December 3rd, 2010
03:28 PM ET

Freedom! Obama grants pardons

Today President Barack Obama granted pardons to the following nine individuals:

James Bernard Banks – Liberty, Utah

Sentence: Oct. 31, 1972; District of Utah; two years of probation.

Russell James Dixon – Clayton, Ga.
Offense: Felony liquor law violation; 26 U.S.C. § 5604(a)(1).
Sentence: June 23, 1960; Northern District of Georgia; two years of probation.

Topics: Pardons • President Obama • The Buzz
December 3rd, 2010
11:14 AM ET

Breaking news! Obama surprise visit to Afghanistan

(CNN) - President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Friday to personally deliver holiday greetings to U.S. troops stationed there. The president, who is expected to remain on the ground there for roughly three hours, is slated to address troops at Bagram Airfield. Most of the troops are with the Army's 101st Airborne Division.

He will also visit wounded troops at a hospital on the base, according to reporters traveling with Obama. The president will meet with a total of eight patients - five soldiers and three civilian contractors. He will award four Purple Hearts.

Obama was originally scheduled to travel to Kabul to meet with President Hamid Karzai and greet U.S. embassy staffers, but will stay at Bagram because of poor weather conditions. The trip is Obama's second visit to Afghanistan since he became commander in chief. A major U.S. military review of the war in Afghanistan is due this month, a year after Obama ordered additional U.S. troops to the country as part of a strategy that could bring some forces home as soon as July 2011.

In addition to the troops from the 101st Airborne Division, personnel the president will address in Afghanistan also will include representation from components of all services.

Topics: Afghanistan • President Obama • The Buzz
December 3rd, 2010
09:34 AM ET

President Obama's Hanukkah celebration

WHITE HOUSE (CNN) - The president and first lady hosted a little gathering last night in the East Room to celebrate Hanukkah.

Included on the list of  500 guests, one-third of the Supreme Court justices – Breyer, Ginsburg, and Kagan. Several Jewish members of Congress and other elected officials and members of the military were there too. FULL POST

Topics: Hanukkah • President Obama • The Vault
December 3rd, 2010
07:26 AM ET

POTUS for Friday, December 3, 2010

Good morning from the White House Unit!

The President spends his Friday with a relatively calm schedule. He'll spend the morning receiving the Presidential Daily Briefing and meeting with his senior advisors in the Oval Office. These meetings are closed press as usual.

The big story of the day is jobs, jobs, jobs. The monthly jobs numbers come out today and the President will go to a TBD location to make a statement to the press. We'll update you where he goes! FULL POST