President Barack Obama celebrates Black History Month

President Barack Obama Weekly Address February 25, 2012 (Video/Transcript)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
The White House
Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hello, everybody.

In the State of the Union, I laid out three areas we need to focus on if we’re going to build an economy that lasts: new American manufacturing, new skills and education for American workers, and new sources of American-made energy.

These days, we’re getting another painful reminder why developing new energy is so important to our future. Just like they did last year, gas prices are starting to climb. Only this time, it’s happening earlier. And that hurts everyone – everyone who owns a car; everyone who owns a business. It means you have to stretch your paycheck even further. Some folks have no choice but to drive a long way to work, and high gas prices are like a tax straight out of their paychecks.

Now, some politicians always see this as a political opportunity. And since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas. I’ll save you the suspense: Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling. We hear the same thing every year.

Well the American people aren’t stupid. You know that’s not a plan – especially since we’re already drilling. It’s a bumper sticker. It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. It’s a strategy to get politicians through an election.

You know there are no quick fixes to this problem, and you know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices. If we’re going to take control of our energy future and avoid these gas price spikes down the line, then we need a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy – oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels, and more. We need to keep developing the technology that allows us to use less oil in our cars and trucks; in our buildings and plants. That’s the strategy we’re pursuing, and that’s the only real solution to this challenge.

Now, we absolutely need safe, responsible oil production here in America. That’s why under my Administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. In 2010, our dependence on foreign oil was under 50% for the first time in more than a decade. And while there are no short-term silver bullets when it comes to gas prices, I’ve directed my administration to look for every single area where we can make an impact and help consumers in the months ahead, from permitting to delivery bottlenecks to what’s going on in the oil markets.

But over the long term, an all-of-the-above energy strategy means we have to do more. It means we have to make some choices.

Here’s one example. Right now, four billion of your tax dollars subsidize the oil industry every year. Four billion dollars.

Imagine that. Maybe some of you are listening to this in your car right now, pulling into a gas station to fill up. As you watch those numbers rise, know that oil company profits have never been higher. Yet somehow, Congress is still giving those same companies another four billion dollars of your money. That’s outrageous. It’s inexcusable. And it has to stop.

A century of subsidies to the oil companies is long enough. It’s time to end taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s never been more profitable, and use that money to reduce our deficit and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising. Because of the investments we’ve already made, the use of wind and solar energy in this country has nearly doubled – and thousands of Americans have jobs because of it. And because we put in place the toughest fuel economy standards in history, our cars will average nearly 55 miles per gallon by the middle of the next decade – something that, over time, will save the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump. Now Congress needs to keep that momentum going by renewing the clean energy tax credits that will lead to more jobs and less dependence on foreign oil.

Look, we know there’s no silver bullet that will bring down gas prices or reduce our dependence on foreign oil overnight. But what we can do is get our priorities straight, and make a sustained, serious effort to tackle this problem. That’s the commitment we need right now. And with your help, it’s a commitment we can make. Thank you.


President Obama at the University of Miami (Video/Transcript)

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Miami! (Applause.) The U! (Applause.) It is good to see all of you here today. (Applause.)

I want to thank Erica for that outstanding introduction. She said her parents were tweeting. (Laughter.) We’re so proud of you, Erica.

I also want to thank your president, this country’s former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala. (Applause.) Senator Bill Nelson is here. Give him a big round of applause. (Applause.) Former astronaut -- that’s too cool. (Laughter.) And my outstanding friend, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is in the house. (Applause.)

It is good to be back in sunny Florida. (Applause.) I must say I don’t know how you guys go to class. (Laughter.) I’m assuming you do go to class. (Laughter.) It’s just too nice outside. But in another life, I would be staying for the Knicks-Heat game tonight -- (applause) -- then go up to Orlando for NBA All-Star Weekend. (Applause.) But these days, I’ve got a few other things on my plate. (Laughter.) Just a few.

I just got a fascinating demonstration of the work that some of you are doing at the College of Engineering. (Applause.) And let me say at the outset, we need more engineers. So I could not be prouder of those of you who are studying engineering.

It was fascinating stuff. I understood about 10 percent of what they told me. (Laughter.) But it was very impressive. (Laughter.) And the work couldn’t be more important, because what they were doing was figuring out how our buildings, our manufacturers, our businesses can waste less energy. And that’s one of the fastest, easiest ways to reduce our dependence on oil, and save a lot of money in the process and make our economy stronger.

So some cutting-edge stuff is being done right here at the U. (Applause.) Now, that’s what I’m here to talk about today. In the State of the Union, I laid out three areas where we need to focus if we want to build an economy that lasts and is good for the next generation, all of you. (Applause.) We need new American manufacturing. We’ve got to have new skills and education for America’s workers, and we need new sources of American-made energy.

Now, right now we are experiencing just another painful reminder of why developing new energy is so critical to our future. Just like last year, gas prices are climbing across the country. This time, it’s happening even earlier. And when gas prices go up, it hurts everybody -- everybody who owns a car, everybody who owns a business. It means you’ve got to stretch a paycheck even further. It means you’ve got to find even more room in a budget that was already really tight. And some folks have no choice but to drive a long way to work, and high gas prices are like a tax straight out of your paycheck.

I got a letter last night -- I get these letters, 10 letters every night that I read out of the 40,000 that are sent to me. And at least two of them said, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to keep my job if gas prices keep on going up so high, because it’s just hard to manage the budget and fill up the tank. A lot of folks are going through tough times as a consequence.

Now, some politicians they see this as a political opportunity. I know you’re shocked by that. (Laughter.) Last week, the lead story in one newspaper said, “Gasoline prices are on the rise and Republicans are licking their chops.” (Laughter.) That’s a quote. That was the lead. "Licking their chops." Only in politics do people root for bad news, do they greet bad news so enthusiastically. You pay more; they’re licking their chops.

You can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas. And I’ll save you the suspense. Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling. (Laughter.) We heard the same line in 2007 when I was running for President. We hear the same thing every year. We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years.

Well, the American people aren’t stupid. They know that’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling. That’s a bumper sticker. It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. (Applause.) That’s a strategy to get politicians through an election.

You know there are no quick fixes to this problem. You know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices. If we’re going to take control of our energy future and can start avoiding these annual gas price spikes that happen every year -- when the economy starts getting better, world demand starts increasing, turmoil in the Middle East or some other parts of the world -- if we’re going to avoid being at the mercy of these world events, we’ve got to have a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. Yes, oil and gas, but also wind and solar and nuclear and biofuels, and more. (Applause.)

We need to keep developing the technology that allows us to use less oil in our cars and trucks, less energy for our buildings and our plants and our factories -- that’s the strategy we’re pursuing. And that’s the only real solution to this challenge.

Now, it starts with the need for safe, responsible oil production here in America. We’re not going to transition out of oil anytime soon. And that’s why under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That’s why we have a record number of oilrigs operating right now -- more working oil and gas rigs than the rest of the world combined.

Over the last three years my administration has approved dozens of new pipelines, including from Canada. And we’ve opened millions of acres for oil and gas exploration. All told we plan to make available more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico.

Last week, we announced the next steps towards further energy exploration in the Arctic. Earlier this week, we joined Mexico in an agreement that will make more than 1.5 million acres in the Gulf available for exploration and production, which contains an estimated 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

So we’re focused on production. That's not the issue. And we’ll keep on producing more homegrown energy. But here’s the thing -- it’s not enough. The amount of oil that we drill at home doesn’t set the price of gas by itself. The oil market is global; oil is bought and sold in a world market. And just like last year, the single biggest thing that’s causing the price of oil to spike right now is instability in the Middle East -– this time around Iran. When uncertainty increases, speculative trading on Wall Street increases, and that drives prices up even more.

So those are the biggest short-term factors at work here.
Over the long term, the biggest reason oil prices will probably keep going up is growing demand in countries like China and India and Brazil. I want you to all think about this. In five years, the number of cars on the road in China more than tripled -- just in the last five years. Nearly 10 million cars were added in China in 2010 alone -- 10 million cars in one year in one country. Think about how much oil that requires. And as folks in China and India and Brazil, they aspire to buy a car just like Americans do, those numbers are only going to get bigger.

So what does this mean for us? It means that anybody who tells you that we can drill our way out of this problem doesn’t know what they’re talking about, or just isn’t telling you the truth. (Applause.)

And young people especially understand this, because I think -- it's interesting, when I talk to Malia and Sasha -- you guys are so much more aware than I was of conserving our natural resources and thinking about the planet. The United States consumes more than a fifth of the world’s oil -- more than 20 percent of the world's oil -- just us. We only have 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. We consume 20; we've got 2.

And that means we can’t just rely on fossil fuels from the last century. We can’t just allow ourselves to be held hostage to the ups and downs of the world oil market. We've got to keep developing new sources of energy. We've got to develop new technology that helps us use less energy, and use energy smarter. We've got to rely on American know-how and young engineers right here at the U who are focused on energy. (Applause.) That is our future. And that’s exactly the path that my administration has been trying to take these past three years.

And we’re making progress. That's the good news. In 2010, our dependence on foreign oil was under 50 percent for the first time in over a decade. We were less reliant on foreign oil than we had been. In 2011, the United States relied less on foreign oil than in any of the last 16 years. That's the good news. And because of the investments we’ve made, the use of clean, renewable energy in this country has nearly doubled -– and thousands of American jobs have been created as a consequence.

We’re taking every possible action to develop, safely, a near hundred-year supply of natural gas in this country -- something that experts believe will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. We supported the first new nuclear power plant in three decades. Our cooperation with the private sector has positioned this country to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries that will power the next generation of American cars -- that use less oil; maybe don't use any oil at all.

And after three decades of inaction, we put in place the toughest fuel economy standards in history for our cars and pickup trucks -– and the first standards ever for heavy-duty trucks. And because we did this, our cars will average nearly 55 miles per gallon by the middle of the next decade. That's nearly double what they get today. (Applause.)

Now, I remember what it was like being a student. You guys probably have one of those old beaters. Who knows what kind of mileage you guys get. (Laughter.) I can tell you some stories about the cars I had. I bought one for $500. (Applause.) But by the middle of the next decade, you guys are going to be buying some new cars -- hopefully sooner than that. And that means you’ll be able to fill up your car every two weeks instead of every week -– something that, over time, will save the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump.

And it means this country will reduce our oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day. That's not only good for your pocketbook, that's good for the environment. (Applause.)

All right, but here's the thing -- we've got to do more. We've got to act even faster. We have to keep investing in the development of every available source of American-made energy. And this is a question of where our priorities are. This is a choice that we face.

First of all, while there are no silver bullets short term when it comes to gas prices -- and anybody who says otherwise isn't telling the truth -- I have directed my administration to look for every single area where we can make an impact and help consumers in the months ahead, from permitting to delivery bottlenecks to what’s going on in the oil markets. We're going to look at every single aspect of gas prices, because we know the burden that it's putting on consumers. And we will keep taking as many steps as we can in the coming weeks.

That's short term. But over the long term, an all-of-the-above energy strategy requires us having the right priorities. We've got to have the right incentives in place. I'll give you an example. Right now, $4 billion of your tax dollars subsidize the oil industry every year -- $4 billion. They don't need a subsidy. They're making near-record profits. These are the same oil companies that have been making record profits off the money you spend at the pump for several years now. How do they deserve another $4 billion from taxpayers and subsidies?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Preach it, Mr. President! (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: It’s outrageous. It’s inexcusable. (Applause.) And every politician who’s been fighting to keep those subsidies in place should explain to the American people why the oil industry needs more of their money -- especially at a time like this. (Applause.)

I said this at the State of the Union -- a century of subsidies to the oil companies is long enough. (Applause.) It’s time to end taxpayer giveaways to an industry that has never been more profitable; double down on clean energy industries that have never been more promising -- that's what we need to do. (Applause.) This Congress needs to renew the clean energy tax credits that will lead to more jobs and less dependence on foreign oil.

The potential of a sustained, all-of-the-above energy strategy is all around us. Here in Miami, 2008, Miami became the first major American city to power its city hall entirely with solar and renewable energy. Right here in Miami. (Applause.) The modernization of your power grid so that it wastes less energy is one of the largest projects of its kind in the country. On a typical day, the wind turbine at the Miami-Dade Museum can meet about 10 percent of the energy needs in a South Florida home, and the largest wind producer in the country is over at Juno Beach. Right here at this university, your work is helping manufacturers save millions of dollars in energy bills by making their facilities more energy efficient. (Applause.)

So a lot of work is already being done right here, just in this area. And the role of the federal government isn’t to supplant this work, take over this work, direct this research. It is to support these discoveries. Our job is to help outstanding work that’s being done in universities, in labs, and to help businesses get new energy ideas off the ground -- because it was public dollars, public research dollars, that over the years helped develop the technologies that companies are right now using to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock.

The payoff on these public investments, they don’t always come right away, and some technologies don’t pan out, and some companies will fail. But as long as I’m President, I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. Your future is too important. I will not -- (applause) -- I will not cede, I will not give up, I will not cede the wind or the solar or the battery industry to China or Germany because some politicians in Washington have refused to make the same commitment here in America.

With or without this Congress, I will continue to do whatever I can to develop every source of American energy so our future isn’t controlled by events on the other side of the world. (Applause.)

Today we’re taking a step that will make it easier for companies to save money by investing in energy solutions that have been proven here in the University of Miami -- new lighting systems, advanced heating and cooling systems that can lower a company's energy bills and make them more competitive.

We’re launching a program that will bring together the nation’s best scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs to figure out how more cars can be powered by natural gas, a fuel that’s cleaner and cheaper and more abundant than oil. We’ve got more of that. We don’t have to import it. We may be exporting it soon.

We’re making new investments in the development of gasoline and diesel and jet fuel that’s actually made from a plant-like substance -- algae. You’ve got a bunch of algae out here, right? (Laughter.) If we can figure out how to make energy out of that, we’ll be doing all right.

Believe it or not, we could replace up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with this fuel that we can grow right here in the United States. And that means greater energy security. That means lower costs. It means more jobs. It means a stronger economy.

Now, none of the steps that I’ve talked about today is going to be a silver bullet. It’s not going to bring down gas prices tomorrow. Remember, if anybody says they got a plan for that -- what?

AUDIENCE: They're lying.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m just saying. (Applause.) We’re not going to, overnight, solve the problem of world oil markets. There is no silver bullet. There never has been.

And part of the problem is, is when politicians pretend that there is, then we put off making the tough choices to develop new energy sources and become more energy efficient. We got to stop doing that. We don't have the luxury of pretending. We got to look at the facts, look at the science, figure out what we need to do.

We may not have a silver bullet, but we do have in this country limitless sources of energy, a boundless supply of ingenuity, huge imagination, amazing young people like you -- (applause) -- all of which can put -- all of which we can put to work to develop this new energy source.

Now, it’s the easiest thing in the world to make phony election-year promises about lower gas prices. What’s harder is to make a serious, sustained commitment to tackle a problem. (Applause.) And it won’t be solved in one year; it won’t be solved in one term; it may not be completely solved in one decade. But that’s the kind of commitment we need right now. That’s what this moment requires.

So I need all of you to keep at it. I need you guys to work hard. I need you guys to dream big. I need those of you who are a lot smarter than me to figure out how we’re going to be able to tap into new energy sources. We’ve got to summon the spirit of optimism and that willingness to tackle tough problems that led previous generations to meet the challenges of their times -– to power a nation from coast to coast, to send a man to the moon, to connect an entire world with our own science and our own imagination.

That’s what America is capable of. That's what this country is about. And that history teaches us that whatever our challenges -– all of them -– whatever, whatever we face, we always have the power to solve them.

This is going to be one of the major challenges for your generation. Solving it is going to take time; it’s going to take effort. It’s going to require our brightest scientists, our most creative companies. But it’s going to also require all of us as citizens -- Democrats, Republicans, everybody in between –- all of us are going to have to do our part.

If we do, the solution is within our reach. And I know we can do it. We have done it before. And when we do, we will remind the world once again just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest country on Earth. (Applause.)

Thank you, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)


President Obama Speaks at the National Museum of African American History and Culture Groundbreaking (Video/Transcript)


THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Please, have a seat. Thank you very much. Well, good morning, everybody.

AUDIENCE: Good morning.

THE PRESIDENT: I want to thank France for that introduction and for her leadership at the Smithsonian. I want to thank everybody who helped to make this day happen. I want to thank Laura Bush; Secretary Salazar; Sam Brownback; my hero, Congressman John Lewis; Wayne Clough, and everybody who's worked so hard to make this possible.

I am so proud of Lonnie Bunch, who came here from Chicago, I want to point out. (Laughter and applause.) I remember having a conversation with him about this job when he was planning to embark on this extraordinary journey. And we could not be prouder of the work that he has done to help make this day possible.

I promise to do my part by being brief.

As others have mentioned, this day has been a long time coming. The idea for a museum dedicated to African Americans was first put forward by black veterans of the Civil War. And years later, the call was picked up by members of the civil rights generation -– by men and women who knew how to fight for what was right and strive for what is just. This is their day. This is your day. It’s an honor to be here to see the fruit of your labor.

It’s also fitting that this museum has found a home on the National Mall. As has been mentioned, it was on this ground long ago that lives were once traded, where hundreds of thousands once marched for jobs and for freedom. It was here that the pillars of our democracy were built, often by black hands. And it is on this spot –- alongside the monuments to those who gave birth to this nation, and those who worked so hard to perfect it –- that generations will remember the sometimes difficult, often inspirational, but always central role that African Americans have played in the life of our country.

This museum will celebrate that history. Because just as the memories of our earliest days have been confined to dusty letters and faded pictures, the time will come when few people remember drinking from a colored water fountain, or boarding a segregated bus, or hearing in person Dr. King's voice boom down from the Lincoln Memorial. That’s why what we build here won't just be an achievement for our time, it will be a monument for all time. It will do more than simply keep those memories alive.

Just like the Air and Space Museum challenges us to set our sights higher, or the Natural History Museum encourages us to look closer, or the Holocaust Museum calls us to fight persecution wherever we find it, this museum should inspire us as well. It should stand as proof that the most important things in life rarely come quickly or easily. It should remind us that although we have yet to reach the mountaintop, we cannot stop climbing.

And that’s why, in moments like this, I think about Malia and Sasha. I think about my daughters and I think about your children, the millions of visitors who will stand where we stand long after we're gone. And I think about what I want them to experience. I think about what I want them to take away.

When our children look at Harriet Tubman Shaw or Nat Turner's bible or the plane flown by Tuskegee Airmen, I don’t want them to be seen as figures somehow larger than life. I want them to see how ordinary Americans could do extraordinary things; how men and women just like them had the courage and determination to right a wrong, to make it right.

I want my daughters to see the shackles that bound slaves on their voyage across the ocean and the shards of glass that flew from the 16th Street Baptist church, and understand that injustice and evil exist in the world. But I also want them to hear Louis Armstrong’s horn and learn about the Negro League and read the poems of Phyllis Wheatley. And I want them to appreciate this museum not just as a record of tragedy, but as a celebration of life.

When future generations hear these songs of pain and progress and struggle and sacrifice, I hope they will not think of them as somehow separate from the larger American story. I want them to see it as central -- an important part of our shared story. A call to see ourselves in one another. A call to remember that each of us is made in God’s image. That’s the history we will preserve within these walls. The history of a people who, in the words of Dr. King, “injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.”

May we remember their stories. May we live up to their example. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

The contemporary Republican party.

Who is most likely to be the Republican Vice-president no matter who will be elected during the primary this year. Despite the wrangling right now, one thing seems to be certain,  McDonnell as the Republican Vice-president.
 If you still have doubts about who the new emerging Republican party is, read the thesis written by McDonnell for Regent University in 1989, when he was already a married man of 34 years old.

In this these he states:
"The family as an institution existed antecedent to civil government, and hence is not subject to being defined by it. It is in the law of Nature of the created Order that the Creator instituted marriage and family in Eden, where He ordained that “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Family arises out of this divinely-created covenant of marriage between a man and woman, the terms of which can neither be originally set nor subsequently altered by the parties or the state." (pg. 19)
He adds:
“[W]hen the exercise of liberty takes the shape of pornography, drug abuse, or homosexuality, the government must restrain, punish, and deter” (pg. 26)."
He also blasts efforts to

“redefine family by allowing special rights,” not just for “homosexuals,” but for “single-parent unwed mothers” (pgs. 72-73).
Moreover he writes:
"[E]very totalitarian movement of the twentieth century has tried to destroy the family. The modern American experience can be seen as an ideological battle between the forces of democratic capitalism and socialism, with the latter’s attempt to “substitute the power of the state for the rights, responsibilities, and authority of the family.” (pg. 10)

He adds:
“Once differential tax rates and benefit distributions are accepted in principle, there is but an arbitrary legislative line that inhibits the slide to socialism” (pgs. 46-47).
 I really worry about the liberties in the United States of American, if the contemporary Republican party would be elected!


Does anyone actually care about the people?

Why do politicians always focus on ideological principles instead on the people in their country?

This problem has been standing out again during this campaign season, as clearly seen in the interview between Candy Crowley on State of the Union with the former Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Both were not able to see what this current administration has done after taking office with a mountain of debt. Both kept taking about bringing down this debt that their own President J.W. Bush had run up over his eight years in office! Moreover, their own President J.W. Bush lead the world into a financial crisis etc. In other words, both were riding on their ideological principles but didn't see how the life of ordinary Americans had been affected by this financial crisis created by Republican Party under President J.W. Bush!

Who are these two politicians as well as the rest of the Republican Party trying to fool?

I don’t even know why people even want to support a person like Michele Bachmann? She wasn’t even able to answer Candy Crowley’s question but just regurgitated her memorized stump speech!

However, not only these two politicians but also the current Presidential Candidates like Rick Santorum, who wants to prohibit the use of birth controls, have been trying to confuse and frighten the American people again . On the other hand Rick Santorum  talks about that Democrats are increasing government and its involvement in private lives.

Isn’t this hypocritical?

What is happening in U.S. politics these days?
Does anyone actually care about the people?


President Barack Obama Weekly Address February 18, 2012 (Video/Transcript)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
Everett, Washington
Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hello, everybody.

I’m speaking to you this week from the Boeing Plant in Everett, Washington. Boeing has been in this community for half a century. But it’s what they’re doing here today that has folks really excited; because at this plant they’re building the plane of the future – the Dreamliner. It’s an impressive sight. And, to be honest, part of why I came was to see it up close. But I also came because this is a great example of how we can bring jobs and manufacturing back to America.

You see, the last few decades haven’t been easy for manufacturing in this country. New technology has made businesses more efficient and productive – and that’s good – but it’s also made a lot of jobs obsolete. The result has been painful for a lot of families and communities. Factories where people thought they’d retire have left town. Jobs that provided a decent living have been shipped overseas. And the hard truth is that a lot of those jobs aren’t coming back.

But that doesn’t mean we have to settle for a lesser future. I don’t accept that idea. In America, there’s always something we can do to create new jobs and new manufacturing and new security for the middle-class. In America, we don’t give up, we get up.

Right now, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Over the past 23 months, businesses have created 3.7 million new jobs. And manufacturers are hiring for the first time since the 1990s. It’s now getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive than ever. And companies like Boeing are realizing that even when we can’t make things cheaper than China, we can make things better. That’s how we’re going to compete globally.

For Boeing, business right now is booming. Last year, orders for commercial aircraft rose by more than 50 percent. To meet that rising demand, they’ve put thousands of folks to work all over the country. We want to see more of this. We need to make it as easy as we can for our companies to create more jobs in America, not overseas. And that starts with our tax code.

No company should get a tax break for outsourcing jobs. Instead, tax breaks should go to manufacturers who set up shop here at home. Bigger tax breaks should go to high-tech manufacturers who create the jobs of the future. And if you relocate your company to a struggling community, you should get help financing that new plant, that new equipment, or training for new workers. It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding businesses that create jobs here in America. And Congress should send me that kind of tax reform right away.

Another thing we’re doing is to make it easier for companies like Boeing to sell their products all over the world, because more exports mean more jobs. Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years. And we’re on track to meet that goal – ahead of schedule.

We have a big opportunity right now to build not only an economy that will help us succeed today, but an economy that will help our kids and their kids succeed tomorrow. We know what we need to do. We need to strengthen American manufacturing. We need to invest in American-made energy and new skills for American workers. And above all, we need to renew the values that have always made this country great: Hard work. Fair play. Shared responsibility.

We can do this. Ask the folks in Everett. Right here, a few years ago, the first Dreamliner took off on its maiden trip. Thousands of employees came to watch. One was an executive office administrator named Sharon O’Hara. As Sharon saw that first plane take flight – a result of so much hard work – she got goose bumps. In her words, she said, “We said we would do it and we did.” That’s the story of America. We said we would do it, and we did. That’s the can-do spirit that makes us who we are. We’ve seen challenging times before. But we always emerge from them stronger. And that’s what we’re going to do again today. Thanks, and have a great weekend.


Wondering about the qality of the American Democracy

While many other countries around the world are yearning for democracy and at the same time looking towards the country that has stood for many years as the beacon for democracy, in the United States of American, the Republican Party seems to move away from these democratic principles. Although it currently only affects only a primary in this segment, it shows that the opinion voters seem to be less important these days.

Similarly, Republicans have redrawn district lines in their states to favor a win for the Republican Party in any future election. Moreover, Wisconsin Governor Walker, as did several other Republican Governors throughout United States, eliminated Unions, which traditionally support the Democratic Party. All in the effort to ensure that Republican Party wins upcoming elections like the one in November.

All this makes me wonder, is our democracy really superior as often claimed by our American politicians?


President Barack Obama Weekly Address February 11, 2012 (Video/Transcript)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hello, everybody.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen signs that our economy is growing stronger and creating jobs at a faster clip. While numbers and figures will go up and down in the coming months, what cannot waver is our resolve to do everything in our power to keep stoking the fires of the recovery.

And the last thing we should do is let Washington stand in the way.

You see, at the end of the month, taxes are set to go up on 160 million working Americans. If you’re one of them, then you know better than anyone that the last thing you need right now is a tax hike. But if Congress refuses to act, middle class taxes will go up. It’s that simple.

Now, if this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before. Back in December, Congress faced this exact same predicament. Ultimately, thanks to your voices, they did the right thing – but only after a great deal of bickering and political posturing that put the strength of our economy and the security of middle class families at risk. We can’t go through that again.

Congress needs to stop this middle class tax hike from happening. Period. No drama. No delay. And no ideological side issues that have nothing to do with this tax cut. Now is not the time for self-inflicted wounds to our recovery. Now is the time for common-sense action. And this tax cut is common-sense. If you’re a family making about $50,000 a year, this tax cut amounts to about $1,000 a year. That’s about $40 in every paycheck. I know there are some folks in this town who think $40 isn’t a lot of money. But to a student or a senior who’s trying to stretch the budget a little bit further? To a parent who’s filling up the tank and looking at rising gas prices? To them, $40 can make all the difference in the world.

And so can your voice. I hope you’ll pick up the phone, send a tweet, write an email, and tell your representative that they should get this done before it gets too late. Tell them not to play politics again by linking this debate to unrelated issues. Tell them not to manufacture another needless standoff or crisis. Tell them not to stand in the way of the recovery. Tell them to just do their job. That’s what our middle class needs. That’s what our country needs.

In the wake of the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, we’re getting things going again. And we’re going to keep at it until everyone shares in America’s comeback.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.


Eastwood Super Bowl ad

Although this is a add for Chrysler, it also tell us about what President Barack Obama did was right! Nonetheless Clint Eastwood said, “It was meant to be a message ... just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it.”  
We need to think about the future now. Do we want to go back to the time before  President Barack Obama took office, or do we want to continue on the path towards a fair and equal world, not a world only for the wealthiest. 

President Obama Speaks at White House Science Fair (Video/Transcript)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you, everybody. Everybody have a seat.

Well, welcome to the White House Science Fair. (Applause.) It is -- I just spent some time checking out some of the projects that were brought here today, and I’ve got to say, this is fun. It’s not every day that you have robots running all over your house. (Laughter.) I am trying to figure out how you got through the metal detectors. I also shot a marshmallow through a air gun, which was very exciting. (Laughter.)

Science is what got several of our guests where they are today, so I just want to make a couple of introductions. We’ve got a real-life astronaut and the head of NASA, Charles Bolden, in the house. (Applause.) We have the Administrator of the EPA, Lisa Jackson is here. (Applause.) The Director of the National Science Foundation Subra Suresh is here. (Applause.) My science -- there’s Subra, over here -- my science advisor, John Holdren, is in the house. (Applause.) We’ve got a couple of people who’ve dedicated themselves to making science cool for young people. We’ve got Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye the Science Guy. (Applause.)

Now, it is fitting that this year’s fair is happening just two days after the Super Bowl. I want to congratulate the New York Giants and all their fans. (Applause.) I just talked to Coach Coughlin; I’m looking forward to having the Giants here at the White House so we can celebrate their achievements. But what I’ve also said -- I’ve said this many times -- is if we are recognizing athletic achievement, then we should also be recognizing academic achievement and science achievement. If we invite the team that wins the Super Bowl to the White House, then we need to invite some science fair winners to the White House as well. (Applause.)

Now I’m going to talk about how great all of you are in a second. But before I do, I want to give the parents a big round of applause because they work hard to help you succeed, and I know this is their day. They’re really proud of you. As a parent, I know that seeing your kids do extraordinary things brings the greatest happiness that a parent can have. So congratulations to all the parents of all these incredible young people. (Applause.)

But parents aren’t the only ones who helped you get this far. Every one of you can think of a teacher, or maybe a couple of teachers, without whom you would not be here. So I want you to promise that the next time you see those teachers, that you give them a big thank you, not just for yourselves but also from me. Because teachers matter. They deserve our support. And I want to make sure that we are constantly lifting up how important teachers are to making sure that not only you succeed, but this country succeeds. So give teachers a big round of applause. (Applause.)

Now, as I was walking around the science fair, I was thinking back to when I was your age. And basically, you guys put me to shame. (Laughter.) What impresses me so much is not just how smart you are, but it’s the fact that you recognize you’ve got a responsibility to use your talents in service of something bigger than yourselves.

Some of you, that means developing new products that will change the way we live. So Hayley Hoverter -- where’s Hayley? There she is, right over here -- invented a new type of sugar packet that dissolves in hot water. It’s flavorless, it’s colorless, and potentially could save up to 2 million pounds of trash each year -- and that’s just at Starbucks. (Laughter.) So MasterCard has already awarded her $10,000 to help turn her idea into a business.

Some of you are here because you saw a problem in your community and you’re trying to do something to solve it. Benjamin Hylak -- where’s Benjamin? There’s Benjamin right here -- was worried that folks at his grandmother’s senior center were getting lonely. So he built a robot with a monitor and a video camera, so it’s like a moving Skype. And it moves around the center, and it allows seniors to talk to their kids and their grandkids, even when they can’t visit in person. So inventions like Benjamin’s could make life better for millions of families.

For some of you, the journey you took to get here is just as inspiring as the work that you brought with you today. There’s a rocketry team from Presidio, Texas -- where’s my team here? Where are you? Stand up, guys. Stand up. This is part of the fourth-poorest school district in the state of Texas. And I was told that teachers cooked food to sell after church, supporters drove 200 miles to pick up donuts for bake sales, they even raffled off a goat -- (laughter) -- is that right? Just so they could raise enough money for the rocketry team to compete. And the majority of the kids at the school are ESL, English as a second language. And the presentation they made could not make you prouder. So way to go. (Applause.)

There’s a group of young engineers from Paul Robeson-Malcolm X Academy. And nobody needs to tell them the kinds of challenges that Detroit still faces. Where’s my team from Detroit? In the house -- there they are. Stand up. (Applause.) They believe in their city, and they’re coming up with new ideas to keep Detroit’s comeback going.

And there’s Samantha Garvey -- where’s Samantha? Just saw Samantha. There she is. Stand up, Samantha. (Applause.) Samantha spent years studying mussel populations in the Long Island Sound. And when she learned that she was a semifinalist for the Intel Science Talent Search, when she found this out her family was living in a homeless shelter. So think about what she’s overcome. She wants to, by the way, work maybe for NOAA or EPA. So this is Dr. Lubchenco, she’s the head of NOAA. (Laughter.) Lisa Jackson, right there, head of EPA. (Laughter.) You might just want to hook up with them before you leave. (Laughter and applause.)

The young people I met today, the young people behind me -- you guys inspire me. It’s young people like you that make me so confident that America’s best days are still to come. When you work and study and excel at what you’re doing in math and science, when you compete in something like this, you’re not just trying to win a prize today. You’re getting America in shape to win the future. You’re making sure we have the best, smartest, most skilled workers in the world, so that the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root right here. You’re making sure we’ll always be home to the most creative entrepreneurs, the most advanced science labs and universities. You’re making sure America will win the race to the future.

So as an American, I’m proud of you. As your President, I think we need to make sure your success stories are happening all across our country.

And that’s why when I took office, I called for an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, math, technology and engineering. Let’s train more teachers. Let’s get more kids studying these subjects. Let’s make sure these fields get the respect and attention that they deserve.

But it’s not just a government effort. I’m happy to say that the private sector has answered that call as well. They understand how important it is to their future. So today, led by the Carnegie Corporation, a group of businesses and foundations is announcing a $22 million fund to help train 100,000 new science and math teachers. A coalition of more than 100 CEOs is expanding innovative math and science programs to 130 sites across the country. And other companies are partnering from -- everybody from to Dean Kamen -- to make sure we celebrate young scientists and inventors and engineers, not just at the White House, but in every city and every town all across America.

And many of these leaders are here today, and I want to thank them for doing their part. We’re going to do everything we can to partner to help you succeed in your projects. And I’m proud to announce that the budget I unveil next week will include programs to help prepare new math and science teachers, and to meet an ambitious goal, which is 1 million more American graduates in science, technology, engineering and math over the next 10 years. That is a goal we can achieve. (Applause.) That’s a goal we can achieve.

Now, in a lot of ways, today is a celebration of the new. But the belief that we belong on the cutting edge of innovation -- that’s an idea as old as America itself. I mean, we’re a nation of tinkerers and dreamers and believers in a better tomorrow. You think about our Founding Fathers -- they were all out there doing experiments -- and folks like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, they were constantly curious about the world around them and trying to figure out how can we help shape that environment so that people’s lives are better.

It’s in our DNA. We know that innovation has helped each generation pass down that basic American promise, which is no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you can make it if you try. So there’s nothing more important than keeping that promise alive for the next generation. There’s no priority I have that’s higher than President -- as President than this.

And I can’t think of a better way to spend a morning than with the young people who are here doing their part and creating some unbelievable stuff in the process. So I’m proud of you. I want you to keep up your good work.

I’m going to make a special plea to the press -- not just the folks who are here, but also your editors -- give this some attention. I mean, this is the kind of stuff, what these young people are doing, that’s going to make a bigger difference in the life of our country over the long term than just about anything. And it doesn’t belong just on the back pages of a newspaper; we’ve got to lift this up. We’ve got to emphasize how important this is and recognize these incredible young people who are doing things that I couldn’t even imagine thinking about at 5th grade or 8th grade or in high school.

And so pay attention to this. This is important. This is what’s going to make a difference in this country over the long haul. This is what inspires me and gets me up every day. This is what we should be focusing on in our public debates.

And as for all the folks who are here, don’t let your robots wander off anywhere. (Laughter.) All right?

Thank you, everybody. Appreciate it. Congratulations. (Applause.)


Zakaria: It's a new world, Mitt

What politician do to try to change your mind about the current President Barack Obama. 
However, if you make an argument,  know your facts!
 Fareed Zakaria clarifies Mitt Romney's mistake.
Watch it!


Do Politicians care about poverty?

The US Census declared that in 2010 15.1% of the general population lived in poverty
9.9% of all non-Hispanic white persons
12.1% of all Asian persons
26.6% of all Hispanic persons (of any race)
27.4% of all black persons

The US Census declared that in 2010 15.1% of the general population lived in poverty:
22% of all people under age 18
13.7% of all people 19-64, and
9% of all people ages 65 and older

However, there are some politicians like Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney who affirm that the Democratic run government has created  this poverty, as they are encouraging “handouts” like food stamps and healthcare benefits for all. All three politicians are millionaires and pay fewer taxes than any middle class citizen. Well, neither Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum nor Mitt Romney have every experienced what is means to be poor and I hope they never will especially if they had to live under their own proposals.

President Barack Obama Weekly Address February 4, 2012 (Video/Transcript)

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
Saturday, February 4, 2012

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been traveling around the country and talking with folks about my blueprint for an economy built to last. It’s a blueprint that focuses on restoring the things we’ve always done best. Our strengths. American manufacturing. American energy. The skills and education of American workers.

And most importantly, American values like fairness and responsibility.

We know what happened when we strayed from those values over the past decade – especially when it comes to our housing market.

Lenders sold loans to families who couldn’t afford them. Banks packaged those mortgages up and traded them for phony profits. It drove up prices and created an unsustainable bubble that burst – and left millions of families who did everything right in a world of hurt.

It was wrong. The housing crisis has been the single biggest drag on our recovery from the recession. It has kept millions of families in debt and unable to spend, and it has left hundreds of thousands of construction workers out of a job.

But there’s something even more important at stake. I’ve been saying this is a make-or-break moment for the middle class. And the housing crisis struck right at the heart of what it means to be middle-class in this country: owning a home. Raising our kids. Building our dreams.

Right now, there are more than 10 million homeowners in this country who, because of a decline in home prices that is no fault of their own, owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Now, it is wrong for anyone to suggest that the only option for struggling, responsible homeowners is to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom. I don’t accept that. None of us should.

That’s why we launched a plan a couple years ago that’s helped nearly one million responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages and save an average of $300 on their payments each month. Now, I’ll be the first to admit it didn’t help as many folks as we’d hoped. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying.

That’s why I’m sending Congress a plan that will give every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgages by refinancing at historically low rates. No more red tape. No more endless forms. And a small fee on the largest financial institutions will make sure it doesn’t add a dime to the deficit.

I want to be clear: this plan will not help folks who bought a house they couldn’t afford and then walked away from it. It won’t help folks who bought multiple houses just to turn around and sell them.

What this plan will do is help millions of responsible homeowners who make their payments every month, but who, until now, couldn’t refinance because their home values kept dropping or they got wrapped up in too much red tape.

But here’s the catch. In order to lower mortgage payments for millions of Americans, we need Congress to act. They’re the ones who have to pass this plan. And as anyone who has followed the news in the last six months can tell you, getting Congress to do anything these days is not an easy job.

That’s why I’m going to keep up the pressure on Congress to do the right thing. But I also need your help. I need your voice. I need everyone who agrees with this plan to get on the phone, send an email, tweet, pay a visit, and remind your representatives in Washington who they work for. Tell them to pass this plan. Tell them to help more families keep their homes, and more neighborhoods stay vibrant and whole.

The truth is, it will take time for our housing market to recover. It will take time for our economy to fully bounce back. But there are steps we can take, right now, to move this country forward. That’s what I promise to do as your President, and I hope Members of Congress will join me.

Thank you, and have a great weekend.


Is Mitt Romney concerned about poor people?


The  president campaign's message of the day today?

"I spent my life in the private sector, not quite as successful as this guy, but successful nonetheless."

Take the beltway media scoop on Mitt Romney's campaign for president was this Washington post headline, mitt Romney relying heavily on small group of super rich donors.The post raising the question of the potential political liability of, quote, "Mr. Romney's heavy reliance on a small group of millionaires and billionaires for financial support. " So that's the headline the Romney campaign woke up to this morning, then the appearance with this man. and what is the beltway media takeaway from all of this, the message of the day for the Mitt Romney for president campaign? According to the belt buckle of the beltway,, today's Mitt Romney campaign message was that nobody remembers Mitt Romney saying like a Zillionaire that he wasn' t concerned about poor people.

"I like being able to fire people and provide services to me."

Why kill the Labor Union?

Who's Spending More: Candidates or Super PACs?

Do you want any of these candidates really to be your President? 
If yes, then you must have a lot of money  and must belong to the 1% in the Unites States!
Although,  President Obama has the most money, he at least cares about the 99% , especially the poor.

President Obama Speaks about the Veterans Job Corps

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you! Thank you, guys. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Everybody, please have a seat. Well, good morning, everybody.

AUDIENCE: Good morning!

THE PRESIDENT: Jacob, thank you for that introduction. More importantly, thank you for your extraordinary service to our country.

I want to acknowledge two outstanding members of my Cabinet who are here today -- Secretary of Veterans Affairs Ric Shinseki is in the house, also one of our finest -- (applause) -- himself, one of our finest veterans and obviously an extraordinary leader when he was in our Army. And I also want to acknowledge Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who's in the house. (Applause.)

And we’re joined by another president -- the International Association of Firefighters president, Harold Schaitberger, is here. (Applause.)

Now, this is a fire station that holds some special significance for our country. On September 11th, the firefighters of this house were among the first to respond to the attack on the Pentagon. You guys answered this nation’s call during its hour of need. And in the years that followed, as Americans went to war, some of you answered that call as well.

Today’s 9/11 generation of veterans has already earned a special place in our history. Our veterans -- and all the brave men and women who serve our country -- are the reason why America’s military is the greatest in the history of the world. In the face of great odds and grave danger, they get the job done. They work as a team. They personify the very best that America has to offer.

That’s true on the battlefront. But we’re here today because it's also true on the home front. After a decade of war, our nation needs to do some building right here in the United States of America.

Now, this morning, we received more good news about our economy. In January, American businesses added another 257,000 jobs. The unemployment rate came down because more people found work. And altogether, we’ve added 3.7 million new jobs over the last 23 months.

Now, these numbers will go up and down in the coming months, and there's still far too many Americans who need a job, or need a job that pays better than the one they have now. But the economy is growing stronger. The recovery is speeding up. And we've got to do everything in our power to keep it going.

We can't go back to the policies that led to the recession. And we can't let Washington stand in the way of our recovery. We want Washington to be helping with the recovery, not making it tougher.

The most important thing Congress needs to do right now is to stop taxes from going up on 160 million Americans at the end of this month. They've got to renew the payroll tax cut that they extended only for a couple of months. They need to pass an extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance -- and do it without drama, without delay, without linking it to some ideological side issues. They just need to get it done. It shouldn't be that complicated. Now is not the time for self-inflicted wounds to our economy. Now is the time for action.

So I want to send a clear message to Congress: Do not slow down the recovery that we're on. Don't muck it up. Keep it moving in the right direction. (Applause.)

Beyond preventing a tax hike, we need to do a lot more to create an economy that’s built to last. To restore American manufacturing, we need to stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas; give those tax breaks to companies that are investing in plants and equipment and hiring workers right here in the United States of America. That makes a lot of sense.

To reduce our dependency on foreign oil, we need to stop subsidizing oil companies that are already making record profits, and double down on clean energy, that creates jobs and creates opportunities in new industries but also improves our security, because we're not as dependent on foreign oil.

To make sure our businesses don’t have to move overseas to find skilled workers, we've got to invest in education, and make sure college is affordable for every hardworking American.

And -- this is the reason we're here today -- we need to make sure that as our troops return from battle, they can find a job when they get home. That’s what I want to talk about today. (Applause.)

The war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is moving to a new phase -- we're transitioning to Afghan lead. Over the past decade, nearly 3 million service members have transitioned back to civilian life, and more are joining them every day.

When these men and women come home, they bring unparalleled skills and experience. Folks like Jacob -- they’ve saved lives in some of the toughest conditions imaginable. They’ve managed convoys and moved tons of equipment over dangerous terrain. They’ve tracked millions of dollars of military assets. They've handled pieces of equipment that are worth tens of millions of dollars. They do incredible work. Nobody is more skilled, more precise, more diligent, more disciplined.

Our veterans are some of the most highly trained, highly educated, highly skilled workers that we’ve got. These are Americans that every business should be competing to attract. These are the Americans we want to keep serving here at home as we rebuild this country. So we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that when our troops come home, they come home to new jobs and new opportunities and new ways to serve their country.

Now, this has been a top priority of mine since I came into office. Already, we’ve helped 600,000 veterans and their family members go back to school on the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. We’ve hired over 120,000 veterans to serve in the federal government. We’ve made it easier for veterans to access all sorts of employment services. We’ve set up online tools to connect veterans with job openings that match their skills.

Michelle and Jill Biden have worked with the private sector, with businesses, to secure a pledge of 135,000 jobs for veterans and their families. And with the support of Democrats and Republicans, we’ve put in place two new tax credits for companies that hire veterans.

So these are all important steps. We’ve made progress. But we’ve got to do more. There’s more we can do.

In my State of the Union address, I proposed a new initiative, called the Veterans Jobs Corps, to put veterans back to work protecting and rebuilding America. And today, we’re laying out the details of this proposal.

First, we want to help communities hire more veterans as cops and firefighters. You guys have seen what a great job Jacob is doing. Well, there are a whole bunch of folks like that who could be doing that same outstanding work all across the country. But it’s not that easy these days to get a job at a firehouse.

Over the past few years, tight budgets have forced a lot of states, a lot of local communities to lay off a lot of first responders. Now, my administration -- when I first came into office, one of the first things we did was, through the Recovery Act, make sure that states and local governments helped -- or got the help that they needed to prevent some of these layoffs. And thousands of jobs were saved all across the country.

Harold and I were talking as we came over here -- thousands of firefighter jobs were saved because of the actions we took. But budgets are still tight, and that’s a problem we need to fix. Jobs that protect our families and our communities shouldn’t be the first on the chopping block. They should be one of our highest priorities as a nation.

Over the past three years, my administration has made it possible for states to keep thousands of first responders on the job. But today, we’re announcing that communities who make it a priority to recruit veterans will be among the first in line when it comes to getting help from the federal government.

And I know that’s one of the things, Chief, that you’ve been doing here in Arlington.

So we want to prioritize veterans and we want to help states and local communities hire veterans to firehouses and police stations all across the country.

The second thing we want to do is to connect up to 20,000 veterans with jobs that involve rebuilding local communities or national parks. That’s why Ken Salazar is here as the Interior Secretary. He needs some help. And our veterans are highly qualified to help him. They’ve already risked their lives defending America. They should have the opportunity to rebuild America. We’ve got roads and bridges in and around our national parks in need of repair. Let’s fix them.

Of course, Congress needs to fund these projects. Congress should take the money that we’re no longer spending on war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building here at home, to improve the quality of life right here in the United States of America -- (applause) -- and put our veterans to work. (Applause.)

So let’s get more cops on the beat. Let’s gets more rangers in the parks. Let’s get more firefighters on call. And, in the process, we’re going to put more veterans back to work. It’s good for our communities, it’s good for our economy, and it’s good for our country.

And for veterans who want to do something else -- maybe put their leadership skills to use starting a small business -- we’re going to start offering entrepreneurial training to our veterans. We want service members prepared for battle -- and for professional success when they come home. So we should do all that we can to support our troops and our veterans -- in helping them start a business, in helping them get a foothold in a fire station like this one, and start moving up the ranks, doing outstanding work the way Jacob has been doing.

But we also need to follow their lead. We want to help them, but we should also learn from them. We should remember from our veterans that no matter what the circumstances, those men and women in uniform -- a lot like the firefighters in this fire station -- work together. Act as a team. Finish the job. That’s what we've got to do when it comes to our nation's recovery.

These are challenging times for America, but we’ve faced challenging times before. On the grounds here you've got a stone from the Pentagon and a beam from the World Trade Center. And that reminds us of our resolve as a people. They remind us that when we come together as one people and as one community, one nation, then we prevail. That’s who we are.

This is a nation that exists because generations of Americans worked together to build it. This is a nation where, out of many, we come together as one. Those are the values that every veteran understands. Those are values that this fire station understands. We've got to make sure that we return to those values. And if we do, then I guarantee you we'll remind everybody around the world just why it is the United States is the greatest country on Earth.

Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)

President Obama Announces the 2012 Launch of African Americans for Obama