Politics December 12, 2016: Rick Perry front runner for Trump’s Energy Secretary

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Rick Perry front runner for Trump’s Energy Secretary

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Former Texas Governor and 2012 and 2016 GOP candidate Rick Perry is President-Elect Donald Trump’s front runner for the Secretary of Energy post in his cabinet. On Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, Bloomberg News reported that Perry is ahead of the pack on Trump’s shortlist for the post. This will be the first time a scientist is not heading the department responsible for “the safe handling of nuclear material and on emerging energy technologies.”

Bloomberg also noted that Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and “Dallas investor and former finance chairman of the Republican National Committee” Ray Washburne are also under consideration. The Hill notes that Trump is also considering Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) for the post.

Trump is still meeting with candidates for the job. On Saturday, the president-elect met with Perry and Washburne while in Baltimore for the Army-Navy football game. Last week he met with Heitkamp at Trump Tower and intended to meet Manchin on Monday. Trump also is meeting again with Perry on Monday, Dec. 12. Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller confirmed a CBS News report about a second meeting. The meeting was set up after Trump and Perry’s Saturday meeting.

Ironically, Perry’s infamous oops moment from the 2012 campaign had to with the Energy Department. When asked in a 2011 GOP primary debate about the three departments he wants to eliminate as president, Perry forgot that he wanted to obliterate the Energy Department saying, “The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.” That moment was his downfall. In 2016, early on he criticized Trump but then endorsed his candidacy, even looking to be his running-mate. Perry has not been shy about selling himself to be a part of the Trump administration cabinet.

Perry is on the board of Energy Transfer Partners LP the company building the North Dakota oil pipeline. According to Bloomberg Trump promised to increase “domestic oil, gas, and coal production” by “rescinding “job-killing” rules and environmental regulations.” Perry was the longest running Texas Governor, the state is central to American energy production, it “is the largest U.S. pumper of crude oil and home to two of the country’s largest petroleum refiners.”

The Energy Department is also central when it comes to nuclear weapons, “advocating nonproliferation, and promoting nuclear security worldwide.” Trump is planning to overhaul the Iran Nuclear Deal, and the next Energy Secretary will play a significant role in the negotiations.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

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Politics November 28, 2016: First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes her last Christmas season at the White House

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POLITICS

First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes her last Christmas season at the White House

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: USA Today

It is Christmastime at the White House. First Lady Michelle Obama receivedthe day after Thanksgiving Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, the last Christmas tree she will decorate at the White House of her husband President Barack Obama’s administration. Unlike the last seven years, Mrs. Obama was not joined by her daughters Malia and Sasha, who also skipped this year’s pardoning of the National Thanksgiving Turkey on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Instead, the Obamas are being joined this holiday season by their youngest nephews Austin and Aaron Robinson. Along with her nephews the Obamas dogs, Bo and Sunny tagged along.

This year’s winning White House Christmas tree is “a 19-foot Balsam-Veitch fir cross. The tree’s growers are Dave and Mary Vander Velden of the Whispering Pines Tree Farm in Oconto, Wisconsin the winners of this year’s National Christmas Tree Association contest. The Association has picked the tree since 1966.

CNN reported that the Vander Veldens’s tree did not grow as large as the official tree needs to be and will be placed somewhere else within the White House decorations, and instead a tree donated from a Pennsylvania farm will be used as the official tree adorning the Blue Room of the White House. The Vander Veldens presented the tree to the First Lady at the White House’s north portico after it arrived in the traditional horse-drawn carriage. The carriage had jingle bells, while “a four-piece military band played “O Christmas Tree.”

When Mrs. Obama received the tree, she asked her nephews, “What do you think?” and then joked about her holiday substitutes, “These are our replacement kids. This is what happens when you get teenagers. One is asleep — these two are up.” The First Lady enthusiastically concluded, “Christmas begins. The holiday starts! We’re ready — our last one. We’re excited about it.”

As the First Lady looked over the tree, she said, “This is the easiest part of the holiday season.” For the entire weekend the White House staff was decorating the executive mansion for the holidays, on Tuesday, Nov. 29 Michelle presents the finished product to the press and public. Then Thursday, Dec. 1, the Obamas will light the National Christmas Tree in the Ellipse.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Judaism December 10, 2015: Obama celebrates White House Hanukkah party with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

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Examiner_Articles

JUDAISM

Obama celebrates White House Hanukkah party with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, December 10, 2015, 7:03 PM MST

President Barack Obama and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin delivered remarks, before reciting the blessing and lighting the Hanukkah candles at a White House reception, Dec. 9, 2015

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President Barack Obama and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin delivered remarks, before reciting the blessing and lighting the Hanukkah candles at a White House reception, Dec. 9, 2015
Photo by Aude Guerrucci – Pool/Getty Images / White House YouTube

Politics June 25, 2015: Obama disciplines throws out heckler at White House event You’re In My House

Obama disciplines throws out heckler at White House event You’re In My House

June 25, 2015

When your host is the president and the event place is the White House, a guest should never heckle or you will get kicked out, that is the lesson one person learned the hard way at the LGBT Pride Month…

Jewish Musings April 6, 2015: Obama celebrates seventh Passover Seder at the White House

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JUDAISM

Obama celebrates seventh Passover Seder at the White House

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, April 6, 2015, 12:48 AM MST

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted their seventh Passover seder, and the president's eighth, Obama also released a Passover statement emphasizing the Exodus story, April 4, 2015
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted their seventh Passover seder, and the president’s eighth, Obama also released a Passover statement emphasizing the Exodus story, April 4, 2015
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Politics March 3, 2015: Obama attacks Netanyahu’s credibility on Iran before address to Congress

Obama attacks Netanyahu’s credibility on Iran before address to Congress

March 3, 2015

On the eve of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama did a preemptive rebuttal in an interview with Reuters Monday afternoon, March 2, 2015 at the White House…

Politics December 10, 2014: First Lady Michelle delivers Toys for Tots with Santa Obama as the big Elf

First Lady Michelle delivers Toys for Tots with Santa Obama as the big Elf

By Bonnie K. Goodman

This year President Barack Obama joined his wife First Lady Michelle Obama, on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 10, 2014, to deliver and sort toys for the “Marine Corps’ annual Toys for Tots campaign” at the joint Base…READ MORE

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

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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.

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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.