The Obamas welcome the President and First Lady of the Republic of Korea Thursday
October 12th, 2011
06:52 PM ET

The Obamas welcome the President and First Lady of the Republic of Korea Thursday

The state visit for the President and the First Lady of the Republic of Korea begins Thursday. Besides high level meetings between the two leaders, First Lady Michelle Obama will bring her counterpart to a school in Northern Virginia and an elegant state dinner is planned.

Here is a great story  from CNN Producer Larry Lazo about forging diplomatic ties on another level.

Establishing goodwill and building on an already strong foundation. That was the motive behind the "Taste of Korea" event in Washington.

A number of activities were held to help foster better understanding between Korean and American cultures. Youngsters enjoyed everything from a cooking lesson and arts and crafts to live music and a martial arts demonstration.

Twenty middle school students from Alice Deal Middle School in Washington were invited to the festivities. They were joined by twenty Korean American students – all of them children of employees of the Embassy of Korea.

Read more on CNN eatocracy

AG Holder: 'underwear bomber' guilty plea proves U.S. courts work
(Pool Photo)
October 12th, 2011
01:50 PM ET

AG Holder: 'underwear bomber' guilty plea proves U.S. courts work

Attorney General Holder released an interesting statement on today's guilty plea from alleged terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – the so-called 'underwear bomber' or 'Christmas Day bomber.' Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty today on all eight counts of his indictment, and Holder had this to say in response:

"Contrary to what some have claimed, today’s plea removes any doubt that our courts are one of the most effective tools we have to fight terrorism and keep the American people safe.  Our priority in this case was to ensure that we arrested a man who tried to do us harm, that we collected actionable intelligence from him and that we prosecuted him in a way that was consistent with the rule of law.  We will continue to be aggressive in our fight against terrorism and those who target us, and we will let results, not rhetoric, guide our actions.

"Northwest Airlines flight 253 carried 279 passengers and 11 crewmembers, all of whom could have been killed or injured had this plot been successful.  Today, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is being held accountable for the attempted murder of 289 innocent people and he will face a potential sentence of life in prison at sentencing on Jan. 12, 2012.

"I want to thank all those who worked on this important investigation, particularly prosecutors from U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, as well as the many investigators and analysts from the Detroit Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is led by the FBI and includes U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Air Marshal Service, and other law enforcement agencies."

Topics: Terror • The News
Obama attacks Senate Republicans in speech to Latinos
October 12th, 2011
01:11 PM ET

Obama attacks Senate Republicans in speech to Latinos

With his $447 billion jobs bill stalled in the Senate, President Obama on Wednesday previewed several of the attack lines he will level in the coming weeks against Senate Republicans who put the brakes on the legislation from moving forward.

“Last night even though a majority of senators voted in favor of the American Jobs Act, a Republican minority got together and blocked this jobs bill from passing the Senate,” Obama told Latino community leaders at an event in Washington. “They said no to more jobs for teachers. No to more jobs for cops and firefighters. No to more jobs construction workers and veterans. No to tax cuts for small business owners and middle class Americans.”

The comments came the morning after the bill Obama has pushed for over a month failed to garner the 60 votes needed in the Senate to proceed. A total of 50 members of the chamber supported the measure, while 49 cast ballots against it. Democrats remained largely united save for Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana, both who face tough reelection challenges.

But in his speech Wednesday, the president vowed to push for measures within the bill that were likely to draw more bipartisan support – a strategy that White House officials foresaw weeks ago when it became clear the complete plan had no chance of winning substantial GOP support.

“A lot of folks in Washington and the media will look at last night’s vote and say that’s it, let’s move on to the next fight. But I’ve got news for them: not this time,” Obama said. “Not with so many Americans out of work, not with so many folks in your communities hurting. We will not take no for an answer.” FULL POST

Topics: President Obama • The News
White House goes Hollywood for troops
October 12th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

White House goes Hollywood for troops

Some of entertainment’s biggest names have teamed up with the White House to film public service announcements that call on Americans to honor members of the military, their families, and veterans.

According to the White House, actor Tom Hanks, director Steven Spielberg, and media mogul Oprah Winfrey each star in a separate PSA, which will air on several major network and cable channels over the coming weeks.

The White House says the PSAs come in response to efforts by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, who have teamed up in the past around efforts relating to military issues.  The spots were directed and produced by a joint partnership of several organizations, including the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America West.

“The entertainment community answered the Joining Forces call and has done what they do best – bring to life stories that move us,” Mrs.  Obama said in a statement.  “Through this PSA campaign, Americans will learn more about the unique challenges and needs of our military families, see their strength, resilience and service, and find out how they can give back to these extraordinary troops and families who have given us so much.”

The Spielberg, Hanks, and Winfrey PSAs can be viewed Here, Here, and Here.

Topics: Jill Biden • Michelle Obama
Obama: 'I'm a fourth-quarter player'
October 12th, 2011
09:52 AM ET

Obama: 'I'm a fourth-quarter player'

 By: CNN Political Unit

 (CNN) - President Barack Obama compared his re-election bid to a game of basketball, to make the point to Democratic supporters that he's a strong closer.

 The president made his comments Tuesday night at the second of two campaign fundraisers inFlorida. NBA all-star Grant Hill, hall of famer Patrick Ewing and former all-star and current head coach Doc Rivers attended the event, which was held at a private residence nearOrlando,Florida.

 "I was mentioning to some of the basketball players who were here that this is like the second quarter, maybe the third, and we've still got a lot of work to do. But I want everybody to know I'm a fourth-quarter player," Obama said to applause, according to a transcript of the event released by the White House.

full story

Topics: 2012 Election • fundraiser
Morning Briefing
October 12th, 2011
08:18 AM ET

Morning Briefing

The 1600 Blog's daily roundup of what the White House is reading this morning online and in the papers:

*Alleged plot to carry out an assassination on U.S. soil: Washington Post

*President’s Jobs Measure Is Turned Back in Key Senate Test:  NYT

*GOP rivals debate: CNN Politics

*Daley to leave WH after 2012 election : Politico

*Slovakia rejects European bailout plan: CNNMoney

*Senate passes China currency bill: CNNMoney

POTUS schedule Wednesday Oct 12, 2011
October 12th, 2011
07:27 AM ET

POTUS schedule Wednesday Oct 12, 2011


10:00AM         Pool Call Time

 11:35AM         THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at White House Forum on American Latino Heritage, Department of the Interior 

2:40PM           THE PRESIDENT meets with the National Association of Evangelicals Executive Committee,  Roosevelt Room,  Closed Press

4:30PM           THE PRESIDENT meets with Secretary of Defense Panetta, Oval Office, Closed Press

Topics: Daily Schedule