Four Freedoms – 75th Anniversary

Four Freedoms - FDR_Memorial_wall

The Four Freedoms were goals articulated by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) on January 6, 1941. In an address known as the Four Freedoms speech (technically the 1941 State of the Union address), he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy:

  1. Freedom of speech
  2. Freedom of worship
  3. Freedom from want
  4. Freedom from fear

Roosevelt delivered his speech 11 months before the United States declared war on Japan, December 8, 1941. The State of the Union speech before Congress was largely about the national security of the United States and the threat to other democracies from world war that was being waged across the continents in the eastern hemisphere. In the speech, he made a break with the tradition of United States non-interventionism that had long been held in the United States. He outlined the U.S. role in helping allies already engaged in warfare.

In that context, he summarized the values of democracy behind the bipartisan consensus on international involvement that existed at the time. A famous quote from the speech prefaces those values: “As men do not live by bread alone, they do not fight by armaments alone.” In the second half of the speech, he lists the benefits of democracy, which includes economic opportunity, employment, social security, and the promise of “adequate health care”. The first two freedoms, of speech and religion, are protected by the First Amendment in the United States Constitution. His inclusion of the latter two freedoms went beyond the traditional Constitutional values protected by the U.S. Bill of Rights. Roosevelt endorsed a broader human right to economic security and anticipated what would become known decades later as the “human security” paradigm in social science and economic development. He also included the “freedom from fear” against national aggression before the idea of a United Nations for this protection was envisioned or discussed by world leaders and allied nations.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_freedoms

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“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want — which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear — which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor– anywhere in the world.”

Excerpts from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1/20/1941

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International Human Rights Day 2015
John Kerry
Secretary of StateWashington, DC
December 10, 2015

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was forged in the aftermath of World War II to protect freedom and prevent future atrocities. As we commemorate it today, we recall President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 Four Freedoms address, which inspired the Universal Declaration, and which the United Nations selected as this year’s theme for International Human Rights Day.

The “four freedoms” – of speech and religion, from want and fear – are as relevant and compelling today as they were when Roosevelt spoke almost three quarters of a century ago.

For more: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/12/250541.htm

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28 thoughts on “Four Freedoms – 75th Anniversary

  1. WH

    Wednesday, January 6, 2016

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:00 PM
    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest briefs the press

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:30 PM
    President Obama meets with Secretary of State Kerry
    Oval Office

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. Four Freedoms – 75th Anniversary

    The Four Freedoms were goals articulated by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941. In an address known as the Four Freedoms speech (technically the 1941 State of the Union address), he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy:

    Freedom of speech
    Freedom of worship
    Freedom from want
    Freedom from fear

    Roosevelt delivered his speech 11 months before the United States declared war on Japan, December 8, 1941. The State of the Union speech before Congress was largely about the national security of the United States and the threat to other democracies from world war that was being waged across the continents in the eastern hemisphere. In the speech, he made a break with the tradition of United States non-interventionism that had long been held in the United States. He outlined the U.S. role in helping allies already engaged in warfare.

    In that context, he summarized the values of democracy behind the bipartisan consensus on international involvement that existed at the time. A famous quote from the speech prefaces those values: “As men do not live by bread alone, they do not fight by armaments alone.” In the second half of the speech, he lists the benefits of democracy, which includes economic opportunity, employment, social security, and the promise of “adequate health care”. The first two freedoms, of speech and religion, are protected by the First Amendment in the United States Constitution. His inclusion of the latter two freedoms went beyond the traditional Constitutional values protected by the U.S. Bill of Rights. Roosevelt endorsed a broader human right to economic security and anticipated what would become known decades later as the “human security” paradigm in social science and economic development. He also included the “freedom from fear” against national aggression before the idea of a United Nations for this protection was envisioned or discussed by world leaders and allied nations.

    For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_freedoms

    • International Human Rights Day 2015
      John Kerry
      Secretary of StateWashington, DC
      December 10, 2015

      The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was forged in the aftermath of World War II to protect freedom and prevent future atrocities. As we commemorate it today, we recall President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 Four Freedoms address, which inspired the Universal Declaration, and which the United Nations selected as this year’s theme for International Human Rights Day.

      The “four freedoms” – of speech and religion, from want and fear – are as relevant and compelling today as they were when Roosevelt spoke almost three quarters of a century ago.

      For more: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/12/250541.htm

    • January 08, 2016

      Veto Message from the President — H.R. 3762

      TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

      I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 3762, which provides for reconciliation pursuant to section 2002 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2016, herein referred to as the Reconciliation Act. This legislation would not only repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, but would reverse the significant progress we have made in improving health care in America. The Affordable Care Act includes a set of fairer rules and stronger consumer protections that have made health care coverage more affordable, more attainable, and more patient centered. And it is working. About 17.6 million Americans have gained health care coverage as the law’s coverage provisions have taken effect. The Nation’s uninsured rate now stands at its lowest level ever, and demand for Marketplace coverage during December 2015 was at an all-time high. Health care costs are lower than expected when the law was passed, and health care quality is higher — with improvements in patient safety saving an estimated 87,000 lives. Health care has changed for the better, setting this country on a smarter, stronger course.

      The Reconciliation Act would reverse that course.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/01/08/veto-message-president-hr-3762

  3. ADP Says Companies in U.S. Added 257,000 Workers in December

    January 6, 2016 — 5:16 AM PST Sho Chandra – bloomberg

    Companies added more workers than projected in December, indicating the U.S. job market had momentum as 2015 came to a close, according to a private report based on payrolls.

    The 257,000 increase in employment followed a revised 211,000 rise in the prior month, figures from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey, showed Wednesday. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 198,000.

    Strides made by the labor market may help to generate faster wage growth this year and accelerate consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy. Labor Department data on Friday may show private payrolls climbed by about 198,000 workers in December, in line with an average 202,000 gain in the first 11 months of 2015.

  4. Service Companies Outpace Manufacturers, Sustaining U.S. Economy

    January 6, 2016 Michelle Jamrisko – bloomberg

    American service companies continued to outperform their manufacturing counterparts in December as orders and employment picked up, indicating the world’s largest economy will keep expanding this year.

    The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index, which covers almost 90 percent of the economy, came in at 55.3 last month, with readings greater than 50 signaling growth. While the level is down from November’s 55.9 and the weakest since April 2014, the drop was caused by a plunge in the deliveries component that indicates suppliers had fewer order backlogs to process.

    The gap between the Tempe, Arizona-based ISM’s services and manufacturing gauges has averaged almost eight points over the past six months, the widest over a similar period since 2001. The disparity signals retail and health care are among the industries less affected by the slowdown in global demand and surge in the value of the dollar that have hurt U.S. factories.

    “The non-manufacturing index is more reflective of domestic demand, whereas the manufacturing index is more exposed to foreign demand, and of course exports have been weak,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics Ltd in Valhalla, New York, said before the report. “Overall, growth is still pretty solid.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-06/service-companies-outpace-manufacturers-sustaining-u-s-economy

  5. BURNS PAIUTE TRIBE REACTS TO TAKEOVER OF ANCESTRAL LAND BY “GROUP OF CLOWNS”

    06 JAN 2016 LEVI RICKERT- Nativenewsonline.net

    BURNS, OREGON – “We don’t condone the takeover of the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge,” said Charolotte Rodrique, chairperson of the Paiute Burns Tribes today during a press conference.

    The Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge has been occupied by a group of armed domestic terrorists since Saturday. The group, which call themselves “patriots,” are demanding the federal government “give the land back to ranchers.” One of the leaders of the domestic terrorist group is Ammon Bundy, who is the son of Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, who led a month-long standoff with the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada in 2014.

    “We as a Tribal Council, believe it is important to set the record straight: the land prior to 1890 belonged to the Paiute, not ranchers as Bundy has stated,” said Cecil Dick, tribal council member.

    “WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF A GROUP OF NATIVES HAD GONE OVER THERE TO TAKOVER THE LAND? I THINK PEOPLE NEED TO THINK ABOUT THAT AND WE DON’T NEED SOME GROUP OF CLOWNS TO COME IN HERE TO SPEAK FOR US…THEY NEED TO GET OUT. WE ARE HARD-WORKING PEOPLE. WE CAN STAND UP FOR OUR OWN RIGHTS,” STATED JARVIS KENNEDY, TRIBAL COUNCIL MEMBER AND OF THE BURNS PAIUTE TRIBE.

    For more: http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/burns-paiute-tribe-reacts-takeover-ancestral-land-group-clowns/

    • Dispute Over Cattle Grazing Blocks Patrols Of Federal Land

      January 27, 20168:05 AM ET – KIRK SIEGLER – NPR

      Ever since a tense, armed standoff near Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch in 2014, a vast and sensitive piece of federal public land adjacent to the Grand Canyon has gone unmanaged and uncontrolled.

      It’s safe to travel into the area called Gold Butte so long as you’re not in a federal vehicle, according to Jaina Moan of Friends of Gold Butte, which wants to see the area federally protected.

      The last time there was any known federal presence was last summer, when scientists under contract with the Bureau of Land Management were camped here, gathering field research.

      “Unfortunately that also was canceled after shots were fired at one of the contract crews,” Moan says.

      Gold Butte, roughly the size of Los Angeles County, is basically lawless right now. Trash is dumped here and there. Some of the BLM’s route markers are torn down. Illegal off-road tracks from ATVs lead into the desert. Some pioneer grave sites were even dug up, bones scattered everywhere.

      If no one is patrolling it, who’s going to deter vandals? That’s a question Moan and William Anderson, the former chairman of the local Moapa Band of Paiutes, who consider this desert sacred, are asking more and more as the dispute between Bundy and the government drags on.

      The occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon has renewed attention to the federal government’s case against Bundy in Nevada. The government’s inaction against him is often cited as emboldening his sons to storm the refuge this month.

      In southern Nevada, meanwhile, scores of the family’s cattle continue to graze illegally in and around Gold Butte.

      William Anderson looks on frustrated, as a mangy looking group of them cross a four-wheel-drive road in the heart of Gold Butte. He considers the cattle a threat to desert grasses and plants that his people have gathered and used out here for generations.

      “[The cattle are] out here just roaming the area and they are stepping on areas that are culturally sensitive to our people,” he says.

      No one knows for sure how many cows are roaming here since federal agencies pulled out of the area shortly after the standoff.

      The Nevada state director of the BLM, John Ruhs, defends the agency’s decision to keep field staff away. He says there are still threats and intimidation tactics directed toward his employees there.

      “When it comes to having employees on the ground doing things like monitoring or restoration work, it’s just not getting done because of the safety concerns we have for our employees,” Ruhs told NPR.

      Ruhs would not discuss the government’s case against Bundy, and neither would the Department of Justice. But Ruhs did say that he now requires his staff doing field work elsewhere in Nevada to go out in teams, never alone. It’s a frustrating climate, he says. The BLM’s mission is to manage public lands for all sorts of uses by everyone, not just cattle ranchers.

      “We don’t do anything on our own as personal individuals,” Ruhs says. “We do things that are mandated from Congress, and we follow the laws that are given to us, and we try to enforce them appropriately.”

      For the entire article and audio interviews: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/27/464490320/dispute-over-cattle-grazing-blocks-patrols-of-federal-land

  6. WH

    Thursday, January 7, 2016

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest Briefs the Press

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:05 PM
    President Obama departs the White House
    South Lawn

    8:00 PM
    President Obama holds a Gun Control Town Hall
    Hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper
    George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

    9:00 PM
    9:30 PM
    President Obama arrives at the White House
    South Lawn

    10:00 PM

  7. CNN to host Obama town hall on guns in America

    1/3/15 By Eugene Scott and Eric Bradner, CNN

    Washington (CNN) President Barack Obama is mounting a final-year push to make gun control part of his legacy despite Republican opposition and is expected to announce unilateral action soon.

    He will join CNN’s Anderson Cooper Thursday for an exclusive one-hour live town hall on gun control at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, in hopes of mounting a final pitch to the public.

    It’s an issue he has had zero success on so far in his presidency, despite his repeated, emotional appeals for change. Congress has remained a roadblock even in the face of widespread public support for Obama’s past calls for universal background checks or bolstered mental health support, with near uniform opposition from Republicans and a split on the issue among Democrats.

    Obama will sit down with Cooper at 8 p.m. ET for the event, titled “Guns in America.” The event’s timing coincides with the fifth anniversary, next Friday, of the shooting of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, in a rampage that left six dead and 13 others wounded.

    In addition to discussing gun issues with Cooper, Obama will also take questions from the audience on the issue.

    For more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/03/politics/barack-obama-guns-town-hall/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

    • CNN http://go.cnn.com/?stream=cnn&sr=watchLiveHPbutton

      January 07, 2016

      Remarks by the President at CNN ”
      George Mason University
      Fairfax, Virginia

      8:00 P.M. EST

      MR. COOPER: Good evening from George Mason University here in Fairfax, Virginia. We are here tonight to talk about one of the most divisive issues in America today — guns. Their protection is enshrined in the Constitution, in the Second Amendment, and gun ownership is an integral part of American history and culture.

      There are some 30,000 gun deaths in America each year. Two-thirds of them are suicides; one-third of them are homicides. So the question we want to confront tonight is how you find a balance between protecting the rights of American citizens who want to own guns, but preventing guns from getting into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

      We brought together people here tonight who represent really all sides of the issue — gun owners, gun sellers, people who have survived shootings or lost loved ones. Some here believe that having more guns makes us all safer, and believe the right to bear arms defines us, preserves us from tyranny and cannot be compromised in any way. Others here tonight believe just as passionately that more needs to be done to limit the sale of firearms. And we respect all of their views, and we want to hear from as many as we can tonight in the hour ahead.

      One voice you will not hear from tonight is the National Rifle Association. They’re the nation’s largest, most influential and powerful gun rights group. We invited them to be here — I think their office is just a couple miles away. They declined to take part. Some of their members are here tonight, though. We’re very thankful for that. And so are representatives from the National Firearms Retailers Association.

      This town hall is not something the White House dreamed up or that the White House organized. CNN approached the White House shortly after the San Bernardino terror attack with this idea. And we’re pleased that they agreed to participate and pleased to welcome tonight the President of the United States, Barack Obama. (Applause.)

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

      MR. COOPER: Hello, Mr. President. Welcome.

      THE PRESIDENT: Great to see you.

      MR. COOPER: Good to see you. Let me start. Have you ever owned a gun?

      THE PRESIDENT: I have never owned a gun. Now, up at Camp David, we’ve got some skeet shooting, so on a fairly regular basis, we get a 12-gauge and — I’m not making any claims about my marksmanship.

      MR. COOPER: Before you were President, did you ever feel a desire to get a gun, feel the need to get a gun?

      THE PRESIDENT: I grew up mostly in Hawaii, and other than hunting for wild pig — which they do once in a while — there’s not the popularity of hunting and sportsmanship with guns as much as there are in other parts of the country.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/01/07/remarks-president-cnn-guns-america-town-hall

      • Barack Obama: Guns Are Our Shared Responsibility

        JAN. 7, 2016 By Barack Obama – nytimes

        I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform.

        THE epidemic of gun violence in our country is a crisis. Gun deaths and injuries constitute one of the greatest threats to public health and to the safety of the American people. Every year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns. Suicides. Domestic violence. Gang shootouts. Accidents. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters, or buried their own children. We’re the only advanced nation on earth that sees this kind of mass violence with this frequency.

        A national crisis like this demands a national response. Reducing gun violence will be hard. It’s clear that common-sense gun reform won’t happen during this Congress. It won’t happen during my presidency. Still, there are steps we can take now to save lives. And all of us — at every level of government, in the private sector and as citizens — have to do our part.

        We all have a responsibility.

        On Tuesday, I announced new steps I am taking within my legal authority to protect the American people and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. They include making sure that anybody engaged in the business of selling firearms conducts background checks, expanding access to mental health treatment and improving gun safety technology. These actions won’t prevent every act of violence, or save every life — but if even one life is spared, they will be well worth the effort.

        Even as I continue to take every action possible as president, I will also take every action I can as a citizen. I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform. And if the 90 percent of Americans who do support common-sense gun reforms join me, we will elect the leadership we deserve.

        All of us have a role to play — including gun owners. We need the vast majority of responsible gun owners who grieve with us after every mass shooting, who support common-sense gun safety and who feel that their views are not being properly represented, to stand with us and demand that leaders heed the voices of the people they are supposed to represent.

        The gun industry also needs to do its part. And that starts with manufacturers.

        As Americans, we hold consumer goods to high standards to keep our families and communities safe. Cars have to meet safety and emissions requirements. Food has to be clean and safe. We will not end the cycle of gun violence until we demand that the gun industry take simple actions to make its products safer as well. If a child can’t open a bottle of aspirin, we should also make sure she can’t pull the trigger of a gun.

        For more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/08/opinion/president-barack-obama-guns-are-our-shared-responsibility.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

    • CNN http://go.cnn.com/?stream=cnn&sr=watchLiveHPbutton

      January 07, 2016

      Remarks by the President at CNN ”
      George Mason University
      Fairfax, Virginia

      8:00 P.M. EST

      MR. COOPER: Good evening from George Mason University here in Fairfax, Virginia. We are here tonight to talk about one of the most divisive issues in America today — guns. Their protection is enshrined in the Constitution, in the Second Amendment, and gun ownership is an integral part of American history and culture.

      There are some 30,000 gun deaths in America each year. Two-thirds of them are suicides; one-third of them are homicides. So the question we want to confront tonight is how you find a balance between protecting the rights of American citizens who want to own guns, but preventing guns from getting into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

      We brought together people here tonight who represent really all sides of the issue — gun owners, gun sellers, people who have survived shootings or lost loved ones. Some here believe that having more guns makes us all safer, and believe the right to bear arms defines us, preserves us from tyranny and cannot be compromised in any way. Others here tonight believe just as passionately that more needs to be done to limit the sale of firearms. And we respect all of their views, and we want to hear from as many as we can tonight in the hour ahead.

      One voice you will not hear from tonight is the National Rifle Association. They’re the nation’s largest, most influential and powerful gun rights group. We invited them to be here — I think their office is just a couple miles away. They declined to take part. Some of their members are here tonight, though. We’re very thankful for that. And so are representatives from the National Firearms Retailers Association.

      This town hall is not something the White House dreamed up or that the White House organized. CNN approached the White House shortly after the San Bernardino terror attack with this idea. And we’re pleased that they agreed to participate and pleased to welcome tonight the President of the United States, Barack Obama. (Applause.)

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

      MR. COOPER: Hello, Mr. President. Welcome.

      THE PRESIDENT: Great to see you.

      MR. COOPER: Good to see you. Let me start. Have you ever owned a gun?

      THE PRESIDENT: I have never owned a gun. Now, up at Camp David, we’ve got some skeet shooting, so on a fairly regular basis, we get a 12-gauge and — I’m not making any claims about my marksmanship.

      MR. COOPER: Before you were President, did you ever feel a desire to get a gun, feel the need to get a gun?

      THE PRESIDENT: I grew up mostly in Hawaii, and other than hunting for wild pig — which they do once in a while — there’s not the popularity of hunting and sportsmanship with guns as much as there are in other parts of the country.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/01/07/remarks-president-cnn-guns-america-town-hall

      • Barack Obama: Guns Are Our Shared Responsibility

        JAN. 7, 2016 By Barack Obama – nytimes

        I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform.

        THE epidemic of gun violence in our country is a crisis. Gun deaths and injuries constitute one of the greatest threats to public health and to the safety of the American people. Every year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns. Suicides. Domestic violence. Gang shootouts. Accidents. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters, or buried their own children. We’re the only advanced nation on earth that sees this kind of mass violence with this frequency.

        A national crisis like this demands a national response. Reducing gun violence will be hard. It’s clear that common-sense gun reform won’t happen during this Congress. It won’t happen during my presidency. Still, there are steps we can take now to save lives. And all of us — at every level of government, in the private sector and as citizens — have to do our part.

        We all have a responsibility.

        On Tuesday, I announced new steps I am taking within my legal authority to protect the American people and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. They include making sure that anybody engaged in the business of selling firearms conducts background checks, expanding access to mental health treatment and improving gun safety technology. These actions won’t prevent every act of violence, or save every life — but if even one life is spared, they will be well worth the effort.

        Even as I continue to take every action possible as president, I will also take every action I can as a citizen. I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform. And if the 90 percent of Americans who do support common-sense gun reforms join me, we will elect the leadership we deserve.

        All of us have a role to play — including gun owners. We need the vast majority of responsible gun owners who grieve with us after every mass shooting, who support common-sense gun safety and who feel that their views are not being properly represented, to stand with us and demand that leaders heed the voices of the people they are supposed to represent.

        The gun industry also needs to do its part. And that starts with manufacturers.

        As Americans, we hold consumer goods to high standards to keep our families and communities safe. Cars have to meet safety and emissions requirements. Food has to be clean and safe. We will not end the cycle of gun violence until we demand that the gun industry take simple actions to make its products safer as well. If a child can’t open a bottle of aspirin, we should also make sure she can’t pull the trigger of a gun.

        For more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/08/opinion/president-barack-obama-guns-are-our-shared-responsibility.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

      • 2:05 PM ET
        President Obama participates in a conference call on gun violence prevention
        Oval Office

  8. U.S. jobless claims fall; planned layoffs smallest in 15-1/2 years

    1/7/16 Lucia Mutikani – Reuters

    * Weekly jobless claims decline 10,000
    * Four-week average of claims falls 1,250
    * December job cuts smallest in 15-1/2 years

    WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits fell last week and layoffs in December were the smallest in 15-1/2 years, pointing to a firmer labor market even as economic growth appears to have slowed sharply in the fourth quarter.

    Coming on the heels of a report on Wednesday showing private payrolls in December notched their biggest increase in a year, the data on Thursday suggest the economy’s fundamentals remain healthy as it struggles against the headwinds of a strong dollar, bloated inventories and energy sector investment cuts.

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 277,000 for the week ended Jan. 2, the Labor Department said. The decline partially unwound the prior week’s jump, which had lifted claims to their highest level since early July.

    For more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-jobless-claims-fall-planned-140751372.html;_ylt=AwrXgiOGfo5W0nUA0LDQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByM3V1YTVuBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMzBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

  9. U.S. Gallup Good Jobs Rate 45.3% in December 2015

    1/7/16 by Ben Ryan – gallup

    * Dec. 2015 Gallup Good Jobs a full point higher year-on-year
    * Unemployment lowest Gallup has measured since Jan. 2010
    * Underemployment falls to 14.0%

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Gallup Good Jobs (GGJ) rate in the U.S. was 45.3% in December. This is up slightly from the rate measured in November (44.9%) and even with the rate measured from August through October. Given seasonal patterns in employment, it is notable that the current rate is a full percentage point higher than in December 2014.

    For more: http://www.gallup.com/poll/188042/gallup-good-jobs-rate-december-2015.aspx?utm_source=tagrss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=syndication

  10. January 06, 2016

    Readout of the President’s Call with President Park Geun-Hye of the Republic of Korea

    President Obama spoke by phone today with President Park Geun-Hye of the Republic of Korea (ROK) to discuss the international response to North Korea’s nuclear test. The two leaders condemned the test and agreed that North Korea’s actions constitute yet another violation of its obligations and commitments under international law, including several UN Security Council Resolutions. President Obama reaffirmed the unshakeable U.S. commitment to the security of the ROK, and the two leaders agreed to work together to forge a united and strong international response to North Korea’s latest reckless behavior. Separately, the President congratulated President Park on the recent agreement between the ROK and Japan to resolve the longstanding “comfort women” issue, and commended two of our most important allies for having the courage and vision to forge a lasting settlement to this difficult issue.

    • January 06, 2016

      Readout of the President’s Call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

      President Obama spoke by phone today with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to discuss the international response to North Korea’s nuclear test. The two leaders condemned the test and agreed that North Korea’s actions constitute yet another violation of its obligations and commitments under international law, including several UN Security Council Resolutions. President Obama reaffirmed the unshakeable U.S. commitment to the security of Japan, and the two leaders agreed to work together to forge a united and strong international response to North Korea’s latest reckless behavior. Separately, the President congratulated Prime Minister Abe on the recent agreement between Japan and the ROK to resolve the longstanding “comfort women” issue, and commended two of our most important allies for having the courage and vision to forge a lasting settlement to this difficult issue.

  11. Secretary of the Navy Announces First Ship of Next Generation Fleet Repenishment Oilers, USNS John Lewis

    January 6, 2016 defense.gov

    Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus announced today that the first ship of the next generation of fleet replenishment oilers (T-AO 205) will be named USNS John Lewis after the civil rights movement hero and current U.S. representative of Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District.

    The announcement was made at a ship-naming ceremony held at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

    “As the first of its class, the future USNS John Lewis will play a vital role in the mission of our Navy and Marine Corps while also forging a new path in fleet replenishment,” said Mabus. “Naming this ship after John Lewis is a fitting tribute to a man who has, from his youth, been at the forefront of progressive social and human rights movements in the U.S., directly shaping both the past and future of our nation.”

    Lewis’ dedication to the civil rights movement began in earnest while he was still a young man, when he organized sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee.

    In 1961, he participated in the “Freedom Rides,” challenging segregation at interstate bus terminals across the South and, in 1963, Lewis was named chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) where he was responsible for organizing student activism challenging segregation.

    For more: http://www.defense.gov/News/News-Releases/News-Release-View/Article/639487/secretary-of-the-navy-announces-first-ship-of-next-generation-fleet-repenishmen

  12. The Nation He Built

    A POLITICO review of Barack Obama’s domestic policy legacy—and the changes he made while nobody was paying attention.

    January/February 2016 By Michael Grunwald – politico

    On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the 906-page health care reform law known as Obamacare. It was, as a live microphone caught Vice President Joe Biden exclaiming to his boss, a big deal, with Biden memorably inserting an extra word for emphasis—and for history—between “big” and “deal.”

    Obamacare would cover millions of the uninsured, a giant step toward the Democratic dream of health care for all. It also included dozens of less prominent provisions to rein in the soaring cost and transform the dysfunctional delivery of American medicine. It was the kind of BFD that the most consequential presidencies are made of, even though it had squeaked through Congress without any Republican votes, and few Americans truly understood what was in it.

    It’s true that Obama failed to create the post-partisan political change he originally promised during his yes-we-can pursuit of the White House. Washington remains as hyperpartisan and broken as ever. But he also promised dramatic policy change, vowing to reinvent America’s approach to issues like health care, education, energy, climate and finance, and that promise he has kept. When you add up all the legislation from his frenetic first two years, when Democrats controlled Congress, and all the methodical executive actions from the past five years, after Republicans blocked his legislative path, this has been a BFD of a presidency, a profound course correction engineered by relentless government activism. As a candidate, Obama was often dismissed as a talker, a silver-tongued political savant with no real record of achievement.

    But ever since he took office during a raging economic crisis, he’s turned out to be much more of a doer, an action-oriented policy grind who has often failed to communicate what he’s done.

    What he’s done is changing the way we produce and consume energy, the way doctors and hospitals treat us, the academic standards in our schools and the long-term fiscal trajectory of the nation. Gays can now serve openly in the military, insurers can no longer deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, credit card companies can no longer impose hidden fees and markets no longer believe the biggest banks are too big to fail. Solar energy installations are up nearly 2,000 percent, and carbon emissions have dropped even though the economy is growing. Even Republicans like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who hope to succeed Obama and undo his achievements, have been complaining on the campaign trail that he’s accomplished most of his agenda.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/obama-biggest-achievements-213487

  13. January 07, 2016

    Statement by the President on the Celebration of Orthodox Christmas

    Michelle and I wish a blessed Christmas to Orthodox Christians in the United States and around the world. During this holy season, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and pray for peace on Earth. This day gives us a special opportunity to commemorate the contributions of American Orthodox leaders to our progress. It also gives us a chance to reaffirm our commitment to protect religious minorities, including Christian minorities, who too often face violence and persecution throughout the world. Today and every day, we stand with all those who suffer attacks and discrimination – because we believe that the freedom to practice your religion as you choose is a birthright of every person and part of the bedrock of a just society. So we join with our Orthodox brothers and sisters in celebration, and in hopeful prayer for peace and justice the world over.

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