Review Category : Poltics

Obama Applauds Veterans at July Fourth Picnic

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama thanked military members and their families Friday at the annual United Service Organizations Fourth of July picnic at the White House.

“Because of you we are safe. We are free. We depend on you for our way of life,” he said. “…238 years ago our founders came together and declared a new nation…each of us entitled to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These truths have guided us.”

The President briefly touched on immigration during his remarks, mentioning the 25 new citizens who took their oath on the national holiday.

“Immigrants from around the world dream of coming to our shores,” Obama said from the White House balcony. “When the world looks to America, so often they look to all of you (military families)…Every day at home and abroad. You are working to uphold those ideals.”

Vice President Joe Biden also participated in Independence Day events, joined by his grandson at a parade in Philadelphia.

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Obama Applauds Veterans at July Fourth Picnic

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama thanked military members and their families Friday at the annual United Service Organizations Fourth of July picnic at the White House.

“Because of you we are safe. We are free. We depend on you for our way of life,” he said. “…238 years ago our founders came together and declared a new nation…each of us entitled to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These truths have guided us.”

The President briefly touched on immigration during his remarks, mentioning the 25 new citizens who took their oath on the national holiday.

“Immigrants from around the world dream of coming to our shores,” Obama said from the White House balcony. “When the world looks to America, so often they look to all of you (military families)…Every day at home and abroad. You are working to uphold those ideals.”

Vice President Joe Biden also participated in Independence Day events, joined by his grandson at a parade in Philadelphia.

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New Citizen Stumbles Over Pledge of Allegiance as Obama Consoles

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — In honor of the nation’s Independence Day, President Obama delivered remarks at a Naturalization Ceremony for active duty military personnel and civilians Friday.

Toward the end of the ceremony, one of America’s newest citizens had a little trouble while leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

After a sigh of relief from the young lady and chuckles from the crowd, the president can be heard saying “It’s ok,” and “I get nervous too,” while hugging her.

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Hillary Clinton ‘Bewildered and Confused’ By Supreme Court’s Contraceptive Rulings

Gary Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Hillary Clinton said she’s “very bewildered and confused” by the Supreme Court’s ruling to further allow employers with religious objections to avoid offering contraceptives in their health care plans.

Just days after the Supreme Court issued its controversial Hobby Lobby decision and ruled in favor of a for-profit corporation seeking an exemption from the contraceptive mandate, the court issued an unusual order Thursday providing temporary relief to a non-profit college that also objects to the mandate.

Clinton, who is openly pro-choice, called the latest development “a serious breach of a woman’s right,” and called for government action: ”There has to be some action taken, in the Congress or by the executive to try to clarify what the court just did,” she said in an interview with ABC News’ Ann Compton.

On Monday, Clinton slammed the Supreme Court for their initial ruling in Hobby Lobby, warning that it was a ”really bad slippery slope” that should incite a “real outcry” from the American public.

Hillary Clinton also spoke about the surge of Central American immigrants illegally crossing the U.S. border. Clinton said she believes that the children and mothers crossing should not be allowed to remain in the country.

“If they do make it they cannot believe they have any opportunity to stay. They have to be processed appropriately and then returned,” Clinton told Compton.

Clinton, who is in London to promote her new memoir Hard Choices, touched on a range of topics, including America’s role in Iraq, her health, her high-dollar speaking fees, and her upcoming life as a grandmother (Clinton estimated she hadn’t changed a diaper in roughly 4.5 years).

The potential presidential candidate also had some advice for President Obama, whose oldest daughter, Malia, turns 16 Friday and will soon be getting her driver’s license.

While teaching a daughter to drive while in the White House can be a challenge, Clinton said that there’s one place her husband was able to do so: Camp David. While there are no roads at the president’s country retreat, Hillary Clinton said that’s where Bill Clinton helped Chelsea with her parallel parking skills.

“If you pass along to the president that going up to Camp David worked for us, maybe he can try it now,” Clinton said.

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Lawmakers Urge Removal of Undocumented Immigrants During House Hearing

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(MCALLEN, Texas) — The House Homeland Security Committee held a field hearing in Texas on Thursday to address the surge of unaccompanied minors entering the United States.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry called on President Obama to secure the American border and asked that undocumented immigrants coming into the nation be detained and sent back to their home countries.

“Allowing them to remain here…will only encourage the next group of individuals,” Perry said.

The Republican governor also urged the federal government to station more Border Patrol agents in his state.

Homeland Security Chair Mike McCaul called the crisis a national security threat.

“The point is our military bases are turning into refugee camps,” McCaul said. “I never thought I would see this in the United States of America.”

Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers criticized conservatives for their views on immediate deportation.

“The massive deportation policy for children, and a mandatory detaining for children is not a humane thing to do,” Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said.

The Lone Star State is running out of room and resources, prompting officials to transfer hundreds of immigrants to California for processing. A facility at Bush Airport in Houston will serve as a staging point for the immigrant children, who will be flown to relatives’ homes or foster homes across the country.

The groups have been greeted by protesters, as anti-immigration activists see the steps as a form of amnesty. Individuals waving American flags Tuesday blocked buses of undocumented immigrants from getting through at a border patrol center in Murrieta, California. The Homeland Security vehicles were forced to retreat.

Others in support of the undocumented asked Americans to show compassion.

“We’re asking for people to view this from a humanitarian, from a global standpoint and realize that these are our children and these are children who oftentimes, it wasn’t their decision on whether to be brought or to come here on their own,” said Cesar Espinosa, a spokesman for the immigration advocacy group FIEL.

Protesters returned on Friday, camped outside the station as they grilled hot dogs and planned to once again stop the buses.

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Hillary Clinton: All University Speaking Fees Donated to Family’s Foundation

Leigh Vogel/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Hillary Clinton continued to justify her high-dollar speaking fees on Friday, telling ABC News’ Ann Compton that all of the money she’s made from universities over the past year and a half has been donated to her family’s foundation.

“All of the fees have been donated to the Clinton Foundation for it to continue its life-changing and life-saving work. So it goes from a foundation at a university to another foundation,” Clinton said when asked about the criticism she and her husband have faced recently for their wealth.

Hillary Clinton reportedly makes roughly $200,000 for each speaking engagement. And recent reports show that she has made much more from some of the country’s top universities.

Last week, students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where Clinton is scheduled to speak at a fundraiser in October, asked the former secretary of state to return her fee of $225,000 back to the university. If she does not, the students said they plan to protest her visit.

When asked to respond to the students’ plea during the ABC News interview, Clinton made no suggestion she would do as they’ve requested. Clinton said that as she travels the country speaking, she is presenting new ideas to help strengthen the economy, which in turn, will help lower income inequality.

“It’s been my experience,” Clinton said, “That they’re not worried about my speaking or my household, they’re worried about their own. And that’s the kind of debate I think I’m furthering as I go around the country speaking.”

Clinton’s response comes after a month of increased scrutiny over her family’s wealth. Throughout her book tour, Hillary Clinton has faced heat for telling ABC’s Diane Sawyer that she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House.

Hillary Clinton is currently traveling in London where she is promoting her new memoir, Hard Choices, overseas.

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First Daughter Malia Obama Turns 16

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — First daughter Malia Obama, just 10 years old when her father took office, turns sweet 16 on July 4 – a milestone President Obama joked is “a little worrisome.”

The young girl we remember as a die-hard “Hannah Montana” fan clamoring for a White House puppy is trading in her oversized hair bows for high heels – and undeniably growing into her Secret Service code name, Radiance.

Here are a few first daughter fun facts sure to make you feel almost as old as the nation we’ll celebrate on her birthday:

1. She’s already begun touring colleges.
While her dad stumps for college affordability, Malia, a rising junior at Sidwell Friends high school, reportedly has been checking out some college options of her own. She has already toured Stanford, which is Chelsea Clinton’s alma mater, and the University of California at Berkeley, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

2. She’s got a sweet summer job.

Malia, an aspiring filmmaker, also scored a summer job as a production assistant on Halle Berry’s upcoming sci-fi series, Extant. She reportedly “helped with computer shop alignment” and was even allowed to slate a take. It’s not clear how she got the job, but the show is backed by Steven Spielberg, a major Obama donor.

3. She’ll be taking the wheel soon.
“Look out,” Michelle Obama warned Washington. Malia “is going to be driving this summer.” Though the President and first lady won’t be teaching their daughter to drive, her Secret Service detail has “got a plan” to keep her safe, Michelle Obama said.

4. She can kick up her heels with the best of ‘em …
Like teens across the country, Malia danced the night away at her first prom this year. But her father – who admitted it was a bit “jarring” to see his daughter in heels for the first time – refused comment on whether Malia went with a date, saying only, “I think this is all classified information.”

5. …But she still has chores at home.
Not even first daughters are exempt from housework. Both Malia and younger sister Sasha are required to make their own beds, the first lady told ABC News. And, “they don’t get their allowance until they can prove that they’ve done their chores for the week,” she said.

6. She’s not too old for Disney.
Malia reportedly spent last Sunday at Disneyland with a friend romping around on Splash Mountain under the watchful eyes of her Secret Service detail. Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

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President Obama’s Weekly Address: Highlighting Military Families and Equal Rights on July 4th

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama praised the families of U.S. military members and the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team in his weekly address commemorating the July 4th holiday. In doing so, he highlighted issues at the heart of both the ongoing scandal in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case.

Speaking of American heroes and groundbreakers, the president first spoke of the soccer team that drew the attention of much of America over the past few weeks. “We are so proud of you,” Obama told the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, “You’ve got a lot of new believers.” Joking about goalkeeper Tim Howard’s newly-earned nickname “the secretary of defense” after his stunning performance in Tuesday’s match, Obama joked, “Chuck Hagel’s got that spot right now, but if there is a vacancy, I’ll think about it.”

The president spent most of his speech, however, highlighting the founding fathers and “early patriots” who believed in and the men and women of the armed forces and their families who continue to fight for the American principle that “we are all created equal.”

“You keep us safe, and you keep the United States of America a shining beacon of hope for the world,” Obama said. “And for that, you and your families deserve not only the appreciation of a grateful nation, but our enduring commitment to serve you as well as you’ve served us.”

Read the full transcript of the president’s address:

Hi, everybody. I hope you’re all having a great Fourth of July weekend.

I want to begin today by saying a special word to the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team, who represented America so well the past few weeks. We are so proud of you. You’ve got a lot of new believers. And I know there’s actually a petition on the White House website to make Tim Howard the next Secretary of Defense. Chuck Hagel’s got that spot right now, but if there is a vacancy, I’ll think about it.

It was 238 years ago that our founders came together in Philadelphia to launch our American experiment. There were farmers and businessmen, doctors and lawyers, ministers and a kite-flying scientist.

Those early patriots may have come from different backgrounds and different walks of life. But they were united by a belief in a simple truth – that we are all created equal; that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights; and that among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Over the years, that belief has sustained us through war and depression; peace and prosperity. It’s helped us build the strongest democracy, the greatest middle class, and the most powerful military the world has ever known. And today, there isn’t a nation on Earth that wouldn’t gladly trade places with the United States of America.

But our success is only possible because we have never treated those self-evident truths as self-executing. Generations of Americans have marched, organized, petitioned, fought and even died to extend those rights to others; to widen the circle of opportunity for others; and to perfect this union we love so much.

That’s why I want to say a special thanks to the men and women of our armed forces and the families who serve with them – especially those service members who spent this most American of holidays serving your country far from home.

You keep us safe, and you keep the United States of America a shining beacon of hope for the world. And for that, you and your families deserve not only the appreciation of a grateful nation, but our enduring commitment to serve you as well as you’ve served us.

God bless you all. And have a great weekend.

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GOP Weekly Address: Energy Independence Is Key to ‘Endless’ Possibilities

US House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) — In this week’s Republican address, Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas honored the American spirit, the military and spoke of a promising future based on the same characteristics that he says has always made America great, “our creative minds and entrepreneurial spirit.”

“We Americans are blessed with a great land, economic opportunity, a matchless Constitution and unrivaled success,” Womack said, calling the July 4th holiday “a chance to celebrate that.”

Womack spoke of the “politics, red tape and government fixes” that have prevented progress on a number of important fronts. He points to energy independence as a key to the future, discussing the Keystone Pipeline, “predictable regulation” and a “stable electric grid.”

He also gave thanks for the founding fathers who “made this all possible,” and extended prayers to the U.S. military members who’ve sacrificed to keep America safe.

Read the full transcript of the Republican address:

There’s nothing like the Fourth of July, a day to bask in America’s glory and to dream of better days ahead.

You know, that’s part of the genius in the Declaration of Independence. It isn’t just about what America was, it’s a vision of what she could be, of what we should always strive for. A land where the people rule, where the common man or woman can advance themselves, their families and the common good.

America’s greatness has aways been rooted in our creative minds, and entrepreneurial spirit, our ability to make things, make the most of our resources, to control our economic destiny. That’s why you see Republicans working so hard to capitalize on America’s energy rennaissance.

Consider the possibilities: It starts by building the Keystone Pipeline. Put thousands of Americans to work, show we’re serious about our energy future. We set into motion more plants, pipelines and transmission lines, bringing low-cost energy, safely, to consumers across the land. We back projects on-shore and off-shore, creating more jobs and eliminating our dependance on unstable parts of the world. We establish predictable regulations, the kind of certainty that allows business to plan ahead, invest here, and bring jobs back to our main streets and town squares. We build a truly stable electric grid, protecting us from everything from blackouts to security threats, and we boost exports so we can supply our allies with affordable and reliable energy and fuel our economy at the same time.

The opportunities seem endless, don’t they? But the usual politics, red tape and government fixes that never seem to pan out stand in our way.

For years, Washington has denied the American people the chance to seize their economic destiny. Well, Republicans are fighting every day to make these opportunities possible again. We pledge this to you, the people we serve. Together, let’s renew the spirit of 1776, the spirit that gave birth to a nation with so many blessings. And never rest until the work is done.

For now, my family and I give thanks for our fore-fathers who made all this possible. We extend our prayers to the men and women sacrificing to keep us safe. And we wish you and yours a healthy and happy Independence Day.

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President Obama to Host Naturalization Ceremony on July Fourth Holiday

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama will host a naturalization ceremony at the White House on Friday, the July 4th holiday, for active duty military service members and their spouses, as well as veterans and reservists.

On the birthday of the United States, the president plans to take the opportunity to “reiterate his commitment to an immigration policy that honors our rich history as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.” Obama has previously hosted and participated in naturalization ceremonies in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Obama will speak at the ceremony, during which foreign-born members of the U.S. Armed Forces who “have earned their American citizenship by serving our country” will be recognized for their contributions. A White House official said that 15 active-duty service members from the Navy, U.S. Army, Marines and Air Force will be honored, as will two veterans, one reservist and seven military spouses — representing a total of 15 countries.

The president will also host a Fourth of July celebration for military families and White House staff on the South Lawn of the White House.

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