Gen. McChrystal's new post
President Obama met with McChrystal aboard Air Force One in 2009 during a stop in Denmark
April 11th, 2011
11:41 AM ET

Gen. McChrystal's new post

WASHINGTON (CNN) -Retired Army General Stanley McChrystal, President Obama’s former top military commander in Afghanistan relieved from duty last year, is taking a new post working with the Obama administration. According to a White House official, he will lead a three-member advisory board for a new White House initiative to support and honor military families, led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s wife Jill Biden.

The initiative, called Joining Forces, “aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of society” to address the unique challenges American troops, veterans and their families face said the White House press office.

“He will be a unique and powerful advocate for the millions of Americans who serve our country selflessly,” said the First Lady in a statement welcoming McChrystal to the effort. “This program will build upon our nation’s great patriotism by asking all Americans to take action and ensure our military families have the support they have earned. General McChrystal will be a powerful leader in this cause.”

Federal agencies prepare for a government shutdown
April 5th, 2011
01:03 PM ET

Federal agencies prepare for a government shutdown

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As the countdown to a government shutdown continues, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has sent notice to federal agencies to start preparing and sharing contingency plans if the government does shutdown come Friday.

In an email obtained by CNN, OMB Deputy Director for Management Jeffrey Zients tells agency officials that “given the realities of the calendar, good management requires that we continue contingency planning for an orderly shutdown should the negotiations not be completed” by Friday.  The memo was sent Monday afternoon to all Deputy Secretaries and Chiefs of Staff, according to a government official. 

While the details of such contingency plans remain unclear, Zients encourages agency officials in the memo to communicate with senior managers throughout each organization “on the logistical and managerial issues” related to a potential shutdown. “We know that the current uncertainty and threat of a shutdown is a tremendous burden on federal employees, and are very much aware that a shutdown – should it occur – would impose hardships on many employees,” writes Zients.  FULL POST

Topics: Congress • President Obama • The News
Obama plan...Can you hear me now?
February 10th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Obama plan...Can you hear me now?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In his State of the Union address, President Obama said the path to "winning the future" must include better access to hi-speed internet.

"Within the next five years, we'll make it possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans," Obama said. "This isn't about faster internet or fewer dropped calls. It's about connecting every part of America to the digital age."

President Obama is taking that message on the road Thursday. Traveling to Michigan's chilly Upper Peninsula to showcase one rural area that has already harnessed long-range wireless technology and the benefits it has offered the local schools, university and businesses. Marquette has a population of about 20,700 residents, is located on the southern shore of Lake Superior and is home to Northern Michigan University, where President Obama will be speaking.


Topics: Economy • President Obama • The News
Tucson shooting hero to be to honored at State of the Union
January 24th, 2011
08:23 AM ET

Tucson shooting hero to be to honored at State of the Union

Washington (CNN) – It is a Washington ritual at the State of the Union address. The president honors special guests by inviting them to sit alongside the first lady in her reserved box in the House chamber.

This year the special guests will include at least one of the heroes from the tragic Tucson shooting.  White House spokesman Nick Shapiro tells CNN Daniel Hernandez, the intern who assisted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot in the Safeway parking lot, will join first lady Michelle Obama for the speech.

According to a senior White House official, Capt. Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Giffords, was also invited but is unlikely to attend because of the Congresswoman’s ongoing treatment and rehabilitation at a Houston, Texas hospital.  The rest of the guest list has not yet been announced.

Traditionally, the special guest list can include about two dozen people, ranging from guests who exemplify extreme valor and courage to those who represent the president’s political agenda.

Check out the complete story on CNN's Political Ticker.