March 3rd, 2011
08:27 PM ET

Obama's long-distance phone call

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama made a really long-distance phone call on Wednesday evening when he talked to astronauts aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

Mr. Obama congratulated the twelve crew members of the Discovery and International Space Station. “We are always inspired by the images of you at work as you put some of the final pieces to make the ISS fully operational," Obama said. "You are setting such a great example with your dedication, your courage, your commitment to exploration.”   FULL POST

Topics: NASA • President Obama • The News
March 3rd, 2011
03:45 PM ET

Obama OKs use of U.S. planes to move refugees who left Libya

By Tom Cohen, CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama said Thursday he authorized the use of U.S. military and civilian aircraft to help return to Egypt those Egyptian citizens who have fled to Tunisia to escape unrest in neighboring Libya.

At a joint news conference with visiting Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Obama said the United States is examining a "full range of options" in the Libyan crisis.

For the first time since the Libyan crisis began, Obama cited Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi by name in a public statement, saying, "The violence must stop. Moammar Gadhafi has lost legitimacy to lead, and he must leave. Those who perpetrate violence against the Libyan people will be held accountable, and the aspirations of the Libyan people for freedom, democracy and dignity must be met."

Check out the complete story on

Topics: Libya
Cats with hats and whales that sing
March 3rd, 2011
03:35 PM ET

Cats with hats and whales that sing

WASHINGTON (CNN)  -First lady Michelle Obama and first lady Margarita Zavala of Mexico took time Thursday morning to visit and read to kids at a local bilingual elementary school.  At the Oyster-Adams Bilingual Elementary School all instruction is conducted in both English and Spanish, so this producer was one of the few in the room who did not understand the Mexican first lady when she read to the children in Spanish “The Whale Song."

Michelle Obama, reading in English, continued with her Dr. Seuss theme for the week by reading “A Cat in the Hat."   (Yesterday she read Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” at the Library of Congress.)  Mrs. Obama added her own commentary as she read the book, mentioning that her own girls better not use one of her dresses as a kite, one of the mischievous antics in the book.

One lesson the first ladies learned from a similar visit last year, don’t take questions from cute little kids. Last May they made a joint visit to another Washington area school, and a young girl told Mrs. Obama that her mother said President Obama was ”taking everybody away that doesn’t have papers.”   The question steamrolled into an immigration controversy the White House had not anticipated.

Topics: Michelle Obama • The Family
Obama to NFL - work it out!
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and player negotiators arrive Thursday at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building.
March 3rd, 2011
02:02 PM ET

Obama to NFL - work it out!

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As the NFL and players union approach a midnight deadline on a new collective bargaining agreement, President Obama Thursday basically said, work it out fellas. At a press availability with visiting Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Mr. Obama was asked about the possible NFL work stoppage and if he would consider personally intervening.

"You've got owners, most of whom are worth close to a billion dollars. You’ve got players who are making millions of dollars," said President Obama. "People are having to cut back, compromise and worry about making mortgage (payments)...The two parties should be able to work it out without the President of the United States intervening."

Mr. Obama conceded that he is indeed a big football fan. "But I also think that for an industry that's making $9 billion a year in revenue, they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way," said Mr. Obama. Besides he said, "I've got a lot of other stuff to do!" (read more on

Topics: President Obama • The News
Picture of the Week
President Obama speaks during a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors in the State Dining Room of the White House. February 28, 2011
March 3rd, 2011
12:00 PM ET
Biden to the Hill later today
March 3rd, 2011
10:45 AM ET

Biden to the Hill later today

WASHINGTON (CNN) –Vice President Biden will travel to Capitol Hill today to discuss the federal budget with House and Senate leaders later today.

The 4pm meeting comes a day after President Obama signed a continuing resolution that keeps the government running through March 18. Both sides are trying to reach an agreement to that would fund the government through September 30 – the end of the 2011 fiscal year, but disagreements persist over the size of proposed cuts to the budget.

President Obama has tapped the vice president to lead the White House effort with Congress.

POTUS schedule March 3, 2011
March 3rd, 2011
06:08 AM ET

POTUS schedule March 3, 2011

The White House press corps will get a chance to question President Obama today when he holds a joint news conference with President Felipe Calderon of Mexico. The two presidents will have meetings beforehand, and will have a working lunch after the news conference. Earlier in the day, the president will meet with his national security team in the Situation Room for his monthly meeting on the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. While the discussion is likely to focus largely on the overall situation in Afghanistan, one item that may also come up is the case of Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor held by Pakistani authorities and accused of killing two Pakistani men. A Pakistani court ruled overnight that Mr. Davis does not have diplomatic immunity while the administration has argued he does.

The president will end his day with a call to the crews of the Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station.

Here is a look at the president's day, along with those he will meet with this morning in the Situation Room-

Topics: Daily Schedule