November 30th, 2010
08:50 AM ET

For Obama, Boehner, how about cigarette summit?

Editor's note: John P. Avlon is a CNN contributor and senior political columnist for The Daily Beast. He is the author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America."

(CNN) - On Tuesday afternoon, President Obama will meet with Republican Congressional leaders for the first time since the midterm election. The White House meeting had been dubbed the "Slurpee summit," but it's going to take something stronger than a flavored ice shake to cut through the deep distrust that's accumulated between these two parties.

The Kool-Aid that gets passed around Washington most often these days is the belief that our political opponents are sworn enemies. It is an idea compounded by partisan media that demonizes even minor disagreements.

Read CNN Contributor Jon Avlon's full article on CNN.com

November 30th, 2010
08:16 AM ET

Obama, congressional leaders to tackle issues in 'Slurpee summit'

Washington (CNN) - President Obama will hold a meeting with congressional leaders from both parties on Tuesday, less than a month after Republicans won control of the House of Representatives during midterm elections.

The meeting, which is expected to last about an hour, is expected to address numerous topics, including whether Bush-era tax cuts should be extended beyond the end of this year as well as the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).

Read the full story at CNN.com

The cool history of the Slurpee
November 30th, 2010
08:10 AM ET

The cool history of the Slurpee

(Mental Floss) - When President Obama commented that the Republicans were standing around drinking Slurpees while the Democrats were busy creating real change in Washington, it caused quite a storm. Now that he's sitting down with the new Republican leadership this week, the so-called "Slurpee Summit" is the talk of the nation.

While most of us have had one of 7-Eleven's frozen concoctions, there's plenty more you probably don't know about this too cool drink.

Read the full story at CNN's Living page


Topics: Slurpee Summit • The Buzz
November 29th, 2010
07:59 PM ET

POTUS schedule November 30, 2010

President Obama said he hopes his meeting with GOP and Democratic Congressional leaders Tuesday “will mark a first step towards a new and productive working relationship.”  Issues looming large include extending the expiring Bush-era tax cuts and ratifying the New Start arms reduction treaty.  Neither side expects any agreement will result in this hour or hour-and-a-half-long meeting, but Robert Gibbs said he hopes this gathering is the “beginning of a longer-term conversation” and will lead to action by the end of this year.  The meeting that was informally dubbed the “Slurpee Summit” will take place behind closed doors at 1030 a.m.  If any leaders choose to come to stakeout after the meeting, CNN will be there to cover it.

In the afternoon, at 430 p.m., President Obama will meet with Defense Secretary Robert Gates (closed).  They will surely discuss the Pentagon report on gays in the military that Gates will be sharing with members of Congress and discussing at a news conference earlier in the day.

SCHEDULE PROVIDED BY THE WHITE HOUSE:

FULL POST

Press briefing by Robert Gibbs
November 29th, 2010
05:18 PM ET

Press briefing by Robert Gibbs

Delivered in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

Q Thanks. We have the statement that you put out yesterday condemning the WikiLeaks release, but what was the reaction from the President when someone informed him yesterday that these documents had come out and reports were coming out about the contents of the documents?

MR. GIBBS: I was not in the PDB when the President was directly briefed on this. This would actually not have been yesterday, but would have been sometime last week when - after we became aware of the upcoming release. The President was briefed by those in his daily intelligence briefing on the size the scope of the information that was to become public. And obviously, the Secretary of State and the State Department at a foreign minister level have been very active in discussions with our allies and our partners around the world about what is in these documents.
FULL POST


Topics: Press Briefing • Robert Gibbs • The Vault
November 29th, 2010
01:47 PM ET

Leaks offer less-than-flattering look at some world leaders

Washington (CNN) - Among the volumes of diplomatic communications released by WikiLeaks are frank observations about the character of world leaders, their quirks and their weaknesses.

In an initial review of the documents turns up a number of observations from U.S. staffers that provide unusual insight into foreign leaders' thinking and behavior, from "voluptuous" companions to attention-seeking personalities.

FULL POST


Topics: White House
Obama to propose freeze in federal salaries
November 29th, 2010
10:45 AM ET

Obama to propose freeze in federal salaries

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) –President Obama on Monday called for a two-year freeze in the wages of federal employees.

The freeze, which would need congressional approval and save $60 billion over 10 years, would make a small dent in the nation's debt problem. The accumulated deficits are currently forecast to exceed $9 trillion over the next decade.

Still, it's an important step to help generate taxpayer support at a time when policymakers will need to make numerous difficult decisions about curbing the debt, one fiscal expert said.
FULL POST


Topics: President Obama
White House on WikiLeaks
November 28th, 2010
02:29 PM ET

White House on WikiLeaks

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House press secretary Robert Gibbs released this statement Sunday on the latest leak of classified U.S. government documents by the WikiLeaks website:

"We anticipate the release of what are claimed to be several hundred thousand classified State department cables on Sunday night that detail private diplomatic discussions with foreign governments. By its very nature, field reporting to Washington is candid and often incomplete information. It is not an expression of policy, nor does it always shape final policy decisions. Nevertheless, these cables could compromise private discussions with foreign governments and opposition leaders, and when the substance of private conversations is printed on the front pages of newspapers across the world, it can deeply impact not only US foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world. To be clear - such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government. These documents also may include named individuals who in many cases live and work under oppressive regimes and who are trying to create more open and free societies. President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal. By releasing stolen and classified documents, Wikileaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals. We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information."


Topics: President Obama • Robert Gibbs • The News • White House
Obama stays on sidelines this time
November 27th, 2010
04:24 PM ET

Obama stays on sidelines this time

WASHINGTON (CNN) - There's more basketball on President Barack Obama's agenda Saturday, but this time he's staying on the sidelines.

Obama has arrived at Howard University to watch its basketball team take on Oregon State University, according to pool reports.
FULL POST


Topics: President Obama