Archive for presidential speech

ENTIRE VIDEO- Obama mocks GOP on #Obamacare: "Shut this thing down before people find out they like it."

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kick ass 2

The president kicked ass today. He not only explained the Affordable Care Act clearly and thoroughly, he also debunked and mocked the usual GOP talking points, the lies, the misinformation, and even Fox:

He spoke at Prince Georges Community College in suburban Washington, DC. Here are a few excerpts:

But you don't have to take my word for it. If you talked to somebody who said, "Well, I don't know, I was watching Fox News and they said this is horrible." (LAUGHTER)

And you -- and you can say, "You know what, don't take my word for it. Go on the website. See for yourself what the prices are. See for yourself what the choices are. Then make up your own mind." Just make -- that's all I'm asking. Make up your own mind.

I promise you, if you go on the website and it turns out you're going to save $100, $200, $300 a month on your insurance, or you'll be able to buy insurance for the first time, even if you didn't vote for me, I'll bet you'll sign up for that health care plan. (APPLAUSE)...

I mean, think about it. These are -- these are billionaires several times over. You know they've got good health care. (LAUGHTER)

But they are actually spending money on television trying to convince young people that if you've got the choice between getting affordable health care or going without health care, you should choose not having any health care.

Now, do you think if you get sick or you get hurt and you get stuck with a massive bill, these same folks, they're going to help you out? Or are they going to pay for your health care?

It is interesting, though, how over the last couple years, the Republican Party has -- has just spun itself up around this issue. And the fact is, the Republicans' biggest fear at this point is not that Affordable Care Act will fail. What they're worried about is it's going to succeed. (APPLAUSE)

I mean, think about it. If it was as bad as they said it was going to be, then they could just go ahead and let it happen, and then everybody would hate it so much, and then everybody would vote to repeal it, and that would be the end of it. So what is it that they're so scared about?

So if it actually works, they'll look pretty bad. If it actually works, that will mean that everything they were saying really wasn't true and they were just playing politics.

Just the other day, one Republican in Congress said we need to shut this thing down before the marketplaces open and people get to see that they'll be getting coverage and getting these subsidies, because -- and -- and I'm going to quote him here -- he said, "It's going to prove almost impossible to undo Obamacare."

Right? So -- so, in other words, we've got to shut this thing down before people find out that they like it. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE)

That's a strange argument. Don't you think that's a strange argument?

kick ass

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ENTIRE VIDEO: Pres. Obama Addresses the Nation on Syria, Sept. 10th, 2013

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obama on syria

In case you missed it, here is President Obama's speech on Syria, in full. I'm including some excerpts, but you can find the entire transcript at the Washington Post here.

Now, I know that after the terrible toll of Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea of any military action, no matter how limited, is not going to be popular. After all, I’ve spent four and a half years working to end wars, not to start them. Our troops are out of Iraq. Our troops are coming home from Afghanistan. And I know Americans want all of us in Washington-- especially me -- to concentrate on the task of building our nation here at home: putting people back to work, educating our kids, growing our middle class.

It’s no wonder, then, that you’re asking hard questions. So let me answer some of the most important questions that I’ve heard from members of Congress, and that I’ve read in letters that you’ve sent to me...

I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria. I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan. I will not pursue a prolonged air campaign like Libya or Kosovo. This would be a targeted strike to achieve a clear objective: deterring the use of chemical weapons, and degrading Assad’s capabilities....

Let me make something clear: The United States military doesn’t do pinpricks. Even a limited strike will send a message to Assad that no other nation can deliver. I don’t think we should remove another dictator with force -- we learned from Iraq that doing so makes us responsible for all that comes next. But a targeted strike can make Assad, or any other dictator, think twice before using chemical weapons....

It’s true that some of Assad’s opponents are extremists. But al Qaeda will only draw strength in a more chaotic Syria if people there see the world doing nothing to prevent innocent civilians from being gassed to death. The majority of the Syrian people -- and the Syrian opposition we work with -- just want to live in peace, with dignity and freedom. And the day after any military action, we would redouble our efforts to achieve a political solution that strengthens those who reject the forces of tyranny and extremism....

As several people wrote to me, “We should not be the world’s policeman.”

I agree, and I have a deeply held preference for peaceful solutions. Over the last two years, my administration has tried diplomacy and sanctions, warning and negotiations -- but chemical weapons were still used by the Assad regime.

However, over the last few days, we’ve seen some encouraging signs. In part because of the credible threat of U.S. military action, as well as constructive talks that I had with President Putin, the Russian government has indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing Assad to give up his chemical weapons. The Assad regime has now admitted that it has these weapons, and even said they’d join the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits their use.

It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments. But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad’s strongest allies.

I have, therefore, asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path.

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ENTIRE VIDEO: Pres. Obama speaks in Chattanooga, Tenn., scoffs at #Keystone, at GOP for having no jobs plan

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Obama Chattanooga Tennesse middle class jobs speech

President Obama's speech starts at about 22:50.

He spoke at an Amazon distribution center in Chattanooga, Tennessee on his "grand bargain" proposal. Despite the GOP's pre-emptive rejection of his ideas, he's trying to break the gridlock over the deficit by cutting corporate tax rates in exchange for job investment to help the middle class.

He suggested boosting natural gas production (as well as solar and wind energy) as long as we "protect our air and our water." Elaborate, please, Mr. President, because fracking is already hurting our air and our water.

And then he came to my favorite part:

I am laying out my ideas to give the middle class a better shot in a 21st-century economy. Now it’s time for Republicans to lay out theirs. If they’ve got a better plan to bring back more manufacturing jobs, or create jobs rebuilding our infrastructure for the long run, or help workers earn the high-tech skills our businesses demand, let’s hear ‘em. But gutting protections for our air and water isn’t a jobs plan. Gutting investments in things like education and energy isn’t a jobs plan. Putting all your eggs in the basket of an oil pipeline that may only create about 50 permanent jobs, and wasting the country’s time by taking something like 40 meaningless votes to repeal Obamacare isn’t a jobs plan.

Waitwhat? Did he just imply that he may very well reject the Keystone XL tar sands Pipeline disaster-in-waiting project? Oh pleaseohplease make it so.

And the mockitude of the GOP was entertaining, too.

Here are a few more excerpts from the speech as written:

We’ve seen a faction of Republicans in Congress hurt a fragile recovery by suggesting they wouldn’t pay the very bills Congress rang up, and threaten to shut down the people’s government if they can’t shut down Obamacare. Then, rather reduce our deficits with a scalpel in a way that promotes growth – by cutting programs we don’t need, fixing ones we do, and making government more efficient – this same group has left in place a meat cleaver called “the sequester” that harms growth, hurts our military, and guts the investments in education, science, and medical research we need to make this country a magnet for good jobs.

So here’s the bottom line: I’m willing to work with Republicans on reforming our corporate tax code, as long as we use the money from transitioning to a simpler tax system for a significant investment in creating middle-class jobs. That’s the deal. [...]

[From the delivered speech, off script:] I get it, I'm not popular in Tennessee. But I've run my last campaign, so I don't need to spin. The truth is...  [and then he went back on script]...

The very last part of the speech got a lot of cheers. Check it out.

mitch mcconnell gridlock obstruction

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ENTIRE VIDEO: Obama's economic speech: "Repealing Obamacare and cutting spending is not an economic plan."

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obama at Knox College econ speech

In case you missed it.

Via UpTakeVideo:

President Obama lays out his plan to help the middle class in a speech at Knox College.

Some excerpts from the transcript, courtesy of WaPo. I'm not sure how he gets past all that obstruction, but if he does, let's celebrate together:

But by the time I took office in 2009 as your president, we all know the bubble had burst.

Together we saved the auto industry, took on a broken health care system. (Cheers, applause.) We invested in new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil. We doubled wind and solar power. (Cheers, applause.)

Together we put in place tough new rules on big banks and protections to crack down on the worst practices of mortgage lenders and credit card companies. (Applause.) We changed a tax code too skewed in favor of the wealthiest at the expense of working families. So we changed that. We locked in tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans, and we asked those at the top to pay a little bit more. (Applause.)

So you add it all up, and over the past 40 months our businesses have created 7.2 million new jobs.

But -- and here's the big "but" -- I'm here to tell you today that we're not there yet.

When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther and farther apart, it undermines the very essence of America, that idea that if you -- if you work hard, you can make it here.

And that's why reversing these trends has to be Washington's highest priority.

Too often, Washington's made things worse.

[W]e've seen a sizable group of Republican lawmakers suggest that they wouldn't vote to pay the very bills that Congress rang up... [W]e've got folks who have insisted on leaving in place a meat cleaver called the sequester that's cost jobs. It's harmed growth, it's hurt our military, it's gutted investments in education and science and medical research.

Then over the last six months, this gridlock's gotten worse. I didn't think that was possible. (Laughter.) The good news is a growing number of Republican senators are looking to join their Democratic counterparts and try to get things done in the Senate. So that's good news. (Applause.)

And if you ask some of these folks, some of these folks mostly in the House, about their economic agenda, how it is that they'll strengthen the middle class, they'll shift the topic to out-of-control government spending, despite the fact that we've cut the deficit by nearly half as a share of the economy since I took office. (Cheers, applause.)... Or they'll bring up "Obamacare" -- this is tried and true -- despite the fact that our businesses have created nearly twice as many jobs in this recovery as businesses had at the same point in the last recovery, when there was no "Obamacare."

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (My daughter ?) has insurance now.

But with this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington's taken its eye off the ball. And I'm here to say this needs to stop. (Applause.) This needs to stop. (Cheers, applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible) -- Boehner. ...

That's why America has to make the investments necessary to promote long-term growth and shared prosperity, rebuilding our manufacturing base, educating our workforce, upgrading our transportation systems -- (cheers, applause) -- upgrading our information networks. That's what we need to be talking about. That's what Washington needs to be focused on.

I'll lay out my ideas for how we build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle-class in America and what it takes to work your way into the middle class in America: job security with good wages and durable industries, a good education, a home to call your own, affordable health care when you get sick, a secure retirement even if you're not rich -- (cheers, applause) -- reducing poverty, reducing inequality, growing opportunity. That's what we need. (Cheers, applause.) That's what we need. That's what we need right now. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, in this effort, I will look to work with Republicans as well as Democrats wherever I can. And I -- I sincerely believe that there are members of both parties who understand this moment, understand what's at stake, and I will welcome ideas from anybody across the political spectrum. But I will not allow gridlock or inaction or willful indifference to get in our way. (Cheers, applause.)

That means whatever executive authority I have to help the middle class, I'll use it. (Cheers, applause.) Where I can't act on my own and Congress isn't cooperating, I'll pick up the phone, I'll call CEOs, I'll call philanthropists, I'll call college presidents, I'll call labor leaders, I'll call anybody who can help and enlist them in our efforts -- (cheers, applause)

[He then goes on to list his ideas, including investing in education] And if you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century. (Applause.)

[B]eginning January 1st, insurance companies will finally have to cover you and charge you the same rates as everybody else, even if you have a pre-existing condition. (Cheers, applause.) That's what the Affordable Care Act does. ...

We need new partnerships with some of the hardest-hit towns in America to get them back on their feet. (Applause.)And because no one who works full-time in America should have to live in poverty, I am going to keep making the case that we need to raise the minimum wage, because it's lower right now than it was when Ronald Reagan took office. (Cheers, applause.) It's time for the minimum wage to go up. (Cheers, applause.)...

In the run-up to this speech, a lot of reporters say, well, you know, Mr. President, these are all good ideas, but some of them, you've said before, some of them sound great, but you can't get those through Congress; Republicans won't agree with you. And I say, look, the fact is there are Republicans in Congress right now who privately agree with me on a lot of the ideas I'll be proposing.

I know because they've said so. But they worry they'll face swift political retaliation for cooperating with me. Now, there are others who will dismiss every idea I put forward -- (laughter) -- either because they're playing to their most strident supporters or, in some cases, because sincerely they have a fundamentally different vision for America -- one that says inequality is both inevitable and just; one that says an unfettered free market without any restraints inevitably produces the best outcomes, regardless of the pain and uncertainty imposed on ordinary families. And government's the problem and we should just shrink it as -- as small as we can....

[S]top taking meaningless repeal votes and share your concrete ideas with the country. (Cheers, applause.) Repealing "Obamacare" and cutting spending is not an economic plan...

I have now run my last campaign. I do not intend to wait until the next campaign or the next president before tackling the issues that matter. I care about one thing and one thing only, and that's how to use every minute -- (applause) -- the only thing I care about is how to use every minute of the remaining 1,276 days of my term to make this country work for working Americans again. (Cheers, applause.) That's all I care about. I don't have another election....

That's why we don't call it John's dream or Susie's dream or Barack's dream or Pat's dream. We call it the American Dream. And that's what makes this country special, the idea that no matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from or who you love, you can make it if you try. (Applause.) That's what we're fighting for. (Cheers, applause.)

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VIDEO: President Obama lays out plan for immigration reform. “We forget that most of us used to be them.”

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US map immigration diversity

tweet plouffe immigration reformLink

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

ICYMI, here is President Obama's speech on his plan for immigration reform. I livetweeted it. The following are slightly paraphrased quotes from the president:

"Time for common sense, comprehensive immigration reform. Now's the time."

"Si se puede!" cheers from crowd as PBO calls for broad immigration reform.

"Leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time."

"Now is the time because we can strengthen the economy. We are a nation of immigrants... that's who we are, in our bones."

"Yes they crossed border illegally or overstayed visas, but they're now here. Not looking for trouble."

"Like the rest of us, they try to earn a living. Often get paid less. Bad for them, bad for the entire economy."

"If we're truly committed to strengthening middle class, we gotta fix the system."

"It's also about folks who come here LEGALLY, have a hard time, it's bad for the economy."

"Intel, Instagram, started with the help of immigrants who studied here, stayed here."

"In my 1st term, patched up some of the worst cracks in the system. Illegal crossings are down 80% since 2000."

"We focused on criminals; deportations of CRIMINALS is at highest level ever."

"We took up cause of the DREAMers." (big cheer)

"We need Congress to act on comprehensive approach re: the 11 milliion undocumented immigrants in the US now."

"For the 1st time in years, GOP/Dems seem ready to tackle this problem together."

"Action must follow desire ... we can't let reform get bogged down in endless debate."

"My ideas supported by Dems (Ted Kennedy) and Republicans (Bush)."

"I'll send up a bill based on my proposal and insist they vote on it right away."

"Principles are straightforward: We need to focus on enforcement... strengthen borders, crack down on businesses that hire undocumented workers."

"We have to deal wit the 11 million who are here illegally. Must EARN way to citizenship."

"We must make sure there IS a pathway to citizenship." (big cheer)

"It won't be a quick process, it will be a fair process."

"We gotta bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century. Example: Waiting years until your family joins you in US."

"Smarter enforcement, pathway to earned citizenship, improve legal immigration system to be magnet for best, brightest."

"They faced hardship, racism, ridicule. They did their part to build a nation." 

"It's important for us to remember our history. Unless you're Native American, you came from someplace else."

"We forget that most of us used to be them."

"Do we have the resolve to finally put this issue behind us? I believe that we do." (applause)

"Remember that this is not just a debate about policy. It's about PEOPLE."

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VIDEO, PhotOH! President Obama's Inauguration 2013 speech

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inaug 2013 obama stonewall gay rights speech

 He nailed it. This was an amazing Inauguration Day.

Ed Schultz:

"This is one of the most progressive speeches President Obama has ever given."

 inaug 2013 ny times sqaure via @adallos

Via my Twitter pal Andrew Dallos (@adallos)

 Via my inbox:

Laffy --

I just renewed my oath of office to serve as your president for four more years.

Thank you for making this possible. It's an honor to be your president.

Now it's time to finish what we started -- let's get going.

Barack

I took a few screen grabs toward the end of the ceremony. These are in reverse chronological order:

"I'm never gonna see this again."

"I want to take a look one more time. I'll never see this again."

ADDED: Here's the video:

Via TPM:

"I want to take a look one more time," Obama said, lingering for a few short moments to savor the view as the crowd shuffled past him. "I'll never see this again."

beyonce inaug 2013

inaug 2013 crowdinaug 2013  prayerinaug 2013  prayer 2inaug 2013  prayer 3inaug 2013  prayer 4inaug 2013 child with flag

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VIDEO: Sandra Fluke and President Obama in Denver, Colorado

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President Obama, a wonderful women's health advocate himself:

Sandra Fluke is "one tough and poised young lady... an eloquent advocate for women's health. I suspect she'll be doing some even greater things as time goes on."

"I actually like the name [Obamacare], because I do care!"

Huge h/t to @ReasonVsFear

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