Tuesday, 06 December 2011
THE PRESIDENT: Well, let me begin by just thanking Jack and Phyllis -- and their adorable grandchildren. (Laughter.) And their children -- I don't want to skip over a generation. (Laughter.) But the grandchildren are really my buddies. This guy says he's going to be a future president. (Laughter.) So I'm just kind of warming up the seat for him. (Laughter.)
But in addition to the Rosens, I want to make sure that everybody had a chance to say hello to somebody who has been a dear friend and is an outstanding DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. (Applause.)
I'm going to keep my remarks very brief at the top, because what I want to do is spend as much time in dialogue and answering questions as possible.
When I came into office, we knew that this was going to be an extraordinary time in the life of the country, and in the world. I don't think any of us realized what an extraordinary transformation would be taking place over these last several years. They've been tough years. They've been tough years for the American people. They've been tough for the world. And we're not out of the woods yet. But I begin any meeting like this by saying that we should remind ourselves how much we've accomplished over the last three years.
When we came into office, the economy was contracting at 9 percent. It has grown over the last 3 years -- not as fast as we'd like, but we have been able to sustain a fairly steady pace of growth. When I came into office, we had lost 4 million jobs before I was sworn in, and 4 million jobs in the three months after I was sworn in. About six months later, we were creating jobs, and we've had private sector job growth for 20 consecutive months.
Along the way, in addition to preventing a financial meltdown and preventing a second Great Depression, we were able to pass a historic health care bill that's going to make sure that 30 million people have coverage. We were able to pass a Wall Street reform package that, although some folks in New York are still grousing about it -- (laughter) -- is going to ensure that we do not have the same kinds of crisis that we had in the past. We were able to make sure that we ended the war in Iraq, as promised, and by the end of this year we're going to have all of our troops out, which is going to be an extraordinary homecoming for families all across America. Thanks to the great work of folks like Debbie, we were able to end practices like "don’t ask, don't tell," make sure that we expanded college loans for millions of students all across the country.
Wednesday, 30 November 2011
President Barack Obama is heading to Scranton, Pennsylvania, for the first time since taking office to press Congress on extending a payroll tax cut for workers and shore up support from a key electoral constituency.
From Scranton, Obama flies to New York, where his first fundraiser tonight will be at the home of American Jewish Congress chairman and member of the executive committee of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Jack Rosen. About 30 people are expected to attend and ticket prices start at $10,000 each, according to a Democratic Party official who wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the matter. Rosen is also the chairman of the American Council for World Jewry, a Jewish advocacy group.
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Jack Rosen, Chairman of the American Council for World Jewry, today issued the following statement upon the release of the latest IAEA report:
"Today's report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is just the latest reminder that the clock is ticking and approaching midnight. Iran has succeeded in getting this close to actual possession of weapons of mass destruction through a policy of lies, distortions, delay tactics and perseverance over those who prefer to engage in wishful thinking rather than dealing with the harsh facts. For more than 30 years, the West has deluded itself into believing Iran is on the verge of reform, that some of its clerical leaders could be trusted, that if only we engaged Tehran by speaking softly with a gentle message, they would reciprocate. The time for magical thinking is over. Western governments must wake up to the imminent security risk that mullahs with nukes threatens to turn not just the Middle East, but the entire globe toward a nuclear nightmare. President Obama promised this would not happen on his watch, and I pray he will follow through on that pledge."
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