnestOctober 17, 2014
08:25 PM EDT
As the Ebola situation continues to develop both at home and abroad, President Obama’s first priority is doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of the American people. At his direction, the Administration is taking an aggressive, whole-of-government approach to marshal all of our expertise and resources to detect, isolate and treat Ebola patients safely in the U.S., while working to stop the outbreak at the source in West Africa.
While the chances of a serious outbreak in America are very low, we are doing everything we can to ensure our hospitals and health care workers are fully prepared to effectively treat any cases of Ebola while protecting public safety.
Every American should know exactly what we’re doing right now to keep everyone safe. So here are a few answers to some questions that many may be asking when it comes to the U.S. response to Ebola:
October 17, 2014
05:17 PM EDT
This week at the White House, the President updated the nation on our government-wide response to Ebola, we discussed efforts against ISIL with our international efforts, and the First Lady asked, “Turnip for What?”
Photo of the Week
President Obama talks on the phone with HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell concerning the latest update on the Ebola situation.
Adam GarberOctober 17, 2014
01:38 PM EDT
This week, the President continued to lead the federal Ebola response, met with members of the international coalition to degrade and destroy ISIL, and designated the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument.
Tanya SomanaderOctober 17, 2014
11:06 AM EDT
President Obama has asked Ron Klain to coordinate the government’s comprehensive response to Ebola. He will report to the President Obama’s Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco and his National Security Advisor Susan Rice.
As former Chief of Staff to two Vice Presidents, Klain comes to the job with extensive experience in overseeing complex governmental operations and has good working relationships with leading Members of Congress as well as senior Administration officials.
Klain’s talent and managerial skill will be crucial in providing the resources and expertise we need to rapidly, cohesively, and effectively respond to Ebola at home and abroad. As the President said, while "the dangers of a serious outbreak are extraordinarily low" in the U.S., "we are taking this very seriously at the highest levels of government." Klain will be an integral part of ensuring that we effectively respond and ultimately bring an end to Ebola.
Tanya SomanaderOctober 15, 2014
06:33 PM EDT
Note: For updated information on the Administration's response to Ebola, please visit WhiteHouse.gov/Ebola-Response.
Today, a health care worker from Dallas was transferred to Emory University Hospital for treatment after contracting the Ebola virus while helping to treat Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient to have the disease in the U.S.
After meeting with his Cabinet officials and Dr. Tom Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the President updated the country on our comprehensive strategy to contain the disease, prevent its spread in the U.S., and combat it at its source in West Africa.
"The dangers of a serious outbreak are extraordinarily low" in the U.S., the President said. "But we are taking this very seriously at the highest levels of government."
Tanya SomanaderOctober 15, 2014
01:01 PM EDT
A cornerstone of America’s 21st century foundation requires that we get our fiscal house in order for the long run, so we can afford to make investments that strengthen the middle class. That is why President Obama has made it a priority to enact policies that ensure our deficit, or the amount we spend that exceeds our revenues, doesn’t undercut our future.
Thanks to a growing economy, prudent spending cuts, and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more on their taxes, we’ve cut our deficits by two-thirds over the last five years. In fact, the Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury Department announced today that the deficit has fallen to 2.8 percent of GDP, the lowest level since 2007 and less than the average of the last 40 years.
Take a look at the chart of the week to see how the deficit has declined at the fastest sustained pace since World War II:
Kori SchulmanOctober 15, 2014
10:44 AM EDT
Yesterday, the First Lady sat down for her first-ever Vine and Twitter Q&A to answer your questions about Let’s Move! ahead of the fall garden harvest. During the chat, the First Lady talked healthy Halloween ideas, the status of the White House bees, her favorite fall vegetables – and asked, turnip for what?
Tanya SomanaderOctober 15, 2014
09:37 AM EDT
Thanks to the grit and resilience of American workers and business owners, our economy is getting stronger every day. Over the last 55 months, we've added 10.3 million jobs -- the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record -- and the number of job openings rose to its highest level in more than 13 years. We've put more people back to work than Japan, Europe, and every other advanced economy combined and the unemployment rate is falling at a faster pace than predicted.
But one of the greatest challenges from the recession was the rise in long-term unemployment. The Great Recession left too many Americans out of a job through no fault of their own and many continue to search for work. Our strong economic growth is beginning to help.
Since December 2013, the number of long-term unemployed has fallen by 900,000, accounting for about 90 percent of the total drop in unemployment in the past 10 months.
David HudsonOctober 14, 2014
07:02 PM EDT
This afternoon, President Obama traveled to Joint Base Andrews, just outside of Washington, D.C., to attend a meeting with military leaders from more than 20 partner nations in the coalition to degrade and destroy ISIL.
Secretary Chuck HagelOctober 13, 2014
11:30 AM EDT
The responsibility of the Department of Defense is the security of our country. That requires thinking ahead and planning for a wide range of contingencies.
Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe.
In our defense strategy, we refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today – from infectious disease to terrorism. We are already beginning to see some of these impacts.
A changing climate will have real impacts on our military and the way it executes its missions. The military could be called upon more often to support civil authorities, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the face of more frequent and more intense natural disasters. Our coastal installations are vulnerable to rising sea levels and increased flooding, while droughts, wildfires, and more extreme temperatures could threaten many of our training activities. Our supply chains could be impacted, and we will need to ensure our critical equipment works under more extreme weather conditions. Weather has always affected military operations, and as the climate changes, the way we execute operations may be altered or constrained.
While scientists are converging toward consensus on future climate projections, uncertainty remains. But this cannot be an excuse for delaying action. Every day, our military deals with global uncertainty. Our planners know that, as military strategist Carl von Clausewitz wrote, “all action must, to a certain extent, be planned in a mere twilight.”
It is in this context that today I am releasing DoD’s Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. Climate change is a long-term trend, but with wise planning and risk mitigation now, we can reduce adverse impacts downrange.
David HudsonOctober 11, 2014
06:00 AM EDT
President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Oct. 9, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
In this week's address, the President made the case for why it's past time to raise the minimum wage. Increasing the national minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would benefit 28 million Americans, and make our economy stronger. While Republicans in Congress have blocked this commonsense proposal, a large and growing coalition of state and local leaders and owners of businesses large and small have answered the President's call and raised wages for their residents and employees.
This progress is important, but there is more that can be done. No American who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty. That's why the President will continue to push Congress to take action and give America its well-deserved raise.
October 10, 2014
06:33 PM EDT
This week, the White House took action in our response to Ebola, explained the need to raise the minimum wage, joined Medium, and was inspired by Millennials. Find out more in this week’s Weekly Wrap Up.
On Monday, the President met with senior staff to discuss our response to the Ebola outbreak. At the meeting:
- They outlined the United States' broader preparedness plans.
- They spoke about the domestic and international efforts to contain and end the epidemic.
- They discussed enhancing airport security screening in the United States.
The President also reiterated that since Ebola is very difficult to transmit and America has a world-class health care infrastructure, the chances of an Ebola outbreak in the United States are extremely low.
Tanya SomanaderOctober 10, 2014
05:37 PM EDT
President Barack Obama walks onstage at Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, Calif., where he announced the creation of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Oct. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
"We are blessed to have the most beautiful landscapes in the world. We have a responsibility to be good stewards of them for future generations."
-- President Obama, October 10, 2014
It is our moral obligation to protect America's most beautiful lands for the next generation. Today, President Obama officially ensured that the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument will join a vast landscape of natural treasures, as part of what writer Wallace Stegner once called "the geography of hope."
Speaking in the Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, California, the President said:
It’s not just the natural beauty of the San Gabriels that makes it invaluable. Within these hills lies millennia of history, including the ancient rock art of Native peoples -- the first Americans. And just as this region teaches us about our past, it has always offered us a window into the future. It was here at the Mount Wilson Observatory that Edwin P. Hubble showed the universe to be ever-expanding, and it's where astronomers still explore the mysteries of space. I can think of no better way to honor our past and protect our future than by preserving the San Gabriel Mountains.
Rajiv ShahOctober 10, 2014
04:43 PM EDT
Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Agency for International Development's blog. See the original post here.
Saving lives at birth. Powering clean energy solutions in agriculture. Inventing new tools to teach a child to read.
Across development, we’re calling on the world’s brightest minds to tackle our toughest challenges. In the last few years, we have helped launch five Grand Challenges for Development that have rallied students and scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs to tackle some of humanity’s toughest problems.
Today, we face just that kind of challenge — a global health crisis that is in dire need of new ideas and bold solutions. From Guinea to Liberia to Sierra Leone, Ebola is devastating thousands of families, disrupting growth, and fraying the fabric of society. The United States is helping lead the global response to the epidemic, but we cannot do it alone. That is why President Obama launched our sixth Grand Challenge. Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development is designed to provide health care workers on the front lines with better tools to battle Ebola.
Secretary Thomas E. PerezOctober 10, 2014
04:26 PM EDT
In this year's State of the Union address, the President once again called on Congress to raise the national minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, and soon after used his pen to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for the individuals working on new federal service contracts. Raising the minimum wage nationwide would provide 28 million workers with a pay increase and boost the bottom lines of businesses across the country.
Today, to mark National Minimum Wage Day (10/10), Cabinet officials, members of Congress, mayors, and other stakeholders participated in events calling for an increase in the minimum wage. Labor Secretary Tom Perez also joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman George Miller on a national press conference call to discuss the importance of a minimum wage increase.
We also released a short whiteboard video today explaining why we need to give Americans a raise -- and this afternoon, Secretary Perez sent the following message to the White House email list to highlight the video.
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A lot of people are observing October 10 (or 10/10) as National Minimum Wage Day, a day to show support for raising the national minimum wage to $10.10.
But for the millions of hardworking Americans earning the minimum wage, every day is national minimum wage day. Every day, heartbreaking decisions that no one should have to make. Do I pay rent or fix the car? Do I go without this meal so my kids can have more to eat?
If raising the minimum wage seems like a no-brainer, that's because it is. And a new whiteboard video from the White House spells it out -- in less than 2 minutes.
Kori SchulmanOctober 10, 2014
04:06 PM EDT
Ed. Note: This is cross-posted from LetsMove.gov. Read the original post here.
Next week, the First Lady will welcome students and chefs from the around the country to the White House for the annual fall Kitchen Garden harvest. The White House garden was planted in 2009 and inspired the First Lady's Let’s Move! initiative to help kids and families lead healthier lives.
And before the First Lady gets her hands dirty in the garden, she's going to answer your questions on Vine, an app for creating and sharing 6 seconds or less videos (not to be confused with the kind you'd find in the garden) and on Twitter.
Here's how you can join:
- Record a 6 second video with your question about healthy eating, home cooking, gardening, and all things Let's Move! Post your video on Vine with #AskTheFirstLady.
- You can also tweet your question using #AskTheFirstLady.
- Follow along on Tuesday, October 14th on @FLOTUS to see if the First Lady answered your question.
Whether you're a teacher, student, parent, garden enthusiast or aspiring chef — the First Lady wants to hear from you and answer your questions.
Ambassador Susan RiceOctober 10, 2014
03:19 PM EDT
Yesterday, I had the pleasure and honor to take a few minutes away from my desk and the Situation Room to play basketball with some remarkable young Israelis and Palestinians that have come together through sports to build bridges between their divided communities. These inspiring young leaders are visiting the United States on a State Department sports diplomacy program with PeacePlayers International. These youth were aware of my love of basketball and asked to come to meet with me. Rather than sit in a conference room, I invited them over to the South Lawn Basketball Court for an hour of hustle and fun.
Tanya SomanaderOctober 10, 2014
03:18 PM EDT
Every child has the right to an education.
That is the simple but powerful message that Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year-old girl from Pakistan, is bringing to millions across the world. It is the message that the Pakistani Taliban tried to stop her from sharing. It is a message that no bullet can silence.
Today, for her unwavering courage to champion education for all children anywhere, Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize. She shares that honor with Kailash Satyarthi, a human rights activist who is working tirelessly to bring an end to child slavery in India and across the globe.
Reflecting on his meeting with Malala last year, the President released the following statement to congratulate her and Kailash on their remarkable accomplishments in the pursuit of peace: