December 8th, 2010
07:59 PM ET

Justice to black farmers, Indian tribes

WASHINGTON (CNN) - John Boyd Jr. finally got what he wanted: justice.  For more than a decade, he's been riding his tractor to Washington, knocking on the doors of Congressional members, and pressuring the White House to fund a settlement from an historic discrimination case involving minority farmers.

Today, President Obama signed into law the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, which in part funds the $1.15 billion Pigford II case against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who for years denied government farm loans and support from federal programs to farmers because of the color of their skin.

CNN first brought the case and Boyd's story to you in May, and we wanted to share this video that was shot and edited by CNN's Khalil Abdallah around that time.

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Topics: President Obama • The News • Uncategorized
Obama phones supporters to defend GOP deal
December 8th, 2010
07:50 PM ET

Obama phones supporters to defend GOP deal

WASHINGTON (CNN) -With anger mounting from liberals over his compromise on extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts, President Obama joined a phone call with progressive activists Tuesday evening, and said he was "absolutely convinced" he got the best possible deal.

"We put up the best possible fight under the circumstances," the president said on a phone call arranged by 'Organizing for America,' the organization behind his presidential campaign that is now part of the DNC.

"The harm to American families and our economy in the interim would have been too great," he said if Republicans had led a filibuster in the Senate.  "The middle class tax cuts that were put in place in the last decade, as well as the tax cuts I put in place after I took office would have expired, and that would have cost the average family three thousand dollars, and it would have cost our economy nearly a million jobs."

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Topics: President Obama • Tax cuts
WH warns of deeper economic crisis
December 8th, 2010
04:32 PM ET

WH warns of deeper economic crisis

WASHINGTON (CNN) – In a dramatic escalation of the rhetoric over President Obama's controversial tax cut deal, senior White House economic adviser Larry Summers warned Congress on Wednesday that failing to pass the legislation could lead to a double-dip recession in 2011.

"If they don't pass this bill in the next couple weeks it will materially increase the risk that the economy would stall out and we would have a double dip," he told reporters at a White House briefing.

Pressed for clarification given the dire nature of his statement, Summers stressed that he was only saying it would "significantly increase the risk" of that outcome and was not predicting an actual double dip recession, which is defined as a recession followed by a short-lived recovery and then another recession.

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Topics: Larry Summers • President Obama • Tax cuts • The News
Obama to bust ancient myth
December 8th, 2010
04:30 PM ET

Obama to bust ancient myth

WASHINGTON (CNN)–President Obama has thrown his hat into the myth busting ring, calling on Discovery Channel’s Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman to dig deep into the legend of Archimedes Solar Ray.

In a promo filmed back in October, the president claimed that he and his daughters are big fans of the show that seeks to prove or disprove assorted phenomena. He adds that this particular myth ‘hasn’t been thoroughly tested.’
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Topics: President Obama
Two presidents convene in the Oval
December 8th, 2010
11:31 AM ET

Two presidents convene in the Oval

I captured a shot of Polish President Komorowski arriving at the White House for his meeting with President Obama.  They are meeting one-on-one in the Oval Office and then with their advisers.  The two presidents are about to deliver statements to the press and take questions so we're on standby for any news.

Because of the large construction project enveloping the North Lawn, President Komorowski was not able to arrive in his limousine like other heads of state.  His motorcade made the short hop from Blair House – where he stayed last night – drove around the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and came up West Executive Drive. The Polish president was escorted to the West Wing by White House chief of protocol Capricia Marshall.

Tax cut message triage
December 8th, 2010
09:35 AM ET

Tax cut message triage

WASHINGTON (CNN) – For the third day in a row, the White House is pulling out all the stops to convince some of their fellow Democrats to sign on to a controversial tax deal.   Senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on five morning shows Wednesday, standing feet from the podium where just yesterday his boss defended his compromise with Republicans on extending the Bush-era tax cuts.

Appearing on CNN's American Morning, Axelrod tried to neutralize criticism by arguing the president's decision may not be good politics but it's good for the country.

"What we need to do is focus on what's good for the country, what's good for the American people, and move forward.  Compromise by its very nature involves things that neither side like. We don't like the tax – extending even temporarily the tax cuts for the wealthy – more generous treatment of wealthy estates. That was the price Republicans demanded for a very significant package of tax cuts for the middle class and to help businesses grow and hire," Axelrod said.

This afternoon, Vice President Biden will pay another visit to House Democrats on Capitol Hill to discuss the tax deal.  He might want to bring a tourniquet.


Topics: Tax cuts • The News
POTUS schedule Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010
December 8th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

POTUS schedule Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010

9:30AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing

Oval Office

10:15AM THE PRESIDENT holds a bilateral meeting with President Komorowski of Poland

Oval Office
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Topics: Daily Schedule