Presidential Archive 3/11 – 3/17/09
By Linnie Frank Bailey
As the Administration’s Middle Class Task Force travels the country explaining the Recovery Act, the President made it clear to Wall Street giant AIG he is not happy with the bonuses they paid to executives after receiving taxpayer money.
The popularity of the new President remains high as thousands of Southern Californians camp out for tickets to his town hall meeting in Costa Mesa and anxiously await his first official visit to California as President.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
President Creates Council on Women and Girls
Surrounded by powerful women, including political commentator Donna Brazile, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, and retired WNBA player Lisa Leslie, President Obama signed an executive order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. The President invoked memories of the women in his life, stating: “I sign this order not just as a President, but as a son, a grandson, a husband, and a father.”
The Council on Women and Girls will be chaired by Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and will focus on: women’s economic empowerment and financial security, work and family balance for women, and ways to prevent violence against women.
First Lady Honors Courageous Women
First Lady Michelle Obama joined Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in honoring women from around the world who lead the fight for women’s rights. Eight women were presented with the State Department’s International Women of Courage Award. Mrs. Obama saluted the women saying, “The women we honor today teach us three very important lessons. One, that as women, we must stand up for ourselves. The second, as women, we must stand up for each other. And finally, as women, we must stand up for justice for all.”
Thursday, March 12, 2009
President Meets Chinese Foreign Minister
President Obama met with the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jieche in the Oval Office. The administration reported the two leaders discussed the overall state of U.S.-China relations, agreeing to work together to stabilize the global economy.
Obama Gives Marching Orders for Federal Money
The President dropped in on a meeting of State Officials during the White House Conference on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Implementation. He stressed that accountability will never fall by the wayside, saying: “We're going to need to work really hard and we're going to have to make sure that every single dollar is well spent. We've got to go above and beyond what I think is the typical ways of doing business in order to make sure that the American people get the help that they need and that our economy gets the boost that it needs.”
The White House Recovery and Reinvestment Act Implementation Conference, led by Vice President Joe Biden, is part of a large effort to ensure that dollars invested and spent as part of the Recovery Act are effective, transparent, and efficient.
Later in the afternoon, the President made a similar point of accountability to a Business Roundtable at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington.:
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The President Addresses Food Safety in America
Calling the nation's food safety system a “hazard to public health” the President used his weekly radio address to announce the nomination of former New York City Health Commissioner Margaret Hamburg as agency commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Obama is also creating a special advisory group to coordinate food safety laws and recommend how to update them stating, “Many of these laws have not changed since they were written early in the last century.” Emphasizing government responsibility the President continued, “There are certain things only a government can do, and one of those things is ensuring that the foods we eat, and the medicines we take, are safe and do not cause us harm.”
President Barack Obama greets President of Brazil
President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva discussed the economy, energy and the environment Saturday during their first White House meeting. President Obama described their conversation as “A wonderful meeting of the minds.” Silva, who spoke through a translator, stressed “the importance of President Obama's election, what it represents to the world and especially to Latin America.”
Monday, March 16, 2009
AIG Bonuses Anger Obama
Speaking to a group of small business owners, Obama contrasted their hard work with the greed and excess displayed in reports of tens of millions of dollars in bonuses being given out to employees of AIG, stating: “I've asked Secretary Geithner to use leverage and pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses,” President Obama made it clear that he was not happy with executive bonuses paid by the insurance conglomerate after receiving a massive bailout from the federal government.
The President continued, “Everybody involved needs to understand this is not just a matter of dollars and cents. All across the country, there are people who are working hard and meeting their responsibilities every day, without the benefit of government bailouts or multi-million dollar bonuses. You've got a bunch of small business people here who are struggling just to keep their credit line open -- they are foregoing pay, as one of our entrepreneurs talked about, they are in some cases mortgaging their homes, and doing a whole host of things just in order to keep things afloat. All they ask is that everyone, from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, play by the same rules.”
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
St. Patrick’s Day Meeting With Irish Prime Minister
President Obama met with Brian Cowen the Prime Minister of Ireland. The meeting was followed by the appointment of NFL Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney as United States Ambassador to Ireland.