Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.
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BARACK OBAMA IN THE WHITEHOUSE

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Presidential Weekly Address 10/31/09

Saturday, October 31, 2009

While there is nothing to celebrate until job numbers turn around, the President cites the recent dramatic turnaround in gross domestic product as a sign of better things to come. He also applauds the fact that the Recovery Act has now created or saved more than a million jobs.

Milestones on the Economy and the Recovery Act

Full transcript here


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An $896 Billion Heath Care Bill is unveiled by House Democrats

Friday, October 30, 2009

Finally after many months of preparation and changes the House Democrats presented the finalized heath care bill, containing 2,000 pages which now represents a combination of three different versions of the legislation. Passed by the House committees, the $894 billion bill which should be on the books for the next 10 years, is intended to extend insurance coverage to at least 36 million uncovered Americans, which is the claim of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House. That is the initial cost of the bill, but to include Medicare changes, the cost should exceed $1 trillion, according to a recent CNN discovery.
The majority of Americans will now have health insurance, approximately 96%. Subsidization would be provided for poorer Americans along with creating health insurance exchanges. These exchanges would provide an avenue for small groups of individuals to purchase health insurance coverage. Out of pocket expenses will now be capped and insurance companies would no longer be able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The initial $894 billion to $1 trillion price tag is supposed to save the Federal government at least $30 billion over the next 10 years. Again, this is the claim by the office of Nancy Pelosi.
As expected people with higher incomes, specifically with incomes over $500,000 annually, will have to accept a 5.4 percent income tax surcharge. As an example, a person who makes $750,000 annually would have an income tax surcharge of $33,750. A millionaire would pay a minimum of $45,000 tax surcharge.
Medicare expenses are to be cut by 1.3 percent each year.
As expected, the republicans tore into the bill, and claim that it will not create jobs, but destroy them. Another claim by the conservatives would be that the bill will do little to stop the cost of health care. The response by the republicans was expected, as the words "government takeover" now is spreading throughout the republican ranks, according to Republican representative from Indiana, Mike Pence.
In a worth while claim, the republicans are also concerned about the existing "donut hole" gap of prescription drug coverage. These are costs left uncovered by the Medicare program before coverage for catastrophic issues start. Still, the leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi has openly stated that there are plans to reduce or close this gap.
Also included in the final bill is the Public Option. where providers of health insurance would be able to work out reimbursement rates with the federal government. This is another claim by the Democratic majority, but it is still in debate within the Republican representatives and the conservative Democrats of the House. It is a watered down version of the public option, as to most liberal of Democrats originally wanted a 5% increase over reimbursement rates for providers and hospitals to Medicare rates. The original public option plan did not fly well even with Democrats representing rural areas, and believe that their districts would be shortchanged by such an option. So the proposed pubic option has been modified not to include the 5% increase.
Apparently excluded from the bill that is now created, does not consider a public option that would allow certain states to opt of of the plan if they wanted to. It appears that the hard nosed Democrats are laying it out on the line, as the creation of nonprofit heath care cooperatives is also not included in the bill, a modification that was supported by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada.
What are the chances of such a bill becoming law? If moderate House Democrats support it, and a few conservative Democrats tag along, it would be possible to pass such a bill in the House. This could happen with virtually no support from the Republicans. If it happens, it will be a very unpopular move according to many people, especially from the conservative side of the fence. For this bill to actually work favorably for President Obama, it should be voted on in a bi-partisan way. At the present time, it is very uncertain if any Republicans would vote for the health care reform bill presented by the Senate Democrats.
President Obama's approval ratings appear to be dropping partly because of the strong opposition to this bill, but he appears to be willing to sacrifice his popularity in exchange for this bill that he truly believes in. ting conditions.
The initial $894 billion to $1 trillion price tag is supposed to save the Federal government at least $30 billion over the next 10 years. Again, this is the claim by the office of Nancy Pelosi.
As expected people with higher incomes, specifically with incomes over $500,000 annually, will have to accept a 5.4 percent income tax surcharge. As an example, a person who makes $750,000 annually would have an income tax surcharge of $33,750. A millionaire would pay a minimum of $45,000 tax surcharge.
Medicare expenses are to be cut by 1.3 percent each year.
As expected, the republicans tore into the bill, and claim that it will not create jobs, but destroy them. Another claim by the conservatives would be that the bill will do little to stop the cost of health care. The response by the republicans was expected, as the words "government takeover" now is spreading throughout the republican ranks, according to Republican representative from Indiana, Mike Pence.
In a worth while claim, the republicans are also concerned about the existing "donut hole" gap of prescription drug coverage. These are costs left uncovered by the Medicare program before coverage for catastrophic issues start. Still, the leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi has openly stated that there are plans to reduce or close this gap.
Also included in the final bill is the Public Option. where providers of health insurance would be able to work out reimbursement rates with the federal government. This is another claim by the Democratic majority, but it is still in debate within the Republican representatives and the conservative Democrats of the House. It is a watered down version of the public option, as to most liberal of Democrats originally wanted a 5% increase over reimbursement rates for providers and hospitals to Medicare rates. The original public option plan did not fly well even with Democrats representing rural areas, and believe that their districts would be shortchanged by such an option. So the proposed pubic option has been modified not to include the 5% increase.
Apparently excluded from the bill that is now created, does not consider a public option that would allow certain states to opt of of the plan if they wanted to. It appears that the hard nosed Democrats are laying it out on the line, as the creation of nonprofit heath care cooperatives is also not included in the bill, a modification that was supported by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada.
What are the chances of such a bill becoming law? If moderate House Democrats support it, and a few conservative Democrats tag along, it would be possible to pass such a bill in the House. This could happen with virtually no support from the Republicans. If it happens, it will be a very unpopular move according to many people, especially from the conservative side of the fence.
President Obama's approval ratings appear to be dropping partly because of the strong opposition to this bill, but he appears to be willing to sacrifice his popularity in exchange for this bill that he truly believes in.

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President Obama signes a hate crime bill into Law

Thursday, October 29, 2009

On Wednesday, President Obama signed a bill into law that will mean tougher punishments if you assult somebody just because of his sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, if you dislike a particular person because he is gay, then decide to administer bodily harm to that person, it is now a federal crime to do so. Known as the federal hate crimes law, named after a gay Wyoming teenager who died after being kidnapped and severly beaten in October 1998 named Matthew Shepard, very stiff penalties will now exist if you decide to exibit such behavior over another person.
Guess who was against any such measure that is now law? Who else but the infamous prior President George Bush. He threatened to veto any such measure, but Obama brought a reversal of that policy to the White House. Basically, the prior President was afraid to make enemies, and always seemed to take an easier road to tackle tuff issues. President Obama on the other hand is not a President that is trying to please everybody. Instead, he tackles the tougher issues and is willing to sacrifice his future as a 2 term President, by going out of his way to do things as he believes them to be true and beneficial to the country. The signing of this bill is just another example as to why this President has already won the Nobel Peace Prize in less than his first year in office.

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The PDQ Presidency

Monday, October 26, 2009

The PDQ Presidency

The oath of office notwithstanding, the Obama Presidency began Nov. 4—not Jan. 20.


PHOTOS
Is Obama Keeping His Promises?
One year in, a look at how the president is doing.
 

 

 



Election night 2008 went late in Chicago. Many campaign staffers who had spent two years helping Barack Obama get elected celebrated in Grant Park until the wee hours. But if senior aides were under the impression they might get the following day off, they were mistaken. Obama's transition director, John Podesta, scheduled a senior staff meeting for the next morning, Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 10:30 a.m. Podesta, Bill Clinton's former chief of staff, figured it would take a half hour, 45 minutes tops, to bat around some scheduling options and maybe even tell a few war stories from the campaign. But the soon-to-be commander in chief had other plans. To him, Wednesday was another workday—or, more precisely, the first day of his presidency.



Obama had been secretly plotting his transition since the spring of 2008. He enjoyed reciting the line from the 1972 movie The Candidate in which Robert Redford turns to an aide just after winning the election and mournfully asks, "What do we do now?" Obama insisted that he would not be that man. He had launched a massive transition project involving more than 200 policy wonks offering advice. Everyone knew Obama intended to get going quickly after the election. They just didn't expect that "quickly" to Obama meant hours, not days. Podesta was stunned when the 30-minute meeting turned into a four-and-a-half-hour planning session. On day one, Obama was prepared to narrow most of his cabinet choices to two or three names and move ahead to big policy decisions.
Normally a new presidency begins with the inauguration in January. But Barack Obama's tenure really started in November, a full year ago, when he became the de facto co-president of the United States. Obama couldn't yet sign bills or issue executive orders. He and his family couldn't sleep in the White House. Having resigned from the Senate, he was technically a private citizen— a man with no constitutional authority. But these were formalities. For the first time in modern American history, an incoming president made some of the most important decisions of his term—about the economy, mainly, but also about energy, education, and health care—before taking office. If "to govern is to choose," as John F. Kennedy said, then Obama was already governing.
"We only have one president at a time," Obama insisted repeatedly before he was inaugurated. While this was the right thing to say, it wasn't really true. During the 1932–33 transition, as the banks collapsed and the nation slid deeper into the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt said something similar and he meant it. FDR refused to cooperate with outgoing president Herbert Hoover in rescuing the financial system, and he made no decisions before his inaugural about how he planned to stimulate the economy. He even spent an important stretch of the transition on a yacht. Obama considered that approach and rejected it (though he did take a Hawaii vacation). He decided to work with President Bush on the TARP bank bailout, and he committed the nation to hundreds of billions in stimulus spending in a recovery bill to be signed not long after he was sworn in.

The big question for Obama was how large his recovery package would be. In early December, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell suggested a pie-in-the-sky stimulus of $165 billion and was amazed when Obama didn't bat an eye. In fact, the president-elect and his team had already agreed on a figure twice that size. Then they more than doubled it again, to about $800 billion—so that the cost went past what had been spent by the United States over five years in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama's leadership style falls somewhere between Bill Clinton's wide--ranging deliberations and George W. Bush's snap judgments. His ability to integrate complex facts, summarize competing arguments, then announce a crisp decision impressed the more experienced officials around him, including Joe Biden. After one conference call about the economy in early December, the vice president–elect and two-time presidential candidate told his aide Ron Klain, "We got this ticket in the right order."
But the breakneck pace carried a price. Many so-called shovel-ready construction projects often weren't actually ready to go. Had Obama taken a bit more time, he might have been able to think harder about job creation, which has become the big economic challenge of late 2009. During the transition, Obama officials failed to persuade congressional Democrats to offer tax credits to employers for each new person they hired. And his economists rejected WPA-style government hiring programs out of hand. So when unemployment later approached double digits, they were caught without a backup plan.


Obama knew how bad things could get. At a fateful all-day meeting on Dec. 16 at his Chicago transition headquarters, Christina Romer, soon-to-be chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, told him that without an ambitious plan, the United States could experience another depression. The same day, incoming budget director Peter Orszag turned 40 and Obama's climate-change "czarina," Carol Browner, turned 53. Obama knew it was Orszag's big day, and brought him a cake. Orszag also received final approval for the huge stimulus and a budget deficit that would total about 3 percent of GDP. (By agreeing to 3 percent, Obama was condemning himself to tight budgets for the rest of his presidency.) When Obama learned it was also Browner's birthday, he joked that his gift to her was the "smart grid."
Obama agreed with Al Gore that boosting clean energy wouldn't mean much without building a new network of national transmission lines. The real goal, he thought, should be to make the grid a huge growth engine—akin to the interstate-highway system in the 1950s or the Internet in the 1990s. He liked to talk about thousands of miles of lines and 40 million "smart meters" across the country. But in early January, top transition staffers in Washington held a videophone conference with Obama in Chicago. The regulatory hurdles to modernizing the electrical grid were beyond belief. It turned out that no fewer than 231 different state and local regulators had to sign off on any big changes. Obama was appalled. "We went to the moon!" the president-elect said. "We can do better than this…Let's make this a national priority—it's gonna create lots of jobs!''



One aide felt she had witnessed the president-elect's first "leadership moment." The staff went back to experts and repeated Obama's message: we can do better! But they couldn't. In the end, the stimulus included about $11 billion for smart-grid development, more than ever before but not much of a down payment on a $2 trillion project (most of it to be paid by the private sector).
Obama did better on education, and not just by committing $5 billion to reform. When Arne Duncan, soon-to-be secretary of education, went to see Obama in Chicago, the president-elect said he had two principles. First, all education policy should revolve around kids, not adult interest groups. This sounded simplistic but was in practice profound. Through this lens, every divisive question in education was much clearer. Higher teacher pay? That was good for kids because it would attract better teachers. Contracts that barred paying effective teachers more than those with seniority? Bad for kids. Obama's second principle was to avoid putting a stick in anyone's eye. "Let's engage, not attack," he said. This two-pronged approach yielded quick results. By the end of 2009, nine states, fearing a loss of money, lifted their caps on charter schools. A new era in school reform was underway.
Critics say that Obama's hurry to inject money into the economy resulted in wasteful spending. But contrary to public perception, the vast bulk of stimulus spending went to worthy programs, including long-neglected infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, and local sewage systems. It also included one of the largest tax cuts ever. But here Obama was hampered by political naiveté. Instead of holding his cards close, the president-elect offered huge tax cuts from the get-go—giving Republican critics what they wanted nearly three weeks before taking office. "He should have said, 'Here's the thing: no tax cuts,' " says close friend Marty Nesbitt. "And then he could have said, 'OK, you make some solid arguments—OK, it's $280 billion.' " (The final bill called for $288 billion.) That way, Obama could have made the tax cuts a useful bargaining chip, Nesbitt says, though he doesn't believe the Republicans were ever negotiating in good faith.
Before the inauguration, Obama had one more presidential-level task: persuading Congress to adopt the second half of Henry Paulson's $700 billion TARP program. This was $350 billion that Obama would need to complete the bank bailouts and, after forcing bankruptcies, rescue the auto industry. Obama knew the bailouts were deeply unpopular, but he was convinced that without them the banks would likely collapse. So he buttonholed legislators as though he were already president and won a close vote. Obama neglected to press the banks for something in return, thinking he could do that later. But by then, federal guarantees were already in place, and the president had lost his leverage.
Obama received daily intelligence briefings during the transition, but he made fewer decisions on foreign policy than on domestic matters. On healthcare reform, Obama's determination to overrule his political advisers and move forward ambitiously in 2009 wasn't clear to many staffers until after the inauguration. He had said during the campaign only that he would enact reform in his first term. But in truth, he made a firm decision on election night. According to a senior aide, he resolved then to tackle health care during his first year in office—a year that had already begun.
Alter is at work on a book about Obama’s first yea

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Barack Obama vs. E*Trade Baby - Funny Debate

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President Obama working hard in spite of Approval Rating in Polls

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Almost a year has passed, and President Obama finds himself in a dilemma that other Presidents before him have experienced. He was very popular with the people when he was elected, but as a good President should do, he aimed to tackle the problems of the American people, and for doing so, is now suffering in popularity polls. For the first time since his election, approximately 51% of the American people disagree with the way President Obama is handling issues important to them.
Other Presidents had witnessed the same thing. For example, President Carter picked up the reins of President Nixon, right after the so called WaterGate scandal, and was extremely popular but for a very short time. Have you noticed that it always seems to be a Republican president that stirs up the trouble and a Democratic President elected to solve the mess the prior administration created?!
The majority of the people who object are Republicans or so called conservatives. They are blaming President Obama for the things that he does, and they know very well he is doing these things because of the lack of real leadership the United States had under George Bush. Conservatives are pushing the idea that now this war in Iraq and Afghanistan is Obama's war. The president is working with the  remnants of the past President George Bush and has no choice but to follow things out until the President could decide on how to get out of those countries and bring troops home. President Obama will be known as a war president, but he would like to be known as doing things to help the American people and the world. So far, he hasn't let anyone down. As the Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Obama continues to try to spread the thoughts of peace throughout the world, and is taking some hard steps to put the United States of America back on the global map as a leader in the world. Yes, he cannot back down with the issues in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he is acquiring a clear understanding on how he must successfully do it, and is in no rush to do so. These are President Obama's tactics and he has only had just less than 1 year in office. Another three years to go, and maybe another four. At the end of his 4th year in office in his first term, President Obama's approval rating most likely will be back up, and most definitely up above 50%. The list of his accomplishments by then will far outweigh the objections presented by the Republican party, and President Obama will be re-elected.
I remember one of my first statements on this blog, approximately 6 months before President Obama was elected, was that if Senator Obama did not become President, this blog would no longer exist. Since then, I've written over 400 articles and by the time his first term ends, I've most likely would have written over 1000 articles. If President Obama does not get re-elected in 2012, most likely this blog will not continue, as this blog is centered around him, his presidency and the policies that he creates in office. So far, it's been a long, hard run, in only his first year. No doubt he is one of the smartest Presidents this country has every had, and one of the most qualified to serve in this office, especially in these modern times. He is a real communicator, not trying to steal from the resume of a prior Republican President Ronald Reagan, but with nerves of steel, he continues time and time again to face the American people and Congress in an unprecedented number of times on Prime time TV to prove to the world what kind of leader he is.
To sum this up, at the present moment, President Obama is not on the upswing of a popularity contest, rather instead has decided to take his office seriously and resolve issues at home and throughout the world, hard decisions that a great President would make, knowing full well that these decisions would be sometimes unpopular amongst the American people. But he is not in the office to win a popularity contest, rather than to keep America safe and to guide the government so that great decisions can be made in benefit of the American people. He, like other Presidents will run into some detours from time to time, and people from the other political party will plant land minds under his feet from time to time, but President Obama has the desire and willpower to continue on the course he has set for the American people, and regardless of what the polls say, or what the opposition party says, he will continue to do what he believes is right for the American people. At the end, Americans will benefit for him being in office, not the Iraqis, or the Afghanistans, but the American people. America will again hold their heads high throughout the world and regain their leadership status as the leader of the free world.

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Republican and Democratic Senators weigh possibilities of an Opt-Out Option

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Last Thursday, Senate Democratic leaders met with White House officials to consider including a government-funded public health insurance option, but this time with a twist. There will be a provision for states to opt out of the option if they decide that they would like to. In this so called health care overhaul bill, the goal is to get 60 votes necessary to overcome a Senate filibuster. The goal is not to just pull in Republican senators for the plan, but also to get moderate Democrats to support the public option.
So far Sen. Olympia Snowe has been the only GOP supporter of the health care legislation original bill, but now with the opt-out option, the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is now leaning in favor of the bill. In a few weeks, the bill will reach the full chamber. Still there are still Democratic Senators such as Ben nelson of Nebraska, who is known to be a moderate Democrat, still opposes the idea of a national public option with an opt-out for the states. In still another twist, the only republican to support the public option as it was originally presented, Senator Olympia Snowe is opposed to the opt-out option.
President Obama has been in meetings concerning the opt-out provision, but if he had his way, all states would accept the bill as originally stated. He stated that a health care bill must become law before the end of the year, and he is anxious to move on to other issues. House Democratic leaders learned earlier this week that the CBO projected their bill would cost $871 billion over 10 years and also reduce the deficit during that time. But the CBO was unable to assess what the impact would be in the next 10 years.

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Obama's Decision Making - sending Troups to Afghanistan

Opinion of the Editor of  'Obama in the White House' BLOG

In a recent article by Roland S. Martin who is a CNN political contributor, published an article about President Obama, explaining that President Obama needs to take all the time that he feels that he needs to make correct decisions in sending more troops to Afghanistan. Opponents to how President Obama is handling the troop deployment issue for Afghanistan, namely the conservatives, lead this time by ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, expect President Obama to send more troops on  his gut decision, rather than to reflect on critical analysis. No doubt President Obama is seriously considering the requests of his commander on the ground in Afghanistan, General George McCrystal, but he apparently wants to make the right decisions, not just a gut decision, as is what President Bush did when he sent troops to Iraq instead of sending them to Afghanistan, the known source for Al-Queda and Osama bin Laden. It it true that President Bush initiated the search for Al Queda.
Maybe Ex-Vice President Dick Cheney didn't understand why his own Commander and Chief had to spend all of the American resources in Iraq. Mainly because of a premature gut decision that was made by the former President Bush, a war was started that totally destroyed the infrastructure of Iraq, and now President Bush was obligated to Iraq and the world to rebuild Iraq and get it back to a stable state, without the presence of Al-queda and the terrorists that surrounded their prior dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. Because President Bush had to manage a takeover of a country and a war to eliminate terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan was pushed aside, and President Bush could no longer concentrate on one of his main reasons for being there in the first place, to rout out terrorists because he believed that Saadam was securing nuclear weapons in Iraq, a fact that now is proved to be totally false. Again, let me state that Bush went prematurely to Iraq to fight a war on pretenses that were proven false. Even President Bush regrets getting into the war in Iraq for false pretenses. His own advisers failed him, including his vice-president Dick Cheney.  So now what gives this ex-vice president the right to state how President Obama needs to handle business in Afghanistan?.
President Obama should be applauded, as he must be doing a few things right? Obama pushes for international peace, as indicated by being a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in less than his first year in office as President of the United States. President Obama didn't start the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but ex-Vice President Dick Cheney along with many other conservatives advising President Bush did.  President Obama is trying to make the correct decisions not to put more of the U.S. troops in harms way.
As stated on Conservative talk shows, this is now Obama's war, but what they don't want to admit is that they started it, now they blame President Obama for the way he is handling it. Lead by an ex-vice president Dick Cheney who seems not to remember that he backed the resolution to put U.S. troops into harms way for a cause that was not substantiated in Iraq. Now he expects President Obama to just send thousands of troops to Afghanistan on a gut decision that just because the Commander on the ground requests it, that it should be automatically done. President Obama retains the title as Command and Chief and it's not for nothing. Ex-Vice President Cheney is just a mere voice from the past who reminds the world what the conservative movement is all about, as if the world could forget.

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News from the Author James 'Obama in the White House'

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In an unfortunate situation during an automatic renewal of this domain name, the servers were inadvertently changed, causing this blog to no longer work for a short while. If you are reading this note, you can now be assured that all is now functioning properly. I apologize for the inconvenience with access to the blog, but I have been assured from the Domain Name Server manger that all is now OK. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Obama visits Viers Mill Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


MONDAY, OCTOBER 19TH, 2009 AT 6:59 PM

Out of 250,000, a Few Snapshots

Posted by Jesse Lee
With the release of the report this morning showing that 250,000 teachers have either been hired or saved through the Recovery Act, it seems like a good time to highlight the Department of Education's latest video. 

In 2008, the St. Louis Public Schools faced a significant deficit in its budget due to the hurting economy. The district was able to address key needs by using funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to save the jobs of 85 teaching and learning facilitators. This is the story of three of those teaching and learning facilitators.


The President also had some time to spend with students today.  In the morning, he met with winners of the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in the Oval Office, then stopped by Viers Mill Elementary School in Silver Spring, MD.


(President Barack Obama with Youth Entrepreneur Challenge winners, from left; Scott Paiva, 18, New Bedford, MA, is Zoe Damacela, 17, from Chicago, and Kalief Rollins, 17, from Carson, Ca, in the Oval Office, Oct. 19, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)



(President Barack Obama talks to third and fourth grade students at Viers Mill Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md.,  Oct. 19, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.)


He led the Silver Spring students in an impromptu rally for reading:
THE PRESIDENT:  Here's the reason that I wanted to stop by for lunch today, and that is, I have heard great things about this school.  I hear everybody here is reading all the time.  Right?  The motto here is?
 
PRINCIPAL DEVAN:  Viers Mill, what's our goal?
 
STUDENTS:  Read!  Read!  Read!
 
PRINCIPAL DEVAN:  Viers Mill, what's our goal?
 
STUDENTS:  Read!  Read!  Read!
 
PRINCIPAL DEVAN:  Because great readers have?
 
STUDENTS:  Great choices!
 
THE PRESIDENT:  So you guys are readers.  And so, being a reader myself, I wanted to come meet all these outstanding readers.  Because you guys are reading so much and you're working so hard, you guys are doing great in terms of your test scores and how this school is doing.  And so this was just a great example of how much improvement a school can make just in a really short time when you've got motivated kids.
 
So I wanted to come by and introduce myself, to say I'm very proud of you.  I am hoping that you guys will continue to read, read, read, and that all of you are going to be really working hard not just this year but all the way through high school and then all the way through college, because how many people here plan to go to college?  Everybody, right?  I just wanted to make sure everybody's going to college.  But that means everybody's going to have to work hard.
 
So here's what I'm going to do.  I didn't want to give a long speech.  What I'm going to do is I'm just going to come around, I'm going to shake people's hands, I'm going to say hi to folks, and I'm sure that somebody out there is going to be taking a bunch of pictures.  (Laughter.)  And you guys can tell me what you've been reading.  All right?  So get ready to tell me what you've been reading lately and what's going on.  All right?  Okay, guys.?

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Health Care - The Presidents Plan

The President's Plan

Watch the new "Obama Plan in Four Minutes" video to get the basics down:


In an address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama explained how health insurance reform will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance, coverage for those who don’t, and will lower the cost of health care for our families, our businesses, and our government.

"I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. It will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year."
– President Barack Obama, February 24, 2009

Progress

  • The President signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act on February 4, 2009, which provides quality health care to 11 million kids – 4 million who were previously uninsured.
  • The President’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act protects health coverage for 7 million Americans who lose their jobs through a 65 percent COBRA subsidy to make coverage affordable.
  • The Recovery Act also invests $19 billion in computerized medical records that will help to reduce costs and improve quality while ensuring patients’ privacy.
  • The Recovery Act also provides:

    • $1 billion for prevention and wellness to improve America’s health and help to reduce health care costs;
    • $1.1 billion for research to give doctors tools to make the best treatment decisions for their patients by providing objective information on the relative benefits of treatments; and
    • $500 million for health workforce to help train the next generation of doctors and nurses.


Guiding Principles

President Obama is committed to working with Congress to pass comprehensive health reform in his first year in order to control rising health care costs, guarantee choice of doctor, and assure high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
Comprehensive health care reform can no longer wait. Rapidly escalating health care costs are crushing family, business, and government budgets. Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have doubled in the last 9 years, a rate 3 times faster than cumulative wage increases. This forces families to sit around the kitchen table to make impossible choices between paying rent or paying health premiums. Given all that we spend on health care, American families should not be presented with that choice. The United States spent approximately $2.2 trillion on health care in 2007, or $7,421 per person – nearly twice the average of other developed nations. Americans spend more on health care than on housing or food. If rapid health cost growth persists, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that by 2025, one out of every four dollars in our national economy will be tied up in the health system. This growing burden will limit other investments and priorities that are needed to grow our economy. Rising health care costs also affect our economic competitiveness in the global economy, as American companies compete against companies in other countries that have dramatically lower health care costs.
The President has vowed that the health reform process will be different in his Administration – an open, inclusive, and transparent process where all ideas are encouraged and all parties work together to find a solution to the health care crisis. Working together with members of Congress, doctors and hospitals, businesses and unions, and other key health care stakeholders, the President is committed to making sure we finally enact comprehensive health care reform.
The Administration believes that comprehensive health reform should:
  • Reduce long-term growth of health care costs for businesses and government
  • Protect families from bankruptcy or debt because of health care costs
  • Guarantee choice of doctors and health plans
  • Invest in prevention and wellness
  • Improve patient safety and quality of care
  • Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
  • Maintain coverage when you change or lose your job
  • End barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions
Please visit www.HealthReform.gov to learn more about the President’s commitment to enacting comprehensive health reform this year.

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Obama visits New Orleans, says "I'm just getting started"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

President Obama swept through the city of New Orleans, Louisiana today, as he explained besides the disaster itself, "this nation and all the world bore witness to the fact that the damage from Katrina was not caused just by a disaster of nature, but also by a breakdown of government, that government wasn't adequately prepared and we didn't appropriately respond.". President Obama was poking at the prior administration of George Bush, who drastically failed in providing relief efforts to the region.
When Obama took office, he pledged to make the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans and surrounding communities a top priority. The President claims that progress is being made, as he's sent more Cabinet members to the region to learn what it is going to take by listening to the survivors and providing the assistance that they need. Recovery funds of up to 1.5 billion were previously stalled and his administration is doing everything possible to eliminate the red tape to make those funds available.
The New Orleans Housing Authority would benifit from his efforts, as they will directly benefit from Obama's efforts. Support to health centers and providing more adequate health care providers are being made available to fill in the void in the lack of professional help.
The hurricane, which pummeled the region in 2005, is still is a major state of rebuilding. There were questions concerning his resolve in tackling the Katrina issues, but President Obama immediately stated that  "I never thought any of this was going to be easy," said Obama, speaking at the University of New Orleans in his first visit to the Gulf Coast city since taking office. He poked fun at his critics, asking, "Why haven't you solved world hunger yet? It's been nine months. Why?"

"What'd I say during the campaign? I said change is hard," Obama said. "Big change is harder. ... I wasn't kidding about it being hard."

"Those folks who are trying to stand in the way of progress ... let me tell you, I'm just getting started," he said. "I don't quit. I'm not tired. I'm just getting started."

The statements made immediately above demonstrate President Obama's resolve in solving the Katrina issues in the region. President Obama stated that he has done allot for the country since he entered office as President of the United States, he hardly stays rested when there is so much to do. People are getting used to his fevorish pace, but his conservative critics now seem to think that President Obama claims that since the President claims that he can do so much, why hasn't he conquered world hunger?!!! As usual, the Republicans seem to want to stretch every issue, and in the end blame everything on President Obama. Talk show radio hosts such as the likes of Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh go to the extreme in ridiculing the President, but what they don't know is that the American people can see right through them.

JUst within the last week, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, in his efforts to promote peace throughout the world. So much has been done his first year, and regardless of what people think about him, there are at least 3 more years of President Obama in the White House. During that time, the economy will turn around, people will gain work, and the President's popularity will again move up.

One major issue that will play a factor in his re-election bid in 2012 would be his ability to handle Al Quada in Afghanistan. Questions still exist as to how many more troops  President Obama would be willing to send to the region. General McCrystal wants serveral thousand more now, but President Obama is weighing the entire situation before he commits to the reason..As this obviously is another hard decision, President Obama is again receiving criticism from the Republican party, as they feel that he is not reacting fast enough from the request of his top General in Afghanistan. 

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Senate Finance Committee passes a health plan - still a long road to go

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Today, in a sounding victory for President Obama, the Senate Finance Committee passed a health plan in a key congressional committee, that would extend coverage to as many as 29 million more Americans. The $829 billion plan was passed with a 14-9 vote. The lone Republican that voted for the bill was Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine as she crossed party lines. She is not totally on board, as she says that the bill still has a long way to go. The main reason why she voted for it at this time is because she didn't want it to be derailed. The bill if passed would cut the national deficit for 80 billion in a time period over the next ten years.  As expected, all of the committee's Democrats supported the bill. Next on the agenda will be a formal debate in the full House and Senate. Most likely, the earliest that a Health Care Reform plan could take effect would be near Christmas, that's if everything goes right.
Still, there are many hurdles to jump, as President Obama expressed his satisfaction for the bill, but he knows as much as everyone involved that there is much more to do before a bill of this nature could become law.
With this bill, President Obama claims that it in itself would actually help lower the national deficit. Republicans on the other hand believe that such a bill could only work if taxes went up. Even with the victory, President Obama stated "Instead, it is time to dig in and work even harder to get this done." President Obama outwardly expresses his resolve, and never seems to let talk from the opposition or Republican party affect his demeanor. He always seems to be cool, calm and collected. He definitely works great under pressure, even at a time when his popularity is dropping because of the stepped up war in Afghanistan.
The health care plan, undoubtedly is the main topic in President Obama's agenda this year, and he shows no signs of giving up.
The plan that passed in a key congressional committee, is the only one under serious consideration that excludes a government-run public health insurance option. Speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi including several top Democrats, have questioned whether it is possible to contain costs without creating a public option to serve as a check on private insurers.
Republicans and some conservative Democrats oppose the government-run insurance option, saying it would drive private insurers from the market and eventually bring a government takeover of the health care system.
The Republican party does have legitimate concerns, but talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh seem to over-dramatize the issue, claiming that President Obama is destroying the country. Actually, it makes no difference what the topic of the day is, Rush and his crew will condemn any bill that is sponsored by Democrats.

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Hillary in 2016, maybe?!! She says "NO"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Now that President Obama has Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State, do you think it may be possible that Hillary will run for President in the future? When asked the question by NBC's Ann Curry, she repeatedly said that she would never run again for President. First, if she ever did want to run again, she wouldn't have a real chance until 2016, when President Obama would end his second term if he actually had one. In just 13 days, she turns 62 on October 26th. She would be nearly 70 years old after Barack Obama left office. But she is doing what she feels that she should do at this point in her life. She is very active, and even looks toward retirement someday. So for her and her Republican competitor John McCain, neither would ever consider running again. Even as only the Secretary of State, at this point in time in Obama's Presidency, she is actually more popular than the President. Because of President Obama's outwardly character in taking on the challenges of the time, he has lost allot of popularity, especially with the war in Afghanistan. The vast majority of people believe that we need to get out of the war in Afghanistan, but President Obama realizes that Afghanistan is the main reason why America should be in any war in the first place. First and foremost, to search and seek out Osama bin Laden, and then to eliminate Al Queda. So President Obama is no longer enjoying his extended honeymoon with the American people, but he is a 'do'er' of a President, in comparison to his predecessor, George Bush, who will be know as a President who disgraced his office for 8 years. President Obama, only the second sitting President to win the Nobel Peace Prize, a 1.4 million dollar prize that he won because of his sincere efforts to bring the world to peace. People need to remember, President Obama is a now a war President not by choice, but by inheritance, as President Bush left office with two wars still raging in Iraq and Afghanistan with no end in sight after thousands of lives lost.

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Around and About Barack Obama - As Stated in the New York Times

Monday, October 12, 2009

The following is a New York Times article that details the world around the President from his election to the present day. 

Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2009. The son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas, he is the first African-American to ascend to the highest office in the land.

He is also the first new president since terrorists attacked New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001, the first to use the Internet to decisive political advantage, the first to insist on handling a personal smartphone while in the White House. So striking was the unlikeliness of his candidacy that he embraced that aspect, calling himself "a skinny kid with a funny name" and making "change" the theme for his campaign.
It was a theme with deep resonance for a country enmeshed in what was widely believed to be the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Abroad, many challenges loomed: the war in Iraq, the worsening conflict in Afghanistan, the repercussions from Israel's broad assault on Gaza, the threat of terrorism and the increasing signs that the economic woes that began on Wall Street had spread across the global economy.
Mr. Obama arrived at the White House with a resume that appeared short by presidential standards: eight years in the Illinois State Senate, four years as a senator in Washington. He had managed to wrest the Democratic nomination from a field of far more experienced competitors, most notably Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom he outlasted in what became an epic primary battle. And he defeated Senator John McCain, the Republican of Arizona, by an electoral margin of 365 to 173, while outpolling him by more than eight million votes.
During the campaign, Mr. Obama laid out a set of large promises that were solidly within the traditional agenda of the Democratic Party, with plans to offer health insurance to all and reduce carbon emissions at the top of the list. At the same time, he proposed moving toward what was sometimes called a post-partisan landscape, appealing to voters of all stripes to come together. As he took office, voters seemed cautiously optimistic, with high hopes for the Obama presidency mixed with a sense that complicated problems would take years to resolve.
Mr. Obama's first year in office was remarkably crowded, with major decisions on conflicts winding down in Iraq, and stepping up in Afghanistan. At home, the Obama administration's early months in office were dominated by a single issue: the economy. In fact, the economy's seemingly relentless slide in late 2008 began reshaping the Obama team's plans long before Inauguration Day, as first the candidate and then the president-elect was pulled in  to discussions over whether to bail out the financial system, and then into the raging debate over whether and how to keep General Motors and Chrysler from going under.
Mr. Obama's first major initiative was a gigantic stimulus package to pump money into an economy in something close to free fall. He introduced the outlines of a plan before taking office, and spent much of his first weeks engaged in negotiations with Congress that led to the passage of a $787 billion bill. Republicans derided the bill as unaffordable and wasteful. Not a single Republican in the House voted for the package, and only three Republican Senators did -- just enough for Mr. Obama to avert a filibuster.
The vote seemed to presage the reception of the health care reform efforts Mr. Obama put at the top of his agenda. As bills made their way through Congress over the summer and fall, only one Republican senator, Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, seemed at all inclined to cast a vote for the Democratic plans. Conservative anger boiled over during Congress's August recess, and it took a televised address to a joint session of the House and Senate by Mr. Obama in September to stop the slide of his own popularity and that of the health plans.
Overseas, Mr. Obama quickly reshaped policy on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, he set a date of August 2010 for a pullout of most troops. He ordered that 21,000 additional troops be sent to Afghanistan, significantly stepping up American military involvement. Pakistan became a new focus of administration attention, as the Taliban continued to seize ever-larger swaths of the country's western regions.
On his second day in office, Mr. Obama issued executive orders banning torture and closing the secret prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency. In April, he released memos from the Bush administration Justice Department that authorized brutal treatment of so-called "high value'' terrorism suspects, a move that ultimately led to a criminal investigation of the handling of detainees.
In general on foreign policy, Mr. Obama sought to emphasize diplomacy and multilateral cooperation, in place of the go-it-alone attitude that marked much of George W. Bush's presidency. In some areas there were few early signs of success -- North Korea defied the U.S. and the United Nations by holding more missile tests. But Iran produced some potentially significant concessions on its nuclear program in the first face to face meetings with the U.S. under the Obama administriaton.

In a stunning surprise on Oct. 9, 2009, the Nobel Committee announced that it had awarded its annual peace prize to President Obama "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

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Obama to gay group: 'Still laws to change, hearts to open'

Sunday, October 11, 2009


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Obama delivered a rousing speech Saturday night to the nation's largest gay rights group, praising the gay community for making strides in equal rights and pledging to deliver on major campaign promises that some say he's left on the back burner.
President Obama speaks Saturday night at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington.
President Obama speaks Saturday night at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington.
"For nearly 30 years, you've advocated for those without a voice," Obama said during his address at the dinner for the Human Rights Campaign. "Despite the progress we've made, there are still laws to change and hearts to open."
Obama's speech came as gay rights activists continued to lose patience over the lack of change to key issues for the gay community -- including the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. It comes on the eve of a major gays-rights rally in Washington.
"This fight continues now and I'm here with the simple message: I'm here with you in that fight," Obama told the applauding crowd.
The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement praising the speech, saying it was a "historic night when we felt the full embrace and commitment of the president of the United States. It's simply unprecedented."
Obama called for the repeal of the ban on gays in the military -- the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
"We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve this country," he said. "I'm working with the Pentagon, its leadership and the members of the House and Senate on ending this policy, legislation that has been introduced in the House to make this happen, I will end 'don't ask, don't tell.' That's my commitment to you."
The president said he backed the rights of gay couples, saying they should have the "same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country." He said he has urged Congress to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and to pass the Domestic Partners Benefit and Obligations Act.
Obama also touched on protection against hate crimes, noting that legislation was passed in the House this week that expanded the definition of hate crimes to include attacks based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
"I can announce that after more than a decade, this bill is set to pass and I will sign it into law," he said.
Obama acknowledged the fact that many in the gay community don't believe government is moving fast enough to address their concerns.
"Many of you don't believe progress is happening. I want to be honest about that because it's important to be honest among friends," he said. "I said this before, I'll repeat it again, it's not important for me to tell you to be patient."
Obama said gay people, like other Americans, are affected by myriad concerns -- namely, the economy and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -- and stressed that he's focusing on issues that affect the entire nation. Video Watch Obama say he will sign hate-crimes legislation »
"While some may wish to define you solely by your sexual orientation or identity alone, you know and I know that none of us want to be defined by one part of what makes us whole," he said. "So I know you want me working on jobs and the economy and all of the other issues that we're dealing with."
Still, Obama said, it's imperative that the gay community continue to pursue the policies they support.
"It's so important that you continue to speak out and you continue to set an example and that you continue to press your leaders, including me, and to make the case all across America," he said.

The Human Rights Campaign in its statement praised Obama's pledge that "we will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize the relationships between two men or two women."
The group said Obama "made it crystal clear that he is our strongest ally in this fight, that he understands and, in fact, encourages our activism and our voice even when we're impatient with the pace of change."

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The Nobel Peace Prize 2009

Below is the list of Nobel Peace Prize winners starting with President Barack Obama, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009. It is interesting to note that no Republican President has won the peace prize. The only other U.S. President to win the prize was President Jimmy Carter in 2002.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy
and cooperation between peoples"

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
USA
44th President of the United States of America


2009

The prize goes to:

BARACK OBAMA for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.

2008

The prize goes to:

MARTTI AHTISAARI for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts.

2007

The prize goes to:

INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC) and ALBERT ARNOLD ( AL) GORE JR. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.

2006

The prize goes to:

MUHAMMAD YUNUS and GRAMEEN BANK for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.

2005

The prize was awarded jointly to:

INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY and MOHAMED ELBARADEI for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.

2004

The prize was awarded to:

WANGARI MAATHAI

for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace

2003

The prize was awarded to:

SHIRIN EBADI

for her efforts for democracy and human rights

2002

The prize was awarded to:

JIMMY CARTER JR., former President of the United States of America,

for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development

2001

The prize was awarded to:

UNITED NATIONS, New York, NY, USA

KOFI ANNAN, United Nations Secretary General

2000

The prize was awarded to:

KIM DAE JUNG for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular.

1999

The prize was awarded to:

DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS (MÉDECINS SANS FRONTIÈRES), Brussels, Belgium.

1998

The prize was awarded jointly to:

JOHN HUME and DAVID TRIMBLE for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.

1997

The prize was awarded jointly to:

INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO BAN LANDMINES (ICBL) and JODY WILLIAMS for their work for the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines.

1996

The prize was awarded jointly to:

CARLOS FELIPE XIMENES BELO and JOSE RAMOS-HORTA for their work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor.

1995

The prize was awarded jointly to:

JOSEPH ROTBLAT and to the PUGWASH CONFERENCES ON SCIENCE AND WORLD AFFAIRS for their efforts to diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international politics and in the longer run to eliminate such arms.

1994

The prize was awarded joinly to:

YASSER ARAFAT , Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, President of the Palestinian National Authority.

SHIMON PERES , Foreign Minister of Israel.

YITZHAK RABIN , Prime Minister of Israel.

for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East.

1993

The prize was awarded jointly to:

NELSON MANDELA Leader of the ANC.

FREDRIK WILLEM DE KLERK President of the Republic of South Africa.

1992

RIGOBERTA MENCHU TUM, Guatemala. Campaigner for human rights, especially for indigenous peoples.

1991

AUNG SAN SUU KYI, Burma. Oppositional leader, human rights advocate.

1990

MIKHAIL SERGEYEVICH GORBACHEV , President of the USSR, helped to bring the Cold War to an end.

1989

THE 14TH DALAI LAMA (TENZIN GYATSO) , Tibet. Religious and political leader of the Tibetan people.

1988

THE UNITED NATIONS PEACE-KEEPING FORCES New York, NY, U.S.A.

1987

OSCAR ARIAS SANCHEZ , Costa Rica, President of Costa Rica, initiator of peace negotiations in Central America.

1986

ELIE WIESEL , U.S.A., Chairman of 'The President's Commission on the Holocaust'. Author, humanitarian.

1985

INTERNATIONAL PHYSICIANS FOR THE PREVENTION OF NUCLEAR WAR Boston, MA, U.S.A.

1984

DESMOND MPILO TUTU , South Africa, Bishop of Johannesburg, former Secretary General South African Council of Churches (S.A.C.C.). for his work against apartheid.

1983

LECH WALESA , Poland. Founder of Solidarity, campaigner for human rights.

1982

The prize was awarded jointly to:

ALVA MYRDAL , former Cabinet Minister, diplomat, delegate to United Nations General Assembly on Disarmament, writer.

ALFONSO GARCÍA ROBLES , diplomat, delegate to the United Nations General Assembly on Disarmament, former Secretary for Foreign Affairs .

1981

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES Geneva, Switzerland.

1980

ADOLFO PEREZ ESQUIVEL , Argentina, architect, sculptor and human rights leader.

1979

MOTHER TERESA , India, Leader of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity.

1978

The prize was divided equally between:

MOHAMED ANWAR AL-SADAT , President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

MENACHEM BEGIN , Prime Minister of Israel.

for jointly negotiating peace between Egypt and Israel.

1977

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL London, Great Britain. A worldwide organization for the protection of the rights of prisoners of conscience.

1976

BETTY WILLIAMS and MAIREAD CORRIGAN Founders of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement (later renamed Community of Peace People).

1975

ANDREI DMITRIEVICH SAKHAROV , Soviet nuclear physicist. Campaigner for human rights.

1974

The prize was divided equally between:

SEÁN MAC BRIDE , President of the International Peace Bureau, Geneva, and the Commission of Namibia, United Nations, New York.

EISAKU SATO , Prime Minister of Japan.

1973

The prize was awarded jointly to:

HENRY A. KISSINGER , Secretary of State, State Department, Washington.

LE DUC THO , Democratic Republic of Viet Nam. (Declined the prize.)

for jointly negotiating the Vietnam peace accord in 1973.

1972

The prize money for 1972 was allocated to the Main Fund.

1971

WILLY BRANDT , Federal Republic of Germany, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, initiator of West Germany's Ostpolitik, embodying a new attitude towards Eastern Europe and East Germany.

1970

NORMAN BORLAUG , Led research at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico City.

1969

INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION (I.L.O.) Geneva.

1968

RENÉ CASSIN , President of the European Court for Human Rights .

1967-1966

The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section.

1965

UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN'S FUND (UNICEF) New York, founded by U.N. in 1946. An international aid organization.

1964

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. , leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, campaigner for civil rights.

1963

The prize was divided equally between

COMITÉ INTERNATIONAL DE LA CROIX-ROUGE (INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE REDCROSS) Geneva, founded 1863.

LIGUE DES SOCIÉTÉS DE LA CROIX-ROUGE (LEAGUE OF RED CROSS SOCIETIES) Geneva.

1962

LINUS CARL PAULING , California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. Campaigner especially for an end to nuclear weapons tests.

1961

DAG HJALMAR AGNE CARL HAMMARSKJÖLD , Secretary General of the United Nations (awarded the Prize posthumously).

1960

ALBERT JOHN LUTULI , President of the South Africal liberation movement, the African National Congress.

1959

PHILIP J. NOEL-BAKER , Great Britain, Member of Parliament, life long ardent worker for international peace and co-operation .

1958

GEORGES HENRI PIRE , Belgium, Father of the Dominican Order, Leader of the relief organization for refugees, l'Europe du Coeur au Service du Monde.

1957

LESTER BOWLES PEARSON , former Secretary of State for External Affairs of Canada, President 7th Session of the United Nations General Assembly .

1956-1955

The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section.

1954

OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES Geneva, an international relief organization, founded by U.N. in 1951.

1953

GEORGE CATLETT MARSHALL , General, President American Red Cross, ex-Secretary of State and of Defense, Delegate to the U.N., Originator of the Marshall Plan.

1952

ALBERT SCHWEITZER , Missionary surgeon, Founder Lambaréné Hospital in République du Gabon.

1951

LÉON JOUHAUX , France, President of the trade union C.G.T. Force Ouvrière. President of the International Committee of the European Council, Vice President of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, Vice President of the World Federation of Trade Unions, member of the ILO Council, delegate to the UN.

1950

RALPH BUNCHE , Professor Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Director of the UN Division of Trusteeship, Acting Mediator in Palestine 1948.

1949

LORD JOHN BOYD ORR OF BRECHIN, Physician, Alimentary Politician, prominent organizer and Director General Food and Agricultural Organization, President National Peace Council and World Union of Peace Organizations.

1948

The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section.

1947

The prize was awarded jointly to:

THE FRIENDS SERVICE COUNCIL (The Quakers), London. Founded in 1647.

THE AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE (The Quakers), Washington. The society's first official meeting was held in 1672.

1946

The prize was divided equally between:

EMILY GREENE BALCH, former Professor of History and Sociology, Honorary International President Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

JOHN RALEIGH MOTT Chairman of the first International Missionary Council, President of the World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Associations .

1945

CORDELL HULL Former Secretary of State. One of the initiators of the United Nations.

1944

COMITÉ INTERNATIONAL DE LA CROIX-ROUGE (INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS)

1943-1939

The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section.

1938

OFFICE INTERNATIONAL NANSEN POUR LES RÉFUGIÉS (NANSEN INTERNATIONAL OFFICE FOR REFUGEES) an international relief organization in Geneva started by Fridtjof Nansen in 1921.

1937

CECIL OF CHELWOOD, VISCOUNT, (LORD EDGAR ALGERNON ROBERT GASCOYNE CECIL) , Writer, Former Lord Privy Seal. Founder and President of the International Peace Campaign.

1936

CARLOS SAAVEDRA LAMAS Foreign Minister. President of the Société des Nations (League of Nations), Meditator in a conflict between Paraguay and Bolivia in 1935.

1935

CARL VON OSSIETZKY Journalist (with Die Weltbühne, among others), pacifist.

1934

ARTHUR HENDERSON Former Foreign Secretary. Chairman of the League of Nations Disarmament Conference 1932-1934.

1933

SIR NORMAN ANGELL (RALPH LANE) Writer. Member of the Commission Exécutive de la Société des Nations (Executive Committee of the League of Nations) and the National Peace Council. Author of the book The Great Illusion, among others.

1932

The prize money for 1932 was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.

1931

The prize was divided equally between:

JANE ADDAMS Sociologist. International President of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER President of Columbia University. Promoter of the Briand-Kellogg Pact.

1930

LARS OLOF NATHAN (JONATHAN) SÖDERBLOM Archbishop. Leader of the ecumenical movement.

1929

FRANK BILLINGS KELLOGG Former Secretary of State, Negotiated the Briand-Kellogg Pact.

1928

The prize money for 1928 was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.

1927

The prize was divided equally between:

FERDINAND BUISSON Former Professor at the Sorbonne University, Paris. Founder and President of the Ligue des Droits de l'Homme (League for Human Rights).

LUDWIG QUIDDEHistorian. Professor at Berlin University. Member of Germany's constituent assembly 1919. Delegate to numerous peace conferences.

1926

The prize was awarded jointly to:

ARISTIDE BRIAND Foreign Minister. Negotiator of the Locarno Treaty and the Briand-Kellogg Pact.

GUSTAV STRESEMANN Former Lord High Chancellor (Reichs-kanzler). Foreign Minister. Negotiator of the Locarno Treaty.

1925

The prize was awarded jointly to:

SIR AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN Foreign Minister. Negotiator of the Locarno Treaty.

CHARLES GATES DAWES Vice-President of the United States of America. Chairman of the Allied Reparation Commission. Originator of the Dawes Plan .

1924-1923

The prize money for 1924-1923 was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.

1922

FRIDTJOF NANSEN , Norway. Scientist. Explorer. Norwegian Delegate to Société des Nations (League of Nations). Originator of the Nansen passports (for refugees).

1921

The prize was divided equally between:

KARL HJALMAR BRANTING Prime Minister. Swedish Delegate to the Conseil de la Société des Nations (Council of the League of Nations).

CHRISTIAN LOUS LANGE Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Brussels.

1920

LÉON VICTOR AUGUSTE BOURGEOIS, France. Former Secretary of State. President of the Parliament (Sénat). President of the Conseil de la Société des Nations (Council of the League of Nations) .

1919

THOMAS WOODROW WILSON, President of the United States of America. Founder of the Société des Nations (League of Nations)

1918

The prize money for 1918 was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.

1917

COMITÉ INTERNATIONAL DE LA CROIX ROUGE (INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE REDCROSS) , Geneva.

1916-1914

The prize money for 1916-1914 was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.

1913

HENRI LA FONTAINE, Belgium. Member of the Belgian Parliament (Sénateur). President of the Permanent International Peace Bureau, Berne.

1912

ELIHU ROOT Former Secretary of State. Initiator of several arbitration agreements.

1911

The prize was divided equally between:

TOBIAS MICHAEL CAREL ASSER, the Netherlands. Cabinet Minister. Member of the Privy Council. Initiator of the International Conferences of Private Law at the Hague.

ALFRED HERMANN FRIED, Austria. Journalist. Founder of the peace journal Die Waffen Nieder (later renamed Die Friedenswarte).

1910

BUREAU INTERNATIONAL PERMANENT DE LA PAIX (PERMANENT INTERNATIONAL PEACE BUREAU) , Bern.

1909

The prize was divided equally between:

AUGUSTE MARIE FRANÇOIS BEERNAERT, Belgium. Former Prime Minister. Member of the Belgian Parliament. Member of the Cour Internationale d'Arbitrage (International Court of Arbitration) at the Hague.

PAUL HENRIBENJAMIN BALLUET D'ESTOURNELLES DE CONSTANT, BARON DE CONSTANT DE REBECQUE, France. Member of the French Parliament (Sénateur). Founder and President of the French parliamentary group for international arbitration (Groupe parlementaire de l'arbitrage international). Founder of the Comité de défense des intérêtsnationaux et de conciliation internationale (Committee for the Defense of National Interests and International Conciliation).

1908

The prize was divided equally between:

KLAS PONTUS ARNOLDSON, Sweden. Writer. Former Member fo the Swedish Parliament. Founder of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration League.

FREDRIK BAJER, Denmark. Member of the Danish Parliament. Honorary President of the Permanent International Peace Bureau, Berne.

1907

The prize was divided equally between:

ERNESTO TEODORO MONETA, Italy. President of the Lombard League of Peace.

LOUIS RENAULT, France. Professor International Law, Sorbonne University, Paris.

1906

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, USA. President of the United States of America. Drew up the 1905 peace treaty between Russia and Japan.

1905

BARONESS BERTHA SOPHIE FELICITA VON SUTTNER née COUNTESS KINSKY von CHINIC und TETTAU, Austria. Writer. Hon. President of the Permanent International Peace Bureau, Berne. Author of Die Waffen Nieder (Lay Down Your Arms).

1904

INSTITUT DE DROIT INTERNATIONAL (INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW) , Gent, Belgium. A scientific society.

1903

SIR WILLIAM RANDAL CREMER, Great Britain. Member of the British Parliament. Secretary of the International Arbitration League .

1902

The prize was divided equally between:

ÉLIE DUCOMMUN, Switzerland. Honorary Secretary of the Permanent International Peace Bureau, Berne.

CHARLES ALBERT GOBAT, Switzerland. Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Berne. Honorary Secretary of the Permanent International Peace Bureau, Berne.

1901

The prize was divided equally between:

JEAN HENRI DUNANT, Switzerland. Founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva; Initiator of the Geneva Convention (Convention de Genève).

FRÉDÉRIC PASSY, France. Founder and President of the first French peace society (since 1889 it has been called the Société Francaise pour l'arbitrage entre nations).

Note from the Editor of "Obama in the White House" blog...

Below is a note I received from President Barack Obama when he became aware of winning the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009. Also noted just immediately below is a list of past Nobel Peace Prize winners.

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James --

This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I'd been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize -- men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.

That is why I've said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won't all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it's recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.

This award -- and the call to action that comes with it -- does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.

So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we've begun together. I'm grateful that you've stood with me thus far, and I'm honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

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