Politics September 30, 2014: Netanyahu in powerful UN address equates ISIS with Hamas, Iran greatest threat

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

Netanyahu in powerful UN address equates ISIS with Hamas, Iran greatest threat

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 30, 2014, 7:10 PM MST

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers his 2014 address to the UN General Assembly, Sept. 29, 2014

Play
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers his 2014 address to the UN General Assembly, Sept. 29, 2014
PMO Israel
Advertisements

Politics September 29, 2014: Obama on 60 Minutes acknowledges administration underestimated ISIS threat

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

Obama on 60 Minutes acknowledges administration underestimated ISIS threat

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 29, 2014, 11:55 AM MST

President Barack Obama admitted that his administration underestimated ISIS threat during his interview on CBS News' 60 Minutes, Sept. 28, 2014
President Barack Obama admitted that his administration underestimated ISIS threat during his interview on CBS News’ 60 Minutes, Sept. 28, 2014
Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Politics September 28, 2014: Boehner wants Congress to vote on ground troops in war against ISIS

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

Boehner wants Congress to vote on ground troops in war against ISIS 

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 28, 2014, 8:51 PM MST

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News' This Week Speaker of the House John Boehner admitted US ground troops are necessary in the fight against ISIS, Sept. 28, 2014
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’ This Week Speaker of the House John Boehner admitted US ground troops are necessary for the fight against ISIS, Sept. 28, 2014
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Politics September 24, 2014: In UN speech Obama issues call to destroy ISIS the “cancer of violent extremism”

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

In UN speech Obama issues call to destroy ISIS the “cancer of violent extremism”

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 24, 2014, 4:09 PM MST

President Barack Obama delivers an address at the UN General Assembly focusing on the fight against ISIS, Sept. 24, 2014

Play
President Barack Obama delivers an address at the UN General Assembly focusing on the fight against ISIS, Sept. 24, 2014
Andrew Burton/Getty Images / The White House

 

Politics September 23, 2014: Obama readies for UN General Assembly speech uniting coalition for ISIS fight

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

Obama readies for UN General Assembly speech uniting coalition for ISIS fight 

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 23, 2014, 12:51 PM MST

President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations Climate Summit on Sept. 23, 2014, a day before he delivers a speech to the General Assembly rallying for a coalition to fight ISIS

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

President Barack Obama is preparing his speech on Sept. 24, 2014 to the United Nations General Assembly in New York about uniting allies in the coalition to fight ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The president is also lining up meetings this week with leaders of Middle East countries including Iraq, Egypt and Israel.

President Obama is scheduled to deliver two speeches at the UN this week on Tuesday, Sept. 23, he speaks of climate change at the UN Climate Summit, then on Wednesday, Sept. 24, Obama will try to rally world leaders to join a coalition and fight against the terrorist organization at the General Assembly. The State Department has said that over 55 nations have pledged to participate in the coalition against ISIS, with 40 already involved at different levels of participation.

Obama will also convince the UN to agree on a resolution that “will increase the obligations on states to try to prevent and deter the flow of foreign fighters.” National Security Adviser Susan Rice described the goal of the resolution on Friday, Sept. 19, saying, “It will move the ball down the field in terms of the international legal architecture and obligations on states to try to combat this challenge.” As the Hill noted the resolution will serve as an endorsement of the president’s plan for ISIS similar to Congress’ authorization to train and arm Syrian rebels. The administration believes the president might be able to secure a unanimous vote on the resolution in the UN Security Council Meeting he is chairing this week.

Obama will also meet this week with the new president of Iraq Haider al-Abadi, and also the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Then on Oct. 1, Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, after Netanyahu came to address the UN on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden made the announcement about the meeting on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.

White House Press Secretary Josh Ernest commented at the daily press briefing on Friday, Sept 19 about the president’s plans for the general assembly, “The thing that I would do is try to convey to you that this is part of an ongoing effort. We’re going to have conversations prior to the United Nations General Assembly meeting with our Arab partners that have signaled a willingness to join this coalition.”

Continuing Ernst elaborated on the planned meetings; “We will have conversations during the United Nations General Assembly meetings with our Arab partners who are ready to contribute to this coalition. And we’ll continue to have meetings after the U.N. General Assembly meetings.”

While Obama will be convincing the Arab leaders to join the coalition against ISIS, Netanyahu will be trying to convince Obama not to include Iran in the battle. Netanyahu believes that Iran is the greater threat to the Middle East with their nuclear capability than ISIS. He wants to persuade Obama that a tentative agreement over Iran’s nuclear program should not include leniencies on sanctions in exchanged for their involvement combating ISIS, as it has been rumored.

President Obama military outlined his plan to “degrade and destroy” the terror organization in his speech to the nation on Wednesday evening, Sept. 10, 2014. Since then he has subsequently clarified his plan would not include American soldiers fighting ISIS on the ground. The president has also dedicated his weekly addresses for the past two weeks; “We Will Degrade and Destroy ISIL” and “The World Is United in the Fight Against ISIL” on his military plan, Congress’ authorization, and a global coalition. Obama will reiterate his message from Saturday, Sept. 20 at the UN; “We’ll lead a broad coalition of nations who have a stake in this fight. This isn’t America vs. ISIL. This is the people of that region vs. ISIL. It’s the world vs. ISIL.”

RELATED LINKS

Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.

Politics September 22, 2014: Obama continues promise to help America’s youth realize their dreams

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

Obama continues promise to help America’s youth realize their dreams

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 22, 2014, 4:39 PM MST

President Barack Obama signs the America's Promise Summit Declaration at a White House event, September 22, 2014

President Barack Obama signs the America’s Promise Summit Declaration at a White House event, September 22, 2014

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Barack Obama continued a presidential tradition on Monday afternoon, September 22, 2014, by signing America’s Promise Summit Declaration at the Oval Office in the White House. The signing was a bipartisan affair with Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served under George W. Bush in attendance. Powell was the founder of the organization, while his wife Alma presently serves as the chair of America’s Promise Summit Alliance also attended the event.

Obama’s six predecessors have all signed the declaration which aims at providing youth with “healthy starts and healthy futures; effective education that builds marketable skills; and ultimately, opportunities to serve others.” The initiative had its inaugural summit in 1997and was attended and the declaration signed by then-President Bill Clinton and former presidents George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, and Nancy Reagan, who signed on ailing President Ronald Reagan’s behalf.

In his short remarks, President Obama discussed the main purpose of the declaration, saying “The concept is simple — that our greatest asset is our children. And it is absolutely critical for us as a nation to continually find ways in which we can make sure that they are safe; that they are getting the kind of education they need to succeed in the 21st century; that they’re healthy; that they are on the track not only to be successful but also to be good citizens.”

Obama listed the other initiatives his administration he is doing to help America’s youth. Among the inititatives include, Race to the Top, initiatives through the Department of Education including college affordability, job training, emphasizing STEM subjects, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and career skills in the high school curriculum, and My Brother’s Keeper, a program aiming at helping black youth. Obama expressed those programs are “making sure that every young person in America gets a chance at success.”

Among those also watching President Obama sign the declaration were “Gregg Petersmeyer, the Vice-Chair of the organization, John Gomperts who serves as the President and CEO, Laysha Ward, President of Community Relations and the Target Foundation, Former Senator Harris Wofford, Kathy Payne, the Director of Education Leadership at State Farm, and Deon Jones, who works as the Special Project Assistant to the President for ‘Be the Change.’”

President Barack Obama praised; “The companies and organizations and non-for-profits that are represented behind me, under Alma’s leadership, have contributed in so many ways.” The president also commended the other organizations that participate in the program. Obama expressed; “But this is just a small sampling of the hundreds of organizations around the country that are doing great work every single day and are learning from each other, and creating a network of concern and nurturing for our children in every walk of life.”

President Obama and his administration have been involved with the alliance since 2010, when Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan launched the GradNation campaign aimed at boosting high school graduation rates by 2020 to 90 percent, with each high school graduating 80 percent of their students.

RELATED LINKS

Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.

Politics September 18, 2014: Weekly jobless claims drops, Congress recesses, unemployment extension ignored

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

Weekly jobless claims drops, Congress recesses, unemployment extension ignored

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 18, 2014, 10:17 PM MST

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is keeping interest rates low as long as the unemployment situation remains troublesome depite weekly claims dropping, Sept. 18, 2014
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is keeping interest rates low as long as the unemployment situation remains troublesome despite weekly claims dropping, Sept. 18, 2014
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Politics September 17, 2014: House passes spending bill and authorization to train and arm Syrian rebels

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

House passes spending bill and authorization to train and arm Syrian rebels

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 17, 2014, 11:09 PM MST

The House of Representative passed a bipartisan continuing appropriations resolution funding the government and an ammendment to arm and train Syrian rebels, Sept. 17, 2014
The House of Representative passed a bipartisan continuing appropriations resolution funding the government and an amendment to arm and train Syrian rebels, Sept. 17, 2014
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Politics September 7, 2014: Biden campaigns for Democrats on the economy helping the middle class in address

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

Biden campaigns for Democrats on the economy helping the middle class in address

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 7, 2014, 9:52 AM MST

Vice President Joe Biden delivers the weekly address "Time to Give the Middle Class a Chance," Sept. 6, 2014

Play
Vice President Joe Biden delivers the weekly address “Time to Give the Middle Class a Chance,” Sept. 6, 2014
The White House

Politics September 6, 2014: Obama will not take executive action on immigration until after midterms

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

Obama will not take executive action on immigration until after midterms 

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 6, 2014, 7:35 PM MST

Presidemnt Barack Obama has decided to delay executive action on immigration reform until after the midterm elections to help the Democrats, Sept. 6, 2014
President Barack Obama has decided to delay executive action on immigration reform until after the midterm elections to help the Democrats, Sept. 6, 2014
Peter Macdiarmid – WPA Pool /Getty Images

Politics September 5, 2014: August jobs report shows unemployment benefits extension still necessary

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

August jobs report shows unemployment benefits extension still necessary

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 5, 2014, 2:39 PM MST

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised to put the unemployment benefits extension bill to a vote the August jobs report might convince him to put to a vote before the midterm elections campaign break, Sept. 5, 2014
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised to put the unemployment benefits extension bill to a vote the August jobs report might convince him to put to the vote before the midterm elections campaign break, Sept. 5, 2014
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Politics September 4, 2014: Damage control for Obama, Biden’s tough response on ISIS as Congress plans war

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

Damage control for Obama, Biden’s tough response to ISIS as Congress plans war

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 4, 2014, 8:37 PM MST

President Barack Obama delivered a statement on the murder of American journalist Steven Sotloff and described his course of action on ISIS, Sept. 3, 2014

Play
President Barack Obama delivered a statement on the murder of American journalist Steven Sotloff and described his course of action on ISIS, Sept. 3, 2014
Christopher Jones – WPA Pool/Getty Images / The White House

Politics September 3, 2014: Obama’s Labor Day campaign to raise the minimum wage in Democrats midterm push

EXAMINER ARTICLES

Examiner_Articles

POLITICS

Obama’s Labor Day campaign to raise the minimum wage in Democrats midterm push

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 3, 2014, 8:06 PM MST

Play

Obama delivers a campaign styled speech on the economy at 55th Laborfest at the Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Labor Day, Sept. 1, 2014

Tom Lynn/Getty Images / White House

President Barack Obama spent the whole Labor Day weekend renewing his push to raise the minimum wage across the country. First in President Obama did this with his weekly address released on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2014 and then delivering a speech on the economy on Monday, Sept. 1, 2014 at the55th Laborfest at the Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In both, his speech and weekly address the president touted the improving and recovering economy while kicking off the midterm election campaign period appealing for votes for Congressional Democrats.

Tom Lynn/Getty Images

The president’s speech and address echoed many elements of his recent speeches on the economy and speeches earlier this year on his economic opportunity program. Still, most of the media covering his speech noted that Obama was in campaign mode, attacking the GOP more than usual and fighting for the Democrats inCongress and their bid to retain control of the Senate. Obama’s speech in Milwaukee was complete with a shout out to vote for the Democrats in the midterms, slyly stating; “And if I cared about these things, I’d also want more Democrats looking out for me. I’m just saying.”

President Obama began his Labor Day weekend and economic push with the release of his weekly address entitled; “This Labor Day, Let’s Talk About the Minimum Wage.” In his address, Obama noted that the streak of economic growth, saying; “Over the past 53 months, our businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs.” President Obama again emphasized the job creation data from the July jobs report; “Last month, for the first time since 1997, we created more than 200,000 jobs for six straight months. And for the first time in over a decade, business leaders worldwide have declared, two years running, that the number one place to invest isn’t China – it’s America.” While in his speech at the Laborfest President Obama pointed that the economy is, in fact, better than when he campaigned at the same event in 2008. Obama indicated, “I want everybody to understand – because you wouldn’t always know it from watching the news – by almost every measure the American economy and American workers are better off than when I took office.”

Despite the recovering economy, President Obama sees an area that could help the economy improve and the plight of lower income Americans in their dream to reach the middle class, raising the minimum wage. The policy push is fitting for Labor Day weekend, raising the minimum wage is a classic battle to improve a lot of the average worker. Obama explained this rational, “Raising the minimum wage would be one of the best ways to give a boost to working families. It would help around 28 million Americans from all walks of life pay the bills, provide for their kids, and spend that money at local businesses. And that grows the economy for everyone.” President Obama wants to raise the minimum wage across the country to $10.10 an hour. Obama has been working with state governors to bypass Congress encouraging them to raise the minimum wage in their states, the president noted in his weekly address that 13 thirteen states have already done so.

Speaking at Laborfest President Obama focused not only on raising the minimum wage but on other economic issues concerning working and middle-class Americans. He listed his far-ranging domestic policy accomplishments in energy, technology, healthcare as well as the economic bailouts that helped start the process of putting the country back on track. The president listed the main elements of his economic opportunity program again; “I want an economy where your hard work pays off with higher wages and higher income and fair pay for women and workplace flexibility for parents and affordable health insurance and decent retirement benefits. I’m not asking for the moon, I just want a good deal for American workers.”

Earlier this year raising the minimum wage was President Obama’s and the Democrats key legislative priority for the midterm election campaign. President Obama wants to remerge the fight over the minimum wage as a central campaign focus between the Democrats and the Republicans, with points with the voters mattering more than, if the legislation would actually help Americans. Raising the minimum wage was a central component of the president’s economic opportunity to give Americans the chance to reach the middle-class.

When the minimum wage raises bill was finally put to the vote in the Senate Republicans led a filibuster blocking and preventing the Minimum Wage Fairness Act from advancing. On Wednesday morning, April 30, 2014, there was a

vote of 54 for and 42 votes against then bill when 60 votes were required for cloture and advancing the bill. Republicans still oppose raising the minimum wage because they believe it will lead to job losses and at the very least stifling of job creation. PresidentObama, Democrats, and economists counter that claim rationalizing that will help millions of Americans. According to the OMB, 500,000 jobs would be lost, but 16.5 million Americans would benefit, and 900,000 would be raised above the poverty level.

Back on Feb. 12, 2014, Obama signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for new contracts for federal workers from $7.25 where it has been since 2009 to $10.10. The executive order President Obama signed also raises the minimum wage for tipped workers from $2.13 an hour to $4.90. Only approximately 2 million workers will benefit from Obama’s executive order, and it will only start to take effect on Jan. 1, 2015 and only for new and replacement contracts. President Obama still needs Congress if he wants to raise the minimum wage for the majority of Americans. With only two weeks left before Congress breaks to campaign for the midterm elections, President Obama’s renewed push is a campaign ploy more than a push to get any legislation passed.

President Obama speech on Labor Day was more partisan than most of his speeches on the economy where he routinely blames the Republicans for not passing his legislative agenda and not caring about helping the middle class. Obama was in excellent attack mode, saying; that “most of the policies I am talking about have two things in common. They are going to help more families get ahead. And Republicans who run our Congress oppose almost all of them.” The president also insulted the GOP highlighting the difference between Republicans and Democrats in Congress; “Republicans in Congress love to say no. Those are just facts, the facts of life. They say no to everything.”

Continuing, President Obama highlighted the economic policy differences between the parties. First, he attacked the GOP, pointing out that “some folks who wanted to place an even bigger bet on top-down economics, the kind of economics that helped cause the crisis in the first place… this blind faith that maybe prosperity would finally trickle down on the rest of us if folks up at the top just kept on doing better and better.” Then Obama put his and Democrats policies as superior to the GOP’s; “I didn’t run for president to double down on top-down economics. I ran for president because I believed in bottom-up economics. I believed in middle-out economics. I placed a bet on you… because of your hard work, because of what we’ve been through together, that bet is starting to pay off.”

Obama emphasized how difficult it was to make progress with the GOP controlling the House of Representatives, stating “Every inch of it we have had to fight for. Every inch of it we’ve had to work against a lockstep opposition that is opposed to everything we do. Obama then joked “But it was worth it. Every gray hair is worth it. Every gray hair is worth it — and at least I’ve still got some hair.”

The president had a solution for the audience when they reacted to GOP’s opposition to policies that would help them, “Don’t boo, vote. Don’t boo, vote. It is easy to boo, I want you to vote.” Obama told the crowd that pressuring the Republicans in Congress is the only way to make them move; “I think eventually Congress is going to hear them. We’ll break those folks down. We’ll just stay on it. We’ll just keep at it. The only thing more powerful than an idea whose time has come is when millions of people organizing around an idea whose time has come. Millions of people are voting for an idea whose time has come.”

Obama, dressed down for the holiday weekend, appealed for the votes of those in attendance at Laborfest predominately union members by declaring that he would want to be part of a union for job protection if he was working in fields that have unions. Obama expressed; “If I were looking for a good job that lets me build some security for my job, I’d join a union. If I were busting my butt in the service industry and wanted an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, I’d join a union…I’d want a union looking out for me.” The president ended his revelation by asking for more votes for Democrats in the midterm elections; “and if I cared about these things I’d also want more Democrats looking out for me.”

Obama concluded his weekly address about ensuring fairness Americans workers, making sure that they also benefit from the recovering economy; “That’s how America built the greatest middle class the world has ever known. Not by making sure a fortunate few at the top are doing well, but by making sure that everyone who’s willing to work hard and play by the rules can get ahead.” Obama was equally optimistic concluding his Labor Day speech using a combination of his most used speech taglines; “Hope, the belief that there are better days ahead; the belief that together, we can build up our middle class and hand down something better to our kids — that’s what built America. And America’s best days are still ahead. I believe it. You need to believe it, too. Let’s get to work.”

President Obama and the Democrats economic opportunity including raising the minimum wage as their key issue in the midterm election campaign. The Democrats are on the edge where they might lose six seats and their control in the Senate. They already realize regaining control of the House of Representatives is impossible at this point.Presidents often see their parties lose seats in the second midterm elections of their terms, and Obama and Democrats are trying to curb that precedent.

President Obama and Democrats have been forcing legislation on the Republicans without allowing compromises or added provisions that they know will fail just to highlight in this election year the difference between Republicans and Democrats and caring for the middle class. Despite public support for the initiative, raising the minimum wage has not energized the base and voters as much as the Democrats had hoped. President Obama and the Democrats will continue focusing on economic issues important to the Democratic base and immigration reform and attack, attack and mock the Republicans hoping it will be enough to keep the Senate come November.

RELATED LINKS

Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.