POTUS weighs in on DOMA and JP Morgan Chase
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May 14th, 2012
08:42 PM ET

POTUS weighs in on DOMA and JP Morgan Chase

Washington (CNN)-Less than a week after President Barack Obama made history by endorsing same-sex marriage, the president would not commit to fighting to have the Defense of Marriage Act, commonly known as DOMA, be repealed.  In an interview on ABC's "The View" Mr. Obama reiterated his administration's decision to stop defending the law in the courts.  "My justice department has said to the courts we don’t think the defense of marriage act is constitutional this is something that historically had been determined at the state level, and part of my believing ultimately that civil unions weren’t sufficient."  But pressed further if he would fight to repeal DOMA, Mr. Obama would only say, "Congress is clearly on notice that I think it’s a bad idea."

And in the wake of the stunning news that JP Morgan Chase lost $2 billion dollars in risky derivatives trading, Mr. Obama called the bank's CEO one of the nation's smartest bankers but also pressed the need for Wall Street reform.

"First of all JP Morgan is one of the best managed banks there is. Jamie Dimon the head of it is one of the best banker’s we’ve got and they still lost two billion dollars and counting precisely because they were making bets in these derivative markets." he said.

"This is why we passed Wall Street reform. This is the best or one of the best managed banks. You can have a bank that isn’t as strong isn’t as profitable and we might have had to step in and that’s exactly why Wall Street reform is so important."

May 14th, 2012
04:39 PM ET

Obama to graduates: "Fight for a seat at the head of the table!"

In a speech tailored to target issues close to the hearts of a key voter demographic- women, President Barack Obama Monday encouraged the 2012 graduating class at the all-female Barnard College in New York to shape their destiny.

"After decades of slow, steady, extraordinary progress, you are now poised to make this the century where women shape not only their own destiny but the destiny of this nation and of this world," Mr. Obama said in his first commencement address of the season.

"Don't just get involved, fight for your seat at the table," he told the 600 graduates. "Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table."

Less than a week after declaring his support for same-sex marriage, Mr. Obama touched only briefly on the hot button issue.

“If you are ready to fight for that brilliant, radically simple idea of America that no matter who you are or what you look like, no matter who you love or what God you worship, you can still pursue your own happiness, I will join you every step of the way,” the president told the graduates.

Mr. Obama received the Barnard Medal of Distinction. Among the other recipients of the medal Monday was gay rights advocate Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. Wolfson had been outspoken in urging the president to endorse marriage equality. FULL POST

Topics: Gay Marriage • President Obama • Women
Obama-Putin scheduling conflicts
May 14th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Obama-Putin scheduling conflicts

Although the White House has said they have a "mutual commitment" to strengthening the relationship between the U.S and Russia, neither leader will visit the other on their turf in the summits that each country is hosting in the next several months.

The White House confirmed on Monday that President Obama will not be attending the APEC summit in Russia in November.

This after a phone conversation last week, where President Putin told Obama he wouldn't be able to attend the upcoming G8 Summit at Camp David because he was still forming his government and getting settled back into the role of Russian president.  President Obama said he understood and looked forward to meeting with former President and current Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev during the summit.

The two leaders will eventually meet at the G20 summit in Mexico in June and have their first face-to-face meeting since Putin was elected president for the second time. They previously met in 2009 when Putin was the prime minister and Obama visited Moscow to sign a preliminary agreement for nuclear arms reduction along-side of then-President Medvedev.

But the White House says not to read anything into the scheduling no-shows.

"The fact of the matter is we have a comprehensive relationship with Russia that's built on working together in areas where we agree and that has borne significant successes, that approach, and then be very clear about where we disagree but not letting those disagreements undermine the overall relationship," Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One on the way to New York City for the Barnard College commencement. "And that was true under President Medvedev when Vladimir Putin was prime minister, and it will continue to be true now that Mr. Putin has returned to the presidency and Mr. Medvedev is now prime minister."

Topics: G-8 • Russia • Vladimir Putin
POTUS's schedule for Monday, May 14, 2012: Big Apple
May 14th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

POTUS's schedule for Monday, May 14, 2012: Big Apple

President Obama heads up to New York City to start out his week. The first thing on his agenda is speaking at the commencement for Barnard College. While there, he'll receive the school's top honor, the Barnard Medal of Distinction. Another recipient of the medal is Evan Wolfson, a longtime advocate for gay rights and same-sex marriage. So the topic will likely find its way once again to the forefront of issues today. Later this evening, Obama will remain in the Big Apple long enough to raise more money for his campaign in two fundraisers. According to a democratic source, the first is targeting the LGBT community and will be hosted by singer Ricky Martin. There will be about 200 people in attendance and tickets start out at $5000. The second event is at a private residence with about 60 people attending. Tickets for that dinner are the election standard $35,800.

For the full schedule, click below. FULL POST