White House Iftar dinner
August 10th, 2011
09:28 PM ET

White House Iftar dinner

President Obama hosted an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan on Wednesday night in the State Dining Room of the White House.  The Iftar tradition was started by President Clinton and continued for eight years by President George W. Bush.  This will be Obama’s third Iftar dinner.

The President welcomed the guests, “Tonight is part of a rich tradition here at the White House of celebrating the holy days of many faiths and the diversity that define us as a nation.” 

He spoke about the upcoming “ solemn anniversary” of September 11th,” There will be a time to honor all those that we have lost, the families who carry on their legacy, the heroes, that rushed to help that day and all who have served to keep us safe during a difficult decade.”  He went on to note that many who died on 9/11 were Muslim, “Tonight, it’s worth remembering that these Americans were of many faiths and backgrounds, including proud and patriotic Muslim Americans.”

Guests include elected leaders, religious leaders in the Muslim American community, other leaders of diverse faiths and some 9/11 families.  

Also among the invited, two football playing brothers.  As reported by the Arizona Republic News Arizona Cardinals defensive back  Hamza Abdullah and his brother Husain Abdullah, a safety for the Minnesota Vikings, plan to attend the dinner.    The brothers reportedly fast from sun up to sundown during the holy month of Ramadan making training camp a challenge.

An Iftar dinner is the evening meal breaking the fast each day during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

After the jump is a list of some of the expected attendees at tonight’s White House dinner celebrating Ramadan:

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Topics: President Obama • The Buzz
Obama wants more than ‘stunts’ to jolt the economy
August 10th, 2011
05:21 PM ET

Obama wants more than ‘stunts’ to jolt the economy

WASHINGTON (CNN) - With the U.S. economy and the stock market under immense pressure, the White House is facing mounting questions about what else it might consider beyond infrastructure investments and unemployment benefits to get more immediate results and restore confidence.

But on a day that saw the stock market plunge by more than 500 points, President Obama has yet to announce any new proposals aimed at addressing some of the country’s most urgent fiscal concerns.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Wednesday that the president has “tasked his team and he is working with his team to look at ideas for further job creation and economic growth.”
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Topics: Economy • President Obama • The News
Obama set to raise money in New York
August 10th, 2011
05:17 PM ET

Obama set to raise money in New York

Washington (CNN) - President Obama is scheduled to attend two fundraisers in New York on Thursday to benefit his re-election effort, two Democratic sources tell CNN. One is a reception for 15 people at a hotel. Following that he’ll attend a dinner for approximately 50 people hosted by film producer Harvey Weinstein and Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, according to the sources. The dinner will be held at Weinstein’s apartment, one of the sources said. Tickets for both events are $35,800 with proceeds going to the Obama Victory Fund, whose proceeds are shared by the re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Earlier this week the President attended two separate events in Washington. He attended a fundraiser with approximately 140 guests at a private residence with its proceeds also going to the Victory Fund. He also went to a reception that night which was a donor outreach event.

CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this story.


Topics: fundraiser • President Obama
August 10th, 2011
05:11 PM ET

Obama meets with Bernanke

President Obama met with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as well as other members of his economic team Wednesday.  According to a readout of the meeting provided by the White House, Obama and Bernanke discussed the economic outlook and the "need to tackle long-term deficit reduction." It's the third time the president has met with Bernanke this year.

Full readout:

The President and Chairman Bernanke met today in the Oval Office to discuss the economy and global recovery.  They were joined by Secretary Geithner, Chief of Staff Daley and NEC Director Sperling.  The President and the Chairman discussed the outlook for the recovery and for jobs as well as fiscal issues, including the need to tackle long-term deficit reduction.  They also discussed the situation in Europe.  This was the third time the President met with the Chairman this year.


Topics: President Obama
August 10th, 2011
05:09 PM ET

Obama speakes to Israeli PM

The White House just released an uneventful readout of a phone call today between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two leaders spoke about the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace process, where little progress has been made in recent months.

The phone call comes almost a year after President Obama assembled Middle East leaders at the White House to help kick-start face-to-face Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and nearly 6 months after the regional playing field was drastically altered by the forced resignation of longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is currently standing trial in his home country for ordering the killing of anti-government protesters.

Per the White House, here's what the two leaders talked about:

President Obama spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today to consult on regional issues and efforts to achieve Middle East peace. The Prime Minister expressed appreciation for U.S. support for Israel’s security, in particular the Iron Dome short-range rocket and mortar defense system. The two leaders agreed to continue to work closely together to address common security concerns.


Topics: Middle East • President Obama • The News
'Mourning' in America: What must be done about a depressed nation
Jason Blatt of Knight Capital Americas, LP reacts to down market on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange August 8, 2011.
August 10th, 2011
04:59 PM ET

'Mourning' in America: What must be done about a depressed nation

By CNN's Ed Hornick

As the Broadway musical "Anything Goes" says, "It's always darkest just before they turn on the lights."

Recent polls confirm that the country is desperately looking for those lights amid continuing economic malaise. But positive signs are hard to find.

The evidence: an unemployment rate over 9%, the S&P downgrade of the U.S. bond rating, troop deaths in Afghanistan, soaring government deficits, a ballooning national debt, the dollar getting pummeled overseas, yo-yo gas prices and gridlock in Washington that has stalled virtually everything.

America, it appears, is stuck.  Read full article here.


Topics: Economy • President Obama • The News
Obama to tout next-generation autos Thursday
August 10th, 2011
04:09 PM ET

Obama to tout next-generation autos Thursday

President Obama will return to Michigan Thursday to tour a plant that manufactures advanced-technology automotive batteries, his latest effort to highlight the administration’s mandate for dramatically more fuel efficient vehicles over the next two decades.

The Holland, Michigan facility, operated by Johnson Controls, will also serve as a backdrop for the president as he delivers his latest speech outlining how the administration believes implementing new automotive technologies will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs.

“This facility just emphasizes the administration’s commitment both to job creation and investment in clean-energy technologies,” Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, told reporters on a conference call.
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Topics: President Obama
August 10th, 2011
10:13 AM ET

Did you know.....

Tonight is President Obama’s 3rd time to host an Iftar dinner.

The term Iftar refers to the meal at the end of the day during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when people break their daily fast.  Ramadan began on August 1st.  Each year the president has invited guests that include religious and grass-roots leaders in the Muslim-American community as well as leaders of other faiths and elected officials.

The first White House Iftar dinner was hosted by President Thomas Jefferson.  On December 9, 1805, Jefferson hosted “Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, an envoy from the bey (chieftain) of Tunis who spent six months in Washington. The context of Mellimelli’s visit to the United States was a tense dispute over piracy on American merchant vessels by the Barbary states and the capture of Tunisian vessels trying to run an American blockade of Tripoli.  Mellimelli arrived during Ramadan, and Jefferson, when he invited the envoy to the president’s house, changed the meal time from the usual hour of 3:30 p.m. to “precisely at sunset” in deference to the man’s religious obligation.  Jefferson’s knowledge of Islam likely came from his legal studies of natural law. In 1765, Jefferson purchased a two-volume English translation of the Quran for his personal library, a collection that became, in 1815, the basis of the modern Library of Congress.”
Read more: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/inbrief/2011/07/20110729153019kram0.3508199.html#ixzz1UdQ0UCfM


Topics: Did you know...? • The Buzz
POTUS's schedule for Wednesday, August 10, 2011
August 10th, 2011
08:21 AM ET

POTUS's schedule for Wednesday, August 10, 2011

President Obama will spend the day behind closed-door meetings dealing with two major issues- the violence in Syria and the US economy. He'll sit down with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later this afternoon to presumably discuss the situation in Syria and calls for Assad's departure. Afterwards, he'll meet with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner just before the markets close to presumably talk about the volatile markets in recent days.

This evening, President Obama hosts an Iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan. The dinner will be in the State Dining Room and is his third time hosting an Iftar. The White House points out that this is a continuation of a tradition started by President Clinton and continued by President George W. Bush. The guest list will include elected officials, religious and grassroots leaders in the Muslim American community as well as leaders of other faiths.

For the full White House schedule, click below. FULL POST


Topics: Daily Schedule • The Vault