President Barack Obama Weekly Address September 25, 2010 (Video/Transcipt)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
September 25, 2010
This week, the economists who officially decide when recessions start and end declared the recession of 2008 to be over.  But if you’re one of the millions of Americans who lost your home, your job, or your savings as a consequence of the recession, this news is of little comfort or value.
Yes, the economy is growing instead of shrinking, as it was in 2008 and the beginning of 2009.  We’re gaining private sector jobs each month instead of losing 800,000, as we did the month I took office.
But we have to keep pushing to promote growth that will generate the jobs we need, and repair the terrible damage the recession has done.  That’s why I’ve proposed a series of additional steps: accelerated tax breaks for businesses who buy equipment now; a permanent research and development tax break to promote innovation by American companies; and a new initiative to rebuild America’s roads, rails, and runways that will put folks to work and make our country more competitive.
Taken together with the small business tax cut and lending plan we passed through Congress last week, these steps will help spur jobs in the short run, and strengthen our economy for the long run.
Now, the Republicans who want to take over Congress offered their own ideas the other day.  Many were the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which isn’t surprising, since many of their leaders were among the architects of that failed policy.
It is grounded in same worn out philosophy: cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; cut the rules for Wall Street and the special interests; and cut the middle class loose to fend for itself.  That’s not a prescription for a better future.  It’s an echo of a disastrous decade we can’t afford to relive.
The Republicans in Washington claimed to draw their ideas from a website called “America Speaking Out.” It turns out that one of the ideas that’s drawn the most interest on their website is ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.
Funny thing is, when we recently closed one of the most egregious loopholes for companies creating jobs overseas, Republicans in Congress were almost unanimously opposed. The Republican leader John Boehner attacked us for it, and stood up for outsourcing, instead of American workers.
So, America may be speaking out, but Republicans in Congress sure aren’t listening. They want to put special interests back in the driver’s seat in Washington. They want to roll back the law that will finally stop health insurance companies from denying you coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition. They want to repeal reforms that will finally protect hardworking families from hidden rates and penalties every time they use a credit card, make a mortgage payment, or take out a student loan.
And for all their talk about reining in spending and getting our deficits under control, they want to borrow another $700 billion, and use it to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. On average, that’s a tax cut of about $100,000 for millionaires.
Instead of cutting taxes for the wealthiest few – tax breaks we cannot afford – I’ve called for tax cuts for middle class families who saw their incomes shrink by five percent during the last, lost decade. We’ve already cut 8 different taxes for small business owners to help them hire and grow, and we’re going to cut 8 more. We’re challenging our states and schools to do a better job educating our kids and making college more affordable so America can once more lead the world in the proportion of our kids graduating from college. And we’re putting an end to the days of taxpayer-funded bailouts so Main Street never again has to pay for Wall Street’s mistakes.
America is a great country. Our democracy is vibrant, our economy is dynamic, and our workers can outcompete the best of them. But the way for us to remain the greatest country on Earth isn’t to turn back the clock and put the special interests in charge. It’s to make sure all our people are getting a fair shake. It’s to make sure everyone who’s willing to work for it still has a chance to reach for the American dream. And that will remain my mission every single day so long as I have the honor of serving as President.
Have a nice weekend, everybody.

Let's take back our country

President Barack Obama was elected on the promises of hope.

Today many people feel disappointed.
However, I believe that Obama has tried to live up to his promise. His efforts to change Washington have been held back by the burden he had inherited and to deal with first. He has been held back by a congress which is more interested in self-preservation than in the well-being of their country. And now he is being held back by a Supreme Court decision which was clearly politically motivated, to aid the member of the Republican to retain their corporate money. I know many people do not believe that corruption is part of our political system but it is. Lawmakers are taking money to finance their campaigns to be reelected. Just look at who has been on the board of major corporations or which corporations are in the district of a congressman or a senator.

Shouldn’t we stand up and finally take back our country?
Don’t let corporations govern.
Their sole interest is money not the people of this country!

President Barack Obama Weekly Address September 18, 2010 (Video/Transcipt)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As prepared for delivery
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Washington, DC
Back in January, in my State of the Union Address, I warned of the danger posed by a Supreme Court ruling called Citizens United. This decision overturned decades of law and precedent.  It gave the special interests the power to spend without limit – and without public disclosure – to run ads in order to influence elections. 
Now, as an election approaches, it’s not just a theory.  We can see for ourselves how destructive to our democracy this can become.  We see it in the flood of deceptive attack ads sponsored by special interests using front groups with misleading names.  We don’t know who’s behind these ads or who’s paying for them.  Even foreign-controlled corporations seeking to influence our democracy are able to spend freely in order to swing an election toward a candidate they prefer. 
We’ve tried to fix this with a new law – one that would simply require that you say who you are and who’s paying for your ad.  This way, voters are able to make an informed judgment about a group’s motivations.  Anyone running these ads would have to stand by their claims.  And foreign-controlled corporations would be restricted from spending money to influence elections, just as they were before the Supreme Court opened up this loophole.
This is common sense.  In fact, this is the kind of proposal that Democrats and Republicans have agreed on for decades.  Yet, the Republican leaders in Congress have so far said “no.” They’ve blocked this bill from even coming up for a vote in the Senate.  It’s politics at its worst.  But it’s not hard to understand why. 
Over the past two years, we have fought back against the entrenched special interests – weakening their hold on the levers of power in Washington.  We have taken a stand against the worst abuses of the financial industry and health insurance companies.  We’ve rolled back tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.  And we’ve restored enforcement of common sense rules to protect clean air and clean water.  We have refused to go along with business as usual. 
Now, the special interests want to take Congress back, and return to the days when lobbyists wrote the laws.  And a partisan minority in Congress is hoping their defense of these special interests and the status quo will be rewarded with a flood of negative ads against their opponents.  It’s a power grab, pure and simple.  They’re hoping they can ride this wave of unchecked influence all the way to victory. 
What is clear is that Congress has a responsibility to act.  But the truth is, any law will come too late to prevent the damage that has already been done this election season.  That is why, any time you see an attack ad by one of these shadowy groups, you should ask yourself, who is paying for this ad? Is it the health insurance lobby? The oil industry?  The credit card companies? 
But more than that, you can make sure that the tens of millions of dollars spent on misleading ads do not drown out your voice.  Because no matter how many ads they run – no matter how many elections they try to buy – the power to determine the fate of this country doesn’t lie in their hands.  It lies in yours.  It’s up to all of us to defend that most basic American principle of a government of, by, and for the people.  What’s at stake is not just an election.  It’s our democracy itself. 
Thank you.

President Barack Obama Weekly Address September 11, 2010 (Video/Transcipt)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As prepared for delivery
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Washington, DC

Today, we pause to remember a day that tested our country.  On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 lives were lost in the deadliest attack on American soil in our history.  We will never forget the images of planes vanishing into buildings; of photos hung by the families of the missing.  We will never forget the anger and sadness we felt.  And while nine years have come and gone since that September morning, the passage of time will never diminish the pain and loss forever seared in the consciousness of our nation.

That is why, on this day, we pray with the families of those who died.  We mourn with husbands and wives, children and parents, friends and loved ones.  We think about the milestones that have passed over the course of nine years – births and christenings, weddings and graduations – all with an empty chair. 

On this day, we also honor those who died so that others might live: the firefighters and first responders who climbed the stairs of two burning towers; the passengers who stormed a cockpit; and the men and women who have, in the years since, borne the uniform of this country and given their lives so that our children could grow up in a safer world.  In acts of courage and decency, they defended a simple precept: I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.

And on this day, we recall that at our darkest moment, we summoned a sense of unity and common purpose.  We responded to the worst kind of depravity with the best of our humanity.

So, each year at this time, we renew our resolve against those who perpetrated this barbaric act of terror and who continue to plot against us – for we will never waver in defense of this nation.  We renew our commitment to our troops and all who serve to protect this country, and to their families. But we also renew the true spirit of that day.  Not the human capacity for evil, but the human capacity for good.  Not the desire to destroy, but the impulse to save.

That is why we mark September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.  For if there is a lesson to be drawn on this anniversary, it is this: we are one nation – one people – bound not only by grief, but by a set of common ideals.  And that by giving back to our communities, by serving people in need, we reaffirm our ideals – in defiance of those who would do us grave harm.  We prove that the sense of responsibility that we felt for one another was not a fleeting passion – but a lasting virtue.

This is a time of difficulty for our country.  And it is often in such moments that some try to stoke bitterness – to divide us based on our differences, to blind us to what we have in common.  But on this day, we are reminded that at our best, we do not give in to this temptation. We stand with one another. We fight alongside one another.  We do not allow ourselves to be defined by fear, but by the hopes we have for our families, for our nation, and for a brighter future.  So let us grieve for those we’ve lost, honor those who have sacrificed, and do our best to live up to the values we share – on this day, and every day that follows.

Thank you.


9/11 Qur’an burning - a disgraceful plan for America

I agree with President Barack Obama who has condemned the plan of an American pastor to burn copies of the Qur’an on the ninth anniversary of September 11. I too think that such an act will not only offend the Muslim world and create outrage across the Islam world but also will act as a “recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda”! 
I believe that this pastor is ignorant and insensitive. He calls Muslims radical but displays even more radical views and actions. 
Freedom of speech does not mean that you are allowed to insult anything and anyone you like. If someone wants to express his or her believes, one should first fully understand his or her own views. In the case of this pastor, he should at least read the Holy Qur’an!